Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
February 3, 1955
NUMBER 38, PAGE 2-3b

The Totty-Sommer-Ketcherside Combine

Jack L. Holt, Indianapolis, Indiana

In the December issue of the Mission Messenger, there is a report from Carl Ketcherside on the Indianapolis debate. In the first paragraph Carl comments on the respective positions of Charles and Brother Totty. He then remarks that both positions are wrong. Carl nearly drenches his paper with tears as he reflects on such saying, "It is sad to see men professing to be children of God, stand up and contend about how to keep alive a plant which our Heavenly Father hath not planted." Carl then states that Brother Totty's position, church support of colleges, is much more consistent than individual support. Carl reasons, (?) "Every 'Christian College' today exists to do some phase of the work of the church. If it has a right to exist to do that work of the church the church ought to support it." (Italics mine, J.H.)

Let us follow Carl's line of reasoning just a little further. In Ephesians 4:10-13, Paul makes it clear that it is a phase of the work of the church to teach her members. The Mission Messenger exists for the purpose of doing this phase of the work of the church. In this respect it parallels the college, which Carl says, "exists to do some phase of the work of the church." Now, Carl, listen carefully, if it is more consistent for the church to support the college in doing a phase of its work, why would it not be more consistent for the church to support the Mission Messenger as it does a phase of her work? To use your own words, "If the Mission Messenger has a right to exist to do that phase of the work of the church, the church ought to support it." Carl is now committed to the position that church support of the Mission Messenger is more consistent than its present practice of individual support. I await his change from "less" to "more" consistency.

Carl remarks thusly about Charles' affirmative, "Holt affirmed the work of the college was ninety-five percent secular, an admission that the other five percent is religious or spiritual. We contend for the one body to do that! Let the schools get out of that five percent and the churches stay out of the ninety-five percent and there will be no fuss about it!"

Well Carl, what percent of the work of the church does the Mission Mess. (a well placed period) do? Or is it true that there is nothing religious or spiritual about it? Whatever percent it is, why don't you let the one body do that too? Incidentally, Carl, when did our Heavenly Father plant the seed that brought forth the Mission Mess.? Let us all weep, and sing Carl's dirge, changed a wee bit, "it is sad when men will work to keep alive the Mission Messenger, a plant which our Heavenly Father hath not planted."

Carl prides himself as a leader in a "real restoration." I have no objection to a real restoration. I verily believe that the church today should be as much like the New Testament churches as possible in work and worship. To the extent we fail in following the New Testament example of church work and worship, to that extent we fail in a restoration movement. But it is evident to one and all, Carl and company, excluded, that you can't restore something to the New Testament church that was never there in the first place. Carl says, "we attended the day services at the Belmont Avenue Church where Jack Holt is the hired hand." A statement like this draws applause from the follower's of Carl's party. Carl's so-called hired hands are their bete noire. Well, about the only difference between "hired hand" Jack, and "hired hand" Carl in this respect is that Carl is just hired a few days at a time. Carl, if you are sincere in your plea for a "real restoration," why don't you plead that churches today follow the example of the church at Rome or Corinth as Paul labored with them. Or was Paul a "hired hand"?

A Contrast

Carl's creed: "We believe in the all-sufficiency of the 'one body' to do every phase of its work." Carl's practice: "We believe it scriptural for the Mission Messenger to exist and aid the all-sufficient one body in the teaching phase of its work, and in the light of recent revelations it is more consistent for the one body to support the Mission Messenger than for it to be individually supported."

Now anyone that can put two and two together can see that Carl's faith and practice are at variance. When, therefore, this unstable man begins to do as well as say, I will then have some degree of confidence in him as he pleads for a "real restoration."

Of All Things!

Carl remarks that fear prevented me from going ahead with an open forum discussion as originally planned during the days of the debate. Well, it is certainly not because of any fear of the St. Louis reformer (?) that the open forum was cancelled. If Carl thinks he scares anyone, he is wonderfully ridiculous in his thinking. Since the Guardian has at times used words that deal with phobias and manias I may as well add another that fits Carl. He is a megalomanic.

Carl says that I would have called on him to speak on our lecture program, but I was afraid of what Totty would do to me. I have pointed out in a former article that extremists have a morbid attraction for each other. Carl Ketcherside and Allen Sommer, both front rank extremists, have thrown their arms around Brother Totty, and make overtures of love to him. "East is East, and West is West, but in Totty the extremes do meet." Before the Indianapolis debate Allen Sommer and Will Totty formed a mutual admiration society. Now Carl has moved into this company. "Here he is, Brother Totty, you can have him." This trio of varied hue blends well together. I can see them now as they face each other and beam, meanwhile testing the edges of their knives behind their backs.

The Indianapolis debate has had a profound effect on this trinity of ecclesiastical heads. Allen blew a fuse over my article exposing "Sommerism" and predicted that Totty would annihilate Charles in the debate. His prophecy failed and you know how Deuteronomy 18:22 classifies him. Now Carl ALLIES with Allen and bleats out his admiration for Totty's "more consistent" position, and at the same time displaying his prejudice toward the true teaching of God's book, and a genuine restoration. So far, Brother Totty hasn't responded so well to the overtures of this duet. Brother Totty just isn't in the mood for very much comment. He hasn't been in voice since October 18-22.

This trio of ecclesiastical leaders, adrift on the sea of error will no doubt soon be joined by another named Leroy, for it is well known to one and all that "where Carl leads him he will follow." They could then sing, "We four and no more," but not for long. I see another approaching. He comes forward and gleefully shakes hands with Totty, whom he endorsed in the Indianapolis debate. Reluctantly he greets Carl, Allen and Leroy. These five all aliens, two excepted, to the others peculiar tenets, are all one when it comes to combating the truth. Mutual hatred makes strange bedfellows. They stay in good graces with each other by patting one another on the back and playing, "pass it." Who is number five? To avoid being blunt I give a gentle hint. He heads a certain enterprise with headquarters at 110 Seventh Avenue, North, Nashville, Tennessee.

I commend Carl for exposing the chameleon changes of one Sterl A. Watson, who in regard to his position on the colleges has done an abrupt about face. There is one thing about a change like this. Like the giving of alms to be seen of men it has its rewards. I am told that both Brother Watson and Brother Totty are to speak on the lecture program at Lipscomb. Of course this does not mean that the powers that be at Lipscomb favor Totty's and Watson's position on church support of colleges. No, of course not.

The St. Louis reformer (?) then comments about the Guardian refusing to open its pages for a real discussion of the issues. This is a false charge. But even if it were true, why doesn't the Mission Messenger set the example? I haven't noticed that its columns are open for a real discussion of the issues. Carl, when you begin to practice what you preach let me know.