RURAL BRYANT, SD, PRESENTS:
Our Stadem Kinsman Redeemer," How the Farm Was Saved for Posterity,
by Nephew Ron Ginther
We will say here that we can understand Christ's role even better as a kinsman-redeemer after the account of that role in Ruth. It may be foreign to our thinking, but we need to understand how important it was, not only in Ruth and Boaz and Naomi's time at some point in the Period of the Judges in the Old Testament account, but even more vital for us today. We were redeemed, how? Redeem means to "buy back." In our case, not anybody could do that, for no sinful human being could do what Christ, sinless and divine as well as sinless human, could do, and did. If you dear brethren are duped by Satan and false teaching to think anyone could do what Christ did, well, did anyone die on the Cross for you? Was that someone sinless? Did Buddha, Gandhi, Gloria Steinem, Margaret Sanger, Lenin, Obama, Clintons, Biden and Harris, Lady Gaga, John Lennon, the Kardashians, Michael Jackson, your various sports heroes, die for you on the Cross and pay the penalty for all your sins? Would it have done anything for you lasting if any of them had died for you? On the contrary, the Book of Hebrews points out that Christ only could be our Redeemer of our sin-sick and sin-condemned souls. Jesus only perfectly satisfied the requirements and job description of the Kinsman-Redeemer!
How? Only Christ was without sin! The God-Man, Yeshua (Jesus) of Nazareth, born in Bethlehem of Mary, not Joseph, conceived of the Holy Spirit, was sinless, which your theologians and churches no longer teach because they have made themselves enemies of Christ and the Scriptures.
This opposition is nothing new. In his time on earth his enemies tried very hard to convict him of sin, but they could not do it, all they could bring forward at the kangaroo court trials they cooked up were false witnesses whose testimonies of his wrong-doing fell pathetically apart in court. So the accusers were obliged to concoct a charge of sedition against Roman authority, and we know from the Gospel accounts that Pontius Pilate the Roman in charge in Judea was intimidated by the accusers' threats. The chief priests and their cohorts threatened to write and inform Pilate's Emperor in Rome that he was not dealing rightly as Caesar's friend with a threat against Roman authority in declaring him innocent as charged and letting him go free. So the frightened Pilate did the expedient thing and had the Lord Jesus crucified and slain to save his own skin and political career.
We know all this, from Sunday School flannel graphs to the Gospel accounts to various sermons we might have heard on this subject in churches that still teach the from the Gospels. However, it is old hat to us! We are bored and yawn at the thought of it. But it is absolutely life and death to us, when dealing with the question of where are we going to spend Eternity. If we take it lightly now, we will be sobered up later when we stand at Eternity's edge as our life passes from our mortal bodies!
Now to cut to the chase regarding our account! Tom Harrington came along regarding Plain View Farm when he married our aunt, Ruth Stadem, and bought the farm. It had been sold and the proceeds given out to the immediate family by the youngest Stadem, Leroy Stadem. That was the end of it as a venue for the family reunions, which Aunt and Leroy's elder sister had initiated years before in her visits to her beloved Mama in Mobridge, SD. But it proved not to be the end. Tom Harrington redeemed the house and barn and some outbuildings and adjacent acreage for a possible retirement home for himself and Ruth. They began strenuous efforts to restore the dilapidated property and house. The barn was too far gone to be restored, but Tom offered it to anyone who might be able to shore it up in some way, for it was leaning over and in time would collapse.
Using his own retirement funds and his savings from a long career of Border Customs House officer and inspector, Tom bought the farm back not just for their use but for the whole Stadem Relationship of families of Stadem descendants then numbering several hundred adults and children. He generously and hospitably continued the same policy of the farm's founders, Bergit and Alfred Stadem, which was clearly one of generosity and hospitality shown to all, family or not.
When Tom passed to Glory, the little, 13 acre farm passed to Ruth his widow. She kept it from sale, but chose not to alter it for fear it would not be salable if it came to that. When she passed to Glory, the farm was to go to her youngest brother Leroy, due to his great help to her in her personal affairs, but he declined and, instead, it was offered to be taken care of by his four sons and one daughter. They accepted the responsibility, probably not understanding it as well as older cousins and aunts and uncles understood it. We in the Stadem Relationship who were older but lived far off, no doubt shared this thought, that it was a good idea, for his sons and daughter mostly lived closest to the farm, and it was reasonable to expect they could do a better job of overseeing it than relatives who lived a thousand or miles away could do.
Tom, then, was not biologically our kinsman, true, but he was a true redeemer of the Plain View Farm site, so beloved to us because of our grandparents' godly heritage and their lifelong examples of what true Christians are and how they serve Christ and people and the Church and evangelism in this world.
Tom so admired and esteemed our heritage, that he truly, lovingly "adopted" us and our heritage, providing an open door and a year-round showcase for our heritage, whatever we wanted to make of that opportunity, he was open to us, inviting us to regard PVF as our home too. This the records we have of him and his statements proves, that Tom redeemed the farm and then opened it up to us all for the sake of our heritage preservation and enjoyment and fellowship.
All that has been curtailed, put on the shelf, or even ended, when it was lately given to one young family on the farm, who operate it as their private home, except for a reunion every other year, now discontinued due to the Covid-19 risk, ostensibly. The four brothers and one sister have also formed a LLC legal group that enhances and gives legal standing to their names on the shared title, so there is no legal way to assert a wider governance of the farm and a re-opening up of it to the wider Relationship. The heritage gathered and preserved principally by Pearl Ginther has still to find a venue at Plain View Farm. It was taken away after the Centennial, though it was brought by her son (your editor) to be showcased and enjoyed and learned from. .
But that was not God's will, as Tom bought it for himself and Ruth and everyone, not just himself and his wife. That was his guiding love for our heritage and all of us, evidenced. His chosen way to handle PVF as heritage to be shared by all would best evince the spirit of the Farm's founders, Bergit and Alfred Stadem, too. To do less could not be Tom's desire, and certainly God used Tom to redeem the farm as it had been founded on the prayer that Plain View Farm would glorify God.
Our "kinsman-redeemer" Tom has gone to Glory, but our Kinsman-Redeemer" Christ who grafted us in, even as Tom "adopted" us as his family, is coming to take us up to himself when he comes soon as a Thief in the Night (not the Second Coming, to be sure).
We have no issue with the family on the farm being there. They are in their legal right to be there. But that legal right does not supersede God's plan for what should be done regarding the Plain View Farm. They are not mutually exclusive, either. Only God's will comes first and foremost always, and the private interest must give way, though that does not mean that the family residing on the acreage must go. By no means! Pearl Ginther, matriarch of the Stadem and Ginther families, always wanted a caretaker to reside on the farm, and that declared wish of hers was ignored until lately when this young family came to homestead there.
We only hope that PVF can be opened up, welcoming all to come again to showcase their dreams and visions with freedom, and with love and understanding shown to all. This has to be in accordance with the values and beliefs of our grandparents, it must be said, as radical politics has taken control of many church bodies that have nothing to do with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Those radicalized church bodies seek to restructure or remodel or makeover American churches and the nation at large according to their ideas about social justice, which have to do with equalization of genders, religions, values, life styles--even though that "equality" is none other than camouflaged Marxism, LBGT-QIA, Planned Parenthood abortion, and liquidation of gender differences, in direct opposition to the Bible and Divine Creation and God's sovereignty over heaven and earth.
It will be interesting to see how God takes charge and what he does to restore this sin-ravaged and Satan-dominated world. We all shall see it, either with joy or grief and terror. Maranatha!--Ed.