By Cecil Willis
Several months of time have elapsed since the article published last week was written. Were it not for the fact that Lindy has indicted my veracity in various places, as is evidenced by reports from several with whom he has talked, and has charged explicitly that I misrepresented hire in one of his letters to me, I think I would be disposed to drop the matter and say no more about our “doctrinal” differences. But for instance, in a letter received from him August 5, 1974, he says on the one hand, “I have no intention of making a liar out of you . . .,” but in the same letter he charged that I had “greatly misrepresented (his) views” and “have not told the truth about a number of incidental matters.” I do wish he would be specific in regard to the things about which he said I lied.
To be called a liar, with me, is no slight charge. Personally, it is very unpalatable to become embroiled publicly with one whom I have considered a close personal friend for many years. I wish the matter could be dropped now, but I think that brethren need to know that Lindy has joined up with the crowd us who believe that “sins” like instrumental music and involvement with congregations which are contributing to human organizations will not cause one to be lost, unless the person so involved knowingly, high-handedly, presumptuous and rebelliously continues in such practice in open defiance to what he knows to be teaching of God’s word.
Keep this in mind: If such “sins” will not cause one to be lost, then we should be fellowshipping that brother! One puts himself in a ridiculous position when he teaches, openly or by implication, that one can have unbroken fellowship with God while he commits these “sins,” but that he cannot share in our fellowship here. I intend to continue to say it so often that no one can forget it, or overlook it: These brethren who have been advocating these Calvinistic concepts regarding the imputation of the personal righteousness of Christ to sinners on the day of Judgment, and who are loosening their views on fellowship and grace, are doing so in order try to establish some kind of rationale that will permit them to fellowship those who introduce and use such innovations as instrumental music and human organizations to the worship an organization of the congregation. Do not let any of them deceive you as to their ultimate goal as they beat around in the obscure bushes regarding whether one must confess every sin explicitly and by name, or while they pose hypothetical cases upon which they want us to pass judgment as to such a person’s eternal salvation or damnation, or while they try to expand upon God’s grace so as to continue to include among the saved impentitent sinners who have neither confessed their sins nor asked forgiveness of them-if theirs be sins that result either from ignorance or from the weakness of the flesh. They may wander around in the theological woods for ever so long, but it already is very evident where they intend to make their exit from those woods.
It is my judgment that Brother Lindy McDaniel is being use as a pawn by others, and that he is simply repeating what some close friend or friends of his have told him, but which close friend or friends have not as yet been willing to put such positions in print for public scrutiny. Of course, Edward Fudge, Leroy Garrett, Carl Ketcherside and others have explicitly stated their positions on the grace-fellowship question. Some brethren are so blind they will not believe that these brethren believe what they do, even while they them selves freely admit it. Lindy’s influence toward digression does not come entirely from the above named brethren, though he does hold several very similar positions on some pertinent points. The pervading and misleading influence over him, in all probability, come from a preacher or preachers in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. It would very interesting to hear the tapes of Brother Fudge’s recent lectures on “Unity in Diversity” which were given in October, 1974 at the meeting house of the Arlington, Texas church, where Brother Hubert Moss, preaches. Furthermore, it would be very interesting to hear the five sermons Brother Moss has preached on the Christian having the present possession of eternal life, but I understand these tapes are said to belong to Brother Hubert Moss and are not available for public consumption; i.e., for public consumption outside of Arlington!
