This is Tod Burros. Below is my response to the Forever Family Homily one of the earliest writings of Stewart Tanner Traill. I have never read more than the first paragraph or two of this as I start. A couple things I wonder as I start to read this and do my responses is why did Stewart Tanner Traill decide to write this and what is he hoping to accomplish by it? I intend as I go through this, to try and answer this as well as what he is actually saying. Who is his target audience and why?
My other thought is that the MAJORITY of ex-members I talk to who were around in the early days, still think the group was good in the beginning. My premise as I head into this is that I think I will easily be able to show that the wrong views and teachings that led to the problems we all faced in Cobu started in the beginning. My postulation was that ST’s key beliefs were in granite from day 1 and while the degree of the issues increased over time the root causes were there as said from day 1.
My comments are in blue type,the homily is in black and any definitions are in green type.
I wanted to look up the word HOMILY next. Why was it called that and is it in truth a homily or something else. While I had certainly heard the word “homily” I had no idea of its definitions.[Definition: hom·i·ly [hom-uh-lee] (noun, plural hom·i·lies)
1. a sermon, usually on a Biblical topic and usually of a non-doctrinal nature. 2. An admonitory or moralizing discourse. 3. An inspirational saying or cliché.
So I just looked this up and LOL somehow I am expecting a lot more of #2 than #1 and nothing of #3 but let’s see.
S0ME UNDERSTANDING OF THE WARFARE BETWEEN THE FOREVER FAMILY AND THE POWERS OF THIS WORLD
As often with Stewart Traill the word and the thought warfare is prevalent in his mind right from the beginning. He saw things between him and the world as warfare. This is in line with later teachings such as go to war against every wrong thing. Also interesting to note that the word understanding which later became the name of his group is prevalent in the title.
When the FF began, we ran an "end run". That is, we "gave -ground" for awhile, "by starting all over again." by not building on and with the existing "church "structure, and by rejecting almost all observable influences including unbelievers, liberal Christians, Bible Church Christians, Contentious Christians, Jesus People, etc.
While I guess the term end run is the most interesting part of this as typically an end run is used to get OUTSIDE the strength of another team I am not going to speak much of it. But he is right from the beginning saying that he was not interested in others views only his own. To me that is more interesting. Right from the beginning he is saying, “I separated myself and others from any other influence.”
This angered most Christians, and they proceeded, in time honored fashions, to try to demolish the FF.., and, in particular Stewart, who was denounced as a "false prophet" more than anything else.
I wasn’t around these days and won’t comment on whether this was true or not or paranoia or some variation of both. But again a common Traill trait emerges here. Anyone who disagreed with him got lumped into a category.
The lambs took all this very seriously and there ensued a long period, (about a year) of testing Stewart - within and without the F.F.
Did this really happen? Was there a lot of testing? I somehow doubt it. People have natural questions before they go ALL IN on something and should be entitled to ask their questions in peace without being made to feel it is wrong. So again right from the beginning he is laying out this as something that is NOT good which is untrue and a true child of God/man of peace would understand the difference between someone who is looking to find fault and someone who has honest questions. But not to ST they are right from the get go in the same group.
The kiddies debated every imaginable doctrine with various members of various local churches in an attempt to discover-various truths, or so they thought. Actually, there were often poorly or totally undisguised attempts to fill the front rows of the local churches with vivacious, bouncy, energetic, and ever so cute "Jesus kids', who were to become "actively involved' in their church (and hopefully, breathe a little life into it).
We learn a lot here, his use of the expression: “the kiddies” is a mocking tone. Why the need to put down someone’s youth when that is just who they are! And then the “SO THEY THOUGHT” Here is a typical ST work over. You don’t know what you are doing do you?????? They didn’t know???? Wow typical ST. And then the rest of it is more insults, as seen in his (ever so cute) expression and ST in my opinion laying on other leaders what he was after himself. Welcome to our nightmare.
After all, "you kids need sound Bible teaching, etc. etc, We were told to join the local "church of your choice' instead of trying to become an indigenous group, and following a false prophet.'?
Yea “you kids” need sound bible teaching and to get off my lawn……
And so we were treated to the most interesting procession of brethren (and sistern too) coming to 'fellowship' with us and alternatively finding Stewart to be, a tool of the devil, possessed of the devil, led by the devil, and being the devil himself! Under the international rules of playing church-it was a good shot.
Besides being totally passive aggressive it is a waste to discuss this. Poor ST everyone is out to get him and for no reason. It wasn’t that perhaps some actually saw behind his stated intentions and in hindsight (he himself said he missed grace at the minimum) were they correct?
