Concerning A Plea For Tolerance

By Paul K. Williams

On my recent trip to America I heard several favorable comments concerning brother Mike Willis’ editorial, “A Plea For More Tolerance” which appeared in the March I Guardian of Truth. A few I talked to indicated that this indicated a change in policy and attitude on the part of brother Willis.

Editors get their fair (and unfair) share of criticism. In this case, I would like to give evidence that the attitude of brother Willis on this subject (continuous cleansing of the blood of Christ) has been brotherly throughout. He has been practicing what he preached in that editorial.

In late October 19811 submitted an article entitled, “Who Can Discern His Errors?” I later reminded Mike about the article and in a letter dated May 27, 1982 we began a correspondence on the subject. At that time, he did not want to print my article without a lengthy rebuttal, and I merely wanted the article to contribute to the current discussion without entering into a debate. But throughout our correspondence, Mike repeatedly showed that he was not in any way regarding me as a false teacher.

Here are some quotes from his letters: “I certainly do not consider you an enemy of righteousness, although I disagree

with you on this passage. What I think is that both of us need to give very careful attention to this verse (Psa. 19:12) that we might use it correctly in our discussions with the grace-unity brethren” (27 May 1982). In the article of rebuttal he wrote: “Do not misunderstand me I am not charging brother Williams with accepting any of the tenets of the grace-unity movement.” On 3 August 1982 he wrote: “I appreciate your amicable disposition in our correspondence. I hope that I am being equally kind and gentle in replying.” (He was, by the way.) Finally on 28 October 1982 he wrote: “Brother Williams, I have pressed you on the matter of how you should act toward those who are guilty of sins of ignorance. I am fully aware that you and I act the same way toward them. I am charging that these are the necessary conclusions from your argument and not that they are your conduct. I know that you will repudiate the conclusion.” And finally, “I look forward to hearing from you again and pray that the Lord will continue to bless you and your work.”

The tolerance that Mike pled for in March 1984 is the tolerance which he has been practicing. It is the tolerance which I believe all Christians should be practicing. In this spirit brethren can discuss subjects of difference and the result will only be good.

Guardian of Truth XXVIII: 17, p. 532
September 6, 1984