Articles in “Truth Magazine”
Previous to last week’s article, there have appeared three articles pertaining to Brother McDaniel’s compromising position. You may locate these articles by consulting the May 23, 1974 issue, the August 8, 1974 issue, and the September 19, 1974 issue. Brother McDaniel became very upset because I inserted the word “doctrinal” into a statement made by him in the May, 1974 issue of Pitching for the Master. Brother McDaniel did not think the nature of our differences should be paraded before the public. I also did not think our differences should be paraded before the non-Christian public, but inasmuch as he chose to inform them of our “differences,” I insisted that it be known that these “differences” were doctrinal rather than personal. I am aware of the fact that many brethren have little or no interest in lengthy articles, especially when they are articles that expose the error of some prominent member of the church. Furthermore, some do not think that personal letters should be quoted publicly. I am not quite as squeamish about that as are some of my brethren, but when divine truth, the well-being of the Lord’s church, or my personal veracity are involved, I will quote freely and extensively from personal letters, as I intend to continue to do before this series of articles is completed. Brother McDaniel has said he .intends to make no response to what I say. That is entirely his prerogative, but if he did not want this matter to be dealt with publicly, he should not have charged that I misrepresented him and said that I “have not told the truth about a number of incidental matters.”
In the article published last week, one flip-flop by Brother McDaniel on the ever expanding grace issue was documented. He at first believed the truth and stood solidly for it for ten or more years. But in 1972 he admitted that he had gotten “caught up in this ‘grace’ business, ” and then he got straightened out again. He even said in 1972 that he could see that “the concept of grace’ that is being advocated today by various individuals is simply the forerunner of views advocated by Ketcherside.” His assessment then was exactly correct. But now he has once again “been caught up in this grace’ business” which he then admitted “is simply the forerunner of the views advocated by Ketcherside.”And ever since we have been having to deal with this most recent affinity of his for this error, he has been squealing like a little pig caught in a fence.
The Beginning of 1973
In January, 1973 I was invited to speak on “Congregational Cooperation” at the Abilene Christian College “Preacher Forum.” Reuel Lemmons was to respond to my speech. I flew into Houston, and then found out that the Abilene, Texas airport was “iced in” and thus was closed. Brother McDaniel was planning on attending the discussion period at ACC, so I prevailed upon him to permit me to ride to Abilene, along with some others, with him. It took us all night, on icy roads, to get to Abilene. At that time, there were several former Florida College students at ACC who also had been “caught up in this grace’ business.” One of those so involved was Brother Ronni Compton of Baytown, Texas, and a former member of the congregation where Lindy then attended. Harry Pickup, Jr., and Melvin Curry of Florida College were there, as also was James W. Adams. Altogether, there were probably twenty faithful gospel preachers there. Several late-hour and very lengthy sessions were held with those young ex-Florida College students who have been “caught up in this ‘grace’ business.” Late one night in one of the discussions I thought I detected an inclination on the part of Lindv to sway back to the other sides I mentioned this fact to a friend or two, who also are close friends of Brother McDaniel. But it appeared, for the most part, that Brother McDaniel once again had his feet planted upon solid doctrinal ground. Most of our correspondence during the early and middle part of 1973 pertained to getting out Pitching for the Master, Lindy’s baseball career, and other unimportant personal matters.
Allan Martin Letter
I might add, however, that Allan E. Martin, originally of Pekin, Indiana, but who then was riving in Chalfont, Pennsylvania wrote a sixteen page letter to Brother Edward Fudge, copies of which Brother Martin obviously mailed to several other people. Brother Martin simply was writing to tell Brother Fudge how comforting his booklet, The Grace of God, had been to him. Brother Martin told Brother Fudge, “I first became interested in your writings several years ago when I read your article on faith and opinion in the Gospel Guardian . . . . Then a couple of years later I got a copy of your tract, The Grace of God, and was impressed with it to the extent that I ordered a half dozen more.” After James Adams’ articles began to appear, Brother Martin commented, “. . . Recently Brother Lindy McDaniel recommended the tract (The Grace of God-CW) to me as a tract that helped him to better understand the subject of grace.” (My emphasis-CW) Brother artm then continued with several pages of praise for the great good he had gotten from Brother Fudges’ writings.
