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“Stair”way to Their Way

January 18, 2015

Initially, this post was going to address the dangers of following men to the point that one begins to ignore the gentle warnings of the Hold Spirit and brush aside anomalies that do not seem to add up, instead of searching the scriptures their own and sincerely taking the matter to the Lord Jesus in prayer. But after embarking on this, I began to recall the details of an instance where, for a season, I was lured into following a way that, had it come to complete fruition, the fallout would have been devastating.  In 2004, I seriously contemplated a move, unknown to me at the time, would have placed my family directly into an environment of spiritual abuse. I’m sharing this, because, I was blindsided by the deception and it serves as a reminder that we cannot follow men to the point that we neglect to “prove all things.”

I Thessalonians 5:21 “Prove all things; hold fast to that which is good.”

Ephesians 4:14-15 “That we henceforth no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:”

In the spring of 2004, something miraculous happened. After nearly fourteen years of being backslidden, The Lord Jesus miraculously brought me to a place of repentance and turning away from that desolate state. The peace of God returned, I began getting back into the word, and my prayer life was restored. My wife, who had only known me in a backslidden state, was completely perplexed by this. (She has since grown phenomenally as the Lord is doing a good work.) The only scriptural comparison that I can find in regards to the season of rebellion is the time when King Nebudchadnezzar was driven from power and lived like a wild animal…..until his understanding returned unto him and he was restored to power. My restoration transpired on Millers Mill road as I was driving to work. I believe that I had been near a point of no return…..however, the Lord Jesus reached down and restored me.

Along with prayer and a return to searching the scriptures, I began listening to a few preachers through their respective radio broadcasts. I found some good ones who preached solid messages. One particular preacher, however, became a favorite…..and this is where the trouble began. His name was R.G. Stair and he lived in South Carolina. He talked a lot about the end times, used a KJV bible, preached separation from the world, and believed in a post-tribulation rapture.  He seemed to touch on everything that was of interest to me. One time, he even dedicated airtime to a thorough, (and accurate) discussion of I Corinthians chapter 14; maintaining the position that the baptism of the Holy Spirit and prophecy are for every generation, however, everything must be done within the confines of scripture. This is important, because there is much going on these days that’s not within the confines of scripture.

I began to listen to R.G, Stair with “sitting-on-the-edge-of-my-seat” enthusiasm. He would talk about the course of events in the geo-political realm and how they related to bible prophecy. He talked much about “the farm” in Walterboro, South Carolina and the many remnant saints who had gathered there. As spring turned to summer, I began to seriously contemplate…..moving to the farm and began praying about how to get my wife on board……unless the unbelieving should depart. This is worth noting. Ever since the restoration, the enemy has sought to dissolve this family and I haven’t always been aware of his tactics. Praise God that, not only are we still together, our marriage is stronger than ever. Back in 2004, however, I was wanting to abandon everything here, and move to the farm……even if it meant going alone. Going alone would have been very hurtful and irresponsible. Taking my wife, my two daughters (then ages 13 and 10) our autistic son (then age 9) and our youngest son (then age 6) into that environment would have been equally irresponsible.

I Timothy 5:8 “”But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”

It goes without saying that I was not thinking clearly during that time, nor was I seriously inquiring of the Lord about this manner. Once we begin following a man, our discernment becomes the first casualty. Following Mr Stair nearly wrecked my life, along with those of my household……right after the Lord Jesus had done a complete restoration. Writing about this is nearly overwhelming. The Lord Jesus prevented a calamity that would have destroyed many lives. He truly saves to the uttermost. 

We had the financial resources to easily make such a move. But as I was praying….and seeking……and wanting to be with like-minded saints……certain things began to trouble me; even as I was solidifying the bond with these folks. I began communicating; both by e-mail and snail-mail, with Mr Stair. A few times, he read my letters on the air. I began to make financial donations to the ministry.  But then, I began to notice the red flags. First, Mr Stair referred to himself as “the last day prophet of God.” I overlooked it at first as I wanted to hear the message and was not about to be troubled by a seemingly insignificant thing. (It was not insignificant, as will become apparent shortly) Then there were reports about inappropriate sexual behavior, families being torn apart while living on the farm…..and the death of an infant on the farm. still, I was so entranced by the preaching that, instead of investigating on my own, I simply categorized these reports as “unfounded rumors from those who are in opposition to the work.”

