This is from a larger document titled in the FF 1971-1976 in the chronology as "A different sister." Note how Sex, MARRIAGE,and adultery could ruin the FF. It is a good thing nobody got married or the Forever Family would have been ruined. Later at the Grace Meeting Stewart said the brothers weren't getting married because he, Stewart, wasn't "rightly strengthening them." Of course after the Grace Meeting Stewart did "rightly strengthen" the brothers and now everyone in COBU is married. Oh....they're not? Oh gosh...well....what can we conclude from this small exercise of cause and effect, correlation, results based analysis?
These are pages from complete documents on the site. You can find the complete documents in the Chronology under the Forever Family 1971-1976. These documents are some of the proof of what Stewart was really like and what he really thought at the beginning of the group. His pride, his separation from other christians, his personality molding the group's thinking. CLICK ON EACH DOCUMENT TO MAKE THEM LARGER.
This is the very earliest document I have in print of Stewart's writing and thoughts. It is a 1972 document Stewart wrote to address those who were in disagreement with him. He starts in an entertaining and sometimes mocking tone, making light of those christians who very early in the FF disagreed with him.
If there was any doubt about how Stewart looked at other Christians at the beginning of his group, this document should confirm the truth that Stewart Traill did not trust, did not respect, and did not seek the fellowship of other Christians when he started his group. This may sound like an obvious fact but it is crucial to see this because it is evidence of the beginning of the cult: Stewart's cult. One might argue that Stewart was right to separate himself and his group from other "Christians" in the early 1970's because of their "apparent" lack of "real" commitment. But now in 2010, let us consider truthfully what a "real" Christian would have or should have done being truly Led by the Holy Spirit, which Stewart at the time mocked. Let's ask some simple questions and consider Stewart's words in this document and his behavior at the time.
It was the early 1970's. Stewart Traill, according to his own words, got saved 3 or 5 years before 1971. According to Stewart, he was all alone as a Christian until he met Skip O'Neill in Allentown in 1971. According to Chris Blaise, Stewart did not lead anyone to Jesus during the 3 to 5 years he was a Christian, witnessing in New York and Pennsylvania. Stewart told stories of being thrown out of churches, thrown out of diners. Just an aside, one of the standard for Bishops in 1st Timothy is that "the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome," and one could either believe Stewart's vision and version of "standing up for the truth" and being "persecuted" or one could consider the scriptures that actually must be used to appoint a pastor. So we have this 35 year old man who has a track record with being ejected by outsiders of the faith and insiders, members of the body of Christ. He then meets Skip O'Neil who has already been forgiven by our Lord and who has already received the Holy Spirit. Stewart did not lead Skip to Jesus. Stewart did not lead Neil Pendry to Jesus nor did he have anything to do with Patty Daniels' salavation. Stewart points to 137 as the beginning of the Forever Family. May I say here that the young Christians in Allentown who would eventually submit to Stewart's understanding of things, were first together without him at 128. I make this point because this speaks to one of the core problems Stewart has with legitimate and scriptural leadership of this group but I will write about this addressing another document below.
In this document, when Stewart mocks those "led of the Lord" and then identifies them with his own brand of thinking as "cleverly concealed ego trips to counter Stewart's authority of truth"; here you have one of the best early examples of what Stewart would grow up to become. Stop now and think of the language typed here in this document and then remember that he is speaking about Christian brothers and sisters who are members of the body of Christ. What is the division according to Stewart? What is the point that Stewart is addressing? He is talking to Christians who do not want to follow him i.e., join his Forever Family and live in. Now, with Stewart there are noticeable patterns to see, if one has the benefit of rewind and reread with hinsdsight and years of Christian life and wisdom which none of the young members of the FF had. This is why I do not fault the early members for falling for and following Stewart. None of them had the experience or the spiritual maturity to recognize what Stewart was. And if you think about it, Stewart's take over of a bunch of young people in their teens and twenties in the early 1970's was a pretty pathetic feat and a destructive one, consider his supposed "true interpretation" and his discovery of "the real way" to be a "real" christian set against all the "gameplayers" and "Contentious Church Christians" of his day.
