Review of a Review

Larry Ray Hafley
Plano, Illinois

The article copied below was written by Brother Gordon Brewer, preacher for the Church of Christ in Streator, Illinois. It is virtually self explanatory. We reproduce it here in order that you may better understand the comments which will follow.


"I have before me an issue, July 1969, of a magazine called ' "TRUTH MAGAZINE" '. On page 13 of that issue is an article written about a preacher that had decided to leave the '"anti"' ranks. This incident happened about a year ago, if I read the article correctly, and for some reason the author has decided that now is the time to comment on this change and its accompanying (sic) statement.

Following are some of the quotes

"Brother Davis is a man to be pitied, so far as I am concerned. He had marginal ability as a preacher, according to the reports I received. He and his wife could not get along anywhere very long." '

"Brother Davis has been the kind of a preacher that draws problems wherever he goes. I do not know of a single work with which I have knowledge that he has not had his problems." '

"The Hilliard brethren had decided that it would be best that they ,just ' "tolerate" ' him for a year ...."THIS IS LOVE?

"Whether the statements made were true or not I don't know. Suppose they were? What earthly good could such an article do? It appears to me that the article is purely vindictive and written simply because he had renounced the error he had once supported, although this is denied in the first paragraph of the statement.

"The only way which I could recommend this magazine is if someone wants to learn what love isn't.

"Again one might ask, ' "why was this article written" '? If it was to warn the' "anti" ' brethren of this man, why wait a year? If it was in an attempt to help(? } him; didn't he need help a year ago?

"Is this the way to obey the command of Christ, found in John 13:34 "A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."

"I sincerely hope this attitude revealed in this magazine does not wholly represent that of all those brethren."

Even though brother Willis stated that he was not writing with malice or hatred, brother Brewer, "which knowest the hearts of all men," said the article appears to be "purely vindictive." The Bible condemns such "evil surmising" (I Tim. 6:4).

Brother Brewer's point is that Editor Willis' article did not manifest love. "THIS IS LOVE?" he asks. Let us take some quotes from other men and pose the same question.

"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves." (Matt. 23:15) "THIS IS LOVE?"

"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity." (Matt. 23:27, 28) "THIS IS LOVE?"

"Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?" (Matt. 23:33) "THIS IS LOVE?"

"Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do." (Jn. 8:44}


"O full of all subtlety and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?" (Acts 13:10) '"THIS IS LOVE?"

"Ye stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye." (Acts 7:51) "THIS IS LOVE?"

"For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world" (II Tim. 4:10).THIS IS LOVE?"

"I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not." (III Jn. 9) "THIS IS LOVE?"

Tell us Brother Brewer, were Jesus, Paul, Stephen and John "purely vindictive"?

Further, Brother Brewer says, "The only way which I could recommend this magazine (TRUTH - LRH) is if someone wants to learn what love isn't." Well, let us try that loving statement on for size. In view of the above passages is obvious that the only way Bother Brewer could recommend part of our Lords words is "if someone wants to learn what love isn't." If it works one way, why not the other? When a man cast reflection on TRUTH MAGAZINE that is his business, but when he thereby slaps Jesus, then I am offended.

Brother Brewer intimates that one who writes an article critical of another, such as brother Willis did, cannot be motivated by love. But, Brother Brewer, if Brother Willis is "vindictive" what does that make you when you write an article critical of him? "Thou therefore which teachest (and condemnest) another, teachest (and condemnest) thou not thyself?" (Rom. 2:21)

Finally, Brother Brewer wonders why the Willis article was delayed a year. The Willis article came out in July, but Brother Brewer did not come out with his response until September. Why wait two months, Brother Brewer? If Brother Brewer will take the reasons that detained him for two months and multiply them by a thousand he will have the answer to his question, "why wait a year? .... Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth." (Rom. 14:22)

Gordon Brewer is a friend of mine, and I trust that he does not feel vilified nor crucified. However, as long as any man persists in perverting the apostolic paths, we shall continue to oppose and expose him, and though he may' cry of misuse and abuse we shall try his erroneous ways and put them to an open shame.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The article regarding Brother Davis was written and set in type soon after he visited me at Marion, Indiana and asked that I recommend him to another church. However, other materials seemed for the time more pressing, and for that reason only was publication of the article deferred. Brother Davis gave me in his visit no hint of any change of conviction. He had been fired at Hilliard, Ohio, but his published article renouncing his former position made one think he left Hilliard for conscience' sake. This I knew not to be true, and felt therefore some public clarification was in order. Whether Brother Gordon Brewer approves my motives or not is of little consequence to me. Fortunately, it is not to Gordon Brewer to whom I must give account. And God already knows my intentions.

Cecil Willis


December 18, 1969