"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.IV Pg.3-5
November 1943

Keeping To The Issues

My friend and fellow preacher, D. H. Hadwin, formerly of Wheeling, West Virginia, but now of Winter Haven, Florida, communicates this heartening word to all of us: "I do appreciate receiving the Bible Banner. You have succeeded in clarifying the war issue for me, and no doubt for many others." Unlike some who think the same thing but do not want certain others to find it out, he is not ashamed to admit it, for he says in another line, "use this statement if you wish." I like that. And it has truly been so "for many others." We have received hundreds of such expressions, including many, many preachers.

The above word from Brother Hadwin is more significant than a mere expression of his thoughts on the particular issue mentioned. It incidentally states the very purpose of the Bible Banner--the sole reason for its existence: the clarifying of issues. To this end was it born, for this aim it has lived, and to this service it remains dedicated. .

A reprint of the first editorial written for the Bible Banner, its first issue in July 1938, will "serve to "clarify" to some the need for the Bible Banner and the purposes that brought it forth. There are several thousand who now subscribe to the Banner, and other readers of it now, who never read its "key-note" statement. For that reason, and because it has a bearing on the continuous course the Banner has pursued, we are disposed to submit it again. Read it, and you will know the what and why of the Bible Banner.

Jehovah-Nissi-The Lord My Banner

There is something in a name. Bible names always meant something. When Abraham was moved by divine fiat to offer his son Isaac upon the altar, God provided the sacrifice, and Abraham called the place, Jehovah-iireh--"The Lord Will Provide." God does provide for all who like Abraham implicitly heed His voice.

When Gideon answered the call of God to go in His might to deliver Israel from the hand of Midian, he built an altar at the scene of his call and named the place, Jehovah-shalom-"The Lord Send Peace." God did send peace. But it was peace through conflict, not compromise. We do not see Gideon calling a "unity meeting" with the Midianites; he did not ascend a knoll, lift up benedictory hands, stretch out spreading arms to Israel's foes, and say: "Let us have peace together." He drove the Midianites out by "the sword of the Lord and Gideon." There are some who seem to think that the Lord has dispensed with the sword, dismantled the armour, and resorted to diplomatic conferences with the powers that be.

When Amalek fought against Israel, Moses stood on the mount of battle with his hands uplifted, supported on either side by Aaron and Hur until the going down of the sun, and when Israel prevailed, he called the place, Jehovah-nisei-"The Lord My Banner." God was Israel's ensign, Israel's standard, that day. God is our Banner now. The inspired Psalmist said: "Thou hast given a banner to

them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of truth." (Pea. 60:4) The prince of prophets said: "Lift ye up a banner upon the high mountain, exalt the voice unto

them." Use. 13:2) In the spirit of these sacred sentiments the present paper is promoted as a banner of truth in a day of need-hence, The Bible Banner.

A Potential Text

A general softness is pervading the church. Firm faith and plain preaching, once universal and unanimous among those devoted to the ancient gospel, are now yielding to the persuasions of the plush-mouthed and velvet-tongued moderns among us who piously admonish us to "speak the truth in love," but who only seek refuge behind this divine behest for their own compromises while they themselves ignore the very manner in which the inspired author of this counsel, the fearless and peerless Paul, did speak the truth in love. He himself applied that principle. Observe him in action; witness his courage; behold him on defense (not the fence); accompany him on his itinerancy; hear him preach and watch him "turn the world upside down" leaving behind him a religious upheaval that is comparable only to a typhoon of cyclonic destruction of every false thing; listen to his release of righteous fury against Elymas, the perverter, and his Stephen--like arraignment of the "enemies of the cross of Christ;" follow him through persecution to prison; think on his resolute charge to Timothy--then compare the pliant preaching so prevalent today, condoned by the capricious canting of such a potential texts Did not Paul give us an example of "speaking the truth in love"? May we in fact rather than mere fancy imbibe the spirit of that apostle who enjoins us all to love the truth and speak it.

