August 19, 2018

An Open Letter to E. N. Belo

By A.C. Grider

Mr. L. N. Belo
Koronadal Catabato

Dear Brother Belo:

Since this is an "open letter" please let me explain to the readers why I am writing you. I will be right back to deal with your letter to Brother Fudge.

(On April 3,1964 I received a letter from B. L. Fudge with the following enclosures:

1. A letter (the original copy) from Guy N. Woods to L. N. Belo in the Philippines. This letter was dated August 19, 1963.

2. Some propositions Woods had signed and sent to Belo for a debate with me.

3. A letter from Belo to Fudge, dated October 4, 1963, asking why such a debate between Woods and me could not be arranged.

Woods told Belo he would be glad to debate me again, that I was lying about his refusing to debate me, and that I was just a joke among my own brethren.)

Now, Brother Belo, I don't know how long you have been over there. But EVERYBODY in the United States KNOWS that Woods won't debate me again. And NOBODY knows that any better than Guy N. Woods. I am going to set forth some facts and let YOU be the judge as to who is lying and who is a joke and who will not debate any more.

For months, nearly three years in fact, before my debate with Woods in Louisville, Ky., I tried desperately to get Woods to sign propositions with me for a continuing series of debates all across the country. He flatly refused to sign. Nor will he sign right now. Just prior to our debate in Louisville I had pressed this point so hard that Woods just had to say something. So, he said, "I don't know of anybody else that wants Grider for a debate." You see, he made it appear that

IF ANYBODY ELSE WANTED GRIDER FOR A DEBATE he would meet me. Well, this statement of his was "noised abroad" and by the time we went on the platform at Louisville I had signed endorsements from congregations in Truman, Arkansas: Memphis. Tennessee; Lubbock, Texas; Tuckerman, Arkansas; Blytheville, Arkansas; Bald Knob, Arkansas; Morton Texas; Poteau, Oklahoma; McAlister, Oklahoma; Kennett, Missouri; and Nashville, Tennessee. And of course the congregation in Louisville did then and does now endorse me to meet him again.

I still have all of those endorsements to meet Woods on the same propositions we debated in Louisville with the exception of the one at Tuckerman, Arkansas. One of Woods' former wives put out some kind of paper concerning him. I never did get to see the paper but I heard about it. Because of this paper, the brethren at Tuckerman wrote me that they didn't want to have anything to do with Woods so their endorsement for me to meet him was withdrawn. However they assured me that they would STILL endorse me to meet somebody else in debate. And since the Louisville debate I have had DOZENS of congregations to indicate that they would be happy to endorse me to meet Woods in debate. I am willing and waiting for an opportunity to meet Woods again and again in public discussion.

Now, Woods told you he would debate me in Indianapolis, Indiana with half of the debate being at Garfield Heights and the other half in some other congregation there. This may sound like a good fair deal. This may sound like Woods is actually agreeing to meet me in debate. But the truth is, this is one of the most hypocritical "offers" that has ever been put in print. W. L. Totty has been so mean and overbearing in Indianapolis that no congregation will have anything to do with a debate with Garfield Heights. The congregations in Indianapolis are ON RECORD as saying they will NOT endorse anybody to debate at Garfield Heights. Guy N. Woods KNOWS THIS. I have said through some of the papers that I CAN'T GET AN ENDORSEMENT in

Indianapolis to debate at Garfield Heights. Thus Woods' "offer" to debate me is NO OFFER AT ALL. Woods seeks to "save face" by making you think he will debate me when he knows, and so does everybody in the United States, that he WILL NOT meet me again. If he wanted to debate me he wouldn't write via the Philippines!!

Totty won't debate me again either. He said, during the course of my debate with him here in Meridian that he wouldn't debate me again. This hurt him. Then he, like Woods, desperately needed to "save face." So, he wrote out one of the most prejudicial propositions that has ever been, put on paper and said if I would sign it he would debate me again. He was SO SURE that I wouldn't sign it, it was such a "sugar stick" for him that he BOLDLY declared that if I would sign it I could come to Garfield Heights WITHOUT AN ENDORSEMENT and debate him. I signed and Totty sighed. (If the editor mis-spells these two words I will cancel my subscription.) I called the proposition an "outlandish" thing. But that I can whip Totty on that proposition is seen in the fact that Totty BACKED OUT, went back on his word, refuses No let me come, and has been sick ever since.

Brother Belo, the truth is, the division in the body of Christ in the United States is complete. The majority of the congregations, as is the usual case, have gone with the liberals into a complete apostasy. There is NO DIFFERENCE between the Liberal Churches of Christ and the Christian Church. And like the Christian Church, the Liberal Churches of Christ have all but quit trying to defend what they are doing. I doubt seriously if there will EVER be any widespread debating by the Liberals from now on. Occasionally there will be a skirmish, but an actual defense of their doctrine is out of the question.

It is not so bad to get a whipping in a debate. It is not too bad to quit debating when it is demonstrated that your doctrine won't stand an investigation. But it IS BAD to get a whipping and quit debating and then try to make somebody half ways around the world think that you will still debate. Woods has just "pulled your leg" in this matter. I have the endorsements from the eleven places named. I will obligate myself to obtain twenty-five more endorsements. I will meet him ANYWHERE we both can get endorsements. I will meet him ANYWHERE I can get an endorsement to debate him WITHOUT him getting one. I will meet him ANYWHERE he can get an endorsement and they will take me without one. Will he get an endorsement and meet me at any of the eleven places I have named? Write and ask him. Will he meet me at any one of the twenty-five places where I will get endorsements if he can get one from his brethren? Write and ask him. Will he meet me at various places where I can get an endorsement to debate him without him getting one? Write and ask him. Will he meet me in the places where HE can get an endorsement and I can't? Write and ask him. I am determined to convince YOU, and then everybody in the world will know, that Woods won't meet me in debate.

Brother Belo, don't get me wrong when I say the majority of the churches are on the liberal side. That is so. But the majority is not as big as they would have you believe it is. For instance, there are many FAITHFUL congregations in the state of Arkansas alone as were saved during the apostasy when the Christian Church was formed. There are other states with more faithful congregations than Arkansas. And we are growing. And the liberals are fixing to split again over contributions to colleges. Thanks to the Devil, there is division in the body of Christ. But thanks be unto God that hundreds and hundreds of congregations have not bowed the knee to Baal, and will not. And thanks to God there are hundreds and hundreds of faithful gospel preachers who are still preaching the all-sufficiency of the gospel as a guide, the all-sufficiency of the church as an organization, and who will still defend what they teach on the public platform.

Thank you for writing to brother Fudge and thank you for making inquiry as to why there have been no more Grider-Woods debates. With the evidence before you, what do YOU think is the reason?

Truth Magazine VIII: 10, pp.13-14
July 1964