A Reader's Letter to Mitchell
A Reader's Letter to Mitchell
Dear Mr. Mitchell:
Having read your exchange with Mr. Farrell Till, I felt I should
write and share with you my thoughts on your discussion.
I grew up in the so-called "Church of Christ" (sat under
Leroy Brownlow at the Polytechnic C of C in Fort Worth and for several
years under Roy Deaver at the Brown Trail C of C in Hurst). I
proselytized my (future) wife, while still in high school (she was a
hell-bound Baptist), and we were married in the Glen Garden C of C in Fort
Worth by Andrew Connelly, a missionary to Africa for many years and a
close friend. I attended Fort Worth Christian College for two years
(editor of the school paper), worked for Star Bible Publications for three
years (an evangelistic publishing firm supported by C of Cs), then went on
to attend Abilene Christian University. I majored in Bible, with the goal
of becoming a preacher in "the Lord's Church." I was a Sunday
School teacher in the Highland Church of Christ in Abilene (producers of
_Herald_of_Truth_ television program), and my wife was a secretary in
the Highland church for Stanley Shipp, a missionary to South America
supported by the Highland Church.
Only a few credit hours away from graduation and after many
discoveries that what I had been taught as "the truth" were not
in the Bible at all--that, indeed, we in the C of C "spoke where the
Bible did not speak and were not silent where the Bible was silent"
in many, many areas--I decided that I could not, with a clear conscience,
continue in this pursuit, so I dropped out and moved back to Fort Worth
in pursuit of an honest way to support my family.
Since then, I have met with Christians in my home for many years
for Bible studies, attended many rallies and "gospel meetings"
and have done everything a good "member of the church" should
do. When it finally dawned on me that all of God's sheep were not all in
one corral (the C of C nondenomination), I broke free and began to have
fellowship with many other believers outside that small, shrinking sect
and have never looked back.
I know how you are probably thinking of me at this point. I've
read all the books and tracts that you've read and memorized all the pat
scriptures that you've probably memorized. So I don't expect you to think
very highly of me. I would not be surprised if you wrote me a scathing
reprimand, as you did Mr. Till as reprinted in the latest issue of _The
Skeptical_Review_. I assure you [that] it would only confirm your lack
of love for "erring brethren" such as me, even as it showed your
lack of _true_Christian_love_and_concern_ for Mr. Till. It was
obvious to me and was surely evident to all the "unbelievers"
who read Mr. Till's publication. I imagine many of your brethren who read
Mr. Till's paper were very embarrassed by your letter, not to mention your
miserably feeble attempt to answer his proposition on the slaughter of the
And the fact that you do not wish to continue any further
discussion is proof to all of your total defeat at his able hands. This is
pure "chicken-livered," as we say here in Texas. I fear you'll
lose some rewards in heaven for such a tactic, Mr. Mitchell. I'm quite
sure the Apostle Paul would never give up in an attempt to convert such a
leading critic of the Holy Scriptures. In fact, I'm almost positive he
would have considered it a special privilege to continue to have such a
vast audience of skeptics and unbelievers as you have had in the pages of
_TSR_. Perhaps you have better things to do down at the church study
each day, like warming over old sermons for folks who probably long ago
tuned you out (you can just generate so much enthusiasm from the audience
with subjects like "Why We Do NOT Use Instruments of Music in the
Church" or "The Five Steps in the Plan of Salvation").
Anyone who really believed with all his heart that he held _the
Truth_ that could set men free would not "turn tail and run"
at the first naughty name that was applied to him by a poor, lost atheist.
But you can rest in the knowledge that you are not the first
"defender of the faith" to yell "uncle" in their
confrontation with Mr. Till. He is racking up quite an impressive array
of poor country preachers who are out to make a name for themselves by
trying to defend the Bible from his onslaught. And I, for one, am
learning how weak our position really is. Is there no one in the land
willing to take a stand against this Goliath of skepticism--not just until
they have "made a name" for themselves among their brethren.
Not just so they can add their "written debate" to their resumes
so they can boast of how many giants they have felled when their flock has
tired of them and they are ready to "move up" in the C of C
hierarchy. But men who can continue to fight, no matter how many names
they are called, no matter how much the other guy cheats by not keeping
his end of the agreement. I can just hear Paul saying, "We have
completed the agreed number of exchanges, so I'm going to quit
I know, in your pride, Mr. Mitchell, you feel that you
"won" the debate. Let me assure you, you only served to
solidify Mr. Till and his "followers" even deeper in their
unbelief. And those, who, like myself, have some lingering doubts as to
the inerrancy of the Bible are given further reason to doubt by your weak,
inept response. For one, I hope that you do _not_ continue to
publicly embarrass the cause of Christ by continuing. But I pray that
someone might step forward who can answer Mr. Till's arguments
satisfactorily--for the sake of other believers whose faith has been
weakened by your and other fame-seekers' impotent attempts at Christian