The Spirit of Christ

Other stock expressions of apologists for the soft-pedal cadences of sweet preaching are that we should manifest the spirit of Christ, and do things in the Christian way. The word "manifest" means to make clear and plain, apparent. Then to manifest the spirit of Christ means to make clear and plain what Christ thinks of the errors and shams of religion. This can be done by showing what He said and did regarding the teachers and institutions of error in his day. He said they were human plants and would be rooted up, and He called them all by name. A follower of Christ should always manifest the spirit of Christ; and a Christian should always do everything in the Christian way. There is no man whose soul senses a deeper desire for these Christ-like traits than my own, unless he has a deeper soul. But how may we know the spirit of Christ save as He exemplifies it? Follow Him from Nazareth to Calvary and hear him release His spirit in reiterated excoriation of religious blind guides and their blind alleys. To the divinity doctors and phylacteries Pharisees He had a bad spirit-the spirit of Beelzebub! If the very spirit of Christ in His own preaching was stigmatized as the spirit of the devil by pharisaical praters and pretenders who had their piety on parade, those who preach today as Christ and the apostles did, need not think to escape the same stigmatic criticisms. The Lord's way of preaching is on record. He said those religious leaders did things "for a pretense" and should receive "the greater damnation;" He said their proselytes (converts) were "twofold more the child of hell" than themselves; He said, "Ye fools and blind ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat and swallow a camel" (the Lord even had a sense of humor and resorted to the ludicrous in exposing their shams); He said, 'Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell," and "upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar." Such was the preaching of Jesus. Do those who talk so much about "the spirit of Christ" preach that way on anything, ever? Rather do they seem to think that "the spirit of Christ" and "speaking the truth in love" means to be so gentle and love everybody so dearly as to let them die and go to hell before we would nettle their feelings by telling them the truth!

There are religious Pharisees with us yet whose sins and shams demand castigation "in the spirit of Christ." Preachers today can choose between two courses: the course of the least resistance in preaching only that portion of the truth in a mild and affirmative manner which meets no opposition, or like Jesus and Paul, preach the will of God in all of its condemning as well as saving power, without thought of man's fear or favor. But the praise and popularity that accrue from compromise and neutrality are empty, indeed. "He makes no friends who never made a foe."

Institutional Influence

Back of much of this doctrinal softness is the influence of some of the colleges among us. They have harbored teachers of error; they have promoted a spirit of worldliness; they have manifested an air of superiority; they have conducted campaigns among the churches to affiliate church and school which will eventually, if continued, result in college domination and control in the church. The college domination danger is not imaginary... When it is said that "the church that does not put the college in its budget does not have the right preacher"--that is college domination. It means college control of preachers, with a threat. When the ban of boycott is placed on gospel preachers who do not "cooperate" with the college, or who criticize anything the college does, and who oppose the church-budget scheme of linking the church and college together-that is college domination with vengeance. When the president of the college can sit in his office and dictate letters to young people in various churches who belong to "The Ex-Student's Association" and through them influence the policies of a congregation on certain issues, even to the point of who shall or shall not preach in certain places-that is college domination. When these young people in the church, whether preachers or not, feel that they are obligated to the institution that graduated them, and they become virtually an auxiliary of that college in the church where they are-that is college domination

There are those who measure a man's loyalty to Jesus Christ by his loyalty to the college. This attitude is tested by the fact that he may criticize the church and bring no censure-from college devotees, but if he criticize the college, let him be anathema! These are some of the dangers in this form of institutionalism growing up among us, the gravity of which cannot be denied.

Lines of Cleavage

Other signs of doctrinal weakness settling down upon the churches are seen in such issues as that type of congregational anarchy existing in majority rule government in the church. This was back of all the dividing wedges of division driven by the digressives fifty years ago. By majority rule they confiscated property that belonged to loyal brethren through the elders, who without restrictions named in the deeds to property, were helpless in courts that considered the property rights were vested in the majority or held that a civil court had no jurisdiction. The majority rule issue has taken definite form and looms as an issue in the near offing. The lines of cleavage exist in localities. Elders who are concerned for the church will do well to check and double check the preacher's record on this question before he is called to their service. Once a majority rule preacher has done his work, the elders have been disarmed and a rebellion is in full charge, led by an ambitious preacher. The sequel to all such cases is simply another church gone wrong.

