"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.II Pg.1,16
September 1943

That Frantic Search For Change

Cled E. Wallace

The erstwhile mild-mannered editor of the Gospel Advocate shows signs of increasing irritability. His references to us consist largely of snarls and growls reflecting on the honesty of our motives. If he thinks he can afford that sort of thing, we can put up with it with as good grace as anybody. We are really getting used to it. We are beginning to understand the ground of Brother Brigance's protest against some who "descend to personalities, sophistry, and argumentum ad hominem." However, we are not at all "disheartened," and "discouraged" over such developments. Such opposition has not weakened the contention we have been making.

Brother Goodpasture explains that the whooping up of the "Service Committee for Conscientious Objectors" on the editorial page of the Gospel Advocate was not written by him at all, but was written by Jimmie Lovell, and the editor of the Advocate only intended it as a "news item." I accept the correction, but a slow thinker like me naturally assumes that when a thing like that involving "consequences of such gravity" appears on the editorial page of the Advocate unsigned, it at least has the endorsement of the editor. And after reading the editor's latest growl at us, I'm not yet convinced that it doesn't. It does not at all change the relevancy of the stricture that appeared in a late issue of the Bible Banner. Whenever the Gospel Advocate gets ready to cut itself loose from the tail of Jimmie's kite, I shall graciously applaud the act.

The irritated editor snaps at us in these words

"The editor of the Advocate is neither the author nor the sponsor of the committee. His statement in a later issue of the Advocate does not represent an abrupt change,' or any change, in his views on the matter. It is rather significant, as well as amusing, to see how anxious the ace writer' and the canny editor' are to find a change in someone. Their abrupt change,' in teaching rather than in practice, on the war question,' announced after, not before, Pearl Harbor, has involved them in consequences of such gravity that they betray their utter desperation in a frantic search for change in somebody else."

The editor's amusement appears to be somewhat sardonic, and I shall try to amuse him further. Some of the readers are likely to be genuinely amused at the editor when they recall the frantic efforts he made sometime back to exploit "a change" that he charged against the editor of the Bible Banner. He started it and it back-fired and others to prove us cowardly and dishonest has not escaped our notice. It is more pitiful than amusing, and the result is amusing. The readers of the Advocate have doubtless observed how he is enjoying it! The utter desperation in a frantic search on the part of some editors and others to prove us cowardly and dishonest escaped our notice. It is more pitiful than amusing, and even if that gun is making a lot of noise it is kicking harder than it shoots. I had rather be on the front end than the hind end of it.

The editor of the Bible Banner has effectively handled the charge of "abrupt change" in so far as it applied to him. His statements and explanations have not been universally accepted' in good faith. The Gospel Advocate, for instance, has virtually called him a liar, and attributed other motives to him that he specifically disavows. The editor charges that I too have changed. I do not charge him with intentionally misstating the facts in the case. I really do not think he did so with malice aforethought. I think "it was just downright ignorance" as Brother Brigance would say. It may be there was a spice of "frantic desperation" involved. But I do think he should "be careful." I have voted and taken some part in government affairs since I was "of age." I took the same position in the First World War as to the right of Christians to engage in military service, I have taken in this one. I even argued the case with my father. However, had I changed over to Brother Goodpasture's position, I take it he would not have questioned my motives, as he has Foy's. Brother Goodpasture is a little clumsy in the art of abuse. He should turn that part over to Brother Dorris. He might publish that letter I received from Brother Dorris, for instance, in which he declared that we "are too crooked for material for corkscrews." An "announcement" of the proposed publication of those letters appeared some time back on the editorial page of the Gospel Advocate, as a "news item," I suppose, and Brother Goodpasture wrote it. I'm sure he could not say what Brother Dorris has said, but he can say: "Them's my sentiments." In spite of all this, I do not think Brother Goodpasture is a bad man. I just think he is wrong and somewhat frantic and desperate about it. I hope that even the readers of the Advocate who agree with him will not take him too seriously. He is really a very nice gentleman when he is in a good humor, and he is except when he thinks of us. Then he sees red and goes blind.

