“A Side…That I Never Knew Existed”

 

By Dub McClish

Introduction

A recent article by John Rose (“An Open Letter to Garland Elkins, Dave Miller, and Miller’s Supporters,” CFTF, March 2009) chronicled his and his wife’s visit with brother Garland Elkins on July 22, 2008. Among other interesting things, brother Rose revealed that at one point brother Elkins claimed to have seen “a side of Dave [Watson] and Dub [McClish] I never knew existed.” I must assume that he had reference to our reactions to the grievous fellowship confusion and compromise precipitated by the scandal relating to Apologetics Press (AP) in May-June 2005 and the horrendous fallout therefrom. As a brief memory refresher, said fallout included the following:

    • Expulsion of AP’s co-founder and executive director, Bert Thompson
    • Premature signing of a “blank check” statement of support for AP by 60 brethren, when it appeared AP might fail
    • Appointment of Dave Miller (an impenitent false teacher) to replace Bert Thompson
    • My and Dave Watson’s forced resignations as editor and associate editor, respectively, of THE GOSPEL JOURNAL
    • Numerous fellowship compromises and brotherhood realignments that have occurred in an all-out effort to defend and endorse Dave Miller in order to preserve AP’s existence

Brother Elkins’ statement about me is amazing in view of the following facts:

    • He has heard me speak in scores of lectureships and has likely read hundreds of pages of material I have written over the past thirty-five years.
    • When he directed Spiritual Sword and Power Lectures, respectively, he honored me with invitations to speak and write for those programs year after year, on which occasions He praised my uncompromising, open advocacy of Truth and my opposition to error and its advocates.
    • We have engaged in numerous enjoyable conversations by phone and in person (including several times in his home and/or in mine) in the course of which I did not hide my convictions on any subject of which I am aware.
    • The twenty-one years of the Annual Denton Lectures that I directed were from the beginning characterized by an unapologetic stand for the Truth and against error. Garland Elkins, from the inception of that program, incessantly praised my efforts in this regard (he was one of three men I included on every one of them).
    • He opposed the elder reaffirmation/reconfirmation (elder r/r) program the Brown Trail church in Bedford, Texas, conducted in 1990, which was strongly promoted by Dave Miller and of which he has never repented (www.scripturecache.com > Documents > “Elders, The Reevaluation and Reaffirmation of”).
    • When I openly opposed Mac Deaver’s heresy upon its invasion of the eldership (of which I was a part) of the Pearl Street congregation in Denton, Texas, in 2003 (resulting in my having to resign and leave a work to which I had devoted twenty-three years of my life), he encouraged me in every possible way.
    • He defended me when the remaining Pearl Street elders vengefully tried to destroy me because I had dared oppose and expose their errors.
    • He had nothing but glowing words of praise for my efforts as editor of THE GOSPEL JOURNAL (wherein we constantly both promoted the Truth and opposed error) through the sixty-seven issues of my editorship.

Yet, in the face of all of the above, he avers surprise that I have been outspoken in my continued exposure of Dave Miller and his impenitent errors, and of those who are determined to defend him. I could do no less and remain consistent, both with the Bible (Rom. 16:17–18; Eph. 5:11; 2 John 9–11) and with my own convictions and previous conduct. Brother Elkins’ claim that he has seen “a side” of me in the past four years that he “never knew existed” is a dog that will not hunt and a bird that will not fly—a disingenuous statement that sorely disappoints. Truth be told, rather than professing to see “a side” of me he “never knew existed” in the wake of the AP tragedy, he knows me well enough that he could have accurately anticipated my reaction. In fact, he knew and applauded this “side” of me until June/July 2005.

A Side…I Never Knew Existed” Is a Two-Way Street

In numerous conversations regarding the last four tragic years of heartbreaking alienations, many of us have confessed that we have observed (and continue to observe) “a side” of many brethren we “never knew existed.” This previously undetected “side” of these brethren has involved such things as:

    • Inconsistencies between pre- and post-June 2005 behavior
    • Inconsistencies between oral teaching and practice
    • Stilled voices against error and its advocates
    • Greater loyalty to persons and institutions than to the Lord and His Truth
    • Decisions based on monetary pressures rather than on Scriptural principle
    • Refusal to respond to earnest inquiries from faithful brethren
    • Vicious attacks against brethren who dare question the behavior of the attackers
    • Refusal to defend questioned behavior