Preachers' Meetings and Lectureships

A brand of convocation, conference, convention, or "what have you," that is becoming quite promiscuous, and which seldom, if ever, resulted in any good to the church, is "The Preacher's Meeting," more lately styled "Lectureships." They tend toward a sort of preacher union, or mass influence. All sorts of ideas are carried back into the congregations from these meetings, and frequently cause considerable trouble. If elders do not take to new ideas of the preacher, they are met with this: It was discussed and sanctioned at the preacher's meeting! In one of these meetings recently membership in the Ministerial Alliance by the located preacher was defended on the ground that "Paul became all things to all men" and used "guile" and once took a vow! According to that Paul could have joined the Masonic Lodge or Methodist Church, had they existed. In other of these meetings the conference of apostles and elders at Jerusalem (Acts 15) was used as an example of the church settling questions of dispute by majority decision-hence congregational government by majority vote! Just an old stock argument of the digressives which has been exploded as many times as authority for instrumental music in the worship has been refuted. Such meetings cannot advance the Cause generally, nor benefit the church locally. I have something more to do than attend them.

There are many important issues before us. They are not imaginary; they are real. We have been taking too much for granted. The present generation has not enjoyed the thorough indoctrination accorded former generations under the giants of early restoration days. There must now be a general return to militant preaching, the old type of preaching-and the old type of journalism-plain first principle preaching and teaching and writing that defends the truth against all errors, teachers of error and institutions of error by name, make, model and number. It is the only thing that will salvage the church from the calamity of another wholesale digression. It may be too late to redeem a large element in nearly every church who have been saturated with weak teaching and are virtually out of sympathy with the original primitive plea. There will be a certain sloughing off as a result of this weak element-but many can be retrieved, and the church can be saved for sound doctrine if elders and preachers will awake from their lethargy and arm themselves for battle. This has been the history of God's people and the church in all ages.

An Independent Medium

In this connection let it also be stated and understood that The Bible Banner is not in competition with the Firm Foundation, Gospel Advocate, Christian Leader, Christian Worker, Apostolic Times, or any other gospel paper. With especial reference is this true of the Firm Foundation, which is a landmark for the Cause of Christ in Texas. Its editor, Brother G. H. P. Showalter, has my full endorsement and cooperation in his unwavering stand on all issues. I am persuaded that this feeling is mutual. Brother Showalter has been generous in his encouragement and commendation of me beyond my worth or merit. For this I feel both appreciative and reciprocative. We stand for the same things, and men who do stand for the same things should stand together. Any impression to the contrary entertained by anybody we should like to relieve. Any differences over any supposed issue, or attitude arising there from, or from any incident of the past, were composed. Personally, I am always willing and ready to correct any mistakes of my own in dealing with my brethren. If we differ on anything at all doctrinally or personally, I do not know what it is. I endorse wholeheartedly the positions to which Brother Showalter has committed the Firm Foundation on those issues involving the irregularities in certain institutions which he has sought to correct, and of the dangers of institutionalism. The policy and attitude of The Bible Banner toward the Firm Foundation will therefore be cooperative rather than competitive. Brother Showalter has himself had in mind the publication of a monthly periodical as an adjunct of the Firm Foundation devoted to special lines. He has in the past discussed such a project with me, and in the event he should yet consummate his plans to do so, my personal attitude will be unchanged, and we shall still cooperate as far as possible. (Note: This had reference to the Gospel Proclaimer which began publication soon afterward).

With a bid for the generous welcome and the liberal support of all who are jealous of the doctrinal purity of the church, and zealous for its promotion, and who believe in the defense of the truth against all encroachments of errors and isms and institutions, we pray for the guidance of God always in all things.-Foy E. Wallace, Jr.


