Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 8, 1951

History Being Repeated

W. W. Otey, Belle Plaine, Kansas

There is a saying that history repeats itself. This is pre-eminently true in religious history, and strikingly so just now. When the apostasy started years ago that ended in the Disciples' Church, an admitted denomination, leaders in that movement seldom made any attempt to prove their practices by the plain teaching of the word of the Lord. The resort was to talking about baptisteries, song books, religious papers, and about almost any conceivable thing not related in the least to the principle at issue.

Say what you will, but a considerable number of brethren are now well launched in the same direction. The methods adopted are exactly the same. Read brother Cecil N. Wright's tract. I doubt if any digressive ever equaled his efforts in that line of work. He mentions the whole usual list of digressive arguments: places to baptize, religious papers, and many others. Did he think that he would lead discriminating readers to think he had proved scriptural authority for Centralized Agencies, and the work they carry on in foreign lands in building sewing schools, community centers, athletic fields, etc.? Doubtless there are many good brethren who think the thousands of dollars being sent to such Centralized Agencies is used only for church work and gospel preaching. Such is not true.

During all ages, when men really believe their position to be scriptural, they are willing and anxious to affirm their practice in plain terms. But when they simply will not, and will not, affirm their practice in plain terms, but evade and offer propositions not defining the issue, only one reasonable conclusion can be drawn: in their own hearts they doubt the scripturalness of their position.

Brother Wright has been far weaker in his attempts at proof than the digressives were years ago. Some who are dear thinkers have told me that Wright used the same tactics that J. B. Briney did in 1908, introduced all the same old worn-out "props" used by Briney (baptisteries, religious papers, song books, etc.) but that he was far weaker in argument from these things than was Briney. They felt that if he had simply quoted Briney, he would have made a better showing.

As soon as I read brother Tant's editorial defining the issue, I made out a check payable to the Gospel Advocate, leaving blank the amount of money. I then wrote brother Goodpasture that in fairness, justice, and from every Christian stand-point he should publish Tant's editorial in full. But that if he would not publish the editorial on that basis, then to fill out my check for the full amount it would take to publish the editorial at regular commercial advertising rates, and publish the article on that basis.

At the time of this present writing (October 18), I have not heard from him. I have just today however read his reply to Tant declining to publish Tant's review of Wright even as a paid advertisement! This is a strange attitude indeed. Reader's must draw their own conclusions.

I paid in advance to the Firm Foundation $1,100.00

(eleven hundred dollars) to pay for the printing of 1,000 copies of my new book LIVING ISSUES. I gave that publication company the job without looking for any kind of competitive bids for good reasons. I am urging haste in their finishing the work on the book, and expect it to be ready very quickly. I have received many advance orders for the book, but am still able to fill others. Send me your name and address, plainly written on a post card or in a letter. Just as quickly as the book is off the press I will send you a copy on this condition: you read the book; if you like it, send me $1.00 (much less than the actual cost of printing of the book); if you do not like the book, I don't want your money. Just hand the book to some other member of the church, and you owe me nothing. I am not publishing any "tract" expecting to make a big profit. The "profit motive" simply does not exist in this venture, for even at best I fully expect to have a deficit of between $500.00 and $1,000.00 by the time the books are all in the mail. Every cent of this will be money that Mother and I have taken from our meager savings—money that we have earned with our own hands after passing the 80th milestone along life's way.

History does repeat, and history is repeating, but by God's grace we are still able to strike a blow for the truth and against error. If you want the book, LIVING ISSUES, send me your name at once before the supply is exhausted. Send your name and address to W. W. Otey, Belle Plains, Kansas.