"We Told You So"

Cecil Willis
Marion, Indiana

Some of our starry eyed brethren think that the institutional controversy and division are about over. Such is nothing more than naive wishful thinking. One conservative editor has made reference to perhaps as many as 50,000 liberals who may be reachable. When I inquired as to where these 50,000 liberals were (since I had not encountered any of them lately), one brother remarked, "As far as I know, they exist only in the imagination of ____________ _____________."

The GOSPEL ADVOCATE type liberal is of the same disposition still. Just this morning I read a fairly recent issue of the Advocate. In the ads published about preachers wanting to move, and churches wanting preachers, were several statements that reflect their attitude toward us. Indeed, this has been their attitude toward us ever since Brother B. C. Goodpasture about 1956 suggested that the "Quarantine label" be applied to us.

The Gregg Avenue church in Florence, South Carolina sought a preacher, but added, " 'Anti' need not apply." The Brookston, Indiana church-also wanted a preacher, but he must be "Free from hobbyism." What that means is that he must be a hobbyistic promoter of human institutions. The Radford, Virginia church sought to employ a preacher for the Pulaski, Virginia work, but adds, "Hobbyists need not apply." W. R. Easley, on the other hand, was seeking employment, and felt his chances would be enhanced by advertising that he was "no anti, no hobbyist."

Now it is true that Tom Warren, G. K. Wallace, Roy Deaver, Guy N. Woods, Gus Nichols, and, even B. C. Goodpasture are getting a little excited about what they call "Liberalism." Even Brother Clifton Inman and his BIBLE HERALD are getting a little worked up over "Liberalism." But it is doubtful if any other six or seven men in the past twenty years have done more to foster and to breed "Liberalism" than these brethren who now pretend to abhor it.

It is interesting that nearly all the liberal brethren who affect to be greatly concerned about "Liberalism" are older men. Where are the younger preachers who have grown up on the diet of liberalism which G. K. Wallace, Guy N. Woods, and Tom Warren have fed them for nearly a quarter of a century? They are nearly all securely lodged in the "Liberal" camp.

The liberals who now fear "Liberalism" never intended for their arguments to be taken to such extremes. But we have tried to tell them repeatedly that once you set sail upon the sea of human wisdom, the prevailing winds will drive you into the unhappy port of "Liberalism."

These men who now are setting themselves in opposition to the spirit they foisted upon the churches are destined to spend the remainder of their days in apprehension, unhappiness, and fear. They will be just like J. W. MeGarvey, J. B. Briney, Russell Errett, J. A. Lord and others who wanted some institutionalism, but not quite as much as they received in the United Christian Missionary Society.

Our liberal brethren now wage an impossible fight against "Liberalism." All the "Liberals" have to do in order to counter anything they say now will be to read what they have been saying for the past twenty years. They now will be crushed by the steam-roller they set in motion; they will be consumed by the Frankensteinian monster which they helped to create.

I shall get no pleasure out of witnessing their destruction and consumption. But there will be a good many of the brethren whom these brethren have labeled as "Legalists" and "Antis" who are going to be in perfect position to say, "We told you so!"

December 24, 1970