Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
October 11, 1951
NUMBER 23, PAGE 4-5a

The Cecil N. Wright Articles


Some weeks ago brother Cecil N. Wright of Denver, Colorado, wrote a series of nine articles on what he called "The Cooperation Controversy." The entire series was published by both the Firm Foundation and the Gospel Advocate, and was regarded by the editors of those respective journals as being absolutely the last and final word to be said in support of the "sponsoring church method" of mission work. Brother Showalter felt that the churches should buy millions of the tracts he was making of the articles, which he declared to be a "refutation of the inconsistent, unscriptural, and illogical reasoning of certain brethren on this question." He stated that "undoubtedly the booklet will be of much service to the brotherhood." Brother Goodpasture expressed his belief that the articles were simply "devastating." Following his customary procedure when he wants to give endorsement to something, he looked around to find somebody he might quote on the subject, and came up with this, "Cecil has knocked the ball out of the park." Thus both papers and both editors have fully committed themselves and their papers to the Wright position. They would defend, promote, and encourage the "sponsoring church method" as advanced by brother Wright.

It was apparent to a host of brethren early in the series that brother Wright was so intent on discrediting the Guardian that he had ventured out into a dangerous and unscriptural position—a position that, if followed to its logical and inevitable conclusion, would completely destroy the independence and autonomy of the New Testament churches. The misrepresentations he made of the Guardian position had been answered, for the most part, last year; and we had no particular interest in rehashing those matters again. But from all over the nation we began to receive letters from faithful gospel preachers, devout elders, and other careful students of God's word, urging upon us that some public correction be made of brother Wright's articles. These brethren felt, and we came to share it, that brother Wright's perversions and misapplications of scripture teaching were dangerous and far-reaching. If allowed to go uncorrected, they would go far toward a destruction of the purity of the doctrine.

Once having decided to review brother Wright's contention, we set about to see if we could get the Finn Foundation and the Gospel Advocate, the two journals which had carried the articles, to give space for our review (which would be less than one-half as long as brother Wright's nine articles.) Brother Showalter declined to publish the review, but did feel that in fairness to all, it would be right and proper for him to accept an advertisement from us, at regular commercial rates, informing his readers that a review was being made. Brother Goodpasture declined to go even that far. We wrote him telling him that we planned to review the Wright articles, and asking if he would either publish our review, or else sell us space to advertise in the Gospel Advocate to let his readers know where such a review might be seen. To our letter he replied:

August 29, 1951

Dear Brother Tant:

You speak of reviewing Wright's articles in the Gospel Guardian, do you mean to reprint his articles in full or just short extracts from them?

Yours Fraternally, B. C. Goodpasture

To this letter we replied that if the Gospel Advocate would publish our review, we would gladly print brother Wright's entire series. And we requested brother Goodpasture again to indicate to us whether, in case he still refused to publish our review, he would accept an advertisement from us, at regular commercial rates, that we might inform his readers that a review of the tract was to be made. To this letter brother Goodpasture replied:

September 12, 1961

Dear Brother Tant:

When we were publishing Wright's articles we did not seek any advertising or publicity about what we were doing through any other publication. We would not therefore be interested in carrying a page advertisement of your proposed review of Wright's articles.

Yours fraternally, B. C. Goodpasture Thus the matter stands, with both brethren Showalter and Goodpasture giving editorial endorsement to the Wright articles, and neither of them willing to permit any review of them to appear in their pages. Well, that may be their idea of fairness, but we confess it isn't ours! Brother Showalter did accept an advertisement from us, but brother Goodpasture wasn't willing to go even that far. We regret this unbrotherly attitude, but shall not let it affect, one way or the other, the course of the Gospel Guardian. We are determined to teach the truth, and to combat error—whether it appears on the pages of the "Baptist Standard," "The Firm Foundation," or the "Gospel Advocate."

Beginning next week we will reprint the entire nine lengthy articles that brother Wright has written. They contain, as we shall demonstrate, a false and dangerous heresy—one to which both the Firm Foundation and the Gospel Advocate have given editorial backing. The cause of truth demands that the heresy be exposed—and fairness as a Christian brother moves us to reprint the Wright articles.

We have this to ask of our readers: Since brethren Showalter and Goodpasture are determined NOT to print our review, and brother Goodpasture is anxious that his readers not even know of it!, we want the faithful readers of the Gospel Guardian to do everything within their power to see that those who have seen the articles (subscribers to the Foundation and the Advocate) be shown our review of the series. For make no mistake about it: the heresy in the Wright articles (given backing by both the Advocate and the Foundation) will inexorably destroy the church of Christ if it is not stopped.

Frankly, it is our feeling that neither Wright, nor Showalter, nor Goodpasture has yet realized the full implications of the Wright articles. When we point out the position to which brother Wright has committed himself, and them, we anticipate that brother Showalter will withdraw his endorsement, and offer some explanation. Brother Goodpasture will probably ignore it, as it would be an unthinkable loss of face for him to "change" on anything! But the heresy is there—damnable, deceptive, and destructive. And we shall demonstrate that so clearly that all will see it.

If you have friends who are subscribers to our sister journals, will you not do your best to see that they get our review? Either send them your paper, or, better still, make out a list of such friends and send to each of them a six months subscription to the Guardian (only $1.00 for six months). We will start all six-month subscriptions with the articles carrying our review. Send in your list now. Our review starts next week.

— F.Y.T.