Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
June 6, 1957
NUMBER 6, PAGE 7,13b

Hiding Behind Falsehoods

Jesse W. Brookshire, Ontario, California

". . we have made lies our refuge and under falsehood have we hid ourselves." (Isa. 28:15.) Such has been the practice of wicked men and those who were not willing to face the truth just as long as man has lived on the earth. In the Old Reliable (?), issue of April 4, 1957; page 215 is a report by Brother S. A. Ribble of a debate in which I engaged Brother F. I. Stanley in a discussion of the current cooperation controversy. I am not questioning the right of Brother Ribble or anyone else to write a review of a debate, a sermon or an article by any person. However, it is sad to think that those who claim to love the truth and fear God, will resort to slander, misrepresentations and falsifying when they are unable to defend their practices by the word of God. However, this has been true of the Advocate crowd and Brother Ribble has followed that pattern.

I was elated with the results of the debate and had no intention of writing anything for publication concerning the debate. The debate is to be published and I felt that it could speak for itself. I did not enter into the discussion with any hopes of converting Brother Stanley or any of the other "die-hard" institutional crowd. The reports concerning those who have turned from institutionalism as a result of the discussion have been most gratifying, not to mention those who were strengthened in their convictions against such innovations. However, since Brother Ribble's review is a direct attack against me and others I feel that he should be answered.

Brother Ribble is long on making charges, assertions and name calling but is woefully lacking in proof. He talked about the "anti-brethren" as though he is not against anything. Christ was against the teaching of the scribes and pharisees of his day, which would make him "anti" according to Brother Ribble and the institutional crowd. I had always supposed that Brother Ribble was "anti-organ" and "anti-Missionary Society" and surely he is "anti-sin." If my poor brother meant by "anti" that I am against such cooperative arrangements as the "Herald of Truth," "Lubbock Children's Home" and "Boles Home," then I confess to the charge. 'While at the same time if he is accusing me of being against any and every form of cooperation, then that is a falsehood of the deepest dye.

He said, "The anti-brethren would not affirm anything except an ambiguous negative." In the first place Brother Ribble knows nothing about what I will affirm nor does he know anything about the wording of the propositions discussed. It just so happens that the propositions discussed were worded by Brother Stanley with one exception and it was Brother Stanley's suggestion. In the second place, the word "ambiguous" is defined as "doubtful, uncertain or language admitting of more than one interpretation." My propositions were so specific that all other conditions except those stated in the propositions were automatically eliminated. Furthermore, any proposition that Brother Ribble affirms with the Christian Church preachers on the music question or the Missionary Society, will be what he calls "an ambiguous negative." Brother Ribble nor none of the institutional crowd will deny this proposition; "Resolve: The scriptures teach that the New Testament church is all-sufficient, with its God given organization to accomplish everything that God intended for her to accomplish." Yet by their practices they show that they do not believe the proposition, while at the same time, any proposition that they will deny must be a negative of some type and Brother Ribble knows that, if he knows anything at all. When one affirms that the "only way" a thing may be done is a certain way, he is in reality affirming that any other way is "not" scriptural.

Brother Ribble thinks that an "agreement to 'avoid personalities' was arranged by Brookshire to keep Brother Stanley from exposing Brookshire, Stevens and Jones as dividers of churches" and from revealing that I had at one time, to quote Ribble, been "a very ardent supporter of the Portales, New Mexico Children's Home." In the first place, Stevens, Jones nor myself have ever divided any churches and we stand ready to deny such a malicious charge at any time and any place. I challenge Brother Ribble to prove his charge in an honorable, public discussion or else admit that he lied about the matter and apologize for it. In the second place, I do not deny that in the beginning of the New Mexico Christian Children's Home at Portales, that I did lend assistance to it. However, at the time I did not completely understand the design and purpose of the home nor was I ever an ardent supporter of the home, that would not prove the scripturalness of such cooperative efforts. In the third place, Brother Stanley was just as anxious as was I to avoid personalities in the discussion. I do not believe that personalities prove one thing in a religious discussion and I know that often they prevent the light from shining on the truth when they are used in a discussion. If we had dealt in personalities, I could have exposed Brother Stanley for dividing the church in Midland and revealed the fact that the group Brother Stanley preaches for in Midland is regarded as a faction and is not fellowshipped by the other churches in Midland. (Let it be noted, that I am not here accusing Brother Stanley of any rightness or wrongness in the dividing of the church in Midland. I am merely stating a fact.) In the fourth place, the group in Morton that sent for Brother Stanley was and is a faction in the fair import of the word. A member of the Broadway church in Lubbock made a special trip to Morton for the express purpose of stirring up trouble against me and the elders. (I was preaching in Morton at that time.) Names and dates can be furnished and I challenge Brother Ribble to meet me in fair, open discussion and deny such. Three out of four elders and myself met with the other elder and two men who were being influenced and agitated by Lubbock and Portales and openly discussed and answered all their complaints. Finally, the elder was forced to resign on account of lying and his contentious disposition and it became necessary to withdraw from the other two men for stirring up trouble in the congregation. Yet, some Lubbock churches receive them and Broadway interests aided and encouraged them in building another building in Morton for this group to worship in. Yes, somebody needed to "avoid personalities" in the discussion, but it was not Brookshire, Wharton, Jones and Stevens.

Last, but not least, Brother Ribble accuses Brookshire, Jones, Wharton and Stevens of "having openly denied that they are under the elders of the church, possibly, except as to salaried support. They claimed the Evangelistic-Over-Lordship privileges of over-riding, displacing and replacing of elders. Putting out those they could not control, and coerce into following their lead and replacing them with more pliable men. This Evangelistic-Freelancing-Over-Lordship is the BASIC CAUSE of the troubles in this section." This charge against the men mentioned by Brother Ribble is false to the core. It is a malicious lie, calculated to destroy the reputation of four faithful gospel preachers. Everyone of us "openly" affirm that elders are the overseers of the church and the members must submit. I have never at any time denied that I was under the eldership. I have never at any time taught otherwise nor have I at any time been guilty of acting otherwise. Brother Ribble is guilty of the sin of slander, unless he can produce a statement from me, or describe and prove some action of mine that proves his statement. I challenge and dare him to prove it.

So far as I am able to detect, the only completely true statement to be found in Brother Ribble's article is that "the debate was needed at Morton and did much and lasting good."