Open Letter

Ron Lloyd's Letter to Colly Caldwell

Foreward by Mark Mayberry

 


As one of the signatories of the Open Letter, brother Ron Lloyd received a form letter response from brother Colly Caldwell, president of Florida College, that was dated June 30, 2000. Both the Open Letter and brother Caldwell's response have been widely circulated, in this journal, and elsewhere. On the 23rd of July, brother Lloyd responded to brother Caldwell in a private letter. Several months have elapsed since Ron mailed his letter to FC, but to my knowledge, no response has been forthcoming.

Sadly, brother Ron Lloyd passed away on September 11, 2000. Before his death, Ron shared a copy of this letter with me. Now, his wife, Lolita, has given me permission to share it with others.

Brother Lloyd's letter to brother Caldwell was well-written, to the point, and deserving of wide circulation. It manifested a good and honorable disposition throughout. If heeded, it should cause the recipient to seriously reflect upon the direction in which the institution over which he presides is headed. Whether it, or other letters like it, will receive proper consideration is something that only time will tell. Unfortunately, early signals from Tampa have not thus far been encouraging.

When I personally commended Ron for his letter, he replied, "Well, I don't know who said it, maybe Babbington, but anyway it is to the effect that evil prospers when good men remain silent. At least some are speaking." Ron Lloyd dedicated his life to speaking the truth. A soldier has now fallen, and a good man rests from his labors. Yet, brother Lloyd's influence remains. Through this letter, he being dead yet speaketh. In this day of compromise and accommodation, may faithful brethren everywhere be encouraged to stand for the truth.

Yours,

Mark Mayberry


From: Ron Lloyd
Clute, Texas

To: Colly Caldwell
President of Florida College
Temple Terrace, Florida

Date: 23 July 2000

Brother Caldwell:

Thank you for your letter. I do not recall that I have met you. I know you by your good reputation. I believe that Grant Caldwell who was at Longview, Texas several years ago when I lived in Tyler, is your brother in the flesh.

The matters in the letter that I chose to sign were "reported commonly." I do not recall that you were charged with false teaching. The concern is that the false teaching which is the object of the letter is not being opposed at F.C. as were the false doctrines of the institutional brethren in the 50s. Tolerance for matters of judgment is demanded by Romans 14. Patience must be exercised toward those who are growing in the faith. When those who are instructed well and are in the position to teach others teach false doctrine such public false teaching must be opposed as per Philippians 1:17 and Galatians 2:11. This certainly should be the case in an institution that is under the control of Christians.

3 or 4 years ago I held a meeting in Clarksville, TN. The preacher there at that time was Mark Mayberry. Mark and other brethren visited with brother Hill Roberts concerning his program on origins. I read some of brother Hill 's material. The philosophical notions of most scientists [as opposed to positions based upon empirical data] concerning origins were suggested as correlating with Genesis 1 and 2. Godly men reported that 2 Peter 3:8, "one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day," was quoted in a context suggesting that time is unimportant in the discussion of the origins of non-living matter. This is not the context of the passage as Peter wrote it. Quotes from brother Hill's material are on several internet sites including watchmanmag.com. Brother Hill has not been misunderstood or misrepresented.

Organic evolution is rejected by brother Hill. Apparently he teaches effectively on that truth. However, to place broad interpretations on the six day period of creation is to shake the foundations of truth. This is not to imply that theistic organic evolution is accepted by brother Hill. It is to state that the position regarding eons of time relative to the appearance of non-living matter is part and parcel of evolutionary thought and that it is fundamental to atheistic evolution, theistic evolution and evolution as the deists would have it.

Brother Hill's views concerning the time involved in the six days of creation are similar to those of brother Shane Scott who is one of the instructors at F.C.. I believe brother Scott's view is known to some of his students. It could hardly be otherwise, as I am sure brother Scott is an honest man of conviction.

I have preached since 1955 and taught in the public schools in 1957. Until 1993 I provided my primary support as I preached. For 35 years, I taught science, usually at the junior high school level, with the exception of 4 years when I was in administration. 11 years of this tenure was in California, the balance in east Texas. I am not a scientist, only a teacher. In secular and spiritual teaching I labeled organic and inorganic evolution as bad science. It is not science at all. Science requires a hypothesis to be tested in controlled experiments by many researchers. Evolution is not a theory. Evolution is a hypothesis. The vast periods of time alleged present a variable which cannot be duplicated in the laboratory. In spite of this discrepancy evolution is often referred to as if it were a fact. Indeed, most in the scientific community, are prone to defend it as factual. Evolution whether of non-living or living matter cannot be based upon Biblical principle. Now we hear some brethren accepting that the earth is eons old.

I trust there is agreement that Adam and Eve appeared on earth, on the sixth day, as functionally complete and mature individuals, as did other life forms. From whence then is the Biblical logic that God did not create fully functional non-living systems to support those living systems of plants, animals and men? When brethren cater to any part of evolutionary thinking they become more acceptable to the world and begin to step away from the Word.

One reaction to the letter has been a plea not to fuss about things that do not pertain to salvation. I know that good brother is pained and very sincere. Being in the objecting minority is not pleasant to me. I have been there before. I recall, as a young man, that good brethren of mature years told me back in the '50s that general benevolence, missionary-type arrangements for preaching and church provided entertainment were matters of judgment and didn't affect fellowship. By extension, one was to conclude that these were not matters affecting salvation. This kind of thinking leads to an appeal to unity in diversity and drifts toward the so called core gospel which is popular among some liberal brethren and most sectarians.

More and more matters are placed in the judgment bend. Consider brethren such as Max Lacado and Rubel Shelley. Instrumental music is now a judgment. Lacado's "In the Grip of Grace" speaks of baptism in a way foreign to my understanding of Bible teaching on the subject. Using women in the public worship seems to have passed the judgment stage in some quarters and has become a matter to be acted upon. I have read statements of some of these brethren to the effect that they once took the firm positions that you and I take. Look at them now. The camel's nose in the tent insures that soon the hindquarters will be along.

I do not question your academic credentials, your beliefs, your sincerity to do right and I most certainly do not question your character. I am sorry that our correspondence is not positive. I cannot treat the positions being taken by others relative to God's creation as matters that are unclear and subject to broad interpretation regarding time. I believe they are matters of doctrinal concern which are influencing those who are under instruction. Deuteronomy 29:29, Job 11:7 and Romans 11:34 teach me to restrict myself to what the Bible says and to avoid speculations. Some would call this an appeal to ignorance. It is rather that I recognize God as The Almighty and know that he does as He will. The Bible is not silent on the matters of my concern herein.

It is painful to be called hypocritical, uninformed or tolerated as a misguided zealot by brethren. I well recall similar treatment from those who were dear to me in the controversies of the 50s and 60s. All of my brethren personally known or unknown are dear to me. I love the brotherhood. Surely our love for God because of his word should be the tie that binds.

In closing may I recommend "Creation's Tiny Mystery," by Robert V. Gentry, published by Earth Science Associates, 1992, if you have not read it? This is among the best secular writings, in my view, relative to the issue of the time involved in the creation. Gentry is a physicist and escapes the censure of the scientific community on the score that creationists are ONLY biologists or engineers. It is a secular work and it has not affected my faith which is based on the faith. Gentry presents impressive data which the scientific community is unwilling to consider because it calls in question their absolute thinking regarding eons of time.

Brotherly,

Ron Lloyd
(address withheld in this publication)


email Mark Mayberry at MarkMayberry@att.net

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