Personal Critique
Taken from Brother Stair's Broadcast" (date 02/10/2000)

by Tammy Lynn Rowland

All quotes from Brother Stair are word for word and
all of his quotes are in bold.

I felt a strong need to respond to this message because my parents
are members of Brother Stairs Commune in South Carolina, called The
Overcomer Ministry

This is where I started to quote Brother Stair's messsage:

"The Scriptures tell you, 'Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin
that does so easily beset us.'"

He never gave a reference for the above verse, but it is part/half of
Hebrews 12:1, which is in fact a continuing message from Paul starting in
Chapter 11. Chapter 11 is talking about examples of faith in people from
the past in the Old Testament. You can't just start out with Hebrews 12:1
because it needs to include at least part of the ending of Hebrews 11...
"And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did
not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that
they should not be made perfect apart from us. Therefore we also, since we
are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every
weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance
the race that is set before us."

Stair then goes on to say:

What are the weights? What are the things weighing us down?
Holding us back? I mentioned them to you many times. The first is your family...oh, yes, I can see it...have seen it, hundreds and hundreds of times. 'What am I going to do about my wife? She doesn't believe, she won't go along. What am I going to do about my children?'"

Well, friends, if you go back and look in Noah's day. Noah did something to bring about a response to his children and to his wife. And, they followed with him and walked with him. What was it? I tell you right now was the fear of God. It was the FEAR of God on Noah.

It is better to obey God...'I can't leave my family behind." If death would come, you would. If war would come and...the....government would call you, you would. If sickness comes, it just doesn't keep you well, because of your wife and your family...How many have learned that the hard way?'

'What do we do Brother Stair'? You ask God to help you have the faith to believe to obey. If you do that, then He helps you in any situation. 'How are we to do that?' Why you lay aside every weight, and the sin that does so easily beset you.'

As I have been driven by the Holy Spirit today, to talk on the subject of "DOING". I had to find Scriptures to help me out."

The Scriptures he uses to help him out are 2 Corinthians 8:9, 10, & 12. And Stair mainly speaks about having a "willing mind" to be able to leave your family for his ministry, which is living on communes he has set up throughout the U.S. and at least one in Canada.

If a family member should happen to die, we would know they did not reject their family for a leader of a commune. They just happen to die. There is a big differnece. If war would come and family members served their country, we would miss them and cherish each letter, phone call and visit home. We would pray for their safe return home. If and when they made it back, there would be much rejoicing and thanking God for their safe return.

I was sick a lot when I was little and it MOST certainly did help me feel better to have my mom take care of me. She did nothing magical, but just knowing she was close by, lovingly taking care of me, made all the difference in the world. IT is a great comfort to have family/loved ones near you in times of need or sickness.

Stair is telling us we need to ask God to have the faith to leave your family behind and to believe and obey Stair. He is clearly trying to convince us that our family is the weight/sin spoken about in Hebrews 12:1. And places family at the top of the list. When in fact the Bible does not say this at all.

When Stair was asked, "What do I do about my wife? She doesn't believe, she won't go along," What is Stair really saying? The wife doesn't believe in Jesus as her Lord and Savior, or doesn't believe Stair is the Last Day Prophet of God? The wife isn't a true believer because she will not go along with Stair's commands to leave her family and the world behind to follow him?

In 2 Corinthians 8:9-12. It is talking about the price our Lord and Savior paid, in His atoning death for us, in our place, on the cross. He emptied himself of His heavenly riches, and this is the supreme incentive of all genuine Christian generosity and charity. IT is not something that can be commanded on anyone. It is something that will come naturally from the heart of every true believer. Read Matthew 25

Now when Stair uses 1 Chronicles 1 Chronicles 28:9-10 I do not see the reasoning of putting these two Scriptures together. Except that the words 'willing mind' is mentioned in both 2 Corinthians and 1 Chronicles 28??