After all, when 2 or more people say " amen, brother", to anything at all--that makes it true!
More passive aggressive comments and if you don’t know what I mean you might still not understand passive aggressive and how it played into Cobu.
But they were ill prepared to deal with a clamoring bunch of kids saying "well, hold it now", etc., and demanding proof. And so, as quickly as they-came they were "Lead of the Lord" to leave muttering dire predictions as they excite confident of the soon demise of the F.F., and feathering their beds at our expense, as the unfaithful servant whom Jesus commended for his wisdom (Lk 16:9 Job 31:21).
Again hindsight being 20/20 perhaps those clamoring kids should have listened more and demanded less. Which leads us to another Cobu downfall. Saying we were testing when we were already convinced one way. Which isn’t testing at all.
But Jesus had plans for us and finally their playing church became so apparent to all that all could understand and thus avoid these brown.
Playing church here is equated with those who question. This later became a mantra said to any who decided to leave. “Well I guess you are going to go and play church” This again right in the beginning was apparent if we had only been able to see.
Traps that lead to ease in Zion,
The beginning of any rest at all being bad and work, work, work now you little kiddies bring daddy his money for Jesus of course. In doing this he became much worse than what he is railing against here.
...and although we were "Friendless" and vulnerable for a while, we remained, together to continue our still open ended growth! Praise God!
No sadly what he is admiring is the mission being complete for the most part of excluding any views other than his.
Now the F.F. is strong - very strong, and because of our love of truth (Jesus) we have withstood those attacks so well, that we are no longer giving ground but gaining it at an increasing rate!
Again questioning=attacking. What is gaining ground mean to ST. Let’s see hopefully he will tell us.
We no longer need to be defensive and just "hanging on for dear life," fearfully hoping just to survive.
Sorry but this attitude has nothing to do with faith. Did these early brethren actually hang on for dear life? I somehow doubt it. It is most likely a figment of ST’s imaginings.
We are making real headway, on ground of our choosing and we have won the initiative in our warfare-and the ability to stay on the offensive, which opportunity Jesus has given us!
“Warfare” “attacking” being “offensive” ~ anyone get the drift? Where is grace!? Where is peace!? Both are missing. But of course “if we attack” we are doing it “because Jesus wants us to” ~ sad, very sad and a precursor.
While C.C.'s are no longer a problem, but sought after education and entertainment, we are not left free of work and warfare.
Wow he said a lot in a few words. So any who disagree are Contentious Christians and are no longer an issue (which gets us to the why of why he wrote this. He knew that he had won and had the loyalty of HIS flock) and that anyone who isn’t with him is just into entertainment and education (two things he was very much interested himself unfortunately he entertained himself by torturing us) and we get to work and warfare which we got plenty of both.
One of the greater major "prices" that we must now "pay" for our existence, is the risk of disturbing and incurring the wrath of "The Powers of This World". We seem to live on the edge of disaster and on the verge of extinction, just as, much as two years ago.
Oh please! What a drama queen but behind it is be afraid be very afraid another key trait of the Traill philosophy. For a so called bible teacher he sure teaches fear a lot huh? This is the tares that grew up with our wheat even if you do think some of what we got was wheat.
Only the stakes, circumstances, victories are greater. We as the Psalmist are often in fear, of being overwhelmed by our "enemies", our troubles, in and with this world. We badly need to understand this danger and, to learn how to live with it.
He already laid out how
"The powers" themselves increasingly are fearing our upsetting their "plans" for the next generation.
If I saw my child or parishioner with ST I would have to be one of these CC’s. It was their duty despite perhaps their own weaknesses that ST exploited to point out his behavior (HIS FRUIT for those of you on Cobu stories) and how it was and always was a major issue. Again with the hindsight of history we see these people whether well intentioned or not and I will assume there were both were correct that ST was a wolf.
They are carried along by forces which they themselves do not understand.
Yea, yea, only you understand everything, I get it.
They view our success (those that see it) as a threat to them and a reproach upon their inability to demonstrate viable believable direction to the young. To put it simply, they are jealous and suspicious of us (in our appeal to the young) and will not and do not hesitate to resort to unfairness in their attempts to bring us down, but war is war and we must learn to "carry a sword in one hand and a trumpet in the other."
Uh ST was the one who was always unfair, he never argued fairly and again early on puts what he is guilty of on the heads of others while not acknowledging it was because he was doing it that was the key to his “understanding”
And of course more war. You know in war you gotta kill and it is ok. This again is not a man of peace. He taught war from the beginning. He never understood a Christian was supposed to “seek peace and pursue it” not war. There is nowhere I know of in the bible where Christians are taught to go to war. You have to interpret verses that way. But countless times it says to “live at peace with all men as it is in your power to do it”
So fundamentally ST was ALWAYS off. His views were always wrong. And if we took a trumpet to battle it was to either pump ourselves up or to be used to smash it over the heads of others. “Don’t you see how much joy we have being together…..”
