"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.X No.III Pg.9a-13b
March 1948

Reply To Hugh M. Tiner

O. L. Castleberry

I have carefully read Bro. Tiner's reply to my article. He is quick to question motives and use rash and uncalled-for slurs and revilings. It would have been far better had he either answered the arguments or admitted that conditions at the college are as described. The careful reader will note that he did either admit or avoid much of what I had stated to be true.


Bro. Tiner says that my interest in the truth about George Pepperdine College grows out of a spirit of bitterness and antagonism. The Lord knows the disposition of my heart in this matter, not Bro. Tiner, I am only interested in what affects the church of our Lord. Bro. Tiner's effort in judging my motives will not decide the issues involved. The brethren are not interested in what Bro. Tiner thinks about me personally but whether the facts presented by me are true. Upon this the case must rest. I have dedicated my life to preaching the gospel, defending the truth and exposing error wherever I find it. This is the duty of every Christian.

Bro. Tiner asserts that because I was on the campus proper only two months and "have rarely or never been seen on the campus since then" that I would not know whether any changes in improving conditions have been made. This line of reasoning would limit what any of us can know to be true to what we see with our own eyes or personally experienced. Most readers will recognize this to be very poor reasoning. Bro. Tiner would do better to deal with the facts than to attempt to cloud the issue.

2. Enrollment

On the basis of his own figures my point still stands. The percentage of members of the Church at Pepperdine is less now than in the preceding years. Bro. Tiner says the Church on the West Coast "is growing in a gratifying way." Bro. Tiner, WHY isn't the percentage of Christians who go to Pepperdine growing too, instead of decreasing?

3. Pepperdine's Financial Support

Financial independence in a school frees it from the necessity of respecting and using views of brethren, even when those views are right. A large endowment also subjects any college to the danger of attracting men of monetary or other motives rather than for pure love of Christian education. Money may be used in many ways to court recognition and standing. Few doors, political, civic or otherwise are closed if enough money is possessed. Pepperdine's success and recognition from worldly circles in general has not been due to its strong stand for Christ as He has never been received and "recognized" by such people.

Brother Wolfe recently stated a truth that many of us discovered through harsh experience. He stated that when students have given information about immorality in the college instead of going to the roots of the situation the matter is hushed up and the students themselves who gave the information are treated as rank offenders. One recent example was when the blind preacher, John Bessire, called up Dean Pullias to report drinking in the boys' dormitory. The Dean asked John why he (a recent graduate of the institution) was in the dormitory, and if he had permission to be there. He furthermore asked Bro. Bessire if he came to "snoop" around.

4. Wickedness of Los Angeles and Hollywood

Bro. Tiner says the patrons of the school have been almost unanimous in their praise of the guidance their children have received at the college. I am sure the luke-warmness of the college with regard to sound teaching and discipline would meet the "almost unanimous" approval of most students as nearly 80 per cent of the students are of the world or sectarians. The Student Handbook (page 13) tells why worldly and sectarian people (80 per cent of students) "almost unanimously" approve of the "guidance" they receive in Pepperdine. It reads "Pepperdine is praised and criticized for her spirit of freedom. The campus values highly its wholesome freedom of thought, of action, of conscience." "We are not constantly told what to do and what not to do. We are expected to do that which we know to be right."

When sectarians "almost unanimously" approve of the "guidance" they receive at a school run by our brethren there must be something wrong somewhere. The handbook mentioned is the same one which suggests that the students see "Earl Carroll's" the night club, girl show and liquor serving establishment previously mentioned.

The college expects patronage from brethren in this area. However even a casual investigation of the Southern California area will show its influence is far below what it was when the school began.

5. Dean Pullias

In this part Bro. Tiner commits himself to endorsing Pullias' worship and fellowship with the Christian Church in N. C. It seems that not only was Pullias himself willing to remain with a Christian Church several years, sing with them and take the supper with them, but now President Tiner is going to leave the "wisdom of the effort" and "the good that was done" up to God for judgment. Is it all right for a person who "was reared in the church of Christ" and "taught Bible classes from his youth up" to go into a town where there is no church and go over with the Christian Church for worship? Why didn't Pullias start a church during his several years there? If he taught the whole truth of God as is claimed, for several years, surely there must have been at least one good soul who saw the light. Who is that one good soul, Bro. Tiner? Why did the two ladies whose addresses are given in my previous article fail to hear Pullias teach that pianos or organs are wrong in worship ?