Several of us have stared in almost shocked amazement as we have observed the startling degree of compromise into which various brethren, many of whom were once our esteemed and close associates, have ventured. These matters have brought us inexpressible heartache and sadness. Among those who have revealed “a side…that I never knew existed” are the following:

Garland Elkins

This fearless and valiant opponent of error for so many years at one time opposed Dave Miller’s elder r/r agenda, and said so in writing (as noted above). None who know brother Elkins can imagine that he has any sympathy for Miller’s idiocy regarding marriage “intent.” Elkins’ opposition to Mac Deaver’s errors on the Holy Spirit (from which errors Miller steadfastly refuses to separate himself) is too well known to need documentation. Elkins is well aware that Miller violated Scriptural fellowship dictates when he bade Godspeed to the apostate Calhoun, Georgia, congregation in 1999. In spite of Miller’s continued justification of these errors and in spite of Elkins’ knowledge of all of these events, he persists in defending Miller and in extending fellowship to him and to his host other defenders. Those of us who have known, admired, and loved this brother for decades would never have imagined his behavior since the AP situation developed.

Who would ever have thought that Garland Elkins would demand a signature on a confidentially pledge before he would discuss Bible principles with them (as he did with John and Michelle Rose)? It is mystifying and troubling to hear a man so well versed in the Scriptures argue that one cannot discern the meaning of a man’s words from what he has written or recorded, as brother Elkins averred to the Roses in a lame effort to defend Miller. Moreover, his statement to them was no momentary lapse. I first learned of his resorting to this puny assertion in 2006. Such argumentation demonstrates an extremity of desperation to defend the indefensible.

Brother Elkins was not of this persuasion when he began frequently and publicly exposing Rubel Shelly’s errors more than twenty years ago. For the most part, he did so on the basis of Shelly’s recorded and/or written messages, rather than being present when Shelly uttered them. I doubt that brother Elkins has ever heard Max Lucado speak, but he has not hesitated to oppose his heresies, as he has those of many others, and rightly so. Suddenly, he has reversed course when it comes to Miller’s errors, and one “had to be there” to discern the meaning of his elder r/r promotions; recordings and transcripts are insufficient.

Further, brother Elkins (and others) should be ashamed to assert that opposition to and exposure of Dave Miller, particularly from me, did not begin until my encouraged “resignation” as editor of THE GOSPEL JOURNAL (July 2005). (Michelle Rose promptly corrected him on that point, which he had to concede.) This assertion is a blatant motive judgment, implying that my opposition to Dave Miller and his supporters is in some way a retaliation related to my departure from TGJ. Contrariwise, the record shows that he (and numerous others) never thought of defending Miller and his errors until June 2005, at which time brother Curtis Cates, then director of Memphis School of Preaching (where Elkins is an instructor), threw his (and MSOP’S) weight behind Miller in order to support a failing AP. I am still astounded that Garland Elkins has “a side” that would take such untenable positions as he has taken in an effort to deflect exposure of and opposition to Dave Miller and his errors. “Shouldest thou help the wicked, and love them that hate Jehovah?” (2 Chr. 19:2). His defending those he should be opposing and opposing those with whom he should be working to bring an erring brother to repentance is “a side” of him I “never knew existed.”

Curtis A. Cates

This beloved brother and I together fought many battles, traveled thousands of miles at home and abroad, engaged in countless conversations, and worked in numerous endeavors together over many years. When I delivered my 1997 Bellview lecture, publicly opposing and exposing the elder r/r error (and naming Dave Miller as its instigator), he was in the audience (he delivered his lecture the same day). He had nothing but praise for and endorsement of what I said. As with brother Elkins, he openly defended me against the merciless and ill-begotten attacks of the doctrinally and ethically corrupt Pearl Street elders in 2003.

He and I worked in wonderful harmony and in constant contact for more than six years to initiate and publish THE GOSPEL JOURNAL. If he ever had a problem with my editorial efforts or emphases, he masterfully hid it. He had only praise for the special issue of TGJ (October 2002) on “Change Agents” (put together by my associate editor, Dave Watson), which issue included an article by Marvin Weir, exposing the elder r/r procedure and Dave Miller’s leading part in it. As late as April 2005, he had only profuse, almost embarrassing public praise for my editorial efforts at the annual TGJ dinner during MSOP Lectures. Such was characteristic of him continually toward me.

