"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.16
August 1942

The "Diabolical" And "Apostate" Bible Reader

Cled E. Wallace

The printed reaction to some of the things we have said in the Bible Banner is more in the way of an exhibition of bad manners than an enlightening discussion of an issue. Some of these men who have been loud in their praise of us and the paper to the point of extravagance appear to now be choking with rage and vying with one another in the selection of adjectives that will do justice to our depravity. You should compose yourselves, gentlemen, for we cannot run with you in these excesses. We might even feel inclined to excuse the greenness in judgment of some of them due to their youth. The editor and I have sons older than some of them, yet they airily refer to "Cled" and "Foy" and contemptuously refer to other men as "cowardly," men with long records of service and old enough to be their grandfathers. It reveals a disqualifying lack of equilibrium. There is such a thing as a young man looking into the mirror of his self-esteem and getting the reflection of an image that is "young and powerful, firm and fearless." Youth is addicted to such dreams, but it is unfortunate when they are taken seriously, reduced to print and circulated all over the country and the dreamer strains himself to act the part. It often leads to a lot of bluff and bluster that is everything but edifying. Some editors would do well to read the book of Proverbs, with particular attention to those parts that deal with wisdom and the use of speech. All of them could do so with profit. It should be compulsory for young editors, especially the kind that are "firm and fearless."

Youth is not entitled to all the blame when it comes to excesses and bad manners in writing. Some older men are virtually acting as godfathers to some of these ranting, tearing youngsters and setting them bad examples in name-calling and tantrum-writing. Why all the recent pyrotechnics against the Bible Banner from our erstwhile friends, some young, some old? An old one who esteems himself as one of the best friends the editor ever had or ever will have resorts to such terms as "diabolical" and supposes we are afflicted with "a case of religio-politico hydrophobia." Of course "diabolical" is a nice word meaning "devilish; outrageously wicked; impious" and whatever else the brother says we have "a case of," the reader will have to figure out for himself. I went through Scott and White Clinic in Temple, Tex., a few months ago and the doctors couldn't find anything wrong with me. Maybe only the editor is afflicted with this peculiar "case of." He had a couple of operations and maybe the surgeon sewed up something in him they should have removed. A vocabulary is useful but it should not be allowed to have running fits.

Now, Brother "Young and Powerful, Firm and Fearless" charges that the editor is an apostate from the truth," and, takes particular pains to see that the issue of the paper he is editor of and which carries the personal charges against the editor of the Bible Banner is given wide circulation in localities where he thinks it will hurt him. Another tender shoot in the editorial free-for-all calls us war-mongers and no better than premillennialists and follows the same tactics in circulating his paper. Now seriously, what have we done to these gentlemen, young and old and former friends, to cause them to attack us so intemperately and with such reckless abandon? Why have we so suddenly become traitors and apostates with their "diabolical" implications? Why, we crossed them, simply disagreed with them and advanced a position they cannot accept. Did we cross them on the gospel? O, no, we just happened to run athwart one of their hobbies, a pet notion of theirs. And they are bombarding us with adjectives, all the way from hell to hydrophobia. I have heard of men who were distressingly weak in argument to try to make up for it in meanness, but I am not going to think this of my former friends unless they force me to. We propose to exercise our rights to express our honest convictions on public questions even if it brings a barrage of bad-smelling adjectives converging on us from Montgomery, Birmingham and Dallas. We are so sure we are right in our contention that we are not tempted to return the ugly feelings some of our friends seem to have suddenly developed toward us, and shall "decline, as we have done before in similar cases, to match adjectives with them.

It so happens that we have taken issue with a theory of Civil Government advanced by Brother David Lipscomb. That isn't lese-majesty. A lot of brethren smarter than we are, and with as high a regard for Brother Lipscomb as we have, did that. Brother M. C. Kurfees was one of them. Brother Lipscomb's theory on government was not inspired. Brethren generally have not taken to it very seriously. It is even claimed that enough brethren vote in Tennessee to decide who the governor will be, or to swing a close mayor's race in Nashville. Even Birmingham and Montgomery brethren cannot be held to the theory.

Even though teapots are singing in Birmingham, Montgomery and Dallas, the Nashville front is rather quiet. The editor of the Gospel Advocate has raised a timid voice in behalf of conscientious objectors. He wants us all to be sure and know "that there are really such persons" and quotes the First Lady of the Land to prove it. He thinks they should be respected as Mrs. Roosevelt says and "not ridiculed, as some seem to think." Very well, I agree with Brother Goodpasture and Mrs. Roosevelt on this point and I suspect I can go along with her farther than he can. There are some "conscientious objectors" I can respect more than I can others. For instance, I have never been able to work up much of a lather of respect for the kind that will not even put on a uniform and enter "non-combatant service" but hires himself off to some sectarian refuge and wants the brethren to take up a collection to support him, while others with better-educated consciences are working and fighting for the country. I hope it will not be considered disrespectful or ridiculous if I refuse to pass the hat. If Uncle Samuel can stand that sort of thing, I certainly ought to. I surely do not want to be. "Un-American, unconstitutional, and, in this case, unscriptural" all at the same time. But right here and now, I want to rise up in meetin' to observe that because these "conscientious objectors" even though they are "wrong," are "due some consideration," that does not mean that they are entitled to hog all of it. We have some "deep convictions" of our own in this matter. Are they being respected? If Mrs. Roosevelt ever comes my way, I'm going to ask her to make a speech and point out how some of our "conscientious objectors" ought to make less noise and show more "respect" for those of us who are willing to wear a uniform and lend active support to the armed forces of the government. They demand respect for their consciences but behold how little some of them are respecting ours. Mrs. Roosevelt certainly did not mean that "the fact that there really are such persons as conscientious objectors" justifies them in claiming a monopoly on this thing called respect. We do not think they ought to demand respect of us while they insult us. If I can get Mrs. Roosevelt to make the speech on our behalf, I shall insist that Brother Goodpasture give it editorial attention and pass along the suggestion, that even we "are due some consideration." I believe it would be "un-American, unconstitutional, and, in this case, unscriptural," for him to fail to do so. Of course if he fails to find anything he can say for us that he can prove by Mrs. Roosevelt and the Constitution, we shall try to take the scriptures anyhow and do the best we can in our own behalf.