"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.V No.XI Pg.14-16
June 1943

The Advocate's Adamant Attitude

A new campaign of calumny has apparently been opened. The old one was born of the Davidson Movement and promoted by Premillennialists, their sympathizers, Boll devotees, and unity-meeting compromisers the brotherhood over. The new one appears to have been launched in the editorial pages of the Gospel Advocate and promoted by its editor.

While the fight was raging to keep the church from being delivered bodily into the control of a digressive-premillennial group, led by Clinton Davidson, the Gospel Advocate was too timid to participate in it. It would not violate editorial sanctity by taking part in the fight for the right against the insidious influences of the Davidson-Witty-Munch propaganda. The Gospel Advocate at that time appointed "an editorial committee" to appease the Davidson element, and stated its policy. It was strictly a non-personalities policy, a virtual non-controversial policy. Later, it was felt necessary to "re-state" its policy, and ever-so-often after to remind the readers of that policy.

But the Gospel Advocate has abandoned its policy. Perhaps the appeasement committee passed on it, or perhaps they did not--but the Gospel Advocate has abandoned its policy and has descended to the plane of low personalities. It is conducting a campaign of calumny--the most ignoble of all personalities, the kind that attacks character, not by open indictment but by veiled quotations, low insinuations and slimy slurs.

If the Gospel Advocate feels that it can afford to engage in such, it is their privilege to pursue that course. But the cause the BIBLE BANNER upholds does not require it. We have often debated with men who would in the humiliation of defeat resort to personalities and mudslinging. We have always replied that the truth does not require that sort of thing, and men do not resort to it except when they have been defeated in their efforts at argument. Sectarian preachers may feel that they can afford to engage in such, but gospel preachers who are Christian gentlemen cannot do so.

If we should answer everything in the articles it would have no bearing on the issues involved. They are outstanding in two respects only: 1. The absence of argument; 2. The example of how an editor of reputation as a gentleman can act when he gets mad and loses his equilibrium. Readers of the Gospel Advocate have so expressed themselves to us in conversation and in letter. Therefore, so far as we are concerned, the Advocate and its editor are welcome to whatever they think they may gain by such a course. In pursuing it, they will rally around them the scattered remnants of the Davidson element, but in so doing they have also put the "Gospel Advocate" (?) in the same class with certain other papers published by the "unmentionables" among us. The Advocate is doing it to its own hurt.

"A Divided House"

In an effort to mitigate the spectacle of a house divided against itself, as the Gospel Advocate surely is, reference was made to "important men" connected with the BIBLE BANNER. Among the ones mentioned were E. G. Creacy and Yater Tant, personal friends of the editor. After reading the editorial, Brother Tant made a trip from Chicago to Indianapolis to see me and spent two or three days in my meeting. He told me that he was "thoroughly disgusted" with the Goodpasture editorial, and thought everybody ought to be. As for Brother E. G. Creacy, the following words in a letter received from him will speak for itself.

Sunday Night, May 23, '43.

Dear Brother Wallace:

I will write you a few lines tonight. I have had it in my system for several days to write to you-+since reading Brother Goodpasture's editorial in the May 13th issue of the Advocate.

I deeply regret that Brother Goodpasture became so ugly and personal in his attempt to answer your article in a recent issue of the BIBLE BANNER. The idea of a man--a Christian in his position, and with his reputation of being so nice and sweet, descending so low as to say the unbecoming things he has said. He refers to the fine magazine you published, as the "now defunct Gospel Guardian," but when you published it, he praised it (Gospel Guardian, February, 1936, page 32). Has Brother Goodpasture "changed"? How can he slur a gospel magazine now, that he praised at one time? Among the un-Christian things he says, this one is in the list: "Yet there may be those who think he ranks higher as a grammarian than as a financier." Brother Wallace, I want you to know that I do not approve such un-Christian attacks.

Brother Goodpasture has definitely convinced me that he is more interested in stabbing you, the BIBLE BANNER, and trying to discredit the great work you have done in defending the church against the many isms and fads of the present day, than he is in defending the Conscientious Objectors. When has Brother Goodpasture ever fought a battle to save the church? When the Davidson Movement threatened the church, Brother Goodpasture was as silent as the grave-yard. Finally, by the help and encouragement of a good Brother (whose initials I can give), he did write one fairly good editorial against the Witty-Munch foolishness, but that was after the BIBLE BANNER had killed the thing.

