"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.II Pg.24-25
October 1945

Harding College Appeals For Blood Money

Ted W. Mcelroy

It is not the purpose of this article to discuss the question of civil government—I leave that, for the present at least, to others who are better able and more experienced than I am. This might be called an "argumentum ad hominem," and its purpose is to bring to light the ridiculous inconsistency between the Harding College Dean's appeal and the Harding Bible Professor's teaching. I do not share the Harding College view; and what is pointed out that they say, I do not believe.

During this war I have known many service men, I have baptized several. I have nothing in my heart but the kindliest feelings of appreciation, love, and sympathy toward our service men. It irks me to see the Dean of Harding reaching for the service man's money, and at the same time the Bible Professor lambasting the same men calling them "killers" and "murderers."

James Bales, who is now the Professor of Bible at Harding College, is probably one of the most noisy of the advocates of the Conscientious Objector position on the government question. Maybe this particular idea was his preeminent qualification for the Harding College job. Harding College is traditionally committed to the Conscientious Objector position, and Brother Armstrong made quite a record along the line of opposing the government in the last war. Brother Bales has written a book of more than 200 pages trying to prove this doctrine, in my sincere judgment he failed to touch the issue; but he did succeed in casting some rather dark reflections and accusations upon the men who have defended our nation, he says they are "killers" and "violators" of the law of Christ. If they are "killers" as Brother Bales charges, the money and the benefits they receive for the job will be blood money. In Brother Bales' opinion Judas was no more guilty of blood, than are our beloved sons and brothers who are fighting this war. The priests refused to take the blood money from Judas and put it into the temple treasury (Mt. 27:6), but Brother Sears is not so scrupulous for he is very anxious to get the blood money into the Harding treasury.

L. C. Sears is the Dean of Harding College. In a circular letter postmarked May 1945 and addressed to the elders of the church, Brother Sears says, "We are very anxious to secure the names and addresses of all the young men from your congregation or from homes of the congregation who have been called into the Armed ServiceThese young people should by all means take advantage of the opportunity given by the government to continue their education. It would be fine if they would select a good Christian school We want to give them information Will you not see that a list with complete addresses is made at once and returned to us?" The obvious intent of Brother Sears is to get as many of these Service Men enrolled in Harding College as possible; they will be supplied government money as continued remuneration for their war effort and the lucrative Dean is anxious to get at these prospects.

When Brother Sear mails his propaganda to these boys, will he be honest enough to tell them plainly that the Bible Professor classes them as common "killers"? There are about 65 to 70 boys from this congregation in the Armed Forces, but their names and addresses won't be turned in by me.

In trying to "sell" the school to the brethren and persuade them to send their children there, the college advertises a fine environment and fine association. But now they will have to quit that. They are trying to fill the school with returned soldiers, whom they rank as common "killers." James Bales in his book implies that these "killers" get worse as time goes by, note this quotation, "love dies, if unexpressed in some manner; how much more so will it perish if our expressions are those of hate, violence and a desire to be avenged?" So the Dean wants to fill the college with men, in whom, the Bible professor says, love has perished and whose expressions are hate and violence. If the soldier is as bad as they say he is, your son or your daughter would be safer and in better environment in the penitentiary, than in Harding College after Dean Sears fills it with these boys, who, according to Bales, are "killers" and getting worse.

I suppose some soldiers do go to Harding College when they are released from the army, of course, brother Bales will have the courage of his conviction and teach them that they have been "killers." Suppose he converts them to his fanatical idea, if they repent of their former manner of life will they not have to renounce the hire of that life also? And if they give up the government aid, they are likely to have to drop out of college. So as fast as Brother Sears can get them in, Brother Bales will teach them to repent of the sin of having been a soldier, renounce the hire of unrighteousness, and consequently, they will have to drop out.

If participation in this war of defending our country is sin, Harding College is very anxious to become a partaker of the sin. They not only enjoy the freedom the boys protected, but now they appeal for the money the boys are to be paid for the job. It appears that they want to participate in the freedom and rewards, while at the same time they are calling the boys "killers." This scripture seems to be in point, "Wherefore thou art without excuse, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest dost practice the same things." (Rom. 2:1)

The appeal of the Dean in contrast with the teaching of the Bible Professor is revealing. It manifests either a presence of discord or a lack of conscience in the Handing faculty. If the Dean agrees with the Bible Professor and the traditional Harding College position, he has allowed his lucrative greed to overcome his conscience—he seeks a portion of what he believes to be ill gotten gain. If, on the other hand, the Dean does not agree with the position of the Bible Professor, it would be wonderful for him to have courage enough to come out and say so, before everybody. Bales teaches that the soldier and his money is stained with blood; Sears says, we want it.

It becomes obvious that the happiness mentioned by Paul in Rom. 14:22 is absent from the Harding faculty, "Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth."