By Mike Willis
The Guardian of Truth is happy to announce that brother Robert F. Turner has agreed to contribute articles to this paper on a regular basis. Brother Turner was born in Scottsville, Kentucky on 3 November 1916. He was married to Vivian Allison on 12 December 1936. They have two children (Barbara Semmelmann and James A.) And three grandchildren.
Brother Turner has been preaching the gospel for fifty years. He has done local work in Illinois, Indiana, Arizona and Texas. In 1962, he moved to Burnet, Texas to begin work with the Oaks-West Church; since then, he has made Burnet his home. In 1968, brother Turner resigned from the local work at Burnet and began to work full-time in gospel meetings, holding 20-35 meetings each year. In January 1979, he “retired.” For the next four years, he taught the fall semester at Florida College and then held 10-12 meetings each year in addition to that. He is presently living in Burnet and conducting 10-12 meetings each year.
Brother Turner is best known to many of our readers for his work in Plain Talk. For twenty years he edited and wrote this 8-page paper which had a circulation as high as 8,000. His unique style of writing has been attractive to many readers all over the United States. We think our readers will enjoy his articles and we feel privileged to have them as a welcome addition to Guardian of Truth. Brother Turner will be writing a regular column, one which will appear 18-22 times each year. You can expect to read his material on page 6 or 7, depending on the layout. I know that you will look forward to reading from him and will benefit from his years of study.
Both brother Turner and I want our readers to know that there has been no compromise of convictions in our agreement to work together. We met together and discussed specifically some of the areas we thought that there was disagreement. We rejoice in the fact that we found no disagreement of substance between us. Brother Turner has been misrepresented by those who would imply that he believe a Christian may sin with impunity. He believe all sin, whether committed ignorantly, inadvertently, or presumptuously, is contrary to God’s will, and forgiveness is promised only upon conditions set forth in God’s word. We both believe that grace for the Christian is continuously available but conditionally received. The Christian who is involved in the practice of sin must cease the practice of his sin in order to stand justified in the sight of God.
Though there is no doubt that each of us would express some thing differently, we are aware of no significant different in doctrine or application. Brother Turner’s name has been linked erroneously with some other writers who have made very loose statements regarding “continuous cleansing.” Last year, I perceived that some brethren among us were ready to cut themselves off from men who disagreed on “continuous cleaning” but who had no difference in practice or in application of scriptural concept. Consequently, in an editorial dated 1 March 1984, I expressed that I had no desire to cut myself off from those who disagreed on this subject but whose practice was the same. In that editorial, I mentioned several men with whom I perceived disagreement and from whom I did not want to be cut off. Among those I mentioned was brother Turner. Unfortunately as I can now see in retrospect, this wrongly implied that brother Turner’s beliefs are identical to some others who have taken positions on continuous cleansing with which both brother Turner and I are in disagreement. My statement also implied that there was a difference in my convictions and brother Turner’s on the subject of continuous cleansing. Though some have assumed and asserted a difference exists, so far as he and I can tell, there is no significant difference between us on this subject. Though my main purpose was to express my desire for continued fellowship with him and others, I recognize that my statement implied that brother Turner took a position which he denounces. I regret that my statement misrepresented his convictions and apologize for it.
Brother Turner has a free hand to write on any subject he pleases in Guardian of Truth. Based on his past work in other periodicals and bulletins, we look forward to his contributions to our own work.
Guardian of Truth XXIX: 12, pp. 358, 377
June 20, 1985