I have read all you have written, and I have read a lot that others have written. I haven't seen any sign of bitterness upon your part, but I have seen plenty of it upon the part of some who are attacking you. While I cannot say that I am convinced that a Christian can consistently engage in carnal war, I think you have given us something to think about and to consider in the light of New Testament teaching. I believe you are sincere, and with pure motives. You have fought hard, suffered much, and I know you have done more than anyone (perhaps more than all others combined) to save the church from Premillennialism and its attendant evils. I love and appreciate you, and detest the ugly attacks upon you. I remember you regularly at the throne of grace. May you live long, enjoy good health, and continue to be humble and clean. Power be unto you.

Your true friend and brother in Christ,

E. G. Creacy.

I neither deserve nor accept the rating given to me in this letter. I have never done anything for the Master's Cause worth talking about and I feel ashamed when anybody talks about sacrifices or sufferings on my part. They are not worthy of mention. But as the editor of the Advocate has made use of the names of these men, I feel justified in relaying their reactions to the readers.

As for the firm which prints the BIBLE BANNER--they have no connection with the paper in any capacity. They are not the publishers of it. They are the job printers. The former printers were also a commercial printing firm who were not even members of the church. What has that to do with the Gospel Advocate being a divided house? Not a thing. It is just a--sample of some of the "subterfuge" and the "dodging" that the Advocate editor talks about. If the printers of the BIBLE BANNER were the owners and publishers of it, as McQuiddy is of the Gospel Advocate, and were in disagreement with us on the issues, and we should challenge the editor of the Advocate for a debate on issues upon which we ourselves were divided, the, cases would be parallel. But in the first place, the printers of the BIBLE BANNER are neither its owners nor its publishers, and they have no connection whatever with it; and, in the second placed, the BIBLE BANNER has not challenged the editors of the Gospel Advocate nor anybody else for a debate on the issues. But Leon. B. McQuiddy is the printer and the publisher and the owner of the Gospel Advocate. He does not agree with its editor on the issues and its editors do not agree among themselves on the issues. If that were the situation with us and we should challenge them for a debate, they could very consistently say (and don't you think they would?)--"you men debate it' among yourselves." Now, that is precisely the status of the Boles "challenge" as it respects us. Where is the parallel? There is none.

The Advocate's effort is no more than a smokescreen to hide behind. The fact remains--an embarrassing fact--that the Gospel Advocate is a divided house on the war question, and it is poor grace for them to be challenging anybody else for a debate.

There is a another embarrassing fact--namely, up to the latest information Brother H. Leo Boles had not even answered the letter from C. R. Nichol, one of his staff-members he challenged for the debate. They talk about somebody "refusing" to debate when they will not even answer letters from their own editors whom they challenged, who did not refuse to debate, but who left the way open for negotiation. "Does Brother Boles really want to debate" the government issue?

Concerning Propositions

It has been pointed out in another article in this issue, that Brother Boles has himself refused to debate a proposition submitted to him by D. A. Sommer. He was challenged to affirm that it is scriptural to teach the Bible through a human organization like David Lipscomb College. Brother Boles said the proposition was not fair. Still, it is a fact that David Lipscomb College is a human organization, and men teach the Bible in it, and I presume "through it," since the College pays "the dean of Bible" and "instructors" of Bible. Anyway, Brother Boles refused to debate the proposition. He demanded that Sommer do the affirming himself on a proposition that Brother Boles wrote out for him! He wanted Sommer to affirm that it is wrong for members of the faculty to teach the Bible in the college.

When the digressives want Brother Boles to affirm that it is wrong or sinful to use instrumental music in the church, Brother Boles refuses on the ground that he would be affirming a negative. But, he submits the same kind of a negative proposition to Sommer, and says: "If you are sincere sign it." He says that Sommer knew that he would not sign the proposition which Sommer submitted to Boles, but he turned around and submitted one to Sommer that he knew Sommer would not sign. And he does the same thing with us--he submits a proposition which he should know that nobody would accept and which Nichol and Whiteside both told him no man of their knowledge, would affirm--but Nichol left the way open for negotiation of propositions, and requested an answer, but Brother H. Leo Boles did not even answer his letter. Still the editor of the Advocate talks about somebody "declining" a debate.

Brother Boles writes the propositions, names the place, method and manner of the debate, and with an impressive gesture says: "Doing everything I say will be the proof that you are sincere."

