The Plain Facts Versus The N.B.Hardeman Falsehoods - Part 2
This was his acceptance of my invitation and request for him to be on the staff of the Bible Banner. But he wanted me to copy material out of his published books! I afterward wrote him that I would not under the circumstances place his name on the staff. Now he says that I asked him and he refused. So he has not told the truth on that incident, as his own letter proves. He has misstated everything he has mentioned and has not told the truth about anything he has related in all that he has written.
2. It is not true that I suggested or approved any suggestion to settle my just debts on the basis of fifty percent discount or any other discount.
I have before me at this writing the files of my letters to my creditors, containing the indisputable proof that I had paid more to some of them than the actual balance that I owed them, and that I assured them all of my intention to pay all in full asking only their cooperation. Some were considerate, some were inconsiderate, and because of the latter I was forced to use legal means of protection and self-preservation for my family until I could get my affairs in control and fulfill the pledges I had made to my own heart and to God in heaven. If a discount on any debt was mentioned, it represented the attitude of some of the creditors and not my own idea. I never proposed such a thing. I do not believe Brother Akin would have had confidence enough in me to help me with the matter if I had proposed such a thing. I further believe that Brother Hardeman knows that I did not propose it. Like everything else he has said, this statement of his is absolutely untrue. The only reason he has made such accusations is because he is mad, so mad according to his own admission that he has "descended" very "far below" the plane of an honorable man, and I certainly do agree with him on that admission.
3. It is not true that I schooled a son at Freed-Hardeman College on N. B. Hardeman's charity.
In proof of my statements and in disproof of his I submit the facts.
In July 1934 I received from Brother Hardeman the following offer in a letter:
"If you can manage to pay your daughter's board, books and incidentals, her tuition and fees won't cost you a penny. I shall be more than glad to do this for you. Should Taylor decide to come, the same will be true of him."
The above offer was not accepted. I had made no such request. It was Brother Hardeman's voluntary proposition made by him in consideration of my friendship for his school and the fact that I had sent him many students. But we did not accept his offer of "tuition and fees"—and in the light of present developments I am mighty glad we did not. It was four years later that my oldest son attended the Freed-Hardeman College four months, from February to May. In the meantime the Gospel Guardian had been published by me. It was a magazine of class and had a wide circulation. In every issue of this magazine, month after month, even the Extra Special Edition covering the U. S. A. and Canada, Freed-Hardeman College received a full page display ad in two-tone color. For these ads I received not one dollar from Freed-Hardeman College. It was expensive space, precious space, and no other school received it. Later when the Bible Banner was started the Freed-Hardeman College continued to receive these ads for which no bill was ever sent to them and for which not one dollar was ever received from them. Brother Hardeman made use of this space in person as indicated in his letter of March 3, 1936: "Brother Brigance will send you matter for the inside cover by the 12th." That was matter for the full page ad in the Gospel Guardian. This was not done once in a while, nor occasionally, but every month for months, and then more months in the Bible Banner.
So what? In 1938 when I mentioned the expense of sending my son to Freed-Hardeman College for the spring term; it was Brother Hardeman who suggested that the cash value of the ads in the Gospel Guardian exceeded the total cost of the spring term of school, and the deal was put on the basis of "value received, paid in advance and in full." It was so stated and understood by N. B. Hardeman, by me and by my son.
Brother Hardeman now says he "allowed" my son to attend his school. I invite him to submit the expense of the 1938 spring term of school, and I will count up the ads in the Guardian and the Banner, and whoever owes the difference will send the other a check for it—at once. We can quickly ascertain who has allowed what.
4. It is not true that I have been the mere object of N. B. Hardeman's grace.
In his classes, with various students, visitors in his office, preachers and elders in the churches, Brother Hardeman has attempted to leave the impression, " and on everybody he could, that Brother Akin's philanthropy in my behalf was due altogether to his friendship for Brother Hardeman and Brother Hardeman's "influence" on him. He has been entirely unethical in his representations to say nothing of his untruthfulness. The fact is that Brother and Sister Akin were steadfast friends of the Wallaces many years before they even knew N. B. Hardeman. My father taught Brother Akin out of the digressive church when they were both young men, and Brother Akin has often expressed to me his undying love and gratitude to my father for this cause. As to my own relations with him they extend back as far as my earliest recollections as a preacher, and we have always been confidential friends. Some years ago he told me that he wanted to educate some young preachers, and had about decided to send them to Abilene Christian College, unless I knew of a better place and that he would leave the decision to me. I advised Brother Akin to send the boys to N. B. Hardeman at Henderson, Tennessee. This was before Brother Akin had ever met Brother Hardeman, he was not even acquainted with him, and knew little or nothing of his school. It was through my personal influence that J. W. Akin became interested in Freed-Hardeman College, and had I not done what I did then and afterward Freed-Hardeman College would not have had his support, nor N. B. Hardeman a dollar of his money.
