"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.VIII Pg.6
March 1944

Concerning Persons, Movements And Innovations

On the opposite page is an article from Brother E. R. Harper. It has my endorsement--if that will be of any help to Brother Harper in his efforts to rid Harding College and the State of Arkansas of the blighting effects of premillennial teaching and teachers, and their sympathizers. One does not have to admit that he is a premillennialist to be one for all essential purposes and intent. Hardly anyone admits it now. Some even deny it-- but all the time lend their whole influence to that party, for the vindication of its personnel. It has been very properly said that a premillennialist actually is one who believes the doctrine-- but a Bollite is one who sympathizes with those who teach it, runs with them, apologizes for them, and compliments them, while he criticizes every man who has with any effect opposed them.

In reference to Clinton Davidson, he has not only attempted to vindicate the premillennial group all the way from R. H. Boll and his Louisville party down to J. N. Armstrong and his Harding College group at Searcy -- but his whole movement was as definitely a menace to the Cause of Christ as the premillennial party in the church has ever been. Was he an innovationist? My answer is that his whole movement was an innovation. The Questionnaires and Surveys that started it were innovations. It was born in the cradle of innovation and its inglorious end was the demise of an innovation. Let no man attempt to resurrect its remains--we simply remind the one who does that he shall not pass!

Should we accept a man's own statement of what he is and what he is not? Yes--unless his conduct belies his assertions and denials. All the time that Clinton Davidson was attending and working with a modern Christian Church in New York, did he not deny being a digressive? That has been his status also with reference to premillennialism. He denied that he was a digressive--but he called the church "the alleged church of Christ" and associated with the digressives! He denies that he is a premillennialist, but he associates with the premillennialists and has been vehement in his condemnation of all who have opposed and exposed them. In such cases, actions speak louder than words and are far more convincing.

If Ernest Beam's apology for the National Unity Movement and its promoters was "missing the mark," as the Firm Foundation very aptly said, any apology for Clinton Copyright Davidson could not be less than that. If the one is missing the mark, the other is shooting a blank. This is no time to be minimizing the issues involved. It is no time to be fondling and coddling the men who have been exposed in connection with their schemes and movements. The battles have been too hard and long for us to acquiesce to any such apologies now. We are simply not going to do it. If the fight is to be renewed, our battle lines will be found right where they were before--and just as impregnably formed.

As for complimenting the "many excellent qualities" Possessed by Clinton Davidson, all that is beside the point the same can be said of the men who promote the National Unity Meeting, and that was precisely what Ernest Beam was doing when the Firm Foundation said that he missed the mark! Doubtless R. H. Boll, or most any Methodist Bishop, has some excellent qualities. It constitutes no reason to spare men of the exposure that is due false doctrine and fake movements.

At the close of an address delivered by E. R. Harper in San Antonio, Jesse P. Sewell came to the front and publicly endorsed Brother Harper's address and stated "before them all" that Clinton Davidson had deceived him, and others who had been connected with his movement. That is what the brethren should be told, instead of all the apologizing and love-making to Davidson. I have not heard of any apologies Davidson has offered to the brotherhood for what Brother Sewell called his deceptions. I agree with Brother Sewell that the Davidson Movement was that very thing--and thousands of brethren were duped like Brother Sewell was. In fact, what would have been the result if the Davidson Movement had not been exposed and stopped? There are plenty of brethren outside of New York City who can answer that question.

As for Brother E. R. Harper -- he has submitted abundant evidence from time to time to substantiate what he has said, and evidently has plenty more. I have heard him criticized but I have not seen his evidence refuted.

As for the implied charges of misrepresentation -- all of us know that it is "a grievous sin" to misrepresent anybody or anything but it has not been established that Brother Harper has done so. If anyone thinks that the Bible Banner has committed that "grievous" sin, let them submit the evidence for our consideration. It might afford the occasion for us to produce more "evidence" that the public does not know is in existence concerning some of these men who would beguile you and lead the church away by their smooth words, fair speech, ambitious schemes and sinister movements.

As for Clinton Davidson--he has not made any amends for the evil effects of a movement that contained all the threats to the purity and the integrity of the church that any digressive movement ever did. If other editors want to go to the wailing wall for him, and weep with him over the mound of his dead movement, they may do so--but excuse me from that service. I shall not be there. But if and when an effort is made to resurrect it, then some of us will be there with plenty of dry ammunition.

As for me--my residence is still Oklahoma City, Post Office address, Box 1804, and I still have some good sox, if not the same pair, on my feet, if the gentleman wishes to renew the alleged threat to sue them off my feet.

Belated editorial apologies for Clinton Davidson are not calculated to impress discerning brethren as serving any good purpose. The Davidson Movement has not been dead long enough to be canonized into sainthood by having the defects of its character forgotten, and an effort to boost him or bolster it will only raise questions, and eyebrows, too--and will be regarded at best as wholly gratuitous.

We need a strong defense of the truth--not weak apologies for error. --F. E. W. Jr.