Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
June 18, 1959
NUMBER 7, PAGE 9-13a

Winklers' Reply To Woods

Nashville, Tennessee


Mr. Guy N. Woods, Memphis, Tennessee

Dear Brother Woods:

Re: — Your letter of April 9, 1959 In the Introduction you accuse me of having allied myself "With a movement, the design of which is to divide people." This of course, is aimed at the Gospel Guardian concerning which one of my other respondents wrote to me saying: "Yet I deeply deplore your alliance with a group WHICH PUBLICLY PROCLAIMS A PURPOSE TO DIVIDE THE BODY OF CHRIST." And then you charge me with "reckless misrepresentation" of you. If I have misrepresented you it is solely because you did not make yourself clear or I was unable to see the point. Please note on page 1 of my book, last two lines, that I said: "And I am giving my opponents credit for believing what they teach and write on these issues." And I have not charged you, or any other, with the purpose of trying, or wanting, to divide the church. I charge that your teaching is dividing the churches, but may all forces, forbid that it ever becomes your purpose so to do.

Now that you threaten "A more public exposure" and list five charges against me, I will pay some attention to them.

No. 1.

"You put in quotation marks a statement which you attribute to me in the Birmingham debate. On what page of either of the editions does this appear? Is this not merely YOUR interpretation of what I said, rather than a quote from me?" You refer me to page 11. The only quote I find on page 11 of my book is your statement regarding the closed policy of the Gospel Advocate as follows: 'The reason for not allowing both sides of the current issues to appear in the columns of the Advocate is; we do not want to be guilty of publishing false doctrine in our paper.' Please note that I said you stated this in the Birmingham debate and made no reference to the book of the debate. Furthermore, please note that what I wrote was enclosed with single quotation marks only, indicating I was telling what you said in my own words. I hope you do not deny saying what I wrote. The quote, "The church is not its own benevolent society and cannot do its work of benevolence", is clearly shown to be in an article from Brother A. C. Crider and he did not identify the author.

Your last quote under No. 1 of your letter is "Brother Woods and A. Campbell say the churches must pool their resources with a centralized agency, or church, which will then sound out the word." Then you ask: "Where did either Woods or Campbell make such a statement?" Brother Woods stated at the Garfield Heights Church in Indianapolis, Ind., May 18, 1957, P. 6 of the sermon in booklet, titled: Cooperation In The Field Of Benevolence And Evangelism, "Now, get it, ladies and gentlemen: There never was a church on earth that could carry out this commission UNAIDED. There is in the commission ABSOLUTE authority for church cooperation. By co operation, I MEAN THE POOLING OF RESOURCES." (Emphasis yours) Brother Woods, it seems this would involve what is in the quote; that the pooling would have to be "with a centralized agency, or church." Then Brother Campbell said, and I quote: "God has given no particular organization in which and through which churches of Christ may pool their resources and cooperate for the accomplishment of that which is the responsibility of NOT ONE, BUT ALL THE CHURCHES. Therefore, churches of Christ may form an organization for this purpose that meets the particular needs of the age, HENCE THE MISSIONARY SOCIETY IS SCRIPTURAL." — Millennial Harbinger, 1831,32 and 42.

No. 2. There Is No Number 2 In Your Letter. No. 3.

"You say, (page 16): 'Brother Guy N. Woods insisted in the Birmingham debate that he believed in the all sufficiency of the church, Yet contended that building other organizations is ESSENTIAL and NECESSARY in order for the church to carry out its work of benevolence.' Of course, I did nothing of the kind, and you are aware of this fact if you listened at all to my speeches . . . I have repeatedly argued, in all the debates I have conducted, and in the articles FROM WHICH YOU FREQUENTLY QUOTE, that it is not the WORK OF THE CHURCH, as such, to carry out the work of benevolence, but THE HOME!" In your letter to Earl West, May 4, 1957 you wrote as follows: "It is the function of the church, through its own organization to provide the money for needy people (1 Tim. 5:16); it is the function of the home to serve as a home in caring for the fatherless and destitute widows ... THE HOME SERVES AS THE INSTITUTION WHICH GOD ORDAINED FOR SUCH CARE, IT BEING THE DUTY OF THE CHURCH TO SUPPORT IT IN TIMES OF NEED."