Then toward the close of his long letter, Brother Martin said to Brother Fudge: “I would like to place out for consideration a matter that has troubled me for years on end. I would to God that I knew exactly the truth on the matter. That is the matter of the time of observance of the Lord’s supper. We observe it every Sunday because of Acts 20:7,” and he says that to do so is a matter of conscience with him. Then Brother Martin adds, “Yet, I realize that my matter of conscience is just that-my own personal conscience in the matter, and I cannot tell another that he will go to hell if he makes it his practice to partake other than on Sunday. I can say that about the works of the flesh (Gal. 5:19-21).” Brother Martin continues: “. . . I recognize that it is my conviction and that I cannot be absolutely certain in my own mind that it is definitely displeasing to God to partake other than on Sunday.” Brother Martin then stated that he doubted if any court in the land would rule from Acts 20:7 “the exclusiveness of Sunday as the day to partake.” He says that he thinks a court of law might rule that Sunday was “permissible,” or even perhaps “recommended.” He states that “Precedent is very valuable in courts to establish the propriety of a practice, but not necessarily the exclusiveness of a practice.” What answer Brother Fudge gave to this brother’s question, I do not know.
However, note that though Lindy previously had been “caught up in this grace’ business, ” but supposedly had gotten straightened out, he had just “recently . . . recommended” Brother Fudge’s tract, which was one of the main modern sources of this perverted ” `grace’ business” into which Brother McDaniel said he had been “caught up.”
Lindy’s Marion Visit
On September 20, and 21, 1973, Lindy visited with me in Marion. At this time I had decided that I must get out of local work and had asked the brethren at Westside in Marion to secure someone to replace me. I was then in the process of trying to arrange privately my personal support for the next year. I had been promised about $75 per week in support by an individual in Ohio. Lindy, at that time, was trying to negotiate a two-year contract with the New York Yankees, and told me that if he got the kind of contract he wanted and expected to get from the Yankees, he also would be in position financially to assist personally in my support. I mention this fact only because some have said that it was because Lindy did not assist in my support that I wrote my “‘In’ and ‘Out’ of Grace” article, which appeared May 23, 1974.
Meanwhile, Lindy was traded to Kansas City, and he and I both therefore understood that he had no binding commitment to me for support. It was conditioned upon his getting the kind of two-year contract that he sought from the New York Yankees. In a letter to him dated October 23, 1973, I said to Lindy: “Knowing the uncertainty of your contract situation, I know you cannot now make any definite commitment as to what you might be able to contribute to the Foundation to help in my support next year …. I will not count the $150 (per month-CW) as a definite promise until your contract picture is cleared up, for I know that it is contingent on you getting a suitable contract.” Lindy had written me on October 15, 1973: “Should I be traded to Houston, that may alter my proposed support of you somewhat, but I don’t think my figure will be affected much . . . . However, what I could do in supporting your work should I remain in the game will still be around $150 per month.” My above quoted October 23rd letter was in response to Lindy’s comments just quoted from his October 15, 1973 letter. Neither of us ever felt that he had made any kind of binding commitment toward me. Such mundane explanations as this would not be necessary to disclose publicly if there were not brethren who immediately begin to judge the motives of a brother when he differs publicly with another. Some actually have said that I “wrote up” Lindy because he would not assist in my support financially. Both Lindy and I know that is not the truth.
The Crisis Begins to Come
Meanwhile, Lindy was traded to Kansas City. Soon thereafter he called me and told me that he would be unable financially to help in my support, but then wnet on to add that he could not now do so in good conscience, even if he had ample money with which to do it. He told me that he no longer could “fellowship” me in the work that I was doing in attacking the Calvinistic grace concept that was being promulgated by some among us. From this point onward, I intend to quote extensively from my letters and his in order that the public may know what precipitated the Cogdill Foundation to decide no longer to publish Pitching for the Master.
Lindy’s December 11, 1973 Letter
Though I wrote Lindy on December 10th following our telephone conversation, I think it best that I quote his December 11th letter first. Our letters evidently passed each other in the mail, and it really makes very little difference which letter is read first. But I have chosen to quote his letter first.
