A Reply To Brother Totty's "Reply"
In the Gospel Advocate of January 7th Brother W. L. Totty attempted to answer my article appearing in the same issue of this journal. He did not even make an effort to meet my first argument. I showed in my review of Brother Totty's first article that Brother Cogdill's "position" could not be "exactly" Brother Sommer's "position" in view of their "difference" "...over what constitutes the Lord's money."
Brother Totty ignored my first argument in the review which I made, saying: "His article is somewhat ambiguous; and ...he is against Totty." I called in question his knowledge of "Sommerism," but I can see no reason for his sudden "persecution complex." When he made his attack upon the position which we occupy, was he "against Cogdill"? I wonder! Let it be said to Brother Totty, "Why criest thou for thine affliction?"
The Advocate's Error
An error appears in my former article which is no fault of mine. My manuscript says: "I now quote from Brother Sommer to show that he did fight the existence of these schools." But the Advocate has me saying:.. he did not fight the existence of these schools."
"The Lord's Money"
In Brother Totty's "reply" to my first article he quotes from Sommer-Rhodes Debate, page 30, to prove that Brother Sommer was not "against" Christian individuals establishing and supporting "Bible colleges." It is true that Brother Sommer accused Brother Rhodes of misrepresenting him, but that is no proof that Brother Rhodes did misrepresent him. Sommer's position on "what constitutes the Lord's money" made it impossible for Christian individuals to establish such schools; therefore, there was no escape from his predicament by bringing up "the Lord's money." I now quote from Brother Sommer's own words to show the impossibility of a Christian establishing "religio-secular" schools while "occupying" Sommer's "position": "(1) Faithful obedience to the divine doctrine of 'equality' will place all of the Lord's money in the church treasury, or in the hands of the Lord's needy ones; (2) With all of the Lord's money thus placed there will be none in the hands of Christians for building religio-secular schools; (3) Therefore, faithful obedience to the divine doctrine of equality will make the building of religio-secular institutions by Christians impossible." (Sommer-Armstrong Debate, page 6) I think it is obvious to all our readers why Brother Totty did not deal with my first argument on the "difference" ..."over what constitutes the Lord's money."
Sommer's approval of "Buffalo Seminary" is suggested by Totty as proof that Brother Sommer believed in a Christian individual's right to establish and support such schools as are called "Bible colleges." Brother Totty could have learned from the same page from which he got his quotation that Daniel Sommer's own words show plainly that he did not endorse a Christian individual's right to establish and support such schools as "Bible colleges." Brother Sommer says of "Buffalo Seminary," "That Seminary was conducted in his own house (Campbell's), and indicated what Christians may do who are not actuated by love of popularity." Brother Sommer had previously condemned Campbell for establishing Bethany College, which conferred "pompous, foolish, worldly titles" upon its "pupils." Then he said: "The same may be said of David Lipscomb, J. A. Harding, J. N. Armstrong, and others. But just in proportion as the mentioned brethren proposed to arrange a college course like the world has arranged, and graduate pupils with worldly honors, they showed themselves determined to make a bid for popularity with the world." (Sommer-Armstrong Debate, page 87) Brother Sommer was opposed to the existence of "Bible colleges" that conferred "titles," "arranged a college course," and "graduated pupils with worldly honors." Does Brother Totty know of a "Bible college" among us that does not "arrange a college course," that does not "graduate" and give "titles" or diplomas to its pupils who successfully complete their courses? It appears that his "Buffalo Seminary" argument has turned out to be a "white elephant."
Skirmishes, Page 7
It was proved from Skirmishes, page 7, that Brother Sommer taught that Christians who supported "Bible colleges" were "withholding" that which rightfully belonged to the Lord. Brother Totty tried to prove that the "late Daniel Sommer" was teaching Christians were at liberty to support schools after they had "liberally contributed to the church treasury." Brother Sommer, "being dead yet speaketh"..."the requirements of the divine doctrine of justice when faithfully obeyed make it impossible for individual Christians to build religio-secular schools." (Sommer-Armstrong Debate, page 6)
Brother Totty "attempts" to show that the quotation I gave from Sommer-Rhodes Debate was misapplied by me. Totty says: "Brother Sommer did say that no one has a right to establish schools and call on Christians to support them while at the same time denying that they are religious institutions." Does Brother Totty think that Brother Sommer would have approved Christians supporting these schools had Brother Rhodes agreed that they were "religious institutions"? Our respondent must affirm this or lose the point he "attempts" to make. If he Affirms that Sommer meant "Christians" could establish and support the colleges provided they were admitted to be "religious institutions," he has "unwittingly" committed Daniel Sommer to the position that "Bible colleges" may be supported by the church treasury; for Totty says Sommer "evidently had in mind the church," when he referred to "Christians." "Verily, the legs of the lame are not equal."