"Stewart's Authority of Truth" right here in this 1972 document. When I comment on the Grace Meeting, I will try and address all the various things that are going on with Stewart and for Stewart. It will the hardest thing I have ever done to date, as far as trying to tell the truth about everything Stewart did and said. The reason is that there is a long list of things to consider. Stewart's deceptions are multi-layered. What I will say here is that one thing that keeps coming up and it is something that Stewart could never fake or teach his way into or out of.
Stewart's almost dismissal of the New Testament in one of the documents below and his "spiritual authority of truth" come up against God. Let me be even more specific. Stewart's writing here about his own "spiritual authority of truth" comes up against The Holy Spirit. When Stewart speaks about other Christians saying that they are led of the Lord to fellowship somewhere else and NOT with him, in his little group, Stewart mocks them, calls them detractors. Our brethren are not saying that they are not going to be Christians anymore and Stewart is not striving for their faith in Jesus to continue. Stewart is ascerting his "spiritual authority of truth" against Christians who might actually be being led by God's Holy Spirit and they were obedient to God in the Spirit in 1972 and told Stewart so. Stewart started a group or rather corraled already saved Christians and put his energy into keeping and growing his group, sold himself as the sole leader, and marked those who did not buy into his "spiritual authority of truth" as detractors. Here you have the heart of a cult leader. At the Grace Meeting Stewart said that "he didn't mean to take Jesus' place, never meant to, spoke against it, and yet that is what the devil arranged." I think right here is just a glimpse of the direct taking Jesus' place by not humbling himself and being subject to the Holy Spirit or His leading.
Let me try to defend Stewart here. Let us use his words and grant that Stewart did have a "spiritual authority of truth." Let's say Stewart was coming from Paul's words when Paul wrote "the authority given to me" and "I will not make use of this authority." What authority was Stewart ascertaining and why? Did he have the authority of an apostle? Did he have the authority of a bishop or deacon? Who tested him? Did he meet the test? And why is he ascerting this authority? Are the brothers and sisters in Christ departing from the faith? No! They were born again, born of the Spirit of God and they were not being led by our Father to be in Stewart's group. What would a normal Christian pastor have done? Think about that. A normal healthy Brother in Christ would submit to God, recognize the Lord's leading in the Spirit and rejoice that the brethren are obeying the voice of the Chief Shepherd. Can you imagine Stewart Traill in the early church? Can you imagine when the Holy Spirit spoke and said "set apart for me, Barnabas and Saul" can you picture ST saying.... "Led of the Lord" Saul? yeah right!.....your commitment to Jesus is in question because you are not staying here with us." As far as Stewart's claim of "ignorance" at the Grace meeting about missing grace....I will address later.
This is an early document showing how Stewart very early in the group was already emphasizing his leadership and our need for him. When you read this and then read part of the Grace Meeting where Stewart has the gall to blame members, of the group he created, for "relying on Stewart" and "waiting for Stewart to do everything" as Gayle said trying to support this ludicrous idea that the members were at fault for looking to Stewart for direction, answers, counsel, when for the last, then 25 years, Stewart promoted himself as "THE" teacher, the sole leader, the pastor of the FF and then COBU. He trained all members not to "try amateur psychology" and "no more I think, I guess" (See MTC rules) and so what one really see with this document and with many others is that Stewart did promote himself as "THE ONE WITH THE ANSWERS" to a bunch of teenagers and he did so in many ways so that even now current members(the teenagers who grew up) do not question him or test anything he says. Stewart used to blame "the cult" on the older brothers and sisters and never took any responsibility for the very thing he created. The FF was Stewart's design. COBU was Stewart's design. He owns the spiritual damage and the failure that surrounds him at every meeting whether he wants to or not. The Grace Meeting will be looked at and commented on very soon. That meeting is very revealing in more ways than I think those who were there know. Even now current members should actually listen and read the Grace Meeting and really consider Stewart's behavior after this meeting, the hypocrisy, the false repentence, the lack of real change, the lack of fruit that would be evidence of Stewart's repentence. And for current members, consider how many times Stewart spoke of an said he was in "error" and yet at this meeting, he is the one STILL doing the teaching, still in charge. Before this meeting and at this meeting he did not speak about his sin against Ann and the other sisters at Princeton. He spoke of "sin showing up in his behavior." He also said that Gayle had to bear the brunt of his behavior. The truth is Gayle was ready to expose him just before he had the Grace Meeting. Do you think Stewart would have accept this deceitful admission of his if a member offered it to the brethren as some kind of coming to the light? The Grace Meeting will be looked into and it is relevent today because as Stewart quote "missed grace" in 1989, he is missing and has missed for the last 45 years a great many things and this has bearing on the lives of current members now.
