Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
June 23, 1955

The Proposed Indianapolis Debate

Jack Holt, Bellaire, Texas

The article by Brother Totty is replete with statements the veracity of which depends entirely upon Brother Totty's mere assertions. I shall not attempt to reply to his fetid charges against me. I will merely state that in these charges Brother Totty "filled his pen with the East wind," and followed closely the tactics of "Job's comforters," so accurately described by him, Job 13:4. Those desiring to know the facts about the alleged faction etc., at Belmont are encouraged to write the elders there. Those desiring a copy of the purported slanderous article in my bulletin may obtain a copy thereof by writing Brother Totty, who thought so much of the article that he reprinted it in his own bulletin.

It is true that I suggested Brother Woods as a representative for Garfield in the proposed debate, but it is not true that I said "It will be Woods or nobody," for I mentioned others. I excluded no one save Brethren Totty and Watson, whose conduct in the last debate left a stench in the nostrils of all righteous people. I believe those who read the debate will agree that I was fully justified in excluding them. In a letter to Brother Totty, March 4, 1955, I said: "that we are not afraid to meet Woods is evident for we have already endorsed W. Curtis Porter to represent us in a debate with Guy Woods. I will expect a debate provided Brother Woods or some other representative man will meet the issue." Does this look like I said, "It must be Woods or nobody"? Brother Totty's comment about my naming five men and confining him to one man is pure misrepresentation as the foregoing quotation will show. Moreover, at the time I wrote that letter I had in hand Brother Totty's letter rejecting Brother Cogdill. Hence, I listed these five men in an attempt to find out just who they considered representative. I had named one man, but for evident reasons they said, "not representative."

After Brother Totty made a special phone call to me urging me to contact Brother Cogdill immediately, I called Brother Cogdill long distance and asked him if he would represent Belmont. He said he would, and Brother Totty was notified of his decision. During Brother Totty's "fifteen day interval," I was in Texas talking with brother Cogdill about the debate. The fact that Brother Cogdill agreed in both telephone and private conversations to represent Belmont explains the absence of letters about which Brother Totty so puerilely prates, and to which he attempts to attach some "evil surmisings." Upon returning to Indianapolis, I received the letter from Brother Totty in which it was stated, "we don't consider Brother Cogdill, under the circumstances, a 'representative' man." When Brother Totty called the next day, I did for a fact tell him we had no representative, that is, one that suited them.

While not becoming "enraged," as Brother Totty would have you believe over our failure to get a representative, I did become a mite indignant over Brother Totty's deceitful, but abortive attempt to discredit Brother Cogdill. The fact is not that Brother Cogdill is "not representative" to Totty, Woods and company, but rather that he is too representative. Yes, I forbade Brother Totty to call me on the telephone. Why? Well, I had learned through one of the Garfield elders that Brother Totty was recording our conversations. Brother Totty had failed to inform me of this christian ( ?) gesture. Hence, when he called I asked him if our conversation were being recorded and he refused to answer the question! I told him then, not to call me anymore unless he would be fair enough to tell me if our conversations were being recorded. But if he would tell me this then he could call whenever he pleased. The reader may judge as to the fairness of this.

Brother Totty certainly did agree to discuss all the issues, as Brother Tant correctly stated. His own words condemn him. In a letter to me, March 2, 1955, he said: "Now Brother Porter will be expected to write out propositions on these issues: namely Bible college, orphan home and cooperative mission work. Our conversation only included orphan homes, but we will not be technical." Yet Brother Totty brazenly states "the man does not live under heaven who can show any agreement between the two congregations to debate all three issues." Well, I live and I believe I am "under heaven," "technically" anyway. Brother Porter who is alive, and who dwells somewhere "under heaven," has complied with Brother Totty's request and has written out some propositions which cover all three issues. So far they haven't been accepted so somebody is getting "technical." When the facts are all in Brother Totty's "unimpeachable evidence," is not so "peachy" after all. The facts are really green persimmons, which Brother Totty can't digest or escape, so he just "chews and puckers."

I told Brother Tant that Woods agreed with Totty on the college question because Brother Totty told me he did. Brother Woods also told Charles Holt that the churches could support the colleges from their treasuries. The exhortation of Brother Totty to check up on Charles Holt's teaching in the debate book is the only sound, practical thing about his whole article. I commend him for this exhortation.

