22 March 1945
Sarah, My Beloved Darling:
I love you so much more than I ever have before that words of finite beings cannot describe it. At times like these one cannot help but thank God for such a wonderful wife and companion. I certainly miss your letters. I’m happy that I have your old letters with me, for I can read them over and know how you feel and that we are each other’s forever. Often I am reminded of the grand times we have had together in the wonderful Christian fellowship with such friends as Paul and Gen.
Dear, I’m sorry I wasn’t able to write to you last night, but under the conditions it was impossible to do so. Today I happened to run into a couple of old chaplains who came overseas when we did a year ago. But the highlight of the whole day was the privilege I had in spending about three hours of this afternoon and evening with Paul Allen. As you know, he is the former pastor of Judson. We talked as fast as we could all the time because we have had some good times together. Our mean topic of conversation was the New Mission Society. He told me several things I didn’t know before and I am certainly glad for all he told me. Both of us are definitely not in favor of the new society. From all I have heard before, I hardly know what to say definitely. But as you remember, I did feel deep down in my heart that it was most unwise to do something like that, especially at a time like this. If some of those fellows who are leading that group could only realize what they are doing to different churches. As for example, East Moline. Most certainly they should not have had something like that happened now. They are not too strong and that question in that church can hinder its work for years to come unless it is handled wisely. Paul told me about what the pastor of Foster Park did, splitting the church over that very thing. Taking a group out and starting a new church. Paul knows Brushwyler very well also, they attended Wheaton College at the same time. I just wish we could sit down and talk this thing over, Dear. Keep this to yourself, but the very reason he resigned from Judson was over this issue. They have gone all out for this new group, and as a result, they have had several very good people leave and he said he just didn’t care to return to the church under such circumstances, that is, if and when he comes back. Darling, it did me more good to see Paul than can be described. He said the same thing. We both feel that some of those men who are so aggressive in this movement ought to be in our shoes and maybe they would see things just a little bit different. Paul has done everything he could and he, as I, find that if you reach 10% of your men at all times you are doing about as good as can be found in the service. Of course, if you go out on a mission you generally find an increased attendance, but after the mission is over it drops back to normal. He also told me about Dr. Pierce’s attitude now. I consider myself a conservative and always shall, but I certainly cannot see the attitude of some of those who consider themselves fundamentalists. It seems almost as ridiculous as the days when the men of the church were quibbling over how many angels could stand on the point of a pin. This day, as well as the future, calls for Christ and we both feel that He can be presented attractively without arguing and dissipating our strength in little theological questions. There are things I believe but I’m not going to be dogmatic about it to the extent that I hinder men from knowing Christ. I am also aware of the fact that there are many things we don’t know fully and for that I’m banking my all on Deuteronomy 29:29. I’ve used every available moment since being in the Army to know and be better acquainted with the Bible and Christ and I cannot see anywhere where Christ was dogmatic about His mission or message. It seems to me dogmatism leads to dependence on man and his abilities, whereas living and teaching the Christ life and letting men make decisions on the basis of the attractiveness and challenge of Christ, we give the Holy Spirit the opportunity for His rightful ministry and work. So often I have noted these fundamentalists preach with an attitude of look at me, I have the answer. If that is judging, I pray the Lord forgive me. I realize only too well that there is a lot wrong with a Willis A. Reed and he needs to grow in grace and knowledge of Christ. So please pray for me, Dear. I am so thankful to God for such a wonderful wife as you are, Dear. In our talk together we also felt the same about how we will be received when we return to civilian life. “They are making over us now, but when we come back it will be a different story.” We are not distressed personally because we want to be where God wants us. I only wish you, Lucille, (Paul’s wife), Paul and I could be together for a long visit. By the way, Paul gave me his wife’s address and he thought, as did, that it would be nice for you to get together sometime. I’m not sure that Lucille remembers me, but she is very nice and I think you will like her very much. The address is, Mrs. Paul C. Allen, 1040 North Haller Avenue, Chicago 51, Illinois. The phone number is Columbus 0277. Paul was not too sure about that telephone number, but he thinks that is it. I think a visit for you two would be most worthwhile. Another thing Paul told me was the fact that Judson was considering Maurice Jackson as pastor, but I’m afraid he may not accept because of their stand on the New Mission Society.
Well, it has really rained a lot today and I’ve been soaked so many times that it feels natural to be wet or just starting to dry out.
Dear, that is about all the news for now. I’ll close for tonight and may God richly bless you and the folks in all things. I love you more than ever, Dear.
Yours, and only yours now and forever
In the love of Christ Jesus.
P.S. Please address me as follows from now on. Also notify all our friends who may be interested, as well as Northern and NSBC.
Chaplain Willis A. Reed 0-529294
Hqs; Special Troops, 7th Infantry Division
APO 7. C/o Postmaster
San Francisco, California