After all, we started it showing their young how to kick the "brown cow" habit, instead of being the cute, harmless, "Jesus People" that we were supposed to be.
How now brown cow. Oh boy that teaching. Yea we know ST anyone who doesn’t work is a brown cow meanwhile you have everyone else do your work for you. And again he drips with disdain for Jesus people and all their love and kindness yech who needs all that stuff. We are Christians with teeth who will bite he says. Yea us…..
The F.F. has been together and growing for over two years, and we now have an appreciable body of experience and data from which to draw, and with which we can begin the long and difficult process of moving from generalizing about our various problems to formulating specific battle plans.
Battle plans kiddies whose with me????? And of course our problems but we I am sure will get more into those later.
Before we can possibly try to wage a wise, spiritual, F.F. War,
Now we know what those trumpets are trumpets of war. And more and more and more conflict and misery and strife. Again who is with me?
It is necessary to sit down and consider where and how we ought to fight for what. With this in mind. We ought to try to catalog our advantages and dis-advantages, and proceed from there with their balance always in mind.
Not one word of peace. Or love or any other gift of the spirit. But this is filled with envy, bitterness and promised wrath. Someone is going to pay I mean why else talk war.
The purpose of this paper is to begin putting in writing some basis for our understanding of the external opposition that we now face, and will face till Jesus comes.
Okay, we hopefully will get to the why that I spoke of in the beginning.
The collective generalization "The Powers of this World" means governments, (especially local ones) police, school, parents, (especially worldly ones. Mt. 10:36), big business, the press, employers, neighborhoods, norms, "church", friends, society in general and, indeed, almost any older person.
He forgot pets. He abhorred pets. Cute little cuddly things that need to be taken care of and given affection YUCH! I joke but basically us vs them and "them" means everyone. So if you like anyone I am guessing we should be prepared for him to tell us to cut them off. But we will see.
It would be irresponsible to consider the powers as consciously evil and uniting to purposely keep young people away from Jesus, although the enemy of our souls, the devil, uses all of them to accomplish this effect. So we need to keep an eye on the ruler of this world and his workings. (Eph 6:12).
Nice talk but the result is the same right?
The truth is that many of the powers with whom we deal individually are well intentioned, humanly speaking, and that some of their offices are ordained by God himself. (Romans 13:6).
Okay, here comes some of the twisty, swervy stuff. Well-intentioned but wrong and even though ordained by God I am going to lay the smack down on them so you never listen to them again.
Yet Pharaoh, the spirit of human ruler-ship, finally rules over all these, so they must spend their lives making Bricks for him, instead of living to directly glorify God.
We bought this one hook line and sinker and it is a gross oversimplification and then tied to they are not living for God. So an oversimplification followed by a sweeping assumption.
It would be wiser to think of the powers as intransigent cattle-heavy and hard to move, and deeply absorbed in their own kind of pursuits, and strongly disliking to be disturbed from their bovine plodding.
Here is that bitterness he always had toward those who were more successful then he. A man of peace is not caught up in what others have. This I say because he hides behind the word pursuits but that is code for living for this life. And again every statement is filled with nastiness and in this case envy as well.
In everything, we should try to be responsible, and thus gain the respect of outsiders. For example, it is irresponsible, wrong, and thus weak to call the President of the United States "Hitler", or the police "pigs" Instead of "playing God" it is our responsibility to pray for him and other leaders, while defensively keeping an eye out for tricks perpetrated by the ruler of this world, who partly works through the weaknesses of these people and powers. ( Pr. 20:16, K.J.) "Cheap rhetoric gaineth nothing in the distant chase, but a wise eye seeth trouble coming, that one may flee". In the light of Ece. 3:18, and the fact that the Bible uses the figure of cattle to describe people more than any other animal, except sheep, (which are used to represent saved people),
I thought sheep was human nature Stewy……
Funny, but I never remember praying for any outsiders in Cobu. And for the first time we get a verse or two but mostly just more rhetoric.
we need to understand the powers as being mostly cattle, with some foxes, dogs, swine, goats, and, yes, some sheep, all dwelling together, but each pursuing their own interests, and finally fragmented in those individual interests.
In other words all these terrible people in all these terrible categories you don’t want to be part of DO YOU are all in it for themselves.
Why is it so hard for us to talk with and deal with older people?
