February 1982

Making My Own Mistakes

Robert F. Turner

In the May and July issues of P.T. (1981) two editorials were devoted to false and foolish charges brought against this editor by Faith & Facts (?) quarterly. The only proof offered was a May. '75 article from P.T. and the conclusions drawn were so farfetched as to warrant little attention. Later a F&F letter stated, "you have not said in print or in your letter to me or in your articles what you have said in private..." That means I was publicly charged with being on a "headquarters staff" that was "cunning" in "quietly spreading" "heresies;" and the basis for such a charge was hearsay, unchecked, and totally lacking in sustaining fact. Such unethical procedure led me to write the brief editorials, then say no more about the matter.

THIS article is written because I am told various brethren are coming to my defense publicly, sometimes making statements in their analysis of grace, forgiveness, etc., which I would not make. These may be matters of semantics, and may or may not represent real differences in views. I fully respect their right to express themselves in whatever way they think best, and I greatly appreciate their recognition of the injustice done me, and others, and their efforts to give me support. But I have authorized no one to speak for me and I feel no responsibility to accept their statements as representing my beliefs. This declaration is so well understood by ethical journalists its repetition seems foolish. It would be completely unnecessary were it not that the F&F writers seem to accept unidentified rumors "from the Cincinnati area" as if they were statements from my mouth or pen. It is difficult to imagine anyone going to print with such blatant charges on that excuse.

If F&F, or anyone else, believes any of my statements are unscriptural (and I do not claim infallibility), it will please me to hear from them. I will carefully consider their criticism, and if I believe they are right I will take immediate steps to correct the error. PLAIN TALK offers two pages of an issue to any responsible writer who differs with us, and I will use only two pages in reply. I'm not averse to exchanges in other papers, but do not enter into such without assurance of fair treatment. When one has reasons to doubt the ethics and honor of a journalistic forum, it seems wise to shake the dust from one's feet, and send articles elsewhere. Straight talk, sound teaching, and the refutation of error can and must be done, without resorting to carnal weapons (2 Cor. 10:3-f). Until we learn this, we fight in vain.