"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.VIII No.I Pg.9b
June 1945

The Gospel Advocate And The Goose-Step

Cled E. Wallace

The editor of the Gospel Advocate points this one at us: "It is worthy of note that most of the quotations are from churches not opposed to war. Of course, in time of peace, the greater portion of them have gone on record as opposed to war; but, in time of war, they change. They remind us of some among us' who, in time of peace, condemn war in severest terms; but, in time of war, they can goosestep like a German corporal."

"The quotations" the editor refers to are from denominational sources opposing, or viewing with alarm, the prospect of "peace-time military conscription" in this country of ours. I shall not here express any opinions as to the rightness or wrongness of any such program, but raise the question of this particular editor's right to raise a hullabaloo about the matter. He has not "goose-stepped" a step in praise of the government during the critical years which have meant so much to all of us; why then should he presume to quarrel at the government for what it proposes to do after the victory against aggression has been won? It would be gracious for him to be quiet. He cannot even vote. He considers it a sin for a Christian to hold office. Participation in the affairs of government is an act of rebellion against God, so he believes. Our government, mine at least, if it isn't his, is owned and controlled by the devil and was even conceived and born in sin. If he is right in his fundamental contention what business is it of his, what the government does or does not do? It is his duty to "be in subjection," not set himself up as an adviser. If the question he is so upset about were submitted directly to the people, he would not vote one way or the other. Why should he, then, campaign in his paper one way or the other on a matter of government policy?

This editor, who never changes, is "opposed to war" in time of peace and in time of war. At all times and under all circumstances he is opposed to war. Anybody who thinks otherwise under any circumstances is so much "like a German corporal" you can tell him by his "goose-step." Why should he swing his pen in opposition to "peacetime" military preparation? He is opposed to war. He is opposed to the army in time of war. Had our nation declined to fight Germany and Japan, which the editor thinks it should have done, for he is opposed to war, he probably thinks he would have written editorials against their brutality in taking over this country-but he wouldn't! If he is not opposed to a police force, I think I can promise him space in the Bible Banner to tell us why, if he is too squeamish to tell us in the Gospel Advocate. I shall not consume space in pointing out the utter absence of discrimination the gentleman displays in his appraisal of sword-bearers in ignoring the important factor of motive. I think the brethren can do that without any help from me.

But who are these "some among us' who... can goosestep like a German corporal"? Of course the readers of the Advocate have already thought of the Bible Banner and its thousands of supporters. But I shall start my roll call in the Gospel Advocate. Its publisher, Leon B. McQuiddy is one of them. Let the editor publish his known views. He can put them on the back page if he prefers in type as small as his presses can make it. They will be read. W. E. Brightwell, editor of "News and Notes" is one of them. So is C. R. Nichol who is seen regularly in the Advocate. R. L. Whiteside, for many years a staff writer and editor of the Annual Commentary is one of them. Who is "opposed to war"? B. C. Goodpasture and H. Leo Boles! They cannot even pray for victory over the goose-stepping German corporal! If they wish it, they have not said so out loud, although they have been invited to do so. The readers of the Gospel Advocate know that they have not answered the contention that has been made in the Bible Banner regarding a Christian's relation to his government in time of both peace and war. Brethren who support the government in its titanic struggle against goose-stepping aggression with their lives, their sons, their toil and their money will think Brother Goodpasture has insulted both them and their government in comparing them to a goose-stepping German corporal. Out of deference to his publisher and the members of his own staff he might at least have made them sergeants or lieutenants. And they may wonder, too, why the war-opposing editor doesn't come right out and fight his good fight of faith with more vigor. Is he afraid of the government, more afraid of the devil than he is of God? There is neither argument nor reason in his ill-mannered growl at "some among us." It is discouraging to have him repeat so often that he never changes. A change would do him good. If there is no prospect at all of it taking place, it looks from here like a change of editors would do the Advocate good.