Brother Woods, I may be dumb, but I simply do not know how else to understand you, if, as you say: 'It is the function of the church, through its own organization, to provide the money for needy people (1 Tim. 5:16)" The church then, has a work of benevolence. But how is the church to take care of its benevolence? You say, it is the duty of the church to support the home in time of need. The churches then, in giving to the homes, are doing benevolent work — but how are they doing it? By giving to the "other organization." You say: "It is not the work of the church, as such, to carry out the work of benevolence, but the home." If this be true, I am bound to conclude that the church is not all-sufficient. But in Acts 2, 4 & 6 the church did its own benevolence within the framework of the congregation. What I mean is: The church did it without forming another organization through which to work.

Now, as you deny that you "contended that building other organizations is ESSENTIAL and NECESSARY in order for the church to carry out its work of benevolence" (See your denial of it in the above quote from you) why not then just stop building them? You were defending these outside organizations, at Birmingham, as not "Contrary to the Scriptures for churches of Christ to build and maintain benevolent organizations . . . such as Boles Home, Tipton Home, Tennessee Orphan Home," and others named in the proposition.

No. 4. I Quote You In Full.

"You have, on page 79 of your book, a chart from the Birmingham debate, which you follow with another, your intention being to represent the second chart as also being used by me. In fact, you say: 'This chart SHOWS the kind of benevolent organizations Bro. Woods supports AND WAS DEFENDING in Birmingham against Roy E. Cogdill.' There are two false impressions here: (a) This was COGHILL'S effort to answer me, not my chart at all; and (b) I have never at any time argued that there was a benevolent organization between the contributing churches and the HOME I have argued, as you well know, that the HOME is the benevolent organization ITSELF. Why, then, would you misrepresent me in this uncalled for fashion?"

There is not a word in my book to the effect that you drew the second chart I presented chart II with the statement: "This chart shows the kind of benevolent organizations Bro. Woods supports and was defending in Birmingham against Roy E. Cogdill."

You say in the quote: "I have never at any time argued that there was a benevolent organization between the contributing churches and the HOME I have argued, as you well know, that the HOME is the benevolent organization ITSELF." But, Bro. Woods, you were in the NEGATIVE of the following proposition:

"It is contrary to the Scriptures for churches of Christ to build and maintain benevolent organizations for the care of the needy, such as Boles Home, Tipton Home, Tennessee Orphan Home, Childhaven, and other Orphan Homes and Homes or the Aged that are among us."

So under this proposition you were defending the homes embraced in the proposition as being Scriptural. And I show on page 73 that their charters say they are Benevolent Institutions, Benevolent and Charitable Corporations ESTABLISHED for CERTAIN PURPOSES

1. Boles Home: "The purposes of this Corporation are to PROVIDE A HOME for destitute and dependent children." Article 2.

2. Tennessee Orphan Home: "The particular purposes for which this charter is sought are: The establishing and maintaining the Tennessee Orphan Home in Columbia, Tennessee."

3. Tipton Home: "This corporation is formed for Charitable, Benevolent, Religious, Educational or Scientific purposes and has no stated capital."

4. Childhaven: "The purpose for which this corporation is formed is to ESTABLISH and PROVIDE A HOME for dependent, destitute or homeless children." Article Three.

5. Home For The Aged: (Gunter, Texas) "The purpose for which this Corporation is formed is to PROVIDE A HOME for aged men and women." Article Two.

Your proposition named the first four and added "And Homes For The Aged that are among us."

These corporations are not the HOMES as you contend, but they are humanly formed organizations with a stated purpose in their own words to "PROVIDE A HOME" and to "ESTABLISH and PROVIDE a HOME " Etc.

