"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.I Pg.6-8a
August 1943

Sighting-In On "Post-War Plans"

(C. E. W.)

Things seem to be Brew(er)ing in two or three papers over an all-out "After-the-War Missionary Program and Other Postwar Problems." Somebody seems to have got together impromptu or on purpose and decided on "a plan" for the gospel invasion of the whole world after the war and a frontal attack on all the problems that will then beset the distressed peoples of the earth. It appears that the first need is to "stir up a general fervor of enthusiasm for the evangelization of the world after the present fratricidal orgy is over." I think the planners are wise in one respect, that they are not advocating a Childrens' Crusade to Japan, for instance, until "the present fratricidal orgy is over." I keep looking at that word "fratricidal" in this "present" connection. Maybe somebody ought to "tell it to the Marines."

Brother Brewer, Jimmie Lovell, Harding College, the church at Lubbock and "a number of workers who are anxious to go to Europe" appear to have already reached a specific "fervor of enthusiasm" and are already scattering incendiary bombs among the rest of us. Some will no doubt catch fire quickly, while others will be inclined to hold off the fire with some questions. The high-sounding title of "the plan" will capture some, instanter. Now, I'm just an individual Christian, and a member of an independent church, and I do not claim to be an expert at launching movements on "a nation-wide scale." As "for the evangelization of the world" I'm for it. Sometimes "a plan" born in a "fervor of enthusiasm" needs some critical appraisement.

"More About The Program"

"The Plan" was set forth by Brother Brewer in an article appearing some weeks ago in two papers. We have his word for it that the "article brought a tremendous response" but that "all the responses were not favorable or complimentary." So that brought forth the "More About The Program" article. His reaction to the unfavorable and uncomplimentary responses is quite characteristic of him. They lack understanding, "show the usual lack of interest in any people except those of our own nation," utter a "fallacious and threadbare cry," set up "a lugubrious wail that goes up when we advocate sending the gospel into the foreign fields," are heathen themselves, too "selfish" to be edified, are "afflicted with a cardiac condition that would make it impossible for it or him to receive any heavy stimulant," are "myopic" and "cannot see afar off." He pours a flood of scorn on a "howl, which is always hoisted for the purpose of pacification of penuriousness." It appears that the brother has little patience with anybody who questions the wisdom of his "plan" or offers any objections to it. My advice to him is to save some of his adjectives for future use for he is likely to need them. His blasts of scorn do not scare some of us in the least. We have heard him puff before. A windstorm from him does not usually send us to the cellar. Past experience should teach him that he cannot blow a house down. I suppose he will expect a vote of thanks from a grateful opposition for this magnanimous gesture: "But despite their mistaken views and sectarian phraseology, these tenderhearted brethren mean well." Of course "The Plan" is "plain and scriptural" for Dr. Brewer says it is. All discussion should cease and everybody stoop to the task! Don't be in too big a hurry, "these men and women who want to go for God" will have to wait until the war is over anyway, so there is time for a little talking over matters. If "The Plan" is as sound and scriptural as current enthusiasm says it is, some talking and even come questions will not hurt it. If a man cannot

take some back-talk he should never repeatedly break into two papers with "A Plan" that involves all the churches, and proposes such results as the world has never seen. Even the ministers of the big church which is to operate as "sponsor for the "The Plan" cannot tell all the churches to shut their eyes and close their mouths and follow him, for he knows what he is talking about. He is not quite that important--yet. No, we had better talk it over a bit and that does not mean that Grover Brewer and Jimmie Lovell are to be allowed to do all the talking. They need to listen some of the time anyhow. Jimmie says he has made lots of mistakes. I do not know that Brother Brewer has ever confessed it, but there are a few brethren scattered about who do not consider him infallible, so we had better talk things over, even if some remarks do make his eyes blaze and release his stock of lurid adjectives.

"Sponsoring Post-War Plans"

In his superior air, Brother Brewer castigates the "sectarian phraseology" of a brother who has responded unfavorably to "The Plan." He has no patience whatever with inaccurate "phraseology," especially if it squints in the general direction of sectarianism. Perhaps, then, he will tell us where we can find something in the New Testament about "sponsoring Post-War Plans" with one church acting as "sponsor" for the whole brotherhood. Seems as though I have read something about some developments this side of the New Testament in which some big churches got the idea that they ought to "sponsor" the affairs of smaller churches, and it led to everybody knows what. Of course the idea looked inoffensive enough at the start. Now just who and what is a "sponsor"? Here are some leading definitions. "One who binds himself to answer for another's default; a surety." "Eccl. One who at the baptism of an infant or child professes the Christian faith in its name, and guarantees its religious education; a godfather or godmother." Now, this infant "Plan" born somewhere out in the West, where the birth-rate of "movements" appears to be mounting, is about to be christened and needs a godfather or a godmother. The Broadway church in Lubbock, Texas, proposes to be it. It evidently regards itself as "A church with a competent preacher and a qualified eldership," and its preacher points his finger accusingly at the whole field through the Gospel Advocate and the Firm Foundation, and with the air of a prosecuting attorney demands: "Then what is your church doing toward getting ready for the execution of this plan? How much money are you saving? How many missionaries are you preparing?" Now, maybe "your church" is doing nothing "toward getting ready for the execution of this plan." Maybe it has a plan of its own, conceived and put into operation before some brilliant minds ever thought up this new one. My idea is, from reading the New Testament, that a church is an independent body and has the right to select its own field of operation, raise its own money, choose its own workers and "sponsor" its own activities generally without the handicap of a foreign "sponsor," even if it is a "A church with a competent preacher and a qualified eldership."

