By Weldon E. Warnock
My article, “A Few ‘Licks’ for Florida College,” was far more powerful than I realized. I thought it was mediocre, to say the most, but evidently I was wrong about its impact. Brother Jeffery Kingry has been provoked by it to write two responses, the second of which appears in this issue. Apparently, he was not satisfied with his first one. I ignored brother Kingry’s first reply, believing that no worthwhile purpose could be served by responding. However, his second article leaves me no choice but to say a few things.
I have re-read my article that has given Brother Kingry such a tizzy and I fail to see where I misrepresented anybody. Jeff said that I misrepresented Brother Royce Chandler. This is news to me! Since when is Royce Chandler spelled, “some brethren,” or “these brethren?” I am sorry that Jeff does not like the way I write, but I write as I see fit and will continue to do so.
It is to my chagrin that brother Royce Chandler’s name has been brought into this matter. Royce is a most dedicated, sincere Christian as well as a capable and competent preacher. I imagine that I know Royce better than Jeff does. He needs no unsolicited defense of himself. He is most able to take up for himself. But Brother Chandler was misunderstood by brethren in the May, 1973 issue of Torch. Brother Chandler wrote, “Secular courses taught by Christians are desirable and almost universally admitted. Why not concentrate on teaching these secular subjects in an atmosphere of belief, and just disband the organized Bible departments? What would it hurt? If the main function of a school is to provide a secular education taught by believers, then what harm would be done to that function by disbanding the Bible department? When we each do our own work, such things as Bible departments or any other questionable organization will have no need to exist.” You can readily see why brethren would get wrong impressions from these excerpts, except brother Kingry, of course.
Granted that Brother Chandler’s article prompted me to write mine, I certainly made it general enough to catch every brother who is opposed to Bible colleges and broad enough to miss Royce if he were misunderstood (which he was). Is not Jeff aware of some preachers who are opposed to the Bible being taught at Florida College, even some young preachers who attended F.C.? Where has he been the past few years? There is nothing wrong with my article and those who defend the Bible college must do so on the same basis that I did. It would be interesting to see Brother Kingry write an article in defense of the Bible department of Florida College and refute those who argue the unscripturalness of such an arrangement. What about doing this for us, Jeff?
One of the board members of Florida College wrote me and said, “Appreciate very much your article, ‘A Few ‘Licks’ for Florida College.’ Those of us on the Board of Directors appreciate your backing of the school in all matters when we are right.” (Jeff, you can guess who the board member was, and if you ask me point blank as you did about Royce, I will tell you who it was, also.) I appreciate the commendable words above and I am happy to be able to commend Florida College to the youth of our day. I am glad that it exists and value all the good it does. We need more to personally get behind the school and lend their moral and financial support. Actually, if Brother Kingry’s approach is indicative of being a staunch friend of Florida College, the school needs no enemies.
A fellow-preacher wrote Jeff a letter, a copy of which was sent to me, “I have just finished reading your article, `Let’s Put It In The Light’ and also recall reading Weldon’s article on Florida College. In my opinion, Weldon’s brief article was both fair and honest. It had several good points; apparently in Weldon’s judgment, the matter was best dealt with generally, and I whole-heartedly concur. I believe you overlooked this important point.” Is it not strange that this brother thought my article was fair and honest, but Jeff thought it was divisive and misrepresentative?
Interesting enough, the article that Brother Kingry is trying to defend (Brother Chandler’s article) is a general article. Brother Chandler wrote, “If that is true and we believe it (that is, the church is perfectly equipped to build itself up, W.E.W.), why do some of us hold so vehemently to the absolute necessity of maintaining a college Bible department for the training of young men to become preachers and elders?” Who did Royce mean by “some of us?” Jeff, did you chastise Royce for his ambiguity? If not, you had better get at it or you show partiality toward brethren. Really, I do not know of any among us who believes in the “absolute necessity” of a college Bible department. I believe the church can get along without such a department, but this is not the reason brethren established a Bible department at Florida College. It exists because of the benefits it affords young men and women. We could get along without Torch and Truth Magazine, as well as all the others, but we must agree that they can be a valuable asset to edification. The same thing is true with college Bible departments.
In conclusion, may I say that “it has come to a sad state of affairs when a supporter and former alumnus of the school” cannot write a general article about the merits and right of the Bible department in the school without being branded as guilty of misrepresentation.
Truth Magazine, XVIII:22, p. 8-9
April 4, 1974