Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
May 30, 1963

An Outlandish Proposition

A. C. Grider

During the course of my debate with W. L. Totty here in Meridian, I signed the following propositions for a future debate with brother Totty:

Proposition 1: "The Bible teaches that It is in harmony with the will of God to take money from the treasury to supply the needs of destitute children."

Affirmative: W. L. Totty; Negative: A. C. Grider Proposition 2: "The Bible teaches that it is a sin for the church to take money from its treasury to buy food for hungry destitute children, and those who do so will go to hell."

Affirmative: A. C. Grider; Negative: W. L. Totty I wish to state a few facts relative to the situation. But first, let me state some other facts. I debated Guy N. Woods for three nights in Louisville, Kentucky, on the proposition that it was unscriptural for churches of Christ to build and maintain benevolent organizations. But not one time during the course of the three night debate on this proposition did Woods ever mention "Churches building benevolent organizations." Instead he spent his entire time talking about how awful it was for us to teach that a church could "take $25.00 from the church treasury to buy fertilizer for the grass in the preacher's yard but couldn't take a quarter to buy milk for a hungry child." Since the debate, Woods won't even talk about meeting me again. So, even with his little sectarian emotional appeal, he took a whipping and I can cite and give names and addresses of people who learned the truth and turned to the truth as a result of the debate. No amount of money can get Woods to debate me again.

For three nights here in Meridian, Totty and I were debating the scripturalness of churches building and maintaining benevolent organizations. But, like his "brother in error" up in Louisville, Totty never one time mentioned the proposition. Instead, he spent all of his time talking about how awful it was that we would teach that a church could take $25.00 from the treasury to buy fertilizer for the grass in the preacher's yard but that we couldn't take a quarter from the treasury to buy milk for a starving baby. So you see, no matter what propositions are signed, nor who the false teacher is that you debate, you are going to have to answer for the "crime" set forth concerning the "fertilizer and the milk."

Like Woods in Louisville. Totty was under pressure to debate me some more. I proposed publicly that we sign for "a hundred debates" and conduct two or three per year from now on. But the mighty Totty weakened and, in addition to crying for sympathy because he was being "vilified," he said from his seat that he wasn't going to debate me any more. That coming from "Fearless Totty" was just too much for him. So, he fearlessly declared that if the congregation where I preach would put up a sign on our church grounds that we would let a child starve before we would take money from the treasury to feed it, several preachers would debate me. This was so idiotic I passed it by. Then, smarting because he was afraid to debate me again, bro. Totty presented the foregoing propositions. And with a "Totty touch" announced before about 300 people (and I have it on tape) that if I would sign the propositions he would debate me at Garfield Heights and that I wouldn't have to have an endorsement from my brethren.

I signed the propositions to debate at Garfield Heights church! I have no intention of debating those propositions anywhere else! Nor do I intend to debate those propositions with anybody else! Nobody but a sectarian coward would even ask a man to sign such "prejudicial" propositions. Totty has announced in his paper that I had signed the propositions but he didn't mention that the debate was to be at Garfield Heights. The Gospel Defender, Florence, Ala., also told about my signing the propositions but didn't tell where the debate was to be held. No doubt, before you read this the "Old Reliable" will tell about my signing the propositions but won't tell where the debate is to be held. This demonstrates the desperation of our brethren who have fallen away. Their debating days are numbered and finished.

I said I wasn't going to debate these propositions with anybody else anywhere else. I am not going to give those cowards such a "sugar stick" on which they can appeal for sympathy. However, I am not afraid of my proposition on limited benevolence. I will meet any man living any where and I will affirm that it is unscriptural for the church to engage in benevolent work among any but saints. These liberals won't discuss anything else anyway. I am willing and ready to meet them on the issue of limited benevolence. So, step up brethren. Not all at once please. Just a few at a time.

The debate here in Meridian did good. We have concrete visible evidence of the good which was done. We are ready for another one. Is the opposition ready? We have the truth. We are not afraid. We believe in defending the truth. The truth has nothing to fear. The truth has nothing to lose.

If and when Totty and I meet at Garfield Heights for about six nights, it will be a debate to end all debates. As soon as Garfield Heights and Totty get ready we will have it. I am already ready! Don't hold your breath until it materializes. I doubt if it will come off.

— Meridian, Mississippi