Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
August 30, 1951

"Letting The Facts Speak For Themselves"

Roy E. Cogdill

In the Firm Foundation of July 31, 1951, brother E. W. McMillan has an article under the above heading in which he accuses brother W. W. Otey of "dishonoring his own long and useful life by misjudging and misrepresenting a good church in its efforts to discharge its duty under the great commission." These are mighty harsh and strong words to come from this sweet and pious brother who can deal so gently with every form of error except when his own interests are involved.

Brother Otey is amply able to take care of himself in the matter of replying to what brother McMillan has to say about him. "As long as brother McMillan stayed with facts" we find no fault with what he had to say. If what he has done and what Union Avenue Church is doing has been "misjudged and misinterpreted." It should be corrected. He will however have to pardon some of us if we are not willing to "accept his word" that the things charged by brother Otey and others are untrue.

If brother McMillan's word is no more reliable about the work at Union Avenue and in Japan than it is in the same article about the Gospel Guardian and Lufkin, it wouldn't do for anybody to believe him even if he attached an oath as to its truthfulness. His description of both the Guardian and the Lufkin situation is not only absolutely unreliable and untrue but shows a reckless disposition with the truth in general, inasmuch as he has attempted to state "facts" about a situation in which he has made no investigation at all and about which he knows nothing. He has thus "misjudged and misrepresented" not only a good paper with its editor and writers, but a good congregation in its efforts to discharge its duty in the sight of the Lord. He had better inform himself more fully and reduce his temperature a little bit, or he is liable to find himself involved in so much misrepresentation in his delirious wanderings that he never will be able to correct them all.

The conclusion that because we cannot swallow the "centralized" method of doing "mission work" we therefore do not believe in "mission work" is not warranted. It would even delight us if the brethren would drop the unscriptural procedure and "methods" that some of them are using, cut out the "centralized" congregations in the set-up, so that all of us might contribute with good conscience to the work they are doing. Brother McMillan knows nothing of the personal sacrifices that have been made by those connected with the Guardian to preach the gospel in many places, nor does he know of the extended sacrifices made to preach the gospel through the Guardian even without charge to many. Impugning motives and rendering judgment about matters concerning which he knows nothing, but merely has a presumption, is certainly unchristian and will "dishonor" his "long and useful life" if he isn't careful.

The implication that anyone ever connected with the Guardian had either become a "weakling" or would be considered as such because of any personal differences that might have arisen is an effort to cast a slur in the direction of someone. It is as baseless as it is base. We have never taken the attitude that in order for a man either to believe the truth or to contend for it he must write for the Guardian. Neither have we ever made personal friendship the criterion for faithfulness; nor do we impute unfaithfulness to the truth or "weakness" to anyone simply on the ground of personal differences. This is an implication in brother McMillan's article which is utterly false, and which is unworthy of him.

There are "seven thousand" yet who have not bowed the knee to institutionalism in the church today. Some of them write for the Guardian, some of them do not. But brother McMillan is not one of the "seven thousand" nor has he ever been noted for his staunchness in contending for the faith or in opposing error. If he has ever raised a warning cry against any error in the church, or against any departure or trend in that direction, I have yet to see it. If we were all of his disposition in matters of that kind, the devil would have a clear field in his efforts to lead the church into apostasy.

There is absolutely no occasion to try to make any local difficulty, involving purely local and personal matters appear to have any connection at all with the Guardian or with the issues for which the Guardian has contended. There is no such connection, and any effort to use such a local problem in such a way indicates rejoicing where there should be regret and sorrow, and certainly evidences the weakness of the position and the contention of the one making such a use. The last three paragraphs of brother McMillan's article are a good example of this. They constituted no part of his reply to brother Otey, and there was no occasion or reason at all for them being any part of such a reply. He simply felt called upon to make such references and statements because of ill will toward the paper and those of us who are connected with it. He was apparently making a weak effort to bolster his own position by seeking to discredit those who had opposed him.