October 1980

Editor Reviews Himself

Robert F. Turner

It seems my "Is This Trip Necessary?" (V.17, N.6) touched a very tender spot, or was poorly written, or both. I have received two strong protests on behalf of those who teach "veiling" (as it was called in the Philippino letter mentioned), and one questioned my "including 'no class' among the listing of various unscriptural doctrines." Two of the three agreed that matters of private judgment should not be taught as charged in the letter reviewed; and even the third said, "many of us may disagree with some of their positions." But so much of the article conveyed ideas to these readers I did not intend, I must accept responsibility for a very poorly written article.

My theme was the impropriety of pressing matters of judgment upon the Philippinoes to the breaking of fellowship. This subject was prompted by a letter I had received. I explained I could not vouch for the writer, nor for the matters discussed — the letter simply served as a springboard for what I believe was a point worthy of discussion. I mentioned NO NAMES, nor did I seek to identify persons.

In making the point that all kinds of teachers "can claim to act in good conscience" my expression "can claim" must have been poorly chosen, for it was taken as impugning motives when I meant they could indeed teach their concepts in good conscience, and yet divide churches. The various concepts listed were only to show that widely differing people could act in good conscience — no other points of likeness were intended or desired. And as for lumping together the godly and the ungodly by that illustration, we have worked with many good men, at home and abroad, who differed with us on the covering and class questions, but who would never press their views to the breaking of fellowship. We are not about to classify them with false teachers generally, nor even with any of their own persuasion who would divide churches over such matters. It was these "private judgment matters before those young in the faith" that we called "dangerous doctrine" overseas and at home.

As already stated, I must admit to failure in my effort to get across my intended points. I'm sorry my inaptness led to such misunderstandings. If any whose feelings were hurt would like to write their own article on "The Impropriety of Preaching Matters of Private Judgment in Foreign Lands"

I will publish it. Please keep it within the space of this article. And THANKS to all who wrote. By your response to things unapproved you can do much to make editors responsible.