SPRING CHURCH OF CHRIST
Sponsor of the Annual CFTF Spring Lectureship
1327 Spring Cypress Rd. ~ Mail: PO Box 39 ~ Spring, TX 77383-0039
Phone (281) 353 -2707 ~ Fax (281) 288-3676
December 9, 2009
Forest Hill Church of Christ
3950 Forest Hill – Irene Rd
Memphis, TN 38125-2585
Thank you for informing the Spring elders by means of the December 1, 2009 issue of The Forest Hill News (“TFHN”) of your markings of brethren David P. Brown and H. W. (Dub) McClish. You sent the bulletin to the offices of Contending for the Faith (“CFTF”) with which we are associated as an eldership only by sentiment. (Brother Brown expeditiously hand delivered the bulletin to the elders. Please note above the correct mailing address of the Spring Church of Christ.) Both brethren are, however, overseen by the Spring elders.
We, as well as brethren Brown and McClish, were operating under the assumption, proved by you brethren to be false, that you and perhaps some of the faculty of the Memphis School of Preaching (“MSOP”) were not in full agreement with the articles appearing in the February 10, 2009 issue of TFHN. As distasteful as it is to us, your action in marking these brethren have forced us to recognize the harsh reality that you indeed have endorsed and are in full agreement with such articles. What is further distressing is that the implications and repercussions of your endorsement and agreement extend far beyond the then subscribers of TFHN. Please extend our gratitude to brother Grider for informing all that you elders, the MSOP faculty, and Grider are even to the present operating in peace and harmony.
Any marking is a serious matter. This one is especially so because its implications are broader than just the congregations of Spring and Forest Hill. For that reason and in order for us to fulfill our obligations as elders having oversight over two whom you have marked, we respectfully request that you, collectively but endorsed individually, provide us in writing the specific information you considered and the reasoning from the Scriptures you employed in arriving at your decision. Surely you “proved all things” prior to your action. Prove it not only to yourselves, but to us, David, and Dub as well. If only for the sake of David’s and Dub’s souls, surely you are willing to do this.
We reference your announcement in the December 1, 2009 issue of TFHN. You accuse them of a “continual pursuit of sowing discord among brethren.” Even a “continual pursuit” must have a beginning. Please tell us just when this “continual pursuit” began. What were the actions, words, and the like, that constituted “sowing discord”? We are not concerned with sowing “discomfort” if such is deserved. Paul did not say “Have I become your best friend because I tell you the truth?”
You accuse them of telling “outright lies” concerning you, the Forest Hill elders, the Forest Hill evangelist (which we assume to be Barry Grider), MSOP (Did you mean just the faculty, the students, former students, or all inclusive?), and the Forest Hill Congregation (Did you mean each and every member, individually, or the aggregate?). You further state that the evidence of such lies (and perhaps respecting the “continual pursuit” statement as well) was to be found in the October 2009 issue of CFTF. Please enumerate each and every statement made by Brown or McClish or both, whenever or wherever made, but particularly in CFTF, known by you to be a lie respecting each group mentioned in your announcement. Also, please clearly state the reason such statement is a lie and the truth pertaining thereto. Although you may believe the task to be unduly burdensome, do not let that be a deterrent to an honest effort. In order that our understanding may not be lacking, your responses may be the occasion of further questions.
It is important for us in fulfilling our obligations as elders and for all faithful Christians everywhere to be provided the foregoing in order that all may consider the merits of your action. We certainly do not want such egregious conduct, if indeed it is, to go uncontested.
Given the far reaching implications of your action and the need of the brotherhood to be adequately informed, in your response, do not invoke a right of confidentially. It will not be honored. Likewise, we claim no right of confidentiality for ourselves. You may distribute our communications with you as widely as the distribution of TFHN. We stipulate only that our communications with you be reproduced in their entirety.
Trusting that your response will be timely and thorough, we remain
Kenneth D. Cohn, Buddy R. Roth, Jack T. Stephens, Jr.