And if these corporations or organizations which obtained their respective charters did not function, then, there would be no homes. And the monies given by the churches are used and disbursed by these BOARDS or ORGANIZATIONS as they choose. So we all know that the BENEVOLENT ORGANIZATIONS were formed, incorporated and existed in actual fact before the HOMES were PROVIDED and that they — the organizations — PROVIDED the HOMES after they obtained the necessary funds.

No. 5. I Quote You In Full.

"Another example of your reckless disregard for truth — of which your book abounds, and I am prepared to exhibit in detail — is the following: You say, (page 84): 'For the VAST MAJORITY of the great men of the church for the past hundred years DID NOT GIVE their judgment in approval of orphanages as they are now directed.' I am persuaded that you knew there was not a word of truth in this statement when you penned it. No one knows better than you that David Lipscomb was a charter board member of an orphanage for girls, and that this organization received support from churches for years; that Tolbert Fanning endorsed such an arrangement, as did 'the vast majority' of all the preachers until DANIEL SOMMER began his hobby and seventy-five years later you and others began aping it. The Sewells, F. W. Smith, M. C. Kurfees, and in later years H. Leo Boles, John T. Hines, Brother Larimore, G. C. Brewer, N. B. Hardeman, in fact, every well known preacher east of the Mississippi River, with the rarest exception, endorsed such homes as Tennessee Orphan Home, AND YOU KNOW IT."

Well! well! This presents a BIG challenge. Shall I accept? I do.

"David Lipscomb ...

A Charter Board Member of an Orphanage For Girls.", ???

I know that David Lipscomb was a charter board member of the Fanning Orphan SCHOOL, but to my knowledge there has never been a Fanning Orphan Home. Neither do the old timers here so recall.

In Franklin College And Its Influence printed by the Gospel Advocate Co., in 1906, pages 381-385 Miss Emma Page (as I knew her then) wrote the "History of the Fanning Orphan School."

David Lipscomb, wrote an article about the FANNING ORPHAN SCHOOL in the Gospel Advocate in 1910, p. 664.

Sister Emma Page, in her article, gives the following information:

Tolbert Fanning died in 1874. He had expressed a desire to start such a School for girls. His widow obtained a charter for the FANNING never knew of the school. Sister Emma Page was the first teacher in the school. In the closing paragraph of her article Sister Page states: "In the summer of 1885 the trustees elected, as Superintendent and Matron, Mr. and Mrs. J. S. Hammon. (I knew them personally) The school increased in numbers greatly during that term. More free pupils were admitted; and parents and guardians, realizing the superiority of such a school over ordinary boarding schools, sent their children or wards there paying for their board and tuition. IN SOME INSTANCES CONGREGATIONS OF CHRISTIANS SENT, AT THEIR EXPENSE, ORPHAN GIRLS TO THE SCHOOL, to be trained to usefulness and independence." (Emphasis mine)

Of this school you say: "And that this organization received support from churches for years; that Tolbert Fanning endorsed such an arrangement." According to Sister Page this school DID NOT RECEIVE support from the churches other than buying services, for the girls, they sent there and for whom they were responsible. Which thing I approve. And you charge me of "reckless disregard for truth." But I will be charitable and say that I believe that if you had known the facts you would not have written me as you did. You state also, "That Tolbert Fanning endorsed such an arrangement." This is a matter of your begging the question. Tolbert Fanning had been dead seven years when the school was founded and you cannot give the name of an orphanage in existence among the churches of Christ, during his days. If so, just name it and give the proof that he so taught. What Sister Page wrote about the churches "IN SOME INSTANCES" sending girls and paying the bill rather points out the fact that the churches did not send contributions to the school. And upon her authority I say they did not. Tolbert Fanning was a rich man for the time in which he lived, and left money with which the school was operated, which I have been told. And the two or three hundred acre farm was operated in support thereof. Preachers around Nashville, including this writer, would go out to their Lord's Day worship and preach for them.

