"Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of truth." — (Psalm 60:4)
"Lift ye up a banner upon the high mountain, exalt the voice unto them." — (Isaiah 13:2)
Devoted To The Defense Of The Church Against All Errors And Innovations
Vol.VIII No.II Pg.35b-37a
October 1945

The New Campaign Of Calumny; Part 3

To Brethren L. P. Rutledge, M. E. Reddick, C. L. Patterson, Fletcher W. Dailey, and Joe B. Foster, Elders, Central Church of Christ, Houston, Texas.

Dear Brethren:

I have your letter of Dec. 27, signed by you in the above order as elders of the Central church, in reply to my letter to you of December 19, in which my appeal was to the Central: Congregation to stand with the other churches of Christ in the January Music Hall meeting. A reply to your letter is deemed necessary To make it easier for you to consider said reply; a copy of this letter goes to each of you who signed the Dec. 27th letter, and to Brother Burton Coffman, your preacher. With the Lord, as my witness, I can only say as I did in my first letter, that I am approaching you brethren as a friend of Central.

You are correct in saying in your reply of Dec. 27 that you have the right to participate or not financially in the meeting under consideration—and I said that very thing in other words in the opening lines of the second paragraph of my first letter. So, that is not an issue between us.

You also have the right, as you further stated, to participate or not "and without further expressing our reason therefore." There is no issue there, as to right. However, just because something is lawful, it does not necessarily follow that it is expedient. (1 Cor. 10:23) You can be within your rights, and yet hurt yourself and others. One may say that he has the right to do thus and so, and that very act be so subject to question as to justifiably lay him open to suspicion, particularly if he is already under question.

It is also doubtless true, as you say, that your property charter forbids any preacher or official holding to premillennialism to have any connection with Central. But that fact does not within itself prove your soundness, brethren. For example, I would be most surprised if you denied this: there are churches of Christ which have the restrictive clause against mechanical instruments of music in worship in their deeds, which nonetheless have elders and deacons and preachers who are soft on the question. Or, there are churches with said restrictive clause that have no officers or preacher who believe in the "music" but who have influential members who do. Now, obviously, such a church could not point with assurance to its deed as a proof of its soundness. Such a church would be doing a better job of protecting its property than its heart. You can see how that such a fact could be true, as to the deed, and still the officials undergo a change of heart or be so influenced by others that the "creed in the deed" would be no guarantee of soundness. It would make brethren only laugh at such claims, as I can assure you that it will in your case.

Too, whoever informed you that you were the first church to have such provision in your charter gave you very poor information. You say that such took place four years ago.

Brother Roy Cogdill, who formerly practiced law, has advised me that he has been writing such provisions against premillennialism into church property deeds for many years earlier than that. I give you this information, brethren, so that you may not make yourself ridiculous by any such claims of pioneering in this respect. But if you were first or last in this provision, it would be no more guarantee of soundness than the music clause would be of soundness in a church against music. In fact, it is possible for a church to reach the place where it is sorry it has the no-instrument clause, and where it would do something about it if it could. Would you call that a sound church? Certainly not.

Now, brethren, with me "a straight line is still the shortest distance between two points," for that removes all doubt as to what we mean. When I write letters I do not try to write them to keep from saying what I am thinking—I write in order to say what is on my heart. So, we may as well go to the heart of this matter now.

According to testimony of Brother Burton Coffman, your minister, to me as well as to the Norhill elders and to Brother Cogdill, Norhill preacher, you brethren resented my appeal, made privately to you in my December 19 letter. Brother Coffman represented that he and you resented it because I asked you to do the very thing you had already done—officially endorse the meeting with your moral support if you did not feel free to do so with your finances. Brother Coffman censured me for not having read your letter of November 29 to the Norhill elders before I made such an appeal. He insisted that you had endorsed the meeting.

But your letter of Nov. 29 did not give any indication of moral support to the meeting. After stating that you could not help because of heavy financial commitments, you then merely said: "We appreciate your asking us, and we pray God's blessings upon you and your great congregation in the work of the Lord."

Where is there anything in that letter about endorsing a meeting? Brother Coffman told me that it was intended as an endorsement. Well, if so intended, why did it not state it in plain language? Please ask yourself this question why should you brethren resent my asking you to do something you had not done on the ground that you had already done it, when the language says no such thing? Now, brethren, to make matters worse: after becoming quite incensed and rebuking me for asking you to endorse a meeting that brother Coffman says you had already endorsed, Brother Coffman in a later conversation with Brother Sam Loe, Norhill elder, admitted that in your letter of Nov. 29 you were trying to hold something back: you were trying to endorse the meeting without endorsing Brother Foy Wallace Jr.

