Here is a brief note on the story of the "Get Smart Get Saved" Button. I hope to learn more soon about the button if there is anymore to know. Stewart Traill made the first buttons: the raised-letter black one only he wore and the "raised letter" red buttons he made for the early members of the Forever Family. Stewart picked out the 12 Salvation Verses from the Gospel of John and if a member memorized them and paid $1.00 he or she could get a button. Stewart hand-made the raised-letter buttons until 1973, possibly into 1974. The Forever Family in 1973 had 200 to 250 at the first Big Meeting. This does not mean there were 250 members of the FF. Sometime in 1974, buttons were mass-produced. I would estimate that Stewart had hand-made between 75 to 175 red raised-letter buttons before having them mass-produced.
The slogan "Get Smart Get Saved" comes from Proverbs 4 verses 5 and 7:
5 do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth. Get wisdom; get insight. 6 Do not forsake her, and she will keep you; love her, and she will guard you. 7 The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight.
Below are pictures of the various kinds of buttons and representations of the Get Smart Get Saved image. The button had various backs and sizes. There were embroidered patches and stickers. The Button also appeared on envelopes, business cards, and church stationary. The Shepherd button was eventually designated as a "sister's" button. One of the current members of cobu wore a U button in some of the Olde Goode Things pictures. I am not sure if this was the brother's unique invention based on Stewart's "U" point of view teaching or if at some time all the current members wore them.
I would like to comment on this invention of Stewart's as I think it was an early sign of what he really was, what he stood for, and why we should never have listened to him. Again, all of my analysis and critical thinking is hindsight. I do not think that any member at the time could have spotted the error completely enough to dismiss Stewart. There were christians at the Message Coffee House in 1971 who opposed Stewart and told him so. There were the many christians throughout the 40-year exisitence of Stewart's cult who tried to tell him he was wrong, false,or in error. Even current members who have witnessed Stewart's sin against sisters, sin against his wife, sin in his teaching,sin in his leadership still refuse to believe that he needs to be removed. Even when he directly tells them that he took Jesus' place and taught error for 25 years, they still stay and commit idolatry.
This button. Stop and think about this button and consider some of the things Stewart has said about himself. Get Smart Get Saved is based on Proverbs Get Wisdom, Get Insight. Stewart said in the John 2 Wine Bible Study that The New Testament was a shame, necessary for us but a shame. He also said that the New Testament was just flat statements, "Do this, Don't do that....but if you wanted your desire to understand to be satisfied then the Old Testament is where to go." Although Stewart devoted a tremendous amount of time and energy to the Gospel of John,and in particular John 3, his leadership model was Old Testament. He changed the name of the church from the Forever Family to the Church of Bible Understanding. Stewart distinguished himself from other christians and from other fellowships, how? What did Stewart claim to have that all the other christians lacked? True Interpretation, Understanding, God spoke to him. God revealed things to him. Think of what he said of himself. God spoke to him the way he spoke to Moses(Old Testament "lone" leader,from a warped perspective)...that he was or might be Elijah(another Old Testament "lone leader"). The pattern with St is that he did not humble himself to New Testament "You are the body of Christ and individually members of it." Also 1 Corinthians 12 as we cannot boast over the other members of the body. The New Testament teaches us that we are members one of another. We work together. And when it comes to leadership in the body of Christ, there are standards in Timothy and Titus for bishops and deacons. And there is our Lord's words, "The rulers of the gentiles lord it over them and have authority over them, but he who would be great among you must be servant of all and a slave of all. I think Stewart fashioned himself after Old Testament "leadership" because in his thinking he was unaccountable to the church. Nobody would walk up to Moses and Elijah and question what they are doing. In the New Testament church we which were suppose to be, Stewart would have had to be tested according to standards. He would have had to meet the qualifications laid down by Paul in scripture. And he would not have been the only teacher in the church. He would have been open to other christians and other fellowships. What we got is Stewart Traill doing his own will with his own mind.
The problem with Stewart from the very beginning was and is pride. We have the tapes and the printed bible studies and the testimonies of many ex-members which, brought together, form a clear picture of why Stewart was wrong, why he should have never led ANYTHING! If Stewart Traill got saved and received the Holy Spirit, why did he never tell anyone his testimony in praise and thankfulness to God? If Stewart got born again, why did he not join other christians, sit under the teaching of any brother who was already trained and an approved, vetted leader? Why did Stewart get kicked out of all those churches, all those diners? Why did the Message leaders content against him and tell him not to come around anymore? Stewart Traill has shown all his life that he was and is alone. He does not listen to anyone and does not accept or receive correction. Match all of Stewart's behavior, his fruit, to Proverbs, to the wise and the foolish, to the scoffer and the mocker. Match all of Stewart's behavior to NEW TESTAMENT CHRISTIANS and note the difference.
I believe Stewart never received the Holy Spirit of God or, if he did, did not listen or submit to the counsel of the Holy Spirit. He never taught us to humble ourselves before God in this way. He never modeled this. Because Stewart refused the love the truth and to accept the discipline of the Lord, anyone who has ever had contact with Stewart Trail ONLY GETS STEWART TRAILL.What I mean is, Jesus said either make the true good and its fruit good or make the tree bad and its fruit bad. The argument for ex-members in the past has been centered around what was ST and what was cobu? They try and answer with evidence and fruit. Some would point to how God worked through us and led many to Him. They make the mistake of plugging Stewart into this equation. I have written already that Stewart on his own, before the FF, led no one to Jesus and had fellowship with no one. He co-opted a group of already saved christians in Allentown. They were witnessing before he taught them his tactics. They were praying and reading the bible before he came. God did work through the brothers and sisters in Christ in the FF. HE did work through the brethren of the Church of Bible Understanding BUT this does not mean God worked through Stewart or that this is somehow proof of Stewart's relationship with Jesus. God was faithful to His children because HE is love and loves us. Stewart all along tried to gain control of us and his forming a group of us and then leading it was not God's will in the bible, is not according to biblical standards and it turned out to be exactly how it started: Stewart's cult.
This button was a sign or identifier that one belonged to STewart's group. This was a membership badge. Stewart's Get Smart Get Saved button was his emphasis on his understanding and wisdom. Wisdom and Understanding and specifically Stewart's wisdom and understanding. Look at the fruit or lack of it from the beginning. Honestly look at Stewart's actions and his beahvior from the very beginning of the FF. Like I said, you don't get Stewart Traill the chritian, you get Stewart Traill PERIOD! You get his thinking, his personality, his will on everything and the fruit of all this is his cult the Church of Bible Understanding. True interpretation of the bible really was Stewart's invented system of understanding the bible. And because he allowed no correction, no outside reading, no outside insight, no outside fellowship with the rest of the Body of Christ.....COBU is exactly an expression of Stewart Traill and no one else and nothing else. The current members can no longer call themselves christians. They no longer follow Christ. They do not immitate Christ. They do not allow the Spirit of Christ to teach them or lead them. They have been truly led astray by someone who has taken Christ's place. At the Judgment Seat of Christ they will face Christ Jesus and give account for following this false christ, Stewart Traill. And Stewart will face the Lord God for his sin. Current members need to repent. Stewart needs to repent.