I have never taken advantage of Brother Akin's love and loyalty to angle contributions out of him. But I do recall very vividly the remark that Brother Hardeman made to me more than once, so vividly that I can put it in quotes and notarize it—that "Brother Akin's all-absorbing desire to go to heaven is the most effective avenue of approach to secure contributions from him." I was shocked and stunned at what I considered such a coldly calculating analysis of the best way to capitalize on the God-given instincts of a good man's heart, and I afterward told' Brother Hardeman that in his efforts to sell Brother Akin a $200,000.00 ticket to heaven he might stand in grave danger of forfeiting his own.
As for "sinful extravagance", I do not own a prize-winning horse and have never won prizes at horse shows on Sunday. The Memphis Commercial Appeal reportedly featured Brother Hardeman as the winner at a Sunday horse show. For a gospel preacher to own a $25,000.00 horse is, to say the least, "extravagant", and to win a prize at a horse show on Sunday would be considered by pious members of the church as "sinful." Yes—he really is the wrong man to talk about "sinful extravagance."'
It is my firm conviction that the trustees of his school knowing some of them as I do, will not approve the course he has pursued. He has reproached the institution; he has lost for it the patronage of hundreds and the respect of thousands. Take my old father, for instance, whose influence is still widely felt, and who sent his son, Paul L. Wallace, to Brother Hardeman's school. Of him Brother Hardeman wrote in this vein to me in a letter several years ago: "Your father spent three or four days with me to my greatest delight. I certainly did enjoy our talks." At a later date he wrote again: "Your father was over with us for two or three days and I thoroughly enjoyed his presence and the short time spent in talking to him about matters of mutual interest. He is a grand old man and you boys have every right and reason to be proud of him." But in recent articles Brother Hardeman has stooped to slur him, and after what has occurred the past few months, "the grand old man" now says that if N. B. Hardeman came to the town where he lives to hold a meeting, he would not walk across the street to hear him preach. There are thousands of others who feel the same way about it.
5. It is not true that the war question was "the beginning of what has resulted since"—unless in this statement he is confessing instead of accusing. All during the war I received utters from him of commendation, praise and appreciation. If he is sincere now, he was hypocritical then, and his attitude was feigned.
The diplomacy and duplicity of Brother Hardeman on the war question have already been exposed. He cannot lay the present situation to any "change" of ours on that or any other question. He makes himself ridiculous posing as a conscientious objector.
His former students testify against him. L. N. Moody and Thetus Pritchard, now middle-aged and respected gospel preachers, state in writing that in World War I Brother Hardeman said in chapel that he believed in "shooting every German that shot at us" and that he could have "struck the match that lit the fire that burned the man that was mobbed for murder.
"Dear Foy: Several years ago when I was in Freed-Hardeman College, I heard Brother N. B. Hardeman say that he preached the funeral of a man and his wife that had been slain by a man, and that man was mobbed and burned. He said he could have 'struck the match that lit the fire that burned the man—yes, I believe in capital, punishment.' Yours truly, Thetus Pritchard."
Also, I have a copy of a letter written by Brother Pritchard to Brother Hardeman, a few days ago, from which the following quotation is taken:
"Next, on the civil government and war question, I was taught by you the same position that Foy Wallace now holds. If you have changed your belief on these questions why not just say that I do not believe the position that I used to hold."
Thus a former student writes his former teacher. Now, in addition to that, read N. B. Hardeman's own words from page 142 of his book of sermons, volume four:
"If the Italian ships were to land on our eastern shores and want to plant their flag on the soil of our country, premillennialists cannot fight them. Therefore, I am charging tonight that all premillennialists have become traitors to the government of the United States. Friends, let me ask you in all candor, do you subscribe to a doctrine of that kind."
A pretty poser as a conscientious objector he is! And he has the "gall" to say and repeat to the readers of the papers that his refusal to take a stand on the war issue was the beginning of all of this! Brother Hardeman has demonstrated that he is utterly unreliable and no dependence can be put in anything he says.
He hoped the feeling on the war question would be high enough to capitalize on it and ride out on the prejudice, but the reaction is not what he wanted. First, there are too many Christian parents, whose Christian sons served in the defense of this nation. They have not failed to see Brother Hardeman as he is in this matter, an unenviable position, indeed, he holds.
