Official Attitudes and Inner Circles
Larry R. DeVore
I sometimes get a little tired of people telling me they know more about me than I do, and that they know how I feel, and they "know" I am influenced to feel a certain way. This is, by implication, an attack on one's integrity, or at least, on one's intelligence. I realize we are all influenced by what we read and see, our training and environment. The very fact that the false doctrine, labeled "Ketchersidian" is making rapid progress in leading some young preaching brethren astray is a classic example of this. But, on the other hand, is it not possible for numerous brethren to be opposed to this false doctrine on the basis of conviction, and not simply because it is mentioned in some paper?
I write in reference to a letter from Brother Bill Wallace, dated Dec. 24th, 1973, which was in response to my unsolicited advice concerning the future of the Gospel Guardian. Since others are being accused of formulating Gospel Guardian policy, I thought I would throw my nickel's worth in (2c plus inflation).
I have known Bill Wallace for a number of years (10 or more), having worked with him in gospel meetings, and count him as a friend. This article is not written with any ill will or malice toward Bill or Ed Fudge. I will also add, that the editor of Truth Magazine did not solicit this article (and may not print it).
My advice concerning the Gospel Guardian, to Bill, was three-fold:
1. Removal of Ed Fudge as associate editor.
2. Removal of any other associate editor or writer who embraces false doctrine.
3. Answering articles which contain error, preferably in the same issue of the paper.
Bill's reply to my counsel was that "your letter indicates that you are influenced considerably by the Truth Magazine attitude." I did not even know there was an "official" (or unofficial) Truth Magazine attitude about these matters, and if there is one I have never been informed of it. (I will be happy to have Cecil interrupt my article at this point and inform us all about the "Truth Magazine attitude."). I do know that Brother Willis is on record as being opposed to all forms of false doctrine, and that is an editorial stance I agree with 100 percent.
Bill further stated "I find that the attitude you have is pretty much the general attitude where Truth Magazine is influential." Now as to where (geographically) Truth Magazine is influential (I suppose Bill means in what part of the country it has the largest circulation), you will have to ask the editor. However, the geographical circulation of Truth Magazine is beside the point. We are concerned with truth over error. I think the attitude I have is one shared by many concerned brethren who are informed and aware of the false teaching being done by Ed Fudge through the pages of the Gospel Guardian. I am happy to receive Truth Magazine and a number of other gospel papers and profit from them. However, I am able to think for myself and resent the implication that because I live in the north and Truth Magazine is published in the north, my convictions are the result of Truth Magazine "policy." I am alive and well, and able to do my own thinking, thank you. I have agreed with articles, and disagreed with others, in Truth Magazine, and other periodicals published by brethren, by a comparison of them to my understanding of God's word.
I think Brother Cecil Willis said it well in his editorial of Nov. 22, 1973, when he wrote: ". . . the Editor and Associate Editors of this paper are neither omniscient nor infallible. Nor are we a brotherhood clearing house. And we have no intention to become such, either advertently, or inadvertently, though some brethren have denied us this affirmed intention. In so doing, they have perjured themselves, and misrepresented us."
Brother Bill, in ascribing my motives and / or convictions to the "Truth Magazine attitude" has dealt with me exactly as a liberal preacher did in 1965. I hope the comparison is only incidental, and does not indicate a wholesale change in his thinking.
On August 9, 1965, the above mentioned liberal preacher (Flavil Miller) wrote me a letter trying to pin the blame for division in the church on Truth Magazine, instead of the Herald of Truth and related matters, said: "I know how you feel about brother Willis and those close to him in that particular circle. I think I am correct in my assumption that the 'Truth' magazine is completely acceptable without too much reservation by you. What I say about him and his magazine is not meant to be malignant. However. : ." From the "However. . ." he went on with five pages of "malignant" writing against Truth Magazine.
I here plainly and kindly state that neither this liberal preacher on August 9, 1965, nor Brother Wallace on Dec. 24, 1973, knew how I feel about Cecil Willis, Truth Magazine, or its supposed "official attitude" or "inner circle." I think that Bill now knows how I feel about the present policies and course of the Gospel Guardian, and should know how I feel about those who would impugn my integrity with regard to the motives for my convictions.
Those who accuse others of belonging to a certain paper, or to a "party" created by that paper, or of adhering to the official "attitude" of that paper, when no such "attitude" exists to my knowledge, are guilty of a "party spirit" themselves. I do not ascribe evil motives to Brother Wallace, but I do here and now, enter a plea of not guilty to marching to the tune of the Truth Magazine "attitude." He first must prove that such exists.
I told Brother Wallace in a letter to him on Jan. 5, 1974, "I was puzzled over why Truth Magazine or some other paper waited so long to say anything" about Ed Fudge and others who were teaching error in the Gospel Guardian. The Apostle Paul instructed Titus that there were false teachers, "whose mouths must be stopped" (Titus 1:11). So it is today.
Truth Magazine, XVIII:16, p. 2