"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.VI No.X Pg.1,3b
May 1944

Concerning Several Things

Cled E. Wallace

This Is War

We join the thousands who know that no words can describe the horror that grips the soul when the message comes that "your son is missing in action." John was a first lieutenant in the A. A. F., First Pilot on a B-24 Liberator bomber. He went down over Italy. We cling to the hope that he is alive and will return to us. The flood of letters and telegrams coming from friends throughout the country shall receive my personal attention as fast as I can get to them. This is war and we are in it. We claim no exemptions from the responsibilities of citizenship in this great country of ours and we are taking ours with chins up and no whining.

A Good Meeting

We have just closed a good meeting here in Temple with the 7th St. and Ave. G. church. The editor of the Bible Banner did the preaching. I can be absolved on a possible charge of exercising my influence for reasons of personal kinship in getting him here, as this is the very first meeting we have been together throughout. In all the years we have preached, this was the first time I have ever heard him through one. In fact I have before this heard him preach a surprisingly few times. Now, I am at some loss to know, just what to say. The modest editor of the Gospel Advocate blushes when we compliment each other, but I am going to risk saying that "the canny editor" and "the ace writer" really got along pretty well. From my point of view the preaching was magnificent and the size of the attendance and other reactions indicated that others thought so too. He was invited without any prompting on my part to return later in the year for another meeting. I interposed no objections, for I had none.

I lived here for about a dozen years, moved away, and came back because the brethren wanted me to and I wanted to. The church is not a large one but it is a good one. If it were much larger it would probably be too large for me. We are doing some good work in a modest sort of way and attending to our own business. We have planned no grandiloquent program for other churches to carry out.

The meeting added something both in the ways of numbers and influence to the work here.

Class Room Agitation

I understand when I bade Brother Brigance adieu "for the duration" that he was going to say no more about the "war question." His contention is that it should not he discussed. I am informed that he merely withdrew from the paper to his class room. He has expressed to groups of students in his classes that he regrets the agitation "the Wallace brothers" are carrying on. He further avers that he is likely to do so again. Very well, so mote it be I have not beard of him being very hard on the boys in "our schools" who are closer to knee pants than middle age, who are writing immature books asserting that it is sinful for Christians to serve in the armed forces of the country. These books come from college presses and do the schools no good. I suppose the neophytes who write them are not agitators! Why should we keep quiet? We have always behaved very well until somebody stirred us up. By the way, it would be interesting, since we have become a subject of classroom discussion in Freed-Hardeman college, for the honored president of that school to speak up and say plainly what he thanks about the issue we have raised. We are not interested in what he thinks of us, what does he think about the issue? I think I know, but there are others who have their doubts. If he has good reasons to keep the school on the fence, he should keep Brother Brigance quiet. He has shown quite clearly that he is not on the fence.

Is He Changing?

Brother Boles, of the Gospel Advocate, has come out with an editorial (the editor seldom writes one) chiding the brethren and even some preachers for their lack of hospitality to soldiers. Well, of all things! Maybe they had heard of Brother Boles' position on civil government, his attitude on the war in which our government is engaged, and decided they should not be too nice to our soldiers. As I recall, a short time ago Brother Boles wanted to affirm that the motive of the government in going to war was to destroy the lives and properties of its enemies, and that no Christian could lend support to such a thing. Would Brother Boles extend hospitality to a murderer or a potential criminal? It is possible that Brother Boles is changing. "O, the fickleness of man!" Maybe if he swings over far enough he will give his editor something to write about. It really would not be necessary, for Birmingham or Montgomery could furnish him some suitable material.

Riding His Hobby Horse

Many papers advocating sundry and various doctrines come to my desk. A very unique one operates under the cognomen "The Ordained Elder." The editor of it has written a book and perennially reminds us of the fact. According to him the book is unique inasmuch as it is the only book which has ever been written which sets forth the whole truth on "the elderhood." He has discovered that the ordaining of elders is something entirely different from the appointment of them and inordinately rides his hobby in and out of season. He is noisy about it and is making quite an effort to stir up an insurrection in his own congregation over the matter. He even goes to the extreme of daring them to withdraw from him and I'm wondering if they should not accommodate him. But that is not my affair. But here is something that is my affair:

"In spite of all of our effort in studying and writing upon the subject apparently there is not a man in the whole country in the church serving as editor or as editor and publisher of even one church paper who considers the teaching of any importance whatsoever. He neither endorses the teaching nor presumes to attack it. One of two things appears to offer a reason. Either there is not one of them who cares a hang about it or the whole matter has gone over their heads."

He further avers that "not one Bible teacher in our Christian colleges has openly espoused the teaching of the Lord upon the subject before us." And he hints broadly that they are afraid of their jobs and more interested in pleasing men than the Lord.

Who is this great giant who rides back and forth on his hobbyhorse and challenges all comers for a debate and dubs all who ignore him as either ignorant or unfaithful? I know him quite well, in fact I went to school with him. He is a friend of mine and a very nice fellow in a lot of ways. A lot of editors and preachers and Bible teachers pretty well covered the ground in the discussion of elders before either he or I were born. True none of them as far as I know used the term "elderhood" but then they studied and wrote about elders. They were able men and did not always agree on all points but for the most part they were rather reserved when it came to calling one another "ignorant" "infidel" etc. I have read my friend's book and withheld comment, even when he urged me to say my say. I think it now time for me to say something. Of course there are some very good things in the book. But in reading it I think I did not learn anything about elders I had not known a long time, except some things that are not so. It is these that he is making a hobby of. Sure, he is challenging for debate! What hobby-rider doesn't? He cannot conceive that there could be any reason why we, or anybody else, should decline to accept his challenges except ignorance or cowardice. I can think of several. I think the brother should pull in his horns, slip off to some quite place and disgorge some of his egotism, and then if he wants to write about "the elderhood," let him do so in a humble and respectful manner.

Cleaning Wanted

I notice where Harding College is advertising for somebody to manage some laundry and dry cleaning down that-away. I would recommend the editor of the Bible Banner for the job, but I understand that he is a very busy man, and possibly the kind of cleaning he does is not the kind they want down there.