Leroy Garret A Real Conservative

By Lynn Trapp

Recently, I received an announcement from a church here in the Denver area concerning a rummage sale they were having. Their advertisement mentioned some items that the church for which I preach was needing and was looking for, so I decided to go take a look-see. As it turned out, this was the Wheat Ridge Heights “Church of Christ.” Among the things they were selling were some old issues of Leroy Garrett’s Restoration Review. Naturally my interest, at that point, was stirred, so a discussion ensued between myself and the preacher, Dr. C.W. Zenor.

Zenor wanted to know what “wing” of the church of Christ I was associated with. I informed him that I was not in any “wing” of the church. (It is fascinating to me that Garrett and Ketcherside are always objecting to the numerous groups in the “restoration movement” and, yet, they are the only ones I ever hear speak of the church as having “wings” or “branches.”) At this point, I referred to seeing the Restoration Review copies and wanted to know if he agreed with Garrett’s concept. At that, Dr. Zenor made a statement which suggested the title for this article. He said, “We would consider Leroy Garrett to be considerably to the right of us.”

Now, anyone who is aware of the degree of liberalism into which Leroy Garrett has fallen will be just as shocked as I was to find someone in the “Church of Christ” who considers Garrett to be more conservative than themselves. Yet, that is what Zenor said. Of course, I was not one to leave the matter there. I had to know how that could be, so I asked Zenor specifically what he had in mind. What he said in reply to that is even more amazing than his previous statement. In describing the difference between himself and Garrett, Zenor said, “Leroy Garrett believes in the literal inspiration of the Bible, the literal virgin birth, and the literal resurrection.” What significance he may put on the word “literal,” I do not know. I do not understand how there could be a figurative virgin birth, but those are Zenor’s exact words.

Now, is Garrett to be exonerated because the “classical liberals” in “the church” consider him to be a conservative. By no means. When brethren are taught over and over again that doctrinal differences do not affect one’s fellowship with God and should not affect one’s fellowship with false teachers, what argument can be used to refuse a man like C. W. Zenor the right to preach for them. It is liberalism in its earliest forms, the rejection of the need for Bible authority in all that we do, which leads one to be permissive of fellowship and unity and that in turn leads one into the extreme of liberalism taught by men such as Zenor. Brethren, when you are hearing the sweet speeches of a man enticing you to find a way to fellowship the liberals remember that C.W. Zenor and others of like persuasion are down the road somewhere beckoning you to deny the basic principles upon which the gospel is founded.

Truth Magazine XXIII: 47, p. 765
November 29, 1979