Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
September 20, 1956
NUMBER 20, PAGE 1,9b

Here And There With Guy N. Woods (I)

James W. Adams, San Antonio, Texas

At the risk of being stigmatized again by the brother himself and "blacklisted" and quarantined by his headquarters, "Old Reliable — Gospel Advocate," I want to follow Brother Guy N. Woods around somewhat and expose a few of his vagaries in his championship of the "centralized control and oversight" arrangements for benevolence and evangelism among the brethren. Several months ago, I "presumed" to offer some criticisms of a series of articles written by our brother and published in the Gospel Advocate on the subject of the establishment and maintenance by the churches of human institutions for the accomplishment of their benevolence. In corresponding with Brother Yater Tant, editor of the Gospel Guardian, concerning my review of his material, Brother Woods, in the sweet spirit for which he and the Gospel Advocate are famous (notorious), referred to me as Tant's "hatchet-man." A "hatchet-man" is a hired murderer. He destroys the enemies of his employer for sordid gain. He is not just an ordinary killer. He is murderer, a cold-blooded assassin. He murders, not because of passion or principle which he has espoused, but for money and for the personal satisfaction his perverted emotions receive from the destruction of a fellow human being. Such, according to Woods, is the character of the individual who dares oppose his views on current issues.

It was my thought at the time that such a base, unChristian, unjust reflection on my motives, sincerity, and character was unworthy of the dignity that a reply would reflect upon it, hence none was made. Too, it was felt that people subscribing to Christian principles would recognize in such an expression the depraved state of heart that gave it being. I feel the same at this moment. I but mention the matter in anticipation of what I may be called for daring to lift my voice in the same direction a second time. Come what may, Brother Woods' ridiculous inconsistencies and downright perversions of the word of God must be exposed.

The Occasion For These Articles

It was my pleasure to conduct a meeting for the Belview Heights congregation in Birmingham, Alabama in June of 1955 and again in 1956. During the first meeting, current issues before the brethren were discussed in one of the evening services. A number of well-known brethren in the Birmingham area were thereby delivered from some confusion of mind with reference to the matters in question. Our meeting this year was scheduled to begin on the night of June 11th. Some weeks before the time for the beginning of the meeting, it was announced by the Central church of that city that Brother Guy N. Woods would come to Birmingham and Central church and would on Lord's day, June 10th, deliver in her meetinghouse three sermons, morning, afternoon, and evening, on the subject: "Church Cooperation and the Care of Orphans."

When this announcement was made, the elders of the Belview Heights congregation, wrote the elders of Central church suggesting that the affair simply be turned into a debate between this writer and Woods, or in the event that they did not want that, to arrange at a later date for a discussion on the questions between Woods and any one of three or four representative brethren — among whom were Roy E. Cogdill, W. Curtis Porter, and Cecil B. Douthitt. The Central church declined. They declined despite the fact that a number of other churches in the city wrote urging that the discussion be had. The major portion of the churches in greater Birmingham are opposed to the views of Woods and Central on these matters.

As an alternative, the elders of the Belview Heights congregation arranged with another congregation with which I was then engaged in a meeting for me to close on Lord's day morning and drive to Birmingham that I might hear Brother Woods in his afternoon speech. Tape recordings were made of the morning and evening speech, and I was allowed to hear them. On the following Lord's day, at the request of the elders of the Belview Heights congregation, a reply was made in their building to the speeches of Woods on the preceding Lord's day. The speech, lasting one hour and forty-five minutes, was made to a full house of respectful and attentive hearers. It is only to be regretted that it could not have been heard by the same audiences which heard Woods.

In this series of articles, it will be my purpose to give some of the highlights of these speeches. Brethren generally need to know precisely how the cooperative schemes of our day are being defended by their devotees and champions. Like the proverbial "drowning man and the straw," they are madly grasping at every thing that floats by regardless of truth, consistency, or logic. This will be apparent when some of Woods' positions taken in Birmingham are laid bare in this series.

Woods' Spirit In Birmingham

Brother Woods' words "dropped as the gentle rain from heaven" upon his waiting audience. Especially woo this true of his afternoon speech when his audience was made up (in the main) of those who opposed his views. Gone was the high-horse that he rides in "Old Reliable." Even to Brother John T. Lewis (sitting on the front seat) whom he has associated in the past with "a group of recognized fanatics and cranks opposed to every positive function of the church," he was Lord Chesterfield himself. He pinned a rose upon him and offered him a sugar stick to make the occasion more palatable. One wonders why our brother breathes fire and brimstone in one place and hands out flowers and candy in another. Brother John T. Lewis veteran of many controversies was neither deceived nor placated by such obvious chicanery. The brethren in Birmingham were considerably amused as well they might he.

Woods having introduced his speech with his little by-play addressed to Brother John T. Lewis, began, as he always does, by picturing current issues as "something new under the sun." In our next article, attention will be given to Woods' contention along this fine. We shall try to keep the articles of this series brief enough to justify a careful reading of each on the part of the reader. Time is a precious commodity these days, and we shall acknowledge this fact by keeping each article as brief as possible.