Please also note that in this document Stewart talks about "blacks" and "girls." While I find the way he speaks about these people as offensive, I want to draw your attention to Stewart Traill the Salesman. This is something I used to gloss over in my younger years. Stewart Traill was and is a salesman. His tactics in promoting himself and his tactics in "witnessing" is a mix of interest in the spiritual with selling the product, which, in Stewart's case,was and is himself and membership in his club. There is an answer for all of Stewart's wrongs but I will save that writing for the Grace Meeting commentary.
This is a page from Stewart's John 2 Wine bible study. This was printed in 1974-75. Here Stewart says some very revealing things. There is the obvious but there is also the passing comments that are also very noteworthy.
This page was meant to be a quick aside but in the process, we get some of Stewart's views on things. There is Stewart's contempt for "Christians today, showing love." Here again he makes distinction between himself and other Christians, later between the FFer's and "other" "foolish" Christians. This is trademark Stewart language of separation and division, not only separation from the world but separtion from other Christians. To understand Stewart's point of view, consider that Stewart never submitted to anyone's authority in the Body of Christ and never, by all my accounts, relied on anyone in his life. What we have is Stewart alone, like the Stewart before he started the FF, alone, relying on his own understanding and his own insight. Yes, he sold us the idea that God spoke to him as He spoke to Moses and there is a lot in that idea right there which brings me to his contempt for the New Testament.
It is easy for ex-members and current members to be too familiar with Stewart's exaggerated, overly dramatic language about anything he talks about and overlook what is actually being communicated. But I think it is important to make no more excuses for his serious error in his view and treatment of scripture. He calls the New Testament "bubbles" and over and over again he offers the New Testament and the New Covenant up as "a shame." Here, like in most of Stewart's "studies" where he has free reign to give his own opinion on everything, Stewart pulls a scripture out of context, in Hebrew, "He endured the cross, despising the shame and is seated at the right hand of God" and uses it as the only supporting scripture for his view that the New Testament was a shame. It was a shame that God had to have a New Testament and a New Covenant. I cannot convey how utterly incapable I am to address such a view of our salvation. Can I with one scripture challenge Stewart's blasphemy? Hello, Stewart. Try reading John 3:16 slowly. What you portray to young christians as a "shame" and "bubbles" is actually God's love for us. For God so loved us, that He gave His only Son, Jesus, for us. Your pathetic and disgusting view of the New Testament is smoke to the eyes. The cross was a shamful death in that the victim is stripped of his clothes and put to death publically. Giving you all the benefit of the doubt you have grossly communicated your "understanding" with monumental incompetence. To say the worst, you have treated the sacrifice Jesus made lightly.
