Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
December 20, 1951
NUMBER 33, PAGE 8-9b


Dear Yater:

You know I have thought a great deal about some striking similarities between the Trojan War and the present conflict over "institutionalism"—Ulysses tried to play crazy (What's it all about?); Achilles sulked in his tent! Then on the other side there was Hector (a brave man on the wrong side); Paris, a little sneak who slipped up and shot Achilles in the heel . . . There has been entirely too much evidence of fear, vanity, ambition, etc. If you print this "Trojan War" comparison, some of my friends will think I've been reading their mail.

Faithfully, Robert H. Parish, Tarrant City, Ala.


I appreciate the good work the Guardian is doing, and want you to continue it.

Sincerely in Christ, J. M. Gilpatrick, Pampa, Texas


Dear Brother Tant:

It looks very much to me like the Gospel Advocate and brother Brewer plan a united, persistent attack on you, hoping to break your spirit. I am sincerely praying that they may not succeed, and I have confidence that our Heavenly Father will sustain you in the work you are doing. These brethren know full well that the Gospel Guardian is the one medium to meet the issues, and hold back, as far as possible, their movement. I hate to judge, but it does look like they hate you and the Guardian above all others at this time. They will not, they will not meet the issue, but try by confusing things to make it a personal attack. I fully believe that they aim and hope to provoke the Guardian writers to show a bad temper, like they manifest in about all that they write. If they could thus possibly provoke a reply in the spirit they desire, it would give them much satisfaction. Clearly holding to the issue, without being drawn off on side issues, logical work, in a pith of G.C.B. to the contrary, gives them much uneasiness, I am sure. I think your refutation of brother Wright is excellent. It was done in the right spirit, and without intimating any personal attack of any kind.

I do not think the digressives of fifty years ago matched some of our brethren now in evasiveness, trying to confuse and cover up the issues, and in bitter personal attacks. I have the strongest confidence that you will continue to measure up to the standard you have so far set. Many times a good cause has been greatly injured by a bad spirit or manner. But enough for now.

In faith, hope, and love, W. W. Otey, Belle Plaine, Kansas


Dear Brother Otey:

Thank you for your letter of encouragement. I am grateful for your expression of confidence, and I appreciate the moral backing you have always given in the fight for the truth.

Personally, I have no ill will of any kind toward either brother Brewer or brother Goodpasture. Quite the contrary so far as brother Brewer particularly is concerned. He has been a very close friend to both the Tant and the Yater families for as long as I can remember. He has buried our dead, married our young, and baptized many of us. And for his own self he is a man of much charm and possessed of many admirable qualities. Frankly, I find myself often sharing somewhat in Cled Wallace's feeling toward him—a sort of secret admiration or fondness, accompanied by a persistent and nagging temptation to stick a pin in him and let some of the inflated ego escape. I feel that he is much more honest and much more fair in his dealings than is brother Goodpasture. But both of these brethren are set to lead the church into a devious and tortuous path of institutionalism. That is a simple statement of fact. Such a course I have opposed, and shall oppose, with all the strength I can muster.

Have no anxiety over any possibility of their provoking me to any display of the kind of spirit they manifest. I honestly don't feel that way toward them—and I'd be afraid before God to let it control me even if the time ever should come when I did feel that way! So far as I am concerned they are both brothers in Christ—brothers who are headed down a dangerous and destructive path, to be sure, but still my brethren. I would that I could help them to see what they are doing—or, failing in that, that I might be of some help in preventing others from following their course. Let us hope that God will over-rule their action to his own purposes.

Sincerely yours in Christ, Yater Tant


Dear Brother Tant:

I have just finished reading your reply to brother Wright's articles on "Cooperation." I like your reply very much, and especially appreciate the absolute fairness showed in the matter.

To me it seems very unreasonable, un-Christian, and un-American for any one to refuse to allow both sides of any matter to be examined. It is a chip off the Roman Catholic block for any one to take the disposition that "I am right; every thing else is wrong; and that is final" and I will use my influence and power to prohibit any one from seeing or hearing or reading what the other side of the question might be.

It seems very strange to me that men like the editors of the Firm Foundation and the Gospel Advocate and others would fall so deep in love with such flimsy arguments as brother Wright made in his nine long articles. If he could successfully prove that cooperation in foreign fields in the manner it is now being done is "just as scriptural" as the Music Hall meeting, he still has not successfully proven his proposition. There is a possibility that the Music Hall cooperation might be wrong...Again I wish to compliment the Guardian in her fairness in being willing to let both sides of the controversy be heard through the pages of the Guardian. Such spirit and principals as you brethren are manifesting in heated controversy is the kind of thing I hope to live and die by.

Yours in the One Faith, John F. Lilly, Gorman, Texas


Dear Brother Tant:

I am glad that there will be a debate. Brother Douthitt wrote propositions, made plans, etc.—then said if there was not a debate it was "because they did not want it." Of course he made a mistake in rushing to print before getting in touch with you and others. It would seem by his actions that it was not a discussion that he wanted, but to challenge and get it before the brotherhood. Now, Douthitt would never stoop to grandstand play, so the mistake was of the head rather than the heart. Brother Tant, here is what I want to ask: How can he refuse now to accept the Propositions that you made him? He said that if you did not accept the one that he wrote, "YOU DID NOT WANT A DEBATE." Now, if he refuses to accept the ones that you wrote, it is because he does not want a debate, Douthitt being the judge. I have read over and over what brother Douthitt had to say, and it says to me: BOY, STAY OUT OF PRINT!! There's no telling what you might say!

As I see it, there is no way on earth for them to refuse to debate. Will Brewer accept the propositions that you wrote? Should he refuse, what answer can he give for signing the ones that Douthitt wrote and rushing to print? Was it just to get it before the public, knowing all the time that the debate would never happen? They gave you no chance to accept or reject the propositions that they wrote, but went to the papers. Now that you have made them propositions, we are waiting to know what they will do. Honor demands that they accept the propositions you made them and debate; if they do not, then I say they were not sincere in the challenge. If they say, "We do not accept the proposition," then why did you say that your refusal to accept their proposition meant you did not want a debate?

Remember, I am not saying that I. A. Douthitt is not sincere. I love the man, always have, and he knows it. But he must play the game fairly. He must debate your propositions or else take back what he said about your not accepting and debating his. If he refuses, then my opinion of him will be changed no little. We expect some to play to the grandstand—but not I. A. Douthitt!

L. N. Moody, Jonesboro, Arkansas