Second; school is full of "G. I.'s." Some of them are already commenting on Brother Hardeman's position in this matter—they have no confidence in it. Third, his chief difficulty in posing as a conscientious objector is himself—he knows he is not one. His own views so long repressed and suppressed have blocked him in his run for refuge to the arms of the conscientious objectors in Nashville who oppose participation in civil government. Brother Hardeman is not even comfortable in their company. He is in a sorry mess before the eyes of many intelligent men of business and industrywho are the backbone of both the church and civil society in their communities. They are surely ashamed of him, and I verily believe that in his heart he is ashamed of himself.
III. "The Meeting Never Held
The closing paragraph of his article refers to a "separate" letter from "two" friends who proposed a meeting to discuss "estrangement," and he feels absolved from all "responsibility" in the matter.
As I was not consulted before such a proposal went to him it was without my knowledge or consent, and I am not "responsible." But I do know what Brother Hardeman said when E. R. Harper allowed the president of Harding College to draw him into such a meeting. I quote from his letter to me, dated April 3, 1940:
"I read the recent Banner last night. I think you were perfectly in order in publishing further articles from Harper. It puts him on the spot and I see nothing for him to do except to write a brief article admitting the egregious blunder and the serious mistake he made. I believe him to be perfectly honest and sincere and that he verily thought he was doing the right thing, but you have stated it right when you said they 'out-generaled' him in the conference."
That is what N. B. Hardeman thought when the president of Harding College stripped E. R. Harper 'in a conference, and now the president of Freed-Hardeman College wants to call one to "out-general" me and side-track the issue!
A few years ago I received the following telegram from someone, sent from Lubbock, Texas: "YOUR FRIEND IS PLANNING TO GET YOU INTO A MEETING. THE INVITATION IS SLATED TO COME VIA NASHVILLE. THE CARDS ARE STACKED AGAINST YOU. WATCH YOUR STEP. —GUY."
That was another meeting somebody was maneuvering to get me into. It is evident that the Lubbock "friend" was G. C. Brewer. I have never learned who "Guy" was, but he was someone who wanted to warn me that the "cards" were "stacked." They usually are in such meetings. So somebody else can join with Brother Hardeman in lamenting the "failure" of a conference to materialize and claim that he is not "responsible." Brother Hardeman had "broken relations" with A. G. Freed, abused him for years, and then attempted to "out-general" him in a conference. Exactly what N. B. Hardeman with all his might once tried to do to Freed and Calhoun, he is, trying to do now. For fifteen years different ones sought to make the issue personal, and force me into arbitrations, but these issues have nothing to do with personal estrangement. I have nothing to compromise across a conference table. If he calls one I will just go on with my preaching and let him hold it in his high office at Henderson without me. I can thereby avoid the "egregious blunder" and "serious mistake" that he said E. R. Harper made when he let the other college president pull him into a meeting. Whether they be premillennial sympathizers, unity meeting compromisers, Clinton Davidson assassinators, or the institutional promoters of the present controversy with all of their personalities, there are no compromises to make.
(missing words) acted on the judgment of my best friends as well as my own heart in staying out of their conferences, and shall continue to so do.
IV. "No New Argument"
In a final word he refers to the "issue" but avers that he has seen nothing in the way of an argument to convince him that a church cannot contribute to a college.
Of course, he has not "seen" it, because he is looking the other way. But again he has the procedure reversed. It is his duty to show us the scriptural precept or principle to prove that the church can scripturally do so. As the matter stands their arguments (?) have all been repeatedly answered.
(1) They argued that the church is but a collection of individuals and can therefore do congregationally anything that can be done individually. But that is all a missionary society is—a group of individuals, so the church can contribute to it! And if a group of Christian individuals compose a life insurance company, according to that sort of reasoning the church can contribute to a Life Insurance Company!
(2) It has been argued that the whole matter should be left for the elders of each church to decide. That is exactly what the digressives have always argued on the questions of the societies and instrumental music in the worship. But a point of New Testament teaching on the worship or work of the church cannot be decided by men, whether they be elders or not elders. That type of reasoning lowers the guards against all innovation and opens the gate to every promotion to which the church may become the prey.
(3) It has been argued that it is scriptural for the church to make a contribution to the college but unscriptural to put the college in the budget.
But when they show the scripture for one, they will have shown the scripture for both. Anybody knows that what a church may scripturally do once it can scripturally keep on doing.
(4) They have called for a "list of thing's forbidden" and have thereby surrendered the whole ground of opposition to the innovations of the digressives.
(5) As a matter of policy they have announced that they will not "solicit" contributions from the churches, but if it' IS wrong for the church to make contributions to colleges, it is wrong for the colleges to accept the contributions from the churches. Such policy is an evasion and shows a lack of conviction on the subject.