Yet, without any change in my approach, in the span of about six weeks, he completely reversed himself regarding my editorial efforts of almost six years. Suddenly, Alabama friendships, politics, and the threat of financial reprisals against MSOP changed all of that. By the time of the July 19, 2005, TGJ board meeting, brother Cates had decided that I was “meddling in congregational affairs” through the paper, that I was turning TGJ into another Contending for the Faith (a “mortal sin,” indeed!), that I was a malicious gossip, and that I had lost all credibility and would destroy the paper if I remained its editor. He even told some folk that the rest of the board pressured him to replace me. (Mind you, this is the same man who has since then for almost four years told folk that I was under no pressure to resign.)

I had no idea that in Curtis A. Cates, long-time Director of MSOP, “a side” existed that would wink at error and compromise the Truth of God’s Word on fellowship (or any other Biblical subject) for any reason. However, when he allowed his name to be affixed to the AP “Statement of Support” (June 2005), he took a fatal step in that direction. Upon learning, after his name was so used, that Dave Miller had been elevated to the top spot at AP, he could still have easily corrected his course, but alas—wisdom, courage, and dedication to the Truth failed him. Instead of quickly and openly disavowing the error he had made that forced him to fellowship and defend a false teacher, he “blinked” and sought to justify his mistake. (Almost comically, Cates still claims to oppose elder r/r, but with a qualifier: “as the liberals practice it.” I suppose that when “non-liberals” [e.g., brother Miller] practice it that somehow sanctifies it.)

Predictably, once the line was blurred enough to include the impenitent brother Miller in his fellowship “circle,” it was indistinct enough to embrace others he formerly excluded and criticized (harshly at times). These new fuzzy fellowship lines are evident in the MSOP Lectureship rosters since 2005. Various men have spoken who formerly were persona non grata by the school (e.g., directors and faculty of Bear Valley Bible Institute and East TN School of Preaching). Also, brother Cates has appeared on lectureships wherein he publicly bade Godspeed to false teachers (e.g., Stan Crowley at the Schertz, TX Lectures). Brother Cates has “a side…that I never knew existed.”

The MSOP “Family”

Brother Cates’ associates on the MSOP faculty and at the Forest Hill church have displayed “a side” I “never knew existed.” Some of these men have been willing to go through mental contortions to rationalize their defense and fellowship of a brother in error. Where is the leadership of brother Cates’ successor as director of MSOP, brother Bobby Liddell? Rather than standing firm on fellowship as in the past, he joined his predecessor in compromise. Who would have thought Keith Mosher had “a side” that would excuse Miller’s elder r/r error by conceding it to be error, but just “not worth dividing the church over”? Billy Bland has never been bland when there was error or an advocate of error around, but he has been sorely afflicted with spiritual lockjaw regarding these matters. Barry Grider (Forest Hill preacher and MSOP faculty member) has proved himself to be one of Miller’s most ardent cheer leaders over the past four years. His compromising “side” on fellowship is not so surprising; he had let it slip, even before 2005. It blared forth fully in his February 10, 2009, bulletin articles in which he trumpeted his Texas-size fellowship “circle.”

The “buck” for these fellowship lapses at MSOP and Forest Hill stops on the conference table in the Forest Hill’s elders’ meeting room. These men oversee the congregation, and MSOP is part of the their work. Brethren by the hundreds, if not thousands have trusted and admired these men over many years. I did not intend to be prophetic when, in my 1998 address to the MSOP graduating class, I charged the elders to diligently value and protect that trust for, once broken, it would be difficult to rebuild. They have now disappointingly joined their faculty and preacher in a compact of fellowship compromise. Many who had given them a pass on the Miller fellowship issue have now been shaken by their silence in the face of the outrageous statements of their preacher in the aforementioned bulletin articles. Every day they delay their disclaimer, confidence in their leadership and their convictions further wanes. These men have revealed “a side…that I never knew existed.”

Tommy Hicks and the Southside, Lubbock, TX, Elders

Tommy J. Hicks preaches for and directs the lectureship conducted by the Southside congregation in Lubbock, Texas. I have known him since he followed me as the preacher for a congregation in San Angelo, Texas, in 1971. I have valued his friendship and have appreciated his uncompromising stand for the Truth through many years. We have traveled overseas on more than one excursion, and I was pleased to use him frequently on the Annual Denton Lectures. We were more than casual acquaintances. I lost a friend in 2005 when he retreated from his loyalty to the Truth and revealed “a side… that I never knew existed.”

