Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
July 21, 1955

"A Principle Eternal"? Or Eternal Principle

John F. Reese, Abilene, Texas

Notice is taken of Brother Luther W. Martin's article in the Gospel Guardian of May 19, 1955, titled, "A Principle Eternal" (?). That Brother Martin was "momentarily stunned" had certainly escaped our notice.

We were pleased to meet Brother Martin at the debate and enjoyed the few moments time permitted us to use in conversation. Brother Martin has written a number of articles on the teachings and practices of the Roman Catholic Church. These we believe to be not only timely but worthy of serious consideration on the part of every member of the Lord's body. That we must dissipate our strength, waste our time and allow souls to be lost to the appeals of this man-made religious monster while arguing among ourselves is certainly to be regretted.

We believe we can come to Brother Martin's assistance perhaps as well as to that of some who might be disturbed over the question as raised in Brother Martin's article. Although we subscribe to the three ways of teaching as laid down by Brother Martin we can find no fault with the principle method as shown but not ORIGINATED by Brother Harper. It seems to us a bit strange that Brother W. Curtis Porter who incidentally was Brother Tant's moderator failed to enlighten him (and all others) on what he (Brother Porter) was privileged and pleased to call an "Eternal Principle." Why, Brother Porter could have even furnished Brother Tant with enough inside information that Brother Tant could have told some elders from hundreds of miles away the answer to the question, "What is this principle eternal?"

Can this be true? Yes sir, not only can but is true. As far back as 1947 I believe it was Brother Porter who was using the ETERNAL PRINCIPLE. Now we are not inferring that Brother Porter originated the Eternal Principle but it is an established fact that he used it in a very fine way in debating Mr. Tingley.

On page 94 of the "Porter-Tingley Debate," we read as follows: "My first argument will be based upon the statement made by the apostle Paul in I Cor. 1:12, 13. Here Paul says, 'Now everyone of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul ?' Now this statement made by the apostle Paul lays down an ETERNAL PRINCIPLE, and to THAT PRINCIPLE I certainly invite your attention. Here were men in the church at Corinth calling themselves after men; some saying, 'I am of Paul'; . . . . The SAME PRINCIPLE holds true with respect to Apollos . . . Then the same with respect to those who said, 'I am of Cephas.' . . . . That SAME PRINCIPLE comes on down to those who said, 'I am of Christ,' ...."