Stewart pays lipservice and tries to pacify critics with his "don't get me wrong" kind of talk but when one read this whole page, one cannot help but walk away with Stewart's low opinion of the "lesser" Testament and his appreciation for the "better" of the two, the Old Testament.Ex-members, especially those in the beginning of the FF can bear witness that Stewart did study vigorously the Gospel of John and nearly memorized it, verse by verse, as demonstrated at the first Big Meeting in 1973. But here and seemingly everywhere else his focus and his exclusive authority and power and control came from his claim to "understand" the Old Testament, the "figure" system. Here he speaks about the "desire to understand being satisfied with the Old Testament, not the New." Stop and consider what you are reading. What does Stewart really value? The answer: Understanding. He has a lopsided devotion to his own mind. Why? There are some simple reasons and proof of my ascertion. Who came up with the GET SMART GET SAVED button. Stewart. What is the phrase derived from? Proverbs 4:5-7 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.The words are modified for the gospel but we get what matters to Stewart. To Stewart, the New Birth, the New Testament is just a beginning, a doorway to the MORE IMPORTANT Old Testament. Look at his description of the New Testament....."flat things, do this, don't do that, have faith in.... PLease stop and remind yourself that this is a Christian talking about the New Testament, the word of God,and our way to know how to live as Christians in scripture, to learn about our Lord, hear His words, follow Him, please Him. Could Stewart be saying here that The New Testament isn't much of a challenge for those seeking deep understanding. Most likely. Note to Stewart: " If you have all knowledge and understand all mysteries but have not love...." get it? Stewart would rather serve God with the system he constructs and understands and can control. The New Testament is a call for believers to obedience which takes humility and this does not appeal to Stewart.
And let me also draw your attention to this fact. The New Testament has in it how the church is built. In the New Testament we have 1st Timothy and Titus which is where the Apostle Paul told us what standards Bishops and Deacons must meet in order to serve in leadership in God's church. The Apostle Peter wrote to the Elders, "Tend the Flock of God that is your charge, not by constraint, not for shameful gain, not domineering over those in your charge...." The Apostle John wrote about Diotrophese, who likes to put himself first and doesn't welcome the brethren..." Jude and Peter and Paul spoke of False Teachers. All in the New Testament. Stewart's view or can I say his contempt for the New Testament serves him well. If Stewart honored the words of the New Testament and humbled himself to listen to the Holy Spirit, the words of our Lord and the Apostles,the Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit, then he would have to humble himself and submit to the structure and teaching of the Christian church Jesus established by the work of the cross, by the shedding of His blood. Stewart would not have been able to start the Forever Family if he would have obeyed the New Testament. He would not have been qualified to lead anyone. After his unscriptural assumption of leadership he would then have been disqualified and dismissed as a false teacher if any of the early members were taught to heed the New Testament. And if not a false teacher, then he would have been dismissed for his divorce of Shirley, his sin with Patty, his sin with Gayle, his treatment of brothers and sisters,his treatment of his son, his sexual sin with sisters at Princeton, his sin against Ann, his sins before the Grace Meeting, his treatment of brothers and sisters and his false teaching after the Grace Meeting.
Stewart dwelling falsely in the Old Testament did not have to abide by the standards of the New Testament. He just told his followers that the New Testament "is a shame" and a necessary beginning to the REALLY IMPORTANT "understanding" Old Testament. In the Old Testament, Stewart can point to Moses as a leader type. Moses to the young Christians was a lone leader who was unaccountable to those here on earth and only accountable to God. 1st John is harder for a Christian to be "He who says "I love God and hates his brother is a liar". Then Stewart played around with the Elijah/John the Baptist type of leader. Notice that Elijah was apparently alone and unaccountable to anyone on earth and only accountable to God. The Old Testament also provides Stewart a wide field where he can flex his "understanding", understanding that he claims was from God, understanding that no one else has, that no one has ever had, undertanding that none of the young members could question, refute or reject, "understanding" that he later distanced himself from at the Grace Meeting. One of the incredible features about the Grace Meeting is the brethren had before them a man who openly said he taught ERROR for 17 years and then proceeded to teach these brethren all about grace,the false teacher who taught falsely for YEARS and at this meeting he stays in control, keeps the job he openly said he WAS NOT doing, and then assumes that the brethren should trust him with What? TEACHING?! This was and is astounding."Understanding" is the foundation and control Stewart needed to operate his group. Understanding is Stewart's strength.It's what he is good at. It's primarily what Stewart is all about, humanly speaking. He created a group based on his understanding. He changed the name of the Forever Family to the Church of Bible Understsanding. I renamed it, "The Cult of Stewart's Understanding because it is clear that that is what his group really is. The Old Testament satisfies STEWART's desire to understand. The New Testament is where Stewart Traill met our Lord, read the words of the Apostles and did not humble himself to be one of the brothers, to be one of many, to be maybe one of many teachers, one of many servants of Christ. He shows contempt for the New Testament and serves his own pride to a disasterous and destructive end. There are things Stewart said at the Grace Meeting that confirmed his warped Old Testament view and his ignorance of the New Testament. Let me add, the word ignorance means "not knowing" and I think Stewart does not know our Lord. His understanding, all his studying, using his own mind, figuring out the figure system, nothing it seems is from our Lord Jesus, God revealing things to him in the Spirit.
