Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
NUMBER 21, PAGE 8-9,13c

Grider-Woods Exchange

A. C. Grider

(Following is an exchange of letters between this writer and Guy N. Woods. Brother Woods "suggested" that the letters be made public "in full." A. C. G.)

July 10, 1962 Mr. Guy N. Woods

3584 Galloway Avenue Memphis 12, Tennessee

Dear Brother Woods:

It has been a year today since you and I started our debate here in Louisville. You will recall how that for about three years before that time I had tried unsuccessfully to get you to sign propositions and an agreement to meet me in debate in every city across the nation where two congregations would invite such discussion. You will recall how you successfully kept your people in the dark up until that time by declaring that I had made no such efforts. And you will recall how, during the course of the debate, I handed you a set of signed propositions and read to the audience endorsements from twelve different congregations who would welcome and support a Grider-Woods debate.

Brother Woods, I know you were flabbergasted and dumbfounded by the spanking you were getting. That was written all over your face as you sat there as white as a ghost. In fact, your defeat was a "conversation piece" for months after the debate. Typical of the comments on the matter was one by the caretaker of the school building where the debate was held. He was not a Christian but he observed what went on. At the start of the fourth night of the debate, he said to me, "You have done plowed all of his corn under." One after another changed to the side of truth during and after the debate. But, notwithstanding your defeat, I never dreamed but that you could get endorsement from at least SOME of the places where I had obtained endorsements. Of course I was positive that you COULDN'T get endorsement in Memphis, or Nashville, or Lubbock. The Liberals in these cities wouldn't expose their members to the TRUTH for a million dollars. But, as I said, I thought you could get endorsements from some of the places.

March 18, 1959 — "Now, don't run like a scared rabbit from this discussion. Our brethren want it; a congregation in Louisville endorses me for it; the question is, can you get similar endorsement?"

March 31, 1959 — "It must be quite embarrassing to be unable to obtain the endorsement for a discussion from your own congregation to be conducted in your own home town."

March 31, 1959 — "I am not interested in a man who cannot obtain local endorsement...."

March 31, 1959 — "....and in the event you are able to obtain such endorsement...."

April 23, 1959 — "....and if you can obtain the endorsement of the congregation May 2, 1959 — "....when you can find somebody who will endorse you."

I never did know what you meant by all of this palaver. Perhaps, since you indicate, by a year's silence, getting endorsements is and was an obsession with you. Anyway. I have never experienced any difficulty along that line. When you were writing all of this nonsense, I HAD the endorsement of the local congregation to debate you. At the time of the debate I HAD such endorsement. Now at this time I HAVE the endorsement of the congregation here to debate with you. Ellen after I leave here and go into other fields of labor, I WILL STILL HAVE endorsement from this congregation to meet you in debate. So, I say, I don't know what you had in mind. I should think it would be "quite embarrassing" indeed to be unable to obtain local endorsement to debate. But the embarrassment must be overwhelming when one can't get endorsement from anywhere to debate.

Brother Woods, it is "quite embarrassing" to note that you can't find anybody to endorse you to debate with me in Truman, Blytheville, Tuckerman, and Bald Knob, Arkansas; in Poteau and McAlister, Oklahoma, in Morton, Texas; in Kennett, Missouri; in Hobbs, New Mex.; and as I have already said, in Memphis, Tennessee; in Nashville, Tennessee; and in Lubbock, Texas.

But a whole year has passed and I have heard nothing from you. I take it that you have tried and failed to get endorsements, or that you have not tried because you are afraid to meet me again. I wish you would let me know exactly why you haven't replied to my twelve challenges issued to you a year ago before a thousand people.

Brother Woods, you have said some rather aggravating things to me, in times past, about getting endorsements for debate. Didn't you know it would come back to haunt you? Let me remind you of what you said and when you said it:

March 7, 1959 — "I accept your offer for the first of these, provided you can obtain endorsement of your local congregation for such a discussion."

If you will permit me to do so, I will endeavor to get some endorsements for you. I will write to churches of your persuasion in these places and tell them their doctrine is in need of some defense and that you are willing to defend it.

You are on record in the Gospel Advocate as saying your debates have done much good. You even boasted that our debates have turned the tide of anti-ism in places. And I have heard that a few times you have "whistled in, the cemetery" and declared that your debate with me did your cause some good. Surely then, you will debate me again some time, some where. But when? But where? The places above want a debate and have endorsed me for same. The question is, can you get similar endorsement?

If you just cannot obtain endorsement to meet me in the places named above; or if you just will not try to obtain endorsement; or if you won't let me try to obtain endorsement for you; in other words, if you don't intend to meet me again, please say so. Then I can dismiss you as a contender and look elsewhere for one who will defend his doctrine. But please say something. Remember I have waited a year to hear from you.

Finally, Brother Woods, please don't stop defending your teaching as long as you teach it. Many of the institutional preachers have already folded up in their sectarian shell. They know they can't defend their doctrine and, like all sectarians, such as the Christian Church and the Premillennialists, they have quit trying. That is why Hardeman told you to quit debating the issues. He knows they are unscriptural and that you will lose ground every time you debate them. But let me appeal to you to keep on debating them as long as you keep on preaching them. When one who once would defend his teaching publicly, QUITS defending his teaching publicly, he has made shipwreck of his faith. He holds a doctrine that is false and he KNOWS it is false, hence all hope for such a one may well be abandoned. So, please defend what you believe. And, please try to obtain endorsements from the places named in this letter to meet me. Regardless of what happens to Woods and Grider the TRUTH will be defended and the truth will prevail. Let me hear from you at once.