1 Chronicles is God speaking to Solomon and God's instructions to him. Then David gave Solomon the plans for the vestibule and all the plans that he had been given by the Holy Spirit. This is a copy and shadow of Jesus as Lord and Savior. Jesus was always looked to and every Old Testament Sabbath, feast, ark of the Covenant, etc...was a copy and shadow of our Lord Jesus. The Book of Hebrews explains how Jesus was the shadow of things to come... "Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of Grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." (Heb. 4:14-16>

So I am not convinced by the Scriptures Brother Stair uses to help him out. He then goes on to say:

"See what God is trying to do here? He is trying to get all of us to have all things in common. Sell what you have. Obey God. Come out from among the world. And if you show a willing know...,I...I, many times people get upset with me, because they say, "Brother Stair, where do we go?" And what they want me to do, is direct them to one of our communities, or one of our farms. Where they can just move in, with a prepared place to stay and all of the things of responsibility removed....and they free."

What is Stair saying? Sell everything, come out from among the world and then what? Stair is the one calling people out, preaching/teaching people to sell what they own and get out from among the world, and leave their families, if need be. What does he want people to do? Doesn't he want them to join one of his communes? He claims to be the one to bring in the Kingdom and be the leader of the end time saints.

Those that are followers and members of his communities cannot even be the type of person mentioned in 2 Corinthians 8. If they sell all they own, they are told to give what they have to his ministry, to help him carry his messsage to the world. All generosity and charity is within the group structure. Nothing is given to their neighbors. Nothing is given to the hungry. Nothing is given to orphans. And nothing is left for the care of their family. Nothing is given to any other ministry outside of theirs. All generosity and charity are self-contained within these communities

They are told however that what they give to Stair's ministry is giving to the world, because this helps get his message on the airwaves. Which Stair claims is God's end time message to the world.

Are the above "quotes"of Stair's actually from God? What does God say about the family. Does God ever mention or hint at leaving your family and come out from among the world?

Paul, tells us in 1 Timothy 5:3-4, "Honor widows who are really widows. But if any widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show piety at home and to repay their parents, for this is good and acceptable before God."

vs 8 "But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self- controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the Word of God." (Titus 2:3-5

"Children's children are the crown of old men. And the glory of children is their father." (Proverbs 128:3)

...."But from the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female. 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, ' and the two shall become one flesh; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh. "Therefore what God has joined together, let no man seperate." (Mark 10:6-9)

If you look in the Bible you will find this commandment mentioned many times. And it says "ALWAYS" honor your mother and father.

One of the last words spoken by Jesus, as He was on the cross, was to make sure His mother was well provided for.

"When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, 'dear woman, behold your son,' The He said to His disciple, 'Behond your mother!' And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home." (John 19:26-27)

When I pointed out the above verse to my mom, who is living on Stair's commune. She wrote back with this Scripture:

Then one said to Him, 'Look, Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, seeking to speak to You.' But He answered and said to the one who told Him. 'Who is My mother and who are My brothers?'"

And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, 'Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.'"

Jesus was making a point. All believers do become a part of God's family. Jesus was always there for His family. And provided for His mother. We also have to understand that Jesus was God in the flesh and had a very important mission to carry out. His job was more important than anyone elses could ever hope to be on this earth.

Jesus said in Mark 7:9 "All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition. For Moses said, 'Honor your father and mother; and He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.' But you say, "If a man says to his father and mother, Whatever profit you might have received from me is Cor'ban--(that is, a gift to God) then you no longer let him do anything for his father or his mother, making the Word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do."

Isn't this exactly what Stair is teaching? To reject ones family for "his" traditions/teachings and commandments?

As Stair preached his message on laying aside every weight-he places first on the list 'family'. And then goes on to try and convince his listeners that their family is a sin to be gotten rid of.

He is teaching his own brand of religion. Preventing his members from taking care of their family, using God as an excuse. Jesus said in the above verse that they were in fact rejecting the commandment of God and making the Word of God of no effect. Stair completely fails to know the responsibility that comes from God's commandment to show honor to the family.

A true follower of Christ will care for their family members. Their time in family affairs, planning and looking ahead for any problems that might arise and doing things to alleviate them.

God calls all those that believe in Him, His family, "The family of God."

Family does matter to God! God designed the family, both physical and spiritual. He set down certain rules on how it is to function and how each member of the family is important to keeping a family together.

The right perspective is important and we are to love God. To understand what Jesus accomplished on the cross. To learn what God's Word really says. To always check the Scriptures to see what someone is preaching goes along with God's Word or NOT!! Stair teaches things that he should not teach. He also does not handle the Word of God correctly. "For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints." (1 Cor. 14:33)

"Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of Truth." (2 Tim. 2:15)

"To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them."
(Isaiah 8:20)

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