The background and rearing of E. V. Pullias and where he has taught is not the question. Articles have been accepted by our leading journals from Carl Etter and Ernest Beam, men who no longer proclaim the whole council of God. If Bro. Tiner is intimating that the churches he lists endorse E. V. Pullias now he is wrong. E. V. Pullias would not be permitted to speak in some of them now. There is considerable difference in the fact that a man has spoken for a church in the last ten years and whether that man is endorsed by them now.

Bro. Pullias seldom attended the church of Christ in Winston-Salem. He cannot now secure any statement from them saying he was a regular attendee. He remained in Durham and sang with instrumental music in a Modernistic Christian Church which has young people's meetings with the Baptists. He was very popular with these people and they sing his praises to this day. When a man's teachings are acceptable to the elders of a modernistic Christian Church, and he is kept by them for several years and elevated to positions of highest acceptance, his teachings must not be sound. When a man will do a thing like that he is not sound. Whether he formally "joined" the Christian Church does not change the situation a particle.

6. Bro. Ralph Wilburn

Bro. Tiner points out some technical errors here in my article. For instance I said Wilburn had a doctor's degree in philosophy instead of saying a doctor of philosophy degree and called their department of religion a school of religion. These are technical errors and the big play Bro. Tiner makes on them shows he didn't have any bigger errors to point out. Such things do not touch the issue.

Bro. Tiner expects the brethren to have all their fears put to rest, on the basis of his word, that Dr. Wilburn is all right. He gives us six "I's" as authority in as many lines. We are expected, apparently, to end all doubts, on his word that "I know he teaches and believes all the fundamental truths of the New Testament." The fact that honest and reliable brethren have sat in Wilburn's classes where he teaches his modernism, and then given us the benefit of their knowledge is to be discounted now, because Bro. Tiner has completely settled the matter. I am afraid Bro. Tiner's assurance will not assure all the brethren.

President Tiner has talked with students he says, most of whom, no doubt told him that Wilburn taught the truth. That reminds me of a story of a man in court, accused of stealing chickens. He said, "I can get a hundred people who didn't see me steal that chicken." So Tiner can get many students and members of the church who have never heard Wilburn teach error.

Bro. Wilburn does have great respect for the well known denominational leaders in denominational church history. He refers to the murderous Augustine as a saint. He brings out their false teaching, stresses and impresses it and then fails to refute it or condemn it as false, for his group of students. Occasionally he does say in a low voice, "I can't quite agree all the way with him there."

Suppose I should preach like that. Suppose I should preach error on Baptism, that it is not essential, etc. What would be the effect if I left it that way, without refuting it? What kind of an impression does this make on students? His students are disturbed by his presenting error.

By not showing them the truth often times he

weakens the faith of the student instead of strengthening it.

Five questions are presented for Dr. Wilburn, the answer to which will help brethren in general to know how he stands. They are as follows:

1. Do you believe the Bible is verbally inspired?

2. Do you believe a person who is a member of a denomination (Presbyterian, Methodist) can be saved?

S. Do you believe R. H. Boll to be a loyal and devoted Christian, an asset to the body of Christ?

4. Did you hold a meeting for the church in Louisville where Bro. Boll preaches?

5. If you were to do so again would you condemn premillennialism as a wicked, false and divisive doctrine?

7. Cooperation With Denominations

Brother Tiner says the Pepperdine College permitted denominations to hold religious services in their auditorium with the college's consent and approval. This means the college has let denominations have a place to hold services and even participated in the services without once letting it be known that they do not endorse what went on. To act as the college has done in this matter is to lend their endorsement and influence to something that is wrong.

The incident of the Greyfriar's Memorial Church service was as bad as could be and Brother Tiner didn't change the facts one bit by his remarks. The facts are that the college and Dean Pullias endorsed and lent their influence to carry on a Presbyterian Church service with a Presbyterian preacher and instrumental music at 7:30 p. m. on Sunday night, not one block from where a congregation of the church was having services. The adornments which Bro. Tiner mentioned as being used in the services didn't change the facts one iota.