A guess would be because they are harder to fool???
What can and should be done about it?
So much for trusting to God and the truth?
What does the future hold for us in this regard?
No older people. Which just also gave me an epiphany of why he may have wanted us to leave when we did before we could see him clearer. I think he lived in fear of being seen for what he was.
So what is a kid to do? How is he to handle the situation in which he finds himself after he is saved? How does he stay faithful to Jesus, to his calling, and to his new view of reality, just beginning to appear? To his bewilderment, he finds that other people, especially older people, are already plotting to return him from orange to brown. (Mt 10:36)?>?> We need to see ourselves as called to rescue young people from their fate- that of becoming the brown older generation themselves, and, in turn having their children consider them to be hypocrites.
Again a very negative view of life and one tailored to appeal to “kids” Introduction of Orange and brown.
We need to see the F.F.- and "the powers" locked in a mortal struggle over the control of the direction of the younger generation. They are determined that their children shall grow up and live like them- dull brown cattle. We are determined that they shall get smart, get saved, and? live for Jesus as his honest, happy, sheep!?
This sounds nice and is an appeal to our better nature. It is him selling what he needs to sell to get loyalty and to make us think we are doing something good. However the evidence from all times was that he never was concerned for honesty or our happiness. Also should be noted the moral struggle lingo appeals to the youth. And again US or THEM. And again this is ST’s warped view of life. That everyone is dull and brown cattle. And that is what parents and authority wants. Some truth to it but most parents want better for their children and for them to be happy something he seemingly can’t relate to as he was a narcissist who never cared about anything but himself and he put a Jesus bow on it to make it seem holy.
We have several advantages when dealing with older people who represent the powers. The greatest is our almost unique devotion to the much feared, respected, and unconquerable force of truth. We have the knowledge that finally, Jesus is working through us because we love him. For another, the powers are usually in spiritual darkness, while we have the light of life. The powers simply, do not understand their young and are not able to empathize with them, while we are!
For a time perhaps. But a lot of what we were selling was a way out. And many including myself who were not happy as teens want a way out. We are tired of living off our parents but don’t have much if any options. Then we all of a sudden are given a way out and a promise of a better life and a godly life. Would that they hype would have been met with reality!
While it is true that the powers can afford to sit back, trust biology, and. wait for the "rebellious youth" to come to them and become like them, in the meantime we have "a good chance at them",. to change their course from the futile ways of their fathers to the meaningful ones of Jesus! Another advantage that we have is something unique to this generation sees or at least feels the great unfaithfulness and hypocrisy of the present "powers."
Again would that we would have offered the true Jesus. As it was he promises men freedom but makes them slaves to his interests. Hard saying but as they say, “dem facts are dem facts.”
They cannot express it well, but it is so obvious to them, that it is one of the strong causes of unity and fellowship between all young people. This can and does powerfully work to our benefit, since we cannot be charged by them with similar hypocrisy. Another "advantage" we have is the détente between sheep and cows. They are tolerating us while we are not tolerating them.
Hmm not being tolerant toward others. Funny don’t see that on the list of fruits of the spirit. Or in the definition of love.
We are. actively pursuing their children, while in some ways, they just stand there & watch us. We can continue and further this advantage by not needlessly breaking their "rules and norms."
Don’t be stupid kiddies, I got a good thing going here, and I don’t need your zeal to get us scrutiny.
Another advantage we have in winning "calves" is that we are believable in their eyes. They know that they need some kind of direction in life, and we represent one of the few alternatives to becoming "brown cows.
Interesting that he confirms one of my conclusions a bit earlier. He knows kids have few options and he is going to make the most of it.
Another help is that kids tend to flock together anyway, and that's just what our fellowship is anyway. After all, what attracts kids more than other kids anyway?
Yes sadly he saw us coming…..
The young have no believable leaders and "heroes" among adults, and consequently they look to each other for fellowship and, sadly, for direction. This, of course is because so few if any care enough about young people to stop throwing stones and above lay down their own interests and take up those of providing genuine direction for the young. So, in one real sense, we are fighting a vacuum in our attempts to catch and hold the interest of the young.
Yes and ST knows how to fill that gap.
These advantages, coupled with the circumstances of our openness, our image as strong, the late hours of our houses, our freedom, and our togetherness, combine to permit us to "lay a heavy hand" on all young people unique struggle assigned to us. We are not powerless in our struggle!
So again early in the church ST believes that laying a heavy hand is a good thing. I mean he always was the king of interpreting others words. He confirmed this at the so called grace meeting when he arrogantly posed the question. What would have happened to you all if I hadn’t grabbed you.
