Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
March 2, 1960
NUMBER 42, PAGE 8-9b

Woods' Endorsement: In Word Only!

Robert L. McDonald, Lufkin, Texas

Over six months ago, brother Guy N. Woods, in a letter to brother J. Porter Wilhite (Gospel Guardian, July 23, 1959), bravely announced his willingness to meet brother Roy Cogdill again as at Birmingham, Alabama. He was willing to debate the same propositions — provided Roy Cogdill could get "local endorsement." One would think, from brother Woods' letter, that churches all over the country would endorse Guy N. Woods for such a discussion with Roy Cogdill.

As a result of brother Woods' letter, as printed in PEACE, bulletin of the Lyons-Majestic church, Houston, Texas, the elders of the Oak Forest church in Houston issued an "open letter" (Gospel Guardian, July 23, 1959) endorsing brother Roy E. Cogdill and expressing their willingness to provide adequate facilities for half of the debate. All that was needed would be local endorsement for Guy N. Woods and the signing of the proposition as discussed at Birmingham.

Until September, 1959, not a single church could be found in Houston willing to endorse Guy N. Woods and provide adequate facilities for half of the proposed debate. Then, a "Special Notice", from the pen of J. Porter Wilhite, was issued listing six congregations willing (?) to "stand back of GUY N. WOODS in this endeavor for the sake of truth." (The Discerner, October, 1959). Surely, the repeat of the Cogdill-Woods debate in the Houston area was very near.

Propositions were signed by Roy E. Cogdill and W. Curtis Porter to meet Guy N. Woods in Houston. (Brother Porter signed the propositions in the event brother Cogdill was unable to come because of the illness of his wife. A letter, signed by the Oak Forest elders, was sent to the elders of the Lyons-Majestic church and was also printed in the December issue of THE DISCERNER. The letter specifically states the willingness of the Oak Forest congregation to endorse Roy E. Cogdill and/or W. Curtis Porter and provide adequate facilities for half of the debate in Houston. The letter, with the propositions signed by Cogdill and Porter, were sent to the Lyons-Majestic elders in the latter part of October, 1959.

A few weeks later, the propositions, signed by Guy N. Woods, were returned to the elders at Oak Forest, but still the elders at Lyons-Majestic refused to reply to the two letters addressed to them. Then, in December, a third letter from the Oak Forest elders was addressed to the Lyons-Majestic elders asking them if they were going to endorse Guy N. Woods to meet Roy Cogdill. To this date, February 1, 1960, not ONE word has been received from the elders of the Lyons-Majestic church by the Oak Forest elders.

Some may be wondering why the elders at Lyons-Majestic are so quiet. There may be some in the Lyons-Majestic congregation wondering why their elders refuse to correspond with the elders at Oak Forest. Could the Lyons-Majestic elders realize they are directing the saints of that congregation to support institutions for which there is NO NEW TESTAMENT AUTHORITY? Or, could the elders there be afraid of the result from such a discussion between Cogdill and Woods — that is, many would learn the truth and would no longer be a part of a defense of the church support of human institutions and the centralization of church resources in one eldership? It is very possible the elders at Lyons-Majestic do not agree with the position of Guy N. Woods with reference to his "home argument", that is, the church can't provide a home, it just provides the money to a human institution which in turn provides a home. The elders at Lyons-Majestic may believe the church of Christ to be all-sufficient to perform the work of charity as directed in the New Testament. If that be the case, we can understand why they would not endorse Guy N. Woods — "in deed".

In the September issue of THE DISCERNER, this writer mentioned that brother J. Porter Wilhite was unable to find a single church — not even the Lyons-Majestic congregation — willing to endorse Guy N. Woods in debate with Roy Cogdill. One may ask, "Well, has any church in Houston endorsed Guy Woods?" The answer: "In lip-service only!" What kind of an endorsement is this, anyway? Yes, six churches have offered "lip-service" endorsement; they say and do not! How embarrassing this must be to the champion of the institutional cause, Guy N. Woods. He can't get a single church — of possibly forty churches in the Houston area willing TO STAND with him in debate with Roy E. Cogdill.

Apparently, the elders of some of the institutional-minded churches in the Houston area didn't believe Guy N. Woods when he said:

"It is apparent that the 'giants' among them have abandoned the polemic platform. . . ."

(Gospel Guardian, July 23, 1959).

And, when H. A. "Bluster" Dobbs crowed in the Milby Street building in Houston:

"Brethren may cry peace, peace — but there is no peace. The battle, brethren, is already begun and goes not to the idle, but to the strong, the brave, the active. Besides, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat, but in submission and slavery! Anti-ism is designed to take away our liberty in Christian service. The war with anti-ism is inevitable — and let it come! I repeat, let it come!" (The Discerner, July, 1959).

Brethren couldn't hear this soldier (?) for his advance to the rear!

When brother Guy N. Woods goes around the country "blowing" about the number of debates he has had, and his willingness to debate Cogdill or Porter again, he is going to have to re-write his song. To the tune of, "Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone", Woods will softly whistle, "I'll meet Cogdill or Porter anywhere, provided I can get local endorsement — in word and in deed!"

Church Of Christ

in Oak Forest, 1333 Judiway, Houston 18, Texas February 22, 1960

At this time we have no written endorsement of Bro. Guy N. Woods by the elders of any congregation in Houston for the proposed discussion of the signed propositions with Bro. Cogdill. We, the elders of the Oak Forest congregation have written letters to the elders of the Lyons and Majestic congregation as well as open letters to them but no one has come forward with a written endorsement nor have we received any reply from them. Therefore, until we have such an endorsement with the agreement to bear their share of the expense of providing a suitable place for the discussion, we can make no further plans. Our position and our endorsement of Bro. Cogdill remains unchanged.

Elders of the Oak Forest Congregation R. J. Faught

W. N. Kelley J. W. Lee

D. B. Sanders