Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
April 2, 1959
NUMBER 47, PAGE 4-6a

In Response To Some False Accusations


Roy E. Cogdill

An article appeared in the January 29, 1959, issue of the "Gospel" Advocate by Guy N. Woods entitled "The Noose Tightens". It was a puny effort to reply to my article in the January 1, 1959, issue of the Gospel Guardian. In this article I had dealt with his distorted, prejudicial, and false attack, in a September issue of The Advocate, against the Guardian edition of the Birmingham debate — "The Cogdill-Woods Debate". He had made this attack in the hope, evidently, that he could boost the sale of the Gospel Advocate edition of the same debate, "The Woods-Cogdill Debate".

In the last article he actually replies to nothing but begs for sympathy from his readers and makes a further effort to arouse prejudice and deceive them by reiterating some of his former charges which we exposed as utterly false and deceitful. For one who so arrogantly claims to be "unmoved" by anything "because the truth is on our side, and it always triumphs", Woods manifests his contentment and complacency in a rather peculiar fashion. He professes a calmness and assurance which all of his action belie. His behavior is rather the struggling of a frustrated and defeated champion of a cause which he cannot defend and the "noose" of truth and fact continues to "tighten" about his own neck. I have no doubt but that he would like to hang me but in his frantic efforts he has hung himself.

He makes no attempt to deny the charges we made of the unfair and unchristian attempt of the Gospel Advocate and its present management to either dominate or destroy. We cited a number of instances of fact, undeniable and indisputable, of such attempts. All Woods can do is beg and cry. "Oh!", he cries, "We are abused, excoriated, and in the case of this writer, charged with deliberate falsehood" and he says that such has been done in "wild, reckless abandon of the most common Christian amenities". He further alleges that such a course is, "inexcusable — by one who affects to be a brother in the Lord" and then with an unbecoming (to him) now he says "We cannot find it in our hearts to wholly condemn him". Whom do you think you are kidding, Guy? You have it in your heart to do anything to me that you think you might get by with even half way. Your kindness and graciousness would almost bring me to tears for getting so plain and severe with you in my former article if I didn't know that it is just deceitful hypocrisy.

But look who is talking about "Christian amenities"! He doesn't even know what the word means and I am surprised that he can even spell it. I know no one who has displayed less acquaintanceship with "Christian amenities" than you, Guy Woods. As the "hired gun" of the Gospel Advocate editor you have under the protection of your "iron curtain censorship" assaulted, bitterly castigated, and made "malevolent, spiteful" attacks upon all who have dared to oppose your unscriptural promotions which "leave in their wake alienation, strife, bitterness, and disintegrated" and apostate churches wherever they are introduced just like the missionary society and instrumental music did one hundred years ago. You have shown no acquaintanceship with "Christian amenities" or Christian conduct of any other kind toward your opposers. If you reap a little of what you sow, you should not be surprised. You will reap even more in eternity. That is the sad part.

You are going to find it harder to convince the Lord that you have not sold out your spiritual birthright for a mess of "Advocate" pottage and prominence than you find it to convince the brethren who are thinking for themselves instead of following blind prejudice promoted by you and your institutional cohorts.

When you face the fact in the judgment that you have made a very radical change on these very issues which you would promote now at all costs, you will also have to face the fact that you have lied over and over again in your denial of such a change. It will take more than just an acknowledgement of changing and repentance for selling out your convictions, if any, to straighten out your record now. Liars cannot go to heaven. That is what the Bible says and that is what the word of the Lord calls a man who does not tell the truth and who willfully deceives. There is no personal enmity in telling you the truth about that. It would have been far better for your cause if you had admitted to begin with that you had "changed" and that, therefore, formerly you must have been wrong or else you must be wrong now. It at least would have evidenced some sincerity and honor on your part.

But whatever you are called you have no right to complain of its severity for you not only charged the brethren who transcribed the Birmingham debate with lying and deceitfulness but you charged that they did it "deliberately" as hirelings, under instructions from me, and that they perjured themselves in the affidavit which they signed concerning it — all for a measly little sum of money. Yet in the fact of such charges made in your first article you would cry now that we have made a "spiteful, malevolent, and evil attack" against the paper for which you write and against you. Have you heard that old story of the "pot calling the kettle black"? Did you think that severity worked only one way? Aren't you man enough to stand up and take it when your own medicine is handed back to you or must you go whimpering to your readers and try to get out from under the force of the facts which are so evident? If you didn't have the protection of the "iron curtain" of censorship by your "distinguished editor" (not saying what for) whose "nature temperament, and devotion to the cause of Christ" allows him to give the pages of his paper to castigate, misrepresent, and destroy, if possible, all who oppose his "institutional promotions", you wouldn't get to first base in your effort "by creating personal prejudice and antagonism, to continue to deceive your followers".