Naturally, if a church is advanced as the "sponsor" of "The Plan" for the evangelization of the world," then it is in order to set forth its qualifications for the job. It looks as though the best thing to do would be to hold a general election. There might be other likely candidates for the sponsorship. But since the Lubbock church seems to have been selected, when or by whom, is not quite clear, we will look into its qualifications as they appear in the papers.

I held a meeting for that church a few years ago and I have some first-hand information. Here is what I read in the papers. It has "a competent preacher and a qualified eldership." It "probably has a hundred persons in its membership who are college graduates; it has at least a dozen who hold the master's degree, and some three or four who can boast (if they were disposed to boast, which they are not) of holding a doctor's degree." Its "competent preacher," who is also a doctor, and not "disposed to boast," of course, also very modestly relates the hundreds of dollars per month the church is spending on various activities including missionary work. Now, that is fine, but it occurs to me that it wouldn't do any harm for that great church to confine its "sponsorship" to its own program. Just what authority does it have to "sponsor" a "Plan" for somebody else? O, but we are told that the churches are to train their own missionaries, raise their own money and run their own affairs, that the church at Lubbock does not want money sent to it, and does not want to select or hire the missionaries etc. Then what are they "sponsoring"? Are they merely endorsing "The Plan"? Then all the churches who fall in line will be sponsors too. The "competent preacher" of the Lubbock church is very particular about the "phraseology" other people use, but there seems to be something a little loose about his own phraseology, ideas or something.

"The Post-War Problems"

The sage of Lubbock can perform some amazing feats. He is the sworn enemy of Catholicism, Communism and "sectarian phraseology." As for "premillennialism," well--you know Brother Boll is a mighty good man, and Brother Jorgenson is a mighty fine singer, and brethren should use them in meetings! I would not say that Brother Brewer is a chameleon for he only has two legs, unless you count his doctor's degree, but he can change from Pollyanna to Gloomy Grover while you are standing looking at him. He has fits that would break the nerve of a psychiatrist. In one issue of the paper he whoops up "The Plan" that is to perform such wonders in world-wide evangelism, as the world has never seen! Then he testifies as an expert on "Postwar Problems" and gives us to understand that "There is not even a ray of light on the horizon." "We certainly cannot" solve some "other problems that we will have to face." Gloomy Grover thus deposes:

"Our missionaries who go to other countries with the gospel will, in some instances at least, be among people who have been freed from Jewish control and with whom communism, nazism, and fascism (which are only different names for the same thing) have utterly failed, and they will, we hope, be ready to receive the gospel of peace and salvation. Whereas we who stay in the United States are going to be in a country where the process of the repudiation of Christianity and the adoption of a pagan 'ism' will be going on even more rapidly than it is now going, if it has not indeed been completed by that time.

Is that a dark prospect? It is indeed! There is not even a ray of light on the horizon. The only reason the writer can see for changing this view would compel him to make it even darker by saying that no nation will be receptive to the gospel and that there will be a universal return to paganism. In that case true gospel preachers will be liquidated.

So, our beloved United States, is to be utterly drowned in all the abuses that brought on the greater war, Jews are in control of it, paganism is its religion and preachers are marked for liquidation. "There is not even a ray of light on the horizon." Who says that? Gloomy Grover Cleveland Brewer! What civil and religious decency there is left after the war, will be found in Germany, Italy and Japan! Somewhere outside these United States! I confess that I cannot read that sort of piffle without a blaze of anger. Awhile back he was ready to march with "these men and women who want to go for God" to preach redemption throughout the world. Since the light has gone out, he is ready to march to prison and to death in this country with the rest of the faithful for no other crime than preaching the gospel. If he ever gets shot in this country it will be an accident. If he gets any wilder, if the court pronounced him sane, he might be hung for treason, in wartime. He seems to be mad at the government, mad at the Jews, mad about the social gains of the last decade, and trembling in his boots over what is happening to the "Capitalists" and is going to happen to the preachers who will not make "concessions." Maybe he will wind up by "sponsoring" a Jewish program instead of a "Plan" for worldwide evangelization. He has a persecution complex as big as a yard full of "premillennialists." It took a huge amount of courage and abandon for him to get off his piece of prophetic wisdom! He did it "at the peril of being accused of getting into politics and at the expense of being persecuted by all the forces of evil" but he is "resolved to stand" anyway. There he stands! Look at him. I'm not inclined to persecute him but I am venturing the suggestion that a hypochondriac like that is not qualified to be press agent for a movement for world evangelization. He should stay away from young men and women "who want to go for God." He is most likely to have a demoralizing influence over them. Healthy minds do not like to feed on morbidity.

