Steve told my parent that they needed to confront another member of the church on Steve’s behalf and give the member a warning not to “betray” Steve.
Steve told my parent to give the other member a “message from the Lord” or a “word from god” about their loyalty and commitment, but it was really Steve telling my parent exactly what to say. Steve told my parent not to reveal that it was really Steve who sent them.
When my parent confronted the other member as directed, that member became infuriated and went straight to Steve to tell him what nonsense my parent had said. Instead of revealing that he himself was the messenger, Steve told the member not to listen to my parent.
He then called my parent and said that if they were truly loyal, they would apologize to the other member and say that they had stepped out of line.
My parent was so distressed and angry and said “But you directed me to say that!”
Nevertheless, Steve told the parent to do as told and stunningly, my parent complied. My parent told me that they were “tormented” by the situation and “humiliated.”
They said that they had contemplated taking their own life. They told me that god required death to self and total sacrifice and that honoring Steve’s request a test from God.
I spent many sleepless nights worrying about my parent and couldn’t understand why they couldn’t tell Steve “no.”
From someone who was pushed —
As someone who did stuff for Steve I wouldn’t do for anyone else, I can testify to the spell you fall under his influence.
How someone can get smart, gifted people to do what they want is psychological manipulation at its core. If you do say no, which I did for one my children who was on the hot seat, you will be marginalized, probably bashed and considered a danger to revival.
My children have stories they don’t want to tell and it’s their narrative.
But I put my foot down for one of my kids and hell broke loose. I refused to throw my kid under the bus for the sake of revival and I paid for it. I don’t regret it to this day and I would do it again. It’s truly sad that some parents in that environment will sacrifice their kids for “revival.” If you’re a teen or young adult reading this and this has happened to you, please know this is not normal. Churches and pastors don’t act like this.