Do not ask any informed, fair minded person to waste any sympathy on Goodpasture and the "Gospel" Advocate He has printed so many outright lies in his attacks upon so many of us that he doesn't deserve any leniency. Lies that have never been corrected and that now stand branded by facts as outright lies. What excuse do you offer for that? Why should I or anyone else deal gently with such a vicious attitude? The Lord's way is demonstrated in his driving the ancient "moneychangers" out of the temple. Do modern ones deserve any less severity? You and your boss are drunk on your own wisdom, power and popularity. I affirm again — the course of Goodpasture and the Gospel Advocate is control or destroy. This is not idle assertion. It is a well known fact to all who are not hoodwinked by "Advocate" propaganda. No leniency is deserved and no quarter will be given as far as I am concerned. You have set the pattern and though it is distasteful to me in every way, I will deal with you as you deserve to be dealt with both for your own sake and for the sake of the truth.

I did not "insinuate that all of the great brotherhood, save that tiny segment influenced by Cogdill and Company is in any sense, under the domination of any man or paper" as you falsely charge. I outright said that he would do so if he could. Both of you try hard enough and if you don't dominate all of it, and thank God you don't, it isn't your fault for you do the best you can.

Such "a tiny segment" as stand in opposition to your departures is having a tremendous effect on your serenity. You charged at Birmingham that we had cut your human promotions in the field of benevolence to one tenth of what they would have been. Either you don't believe in benevolence as much as you claim or you are mightily easily discouraged by such a "tiny segment". That doesn't sound like the work of a tiny segment, now does it? You have a hard time being consistent don't you? Either you sometimes talk with "reckless abandon" or you are not always honest.

Your assertion that you "have long been engaged in controversy, and have made it the rule — never to write or speak regarding matters which (you) cannot prove" is the most ridiculous and untrue statement that you made in this last article. In all of your bragging about your controversies you let your memory lapse. I can prove both sides of the present controversy by what you have written. You are arrayed on both sides as every one knows who reads what you write. You wouldn't shake hands with me in the Birmingham debate on a statement which you wrote in the Gospel Advocate quarterly in 1946 concerning the evangelism of the church and the New Testament pattern of the same. Then you must have forgotten your miserable failure to establish that the Tennessee law requires a child care institution to be incorporated as you had preached and asserted all over the country. I suppose you know of the ruling of the attorney general of the state by now on that matter and the revision of the little booklet from which you tried to establish the law so deceitfully. Have you so soon forgotten, Guy?

Your favorite way of proving things is by asserting them and you are so full of conceit that you think all you have to do to prove anything is assert it. By asserting and re-asserting it you at least convince yourself, I suppose, or you don't have to be convinced to assert whatever will serve your purpose.

Brother Woods admits that there might be errors in the 'Gospel" Advocate edition of the Birmingham debate and says, "If so, it is because, in using the manuscript which Cogdill furnished us, we failed to discover all of them". Well, why didn't you find all of them, Guy? Were you just looking for some that would improve your case a little? If you had such a good set of tapes (furnished by John Reese — head mogul of the Herald of Truth — and why he should have any better than those, all around him is a mystery), why didn't you check all of the manuscript and find all of the mistakes in both your and my speeches so the brotherhood would have the benefit of the exact debate? Surely the Gospel Advocate wouldn't put out anything that was not letter perfect! Were you looking for some paragraphs to leave out like you tried to do in the Woods-Porter Debate or some other changes or additions you might make that would help you to Look a little better? Why didn't you correct all of it? Why just make some changes? Your failure to find all of the errors and correct all of the manuscript if it was in such bad shape is inexcusable in the light of your charges against us.

To those who read the debate, either Advocate or Guardian edition, remember this; wherever the "Gospel" Advocate edition deviates from our edition, it is either a printer's error, or a deliberate change in the manuscript from which both books were printed. Ours was printed exactly like the transcribers delivered it without addition or subtraction or any editing by me. That is the way I agreed to do it and that is the way it was done. I made no changes in the manuscript — not even to suit brother Woods. I am not responsible for any changes that have been made. He is and he must stand under it though he will probably deny them just like he denies all of his other changes. How much he has changed the "Gospel" Advocate edition, I do not know completely, but wherever it is different from ours, he made the changes and if he didn't fix it up to suit himself it is not because he couldn't or wouldn't do it. Whatever errors it contains — he is responsible for, since he did not follow the manuscript but changed it.