What is hard for current and ex-members and indeed anyone who looks in on Stewart is how to determine how and why his understanding is not of God because Stewart uses the Bible. He talks a good game. The Apostle John wrote, "to test the spirits to see whether they are of God" and in another place, "Thus you will know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error." Early on, it was hard to look at the Forever Family as a bad group because it was populated with real Christians who were truly born again and who truly served Jesus. It was hard to separate the members from the leader. Stewart the salesman sold the group's success as his own,as God's endorsement of his leadership all the while using the right words "To Please Jesus" and his "Praise God" after every other paragraph of speech, to the point that "Praise God" came out of his mouth at even the oddest times, by mere verbal habit. God was faithful to His promises and did forgive and did give His Spirit to the young Christians in Allentown. And they witnessed and led others to Jesus truly. Stewart assumed control of a group of young Christians and he pushed his version of things. "He who does not enter the Sheepfold by the door,but climbs in another way, that man is a thief and a robber. " Stewart's actions proved later what he was.
Stewart's view of the New Testament was poison. And this was part of what he taught to the early members. It was hard to catch Stewart at the time he delivered his false teaching. He is very capable of not only delivering heresy, but defending it. I urge current members to decide without Stewart, to please Jesus by returning to Him. Return to Jesus and He will strengthen you to dismiss Stewart. You are not being loving to Stewart by letting him continue to dominate you. God is not pleased that Stewart is your lord now.Stewart's own salvation is in peril and letting him continue in his way is helping him to Hell. Current members stop and ask yourself where you got the idea that you cannot be faithful to Jesus anywhere else. Where did you get the idea that Christians "outside" Stewart's group aren't serious about their relationship with God. Who taught you this thinking? This was never God's will that we look at other christians, not of our fold with suspicion and contempt. It is not too late to return to our Father whole-heartedly and then unite in the Holy Spirit and disfellowship Stewart. He is a false teacher.
One last thing. There is no where in scripture where a false prophet in the Old Testament or a False teacher in the New Testment gets to explain their "actions" "intentions" or "awareness" to anyone for a second chance at the job. You know this. Stewart deceived the brethren at the grace meeting. Once he announced his error, he should have repented and then resigned. His truly pathetic likening himself to Apollos is almost beyond words. I will address as much as I can when I look at the Grace Meeting again.
This is page 26 of the Isaiah 1:18 bible study. If you read this page, you will see the same themes running again. What might help you in this reading is to substitute "Stewart" every time you see the word, "we." In the early studies and tracts when Stewart speaks in the "we" it is showing the proper display of a unitied group or movement but some of the time he is saying things that only he, Stewart, understands. The idea that all the FFer's understood the bible the way Stewart did, or were coming up with bible understanding apart from what Stewart taught is false. Our brethren did witness before Stewart assumed leadership and taught them his tactics, tactics I might add, that brought no one to Jesus the 5 years previous to the FF's beginning. There was no "we" when it came to who was in charge, who was the brain of the operation. The FF/COBU was and is Stewart's design and he is responsible for the damage and failure of the brethren who stayed with him. They are partially responsible for the abuse they have suffered because they are allowing him to continue to lead. I am praying for current members to return to Jesus with their whole heart and then unite and take New Testament church action, walking in the power of the Holy Spirit and dismissing Stewart from his office on the many grounds that disqualify him. Stewart needs to repent before it's too late.
