Vol.XVII No.XI Pg.6
January 1981

Majoring In Minors

Robert F. Turner

In early December I received a long letter from two brothers concerning my editorial of August, '80. I was very busy, and barely glanced at the material, placing it with other papers to process when I reached Texas. But when I did carefully read the letter I decided something should be published about it as soon as possible.

The January issue of P.T. was already in the printer's hands and p-2 had been set, but via phone and trip we pulled this page, and the February editorial is yours one month early.


Some Alabama brethren are greatly disturbed by my quotes from a Filipino letter (Aug. P.T.) saying, "The congregations here ... are having semi-division because of VEILING." It also said a pro-veiling man, supported by an Alabama church, had "reported" another brother for "not teaching veiling" and caused his support to be cut off. "He branded me and my companions unfaithful gospel preachers for not teaching veiling."

The two U.S. brothers who were accused by the letter writer of touring certain provinces "teaching veiling," have written me that "they did not press the matter of the covering to the breaking of fellowship," and that they would "urge that no one else do so." They also said the Filipino who was charged with having another's support cut off because of veiling, "denies that he makes the matter a test of fellowship." They say the Alabama church did not stop the support "simply because of the 'veiling issue'," but that there were other charges. They say a Filipino, supported since '73 by a church (which believes and practices veiling), requested the'' elders to "send a preacher to help him in teaching this subject. " At the elders request two U.S. brothers "decided to go and teach on this and any other subjects judged needed." They say the elders "did not ask us to press the covering as a test of fellowship, and we did not urge the Filipinos nor anyone else to do so. We did teach what we are convinced the passage teaches." On this basis I was misinformed by the first letter and veiling was NOT made a rule of faith.

My original article said, "I would like to believe this is all an explainable misunderstanding;" and that misunderstanding may have arisen in part from the fact that a church sent two men halfway around the world to answer a request for teaching on veiling. Yet, the sending church, the men going, and the man they went to "help in teaching this subject" do not believe or teach it should affect fellowship. In such cases I would suggest — but I have found that my advice is not wanted.

It has been said, and we haves times agreed, that foreign field workers tend to "soften" a bit. Maybe so but we also realize that such work puts a better focus upon essentials, and makes one realize how foolish it is to "major in minors." THAT was the real thrust of my original article — now lost in a fog of misinformation, misread intentions, and hurt feelings. If anyone can keep his head thro all of this we hope he remembers question, "IS THIS TRIP NECESSARY?