But read the debate — either edition of it and find out who relied on human sophistry, tried to confuse the issue rather than discuss it, and produced no scripture on his side of the discussion. If you can be satisfied with and commend it, it is because you are either blinded with prejudice or think more of human sophistry and awkward cartooning than you do the word of God. When you read it, if you find the position taken by Cogdill that it is sinful for one church to send a box of New Testaments or a package of tracts to another congregation when it is unable to supply its own need, suppose you write me and cite the statement or endorsement of such a position. Woods alleges again that I took it; I deny it, and brand his charge as completely false and untrue. I have never said it, never believed it, and I deny that I took such a position in the debate. Why didn't he cite what I said that established that I did instead of just repeating the false charge? I will tell you, because it isn't there and Guy N. Woods repeats a falsehood every time he says that it is.

With reference to further debates, Woods left another false implication in the last paragraph of his article and intentionally so. He asserts, "We are prepared immediately to enter negotiations for further discussions with either Cogdill or Porter in Louisville, Kentucky, Indianapolis, Indiana, Los Angeles, California, (Bellflower), Hawaii, in all of which places we have been invited to do so, provided either of these brethren will affirm their position, and obtain local endorsement." Isn't he courageous?

Neither Cogdill or Porter has ever refused to meet Guy N. Woods anywhere and don't let him deceive you about it. It would please me to let Brother Curtis Porter do my debating for I am not ambitious to be recognized as one and have never been. I do not covet the distinction of going about over the country egotistically "blowing" about how many I have had or even how many meetings I have held or have booked like Guy N. Woods does. However, I have never turned a church down when I was called by it to defend what I believe to be the truth of God and I won't. Guy left himself a good getting out place in the above quoted statement. He wants me or Porter to affirm what he represents as our position. He won't debate either of us unless we will. He came very near running out on the Birmingham debate because I would not let him put me in a false position. If his crowd in Birmingham had not put the pressure to him, he would have refused. He wrote me once and told me "good-bye" because I would not let him have his way about matters. Some of the things he and others of his "promoting" crowd want us to affirm are the height of ridiculous absurdity and none of us have ever believed them.

But here are the facts he didn't tell his readers in his article and in the paragraph quoted above from it. He has refused to meet me again both in the Los Angeles area and in Honolulu and perhaps elsewhere where he has been approved about it on the same propositions and the same agreement that we had in the Birmingham debate! He won't repeat that one anywhere. Now will he discuss the same propositions under the same agreement with Porter. I had a letter from brethren from both Honolulu and Los Angeles, (Wilmington) asking me if I would meet him again. I wrote both of them that I would on the same propositions and agreement as we had in Birmingham and he and his crowd turned it down. If he and his brethren think he won such a great victory in Birmingham and they have so much to crow about, why won't he repeat it? And while he is naming the places — how about Nashville, Ft. Worth, Dallas, Houston, and a multitude of other places? If he thinks endorsement is lacking, let him get on the dotted line and we will see. Now Guy either put up or shut up!

As to Roy Cogdill's heading a movement and his influence and the tiny segment which stand against human innovations today in the form of human organizations to do the work of the Lord's church — neither of them are true but some more base and baseless assertions of an irresponsible and unreliable brother who thinks more of his own prominence than he does truth. There are hundreds of gospel preachers and churches who do not even know Roy Cogdill and probably never even heard of him who stand squarely in your path, brother Woods, with the Sword of the Spirit drawn and ready to give you battle, any of you, whenever you make your appearance. They have all the equipment they need to rout your great numbers in which you seem to have placed your confidence. They are no part of any "movement ambitiously launched a few years ago" but are simple soldiers of the cross marching under the Lord's banner. They are not under the influence of any man or paper as you so insultingly and falsely charge. Rather they have marching orders from the Lord and their trust is in the Sword of the Spirit. Moreover they have it unsheathed and like Gideon's three hundred they are ready to rout the institutional Midianites who count themselves so numerous and mighty. They, all of them, stand committed to give you battle every inch of the way. You won't see the end of it in your lifetime unless you change your course. You can't laugh or sneer them off, Guy, so you had better whistle your bravest as long as you can keep from running. The rising tide of the judgment will sweep you out of your refuge of lies and expose your destructive work as well as your evil disposition.