By Stanley Paher
(Editor’s Note: Brother Hafley submitted the following letter from brother Stanley Paher for publication in, Guardian of Truth. I contacted brother Paher and asked for his rebuttal to brother Hafley and gave brother Hafley a similar concluding statement. This exchange on forgiveness is presented with the hope that it will contribute to subject.)
Dear brother Hafley,
I do not subscribe to that august magazine Guardian of Truth, and so your 7 June article on the “Yo- Yo Syndrome” has just recently crossed my desk. Concerning the yo-yo controversy, either you do not understand the on-going discussion, or you are subtle in your defense of a false concept and you must strain the Scriptures you cite to prove your point. None of the points you cite is an example of “Lost-saved-lost-saved” or – “up-down-up-down ” as so ably described, by, Barney Cargile, Jr.
Please reread the Cargile quote and see what he is driving at in describing the yo-yo syndrome. He and about three-fourths of the conservative preachers who agree with him essentially are trying to combat the unsettling idea that the faithful child of God is in and out, in and out, up and down, up and down, depending on whether or not he might have an “‘unforgiven sin”on his record in heaven. Less than a quarter of the conservative preachers, namely you and the rest of your ilk, reject constant cleansing (1 Jn. 1:7-9) and keep timid brethren stirred up by stern, warnings about hell and earthly
rejection if they should inadvertently miss the mark in any of the areas of thought, word, deed or action. In this particular area you and I have strong disagreement.
Your first three examples are not examples of yo-yo and you misread the text by concluding that, say Simon, is an example Of “lost-saved-lost-saved. ” The best you can do is “saved-lost. ” These first three examples are not examples of yo-yoism, because the frame of reference for that term is, as hinted by Cargile, within the context of day-in-day-out sinning and praying. What a difference! The sad thing, my brother, is that I think you do see the difference but you want to confuse unsettling minds on this matter.
Number four is not talking about super yo-yos. You have perverted a beautiful passage on forgiveness and placed it in the context of a brother being saved and lost from heaven’s point of view, when the subject of the passage is earthly forgiveness. What lengths you and others must go to unjustly and unfairly reply to the honest argument of Cargile and others who show the fallacy of your in-out and in-out and in-out of grace concept. Fuzzy thinking, my friend. Number five example is just too far out of touch from reality to comment upon it.
If you and your friends would accept the Bible position of justification (Rom. 4:16) and quit trying to figure out where God saves and unsaves us, then the Baptists would not make fun of you. You do not have a yo-yo position; you have a shallow conception of justification which fruit shows in a certain minority of congregations here and there filled with confused people who are uncertain about their salvation – and it shows when outsiders see a joyless, semi-neurotic band of people try to convert a visitor to such a religion. It won’t work, and your doctrine is dying. I am out of room.
Guardian of Truth XXIX: 1, p. 6
January 3, 1985