When he has a spell like that the result is the same, whether he grabs pen or scissors. He clipped a "news item" from a contemporary, who is also having spells, and inserts it on the editorial page of the Gospel Advocate. It has to do with my father and my youngest brother. The only war question involved in this war on us. So mote it be. We are ready to meet this new attack with out hedging or dodging. We shall not juggle with facts. My father, God bless him, does not fully agree with us on the military phase of the "war question." He does his own thinking and we do ours. He is a patriotic American citizen and has contributed much to the war effort. His youngest son, our brother and a fine upstanding lad, even if this does tempt the editor of the Gospel Advocate to write some sneer about "modesty," is a soldier, performing "non-combatant" duty in the Air Corps. This is as he and his father wished it. Of him our father writes: "He is loyal to his government and doing a faithful service in loyalty to his country."

Since our critics seem to be hungry for every bit of family information they can get, and would probably make "a frantic search" for skeletons if they had the key to our closet, I am going to give them a little inside stuff they do not have in their files. Brother Dorris has more than once given me a preview in his letters of what I might expect to see later on the editorial pages of the Gospel Advocate. He and Brother Goodpasture are evidently cronies these days. Some time ago Brother Dorris in one of those characteristic letters of his'n, brought my father into this fracas much as the Advocate has broadcast it by remote control from Birmingham. I quite casually mentioned the matter to my father. Of it he writes:

"I do not know where Dorris got his information and I do not care. A man of his ilk I'd as soon say one thing about me as another. I am not to blame for I have attended strictly to my own business."

If our critics depend on friction in the family ending up in a big wreck, I'm afraid they will have to revise their "war" strategy. That worthy gentleman "Brother Foy E. Wallace, Sr., who has studied the bible and preached the gospel longer than Foy E. Wallace, Jr., has lived" and although he "does not agree with" all "the premises or the conclusions of his brilliant editor son in these matters," has nevertheless expressed himself rather pointedly to me, and given me permission to publish it.

"If and when you need it you are at liberty to use anything that I have said to you at any time. I am not in sympathy at all with the anti-government men, have never been at any time in my life that I know of."

If these critics who seem more concerned about making war on us than they are about any issue, can get any comfort out of what my father says further, they are welcome to it."I do not think hard of any man to think and say as he pleases about the right or wrong of this business. I claim the same for myself. From childhood it has been instilled in me that it is wrong for Christians to engage in combat--bear arms. That is my privilege if I cannot see as others, if indeed I do not. I have been loyal to you and Foy both in your contentions and wished for you success because of the ungodliness of the spirit that is opposing you. If it had been principles and not personalities, they would have jumped on the rest of the preachers, for most of them agree with you. I have not failed to hand out your magazine and say a word of rejoicing that you successfully handle your enemy opponentThe bunch that is fighting you are doing it because they think they have found a place that they can break you down, and in the way they are doing it would influence me, if indeed such things would influence me, against them and in your favor. If they are right and if a soldier who fights is in sin (and I do not contend that they are), but I say from their standpoint, then my reply would be that I had rather go to hell defending my liberty, home, family, religion and country from every evil that exists, than to be like these opposers and be sure to go to hell for the conduct and spirit that they have manifested. In the first I would be lost for defending my country, but in the second I would be lost for pure cussedness and bad behavior."

Now, "the old man," bless his heart, can say things, too, when they get him riled up, and Im now expecting some of them to jump on him. In the celebrated words of one editor, who can't tell whether he is madder than he is scared, "be careful." I've seen the head of the clan on the war-path before. He's the scrappin'st pacifist anybody ever saw when he's pulled into a fight. I do hope he's wrong about these fellows "going to hell" for "pure cussedness and bad behavior." The Lord is "longsuffering, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." Maybe the grace of God with a little scotching from us will clean them up so they won't smell too bad for heaven.