"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.III Pg.4
October 1942

A Characteristic Reaction

A recent issue of the Bible Banner carried an editorial criticism of some things that are going on in some of the colleges both in teaching and practice, and we may add, conduct. The article carried no bitterness, but was a plain, straightforward expression of concern for the cause of Christ and the character of our young people. I have received a number of compliments on the spirit of the article from the immediate vicinities of the schools, with many expressions of hope that the results of such an article might prove wholesome.

Worthy of singular mention, however, is the reaction of the callow president of the Pepperdine College in Los Angeles, who remarked, "O, well, nobody pays any attention to Foy Wallace anyway"! That answer runs true to form, exactly what could be expected, and it proves precisely the attitude that has been charged against the youthful administration of this college. I have not wanted anybody to pay any attention to me, but if the president has an illusion that nobody pays any attention to the treatment of these issues in the Bible Banner, we suggest that he ask Clinton Davidson for some information on that point. Where is the Davidson movement? Where is the New Christian leader? After he interviews Davidson, he might hold a consultation with Murch and Witty. Where is the National Unity Movement?

Brother Hugh cannot toss these things aside with a flippant remark and a wave of the hand. High-hatting will not get anywhere on this issue. He is not dealing with a clique now that he can bend to his will with a gesture. Let him refuse to give the attention to the issues that a silent but tense brotherhood now knows they demand and deserve and he may become disillusioned on who pays any attention to whom. The mind of the brethren is becoming more and more conscious of the importance of these things. And it has become generally known that the college is endangering the church in the far West through the influence of a dean that has all of the earmarks of a modern psychologist, and a young president who is green enough to believe that he can ignore these issues. Remember Absalom, son. His good looks and public popularity got the best of him, too, you know.

There are many who feel deeply concerned over the conditions in the California college. Their anxiety should be considered. Among them are the best people in the church. They are not faultfinders and cranks, but thinking, discriminating brethren who love the Cause and do not want to see it withered by departure. Already a parallel is being drawn between what is happening now in Pepperdine College and what happened in Abilene Christian College several years ago when the college there retained George A. Klingman and David L. Cooper over the protest of many of the best brethren in Texas and elsewhere. Men of the eminence of M. C. Kurfees warned the management of the Abilene college that these men were unsafe teachers, but the warnings were ignored and Brother Kurfees was ridiculed by some of the faculty members and charged with interference by others. Now everybody knows that Brother Kurfees was right. As a result of keeping such men in the school several young men went into modernism and digression. Abilene Christian College has not lived over the effect of these blind blunders—neither has the church. The general impression is that the present dean of the Pepperdine College is about the same type. Such men manifest a certain deep piety and are possessed of a "magnetic personality," but they are unsound in their general attitude toward the church and issues that vitally affect its integrity. The defiant attitude of the president of the college runs true to form. His statements sound familiar.

What business is it of mine? Just this. I belong to the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. The young men who come from the schools will not only be the future preachers but also the future elders, deacons and leaders in the churches. The young women will be the wives of these preachers, elders and deacons. The church of the next generation is in the molding. That is where the schools involve the church—and anything that involves the church is some of my business.

The things that have been said of the colleges are true. They have not been successfully denied. It is the solemn duty of those in charge of these schools to correct the weakness in them if it requires a purging from the attic to the cellar to make them true to the principles of New Testament teaching. That would require courage, of course, but weaklings should not be in charge of such institutions. This is no time for weaklings. We need men—men with the intestinal stamina to do what is right regardless of opposition. Any man who will not do it is a time—server, and the New Testament tells us plainly what God thinks of them.

True to sound doctrine, the potentialities of the colleges are unlimited. But the converse is also true. Their active and latent influence can affect the church for generations to come. Remember—practically all of the departures in the past have centered in the colleges. If you do not believe that, you need to read history. Of course, an institution with a vast amount of money to back it can continue regardless of criticism. No one can put them out of business, no one desires to do so; at least I am very far from having any such desire. But they can forfeit the goodwill of loyal-minded brethren, and when that is done, they are reduced to a mere worldly institution with no good reason to exist.

Doubtless certain ones will pay as little attention to this as they allegedly did to the other. But among the thousands who are reading it there are many hearts that are responsive to it and with quickened beats feel the impulse to do something about it. As for the professors themselves they might read with profit what Paul said of some professors of olden times who "professing to be wise they become fools." A man of some wisdom and education himself, in the Old Testament, also said a thing that experience has verified—"pride goeth before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall." The principle may be applicable to institutions as well as men-for institutions are made of men.

I love California. I love her sunny slope that stretches from the mountains to the sea. I love the people who are there, many of whom are my steadfast friends. I love the Cause; you love the church of the Son of God. It is in interest of His church the present and the future—and not in spite that these things are said. The Cause in California is young. It is not sturdy and strong enough to sweep back the tides of compromise and digression. For men to take advantage of this lack of strength to seduce the church, and lead it away from the Lord, is a capital crime, and God will not hold him guiltless who does it, or silently allows it to be done.