When It’s Me and When It’s You

By Mike Willis

Brother H. E. Phillips recently has begun an examination in Searching the Scriptures of the doctrines taught by Carl Ketcherside. Brother Phillips attacks not the person of Carl Ketcherside but his doctrine. However, when Carl Ketcherside commented upon Brother Phillips’ review of his position, these were his words: “In the September issue of Searching the Scriptures, our brother in Christ, H. K Phillips, has the following editorial attack upon me and my work . . . . . His paper is a propaganda journalistic organ for our brethren who have created a test of union and communion out of what they refer to as ‘institutionalism.’ . . . I solicit your prayers for men like Brother Phillips, brethren who think they best serve the Father by attacking his other children” (“Coming Under Fire,” Mission Messenger, Vol. 34, No. 12, p. 190).

Little in this quotation would have bothered me had it not been that just three issues earlier in the Mission Messenger, the situation was reversed; instead of Brother Ketcherside being reviewed, he was reviewing the doctrines of another. In Mission Messenger, Vol. 34, No. 9, he replied to an article written by Reuel Lemmons. Notice the difference in what Brother Ketcherside has to say about reviewing the work of another child of the Father when he is doing the reviewing instead of being reviewed: “It has been my intention, God being my helper, to refrain as much as conscience will permit, from direct confrontation with other editors among the brethren. If they differ with my position I prefer to publish notice of their presentation and urge my readers to secure it and read for themselves. I want no rival except Satan and I do not intend to edit a partisan journal. Occasionally, however, I feel it necessary to state my convictions in opposition to an editorial, and when I do, I seek to be as objective as possible without being objectionable” (p. 129). Later, in that same issue, he charged Brother Lemmons with prejudice: “Brother Lemmons cannot deal honestly with the question because he already has his mind made up” (Ibid., p. 136). Surely, Brother Ketcherside was not reading the heart of Brother Lemmons, was he?

When Brother Ketcherside is being reviewed, the one reviewing is launching “an editorial attack upon me and my work.” The one reviewing Brother Ketcherside is one of those men “who think they best serve the Father by attacking his other children.” As a person uninvolved in these exchanges, looking at these two articles, to me Brother Ketcherside appears to have double standards–one for him and a different one for others. Let us all walk and be measured by the same rule. As a child growing up in East Texas, I learned a saying, which Brother Ketcherside needs to learn. It said, “Don’t dish it out if you can’t take it.”

Brother Ketcherside calls Searching the Scriptures “a propaganda journalistic organ.” Surely, Mission Messenger would not be a propaganda journalistic organ for the “unity-indiversity” fellowship faction, would it Brother Ketcherside? “And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” Brother Ketcherside, is your labeling Searching the Scriptures a “propaganda journalistic organ” one of those debaters tactics to which you referred in Mission Messenger, Vol. 34, No. 4, p. 62 in your criticism of the brother’s speech on fellowship which was delivered at Florida College? As one can see, not all that flows from Brother Ketcherside’s pen is honey. Sometimes Ketcherside “speaks with forked tongue!

March 22, 1973