Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
April 1, 1954

Barron-Fielder Exchange: Letter From Walter Barron

Walter Barron, Cookeville, Tennessee

(Editor's Note: See Overflow)

February 11, 1954 Dear Brother Tant:

There came to my attention only recently the article which appeared in The Gospel Guardian of November 26, 1953, under the heading of "A Disappointing Conversation."

I feel called upon to reply to this article as it very seriously charged certain "offenses" against me.

As Brother Fielder stated in his article, we had a conversation, and as his title states, it was a disappointing conversation to him, and to me also.

I should like to state that for the most part Kenneth's memory served him well and he represented my convictions correctly. However, there are a few very important points that need clearing up. Kenneth inadvertently misrepresented some matters.

First is a point that in and of itself is of little or no consequence, but it might reflect unfavorably upon my attitude and action. Fielder said that I objected to his sermon the night I heard it. I did not approach either Fielder or Bland in an objectionable mood that night, but asked only for a meeting with them the next day at an appointed time and place. I thought that action was only appropriate and considerate.

Secondly, Fielder charged that I believed and said that to point out errors in another was judging him. There was evidently a simple misunderstanding on this point. I do not believe that to point out error in another is to judge him. But, to pre-judge or condemn one who is in error on some point, or points, is to judge him. And to severely censure another who is in error, while we ourselves commit the same sin, or a worse sin, is to judge. To point out error in the right spirit is good.

Finally, Fielder accused me of destroying the faith of some and of causing division. Both charges are false. I can see no reason for Fielder's making up these two unfavorable charges. I do not know of anyone whose faith I have destroyed. Nor does Fielder. On the contrary, I know several people whose faith I have strengthened, not I, but the Lord. I quote a few lines from a letter I received from one whose faith has been strengthened.

"I can say this: You certainly have helped me to understand better the life of a true Christian. Life has a different meaning for me. As Paul said, 'for me to live is Christ and to die is gain.' I have a greater faith than 1 have ever had and I know Mr._______ feels the same way. It seems the more one learns of Christ the greater his love for his fellowman and the eagerness and desire to do the things that are pleasing to him (Christ)!!"

Such a statement as that above means much to me. The measure of satisfaction it gives me more than compensates for the hurt inflicted by brethren.

Contrary to Kenneth's charge that I was causing division is the fact that I have never caused division it any church. If the fact that we do not agree on some points of Christian teaching means we are divided, thee there is division on every hand.

Brother Fielder only enumerated my "beliefs." He did not grapple with the issues. Perhaps he thought the mere statement of those issues was sufficient for his purpose. He pre-supposed the prejudice of his readers. There is no need to present reasoning or scriptural proof if one presumes the prejudice of his audience. The mere statement of the issues is calculated to condemn one. It is not enough.

Those "beliefs" he stated seem to me to be very reasonable and sound. If he challenges the truth of them, let him offer his reasons and I shall be glad to present my beliefs more fully.

Sincerely, Walter Barron