Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
August 8, 1957

Bones Turning In The Grave

C. E. W. Dorris, Nashville, Tennessee

David Lipscomb once wrote as follows under the caption:

Resignation Brother McGarvey retires from the Guide, as exegetical editor. This takes the last of the conservative element from the Guide. The Times was started specifically by Hopson, Lard, McGarvey, Wilks and Graham, to steer a middle course between the latitudinarianism of the Standard and the course of the Advocate in adhering firmly to the scripture precedents in work as well as worship. They supported the societies, but opposed the organ. They would depart from apostolic precept and example in the work and order of the church, so far as the pastor distinct from the eldership is concerned, but would in the worship, so far as the organ is concerned, adhere to the scriptures. The position is an illogical one, and cannot be maintained. When we take the liberty to set aside Divine order as developed in the precepts and examples of inspired men, in one point, we license and invite others to do it in any and all other points they wish. The Times passed out of their hands and F. G. Allen started the Guide. All remember the fight he made in his last days against the organ and the societies as conducted. Brother McGarvey stated that the future of the Guide was a source of great trouble to him in his last days. If bones ever turn in the grave, certainly Allen's will now. Kurfees was driven from it, because he insisted on maintaining the position Allen established it to maintain. McGarvey leaves it now — we believe greatly for the same cause, because the paper has changed its position and policy against McGarvey's life long position and principles. This we have learned from private sources. We are sorry that he does not fully and frankly say so. The truth is entitled to the moral weight of such a declaration from him if it be true.

This end shows the impossibility of compromising principles. No paper ever started among us with such an array of popular talent as did the Times. No man was ever more beloved or possessed higher qualities of head and heart for editorial work than F. G. Allen. Their labor, the paper they built up, has been turned to destroy that which they intended it to uphold. In the compromising spirit they brought to their work, they have acted simply as a rear-guard to protect the army they aimed to oppose.

Again the paper has been controlled by the money invested in it. Allen transferred the money interest to those not in sympathy with his teaching. He retained editorial control, thinking it safe. In three short years it is more progressive than those whose influence it started out to oppose. We have been so tempted to sell. Offers to buy the Advocate have been time and again made to us, that would have been money and relief from much labor and care to us. We have declined steadily to entertain them, because we believed that sooner or later the principles would be sacrificed to the money interests. Our progressive papers are all owned by men not devoted to the truth — some of them are owned greatly by men not members of the church of Christ. We say these things because we believe these workings should be known.

__D.L. (Gospel Advocate, 1889 Publishing both sides of an issue was the Gospel Advocate's policy under the supervision of Lipscomb and Sewell. It was E. A. Elam, an editor of the Gospel Advocate who wrote:

"The columns of the Gospel Advocate have always been open to full and free discussion of all practical questions. Friend and foe must admit this." (Gospel Advocate, 1909.)

Daniel Sommer's policy was NOT to publish both sides of an issue. His policy led Lipscomb to cease reading his paper. The present editor of the Gospel Advocate adopted Sommer's policy of not publishing both sides. I do not know the day he adopted this policy, but from that day to this, he has been practicing Sommerism at this point. It is as bad, if not worse, to practice Sommerism as it is to teach it.

But, since Lipscomb ceased reading Sommer's paper because he refused to publish both sides, is it not reasonable (since Goodpasture has adopted Sommer's policy) to conclude that if Lipscomb were now living, he would cease to read his "Old Reliable"? If not, why not? The same policy that led him to cease reading Sommer's paper is now the policy of Gospel Advocate. "If bones ever turn in the grave", we wonder if Lipscomb's bones are not turning now?