Liberalism in the Philippines

Roy E. Cogdill
Orlando, Florida

The brethren who serve the idols of sponsored church cooperation and human institutionalism have followed the same pattern in the Philippine Republic that they have followed in the United States and all over the world. They refuse to come out frankly and honestly and face the issues and try to defend their practices and preaching by the word of God, but engage in all kinds of deceitful misrepresentations. Their old tactic is, "when you cannot disprove the testimony, discredit the witness, if possible."

Ordinarily I have neither the time nor disposition to take the time to read, much less to answer, all of the attacks that are made upon me personally. But when plain willful misrepresentations are engaged in for the purpose of deceiving others and leading them away from the truth, then we say with Paul, "But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them that desire an occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, fashioning themselves into apostles of Christ. And no marvel for even Satan fashioneth himself into an angel of light. It is no great thing therefore if his ministers also fashion themselves as ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works," (2 Cor. 11:12-15).

When Brother Willis and I got off the plane at Manila on our recent trip to the Philippines, one of the brethren that had come a considerable distance to greet us gave to Brother Willis a copy of an issue of the bulletin that is called, "Philippine Mission News." It is put out by brother Gunselman of Quezon City, who has been sponsored in his work by a number of churches and is now "sponsored" by the Concord Street Church here in. The ugly spirit and unfair treatment of brethren that disagree with them is a matter of record here in Orlando upon the part of Concord Street Church. But if they can swallow the disposition of Gunselman, they can stand anything.

Since the first of his bulletins, two others have fallen into my hands. I have never seen an uglier spirit or more misrepresentations in the same amount of space anywhere. His invectives and plain falsehoods are calculated to deceive the Philippine brethren so as to keep them under his influence and lead them away from the truth. He knows that his practice and preaching do not accord with the truth and he does not have the courage to try to defend it, so he engages in scattering his propaganda by a poorly edited and printed bulletin. When a man must resort to all kinds of falsehoods, it is pretty evident that he knows he does not have the truth! The man who stands upon the truth does not resort to such slander and misrepresentation and then robe himself with a pretended spirit, of piety and righteousness. But lest our readers think such a description is severe and that we are pitching the whole exchange upon this plane, we give you the misrepresentations in which Gunselman has engaged. He does not date his "News" but the first issue we saw, put out before our arrival and when he had learned of our coming, contained this paragraph:

"Please Excuse Me"

"The anti's are having a lectureship. I will not be there. I have known their guest lecturer for many years. I used to go and hear him preach - before he became an anti. He was a good preacher - a long time, ago. He is quite intelligent and speaks well. "He became a troublemaker before he became an anti. During the lectureship I suggest that you stay-at home and 'take a' siesta and read your Bible. It will do yow more good!"

If I ever met the - man, I have no recollection of it. I would not know him if he were to walk in at my door. "I have known him many sounds like an intimate acquaintance and this is just not so. It may be that I have met the man or that he has heard me preach but I have absolutely no knowledge of him personally, have never had any association with him in my life that I have any 'knowledge of, and hence the statement is just a plain falsehood by inference if not in direct assertion. He could have kept from telling it and would have, if he honored truth. If he had said that he had known "of " me for many years, that perhaps could not have been disputed for I have been preaching the gospel for nearly a half century.

He was not content with the falsehood in the above quoted paragrap4. He asserts further, "He became a troublemaker before he became an anti." Now I don't know when Brother Gunselman thinks I became an "anti." gut whenever he thinks it was, the statement he made about it is an out4fit lie and there is no other name for it. I challenge him to name the time, and place, where I personally ever caused any trouble over anything, with anybody, except by preaching the truth. "Contending for the faith" is considered "trouble-making" by those who do not believe it. I have been charged with "dividing churches" but it is completely without foundation. In all of the years I have been preaching no church has ever divided where I was preaching. I challenge Gunselman, if there is a thread of honor in his character, to produce the evidence to support his charge, name the time and place and I will prove he is lying about it. It is a complete falsehood and deserves to be so treated and this is the kind of stuff that Concord St. in Orlando sponsors!

As for being an "anti" I plead guilty to be "anti" many things. I am anti-instrumental music in Christian worship; the missionary society doing the evangelistic' work of the church; Coca Cola and soda crackers on the Lord's Table; dancing, drinking, gambling, and even the kind of lying that Gunselman does. Is Gunselman "anti" anything? He actually opposes in his bulletin using Coca Cola and soda crackers on the Lord's Table instead of the unleavened loaf and the fruit of the vine.