If any “outsider” should be well informed relative to the saga of the Brown Trail church over the past twenty years, he should. He taught in the school of preaching part-time in the 1980s while preaching for the Handley congregation in Forth Worth. He has been at odds with certain leaders at Brown Trail since at least March 1988, when he came away from a four-hour meeting with Maxie Boren. Soon thereafter, Hicks openly exposed the compromising behavior of Boren, at the time the “titular” director of Brown Trail Preacher Training School (although Eddie Whitten was actually managing the school on a daily basis). Hicks first blasted Boren in the Southwest Lectures at Austin, Texas, in April of that year. He stated in part:

Folks, if we had 10,000 Maxie Borens…, the church would go to Hell in a hand basket, because he is not going to publicly take a stand against doctrinal error. He’ll not call names. He’ll not specify individuals and congregations.

In response to the wounded Boren’s outcry, Hicks replied on June 7, 1988, with eight pages of documentation as to Boren’s unwillingness to confront error, in which he repeatedly (and rightly) chided Boren for not taking a stand. He mailed his long response far and wide. Hicks took a stand against Boren, which action resulted in his having to move from the Handley church in Fort Worth later that year.

Hicks well knows the involvement of Brown Trail in the elder r/r program, both in 1990 and in 2002. He also well knows Dave Miller’s leadership in the first episode and his endorsement of the second one (as well as Miller’s marriage “intent” error). Further, Hicks has stated his opposition to both of them—after the AP scandal and upheaval at TGJ. As a member of TGJ’s board, he offered neither objection to nor criticism of Marvin Weir’s exposure of Brown Trail’s 2002 version of the practice (TGJ, 10/02), in which he mentioned Dave Miller’s part. On July 26, 2005, Hicks wrote to Kent Bailey:

Specifically, regarding the false doctrines in which Dave Miller involved himself (i.e., elders “re-evaluation” doctrine and the marriage/divorce “intent” doctrine a la Everett Chambers), we stand with you and every other sound brother—in opposition to them (emph. DM).

By the time of this statement, however, Hicks had allowed himself to become so politically entangled with some others (especially on TGJ’s board) that it would have been “sauce for the goose” if Maxie Boren had circulated some letters chiding Hicks for not taking a stand. Since Boren will not do it, I will do it for him. I will even go so far as to apply Hicks’ own words to his about-face behavior since June-July 2005: “Folks, if we had 10,000 Tommy Hickses…, the church would go to Hell in a hand basket.”

Instead of behaving in harmony with his strong assertion to Bailey, in the 2006 Lubbock Lectures, Hicks invited no fewer than eleven speakers who had signed the infamous AP “Statement of Support”—an in-your-face implicit endorsement of Dave Miller and his errors. He also has had on that and succeeding lectureships other men he would not have thought of inviting as speakers pre-2006. As seen in Curtis Cates, when Hicks broadened his fellowship enough to include Miller’s supporters, he has found it difficult to know where to stop. The spirit of compromise that surfaced in July 2005 is “a side” of Tommy Hicks I “never knew existed”; it has only grown more visible with time.

Knowing the Southside elders over a span of several years in which I spoke and/or conducted the open forum on the Lubbock Lectures, I never anticipated they would support their preacher in his fellowship with error. They, however, stepped right into the same tar bucket. The 2006 lectureship roster was so filled with men who were out of character with every previous year of that lectureship’s existence that twenty-six brethren, most of whom had spoken on the lectureship through the years (some of us every year), sent “A Sincere Expression of Concern” to the elders. They never even acknowledged receiving our plea—so unlike what we had seen in these men over the years—“a side” of them we “never knew existed.”

Barry and Melany Hatcher

I first got to know the Hatchers in 1986 when the Pearl Street church began sponsoring their campaign work in Jamaica. Their first stay (of many) in our home was when their boys were young and when Amanda, their precious adopted girl, was a mere toddler. Knowing their dedication to the Truth, when they decided to work in Indonesia, Lavonne and I were supportive of them in every way. Pat McGee (who later abandoned the faith) was still there at the time. He caused them sore problems and Barry cried long on my shoulder about them. I sympathized with him completely. On one occasion in Singapore, I went with and supported him as he sought to convince brother Ira Y. Rice that McGee was not what he pretended to be.

In 1989 I made my first trip to Indonesia, during which I taught several hours a day in Southern Sumatra Bible College and preached at night (as illness allowed). I rejoiced when the elders at Spring, Texas, accepted oversight of the Hatchers’ Indonesian work. While the Hatchers were stateside and living in Spring between Indonesian tours, Amanda, at the age of twelve, had a heart transplant that failed. Barry called me from Spring to come directly from MSOP Lectures to be one of the speakers at her funeral. In late 2003 I made a second preaching/teaching trip to Indonesia to assist in the Hatchers’ work. That same year, Lavonne and Melany Hatcher worked closely together (though half-way around the world from each other) for months as they co-authored a book for young women, Showing Thyself a Pattern.

