Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
September 3, 1964
NUMBER 17, PAGE 2,12b

Editor Lemmons And Murder

Bob Franks

In the July 21st issue of the Firm Foundation, editor Reuel Lemmons makes a scathing attack on brother Jim McDonald and me because of our part in the establishment of a congregation in Huntsville, Texas. He also attacks brother Yater Tant and declares that he has "poured more hate into the brotherhood than any man living." It is not my purpose to defend brother Tant; he is capable of doing that job himself. It is strange however, that his information about the Huntsville work came from an article brother McDonald had written in the Preceptor and not from the Gospel Guardian. Brother Tant had nothing whatsoever to do with the beginning of this effort. Yet he is maliciously and invidiously attacked along with us and our dear brother used such words to describe us as "devilish," "brazen," "commandos," "guerrilla tactics," "fiendish," "gory," "unprincipled," "anti," "like Brutus," and entitled his article "Murder Will Out"; leaving the impression that we are murderers! Then he has the shameless audacity to talk about hate!

Brother Lemmons accuses us of splitting the church and he says the "old church" in Huntsville has been a splendid congregation for years. Isn't it strange that when the "antis" go into a city and begin a new work, this is "splitting the church", but when the "liberals" do the same thing, this is the "work of God!" Why, brother Lemmons, didn't you give editorial comment and rebuke when a "liberal" church was begun in Lufkin several years ago which supports the sponsoring church arrangement and the institutional orphans home? This has not only occurred in Lufkin, but in Nacogdoches and many other cities. The four churches in Lufkin were in perfect harmony until the "liberals" moved in.

He accuses us of employing "guerrilla tactics" when we went to Huntsville. This is not true. Everyone knew we were coming because we sent an invitation to every member of the church, including the preacher, to attend our meeting. We asked them to study with us and if we were wrong to show us. There was only one letter refused and guess who did not accept it...the local preacher. Can you imagine a "gospel" preacher who refuses to defend his practice and teaching?

Later, one of the members arranged a discussion, but the preacher did not know we were going to be there until he came. He was challenged to defend their practices and refused. Does this sound like "guerrilla tactics?" Can you imagine "guerrillas" letting the enemy know in advance what they are going to do? The results of their knowing in advance was a refusal of radio time by the station. It was not because the time was not available. The time was given to us and later cancelled with the explanation that they had too many religious programs on the air! That almost equals the pressure put on east of the Mississippi, doesn't it brother Lemmons?

Although brother Lemmons says that behind the "anti" movement there is an "unprincipled motivation", I can assure you that all brother McDonald and I are interested in is the truth and the proclamation and propagation of same. Who are you, brother, Lemmons, to judge and impugn our motives? We believe with every atom of our being that the Huntsville church and many more are in apostasy the support of institutional orphan-homes, sponsoring churches, church sponsored entertainment; institutional Bible chairs and etc., are evidently without divine authority. I say "evidently", because there have been no scriptures set forth by you or anyone else to show where the Lord authorizes his church such things. I will change my position and repent in sackcloth and ashes if you brethren will give me a "thus saith the Lord" for the foregoing things. If you had used scriptures to show where we are teaching error instead of using language to slander and castigate us, it would have made a great impression on lovers of Truth. About the only impression I got is that you hate the "antis" and have some smattering knowledge of Shakespeare!

The Editor of the Firm Foundation will get a copy of this article but I know it will never see the light of publication in his journal. He likes to make vicious attacks but will not let his victims be heard in fair exchange. One of the real reasons this article will not be printed in the Firm Foundation is because of the questions I am going to ask the bewildered Editor. He can't afford to answer them and if he did, in the next issue he would probably refute everything he said as he had done on many occasions.

The questions are as follows: (1) If the church where you preach or worship should decide to support Abilene Christian College from its treasury, would you oppose it? You are on record in at least two articles in your paper denouncing this as unscriptural. (2) Would you continue worshipping with and supporting this church or would you be compelled to go elsewhere? (3) Would you preach against it, even though you knew it might cause a "split" in the church? (4) Would you go into a city where the church has embraced this false teaching and try to teach them the truth that makes them free? Or would you let the forces east of the Mississippi forever seal your mouth? Incidentally, is this the reason you did not speak against church support of colleges at the ACC lectures? I am told you stated that you were, but nothing happened? Why? Is this why you have not written on the subject again?

Please answer the questions, brother Lemmons. I am sure they would be most interesting to a lot of people.

The Editor says our opposition to human institutions and all the wild schemes of the brethren is a "radical position taken by a small element in recent years...," If it is so "radical" why don't you expose us with the scriptures? If it is such a "small element" why so much editorial comment and attention to such a small and insignificant matter as two Lufkin preachers starting a church? Truth is, there is no one who knows better than Reuel Lemmons that we are not "dead on the vine;" we are not dying out but there is a tremendous surge of growth among the conservative brethren. I have access to a list that has been privately compiled, which shows about 2000 names of churches., opposed to the liberal trend. There are over 300 in Texas. Brother Lemmons, you need to get out of your refrigerated office and look around.

While you brethren are spending your money to build and maintain human institutions, we are building churches.

I might add that the Huntsville church is signing deeds this week for property and have hired brother Earl Hartsell to work with them. Seven churches are "Co-operating" in his support (a thing brother Lemmons says we don't believe in).

In referring to how "Brutus-like" brother Tant and we are he said: "If Caesar had watched Brutus closer a few years ago, there would today be less wounds in the body and less weeping in the streets. All men are not right-handed." It is true that all men are not right or left handed, Some are ambidextrous. They can use either. This ambidextrous quality is also possessed by some men and apparently has lodged in their mouths instead of their hands. Evidently, this is why brother Lemmons can talk out of either side of his with the greatest of ease. This, he is disposed to call, "the middle of the road." But we still believe the words of Jesus: "Ye cannot serve two masters" and "He that is not for me is against me."

— 928 Marilyn, Lafayette, La.