By Mike Willis
Edward O’Neal Bragwell Added To Staff
We are happy to announce the addition of brother Ed Bragwell, Sr. to the writing staff of Guardian of Truth. Brother Bragwell will make a fine addition to our staff of writers; our readers will appreciate what he has to say.
Brother, Bragwell.was born 28 May 1936 in Franklin County, Alabama (near Russellville). In September 1955, he married his wife, Patsy. To this union, five children have been born. Their oldest son, Eddie O Bragwell, Jr. (28 years old), preaches in Anniston, Alabama. Eddie’s twin sister, Vicki is married to Doug Russell. The Bragwell’s second son, Martin Loyd (26), preaches at Martinez, Georgia. Their other two children are Carla Dawn (22) and Jonathan Tyler (11). Their four older children are Christians; the two married children are married to faithful Christians. They have four grandchildren.
Brother Bragwell has preached full-time at Pontotoc, MS; Mt. Hope, Trinity, and Hanceville, AL; Charlotte, TN; and Fultondale, AL. He has been in Fultondale since August 1970. Brother Bragwell has written in various subscription journals circulated among brethren and has published several church bulletins through the years. His work in The Reflector demonstrates his writing ability, his loyalty to the truth of God’s word, and his wisdom. Though we have not had close personal contact, I have learned to respect brother Bragwell through his writings. He is held in high esteem in Alabama. Consequently, we are happy to have him working with us in Guardian of Truth.
Diestelkamp-Patton Exchange On Forgiveness
Elsewhere in this issue (pages 16 and 17) is the first exchange between brethren Marshall Patton and Leslie Diestelkamp on the subject of forgiveness. During the latter part of last December, brother Leslie Diestelkamp, sent me two articles disagreeing with some things which I had written over a period of time on forgiveness. I had encouraged brother Diestelkamp to write an affirmative proposition which he could defend on the subject; in response, he wrote the two affirmative articles to be published in this exchange without a proposition.
After reading this exchange and some other correspondence which I was receiving, I became convinced that too much of the issue was becoming centered on Mike Willis. I asked myself, “Who besides me cares whether or not I have always been consistent? Who cares how many brethren agree or disagree with me?” The issue must always be, “What does the Bible teach?”
Consequently, I sought a means of removing Mike Willis from the center of the issue in order that the teachings of the Bible might be the center of the focus of our attention. I decided that if I could persuade someone else to reply to these articles, asking him to ignore whatever personal references to me were in the article and respond only to the doctrinal teachings, brethren would be better served by the exchange. Consequently, those comments related to what Mike Willis believes will not be replied to in the interest of a less clouded study of the Bible issue.
The two participants in this discussion, Leslie Diestelkamp and Marshall Patton, are two of the most respected brethren among us. There is an issue of significance about which brethren are disagreed, as both writers recognize and admit. In the interest of adding to our knowledge of truth in a calm study of the word of God, these brethren have written. May each of us read the exchange with an understanding of our responsibilities before God.
Finley Article Regarding Darwin Chandler
Elsewhere in this issue (pg. 6) is an article by Ernest Finley. Brother Finley has taken the time to document the apostasy of brother Darwin Chandler from the Lord. Brother Chandler left the church to work with our liberal brethren about a year ago; more recently, he left the liberal brethren to work with the Charismatic movement. Brother Finley relates the apostasy of brother Chandler as kindly as one can.
I appreciate his work. Writing such an article causes some to compare the author to a watchdog or “guardian of the truth.” There are many thankless jobs which one must do and this is one of them. I, for one, would like to commend and thank brother Finley for his work on this article. An article such as this serves several purposes: (1) it reminds each of us that he can fall from grace (1 Cor. 10:12); (2) it demonstrates that the desire to challenge the “old paths” is dangerous and ultimately leads to the acceptance of denominationalism; (3) it serves to warn others of the error in order that they might “take heed.” Brother Chandler has already led several others into his denominational errors; we should do all that we can to prevent further damage to the kingdom of God.
Brother Finley relied heavily on two taped sermons by brother Chandler. One was preached in the liberal church, explaining why he left “anti-ism”; the other was preached in a Charismatic church explaining why he left the church of Christ.
Guardian of Truth XXIX: 11, pp. 322, 341
June 6, 1985