The one thing through both of those threads is God is missing from the equation. In the early days the heavy hand concept shows a lack of faith that God would bring his own without the need of a heavy hand. And at the grace meeting it shows a lack of belief that God could have worked in our lives without him. And he used it to excuse his missing grace which of course it could never do in reality.
But our advantages will not serve to counter balance our disadvantages. They can and should be used only to circumnavigate the traps of the advanced tricker of the older people, whose interest lies in their own passions and the desire to seduce the young into glorifying them by choosing their paths.
Says the advanced tricker from the older people (Duh he was over 30) whose interest lied in his own passions and his desire to seduce the young into glorifying HIM by choosing his path!
WOW this is powerful look behind the curtain. Once again ST assigns to others his wrong and we as naive young people were easily fooled that because he said he wasn’t doing it and others were then it couldn’t be him doing it. Could he?
Lets face it! Sheep can't really influence cows, and we need to remember John 16:8- that it is the Holy Spirit who moves people, and that we can't! The "brown cow" is too great a challenge. How much less, then, when a "fearless" lamb tries to take on a cow or a bull? Even calves are too great a challenge, although lambs calves, and saved and unsaved teen-agers don't realize this consciously, and so can and still do "fellowship" somewhat in spite of their great differences.
Stick to the plan kiddies don’t go after adults you will just get hurt. They are not my I mean Jesus target.
More than that though where is Christ in all this negativity about others and mocking of others. How now brown cow. AS ST already I am sure after 2 years was starting to live off the flock. When did he kick his vacuum business to the curb I wonder.
Some of the weaknesses of the powers in this matter.
1. They are alienated from the young because they obviously cannot convince them of their genuine concern for them.
So he realized we needed to be convinced that he was genuine.
2. They do not understand enough of the real truth for it to really be their guide. They do not love truth and so are in darkness.
3. They are wasting themselves and their strength. They are "getting nowhere" and, in the eyes of their young, are not peaceful and happy.
True enough, I guess.
4. They wrongly expect the "calves" to stop "flirting" with us and return to Egypt, and so leerily try to ignore us and hope we'll go away.
Again a generalization and of course wild guess as to other’s intentions.
The powers aren't aware that we are going to judge the world, so they aren't afraid of us or even of the greater Spirit that is within us. But, on the other hand, they do avoid is, and only tolerate us. They are leery of us, much in the same fashion as a cow would be uncomfortable if approached by a sheep.
Cows uncomfortable around sheep? Hmm not sure about that is real.
We need to understand the workings of this "Peach" so that we can exploit it to the fullest, to the glory of the great Shepherd, Who uses us to bring calves to him, so that we can convert them into sheep! What a Marvel!
Notice the word exploit. You can often tell what someone wants if you look close enough at his tells. ST would have made this comment about anyone else I think.
Just as the wise men scales the walls and as a wise man saves a city by his wisdom, so we must use our advantages to the fullest and discover how we can most effectively deal with "the powers" who are too powerful for us.
So the end result is be afraid of any of these “powers” because you “kids” could easily be had. So fear of anyone outside of the group one of the know issues later in the group.
We need to concentrate, individually and as a group, on examining and wisely calculating the most effective use of our few advantages, with which we are blessed and, as much as possible, see to it that all necessary conflicts with "the powers" are fought on grounds where our "weapons" are most effective.
Again key verb calculating which is funny because it later became a constant sword of Damocles over our head about us “calculating.
It would be naive of me to write "be careful not to be used by older people", because it is inevitable that you will be used" (Pa. 106 37.&38) Considering the universality of the Doms and Dols, their obvious lack of genuine concern. for you, your ineptitude in dealing with them, your lack of straight appeal to them, and their intransigence, you are powerless to stop them from rolling over you and having "fun."
All I know is how fleshly this thought process is.
[In the F.F. Doms = dirty old men & Dols = dirty old ladies.]
We know that .the older one gets, the sicker he gets. That is, corruption means that our sin, (humanly speaking) deepens as one "matures". It gets worse, and not better, until the only time he is getting off is when he is sinning. (Gen. 6:5).
So much for the righteous getting brighter and brighter unto new day. But if you focus on the flesh……
Ask older people whether they are worse sinners now then when they were ten years old, whether they care about it, and what they are doing about it.
Ten? Ten? Duh would have been a reasonable comment perhaps if it was 25 vs 45. We were constantly fed how much worse we would get in the flesh and were not fed with how much better we could be by investing in seeking God and the Spirit.
