By The Elders – East 102 Church of Christ
The following “disclaimer” appeared near the beginning of Vance Trefethen’s first affirmative article (Guardian of Truth, Aug. 18, 1994). “The views expressed in my article are my own and are not intended to represent in any way the views of the elders or members of my home congregation.”
The brief disclaimer is certainly true, but we feel that it is not as emphatic and forceful as it should be. The purpose of this letter is to not only disclaim all of Vance’s views on his proposition, but to indicate our displeasure in him, as a member of this congregation for putting him-self as well as us in the public spotlight. We feel that this discredits our sound objectives in holding fast to God’s simple truth and associates us with the things that Vance has “locked” himself into.
Vance was approached on this matter shortly after we learned of his position. He has been here a couple or three months before we read “Confusion or Consensus” by Bobby Holmes (Guardian of Truth, Dec. 2, 1993) which is how we first heard of his views on the subject. We then ordered, received, and read the book, Confusion or Consensus, for ourselves. We cannot control his thoughts of course, but we requested and he assured us that he would honor our request not to spread his views among our members, nor would he cause us any problems. As far as we know, he has honored our request. A short time ago, we learned that Vance was about to engage in a debate with Tom Roberts on this issue and because Vance is one of our members, this disturbed us.
Since we disagree so strongly with Vance’s conclusions, we regret that this debate has be-come a reality. If it were within our power, we would certainly insure that no further articles were affirmed, denied, or even printed on this because of the possible negative influence that could result from them. Bobby Holmes and Tom Roberts are truly to be commended for their fine efforts in successfully refuting Vance’s arguments, but this does not remove the necessity of this congregation having to respond to questions about what we honestly believe and practice. The die is already cast and we regret it. We encourage all concerned to be assured that we disavow any proclamation of Vance’s views on this subject and hope that no one will feel uncomfortable or skeptical about their worship with us. We are a sound congregation and we sincerely pray (and request your prayers) that we can maintain that soundness, not only on Vance’s “hang-up” but all matters that deviate from the truth. This eldership is striving to function the way God intends for it to function regardless of what Vance or anyone else tries to promulgate.