More than that, he opposes sending money to the Filipino preachers directly and affirms that it should be sent to an American Missionary to dole out to him so he can be controlled in what he does and what he preaches. In an article published in the "Firm Foundation, Vol. 82, No. 26, June 29, 1965," with editorial endorsement by Brother Lemmons, he says, "Never send money directly to any Filipino, or any other Oriental. It is a bad mistake. It is not, a matter of dishonesty. It is a matter of approach, which we find difficult to understand. What we call lying, stealing, and misappropriation of funds is looked upon very differently by them." Maybe, if this is so, Brother Gunselman has been converted to their point of view about lying anyway. I cannot understand, though, why Gunselman is not so deeply resented by the Philippine people that he could never convert one of them. With all of the reflection that he has cast on the Philippine people, I am surprised that they do not run him out of their country. Several of the brethren over there told me that he would not even eat in a Filipino home. That may be true or not and he may have some health problem that makes it inadvisable, but they did not have that impression about it and he has cast serious reflection upon the honesty of all of them.

In another paragraph from the same bulletin from which we quoted above he has this to say about Filipino brethren:

"Filthy Lucre"

"A number of Filipino preachers have begun preaching "anti" doctrine because they are PAID to do so. There is always a certain number of mercernaries around that would sell their soul for a dollar. Money will come from this source for a year or two, and some a little longer, because "antis" are real troublemakers and are dedicated to the idea of dividing brethren. GIVE THEM TWO OR THREE YEARS, and you will find that this "windfall "of money to mercenaries will dry up. Then watch these mercenaries turn to the Baptists, the UCCP, or any other group that will pay them! That is the way it is, and that is the way it has been, and that is the way it will continue to be. FAITHFUL brethren must carry on, in spite of such people. "

This is another of Gentlemans insults to the Filipino people. Why they don't run him out of the country is a wonder. Only Gunselman and those who agree with him are not preaching for money! Worship his "idols" and you can be a part of his "own little empire" and you will be counted honest and worthy. Otherwise you are dishonest, brethren cannot afford to send money directly to you, and you are insincere, a hireling, a "mercenary." That is brotherly love and piety of the "liberal sort." Don't think that he is not trying to build himself an "empire," as he calls it. I cannot imagine where this man got the idea that he could arrogate to himself the privilege of exercising judgment as to the hearts, honesty of convictions, and sincerity of purposes of other men. These are powers reserved unto God. He has grievously sinned in such charges against the very people whose salvation he professes to be interested in and will come under the judgment of Almighty God, if he does not repent and correct it. He must have been learning from "Manalo," who put himself on a par with Christ.

I deeply resent these charges in behalf of the Filipino people. I was impressed with their sincerity and the depth of their convictions and their willingness to sacrifice for them. But, of course, I do not know Gunselman and his crowd and was not associated with them. THEY WOULD NOT FELLOWSHIP US! Isn't that remarkable in the light of all the crying he has done about our not fellowshipping them. Brother Gunselman, fellowship has never been a problem with me. You liberal brethren have taken care of it for me through all these years. None of you would even let me lead a prayer in your services, were I to attend.

Gunselman's advice to the Filipino brethren was, "During the lectureship, I suggest that you stay at home and take a siesta and read your Bible." This was his reaction, in spite of a very kind invitation from brother Agduma for all the liberal brethren to attend and enter into a study with us of our differences. Some of them were offered their fare and board while there, but they did not come. That is, the "American missionaries" did not come. A few of the liberal Filipinos did. Gunselman and the American brethren had more than one reason. Fellowship was not the problem. They know better than anybody knows that they cannot establish Bible authority for what they are doing, and hence will not come out in the open and meet the challenge to defend their doctrines and practices. We offered to stay over and even to come back if they decided to muster up the courage for a discussion of our differences. But Gunselman chooses, as did the others, to stay within the confines of their own little "empires" and from its security snipe at us.

I want someone, however, to tell me how Gunselman manages, while taking a siesta, to read his Bible! Maybe that is what is the matter with him and that is what he has been doing all these years --- sleeping while he has read his Bible. If he would study it while awake, he might know something about what it teaches. If ever a man made himself ridiculous in the advice he offered, he does!


September 24, 1970