In Response to Grider and Bozarth
Dudley R. Spears
Oklahoma City, OK.
In the two published articles, which were called forth by my article, "A Second Look at the Issues," written by Elvis Bozarth and A. C. Grider there are several things that misrepresent me and which I think should be corrected. I am sure these brethren did not misrepresent me willfully. I am guilty of being unable to express things in their simplest form.
(1) I am not trying to "determine for the brotherhood just what 'the issues' are." Brother Bozarth thought I was.
(2) I am not trying to justify matters "on the basis of the last fifteen or twenty years," but was simply pointing out the change in the issues which conservative brethren have made "in the past fifteen or twenty years." Institutionalism has been the problem since the first century and was based then and now on the scriptural teachings covering these questions.
(3) I do not deny that "limited benevolence" is an issueit is not the issue that has divided the body of Christ.
(4) I do not appreciate brother Bozarth saying, "Spears was evasive."
(5) I did not "charge" Grider or anyone else with being responsible for prejudicing anyone. I said, "I wonder if some of us will not have the answer for being sidetracked . . ." which is a statement of consideration not a charge. I am sorry Grider took it this way.
(6) By my use of the 1937 flood and a hypothetical situation I did not try to prove the church could help everybody, as Grider and Bozarth seemed to think. Rather, they were used to show the difference in the activity of a local church and institutionalism. I showed by these that no general division resulted and an apostasy was not commenced because on rare instances a local church provided for the needs of a non-member. By the use of hypothetical cases, I was not trying to sound like "the pore little orphan on the doorsteps" but was trying to sound more like Jesus, who said, "I will have mercy and not sacrifice (Matt. 13:7). I do not believe in "unlimited benevolence" from the church treasury.
In saying that I do not believe that the "saints only" proposition can be universally and totally applied, I was saying what I believe is truthfully and adequately stated by brother James W. Adams in the following excerpt from an article called, "Universal Propositions." (I will mail a copy of the entire article to anyone asking for it.)
"We would not affirm that churches of the Lord may relieve saints only. We would rather demand that our 'liberal' brethren affirm that the church of the Lord is a general benevolent organization designed by God to alleviate the physical needs of mankind generally. We have yet to find one of our so-called 'liberal' brethren who is willing to assume the burden of proof, whereas, there are many who delight in the propaganda opportunities inherent in the negation of the affirmation of a universal negative proposition."
I admire both Bozarth and Grider for their stand for the truth and do not anticipate any further exchange with them. I still call upon conservative brethren to press the issue of institutionalism and leave the question of WHO is a proper subject of church charity to local churches. It is not the real issue today.
TRUTH MAGAZINE X: 3, pp. 20-21 December 1965