The brethren at Spring opened their hearts to the Hatchers during the two years or so they lived there and worked with the congregation before returning to Indonesia after Amanda’s death. During that ordeal, the church stood by them and helped them in every possible way. The congregation did more than merely send money when they moved back to Indonesia. David Brown and Ken Cohn, preacher and elder at Spring, respectively, traveled to Indonesia to assist in the work (David more than once), and the church contributed and shipped clothing, medical supplies, books, and other items to further support the Hatchers and the Indonesian brethren.

Lavonne and I obviously enjoyed a close and cordial relationship with the Hatchers for many years, which we cherished. When the events of June and July 2005 occurred, we were stunned at how quickly that long and close relationship apparently vanished from their memories as fog struck by the sun. Upon learning (from some source other than us) some of the developments from the AP scandal that directly affected us, the Hatchers altogether spurned us after sending only one very brief e-mail message relative thereto. They never asked us for any documentation or explanation of the situation as it related to us. When they moved back to the states shortly thereafter because of visa problems, Barry finally called after several weeks, but then only at the repeated insistence of Ken Cohn, Spring elder. When he called, he engaged only in small talk, studiously avoiding any discussion of the “elephant in the room”—the grievous fellowship crisis—promising to call the next time he was in the area. I’ve not heard from him since (about November 2005), although he has been at nearby congregations more than once since then.

I feel bad for the brethren at Spring, who so faithfully supported and encouraged the Hatchers in their work for several years. When they returned to the U.S. in 2005, Barry drove to Spring, loaded some stored items in a trailer, and left town after barely speaking to any of those brethren. Shameful is the only word that fits such incredible ingratitude. It appears that before they returned to the states, they had decided upon their allegiances in these events. Could their reluctance to face either us or the Spring brethren have been rooted in embarrassment and guilt, knowing that any serious discussion of these matters with us might force them to face their compromise?

It is not hard to see why they had to turn on us and on the faithful brethren at Spring. Getting along with their Alabama connections demanded it. They chose to settle in Montgomery, Alabama, where they quickly reunited with brother Frank Chesser and became members of the Panama Street church where he preaches (and where I suppose the Dave Miller family and other AP employees are still members).

Can anyone gainsay the suggestion that financial considerations played a major role in the Hatchers’ choices? They knew that if they even hinted at any sympathy for me or any continued congeniality toward the Spring church they would be ostracized by the Montgomery folk—whose ties are still very strong with Memphis brethren, who, in turn, have strong influence on others whose support the Hatchers might need. Barry needed to maintain his own support, and he needed to maintain support for the Indonesian brethren. Those factors outweighed such old-timey principles as courage, loyalty to the Truth, observing Scriptural bounds of fellowship, and doing what is right regardless of the consequences. The last time I checked, those were also Scriptural principles. Such pragmatism is “a side” of the Hatchers I “never knew existed.”

Space Fails To Describe Others in Such Detail

B.J. Clarke

Several years ago he rightly refused to speak on a lectureship with Buster Dobbs because of his doctrinal error. He has all but exhausted his considerable vocabulary in his praise of my work over many years. He has boldly and publicly promoted and defended the Truth in many books and pulpits. However, by September 2005, this same B.J. Clarke no longer had such convictions when it came to speaking on “Polishing the Pulpit” with another false teacher, Dave Miller, and speaking several times on other programs with him and with others who fellowship him. He has since stated (as did Garland Elkins) that I did not oppose Miller’s errors until August 2005, when he had to know better. These things are “a side” of brother Clarke I “never knew existed.”

Ken Ratcliff

I worked with him, a TGJ board member, closely and harmoniously for almost seven years publishing TGJ. Before several witnesses, he boldly declared in early 2005 that either he or Stan Crowley, preacher at Schertz, TX (where Ratcliff is an elder and associate preacher), would have to leave the congregation because of Crowley’s MDR errors (Crowley has not repented, and both are still there). In 2003, he demanded TGJ run a disclaimer regarding an article we published by Barry Grider, but by August 2005 he had no trouble accepting him as a co-editor of The “New” Gospel Journal (TNGJ). These behaviors are “a side” of brother Ratcliff I “never knew existed.”

Robert R. Taylor, Jr.