"A Ray Of Light"

After a dive into Gloomy Grover's "dark prospect" in which I nearly smothered, and the smell was terrible, I came up for some fresh air and sunshine, something reasonable and healthy, and found it in The Baptist and Reflector. It reasonably offers some "ray of light on the horizon." The article on "America, Friend of All Mankind" originally appeared in the Baptist Observer. It at least shows a balanced outlook and is free from the ranting and raving of the "competent preacher" of the Lubbock church.

"We have no desire to detract the least iota from the sacrifice, the bravery, the heroism, and the all-out devotion of the various commonwealths in the British empire, and certainly we stand proudly at attention and salute the English people for the courageous manner in which they sustained and won the Battle of Britain. But would the United Nations today be blasting at the gates of Italy and Germany with an assurance that the day of victory for the Allied Cause and the deliverance of invaded and oppressed people is not far off, were it not for the help accorded them by this giant of the West? We have sent them men, we have sent them ships, we have sent airplanes and munitions of war, we have sent them food, we have convoyed their precious cargoes across the seas, and we have heartened and encouraged them in a thousand different ways and, best of all, we are with them heart and soul until victory is won and peace is accomplished. Do they know and appreciate what America has done for the Allied Cause? Winston Churchill does! Anthony Eden does! The military leaders do, and the British people are profuse in their expressions of gratitude for the help we have rendered them. The people in the occupied countries of Europe do! China does! And even our enemies know that the United States has no imperialistic designs and no desires for revenge in this war, but a sincere desire that the blessings and freedoms we enjoy shall become the heritage of all mankind.

Of course, America is not without sin and there are many abuses that need to be corrected. The way the legalized liquor traffic is allowed to run riot and debauch American youth is a sin and disgrace as black as hell. Political corruption and the gouging of defenseless citizens is a crime worse than any black market. Lawlessness and the frustration of justice is a national disgrace that demands immediate attention. Juvenile crime and delinquency are rapidly increasing and fore-shadow evil days ahead. The breakdown of the home life and the disintegration of the family are to be deplored, the remedy for which can be found only in morality and religion. But the American people in general are good at heart. We read in the newspapers of the wicked, the lawless, the faithless, the inebriate and the immoral. Goodness seldom makes any page in the newspapers, much less the front page. Americans are proverbially generous. If there is a famine anywhere in the world, Americans pour out millions of money to send help to the stricken people. A flood, an earthquake, a pestilence, or a disaster of any kind find a sympathetic response in the hearts of American people.

America possesses a subsoil of religion that is a heritage bequeathed to us from the past. The United States was born and cradled in religion, and this early religious trend has colored and influenced the life of America through succeeding generations, as the Gulf Stream has colored and influenced the waters of the Atlantic even to the coast of Europe. The early religious fervor has been modified somewhat by material prosperity which is never conducive to spiritual development, and also by immigration from southern Europe. We may not flock to the churches in great numbers for formal services of worship, but in the hearts of most Americans there is an abiding faith in God, a reverence of sacred things, and a recognition of religious obligation. They know that this is considered a Christian nation and they have no desire for it to be otherwise. The present war has brought this religious subsoil to the surface and Bible reading and prayer are being mentioned without apology in the experience of officers and men in the armed forces in the training camps and on the various battlefronts. America is, indeed, the friend of all mankind. In the providence of the God of nations, it was brought into the kingdom for such a time as this. When the warclouds lift and peace returns to this earth once more, may God give to America the high privilege, not only of helping to give to the rest of the world the Four Freedoms, but also to give to the rest of mankind the gospel of redemption through faith in Jesus Christ."

It is not necessary to accord this article from the Baptist Observer the place of an oracle, or accord its author the role of an inspired prophet to appreciate it. It is balanced, realistic, patriotic and reverent. There is some hope in it and the trend of it is constructive. It is in marked contrast to the soap-box type of harangue "lugubriously wailed" at us in the Gospel Advocate by Gloomy Grover. It is neither patriotic nor sensible "with not even a ray of light on the horizon." I like this country of ours. It is the greatest country in the world. It will be greater and "the Four Freedoms" will march on. I anticipate no prospect of being "liquidated" for preaching the gospel. I even anticipate prosperity and growth for the church in this and other lands. Freedom will be so great that Calamity Howlers can caterwaul to their hearts' content without danger of any more violent reaction than amusement or scorn. Of course that will be serious persecution to them. I tremble when I think what will happen to Gloomy Grover if his dire predictions fail of fulfillment. He will probably sit somewhere outside the walls under a gourd and ask the Lord to please take him home. However, as a prophet I do not rate him with Jonah. He appears, however, to share the contempt for this country that Jonah had for the Ninevites. "Doest thou well to be angry"?

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Too Late For This Issue

The latest editorial in Gospel Advocate concerning "A frantic search for a change," and other frantic matters, appeared just as the Bible Banner went on the press. The "ace writer" will give the article proper treatment but the readers will have to wait until the next issue for it. As for "searching for a change" we merely call attention again to H. Leo Boles "change" on the Boll question which does not have to be "searched for" but which the "frantic editor" continues to ignore. We shall not let them forget it.