The New Gospel Guardian
Nearly fourteen years ago the original Gospel Guardian appeared, titled and formatted by my brother Cled and me after we had read together Paul's appeal to Timothy. "O Timothy, guard that which is committed to the trust" (I Timothy 6:20) with the added and final charge, "that good thing which was committed unto thee guard by the Holy Spirit which is in us." (II Timothy 1:14)
The announcement and appearance of the Gospel Guardian caused a sensation - a swell of sympathy and a surge of sentiment that are yet widely felt. The Gospel Guardian was doctrinal and controversial to the core. The prevailing issue was premillennialism and the issue was met. But the limited resources of the editor made this venture of short duration, and after a few months the Gospel Guardian laid its armour down. Its opposers everywhere exulted and its enemies in all their camps held jubilee. But not for long. Sensing the need, able brethren soon provided the means to revive it under the title of the Bible Banner, which buckled on the armour at the exact scene of battle where the Gospel Guardian had laid it down. This issue was still premillennialism, and again it was met. Of the crusade against this heresy led by the Guardian and the Banner it can be truly said: "We came, we saw, we conquered."
But to the menace of millennialism there was then added, as an incipient issue, the inroads of secular institutionalism into the sacred precincts of the church. The Bible Banner met this issue then and there, has met it ever since, is meeting it here and now, and we shall "continue to meet it hereafter and forever, for life and duration of the Banner and the Guardian or the tenure of their successors.
When the Gospel Guardian first appeared other papers were serving the brethren as mediums of news and general teaching in the usual way. So the publication of our magazine was put on the monthly and quarterly basis and the purpose and policy was special, as were slim the issues. But the need is now obvious to all the discerning, who can even see a trend, for a weekly paper that can and will deal forthrightly with imperative issues, and this need has developed into a demand. This is precisely what the new Gospel Guardian proposes to be and do, and the Guardian format is as apropos as over. The Issues are unchanged and are even more pressing. Premillennialism has been openly repulsed but the movement merely went underground and is still at work—insidiously and subversively at work; be not deceived, Ant other issues are now in the open and challenging opposition.
These issues shall be met. The new Gospel Guardian edited by Fanning Tater Tant with Myself as co-editor, will stand on these doctrinal issues with the same vigor and determination that characterized her predecessor. Her field will be expanded under the new arrangement and her usefulness to the cause thereby increased. But let not the enemies of the truth suppose for one moment that a change in editorial set-up presages a change in policy. Fanning Yater Tant (son of the late J. D. Tant) will have the support and backing of any right thinking man among us. Men who wrote for the original Guardian and for the Banner (men whose metal has been tested and tried in the fires of battle) will stand beside him. They shall not falter; they shall not fail. As for the editor himself, there is no man living today outside the circle of my own flesh and blood to who I am closer and in whose doctrinal integrity I have more confidence. The name "Tant" has for too many years been synonymous with sound teaching for it to bring comfort to the compromisers or hope to the heretics.
The battles on these issues have been too hard fought and long defended to yield now to compromising elements within or retreat before advancing columns of error without. Let no one mistake a period of silence for surrender nor the biding of time for abandoning battle. We still stand with Micaiah, Elijah and Paul. To the time serving prophets of Ahab, Micaiah said: "As the Lord liveth, what the Lord sayeth to me that will I speak." In Elijahs prayer to God on Mount Carmel, he said: "Let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word." And as the curtain was descending on the stage of his apostolic preaching, Paul's plea to Timothy was for him to guard the gospel.
So in the might of the God of Israel and in the none of the Christ of the church, is the spirit of the indomitable Paul, with an all-out effort to stem the tide of digression again, to stay the subversive influences of compromise, and to uphold the truth in the midst of the multiplied defections and departures that confront and surround us, that the pure church of Christ may be preserved unto our children, let us all who honor this heritage and espouse this cause, and who are thus likeminded, say together in resounding unison—THEY SHALL NOT PASS!