"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.XI Pg.6
June 1941

A Haven Of Refuge

Cled E. Wallace

Brother Jess Hall of Itasca, Texas sends his thanks to Brother Showalter of the Firm Foundation, who was pleased enough with it to put it in the paper. Here are his words

I want to thank you for your splendid editorial in the June 3rd issue of the Firm Foundation on "Religious Journalism." The letter by Brother M.C. Franklin was timely and along with your editorial and by way of encouragement, I hope will serve as a haven of refuge wherein the weak and fainthearted may seek safety from the destructive deluge of hatred and intense aversion, coming from the muddy fountains of supposed to be strong brethren.

Under ordinary circumstances, it would please me for Brother Hall to compliment Brother Showalter. I have done the same thing myself and have defended him against charges that I thought were unjust. The circumstances in this case are somewhat unusual. Brother Showalter seems to be playing second fiddle to us in that some of the brethren are sending him daggers intended for us wrapped in compliments for himself. We can take it all right and maintain our accustomed poise in doing so, but feel that we are entitled to make some pertinent comments about this strange turn of events. The compliments are only incidental. The point is in the dagger thrusts in our direction. Brother Showalter is welcome to the compliments and we assure him that we feel capable of taking care of the daggers.

It seems very "timely" for Brother Franklin to classify us as "factionists" and "ecclesiastical gangsters" and call on brethren everywhere to refuse us all recognition and for Brother Showalter to publish it and write an editorial "by way of encouragement." It is generally known that we have carried on a persistent campaign and an effective one against subversive movements in the church. At times the fight has been pretty bitter. We have been on the receiving end of a good deal of abuse, some of which has been recently published in the Firm Foundation. At the best, or the worst, as the case may be, Brother Showalter is not entitled to stand up in the temple and thank the Lord that he is not like other editors are, especially after publishing the Franklin "deluge of ...intense aversion." We seem to be in the first act of a comedy of errors which threatens to become hilarious. Some "weak and faint-hearted" brethren need "a haven of refuge wherein" they "may seek safety from the destructive deluge" that flows" from the muddy fountains of" the Bible Banner. They are invited to take shelter under the benevolent wings of the Firm Foundation. Some of them will revive and feel strong again when they get there and hear Brother Franklin call us names and John O'Dowd calls us nasty. We have a host of good brethren supporting us, some of them in high places, who are neither "weak" nor "faint-hearted." If any feel the need of the "haven of refuge" offered them in the Firm Foundation, they have our permission to take advantage of it, and we advise them to get going, for this "deluge" we are loosing against false doctrine, unscriptural practices, and unholy methods, is likely to continue for more than forty days and forty nights. We are not backing up. The effort now being made to classify us with that wild and irresponsible type of journalism which has recently sprung up in the extreme southern part of Texas is a ruse which will not succeed. It so happens that I am at this writing in Mission, Texas in the Rio Grande Valley in a meeting. Churches and preachers down here are for us and do not hesitate to say so. We were the first ones to try to stem "the destructive deluge of hatred" as Brother Jess would say, and brethren down here know it. Many of them are friends of the Firm Foundation and its editor. We are also, and will continue to be if he will let us. But if he thinks it "timely" to open up the columns of the Firm Foundation for attacks on us "by way of encouragement" to "the weak and faint-hearted" we will do our best to take care of the matter in as nice a manner as possible. We do not preach and we do not write like the irresponsibles some are trying to yoke us up with for universal rejection by the brethren. Nobody has a greater aversion to their intemperate rantings than we have. We build up churches and they tear them down. The truth of this is best known where both of us are known. The charge made against us in the Firm Foundation that we are waging a fight against young preachers inspired by jealousy is too incredible and absurd to even be denied. We are not asking for any sympathy and have no martyr acts to put on. We are proud of the fight we have made because we believe we are right and we propose to continue that fight along the same line. I am thinking that some of the casualties of this war would not be too welcome under the wings of the Firm Foundation. Whenever the editor of the Firm Foundation thinks it "timely" to inaugurate a movement to refuse" us "all recognition" for anything we advocate or practice, we will be glad to have him frankly and clearly formulate the charges and we promise to consider them fully and fairly. We will not accept M. C. Franklin and John O'Dowd as prosecutors, judges and jury in the case. Brother Showalter has the right, of course, to his opinion about our type of journalism, and to express it if he wants to. For one, I do not mind saying that I have a high regard for his opinions. I do not think he can blame me much for saying that I do not think he is contributing anything to the cause of the higher type of journalism he craves by allowing men, who. are no better than we are, and who are emotionally upset besides, to say the things about us that have appeared on the pages of the Firm Foundation. We take no pleasure in joining issue with the Firm Foundation on anything. Like many others we are still somewhat under the spell of that name. There are some personal ties that bind us to its editor. We would much prefer to join him in abhorring that which is evil and cleaving to that which is good. He would not think we were very good neighbors if we set our dogs on him every time he passed our front gate. If he can't make his behave he ought to put an editorial chain on them when we are around. No offense is intended and will not be taken unless somebody presses the figure further than we intend him to.