Instead of my apologizing, as Brother Coffman insisted I should do, for asking Central to do something it had already done, it seems to me that Brother Coffman, as speaking your sentiments, and you have talked yourself into a most unenviable position. As for me, at least I have not told conflicting stories. And, brethren, I did not ask you to endorse something you had endorsed. Your letter said nothing about endorsing the meeting: the Norhill elders have written you that they do not consider your letter as an endorsement of the meeting; and Brother Coffman admits that you refrained from a plain endorsement because you refuse to endorse Brother Wallace.

Now, I would not mention these matters had I not been accused by you, through your minister, of leaving the impression that you had not done what you had done—when your letter shows you had done no such thing. In self-defense, so that you may have the whole record of my action, I thus set this before you. I still believe in your fundamental honesty enough to believe that once you have the whole story, you will not believe any false claims about what I have done. Now, with this before you, the whole matter resolves itself into this: the elders of the Central Church of Christ are on record, through the testimony of the Central minister, Brother Burton Coffman, to the effect that Central refuses to officially endorse the January union meeting of practically all churches of Christ, exposing modern millennial theories, because Central refuses to endorse Brother Foy Wallace Jr.

Just stand off and take a look at that, brethren. Isn't that something? Is it anything of which to be proud? Do you flatter yourself that such action will hurt the meeting, or Foy Wallace, Roy Cogdill or Jack Meyer? As a matter of fact, since the question mark is already over you brethren, this would come nearer helping than hurting us individually. If you let this stand, it will be the very thing that I sought to avoid for your sake. Brethren, for the sake of your personal influence and the confidence of people generally in Central, you can't afford to let a thing like that go down in history. It could make you think better of me and avoid more unpleasantness if I had let the matter rest after your letter to me of Dec. 27, but I insist that I still feel that there is something in you that can be appealed to take a safer and more generous course than you are now doing. It still is not too late to reverse yourself, regardless of pride and what anyone has said. It is unthinkable that you will put Central outside a meeting where the other churches are uniting, just because you do not care for Brother Wallace. If you lend your official endorsement and actual encouragement to this meeting, that doesn't mean that you necessarily approve of everything Foy Wallace, or anyone else, says or does.

In my heart I hold no ill will against any of you brethren. I am hoping that Central doesn't here put herself for all time on the questionable side. This will be a good opportunity to remove suspicion. The position Central is taking on this meeting will make people have no confidence in her claims of soundness on premillennialism. Many of our people claim they do not believe the theory, but love R. H. Boll, its chief exponent "among us," so much that they hate Foy Wallace for the fight he has made on Bollism. This is where brethren generally will locate Central even more than now. Brother Patterson told brother Sam Loe he regarded my appeal as an act of friendship for Central. Brother Coffman told me the rest of you did not so regard it. God knows that such is the sentiment of my heart, and I still hope that you may not needlessly allow the finger of suspicion to be pointed at you and may practice the kind of unity we preach. How you receive this is your responsibility. With cordial good will, I am,


Jack Meyer

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December 27, 1944

Elders, Central Church of Christ

Dear Brethren:

As there seems to have been some misunderstanding and confusion resulting from Brother Meyer's letter to you of December 19 relative to the participation in an endorsement of the Wallace meeting to be shortly held under the sponsorship of the Norhill congregation, we thought it advisable to clarify our position.

After the receipt of Brother Meyer's letter to you, all the elders at Norhill were called on the telephone by Brother Burton Coffman in which conversation he stated that Central did mean their letter of November 29 to be an endorsement of the meeting and seemed rather insistent that we accept it as such. Frankly, we did not really give Centrals letter much consideration but regretfully assumed that the matter was closed. However, since the question has come up, the elders at Norhill wish to clarify their position by stating that we do not consider your letter an endorsement of the meeting. As Brother Coffman mentioned he did not keep a copy, we are enclosing one with this letter.

While we were and still are most anxious for Central to participate in and join us in sponsoring this meeting, Brother Meyer's letter to you, as he very definitely states, was written independently of the elders at Norhill and on a purely personal and friendly basis, a knowledge of which we did not have prior to the apparent misunderstanding.

We regret that there has been a misunderstanding, but we do want to keep the records straight, and while we did not authorize Brother Meyer's letter we do believe it was written in a truly Christian spirit with sincere motives.

Most brotherly,

D. C. Batson, Steve Holmes, Samuel W. Loe, G. W. Howard, Elders, Norhill Church of Christ..

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