Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
February 1, 1962

The Lemmons' Paradox

Robert C. Welch, Nacogdoches, Texas

The profusely paradoxical editor of the Firm Foundation continues right on with his Jekyll and Hyde writing. In the November 21, 1961, issue he heads his editorial "Plea for Unity." In the article he indicts all the preachers for seeking to "line up" the brotherhood into divided and warring camps. In the same issue he runs an ad for a "preacher with no hobbies and not anti." Thus he lines himself up and seeks to line up others against those whom he considers to be hobbyists and antis. Consequently, time after time in the editorial he indicts himself. But, like Burns' lady with a louse, he seems not to know that his editorial is against himself and his paper.

A Preacher Fight?

He charges that the present state of conflict is a preacher fight. Now, he talks so much about the "splintered Restoration Movement" that one would be led to think that he had expert knowledge of this beneficent monster. And if he does know anything about it, he would know that the differences of the past century over the missionary society and instruments of music were also called a preacher fight. And they thought that poor old brother Dave would wear out his broom before he could sweep back the tide. But it was not merely a preacher fight then, and, if he has looked around at all, he knows that this present conflict is not just a preacher fight. Let us have his own words about it though:

"This effort to 'line up' knows no bounds seemingly. We have noticed brazen efforts to 'line up' even dead men behind a cause that they would not have been caught with. Most of our present trouble is purely a preacher fight; the brethren in the congregations are for the most part still fairly well united. All this lining up is a deliberate and premeditated assault upon unity.

Now, that sounds most holy and dedicated to unity! But do not conclude the dedication ceremonies just yet. Read on to the "classified page." Now read the want act of a church which wants a preacher "with no hobbies and not anti." Of course, it would not be correct to construe this church's "line up" against a certain type of preachers as anything but a preacher fight! Then read his next ad which says a certain congregation is divided into thirds; not the preachers, mind you, but church. If he could read his advertizing he would know that brethren and congregations, and not just preachers, are having their difficulties.

Furthermore, he is guilty of "lining up" dead men as being opposed to the very thing with which he accuses others of aligning them. He says those dead men would not have been caught with the things some are saying they taught. If it is wrong for others to 'line up" dead men, then let our wishy-washy editor keep his fuzzy line off them.

His wording is as prejudicial as it can be. In the same sense in which preachers of conviction have sought to "line up" others in the fight for what they think is right, the apostle Paul sought to line up others when difficulties arose in the first century of the church's existence. He went to Jerusalem and "lined up" the apostles, the elders and the whole church. (Acts 15) He "lined up" Peter at Antioch. (Gal. 2) He "lined up" the brethren at Corinth. (2 Cor. 7) It is nauseating to see a man trying to play up to all sides in a controversy; just as nauseating in this present dissimulation as it was when Paul condemned it in Peter.

Who Did It?

He vents his spleen against all who have anything to say or do about the troubles, excepting himself, of course:

"Every group that withdraws fellowship from the rest proclaims to high heaven that the others have withdrawn from it. There is the shameful, disgraceful division, and each side is pointing to the other, saying, 'You done it!' Nobody is sorrowful enough to try to mend the break; all are engaged in self-vindication and the vilification of others who were bought from a common ruin...."

Using his own crude form of language in his "vilification of others," we say; "Well then, who done it?" He has done just about as much of "self-vindication and the vilification of others" in his editorial as can be found in any other material. He has published notices in his paper against those said to have "hobbies" and to be "anti." So, we could with all reason take his crude expression and say to him; "You done it!" And he is doing as much as anybody to stir up the undecided and indifferent and popularity seekers and appeasers, furthering division and strife.

Brother Lemmons needs to teach what he believes, if he believes anything, about the present issues, and then stand by it. More than that, he needs to get the truth on it and have the conviction and courage to stand unmoved on that. In this way he will make an effective contribution to the maintenance of scriptural unity. All of this double talk which he continually emits is but men-pleasing drivel.