In the spring of 1990, brother John Welch preached a sermon at one of the congregations in Louisville, Kentucky in which he made the statement that while Jesus was on earth “he was a man; just an ordinary guy, ordinary man like you and me.”
Several challenged the statement in print and brother Welch responded by stating, “I state unequivocally, here and now, that I do believe in the deity of Jesus before, during, and after his period of time on earth” (Gospel Anchor [September 1990], p. 3). Discussion has continued between brother Welch and several others regarding whether the retraction was a retraction of the doctrine taught or the wording used to express it (see Gospel Anchor [November 1990-February 1991]). 1 am willing to give brother Welch the benefit of the doubt. I do not believe that he is a modernist or trying to establish a sect or cult, as some have said.
In brother Weldon Warnock’s article “Revival of An Ancient Heresy,” published in Guardian of Truth [21 February 1991 ], the controversy over brother Welch’s statement from his sermon and the teachings of some others was alluded to without specifying the occasion or one who stated it. I was aware of brother Welch’s correction and the subsequent discussion surrounding it at the time. Inasmuch as brother Warnock and I were interested in discussing the issue, not the person, brother Welch was not named and no mention was made of his correction. Upon receiving his copy of Guardian of Truth, brother Welch contacted me complaining that it was unfair to publish the allusion to the quotation from the sermon without also noting the retraction. We are willing to print this notice of his retraction in fairness to brother Welch so that none will believe that he defends his wrong statements about Jesus. Brother Welch made no objections to the doctrinal content of brother Warnock’s article.
As brother Warnock wrote at the conclusion of his article, we appeal for brethren to confine themselves to the language of Scripture in expressing the Bible doctrines of the deity and humanity of Jesus. In this all can be united. – Editor
Guardian of Truth XXXV: 5, p. 140
March 7, 1991