This is a page from the Homily to the Catholic school. It's more of the same. You could read this with a proud, bratty, immature attitude of a recent convert who should not have lead. Stewart again writes in the "we" mode but this is really his "us and them" thinking. This is what he taught the early members. It's what he has always believed. His group and belonging to his group= faithful to Jesus and that is party spirit(1 Cor 1-3) If you are a Christian outside of Stewart's sphere of influence, your faith is suspect. And within the group if you were not commended or recommended by ST in some way, then you were not in fellowship with him or with Jesus. And to be in fellowship with Stewart...hmmm...well...there are the bible studies ST gave about "what faithfulness looks like" and then there was the Manhattan Training Center where one was judged by ST's color code. If I documented all the charts and lessons and rules and teachings(and I did on this site) and the"new directions" ST created and put us through...you would get a real idea of what ST thinks of what it means to be a Christian. Or what it means IN HIS MIND WITH HIS UNDERSTANDING. It comes down to the same every time. Here, in the ISA 1:18 study, is the pride and the arrogance of the "WE ARE DOING IT RIGHT AND YOU"RE NOT" attitude which originated with Stewart. His view of other Christians. 1st John Diatrephese who likes to put himself first and does not welcome the brethren. Gaius tested those who said they were Christians and when they met the test he welcomed them and had fellowship with them. Stewart never demonstrated or taught us to love our brothers and sisters outside the group. This is a very serious scriptural indicator that Stewart was wrong to lead in 1971 and has proven over the last 39 years that he is wrong to lead now.
US IN HERE AND YOU OUT THERE.
THE 1974 FOREVER FAMILY HOMILY. Yes there is the US AND THEM again but I want to put Stewart in context. This was the early 1970's. The Children of God were already active, Jesus people USA was around, Keith Green's ministry was starting and all over America in the late 60's and early seventies groups were popping up, some of God and some not. The Manson Family, Jim Jones' People's temple, The WAY International came a little later. The 60's was counterculture, counter-establishment, counter-authority, counter-government. Stewart was a clean-cut high schooler in the good old 50's. Something happened to this son of a minister. Stewart went through the 60's married with kids and he went from clean-cut to hairy hippie. He studied all kinds of religions, he was into science and philosphy and psychology and he was becoming a salesman. He says he got saved. At the Grace Meeting of 1989 Stewart said "I would say I got saved 25 years ago." Now he could have been rounding up or down. He would have gotten saved in 1964 which would have made him a Christian for 7 years in 1971. He said in 1973 that "he was alone for 5 years" and that would have meant that he got saved in 1968. And one other account says Stewart was a Christian for 3 years and then he met Skip at the Bridge at the Parkway in Allentown in 1971. It would have been to say the least helpful if Stewart would have actually told the early brethren his testimony. To say the most it is highly significant that Stewart never told us His testimony of how our Lord saved him. Stewart mocks and sneers at "Christians today, showing love" and speaks about Christians of his time with such contempt for everything they did and said. Why? Please consider that if Stewart were sowing to the Spirit he would have spoken the truth about the condition of the body of Christ in America or the world but would not then stop and build a wall around himself and shut off his group from other Christians who were faithful to Jesus. To fully buy into Stewart's vision one would have to believe that there were NO FAITHFUL CHRISTIANS anywhere except in Stewart's little group.Let me add that early in the FF outside reading was allowed or not discouraged but Stewart to my knowledge never urged us to read any christian authors and never credited any christian authors for having written anything worth following.
Like the tract before this homily,and at Big Meetings Stewart was into boasting about the number of members in his group and even included( to inflate the size of the group) those "interested," those "really into" our group"....at one Big Meeting he talked about how many actual members were in the FF and then said "if you count lambs and backsliders it's over 1000." the recording is on the site. The growth of the group. The amount of people in his group. Not the number of those coming to a relationship with Jesus and being saved. The way Stewart talked about the number saved; it is more like a membership drive. This is Stewart Traill. His success was keep and controlling a group. There was a definite differnce between the Jesus we members knew and the Jesus, Stewart taught.