168 Reed Ave., Holland, Mich.
May 19, 1947
Dear Brother and Editor:
Irrespective of what I think of the balance of your article, in answer to me in the Standard Bearer of April 1, 1947, in re Ladies Aid Sales, there are several of your remarks with which I am not satisfied. The very unbrotherly, if not sarcastic and untruthful, accusations which you hurled at me 1 feel to be sinful on your part, since you place me before the brethren of our Churches and the reading public as a vandal—feigning under the cloak of a Christian, (using the Word of God deceitfully to gain my point of argument over my opponents) in order to establish a fact which is in essence, according to your statements, an untruth.
These methods you employ are not only unbrotherly but are an insult. What other opinion can the reading public receive of me (we brethren) then that we would stoop to such tactics. Tactics which are not only low but devilish use of God’s Word to establish a falsehood as truth, just to gain our point of argument. This is to say the least, a very bad impression you have made of us before the reading public and the brethren of our Churches. I am certain that I (we) have never left such an impression before the Church of God in my (our) walk of life. We have always vigorously championed the truth in love to God and have always sought its welfare. And here with another sweep of your pen you disdainingly placed me before the public and our Churches as a man that would practice such lewdness. This is positively untruthful and false.
Irrespective of who is right or wrong in the argument, you have no right to write about me as you have done. But in order to establish what I seriously contended to be truth of law (though it isn’t the main point in the argument) I have before me a letter from the Deputy Commissioner of Revenue of the State of Michigan, dated May 5, 1947, which states that we have interpreted the law correctly. Let me quote an excerpt to prove this: “I promptly admit that there is nothing I can add to the conclusion or observations made by you as concerns application of the sales tax”.
I am not writing this to flout you nor to obtain a victory over you, nor to exalt myself, but only because you expressed your opinion and based your reasoning on this very point. Because you thought you were right caused you to write as you did but you forgot to be brotherly and accused me of things of which I (we) are not guilty. Nor have I falsified the position, misquoted the law, or used God’s Word unjustly to maintain my point in question. God forbid! that I should ever stoop so low. Neither can I imagine that you expected me ever to use such devilish tactics as that.
Disagree with me if you must. State your position and let the readers judge and do so in a brotherly manner; which is your duty to me and all others.
I have the letter of the Deputy Commissioner of Revenue of the State of Michigan on file, for anyone who may wish to read it. It was not intended for publication and therefore, I do not publish it. The Commissioners of Revenue will publish what they want to make known. Therefore, I ask you to publish this article in its entirety, to which I have a right before G< d and the brethren; to defend myself and state my position (not over against the Ladies Aid Sales this time) but over against you, Editor and brother. That the truth may be vindicated that I am not that “Bogeyman” using God’s Word in vain to gain a sinful end as you will confess through the Standard Bearer to remove the blame placed on us, that all things, also our writing, may be done in the way of God’s blessing. Thus we may continue again as brethren in the Lord, trusting each other that we fully mean to be serious and crave God’s blessing.
Your brother in Christ,
H. A. Van Putten
To provoke no further argument, we will let the brother have the last word. Let the reader compare and judge for himself.