V. "The Beginning Of What Has Resulted"
First: A late development which has a decided bearing on the present situation is the statement drafted some months ago by N. E. Hardeman as a basis for the settlement of the "Boll trouble." Brother Hardeman was proposing that the presidents of the colleges, editors of the papers and a few prominent brethren sign this statement for the brotherhood in general. The statement was sent to R. L. Whiteside by Brother Hardeman himself with a request, or a "feeler," to ascertain if Brother Whiteside would sign it. Brother Whiteside not only rejected the statement itself, but his remarks about the purpose of it and the plan suggested caused Brother Hardeman to write him again "backing up" and hedging about, Hardeman fashion. His sphere was about to expand. He had volunteered to state the "policy" of the whole "Church of Christ" on the "war question" to a draft board, and now he was about to draft a document for editors and college presidents to sign for the brotherhood! Brother Whiteside and a few other brethren killed the statement and stopped the attempted "settlement" dead in its tracks.
But here is a statement in the first paragraph of the Hardeman document suggested as a "basis"—written by N. B. Hardeman himself, and sent to R. L. Whiteside with an accompanying letter bearing his signature:
"Every one has a right to his own opinion, but he has no right to propagate it or urge it upon others. 'Hath thou faith (opinion)? Have it to thyself alone before God.' Rom. 14:22."
The statement starts with an untrue assertion, namely, that 'everyone has "the right to his own opinion"—a denominational error that any young preacher among us ought to know better than to repeat. And, what right did Brother Hardeman have to put the word "opinion" in parenthesis after the word "faith" in Rom. 14:22? He makes it read, "If thou has faith (opinion) have it to thyself before God." Well, take a look at the next verse, and see what it does to it. "And whatsoever is not of faith is sin." The two verses are connected, and if "faith" in verse 22 means opinion also, and Brother Hardeman makes Paul say, "And whatsoever is not of opinion is sin"! Now that is a great "statement" to be used as a basis for a "settlement" of the Boll question! If that represents his "best to teach" the young preachers "about 200 in number" for the sake of "the truth on all matters" they had better go to school somewhere else.
Second: The Davidson letters published in the Bible Banner, which N. B. Hardeman sent to me but afterward told Leon B. McQuiddy that he did not know how I obtained them, has had something to do with "what has resulted since." The letter that Brother Hardeman wrote Brother McQuiddy about that matter was handwritten, and the purported typewritten copy that has been handed around is not it. The original letter, written in Brother Hardeman's hand, intimated that someone had sent the letters to me from his office, without his knowledge or consent. But Brother Hardeman sent them to me, enclosed in a letter bearing his signature. Though Brother McQuiddy had Brother Hardeman's letter to him before him when he showed it to me, he still did not know how I obtained the Davidson letters until I showed him Brother Hardeman's letter to me! But Brother McQuiddy placed the subscription list of the Gospel Advocate at the disposal of Norman Davidson for the circulation of that falsehood in Davidson's letter to the brotherhood, charging that I had obtained his letters fraudulently, though Brother McQuiddy knows now and knew then exactly how I received them—direct from N. B. Hardeman himself, in person. It now becomes the duty of Brother McQuiddy, according to all honor and ethics, to make public the Hardeman letter to him, the original handwritten letter, alongside with the Hardeman letter to me, and let the brethren see them both—side by side. I saw it; others saw it; and I have already by competent and credible witnesses verified its contents.
These developments have much to do with things that have "resulted" recently. It reveals an unstable" attitude on the part of Brother. Hardeman on various things. It explains why he has never taken the lead in exposing the errors of Bollism and Davidsonism and did not come out on premillennialism until the issue was decided, and then said that he could write his position on a "postcard." It indicates rather clearly that he did not have serious convictions in the beginning of the matter, and would yet settle it on the basis of an opinion that would not hurt anybody to believe provided he does not agitate it. But if premillennialism denies the gospel, which it does, nobody can believe it without denying the gospel, and it is therefore not an "opinion" which any one has a "right" to hold, whether urged or not, propagated or not propagated.
Brother Hardeman has "closed" his part of the discussion two or three different times since it started. If he is now satisfied to let his "part" of it stay closed, very well—we have stated the facts in reference to all the personalities.
This controversy has brought to light a new threat to the church of Christ—the threat of subsidizing the church to human institutions and private enterprises. We are in a fight "against spiritual wickedness in high places," the forces of which are being mustered and marshaled in the schools. It calls for the unified and determined opposition of elders and preachers everywhere who believe that the divine institution of the church should be kept free of human authority and organization. On this issue they have not "passed"—and personalities or no personalities—they shall not pass!