And as for David Lipscomb and his position please note: - "Christ never ordained an organization except his churches. In these, as members of his body, his children must work. No Sunday School or missionary or CHARITABLE ORGANIZATION outside of his church has ever been authorized. No Christian has a right to work in any of these human organizations." — Queries & Answers by D. Lipscomb (Shepherd) P. 80. He also, said: "We sincerely and earnestly believe all organized bodies for religious purposes OUTSIDE OF, WITHIN, ABOVE OR BELOW THE CONGREGATION OF THE LORD ARE SINFUL and TREASONABLE." — P. 41, my book. You charge that I and others are aping Daniel Sommer. This reminds me AGAIN of what The American Christian Review of February, 1958, said on page 11: "So long as Guy Woods resorts to the `Sommerism' smear we know he knows he's on the losing side."

When you spoke out against the organizations in your 1939 Abilene Speech, were you APING DANIEL SOMMER? See your speech page 112 my book.

Many of the brethren I can call off-hand were against the present setup of both orphanages and sponsoring churches.

C. M. Pullias, 87 — still living. P. 115 my book

C.E.W. Dorris 87 — still living.

John T. Lewis, 80 odd — still living.

James A. Allen, 70 odd — still living.

C. R. Nichol. 80 odd — still living.

Homer Halley, Foy E. Wallace Jr., John T. Hinds, A. B. Barret, W. Claude Hall. F. B. Srygley, H. LP() Boles, George Penperdine, W. E. Brightwell and F. W. Smith, to name a few.

Then the ORIGINAL GUY N. WOODS, page 112 my book.

Space forbids that I give, even a part, of what all these men wrote. I will give only excerpts of what a few of them had to say about orphanages, centralization of power or tying the congregations together in any way.

Foy E. Wallace Jr.: — "For one church to solicit funds from other churches for general distribution in other fields, or places, thus becoming the treasury of other churches . . . makes a sort of society out of the elders of a local church, and for such there is no scriptural precedent or example." G. A. May 14, 1931, P. 580. He was then Editor. This article was reprinted Sept. 28, 1939 as an EDITORIAL by B. C. Goodpasture with the following commendation: "The foregoing article reflects our present sentiments on the matters in question. — Editor." So this is where Wallace, Goodpasture and the Advocate stood in 1939.

C. R. Nichol: — "Brethren call me at times for debates, and occasionally the missionary society is brought into the discussion. It is an organization through which congregations function. On what ground am I to oppose such organizations, and then DEFEND the organization of the Orphan Home?" — Quoted by James A. Allen in G. A. June 15, 1933, p. 571.

John T. Hinds: — "There are two ways that such homes may be run without violating any scriptural principle — namely, as the direct work of the congregation under its eldership, and as independent efforts voluntarily undertaken by one Christian or a group of Christians ... The Gospel Advocate does not wish to endorse anything wrong in fact, nor fail, if possible, to make proper distinction between things wrong in themselves and the proper use of things right in themselves. As it now appears, PAPERS, SCHOOLS and ORPHAN HOMES stand or fall together." — G. A. Sept. 27, 1934, p. 923. He was then Editor and till he died on January 1, 1938.

George Pepperdine: — "If a separate organization to own and operate a Children's Home is NOT unscriptural, then I do not understand why it would be unscriptural for the same board of directors to operate a missionary society." — Quoted by James A. Allen in G. A. June 15, 1933, p. 571.

H. Leo Boles: — Brother Boles was directly opposed to the present CHURCH SPONSORING form of church cooperation. His article is a little long to quote here, and it would all need to be, if at all. But see it in G. A. Jan. 28, 1932, P. 114. Editor of G. A. 1920-23. President of D.L.C. 1906-1913 & 1923-1932.

F. B. Srygley: — "Churches should not be tied together to support SCHOOLS or HOMES for the Aged or for any other purpose." — G. A. Dec. 3, 1931, p. 1500. "An individual can send his means directly to the preacher who is on the field preaching the gospel, and so can a church, PROVIDED it sends it DIRECTLY to the PREACHER. If two or more churches put it into the hands of any kind of a board, though the board may be made up of elders of one of the churches, we have a very nice BEGINNING for a MISSIONARY SOCIETY to try to take charge of the churches." — G. A. Jan. 11, 1934, p. 44.

