"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.I Pg.1
August 1942

Rare Wisdom On Warm Topics

Cled E. Wallace

When some periodicals circulating helter-skelter about the country poke out their tongues at the editor and me and try to do justice to our latest efforts by using such terms as "palaver," "thin-skinned," "trickster-effort," "cheap-tactics," "a blustering war-monger," no better than "a premillennialist," "copperhead practivities" and a general charge that we have departed from the faith, and a specific charge that I have perpetrated "a slander upon God Almighty," there is obviously too much excitement in those sources to produce a sane discussion of issues. One brother is so mixed up he is unable to distinguish between "our American government" and those of "Japan and Germany" and thinks they are "the same." He is anxious that I "favor" him "with a reply." I think it unnecessary. What little there is of merit these brethren have said has already been answered in the Bible Banner. We cannot waste much time trying to "define a defensive" war for the benefit of an editor (?) who writes as though he never heard of Poland, Belgium, Holland, Norway, Greece and Pearl Harbor. How is this for rare wisdom on a warm topic ?

"If the world is not under the rule and dominion of the devil, then, the mission of Christ unto the world is meaningless, for he came into the world to rescue it from the possession and rule of the devil."

He did not come to rescue it from civil government as Jehovah's Witnesses as some of the brethren seem to think. On the other hand God ordained government to be "an avenger and wrath to him that doeth evil." Civil government is "a minister of God to thee for good" and "beareth not the sword in vain." Yet, a serious challenge is issued to us to "prove that war has ever been a process of justice." I think we won't dissolve our courts and dismiss our police just yet. Nor will we go on a hunger strike and let "Japan and Germany" take charge. Some of us do not believe they are "the same" as "our American government." We are not asking the "favor" of a reply. Just call us some more bad names! The cause of "Sound Doctrine" ought to be greatly advanced thereby!

Brother Showalter is all-out right when he says:

"There has never been a time in the history of the present generation, when Christians have been privileged to reflect more brilliantly the character of our Lord, and to show in a better light their loyalty to the government."

The report has come to me that one of "our" preachers, whose name should really be called, said in a sermon: "Let the alley rats do the fighting; we Christians have nothing to do with it." It is said that "parents of soldiers sat there and took it." Should he be called to account for his slander against the army, he would probably go on a hunger strike and get his picture taken with his legs crossed, an open Bible in his lap and his eyes rolled toward heaven. "Our American government" is certainly not "the same" as that of "Japan and Germany" when it bends over backwards to respect the individual consciences of the over-scrupulous and allows some preachers to use pulpit and press to call our soldiers "rats" and murderers and do all they can to hinder the boys from becoming soldiers. They ought to be glad they are in America. If they were in Japan or Germany, they would be shot—quick. We do not propose to allow them to commit the church to their program.

Brother Showalter says:

"A Christian might not want to serve as a Sheriff, and might conscientiously decline such service. So he might conscientiously decline to serve as a combatant in war, but it is certainly a poorly educated conscience, so far as the scriptures are concerned, that would cause any professed Christian to decline to serve the government as a non-combatant."

That seems reasonable enough but one bright light who shines by day and night on the pages of a periodical that boasts of both its youth and its size "certainly" exhibits "a poorly educated conscience." He avers, does he, that the man who makes a gun for the government is a twin-sinner with the one who uses it. So a Christian must not even help make the "sword" God ordained the government to use! If he had his way, he would probably Gandhize the church in this crisis as far as its members are able "to serve the government" is concerned. But this is not India and he is not Gandhi and neither the church nor the government will pay him much mind, which is as it should be. If all Americans were like him, Japan and Germany could move in and take charge without going to the trouble of bringing their guns and tanks. They wouldn't need anything but fly-swatters.

There is a type of "conscientious objector" we respect, as also does the government, when they are not too noisy about it, and most of them seem to be preachers. At least a few preachers are making the most noise. It is a question with me why some of them do not renounce their citizenship and become men without a country, assuming that they feel the same way they express themselves. Certainly, membership in the church binds a man to do his part in carrying out the legitimate plans and purposes of the church. Citizenship in the government likewise binds him to do his part in carrying out the legitimate plans of the government. God does not authorize a government to do anything immoral or to perpetrate injustice and wrong. Some seem to entertain the idea that government must be administered exclusively by sinners. Why? Are the legitimate activities of government sinful? Be careful, for God authorizes them, even the use of the sword, the protection of life and property and the punishment of crime. Does God have one moral law for sinners and another for Christians? If so how did a sinner become such? He was not born that way.