"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.VI Pg.1,16
June 1948

Modern Daniels In The Lions' Den

Cled E. Wallace

Rather persistent reports have been circulating around to the effect that George Pepperdine is a veritable lions' den of "skepticism, modernism, and infidelity". Some witnesses whose qualifications appear to be good have escaped unscratched and brought gruesome tales of others less fortunate whose faith in the ancient order of things has been devoured or cruelly clawed up by the lions in Pepperdine. This has been disturbing to me as I know it is to many others. Being a somewhat cautious soul I have waited and watched and listened. Some very good friends of mine are sure they have heard the lions roar and that they have unmistakably grown beyond the cub stage.

Brother Showalter of the Firm Foundation, who is reasonably sure that the Bible Banner never saved the church from anything, flew out to Los Angeles and boldly walked right into the lions' den. Brother L. W. Mayo got out there by some sort of conveyance about the same time and either went in or peeped in. They both came away with the conviction that the lions were as harmless as household pussy-cats. All they heard was contented purring. Brother Showalter hastily spear-headed a defense of George Pepperdine College and most of its ways with an article from Brother Mayo and seconded the motion with a lengthy editorial in the Firm Foundation. Many of us breathed a little easier and thought maybe the brethren were unduly alarmed and what they heard wasn't a lion's roar in the first place.

All of a sudden a shriek rends the air and raises our hair a gain. Something has happened to Brother Mayo. Brother Showalter's spearhead has broken smack off and left him holding the handle or whatever it is a spear-head is attached to. Brother Mayo has heard the lions roar, no mistake about it this time, and he publishes "A Withdrawal And Retraction" in both the Bible Banner and the Firm Foundation. It left a funny expression on Brother Showalter's face. He is not sure he didn't hear it too.

"If George Pepperdine College is all wrong in its teaching of the Bible and in its religious attitude generally, it should be known and exposed. If some of the teachersare teaching modernism or defending sectarianism and are no longer defenders of faith, or teachers of the 'sound doctrine' of Christ, I am sure that every reasonable and scriptural effort should be made to have them removed, and that if this is not corrected they should be relieved of their connection with the school, that its power and influence for all time to come be not prostitute to the support and defense of skepticism, modernism, and infidelity. For my own part, I shall certainly oppose any departure from the faith among any teachers in the school."

This embarrassing retreat behind a screen of "Ifs" was made necessary by the utter collapse of his right flank and we can't blame Brother Showalter for mildly berating Brother Mayo for recklessly charging into something he knew so little about. But Brother Showalter was a bit reckless in charging in after him. He now shows a disposition to wait and listen, until he is more sure of himself, before talking any more which will undoubtedly be an improvement.

As for Brother Mayo, his main weakness doesn't seem to be modesty. He talks about "my recommendations", "I have tried my best to get the brethren at the head of the school" to do this and that, "my effort to save the school has gone much further than I have stated in this article but to no avail", "brethren in whom I placed my confidence evidently betrayed me", "I further recommend" etc. The only really humble thing he did was to "apologize to Brother John F. Wolfe" which is a fairly good sign. I am not at all surprised that Brother Mayo was unable to "save the school" all by himself. It is entirely possible that those brethren out there, considering what they think of themselves, did not concede to Brother Mayo that importance he admits is his.

Now, I'm not investigating George Pepperdine College. I'm not even making an "effort to save the school". Whoever heard of anybody ever saving an institution? Whenever one heads in the wrong direction, it never reforms or turns back. That is one main reason why the Lord's churches should not tie up with them. That something is wrong at George Pepperdine College is fairly evident. The men who are under fire have never been known as bright and shining examples of orthodoxy, and some of them have been inclined to brag about it. I am a rather small potato in my way, but "if", as Brother Showalter would say, and when I hear a lion roaring in my neck of the woods, there is nothing I know of to keep me from taking a shot at him "if" he exposes himself enough for me to get a bead on him.