F. W. Smith: — "The centralization of power in religious matters is INFINITELY MORE DANGEROUS than such power in politics or commerce, because such power in religion leads to a rejection of the divine system, a usurpation of divine prerogatives, and the destruction of religious liberty vouchsafed to God's freemen in Christ." — G. A. Aug. 18, 1928, p. 778. Brother Smith continued this article to some length showing that CONGREGATIONAL INDEPENDENCE is taught in the scriptures and that Mosheim's Church History "Shows the successive steps leading the New Testament churches into such a combine, which, in the sixth century, culminating in the Roman Catholic hierarchy.

James A. Allen: — "Instead of congregations lending a helping hand to orphans and widows in their homes, and among their own relatives and friends, where they naturally belong, and where they have the greatest opportunity of helping themselves, these same orphans and widows are shipped off to far-away institutions where they are herded together en masse and where each one becomes only a number, and where ties and home love, in the routine of institutionalism, become only a memory." — G. A. Oct. 24, 1929, p. 1009.

A. B. Barret: — "There is no New Testament Authority for combining two or more such congregations for any purpose whatsoever. If any church combination is accomplished, it is wholly without the plea of New Testament teaching, hence UNSCRIPTURAL and SINFUL. There were no 'brotherhood colleges,' church papers,' 'church orphanages,' old folks' homes,' and the like among apostolic congregations . . . The churches . . . did not contribute to any organization other than a sister congregation. All church movements should be kept under the local congregation. This divine plan of congregationalism continued TILL WICKED MEN CREPT IN and led brethren into apostasy . . . Such apostates from the truth soon induced churches to organize societies of their own devising, to contribute their funds to other such organizations .. . Individual Christians, any number, may Scripturally engage in any worthy work, such as running colleges, papers, orphanages and other individual Christians may properly assist them in every proper way; but no local congregation should be called upon as such, to contribute a thing to any such enterprises. Such a call would be out of harmony with the word of the living God. And if any congregation so contributes, it TRANSCENDS ITS SCRIPTURAL PREROGATIVES." — G. A. March 13, 1930, p. 247. He was founder and President of A.C.C. & President of Southwestern C. C., and a G. A. contributor.

W. Claude Hall: — "There is a splendid example given to us as to how this work of caring for the poor IS to be done. The funds were gathered from the churches which were able to contribute to the poor saints at Jerusalem. This money then was sent to the elders of the church at Jerusalem and thus distributed to the ones who were in need. There was not another organization formed to take care of this work, they did the work through the means that the Lord had determined. Hence, it was done without any extra cost, and every cent the people of Corinth and Philippi contributed went into the hands of the distressed. It didn't take one third or one half of it to 'grease the machinery' for the organization which handled it." — G. A. Nov. 10, 1932, p. 1210. Once President of Freed-Hardeman College.

W. E. Brightwell: — After discussing ways and means of providing for orphans he writes: "But these considerations sink into insignificance when we think of the natural right of every child born into this world to be reared in a home, not an institution. An institution is a home in name only. However much we strive to make it homelike and wholesome, it still smacks of regimentation. It is not the natural way . . . An orphan home is a walking cane. We have learned to lean upon it, and we will have to keep on leaning on it until we have fully regained our health. But if we never reach the heights of spiritual development, so that we can forego the use of the cane, it will still be merely a cane and nothing more. And we cannot afford to become so attached to the cane that we would be unwilling to give it up." — G. A. Feb. 14, 1935, p. 159. Alas! In our spiritual Sickness we are building more canes upon which to lean.

The Predicted Situation Has Just About Developed:

But the brethren sometimes argue that the church can organize anything it feels like it needs. I do not grant this, but it is my observation that individuals start these things for the churches to support. Who is to say how many and what kind of institutions the churches need? I do not think the church as a divine institution needs any of them, but some of them do need the church, or churches, to support them. As was said by another: 'IF THE ORGANIZATION OF INSTITUTIONS CONTINUES, THE CHURCH WILL BE LITTLE BUT A PEG ON WHICH TO HANG INSTITUTIONS.' " — F. B. Srygley, G. A. Jan. 11, 1934, p. 45.