There are two questions which require the attention of the Advocate if they can leave off the personalities long enough to answer them: First, why does Brother Boles not debate D. A. Sommer? Second, why does Brother Boles not answer C. R. Nichol?

"The Venerable Brethren"

Brother Goodpasture refers to Brethren Boles and Dorris as "these venerable brethren." That, in itself, without any other cause, would let me out of a debate with him. I do not care to debate "venerable brethren." The word "venerable" means: (1) "Claiming veneration or respect through age..." (2) "Capable of being venerated-generally implying advanced age" (3) "Respect mingled with awe, excited by the dignity, wisdom or superiority of a person, by sacredness of character" (4) "To regard with reverential respect, or with admiration and deference as being hallowed... especially if accompanied with age . . ." (5) "Rendered sacred by religious, historic or other association that should be regarded with awe... "

I don't think anybody, except the editor of the Advocate, could read the Dorris letters and still call him "venerable"! As for Brother Boles, since the Advocate does regard him as "venerable," no one could blame me for "declining" to debate him on any proposition. It is entirely becoming in me to turn him over to men on his own staff who are nearer his age than I am. Just let him answer C. R. Nichol's letter, or tell us why he does not.

But B. C. Goodpasture is not "venerable." He is not an old man, and I am not an old man--in fact, I am younger than he is by several years. Does Brother Goodpasture want to "challenge" me for a debate? If he does, it might get some consideration, provided he will not draft a proposition that he knows nobody will accept, like Brother Boles says Brother Sommer did, and like Brother Nichol says Brother Boles did. I wonder what kind of a proposition he would be willing to affirm, since he seems to be so much interested in a debate, and has taken up the cudgel for his "venerable brethren."

It won't do them any good to start talking about the Boles' challenge all over again. He has never let his readers see the Boles' challenge in anything like its true light--he has not published the exchanges, and has not let his readers see what Nichol said to Boles. If they ever see it, I predict that it will be in the paper that "publishes facts that no other paper publishes."

We may yet find out how bad the editor of the Gospel Advocate wants a debate. Since he is already crying over the treatment his "venerable brethren" have received at our hands, that is another reason for me, a young man, not to debate with these old men. I am not wanting to debate anybody on the subject, but if nothing else will satisfy them, and B. C. Goodpasture wants to try his hand at it, I might waive the reasons for not doing so and take him on under provocation. But according to the terms Brother Boles dictated in his letter to Sommer, I have the right to name the place, dictate the arrangements and word the proposition!

Concerning Abrupt Changes

The Advocate still talks around on the subject of "changing"--but it is still silent on H. Leo Boles' "abrupt change" on the Boll question. In 1927 Brother Boles said in the deliberation of debate, after a full investigation of the subject, that there was nothing in the teaching or practice of R. H. Boll that would keep him from fellowshipping him as a very worthy brother in Christ. But in 1936 he came out with the statement that Rom. 16:17 should be applied to R. H'. Boll and his party, that they should be "marked" and "avoided." Who changed? Boll did not. The issue did not. There was no change in teaching or in practice during those few years. Men on the Gospel Advocate staff such as J. C. McQuiddy, F. W. Smith, F. B. Srygley, and M. C. Kurfees had already taken that stand years before. The Gospel Advocate had dismissed R. H. Boll as front page editor. The line had been drawn--R. H. Boll had been "marked." H. Leo Boles knew all of that. The situation was no different in 1936 than it was in 1927 when all the other editors of the Advocate, except S. H. Hall, disagreed with the statement that Brother Boles made at the close of that discussion. The simple fact is, Brother Bales changed his attitude on the subject between 1927 and 1936. Was that an "abrupt change" or not? Between 1936 and 1943, a period of some seven years, I moved over into a consistent position on the government issue. The editor of the Advocate calls that an "abrupt change." But between 1927 and 1936, a similar period of time, Brother Boles moved over into a consistent position on the Boll issue. And we can't get the editor to tell us what kind of a change that was--he won't talk about it, he just talks around it! But leave it to us and "Banquo's ghost," we will not let them forget it. Every time they mention an "abrupt change" we will remind them and everybody else about it. Sauce for the goose is salad dressing for the gander!

Incidentally, instead of something in the past haunting me, it is what we are writing now that is haunting the editor of the Advocate.


"Watchman, What Of The Night?"