Sky Pilots

Brother Tiner says I reached my "greatest height of misrepresenting the facts here." Let us examine the facts themselves to see who did the misrepresenting.

First, he says Sky Pilots of America is a group of innocent little boys whose principle activity is 'building airplanes and studying the Bible. The bulletin of the organization says "Sky Pilots of America is one of America's newest and most unique Christian Missionary Movements." "The great objectives of Sky Pilots of America is to:

1. Recruit the unchurched, unbelieving boy to accept his rightful Christian place in some American Christian Church regardless of denomination or outside church activities. (Two other objectives are listed—also religious objectives)

The organization developed in "The Sunday School of the Bassettdale Community Church, Puente, California, where Rev. Elmer B. Sachs, the pastor saw the worth and outlined and incorporated the program for a nation-wide missionary movement."

The bulletin further clarifies the nature of the organization, "Rev. Sach's life-time verse will explain WHO is in back of the movement. Rom. 8:31 "If God be for us who can be against us." Brother Tiner said he was pleased the college auditorium was used for this purpose to recruit the American boy to some American Christian Church regardless of denomination.

2. Under the heading "What is Sky Pilots" (Sky Pilot's News, July 15, 1947) we are told "Sky Pilots of America is an interdenominational Christian Club for boys ..." Brother Tiner when an organization is formed by denominational people with a religious objective do you think it right to endorse and aid it?

3. Brother Tiner stresses three times that the group is composed of little boys. One time he quotes Bro. Pepperdine as saying their ages are from 9 to 12. The Sky Pilot News says that Pepperdine has a squad which meets on Thursdays at night. Brother Tiner has previously remarked that Pepperdine College has achieved considerable recognition academically. Their achievements are even more spectacular when one considers the age some of these students must be.

Brother Tiner said I misrepresented the facts. He either didn't know and without full knowledge accused me of misrepresenting things or else he knew the facts and lied. I prefer to believe he didn't know all the facts. It is a common practice for him to shout that all unfavorable facts are "misrepresentations, without foundation and mere rumors."

President Tiner simply admits that the college does use denominational preachers in its chapel frequently as a college policy. He further admits that error is taught by these men and that one case in point is when a Jew spoke on brotherhood. Does Brother Tiner believe in brotherhood between Jews, Catholics and Christians? He says that on Fridays they use a member of the church sometimes but that the speaker's time is not used at all for preaching the gospel, that is to tell people how to be saved, etc. It looks like that with all these other things around a little gospel preaching wouldn't be out of order.

The sectarians can come and go but a gospel preacher can't come there to hold a two weeks meeting. Which would do the most good, denominational speakers or gospel preachers? Brethren are not so much interested in the claims of this school as in what it is actually doing.

The college "presented" a program of Catholic boys from Boy's Town. According to the Graphic, Oct. 10, 1947 "Boy's Town was founded by the Right Rev. E. J. Flannigan." This was "presented" by Pepperdine under the direction of "Father Francis Schmitt."

8. The Graphic

Here Bro. Tiner would have the readers believe that the 21 items singled out as objectionable in the school paper were all that could have been singled out. Bro. Tiner, There are as many as 21 objectionable items in two issues and almost as many in others. In the last six months notices have appeared suggesting programs for students to see dancing, wear shorts and view Catholic sponsored activities. In the last six months preachers have been referred to as "Right Reverend, Reverend, and Father." Christmas has been termed in an editorial of the paper as the birthday and memorial day for the birth of Christ. It looks like you should add a few more staff members to supervise the thing.

Brother Tiner says "many" of the items I listed as objectionable should not have appeared. This means some of those I listed should have appeared or were all right. I wonder which ones were all right, those about illegitimacy, sex, dancing or immodest dress?

He says the college paper has never taken advertisements of the sort I mentioned. Let us examine the paper to see what kind of advertisements it has accepted.