Sincerely, A. C. Grider

August 2, 1962 Mr. A. C. Grider

9622 Preston Highway Louisville 13, Ky.

Dear Brother Grider:

Your desperate effort to gain recognition and attention and to salve your pitiful hobby merely amuses me. Of course, it is apparent that you have written your letter, though addressed to me, for the benefit of others, thus using the cheap and shabby tricks of yellow journalism. But, I could care but little less what you do; because you will never live down your buffoonery in the Louisville debate. Of course, this was all you could do since you knew you had no defense of your anti-ism and, your silly effort to make somebody think that I or anybody else is afraid of you in debate reflects either on your intelligence or your honesty! If you really think it you are to be pitied; if you do not, but merely assert it, then you do not hesitate to resort to falsehood. The truth is, you are by far the poorest excuse as a defender of anti-ism I ever heard. I have met numerous men on this subject, and I have listened to various tapes of other debates thereon, but for sheer failure on every matter, you take the cake! Moreover, the antis in Louisville, not directly associated with you, tried desperately to shunt the debate to some other man, and simply demanded that I meet Cogdill there instead of you! Of course since your efforts were the noisiest, you were the one to meet and we insisted upon you. But, let me assure you that this was not because we thought you were more representative of your position brotherhood wise; it was simply because the local situation demanded you. BRETHREN THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY CHIDED ME FOR WASTING MY TIME WITH YOU.

When my brethren ask me to represent them in debate, I always accommodate them, if possible; and usually it is. And, this goes for what ever type of opponent. It so happens that the Garfield Heights church in Indianapolis has asked me to meet YOU in debate there if you can get local endorsement. Though they have not specified it, I would add that it would be proper, and therefore a condition precedent to it to conduct half of the discussion in the building of the congregation which endorses you and the remainder in the Garfield Heights building. Now, if YOU really want another debate, and are the champion you boast of being, SURELY some of your hobby-riding brethren in Indianapolis will come to your aid. I am not interested in having you write anybody for endorsement of me, but I shall be glad if you can get endorsement of YOU. If there is any semblance of respect for truth in you, you will publish this in full along with your letter to me, if you publish any.

Faithfully, Guy N. Woods Comments

I merely asked brother Woods if he intended to meet me in debate in any of the dozen places where I had endorsements. He had said, prior to my debate with him here, that the reason he wouldn't talk about a debate anywhere other than Louisville with me was that he didn't know of anyone else that wanted me for a debate. Instead of agreeing to debate me, he talks about my hobby, my buffoonery, my intelligence, my nasty, my anti-ism, my fellow journalism, my hobby-riding brethren, etc. I didn't say Brother Woods was afraid to meet me again. I just asked him if that was why he wouldn't meet me. He says he isn't afraid, but he won't meet me. I haven't tried to get endorsement to meet Guy at Garfield Heights in Indianapolis. I doubt if I could get such endorsement because nobody in Indianapolis wants to have anything to do with Garfield Heights. But I ALREADY have endorsement in Memphis and Nashville in Tennessee. I ALREADY have endorsement in Lubbock and Morton in Texas. I ALREADY have endorsement in Truman and Blytheville and Tuckerman and Bald Knob in Arkansas. I ALREADY have endorsement in Poteau and McAlester in Oklahoma. I ALREADY have endorsement in Kennett, Missouri. And I ALREADY have endorsement in Hobbs, New Mexico.

No, I don't know whether Brother Woods is afraid of me or not. But I DO KNOW that dozens of people changed from the liberal side to the TRUTH as a direct result of the debate. I DO KNOW Bardstown Road Church (the one that supported Woods) IS and HAS BEEN as dead as door nail ever since the debate. I DO KNOW that Kenneth Joines at Elizabethtown (who puffed and blowed something awful before the debate) has HARDLY BREATHED, so far as the Issues are concerned since the debate. I DO KNOW of at least TWO PREACHERS who learned the truth during the debate. I DO KNOW that I am willing to meet Woods in at least two debates per year from now on and that he steadfastly refuses to enter into another debate with me. I DO KNOW I can get and already have endorsement from the churches in Louisville to defend what I teach. And I DO KNOW Woods does not have and cannot get endorsement from the churches in his own home town (Memphis) to debate me.

Now Brother Woods can talk all he wants to about my ignorance. He likes to do that. He did quite a bit of that during our debate. Perhaps it makes him feel smarter. But the fact remains, I am HONEST; I have the TRUTH; I have CONFIDENCE in my position; and I AM WILLING to contest my position in honorable debate. Whereas, though he MAY be honest, he DOES NOT have the truth; he DOES NOT have confidence in his position; and he is NOT willing to contest his position in honorable debate.. Hardeman warned him to quit debating the issues. Hardeman's warning took on new meaning when he met me.

Brother Woods said he wasn't interested in having me write anybody for an endorsement of him. I guess not. He isn't interested in debating me again, but I love the truth. So, without the "interest" of Brother Woods I AM asking churches of the liberal persuasion in the places named in this article to please endorse and invite Woods for a defense of your doctrine. I doubt if he will come, but please invite and endorse him so honest people may have an opportunity to learn the truth and be saved.

— 4662 Preston Highway, Louisville, Kentucky