Guy N. Woods: — "When men become dissatisfied with God's arrangement and set up one of their own, THEY HAVE ALREADY CROSSED THE THRESHOLD TO APOSTASY. LET US BE SATISFIED WITH THE LORD'S MANNER OF DOING THINGS." — Annual Lesson Commentary, 1946, p. 341. (Caps mine)

Do you say all these quotes are of recent years? Well don't forget that many of them, wrote these things in the late years of their lives, when the present issues began to show themselves, and are what we often refer to AS GREAT MEN IN THE RESTORATION MOVEMENT. And regardless as to where Brother Lemmons now stands, on these issues, he voiced the same conclusion when he wrote: "When a man samples such a 'widespread and painful feeling of astonishment, incredibility and surprise' over a simple statement of A POSITION HELD BY THE WHOLE BROTHERHOOD, INCLUDING HIMSELF, UNTIL A VERY FEW YEARS AGO. SOMETHING HAS GONE WRONG."

I do not think that you MEANT to "disregard" the TRUTH in the Fanning Orphan SCHOOL case; but you affirmed what you did, simply because you did not know the TRUTH of it. (Which was no reflection upon you. Lots of things I don't know)

Many are swayed by what "the vast majority" of our preachers, for the past hundred years, taught. For which cause, I have taken pains, above, to show from some of their writings that they DID NOT SUPPORT this new teaching which has recently arisen among us. You wrote in the same vein, as the quotes I made, only thirteen years ago: "The church is the only organization authorized to discharge the responsibilities of the Lord's people. When brethren form organizations independently of the church to do the work of the church, however worthy their aims and right their designs, THEY ARE ENGAGED IN THAT WHICH IS SINFUL." — Annual Lesson Commentary, 1946, p. 338. (Emphasis mine)

No. 6.

You accuse me of "deliberately" ignoring the context of your writing and charge that you denied that Christ was head of the local church. If the context showed that you believed Christ was head of the local church, then Bro. Lemmons and I both failed to see it, for he was as excited as I over the thought. I quote Bro. Lemmons on p. 110 of my book as follows: "Brother Woods, in his review, reveals the two glaring inconsistencies that make his position untenable; (1) That the church is forced to use the facilities of some outside institution (private home) through which to practice pure and undefiled religion, and (2) That Christ is not the head of the local church". Then he further states: (p. 111) "So he dethrones Christ as head of the local church in order to promote his cause." That is the way Bro. Lemmons understood, or as you now say, MISUNDERSTOOD, you. Now, here are the statements you made upon which we based our conclusions; answering Bro. Lemmons you said: "Our Brother must believe that Christ is head of a local congregation. The body (church, Eph. 1:19-23 of which Christ is head, is not the local congregation; it is the sum of all the saved, (Eph. 5:23)." I think you can see there was some basis for our amazement.

You say in your letter to me that "in an article which followed, in the Advocate, I plainly and unequivocally stated that I believe that Christ is HEAD of all local congregations. Of course, you could not create the prejudice against me you desired by telling the truth, hence concocted this misrepresentation." Bro. Lemmons, in the quote from him above, made more pointed criticism of your statement than I. Have you called him to taw and charged him with concocting misrepresentations to "create" prejudice against you? I am taking your word, that you explained your statement in another article, which I did not see and of which I had not heard and I use this means of expressing apology to you and will state in conversation with all parties, as opportunity affords, that you do not so believe. I am truly sorry I did not see your other article and I suppose Bro. Lemmons knows of it by now. This shows that I did not, as you charge, concoct this misrepresentation to create any desired prejudice against you. And I hope you will not use this incident to create prejudice against me. A Christian cannot afford to tamper with either end of prejudice. It will backfire as well as go forward and what is condemned in another, one should not do himself.

Respectfully Yours, H. E Winkler