He wrote an excellent book on fellowship (The Bible Doctrine of Christian Fellowship) and thus knows what the Bible teaches on this subject. On another occasion he wrote:

Brethren who constantly associate with false teachers, never confuting them, have not yet learned to hate every false way (Psa. 119:104, 128; Rev. 2:6). Yet they want to maintain a reputation for soundness (Studies in Joshua, Judges, and Ruth, Annual Denton Lectures, ed. Dub McClish, 1994).

He had no problem understanding the demands of Scriptural fellowship regarding such false teachers as James D. Bales, Marvin Phillips, Max King, Rubel Shelly, and Max Lucado. Immediately after it occurred, he wrote (as did Garland Elkins) in opposition to Brown Trail’s 1990 elder r/r program, led by Dave Miller:

I do not believe there is Biblical authorization for what they [the Brown Trail Elder Selection Screening Committee] proposed. I constantly stand amazed at our brethren seeking to tamper with God’s crystal clear pattern. The eldership is clear in Holy Writ. They are seeking to muddy the clear water of such. I view such with great alarm (www.thescripturecache.com > ”Elders, The Reevaluation and Reaffirmation of”).

However, brother Taylor (as others) has a “blind spot” relative to at least one false teacher, brother Miller, associating with and freely fellowshipping him on numerous platforms over the last few years, in spite of Taylor’s admission that Miller advocated and still defends a program that had no “Biblical authorization” and that Taylor viewed “with great alarm.” This behavior is “a side” of brother Taylor I “never knew existed.”

Jackie Stearsman, Brian Kenyon, Gene Burgett—Florida School of Preaching principals

These brethren have historically conducted a school that has faithfully taught the Word to it students. They have conducted a good lectureship for many years that has benefited hundreds of brethren. These men have individually stood for the Truth and unblushingly opposed error and its proponents, both in writing and orally. The last assignment they gave me for their lectureship (2002) involved addressing and exposing the elder r/r error, so it is evident that at that time they recognized the procedure as sinful. Yet, they have seen no incongruity in using several speakers on their lectureship since 2005 who continue to bid Godspeed to and engage in fellowship with brother Miller, the chief advocate of the elder r/r program. Further, they have erected a stone wall around themselves regarding all questions about their fellowship policy and practice, including those from former FSOP teachers and alumni and at least one prospective student. Their only response to such earnest and appropriate questions has been a series of oblique responses in the school paper, The Harvester. In one of these, querists were depicted as “new antis” and in another as those in whom the FSOP board no longer has “confidence” because their questions are judged by them to come from ill motives. I must say of all of these beloved brethren (and their fellow-board members) that these fellowship practices and these reactions to sincere questions constitute “a side” which I “never knew existed” in them.

Conclusion

The brethren I have discussed herein are representative of many more who have taken the same turn. I do not bemoan or begrudge their loyalty choices merely on the grounds of sundered relationships and friendships, as painful as these are. If any of the aforementioned brethren had maintained their long and close relationship with us only out of personal loyalty and/or friendship, they would have been wrong to do so—if we were wrong. The issue in all of this is the motivation for the relationship choices so many have made, which they have made clear. For some it has been a determination to salvage Apologetics Press at whatever cost, even though it meant justifying their endorsement and defense of a defiantly impenitent brother and mitigating and condoning his doctrinal errors they had formerly opposed. For others, it has not so much been a determination to uphold AP itself as it has been the need to maintain their “buddyhood” with those who are thus determined. In either case, there is no Scriptural justification for it.
The political regime now reigning in our nation’s capital “sold” its recent enormous “bail out” packages for various corporations on the basis that they were “too big to fail.” Could it be that some of these politicians learned their tactic from those brethren who decided in June 2005 that AP was “too big to fail”? (Where are those brethren who in 1973 rejected this attitude toward the Herald of Truth program and took part in a marathon meeting that exposed its errors? Some of those who led the charge in that effort have adopted this very attitude toward AP.)

I freely admit that brethren involved with AP have produced some very good work (although it has been tarnished by their own questionable fellowship practices over the years). This being said, how did the church survive through the centuries until AP was established? I submit that there is no human institution “too big to fail” if keeping it afloat means winking at error and defending its egotistical head and his supporters. Verily, many of our brethren have revealed “a side” these past four years I “never knew existed.”

[Note: I wrote this article for and it was published in the July 2009 edition of Contending for the Faith, ed. David P. Brown.]

Attribution: From TheScripturecache.com, owned and administered by Dub McClish.

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