Yes, the Belmont brethren are highly ratified at the results of the debate last fall. Brother Totty says, "We of Indianapolis know better." He would have you believe that the other churches in Indianapolis stand with him. What the other churches in Indianapolis think of brother Totty can be seen in the fact that not one of the other nine white churches in the city will even call on him to pray!

Brother Totty's remarks about Garfield not being given an opportunity to select her representative are misleading to say the least. When Brother Totty asked me whom Belmont planned to get as her representative I told him Roy Cogdill or Charles Holt. Brother Totty flatly refused Charles and suggested that we get either Roy Cogdill or Yater Tant. If therefore, my suggestion of Brother Woods or some other representative man excluded the Garfield church from any consideration as Brother Totty whimpers, then does not Brother Totty's suggestion deprive Belmont of the same right?

Brother Totty who says, "I will not get technical about it," meaning that he will not make an issue over discussing all three issues, does, nevertheless, get technical. He even accuses me of injecting "side issues," into the debate. A few years ago when the church support of colleges was an issue, as it is now, Brother Totty wrote Brother Cogdill, at that time "representative," and challenged him for a debate. Brother Totty said, "If you do not like the propositions we wrote (on college J.L.H.) then write some yourself, only include the orphan homes, inasmuch as they are in reality Bible schools." (Letter printed in full in Brother Totty's book, Miscellaneous Discussions of the Bible College, Pg. 34) Brother Totty, were you trying to inject a "side issue" then? Had Brother Cogdill been as shallow as some whose initials are Will Totty and Guy Woods he would have written and asked you to discuss "whether or not Cornelius received the baptism of the Spirit." I hope Brother Totty that you can see the fallacy of such. Hear Brother Totty again, "The orphan homes are parallel with the college." (Misc. Discussions of Bible College, Pg. 19) But Totty has written more. He said, "All these institutions must stand or fall together." (Letter to Robert Welch, Dec. 6, 1950) Yes, these quotations are from the same Totty who now concludes that I am very, very illogical in asking that all the issues be discussed. Brother Totty has recanted and he gets downright technical, and now in 1955, he declares that institutions once parallel, are not parallel anymore, that they do not stand and fall together, and lo, one has become a major issue while all others are side issues.

Brother Totty avers in paragraph ten that he was ignorant of the fact that Belmont had selected Brother Cogdill to represent them. I believe the first ten words of the sentence to be correct then and now, but I deny the correctness of the rest. Brother Totty, if you did not know Belmont had selected Brother Cogdill, then why did you write the letter saying, "we do not consider him a representative man?" It devolves into this amusing situation. Brother Totty did not know Brother Cogdill was to represent Belmont, but he wrote us a letter informing us that Brother Cogdill was not representative, when as he states he did not even know he was to represent us! Was he tormented before the time? I will comment on such puerile palaver no more.

Brother Totty's statement that Brother Woods "did not decline to meet Brother Cogdill" is contrary to the facts. Brother Totty from the very first considered Brother Cogdill representative, and he requested that I contact him. In. His bulletin, March 21, 1954, Brother Totty challenged Brother Cogdill to debate. In a letter to me March 2, 1955, he said: "I will guarantee to meet any man whom you put up whether it be Cogdill, Wallace, etc." Hence, as far as Brother Totty is personally concerned he considers Brother Cogdill fully representative. The Garfield elders concur in this, and in a letter to me they endorse any man whom we select as fully representative. Now, there are only three parties involved in the proposed debate as far as Garfield Heights is concerned. Brother Totty, Brother Woods and the Garfield elders. Two of the three parties agree that Brother Cogdill is representative, one does not. Do you need three guesses? The "we" in the statement, "We don't consider Brother Cogdill, under the circumstances, a representative man," means not we as of many, but we as of one, namely: Guy N. Woods.

In view of the fact that Brother Porter has agreed to meet Brother Woods in Indianapolis, and has submitted propositions to that end, every right reason requires the fulfillment of this agreement. We have nothing but confidence in and satisfaction for such an agreement and discussion.