But the insistence on being identified as “the lat day prophet of God” continued to trouble me. At one point I actually began to fall for this. An internal battle was raging…..and then……I turned on the broadcast. Mr Stair was again discussing this “last day prophet of God” title. Suddenly, he stated words to the effect of “a lot of people wrestle deeply with this title. This is a natural part of the process; don’t be troubled by it.” Well that didn’t really help as something still bothered me. By this time, it was October.  Finally, out of curiosity, I then began visiting websites where some of the allegations against the ministry were detailed. I read them, but didn’t consider them to be credible. There was, however, one incident that, not only caused me to abandon any plans of moving to the farm, it caused me to stop listening to the broadcast long enough for discernment to return…..and then stop listening completely. 

I cannot remember the exact nature of the inquiry, however, I sent a letter containing in great detail, some particular aspect of the end time scenario, and was eagerly awaiting Mr. Stairs commentary on the issue. When a response came, there was absolutely no mention of the inquiry. Instead, the letter contained words to the effect of “do you fully recognize the last day prophet of God? Your eternal salvation hinges on this.” In that moment, my eyes were thrust open. “This isn’t about the Lord Jesus or the time of the end…..this is about total control……and I had been wanting to move my family there.” Many families have been completely destroyed on that farm. Strong, long term marriages have often unraveled shortly after the couple moved there out of a sincere desire to fellowship with other remnant saints. The farm is a totalitarian system where what the prophet says……and now, what Pastor Dowell says…..is to be accepted without question. A strong marriage threatens their power and, therefore must be dissolved. 

They intentionally break apart families……Oh…..and if a person decides to leave the farm, their salvation stays behind.

After this ordeal concluded, I made contact with a man who had lived there with his wife and we eventually talked over the phone a few times. (Their marriage survived) He told about an atmosphere of fear and total control by the prophet. Any discretion was exposed to the whole community. He told about sexual misconduct and, when learning that I had considered moving my family there, he was horrified. The marriage would have most likely been torn apart…..and my daughters……well……PRAISE GOD FOR NOT ALLOWING SUCH A THING! I began to learn about the plight of others who completely fell for the deception and had been subjected to the abuses of those in control.

One may wonder how someone could fall for something like this. For me, the answer is simple. They were playing my song. This cult will not appeal to a lukewarm, your-best-life-now, name-it-and-claim-it, touchy-feely type of professing Christian. This kind of group will appeal to those who are awake and understand the times in which we live. It appeals to those who desperately want to be in fellowship with serious-minded saints, but cannot find any where they live. It appeals to those who are looking unto Jesus and love not their lives in this world. It appeals to those who are preparing spiritually for the moment when the testimony of Jesus will be a death sentence in this world. Many of these folks have searched frantically for a new testament church that is not conformed to this worlds system, to no avail. They are hungry for fellowship, because when we love Jesus, our hearts are in heavenly places and we love to fellowship with folks whose hearts are likewise in heavenly places. This search can cause us to (at least in my case) not thoroughly, and prayerfully examine a situation that appears to provide everything that we’re looking for.

I Corinthians 4:6 I Thessalonians 2:11-12 “And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.

The R.G. Stair season was confusing and this is the first time that I’ve written about it.  Had it not been for the added logistical complications involved with moving a family (in other words, if I had been single) I probably would have moved to the farm; thinking it was the will of God and even believing myself to have properly “prayed about it.” Well, it’s time to be going. I don’t know if this is profitable to anyone, however, revisiting this season reminded me of how close I came to entering a dangerous situation and how imperative it is to ensure that we do not allow the words of men to entice us into something contrary to the will of God.

John 10:10 “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life , and that they might have it more abundantly.”  

Blessings in Jesus name.

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