The Sun Will Rise

Lewis Willis
Kirkwood, Missouri

I am told that without the shining sun, we would live in total darkness, plant life would die and the earth would be so cold that we who live here would freeze to death. Indicating, of course, that God knew what he was doing when he placed the sun in the heavens. For hundreds of years, this needed provision has shown itself unto man.

In the morning, by the goodness of God, the sun will rise in the east marking the beginning of a new day. Too, if His mercy continues with us, most of us will be alive to witness this wonder wrought by God.

I was recently reading the book, QUESTIONS ANSWERED, by David Lipscomb and E. G. Sewell. In response to a question, brother Sewell made the statement that appears below. (I said that brother Sewell made the statement for he was discussing a subject and this quotation appears in that context. However, his initials were not attached.)

"A paper that starts out to have no controversies, to be overly peaceable, is as sure to be filled with unjust insinuations and innuendoes as that tomorrow's sun will arise." (p. 199)

As I said, we will most likely see the sun rise tomorrow and just as surely, we can expect the "unjust insinuations and innuendoes" of which brother Sewell wrote. This statement was not made by a novice but by one whom for 40 years, shared the editorial responsibilities of the GOSPEL ADVOCATE. M. C. Kurfees, in the book's Preface, said that brethren Lipscomb and Sewell were "not only well informed in the Bible," but that they were "thoroughly conscientious in their uniform effort to teach it unmixed with the devices of human wisdom." Men of such ability as these are reputed to have had, can, by observing the attitudes and actions of brethren for many years, read the results of courses of action well before the results appear. Today, we have those results very active among us.

The GOSPEL ADVOCATE has embarked on an editorial policy that would likely cause a tremble of godly fear to run the length of the body of brother Sewell if he were alive today. A complete and fair discussion in the pages of the ADVOCATE is a thing of the distant past. Nothing can appear on the "issues" that are tearing asunder the precious body of Christ, unless the editor agrees with the material in the article submitted. Brethren have been encouraging, yea, even pleading, with brother Goodpasture to allow both sides of the issues to appear upon the pages of the ADVOCATE. Still he refuses!! His readers, many of whom have heard only one point of view, are not granted the right to decide the matter for themselves through scriptural discussion and examination conveyed through the paper. HE decides what they will, or will not read. Consequently, minds are biased to even hearing what others teach on the subjects at issue.

A picture of great progress, unity and peace is painted as existing throughout the brotherhood. The picture, as drawn in the Gospel Advocate and other papers published by institutional brethren, is only slightly marred by a small minority of brethren who are opposed to taking care of orphans, opposed to cooperation and preaching the gospel over television, and opposed to "our" colleges.

Surely brother Goodpasture knows that brethren do not oppose these things. He must know that we do not object to taking care of orphans, but, rather, are opposed to the church building and maintaining separate institutions through which to do the work. Surely he knows that we are not opposed to cooperation among churches in preaching the gospel, but, rather, are opposed to seeing one eldership elevate itself beyond that which it has a right to do. How can he imply that we are opposed to colleges when so many of us attended them? Can he not see that we are only opposed to seeing them pushed into the budget of the church unscripturally? These are "insinuations" which prejudice honest minds. He can insist that there is much and lasting peace over the brotherhood if he pleases, but I predict that he will soon discover that there are many more dissenters outside the ADVOCATE offices than he now thinks. That is, if he, and those who believe as he does, continue to "push" the college into the budget. Already opposition is showing itself among those who believe as he does on the benevolent institution issue. Has he not already seen this opposition? Who knows? The "warrior," brother Guy N. Woods, might find the front door closed to him if he becomes out-spoken in objecting to the college in the budget.

Brother Sewell said that when a paper decides not to have open, fair, honest and brave controversy, but rather, is "overly peaceable," that from such, we can expect to see "unjust insinuations and innuendoes" just as surely as the sun rises. The GOSPEL ADVOCATE proves his wisdom today. He gave years of his life to make the ADVOCATE an effective tool for the truth. It is sad to think that he could not even write for it today, let alone share in editing it.

Truth Magazine IX, 4: pp. 18-19
January 1965