“It might be well if I expressed myself more clearly as to our last conversation over the phone wherein I expressed some doubts as to my being able to support you. This has recently come up because of the very strong attack against men connected with Gospel Guardian. In the light of the nature of this controversy, and the strong language that is being used, I must be extremely careful in involving myself without proper information, and I have been somewhat disappointed in the documentation. Currently I have another disadvantage in that for some reason I am not receiving Truth Magazine. You might check on this for me.
“I feel confident that you and I are agreed as to the basic principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ, how to establish scriptural authority, etc. I also realize that strong measures are sometimes needed to combat error. I do not believe in a `soft’ approach if the situation calls for a `strong’ approach. Our problem seems to be in the area of judgment. I cannot agree with your assessment of William Wallace and the Gospel Guardian, but I also realize that you probably possess information that I do not. I simply need time to weigh the problem.
“Since my support of you in a sense throws me into the heart of the fight, I have deemed it wise to settle my mind completely on these matters before I take such a step. I hope that you understand and accept that this is the sole reason for my hesitancy. I certainly believe that the basic concepts of grace and fellowship as taught and held by Carl Ketcherside are wrong; but I am not nearly as convinced as to the errors of some of the others who have been linked to the grace movement. However, I am convinced that many are struggling with the issues of our day, and are trying to come to a better understanding of God’s word. We must be careful not to discourage honest investigation with our `strong rebukes’ and insinuations.’ It might very well be that 1 will come to see some of the change in emphasis as very dangerous and destructive, and come to view it as getting further away from the Bible instead of closer. I hope that I will always stand strongly opposed to anything that would destroy the meaning and effectiveness of the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Please note that while Lindy previously had stated unequivocally that this “grace business” into which he had been caught up “is simply the forerunner of views advocated by Ketcherside, ” yet by December 11, 1973 he was “not nearly as convinced as to the errors of some of the others who have been linked to the grace movement.” Yet it was to these very ones that he hastened to write in late 1972 to `attempt to guide them (those whom Lindy had referred to as “these boys”-CW) back to the old paths.’ ” I am perfectly willing, at this juncture in time, to let the knowledgeable public decide as to whether my “assessment of William Wallace and the Gospel Guardian” was correct or incorrect.
My December 10, 1973 Letter
As the December 10, 1973 letter which I am about to quote shows, I stated very clearly that with Lindy “feeling the way you do about the matter, under no circumstance could I in good conscience now accept support from you.” Yet this was long before our Conroe, Texas meeting which occurred in February, 1974, and about six months before I made any comment regarding Lindy’s switch of positions in Truth Magazine. My first article that dealt with his fast-change act was in the May 23, 1974 issue of Truth Magazine. If anyone wants to go on believing that I made an attack upon Lindy because he refused to support me, with this evidence in his hand, he will just have to go on believing it. Nothing I could say would change his mind anyway. Following is the greater portion of my letter written one day before Lindy wrote the preceding letter. Evidently, he and I had reached the same conclusion regarding any potential support from him to me. He could not give it with a clear conscience, and I could not have received it with a clear conscience. So that should forever settle the support aspect of this controversy, which really never has had any bearing on our disagreements, and both Lindy and I have known that all along, and both have so stated as much on several occasions. But now to my letter:
“Its Monday night now, and I just have finished with my paste-up of your January issue of Pitching For the Master. Ever since my conversation with you via telephone the other day, I have intended to write this letter. I have postponed it a few days to be sure that I did not hastily say anything I should not say.
“Earlier you had indicated the possibility of you helping some in my personal support in 1974. I have given up my full-time work here as of January 1st. At all times I fully understood the possibility of you helping in my support was contingent upon you signing a suitable baseball contract. In our telephone conversation, you indicated that you now could not make any promise of support, and your position in regard to that completely is understood.
