September 22, 2017

An Enigmatic Brother

By Cecil Willis

Some brethren are enigmatic (i.e., "a person not readily understood; one that exhibits an incomprehensible mixture of opposed qualities" Webster). Reuel Lemmons, Editor of the Firm Foundation, has always been such a person to me.

W. L. Totty of Indianapolis said of Lemmons: ". . . he has been on both sides of just about every issue that has confronted the church. For instance, on the orphan home question, in one of his editorials he said that an orphan home with a board of trustees is just as unscriptural as the missionary society, while in another editorial he said he had never opposed any orphan home" (Garfield Heights Informer, Jan. 10, 1971).

Brother Totty and I have not agreed upon very many things through the years we have known each other. But here is one time we agree: neither of us can understand Reuel Lemmons! We both think Lemmons to have been on both sides of nearly every issue. And if you read Lemmons, you will find that he is real strong on both sides. Indeed, Lemmons is "an inscrutable person" (Webster). It is encouraging to me to learn that even some of the liberals also cannot understand Lemmons. He has not "made sense" to me for many years. I could not tell if he was "intentionally obscure" (as Webster puts it), or if he really thought he has been consistent in his meandering writings that cast him as a flag bearer on both sides of major issues.

February 11, 1971