Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
July 17, 1969
NUMBER 11, PAGE 4-5a

Special Issue


This will remind you that the "Special Issue" of the Gospel Guardian will be the next paper you will receive. It will embrace three issues — July 24, July 31, and August 7, and will be 48 pages in size. It will sell for 25 cents per copy or $20.00 per one hundred. This will be an invaluable reference work, and should be distributed widely in every congregation. The entire issue will be devoted to "eschatology" or the doctrine of final things — death, the resurrection, the final judgment, etc. The issue will deal specifically with such things as millennialism, the Armstrong Cult, Anglo-lsraelism, dispensationalism, the modern state of Israel, the end of time, and the Book of Revelation. Order NOW to reserve the number of copies you want.

Open Answer To An Open Letter

Dear Dudley Ross:

At least, you were concerned to write. Which is more than can be said for many others who probably share your feelings about the "peace offensive." Let me briefly respond, and try to get matters in perspective: (1) I do not expect, nor have I ever expected, that the breach as between `conservative' brethren and 'liberal' brethren can be fully healed and unity restored. For that to happen the 'conservatives' would have to turn 'liberal' or else the 'liberals' turn 'conservative.' That is not going to happen.

Having said that, let me add a second thought: (2) I firmly believe there are a great host of good and humble people, now identified with the `liberals' and holding membership in 'liberal' congregations who are increasingly concerned and frightened at the giant strides that classical liberalism (i.e. denial of the miraculous and supernatural in religion) is now making among the congregations with which they are identified. It is almost certain that the majority of these concerned people will allow themselves to be gradually drawn into the yawning abyss of classical liberalism, because the downward path will be gradual and the whole weight of the "brotherhood moulders of thought" (Herald of Truth, the colleges, most of the publications, etc.) will be moving in that direction. But, there are some sturdy individuals who will gag at what they are being fed, and will revolt against it!

You know, of course, that the leaders of this classical liberalism will deny what they are doing and what they believe till they are black in the face. This is always the course followed. We all know, for example, that ten or fifteen years ago the very elders of Madison church themselves would have recoiled in horror from the thought that they would EVER approve and participate in such antics as are now almost commonplace with them. But the leaven has been at work there — as it is in so many other congregations. Their words may sound like what we have always heard and believed, but their actions give the lie to what those words have always meant in the past.

It is to these concerned individuals that I direct my plea. I do have a hope that as lines of communication can be re-established, and as tensions and bitterness are allowed to subside, meaningful talks can be had with them. And, hopefully, from such contacts understandings can develop, and full and complete fellowship can be restored between thousands of Christians who now are, in a very tragic sense, estranged from one another.

You say "those who believe churches have the right to centralize their evangelistic work...etc., are not willing to stop those practices." You are right — up to a point. But once brethren come to recognize that such practices are part and parcel of a "package deal," and that they cannot have these without also accepting direct operation of the Holy Spirit, tongue speaking, and the denial of true Bible authority, do you think they will still cling to those things which you and I believe to be wrong? Beyond question, most of them will. But my judgment, for whatever it is worth, is that there are many honest and good souls who will 'come out from among them' and 'be separate'! At least, I hope so! Incidentally, I am right now in touch with a number of 'liberal' preachers who are far more concerned about the ferment now going on among the churches with which they are identified than you might think.

Thanks again for your letter. I am grateful for your writing. There are good brethren, of course, who are as concerned as I am about "peace," but who think the situation is utterly hopeless, and that my efforts to reach receptive hearts among the `liberal' churches is doomed to disappointment, and can only serve to weaken the cause of conservatism. I have no quarrel with them. Perhaps they are right. Each of us must do what he believes God would have him do. And if, as you say, some will say I have 'gone soft,' well, I'll be in good company. You remember that following the Arlington meeting some even thought Roy Cogdill, W. L. Wharton, James Adams, Dudley Ross Spears , Stanley Lovett, and Franklin Puckett, Floyd Thompson, and Robert F. Turner had 'gone soft.' I will not be embarrassed by such company...

William Wallace has an article in this issue which should provoke some thought, and will possibly stir some to take exception to what he has written. I think I agree with most of what he says, although I would have said it somewhat differently. And perhaps not so well.

As to my 'future' in the church, getting meetings cancelled, being misrepresented, etc., I am much, much too near 'the time of my departure' to let such things upset me. I'm really not disturbed at the thought — never have been, in fact, I know good and wise brethren may differ from me in their assessment of present possibilities (yourself, for instance); but these men understand I have to do what I think is right, just as they have to do what they think is right. I certainly respect them, and I believe they respect me. And if, way out in the hinterland, there happens to be some forlorn and frustrated brother who wants to 'spread a few falsehoods' about me, I'll just treat it like old Brother Otey told me he treated "false rumors." Past ninety years old, and on his death-bed, he told me one day, with a mischievous twinkle in his eye, "Brother Tant, I hear a rumor is being circulated around the country that I am growing old. If any such report reaches your ears, don't be worried about it. I am going to treat it like I have treated all 'false rumors' about me during my entire lifetime — I'm going to live it down!"

As ever,

Yater Tant