Ask them whether they care enough about the younger generation to sacrifice themselves and their interests and to crucify their flesh through the new birth, in order to provide the best possible example to them! Ask them whether they are happy and, if they say yes, ask them "what is the source of that happiness?". Ask them what their advice for you might be.
The beginning one might say of ST filling us up with the work over questions.
Then answer for yourself whether sin increases in us as we age (humanly) and if that's the way you want to be when you are their age!?
Fear you kids, fear!
Usually, older people amply demonstrate in their. words and actions that they are not really interested in giving their lives for better and true direction for young people. Their interest is in gratifying their own passions and pursuing their own interest and they themselves have little interest in the welfare of the younger generation( They don't even care enough about you to come and save you from me, by showing openly how I am a false shepherd.)
Man there are a few ways to take this. One way is he is clearly saying we need to be saved from him. See by now he knows that we can’t be taken from him that he has our loyalty. And that made him very dangerous. No need for end runs anymore!
The Cliché' about not trusting anyone over 30 is largely true-unless it should be lowered to the early 20's!
Well except for me kiddies I am as trustworthy as new fallen rain.
We cannot, in the near future, expect to have any influence on the population as a whole because of the intransigence of the older people. We have "nothing to offer them" because they have lost interest in truth and have settled into the dull cattle routines.?
Wow! Thank God Christ doesn’t think like this huh? View from 30 or so years later and I know that God cares for all and as long as there is breath there is hope. Why is ST so determined to eliminate older people from the equation???? Couldn’t be because they see him could it??? Nah……
Only when we are immensely more successful than we are now will older people consider us seriously.? Only when they can tell themselves that lots of other cattle (older people) are into it too, will the population in general, be "impressed" by us and only then will they openly do the one about "success" respect, "you're doing a good job" etc., and only then will they "sit down", and listen, because, being older, they aren't Impressed with truth- only power, comfort, prestige, etc.,
Twisted logic. So if we lead enough people to God then older people will be interested?
Unfortunately, we will find that older people will always be interested in us in only one identifiable way- that of doms and dols.
This phrase was never used in my generation and I never heard it before. Not sure what he means by that. But again he is projecting I would say.
Since it is too gross to even consider appealing to them on. this basis, we are left with exactly no useful tools to use in seriously reaching them from their point of view.
What’s wrong with an honest appeal?
Later, when we are older and more "successful" they, may listen, but for now it is largely a waste of time.
So what do we do meantime? Essentially nothing (with older people). You know too well how those who are well practiced and successful at handling browns won't lay down their "hard-won. trophies" which they value, and won't admit to you that it's all a fraud. Even if they somewhat wanted to- pride keeps them from doing it, and the thought of being in-fellow(ship) with you youngsters instead of the other cattle is unthinkable to them.
Again we are treated to ST’s horrible world view (All were baptized into ST’s thoughts his way of looking at life).
Only through "acceptable" preaching can they be reached - and that really is a different ministry than the F.F. and, in my judgment, a very ineffective one, because if it really worked- there should be many Stewart’s (at least in direction) and many Forever Families.
Thank goodness that isn’t the case.
Those who are in control, power, authority, "use" irresponsible people by setting them up as their of "opposition" and allowing them freedom to fight the establishment.”
Actually again ST speaking of a tactic he uses.
This is one example of the games of Mt. 11:17 & Lk. 7:32 & All involved are happy. The "underdog"- just because he is irresponsible was never really going to get anywhere anyway, so he is glad to settle for & gets off on his moment of attention.
Another weed in his thinking in this early writing. Life in ST’s twisted world is him and every one else in dire need of attention. Meanwhile he was the one making grand entrances and waving his hand solemnly up and down. I guess it is fair to say HE was the one into wrong attention.
The "man" in power continues to enjoy even more "favor" since he has magnanimously met and overcome yet another attack. A recent example was the attention seeking leader of the independent truckers in his irresponsible charge that the "only gas shortage is the one that the oil companies contrived with the compliance of the government"
He represents no serious threat to the handling of the situation by those responsible, and he was set up on TV amidst 50 "followers"- to present his views. Another example of this is the Popes recently giving an audience to some Cogs and praising them. He doesn't fear. them. He knows that they are irresponsible and will finally come to nothing, so he has nothing to lose and everything to gain from "helping" them. It's good P.R. Never accept praise from men- it's not free anyway- you'll be expected to pay it back. (Pro. 6:1 through 5).
In not fighting back at all, I stop just short of this by encouraging people to deal with Bro. Sell & other C.C.'s but for other reasons, we should be more familiar with this ploy. First, we should understand how we are being "afforded" this kind of "breathing" (and growing") space by many people now- who are just expecting the F.F. to fall- because they are convinced that we are irresponsible as a group. This will fade away and another version of this maneuver will appear.