“However, you also said that even if you were in financial position to help in my support, you were not sure you could “fellowship” me in that way, in view of the manner in which the discussion on “Fellowship” has been carried on. I am aware of the fact that you cannot keep up with the papers and that you do not try to do so during the baseball season. I know you just now are digging into your reading for the whole year. But it upsets me very much that you state you cannot have fellowship with me, in view of the manner in which the controversy has been conducted.
“That statement poses an interesting question for me. If you cannot ‘fellowship” (have partnership) me, can I have partnership with you? I do so, through the work I do on your paper every month. You may think you pay for the work that is done. It is true that in recent months Brother Whitehead has begun to receive $10 a week for his work. But I never have received one cent for any work, travel, or telephone calls that I have made trying to see after your paper. So I am having partnership with a brother who cannot in good-conscience have partnership with me.
“Lindy, it is so strange to me that brethren, as they pretend to loosen their views and position on fellowship, find it impossible for them to fellowship certain brethren whom before they could fellowship. Do you have any explanation for this unusual phenomenon?
“Since you say you are unsure you can have fellowship with me now, I think it would be best that you make some different arrangements about your paper as soon as possible. It is not my intention immediately to discontinue the paper, or to necessitate a change so hurriedly as to embarrass you or hinder you in continuing the paper. But I have about had enough of this unevenness and uncertainty of each baseball season. During the baseball season, you are so involved that you cannot keep up on what is going on. Then at the end of the season, you reassess things to see if you still can fellowship us. In my case, that means, whether you are willing to let me go ahead and do another year of work free for you.
“Please do not conclude that your not being able to help support me has anything to do with my decision in this matter. Feeling the way you do about the matter, under no circumstance could I in good conscience now accept support from you. Nor can I under present conditions in good conscience continue to share in the work of getting out your paper each month.
“I am sorry that these circumstances are the case, but your reaction the other day left me no alternative. I have waited now about two weeks to respond, and I still feel precisely the way now that I felt then. Please let me know as soon as possible what decision you reach in regard to Pitching For the Master.
“It is my intention to attend the ACC Preacher Forum again this year, though I have not as yet made arrangements to do so.
“Incidentally, no one influenced me to make this decision. During this past week Bill Wallace has appeared three times to speak in regard to `The Gospel Guardian: Its Past, Present, and Future.’ Having talked with him twice, he left me with no doubt as to where Ed Fudge stands. Bill said that Ed considers Adams and me as “beasts” that are ready to devour him. He publicly used the term “beasts” several times. It also is strange to me how rough some of these false teachers can get while they are telling us about the meek spirit with which the Lord endowed them.”
But I must now bring this article to a close. As distasteful to me as it is to have to trace two years of Lindy’s meanderings on the grace-fellowship issue, I feel that for clarification and exoneration of what I have said publicly, complete documentation should be given. Lindy has drifted erratically, wandered, wavered, wobbled, and floated around more on this issue than, as I said before, the best “fork ball” pitch he ever served up to any batter.
It long has been my personal intention, and that of Truth Magazine, to oppose pernicious and insidious error whenever it raises its head, whether it be-inside or outside of the Lord’s church, and whether it be promulgated by friend or foe. In this case, the promoter of this error happens to be a very close personal friend, and that makes the opposition to the error taught all the more difficult. But truth must take precedence over friendship, and I sincerely believe Brother McDaniel has backslidden into the quagmire of this “grace business, “which he formerly said was “simply the forerunner of the views advocated by Ketcherside.”
I intend to show, before this series concludes, that Lindy has been on both sides of the grace-fellowship issue twice! Reuel Lemmons is said to have the unique ability to wine equally as strongly on both sides of nearly any issue. Though Brother McDaniel may not be quite the equal of an experienced writer like Reuel Lemmons, yet he has one superior trait to Lemmons; Brother McDaniel can do the double-flip-flop faster than Lemmons has ever executed it, at least up until now. We will continue with this unpleasant task next week.
(To Be Continued Next Week)
Truth Magazine XIX: 23, pp. 355-360
April 17, 1975