Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
February 12, 1960

Isn't There A Better Way?

C. D. Plum

"I have read and reread Brother Goodpasture's editorial in the October 29th Advocate "Concerning Pat Hardeman." I trust Brother Goodpasture will allow me to set forth a few thoughts relative to this matter.

1) Please, dear readers, don't misunderstand me. I believe with all my heart that Brother Goodpasture did his God-given duty in exposing the departure of Brother Pat Hardeman. In fact I think such an exposure from him was long overdue. I have personally been watching for this exposure for months. The over whelming evidence in Brother Goodpasture's editorial, copied from the Tampa Tribune, of October 17, 1959, shows beyond a doubt Brother Pat Hardeman has departed from the faith to preach for the Unitarian Fellowship. The terrible truth of this matter pains my heart and moistens my eyes. I cannot find it in my heart to enjoy this "necessary" exposure. And I join with Brother Goodpasture in the hope that Brother Pat may yet be "restored to the faith." And to this end no doubt not only us, but Brethren everywhere are praying.

2) Brother Goodpasture says of Brother Pat Hardeman, "We have defended him against what seemed to be THE STUDIED ATTEMPTS of his former companions in hobbyism to 'smear' him". I am glad Brother Good-pasture has discovered that he was mistaken in his belief that the things written against Brother Pat were to smear him. I think this admission of error was a noble thing for Brother Goodpasture to make, and I commend him for it. But I can't find it in my heart to enjoy Brother Goodpasture's attempt to "discredit" Florida Christian College over this matter. Brother Goodpasture says, "He (Brother Pat Hardeman, C.D.P.) like some others we know, has gone from the extreme of FCC hobbyism to that of Unitarian liberalism." Does such a reflection tend to heal any discord among us? Isn't there a better way? Why bring FCC in this at all? The Tampa Tribune did not bring FCC in its article. Must we go to worldly and "secular" newspapers to learn proper ethics? Surely this is not a "studied attempt" to smear FCC. Is this nice? Is it brotherly? AND WHO IS TO BE THE JUDGE AS TO WHETHER FCC IS GIVEN TO HOBBYISM? I heard some one say, "Men I can't manage I mangle." But far be it from me to attribute such a motive to Brother Goodpasture.

3) I know of students and teachers who never attended or taught in FCC, but who attended and taught in colleges approved by Brother Goodpasture, and like Brother Pat Hardeman, they departed from the faith. Some went to one denomination, and some went to another. No attempt was made by Brother Goodpasture or others to "discredit" these other colleges because of this. Where, then, is the justice in trying to discredit FCC? Again I ask, "Isn't there a better way?"

4) Brethren, for the sake of peace, for the sake of unity in the "glorious" spiritual body, please consider these statements and questions. At most I am not long for this world, though I am only 61 years old. I have been preaching for over forty (40) years. I love the church. I rejoice in these facts:

a) I have never been in a church fuss.

b) Never have I divided the church.

c) I have never deposed elders, nor encouraged others to do so.

I freely admit I have some deep-seated convictions about "all sufficiency" of the church. I believe the church can and should:

a) Feed the soul without a missionary society, (Eph. 3:10),

b) Feed the body without a benevolent society, (Acts 6:1-4),

c) Be "complete", all sufficient in worship in work, and in well-doing without any human organization whatsoever. (Col. 2:10; Eph. 3:21). Is this hobbyism? If it is I have been a hobbyist for over forty years, but brethren never complained about it till in recent years. Shall I abandon the above truths to keep from being called a hobbyist? If this is hobbyism, what book, whose book, since I have referred only to the Bible, is responsible for my so-called hobbyism?

5) Brethren, are the institutions among us, the way they are set-up and run, worth the price of a divided church? Especially so when matters can be changed and adjusted in a scriptural way so as to work no hardship upon any aged or young soul And at the same time let Brethren engage in these works of mercy without murdering their own consciences. Is it ever too late to try? Shall unscriptural lawsuits, bitterness, and less of Christian influence be the order of the day? Shall our hearts be hardened toward those who do not agree with us ? Shall doors be closed against them? Again I ask, "Isn't there a better way?"