The press will more and more be offering" us the opportunity for exposure. But it will be partly from this approach. We are in "demand" so that people can theorize and fantasize about out expected demise. At least, eventually, of course we cannot remain publicly unknown, nor is there any special need to do so. But since it is of little value, in itself , because it caters only, to older people, public notice of the F.F. should be as much as possible, on our terms, and calculated by us to undercut attempts on the part of "the powers", to succeed in influencing young people against us!
It is hard for many of us to understand this, but in spite of the success which they admit, most "authorities" are at least doubtful of our ability to grow 'and keep it together, and most expect us to fall apart! Statistically, they have a good case, but they do not understand the F.F. and are generalizing about us, and these two weaknesses in thinking lead to wrong conclusions about
As it turns out “THEY’ were right and we were wrong. We did fade into almost nothingness. Certainly within 16 years or so the focus of the church was completely different at the time of and certainly after the grace meeting where for a time the new birth was completely ignored. Whether it has made a comeback I don’t know. The point is this is a lot of pontificating and figuring out that just wasn’t accurate in hindsight. ST has always had an inflated view of his and his groups importance and relevance. But at this point he is still seemingly in expectation of great things. At the very least he wants us to think that us..
It is essentially useless for the F.F. to try to deal with the powers until we are "successful" in their eyes, because until then, they will only try to use us to indulge and gratify their fantasies. When sheep feed among cattle, they don't try to push them around- they just largely ignore them. Yet they will be seen to play with calves- if the cows let them!?>?> Just because there is so little healthy concern for young people today, there is usually no need to deal with older people in order to reach the young. As with most situations in the world, it is sad it is so, but it is true that young people largely form their ideas on their own. This also works very well in our favor.
More of the same.
Basically, then, our usual approach should be that of "outflanking" older people, rather than direct "attack".
Look into who your leader really was. Outflank instead of attack. Out of the heart the mouth speaks. This was a man of war not a man of peace. Yes Jesus brings a sword but to his own he gives peace. Also as far as it depends on you live at peace with all men is completely lacking from his world view.
This a practical version of John. 2:24. WE should reserve our energy & direct delivery for the young, who understand it, and appreciate it more! We must learn not to proceed in any situation with "the powers" until we understand the issue, the truths involved, their "handle" over us and, most difficult of all, the browns that are coming into play. Unless there is a reasoned likelihood of "winning", be wise and don't start something that you can't finish. Most of all, it would be to our advantage for "the powers" to honestly admit their failure and hypocrisy step aside- but now let us not fantasize! Basically, it is thus advantageous for us to (1) have "the powers" wildly, fearfully, uninformedly, irrationally, and unfairly attacking us, (if they foolishly choose to) while...
Again more of what he already has spoken of. One special note is the continued use of the terms browns. This “teaching” made people ashamed of their flesh. We all have flesh. But ST loved to FOCUS on the flesh. I mentioned it before but it bears mentioning again and again where is the supposed great teachers teaching on how to by the spirit put to death the works of the flesh.
(2) we continue together growing, open, truthful, different, controversial, and in short, attractive to young people everywhere, who at least feel the norm of hypocrisy among their elders. In conclusion then, let us consider the following:. (1), There is little communication between cattle and calves, let alone between lambs and bulls. (2) You cannot seriously hope to influence older people with our strange "way". (3) Concentrate heavily on the calves (4) Calculate and exploit the toleration toward us on the part of the cattle instead of almost pointlessly throwing it away as we have been!?
Calculate and exploit praise God. Again he keeps repeating the same thing. We get it. Old people bad. Young people good. I sure hope he at least has a point he is leading toward.
Since we by now realize that we cannot get a fair hearing from all- we must settle for what we can get. We should also realize that we are extremely successful on a one to one basis with young. People especially those who have never heard of us or who are trying to be fair as most young people are. But we are increasingly not allowed the luxury of freedom to work with the young since the older generation- saved and unsaved are engaged in resisting us "from the sidelines". The coming "publicity" about us represents a major opportunity for us to wisely defuse their works. Any dealing with "the powers"..will have to be on their terms, since we can force nothing from them.
More twisted thinking and an interesting use of the word force. In other words, he would use it if he could…….. “What would have happened if I hadn’t grabbed you” (he said to us at The Grace Meeting 1989, ya know, where he confessed to "missing Grace" for 25 years ~ ya know, Jesus!)
So it follows that we will have to learn how to play their games better then they do! This means that we will need to understand them first of all, but for us this shouldn't be hard! There is nothing heavily new in all this, but we should organize our thinking here and get it in writing for the lambs, if nothing else.
