"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.IX Pg.11,15b
September 1948

Brother Witty's Chickens Come Home To Roost

James W. Adams

"Chickens always come home to roost" was a familiar saying in my boyhood days in the section where I was reared. This is a truism which every person familiar with farm life can appreciate. The inspired apostle expresses the same truth in the use of a different figure of speech. He says, "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." Several months, in fact, more than a year ago, the editor of the Bible Banner handed me some correspondence from Brother Claud F. Witty of Detroit, Michigan, to deal with as I saw fit in the Bible Banner. Other things arose occasioning articles and nothing was done about the Witty correspondence. This same material has recently appeared in the Firm Foundation and reminded me of the necessity of some things being said with regard to it. Incidentally, things that have not yet been said. As you who have read recent Firm Foundations know, Brother Witty is at the "wailing wall" weeping over the defection of Brother Ernest Beam of Long Beach, California, who has to all intents and purposes become "digressive" with reference to the question of instrumental music in the worship. This article concerns itself with Brother Beam only incidentally, however. Brother Witty, past and present, is our concern. Our brother has reversed the Bible statement, "They that sow in tears shall reap in joy" (Ps. 125:5). Brother Witty has sown in joy, now he reaps in tears. His incubator product that was his pride and joy but a few years past has to his utter chagrin and grief come home to roost, and the full grown product is so monstrously ugly and palpably evil that he gasps in surprise and sobs in dismay.

The Incubator Product

Some of my readers may not know what is meant when I speak of Brother Witty's "incubator product." Reference is made to the Witty-Murch "Unity Movement" that was hatched in Detroit less than a decade ago. This movement purported to be for the purpose of uniting the Christian Churches and the Churches of Christ. In view of the fact that the Christian Churches had no intention of giving up instrumental music in the worship, the movement actually was a wire walking experiment with the innovators. In this movement, Brother Witty took great pride and joy. It was effectively killed, however, by a vigorous fight made by the Bible Banner and its valiant editor. Others, of course, opposed the movement, but the brunt of the battle was borne by the Banner and its editor. This is not boasting. It is simply stating a fact known to the brotherhood generally.

Time VI.ndicates The Warrior

The things that follow are written without the knowledge or consent of the man about whom they are written. They are the author's sole responsibility, and he takes pleasure in saying them because they are true. The editor of the Bible Banner, Foy E. Wallace Jr., did not escape unscathed from the battle already mentioned. The Unity Movement promoters and sympathizers descended upon him enmasse with their barbed weapons of fury. To no avail they attacked him. He stood his ground and fought and won. Though his enemies were legion and his critics on every hand, he waged his battle unto victory. Benevolent Father Time now comes, as he has a way of doing, to vindicate the warrior and the warfare. Brother Wallace predicted with precise accuracy the monstrous character of the full-grown product of the Detroit incubator. Time vindicates his prophecy in Ernest Beam's teaching and practice, and Brother Witty moans at the "wailing wall" that it should be thus.

The Chickens Have Certainly Come Home To Roost

The legitimate fruit, the logical conclusion, the inevitable and inescapable consequence of the "Unity Movement" hatched and launched into life in Detroit by brother Claud F. Witty is the very attitude toward digression now preached by Brother Beam. When Brother Witty saw his chicken coming into the roost, he was aghast. Could this be his chicken? Undoubtedly it was. Could nothing be done about it? Try he must, and he did, to no avail. The letters you have read in the Firm Foundation which passed between Witty and Beam show you how earnestly he tried, but it was too late. Now, Brother Witty hastens to the "wailing wall" to mourn the character of his full-grown product. He is your chicken, Brother Witty, what are you going to do about him? Far be it from the editor of the Bible Banner to tell you, "I told you so", but I do not mind telling you that he told you so.

The Moral Of This Sad Story

The moral of this sad story is found in the saying, CHICKENS ALWAYS COME HOME TO ROOST. The brotherhood at large should learn from this the crying need of eternal vigilance. There are movements and tendencies today just as fraught with evil possibilities as the "Unity Movement" of bygone days. Premillennialism still rears its ugly head. Institutionalism is on the march. Modernism slithers its crooked course and licks its forked tongue at our very doorsteps. Worldliness sings her siren song and rolls her wanton eyes in the programs of New Testament churches. Will a decade hence find legions at the "wailing wall" weeping over Zion and the bitter fruits of apostasy? We will most certainly unless those who recognize the baneful tendencies of the hour stand and stand together in crying out in the name of Jesus against every departure from the simplicity of the New Testament gospel. May it be the unswerving determination of every loyal citizen of the kingdom that "They shall not pass"!