"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.III No.X Pg.1
May 1941

Put Thy Fist, Brother

Cled E. Wallace

A brother of ours in the flesh and in the Lord has written a personal letter to the man who heaped personal abuse on the editor of the Bible Banner in an article which exceeds in bitterness anything that has come under my observation. The guilty wretch, of course, published the letter, assumed a grotesque air of injured innocence and piously proclaimed to his readers that he was being persecuted just like his Lord was. Now, as to the letter, I have some observations of my own to make about it, inasmuch as it has been published, even if it does involve a rebuke to a beloved brother. The letter was of that kind which we all feel like writing at times, but should never mail. He called the misguided and soured author of the article "a liar" and expressed an unmistakable and fervent desire to twist his nose and otherwise mess up his countenance. Now, I cannot agree to that. The feeling, under the circumstances, is no doubt a natural one, especially in a magnificent giant who has had army training, but remember, son, that we are not in that sort of a fight. We have become partakers of the divine nature and fists and clubs and abusive language are definitely out. If any literal blood is shed in this conflict it will be ours, not theirs. A lot of our friends are like to feel some applause rising within them for the personal sentiments expressed by this brother of ours and what I am saying is for their benefit as well as his.

In the first place, you should not have called him a liar. It was bad strategy and so unnecessary. I am not prepared to attack the accuracy of your remarks along that particular line, but then, why tell him? He knows the facts as well as you do and your telling him what he already knew added nothing constructive to the controversy. A man of his type of thinking would not even resent the insult, but be filled with glee over the fact that you were mad enough to "match adjectives" with him. It gives him a feeling of importance to know that he was able to get under your skin like that. Your letter reveals a loss of poise on your part which is unlike you, and which I do not like to see, as much as I appreciate your natural feeling and affection for us. Another thing, you are old enough to know, and have been around enough to know, that when a man gets as mad as the fellow is you wrote that letter to, you just, naturally can't expect too much of him in the way of telling the truth. He just couldn't if he wanted to, and he just naturally can't want to in that explosive frame of mind. So your first mistake was in calling him a liar. You are entitled to your personal opinion, but you should have kept it to yourself, or at least a little closer home.

In the next place you are clearly wrong in your expressed desire to twist or mash some blood from his proboscis. Remember what happened to Peter when he sliced that fellow's ear off. Peter possibly didn't aim to. There is a suspicion that he aimed to cut his head off and the fellow dodged. Anyhow the affair didn't tickle the Lord a little bit. He put that fellow's ear right back on. We don't want anybody, much less somebody in the family, going around knocking somebody's face out of plumb because of anything he says about us. If I could be there and had the power to straighten it back up, it might not be so bad, but then I can't do that you know.

Another thing, your judgment has not kept apace with your anger. Just think a little son. You've got sense. Diagnose his trouble, the man you wrote that letter to, and incidentally gave him a cue for a martyr act. The first thing that ought to occur to you, being a man of judgment when you are not writing a fool letter like that, is that blood-letting is not even a remedy, much less a cure, for the trouble he has. You can't reach it with your fist or twist it out of him. Even a chiropractor couldn't cure him. There is nothing I know of that could help him except "the love of God shed abroad in our hearts through the Holy Ghost" and he has been repeatedly exposed to that and it didn't take. Of course your letter didn't do any good either. So unfold those doubled up hams of yours, stick them in your pockets, clear the cob-webs from your brain, lift your chin and smile, even disdainful like will be pardonable, and abuse won't hurt you, even as it is not hurting us. We are not afraid of what our friends will think, and we don't care what our enemies do.