1. February 19, 1947—A large picture of a dance orchestra leader and a smaller group of jitter-bug dancers is shown. This was to illustrate the intended use of the dance records the students were expected to buy. They were advertised to be "new trends in torrid tempos."

2. April 30, 1947 "Popularity in a Package"—showing ball-room dancing. This was to illustrate to the prospective buyer of the records that dancing to these records would make the student more popular.

3. April 30, 1947 (and many other issues) Hair tinting for the girls.

4. April 23, 1947 A downtown store has a part of its advertisement in the Pepperdine school paper that a girl whose name is given can assist the students in how to dress for dancing or other occasions.

It would appear that a school which is "reasonably well endowed" could have called in a handbook which recommended a night club with a sexy girl show and drinking as a place for the students to go. It seems that this could have been done immediately, on finding it out. It is strange that such a place ever got into the handbook for students who are to live in a "wholesome Christian Environment." Attention was called to this in early 1945 and nothing was done about it.

Bro. Tiner considers it quite difficult to obtain plays that are not objectionable to "some people" as the plays must treat of life's "experiences good and bad." It is not necessary for a college to select plays that treat of the sordid and immoral side of life as some Pepperdine plays have done.

9. Dancing at Pepperdine

I refer readers to my previous references on dancing to determine whether Pepperdine College is opposed to dancing as Bro. Tiner says.

The folk games class is referred to as a dancing class by those who participate in it. Not all these dances are as innocent as the one Bro. Tiner mentions "Drop the Handkerchief." Neither does this explain the common announcements of different types of dancing so often in the school paper for such a long period of time. My statements about indecent dress are not refuted by Bro. Tiner's "explanations."

10. Lord's Day at Pepperdine

I again refer the readers to my previous quotation. Bro. Tiner says that students often engage in activities the college does not approve. When the basketball team played Clifton's on March 9, 1947, was this without the approval of the college? Was the general invitation to "all sophomores" to attend a beach party Sunday, May 5, 1946, without the approval of the college "powers that be ?" What is done about violations which desecrate the Lord's Day besides giving those who do it a big newsy write-up in the Graphic?

11. Personal Work on the Campus

My statements about the experience of Otis Gatewood when he tried to do organized personal work on the campus of Pepperdine College were read by Bro. Gatewood and were printed with his knowledge and approval. Since the college has no gospel meetings as such, allows no personal work by a recognized authority on the subject among its students, permits no gospel preaching of first principles in the chapel, and allows sectarian preachers and at least one faculty member to teach the errors of men without refuting them it is no wonder that even the faith of the strong is often shaken at this college. Bro. Tiner says he conferred with flesh and blood and then determined it would not be wise to let Bro. Gatewood and his helpers teach the Gospel of Christ to the lost at Pepperdine.

Bro. Tiner labels me a liar, a sorehead in general, a disgruntled and unhappy student for going to him and offering criticisms of the school. The quickest way to receive Bro. Tiner's tongue lashing, if not his physical lashing, is to fail to fall in line with his ideas of the soundness of the school. I talked with him in a positive way but I was not discourteous nor have I ever been to him. I repeated my own experiences just as numerous others have done and pointed out the need of some improvements at the college. The Pepperdine authorities have taken criticisms of the school as personal insults which warrant the maligning of a person's character and the impugning of his motives.

12. Endorsements of the Castleberry Article

The endorsements I quoted were not taken out of the context of the letters of the men who wrote them. I have the letters, signed by the men whose names were given with the exception of Brother Wallace who will stand by what he is quoted as saying in conversation with me. I am prepared to permit the entire letters to be printed if need be. These men do not qualify their endorsements as Brother Tiner says and Bro. Tiner made his statement without any evidence whatsoever as support. It was an un-called-for assertion. Furthermore all the endorsements were not given and more are available from what Bro. Tiner would call "some" of the leading preachers in the church.

I am willing to let readers determine the truth according to the facts presented. Had there been fewer facts and evidence to bolster my claims as to the corruptness of the school, I might have been tempted to resort to defamations of character and accusations of lying as he did me. However I believe he showed by his words the typical attitude manifested when the college is confronted by unfavorable facts or severe criticisms. Let us all be guided by facts in determining issues vital to the church of our Lord Jesus Christ.