"Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of truth." — (Psalm 60:4)
"Lift ye up a banner upon the high mountain, exalt the voice unto them." — (Isaiah 13:2)
Devoted To The Defense Of The Church Against All Errors And Innovations
Vol.IV No.IX Pg.5
April 1942

Pulpit Propaganda

G. K. Wallace

Propaganda is a means to mislead people today. Our pulpits are not exempt from such means.

The dictators have used propaganda to further their ends in Europe and America. It is hard for us to tell what is news and what is propaganda. Often what the foreign power hopes to do is announced as an accomplished fact or as the desire of the people concerned. Germany has constantly boasted about how they were welcomed by the people of the occupied countries. By this they hoped to destroy resistance in other nations. Sad to say, but true, that we have been subjected to methods of the propagandist in the past year or so.

We can recognize "pulpit propaganda" if we are familiar with the "devices" used by the speaker or writer. The following means are frequently used by the propagandist:

1. The impression is created that the wish of the propagandist is the desire of every one.

It has been but a short time ago that a "Moses" from the East arose to deliver us out of the wilderness of "lunatic journalism." A canvass was made of all the preachers as to the type of paper desired. The "Band Wagon" was rolled out and all urged to climb aboard. "Every one desires it." Several fine and otherwise loyal preachers were led astray by this cry. "The majority desire a change, everyone desires it" was the campaign slogan. The cry that the "people desire it and the rich Moses' from the East will furnish the money," scared almost every editor except the editor of The Bible Banner. If this was not propaganda, why is it that until this day the census was not published? Why did the Christian Leader die if everyone wanted such a paper?

2. Another device used by the propagandist is that which is known as "Glittering Generalities."

The propagandist identifies his program with "virtue" by use of "virtue words." By the use of these words our emotions are stirred. Some worthy cause is used as a "leader" for the propagandist. Maybe he pretends to be a great "missionary" worker. He is so unselfish. He loves everybody. He says "good things" about those who teach premillennialism and condemns "the way" we oppose it. He extols the virtues of Boll and circulates anonymous letters about those who expose Boll's theories. R. H. Boll is by "good words" personified into a great god of grace and truth. Brethren like N. B. Hardeman and Foy E. Wallace, Jr. are classed as "maniacs." Who would want to listen to a crazy man when he could hear the voice of the god of peace, love and great missionary deed?" Thus the propagandist hopes by condemning Wallace and praising Boll that the influence of Wallace will be destroyed while the "sweet and loving Boll" goes about his divisive work.

3. The "transfer" method of propaganda is the way the pulpiteer carries over authority, sanction and prestige from someone that is generally loved and respected. Note the "transfer method coming out of Arkansas. "Brother Brents taught this, so ........ Brother Harding taught this so ....... So what? we inquire? Thus the prestige of these men is carried over to the present day program. Let them try this "transfer" method on Peter, Paul or Jesus Christ our Lord. Suppose one proves that Brents, Harding and et. al., taught the same theories that he teaches what would they prove? That would not prove that such was taught in the Bible.

4. Name calling has ever been employed by the Propagandist.

Issues before the church are avoided by crying "Dictator," Lunatic Journalists," "trouble makers," "maniacs." Thus people are made to be are made to be prejudiced before they ever study the question at all.

5. The Propagandist will change the issue. He will raise another question of keep the minds of the people away from the facts involved.

We often debate the question of apostasy with the Baptist people. Let one of our brethren affirm that a child of God can fall from grace and the Baptist preacher will jump up and say that the child of God will not fall away. Thus the issue is changed from can to will before the debate is well under way. By changing the issue the minds of the audience is befogged. When people are confused they generally become Baptists.

During the last "Hardeman Tabernacle Meeting" in Nashville, Tennessee we saw a demonstration of the above rule of the propagandist: Hardeman went to Nashville to fight. Premillennialism. Brethren in Nashville who did not want the issued discussed and exposed, immediately raised another question. The question was N. B. Hardeman. They tried to change the question from premillenialism to Hardeman. However, Brother Hardeman has held too many debates to be led astray by such methods. He let them talk Hardeman while he exposed the theories of R. H. Boll. Had the propagandist been able to shift the subject the mission of Hardeman would have failed. In this fight on Premillennialism from first to last the propagandist has tried to make Wallace, Hardeman, John T. Lewis and others the issue. The Bible Banner is set for the defense of the truth and does not intend to be deterred by side issues.

Brethren, we should not be discouraged in our fight for the purity of New Testament worship and doctrine. Remember that in early days they said that John the Baptist was crazy (hath a demon) and that Jesus Christ was a "wine bibber and a glutton." Let us balance our emotions and intelligence and find out the facts about the issues before the church regardless of what the propagandists have to say.


Sighting-In Shots

The story goes that two brethren were in an argument over their favorite preachers. Which is the greatest preacher? One brother averred that Brother Pleasum made Brother Sockum fade out like a star when the sun comes up. "Why he often baptizes four or five every night during a meeting" he declared. His antagonist arose to the occasion. "That is nothing to get excited about. Brother Sockum wouldn't even get his pants wet for less than ten." Not even funny? Anyhow, it is about as intelligent as the comparisons brethren are often heard to make. Any man who is humble, knows and loves the gospel and can tell it, is a good preacher, even if some worldly or partisan-minded church members do not recognize it. "For that which is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God." Maybe that goes for some preachers, too.

Anything as big and important as the church is has to be "run," meaning that it must have oversight and direction. The Lord ordained that the church, each congregation, should have its bishops. It is their business to oversee the congregation and direct the work. Their qualifications and duties are clearly outlined in the scriptures. These bishops are qualified men. As indispensable as women are, Lord bless 'em, he did not build a church that women can run. Ever think of that? A few women I know and others I have heard of, ought to do some thinking along that line. This is not overlooking the fact that some unqualified men have made a pretty bad mess of things in spots.—C. E. W.