On the matter of the "armed officer," or watchman, out at David Lipscomb College, it was stated in two or three articles that "I have been told" that during Brother Boles' administration such a watchman was engaged. Brother Goodpasture had mentioned several things that he "had been told," so I gave him a sample of some things that I "had been told." He now tells us that Brother Boles tells him that he did not employ an "armed guard" for the College. Well, we were not told that soldiers stood at the gates with bayonets! But we were told that the watchman on the premises carried a gun, and that it was done while Brother Boles was president. I now reaffirm that to be the very thing that I have been told again since the denial of it. It may be true that Brother Boles did not employ him, but he must have been employed by somebody. A young man who was a student in the college during the time that Brother Boles was the president has told me again that he went around with the watchman on his beat more than once, and not only saw the watchman's pistol but handled it. There are people in Nashville, Tennessee, who have said that there was such a watchman at that time. There are people out of Nashville who have written in to us to testify that they were students at that time and can verify the fact that there was an armed watchman. Of course, it is possible that Brother Boles and the college merely employed a watchman and left it up to him as to whether he would arm himself or not. It is even possible that Brother Boles did not know, or want to know, that the watchman had a gun. But everybody knows there was a watchman, and some people say that they know there was a gun! So, you had better "hold on, Abner!"

On a question of veracity it might be a draw, and in that case we would all be left to form our own opinions and pass up the argument. The issue would then be reduced to the simple question: Why have a watchman, if he is not armed? If force should become necessary, what could an unarmed officer do? "Call out the police force," says one; "let the sinners do it, we are all members of the church here on this campus!" And if the president of the college should hear some ominous noises, and inquire: "Watchman, what of the night"-the watchman could only reply: Danger, president, but there is nothing I can do about it!

There are two solutions to the situation. First, since it is being argued that it is right for sinners to do it, but wrong for Christians, the College could employ a sinner for a night watchman and let him be armed to protect the Christians. Or, second, as one writer and speaker, who has become more or less prominent in the discussion of these things, said that it would be all right to use "a whip" because Jesus drove them out of the temple that way then, if the watchman is a member of the church, the College could just buy him a whip! True, a watchman with a whip would be at a decided disadvantage if he had to face a criminal armed with an automatic, but that is just one of the "consequences" Brother Goodpasture says one must take to keep from "changing" when "the going becomes hard."

Since Brother Boles will not affirm that it is right for a Christian College to employ an armed watchman, maybe he would affirm that it is wrong for a Christian College to employ an armed watchman. So, they can still have the debate out at the college--among themselves, and advertise to all parents everywhere that the girls in a Christian institution cannot have the protection that they enjoy at home and elsewhere in society.

I certainly do not envy the position in which these brethren have placed themselves before sensible people.

In the not too distant past the equipment of the McQuiddy Printing Company was guarded by a watchman--the very equipment that prints Brother Goodpasture's editorials against resistance was protected by a man prepared to resist a burglar. Consistency, 0, consistency, thou art a jewel!

An Editor Who Will Not Change

Finally, the editor of the Advocate announces to the world that he has stated his views once for all and that he will not under any circumstances change, even when to do so would put him on "the popular side." In a previous issue of the Advocate we were told that there were only two--just two---of the able pioneers who held our views on this issue. That sounded very much like we are the ones who are on the unpopular side. In that article the popular side was pictured as the side that Brother Goodpasture is on-and it was an editorial, too. But now he has "abruptly" become a martyr, is on the unpopular side, and says that he will not shift to the popular side. We are doing better than I thought we were in making converts on the issue!

If it is such a reproach to change views on a subject of this kind--why does Brother Boles challenge his fellow editors for a debate in order to try to "change" someone else? But the editor of the Advocate will not under any circumstances change. He assures everybody of it--and you can lay to that, as the seaman would say. What an adamant editor! He reminds me of the fellow who would never admit that he was wrong, and when he fell downstairs head first, he jumped up and said, "That's the way I come down all the time!" When a man says that he cannot be wrong on a thing, and under no circumstances will he ever change, does it represent the spirit of investigation? When the evidence turns against him it surely puts him in an evil situation. Such a statement will be taken by most people as evidence of a bitter, prejudiced and vindictive mind rather than a love for the truth and a willingness to accept it. It is just another position in which the editor of the Advocate places himself that I certainly do not envy.

If the Advocate "really wants to debate," the "venerable" Brother Boles ought to negotiate with Brother Nichol or Brother Whiteside--neither of them has "fled the field" as yet.