Do you see all the psychology here? Do you see in hindsight how this was never God? It wasn’t in his thinking and it wasn’t in his writing.
So let me get this straight, our goal should be to play their games better than they do?
What is wrong again with the open speaking and testifying to the truth?
We must learn how to turn older peoples' tricks, strengths, fantasies, expectations, and desires, to work to our advantage, since we are powerless to remove them.
ST is a control freak. You can see it really bothers him that there is something and someone outside his control. And since he can’t control them he is trying to control us. And filling us with his hatred, fear, loathing and other fleshly concerns.
It is worth finding and studying these procedures, since we can safely assume that all people will follow various variations of their games. Very few of us now understand.
ST was overcome with worrying about games. Here you go again another teaching of ST’s right from the beginning. Games/Game-players/untrustworthy/bad people.
this kind of maneuvering. Later most of us will be able to handle this, but even now, most of us realize that our "only hope" in dealing with "the powers" lies in something like this given the problems we face.
Maneuvering. Another lovely Christian concept.
Karate and other fighting forms use the strengths and weaknesses of the enemy to their own disadvantage. We in our own insight, have the opportunity to do this. For instance, they think that by putting us down they are "winning" but they are only increasing our appeal to those whom they are trying to insulate from us! (Because they do "it" unfairly). The powers can all be trusted not to enter into seriously or fairly presenting orthodox Christian teaching in their "attacks" on us, largely because they neither understand it or care about it.
Nor as it turns out do you! Do you see the wolf in sheep’s clothing yet??
So, strange as it may seem, we ought not to waste our time and effort and pearls by seriously trying to engage in Doctrinal discussions" with the powers, since the real battle with them, inevitably will be fought on other grounds anyway! Just do a Jn. 2,-24 and save your teaching energy for the younger, more open, and more honest.
This teaching didn’t hold. Everyone I ever knew in Cobu loved a good doctrinal battle.
Finally, with some human understanding of the problem, let us consider a small area of the direction given (I Cor..9:22, Rom. 11:14) by Scripture. Here's what Paul did in this area. He was flexible, in order that he might by all means "save" some. He "used" peoples' weaknesses rather than fight them on every point. (Acts17:22) He both shouted the truth and escaped over the wall in a basket!
This is a gross simplification of the teaching and life of Paul. Paul appealed to men countless times. He went into the temple to argue with the powers that ST is saying to run and hide and ignore. Which brings the point of the man who at the grace meeting said he had been running on faith all along shows he knew nothing not only about grace but about faith as well. Self confidence and arrogance is not faith!!!
He divided and conquered. (Acts23:6) He did the most effective thing at hand and learned how to have peace in whatever situation he found himself (Phillip 4:12 & 13) And Jesus urged us to be as wise as serpents and innocent as doves, considering the "wolves" we are among. (Mt. 10:16) Jesus himself was, of course, the master wielder of the sword of truth. We can learn most of all by studying and under-standing His handling of the problems with the POWERS OF THE WORLD.
It is fairly easy to see how he viewed us and how he wanted us to views the “Powers” of the world. At the grace meeting ST said he had missed grace because he was too busy running by faith. But there is NO faith here. It is supremely calculated effort to make some bad and others good. His disdain for us is also evident in how he speaks of us in a mocking tone. Kiddies. Well us kiddies lined your pockets pretty good didn’t we.
But also my premise that all the things that grew up and spoiled Cobu are here on display right near the beginning. So much for the good old days. The good old days were when we thought we were in this with ST. The bad old days was when he increasingly turned his warped view of God and life on us.
If he hadn’t it is my conclusion that most of us would still be there. Believing the things he taught us.
So I ask the question. Was our demise predetermined? After all he has stated that old people are bad and untrustworthy and won’t understand what we are about.
And yet all us kiddies were on the fast track to be older and untrustworthy.
So you do the math. But the blueprint is here. Unfortunately all of us walked in it and suffered for it.
So what was all this about? Why did he write it. With the wisdom of hindsight and peace it is fairly obvious to me that this was Stewart Tanner Traill’s way of keeping us from trusting anyone but him.
There are almost no verses in this. No teaching of God. Just a sad and distrustful man whose true intentions are hidden. With a warped view of life. Read in the grace meeting how he explains how regular Christian life bored him and so he latched onto interpretation. But did he ever really understand the heart of God? Reading this it is fair to say no he didn’t. He never understood any of the mercy or grace or love or peace of God. So he sent us out to witness and make disciples of men who were just like him.
Twisted and angry and bitter.