Brother Totty's Teaching
Brother Totty says: "Brother Cox knows that I was teaching the same thing in 1947 that I am teaching now." That is what I thought when I heard he was supporting Brother G. C. Brewer's idea advanced in the St. Louis debate. Brewer taught that Bible colleges "may" be supported from church treasuries. He "tried to 'justify' churches supporting colleges" in that debate. That is exactly why I wrote the article, June 1947. I knew before Brother Totty ever entered his debate with Ketcherside in 1942 that Brother Totty "never tried to 'justify' churches supporting colleges." I knew that he had "justified individuals supporting the colleges." Brother Totty told me previous to the debate with Brother Ketcherside in 1942 that we could not defend churches supporting colleges. That was why I helped him in that debate. When I wrote the article June 1947, I thought Brother Totty had been converted to Brother Brewer's idea. I had not at that time seen his correspondence in which he denied changing his position.
Brother Totty's argument upon the tense of the verb amounts to nothing in view of what he has written on the question involved. He would have the readers believe that he was teaching all the while that colleges may be supported by churches, but just did not happen to teach it in debate with Brother Ketcherside. When he was charged with changing his position, Brother Totty said: "I have not changed my position... I taught the same thing five years ago as I am now teaching." (April 6, 1948) At that time Brother Totty claimed to be teaching that churches may support colleges. Yet, five years previously he was not teaching that colleges "may be" supported by the churches. He said in 1947, "I never tried to 'justify' churches supporting the colleges. I justified individuals supporting the colleges and will continue to do so." Brother Totty, as late as 1951, denied that he was then teaching that colleges may be supported by churches. "I don't teach that churches should support colleges, I don't preach that they may." (May 28, 1951) Since he said in 1951 that he did not "teach" that churches "may" support colleges, how did Brother Totty expect me to know that he taught in 1947 what he teaches now?
Regardless of what Brother Totty has believed in the past, what he believes at the present, or what he may believe in the future, the stubborn fact remains that he has put himself in a dilemma. It will take more than a lesson in grammar on the tense of verbs to extricate him from his inconsistency. Let the reader not forget that "today" Brother Totty teaches: (1) Churches may support colleges. But in 1951 he said: (2) "I don't teach that churches should support colleges, I don't preach that they may." It would certainly be interesting to see Brother Totty's explanation on the tense of the verb, "don't," in this latter statement.
The Advocate's Position
Brother Totty tried to lessen the force of Brother Srygley on the point under discussion by saying Srygley believed in "Baptist baptism." I shall leave Brother Totty in the tender care of his good friend, G. C. Brewer, for instruction on the Advocate's position concerning "Baptist baptism," while I continue to refute Brother Totty's claim that we are "Sommerites."
Brother Totty offers Brother Brewer's "series of nine articles" as proof that the Advocate was committed to the position of supporting colleges from church treasuries in 1933. Brother Foy E. Wallace, Jr., then editor of the Advocate, says of Brewer's "series": "His general arguments on the existence of private organizations and institutions both Brother Hinds and I endorsed; but we both dissented from the view that such organizations can be scripturally supported by the church. Brother Hinds knew it, I knew it, and Brother Brewer knew it." (Bible Banner, page 3, Nov. 1947) With reference to churches supporting schools, Brother Srygley said: "Brother Baxter, the president of David Lipscomb College, said through the Advocate a few months ago that it should not be done." (Gospel Advocate, April 13, 1933, Editorial page) Therefore, I have proved that the Advocate's editor, Brother Wallace, Brother Hinds, Brother Baxter, president of David Lipscomb College, and Brother Srygley did not agree with the idea of supporting colleges from the church treasury. If objecting to church support of colleges now makes us "Sommerites," what was the Advocate in 1933?
The American Christian Review
Brother Totty knows that Brother A. R. Sommer does not believe in Christian individuals supporting Bible colleges. He says: "... such schools are unscriptural rivals of work of the church and of American public schools." (Review, page 4, Aug. 1950) The late C. W. Sommer, objecting to such schools being supported by individual Christians, said: ".... the old church will be robbed before it gets the money" (Review, November 8, 1938) The Review's position would convict us of robbery who dare support colleges on an individualistic basis. A. R. Sommer was trying to get on the "bandwagon" when he called us "late converts" or "Johnnies come lately." Let A. R. Sommer become a "late convert" to the scriptural position on the support of these schools, then he might at least experience some "brotherhood unity" with those "Johnnies come lately" school supporters.
Totty Vs. Brewer
The venerable veteran, W. W. Otey, holds "exactly the same position" which I hold on the support of colleges. Brother Brewer writes, "Brother Otey is not a Sommerite. He does not agree fully with Daniel Sommer's well-known position on the college question." (Gospel Advocate, December 17, 1953) In the Advocate, November 19, 1953, Brother Totty stigmatized the names of all of us as "Sommerites" who support colleges individually, while opposing church support of them. He charged that we hold "...exactly the position of the late Daniel Sommer." Brother Brewer is the champion in defense of church-supported Bible colleges. Brother Totty should have received a lesson or two from Brother Brewer before he wrote his first article. He could have saved himself "the embarrassment of making that mistake."