Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
January 5, 1956
NUMBER 34, PAGE 6,13b

A "Fooled" Young Preacher Speaks

Wm. E. Wallace, Akron, Ohio

A "young" preacher (born in 1922), who says he has not been fooled, found his way into the columns of the Gospel Advocate, November 24, 1955 with a blast at Yater Tant and the Gospel Guardian. Now, that is a sure way to get your name in the Advocate's Centennial Year Book and to be held in high esteem among those who ride the Advocate's bandwagon. Meeting invitations and commendation should flow toward this "young" preacher for he has made the pages of the Advocate with a lovely attack upon the Guardian beast. Yes, we should hear much of George Carter now. See him sit back grinning from ear to ear while the Advocate's charmers caress him and dance around him to the tune of "He's A Jolly Good Fellow"?

We could feel a little more charitable toward the "young" preacher if he had presented for our viewing the letter from Brother Tant to which he refers. But we have not seen the letter which Brother George Carter represents as being "deceptive", leaving a "wrong impression" and employing "sophistry". Brother Carter wants us to "notice" things from a letter which we have not seen. Even though a good many preachers may have received a copy of the letter, most of the readers of the Advocate have no access to it. We cannot "notice" much from what little we have been allowed to see.

Brother Carter accuses the Guardian of "pressing a test of fellowship upon our brotherhood which the Lord did not bind." (Whose brotherhood?). If the "young" preacher will spend some time maturing in the knowledge of history and current affairs he will see that the pressing always comes from those who are pushing the innovation. He charges, "It is the issue they have raised and are pressing which they admit is threatening the division." Now that Brother Carter has a place in Brother Goodpasture's heart I respectfully suggest that he use his influence to save the church from a split he seems to so earnestly deplore. Speak to editor Goodpasture, Brother Carter, and ask him to advise a withdrawal of the "Herald of Truth" set-up, in order to save the church from a split. Ask the "clear and logical" thinker E. R. Harper if he would be willing to recommend the dropping of "Herald of Truth" in order to save the church from division. If you receive a negative answer you will know who is doing the pressing.

Now Brother Carter wants us to know that the booklet Brother Tant has published is a rotten thing because it does not display equal space to both sides. He thinks Brother Tant is pretty cheap in publishing the tract. Wonder why Brother Carter did not give recognition to the fact that the book is the publication of Brother Tant's debate notes? It has not been claimed that the book was a presentation of both sides. Did he just fail to notice the inscription or forget it on purpose? I do not know, but for a "young" preacher to make accusations such as he has, without showing us the goods, is to incite suspicion.

Brother Cogdill wrote a review of the debate and Brother Carter thinks that is a mighty ugly thing to do. What is wrong with reviewing a battle? Paul wrote the 2 Corinthian letter partially as a review of a battle thatwent on in the Corinthian church. Nearly every debate the brethren have had with the sectarians has been reviewed, arguments presented again, answered again, and we all have become quite adept at crowing about our victories over the denominationalists. Paul thought it a pretty good thing to tell how he straightened up Peter and Barnabas (Gal. 1). When "young" preacher Carter matures and can take his place with the "seasoned and experienced" evangelists to whom he refers I suspect he will recognize that he owes an apology to someone. If Brethren Tant and Cogdill had kept quiet about the Lufkin debate I suspect Brother Carter would have written an article gloating over the conspicuous silence. Brother Harper certainly has a chance to speak. In fact he did speak. The Advocate's facilities are available to him as well as the Guardian's. No doubt the "Herald of Truth" has enough cash on hand to finance any endeavor he wishes to make in the way of publication of arguments. If Brother Harper thinks he did a pretty good job of whipping Brother Tant in the Abilene debate he will have another article like the one that appeared in the Advocate of June 16, and Brother Carter will probably smile in approval of Brother Harper's one-sided report. Brother Carter accuses, then condemns Brother Tant for "foisting" "such material into individual congregations to disrupt them or cause confusion." But you see, it is all right for the Advocate to go into congregations with "such material" and cause confusion and disruption. Congregations are being pressured to send the Advocate to every family in the local group.

I am wondering if the "majority of the preachers in the Oklahoma City area" that gave "great encouragement" to Brother Carter regarding the writing "concerning these matters" are well pleased with his efforts? I wonder if they will back him up in his approach and in what he has said.

"Either the present controversy over 'How Churches May, and May Not Cooperate' will be resolved, or else it is inevitable that the breach will widen and that eventual division result." We are glad to get this much of Brother Tant's letter before us, presented by Georgie. Brother Carter says this is a "veiled threat". Now "G. F. C." supplied italics to the last clause of that quotation. He puts an extra emphasis where Brother Tant did not put emphasis. Even though he let us know that he supplied the italics, he wants the reader to read into Brother Tant's statement something that is not there — so he italicized it. Did George say something about sophistry? It seems to me from what Brother Carter allows us to see of the letter, Brother Tant is merely making an objective observation, dealing with reality. This battle has been going on for several years now, and enlightened ones on both sides see and fear the drift toward division. If that statement is a threat there is something else before and after it, in the context, which Brother George failed to let us see.

Now if Brother George will just enlighten himself with the facts of history he will see that all controversy such as is now being waged resulted in breaches being widened and eventual division, unless the matter was settled. So I take Brother Tant's statement to be a statement of fact in the face of reality. If Brother Carter wants to take issue with this conclusion, the right thing for him to do is present the letter for our viewing.

Brother Carter does not want the Guardian to "legislate" to him regarding congregational cooperation. The Christian Church does not want us to "legislate" as to what they can use in the worship and what they cannot. It does not like for us to "legislate" as to whether or not it can have its missionary society either. Christian Church preachers are always ready to extend to us the right hand of fellowship. Well, I am not placing Brother Carter on par with the Christian Church preacher — just trying to put a little truth before him, and his "fellow young preachers", among whom I am numbered.

"It was generally felt that Brother Harper had not given a satisfactory scriptural answer to the material presented in the little orange booklet." Brother Carter takes Brother Tant to task for this statement. He represents Brother Tant as speaking relative to the brotherhood when he uses the term "generally." How could the brotherhood be involved in the use of the term when the brotherhood was not and could not have been present! You see Brother Carter is so anxious to give a back-handed slap to Brother Tant he fails to take notice of logic as he tries to build a case against the Guardian editor. Why anyone who can see half a worm in a naked apple core can see that Brother Tant is referring to those who were present at the debate, and to their immediate reaction to the discussion. Did you say something about "sophistry" Brother Carter? Brother Carter said he talked to a "few brethren" who attended the debate, about the debate, and found that "they did not generally feel `that Brother Harper had not given a satisfactory scriptural answer' to Brother Tant's arguments". Now Brother Carter if you can use the word "generally" relative to the feelings of a "few brethren" why cannot Brother Tant use it relative to 400 brethren?

It seems to me Brother Carter is considerably younger in his polemic ability than he is in age. It would have been much better if he had left the whole matter to those "more able and experienced brethren" to which he refers.