I feel as though I could write a book on The Bible Speaks. I spent two years at the school in Lennox from 1980-82.
I was a Christian before I got there, which helped me to finally see my way out.
Fear was the predominant vibe running through that place. Everyone was afraid of "being deceived." This was actually an entire doctrine built essentially around one verse of scripture. Stevens taught that in the "End Times" people would fall away and be "deceived."
Anyone who left the ministry, for whatever reason, was said to have been deceived and lost. The only way to keep yourself from not being deceived was to always be in line with Pastor Stevens.
Anyone outside our church that claimed to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ was still suspect and not to be really trusted. Other Christian organizations were always somehow inferior to The Bible Speaks
Only our pastor had "the anointing" and therefore the direct link to God. Stevens also taught that he had the apostleship of Paul.
The doctrine of "Spiritual Delegated Authority" was preeminent and everyone was included in a kind of pecking order.
New people were always put in the basement rooms until they could be trusted.
We were encouraged to check every decision through our "spiritual head."
Members of the Bible Speaks believed in always getting confirmation from "the body," which meant other believers. And I'm talking about basic decisions such as going home for the weekend to visit parents. People were encouraged not to trust themselves, but always to confirm through the body.
This was taken to such an extreme that I personally knew more than one person who got married based on "confirmation of the body" to someone they felt no love for. Some were married in a matter of weeks.
Women were encouraged to hang around "team Lennox," hoping to be put together with a husband.
Any of us that expressed a desire to go to an accredited regular four year college, or do anything with our lives other then full time ministry, were mocked for "seeking after worldly goods."
There didn't seem to be a drop of humility in Carl Stevens. He constantly referred to himself as God's man and made reference to his supposed "persecution."
Members of the church were almost always poor. Scraping together tuition, while Stevens would often be whisked away in a black limousine with tined windows after finishing a sermon. At times accompanied by some young woman.
In 1982 "cult watcher" Walter Martin of the Christian Research Institute filed a critical report abut the church that raised some serious questions. Around this time there were also major defections at Lennox. People were disillusioned and fell away, while many others were wounded.
I was very young then and eventually left myself.
The bottom line was that people were taught not to trust themselves and only trust in the chain of authority.