Thus and for that the Bible Banner was launched, and for thus and that it yet waves. It was never intended to serve the purpose that the weekly papers among us serve or to occupy their field. It is not a religious newspaper. The Bible Banner is a polemic in the field of religious journalism--to clarify issues, indeed--and we have, according to almost universal admission "succeeded in clarifying" more than one issue in the course of our six years (including the Gospel Guardian) of publication. It has been conceded by many of the strongest men in the church that the good the Bible Banner has done for the Cause of Truth within this comparatively short period has been inestimable.

While it is true that the Bible Banner is polemical, it has never been our desire, and is not now our desire, to deal in personalities in the sense of discussing men instead of issues. It is also true that in some instances men are so closely related to movements that one cannot be effectively discussed without reference to the other. Hence, there are times when names must be called in order to "clarify the issue." But it is against error, not men, that the Bible Banner has waged its offensive--and it is only when we have been on the defensive that we have had to fight men. We have never sought such a fight, and have never desired such a fight. But when it means fight or run, we prefer to fight, because it is right--and we believe that we are right.

The Bible Banner is not peculiar in this respect. It would be a revelation to some of the brethren today to read the back files of the Gospel Advocate-I mean away back -back in the days of its early editors, the beloved men of Tennessee. And with the Firm Foundation it is not necessary to go that far back, for all the examples needed to illustrate my present point can be found within the useful career of its present editor. In the early days of the Advocate the fight was bitter and hard. The editors received caustic criticisms from the weak and wavering among the brethren of that time, many of them harsh and unkind. But they ignored them and "kept to the issue" even when personalities were the order of the day.

Later, in Texas and all over the great West, the Firm Foundation led the fight for the primitive church. Its present beloved editor stood stoutly through storms of protest when unavoidable personalities entered into the discussions. If the Firm Foundation had wavered in those days in the contention over live and burning issues, the tide would have turned the wrong way and the Cause would have sustained a set-back for a century. But the Firm Foundation stood its ground and some of the brethren who criticized it then, and some who criticize it now, are indebted to the fixed policy of that paper, and the firm faith of its editor, for the fruits of strength and truth that they enjoy today.

Nor do we here imply, therefore let none infer, that the editor of the Firm Foundation does not yet stand for the same principles espoused and defended then. He does. Reference is made to it simply to justify by example the work the Bible Banner has steadily striven to do in its field-its very special field of "clarifying" those somewhat extra-special issues existing in the religious society of this generation, with especial reference to the presence of these things within the precincts of the church of Christ. We love the church--and for its sake alone have we fought. No other cause would justify the fight that has been necessary and the cost in personal humiliations, in physical hardships, in mental pain, in spiritual suffering, and-in the loss of friends. But believing that we are right, we have gone ahead, firm in the conviction that the triumph of the truth we have upheld has fully vindicated the course we have pursued.

The Bible Banner has nothing to retract in the fight it has made- but it has something to reiterate, namely, that same lofty aim and end breathed in the fervent words of the Bible Banner's first editorial. We have no desire to indulge in purely personal discussions. We want to keep to the issue. We renew our determination to do so. But let no one think that it lets down the gap for certain others to do and say everything under heaven they desire, without due and proper attention from us. There are, indeed, some things we do not care to notice, have not noticed, and will not notice. We reserve the right to choose the ground upon which we wish to cast battle, and though we are "set for the defense of the gospel," when the instance requires it and the circumstance justifies it, we shall take time out to defend ourselves in all righteousness. "They shall not pass."-F. E. W. Jr.

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Douthitt Leaves Louisville

1810 Frankfort Ave., Louisville, 6, Ky. Oct. 26, 1943. After more than seven years with the Haldeman Avenue church in Louisville, Ky., I am preparing to move to Obion, Tennessee on January 1, and shall be engaged in meeting work a part of the time during 1944.

The years I have spent with the brethren here reveal clearly to me that Haldeman Avenue church deserves the excellent reputation which it has maintained throughout the brotherhood for more than fifty years. It is one of the very best churches in all the country, and though my successor has not been selected yet, I can say to him (whoever he may be) that it would be hard to find a church more loyal to truth, more faithful in the work, or better to its preachers, than Haldeman Avenue.

Cecil B. Douthitt