"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.IX No.X Pg.2-3
December 1947

Brother Hardeman's "Apology"

Cled E. Wallace

In the Gospel Advocate of November 20th, Brother Hardeman makes "An Apology" in these words:

"Some months ago I wrote an article on the position of Freed-Hardeman College. A number of articles have followed, both in favor of and in opposition to the position stated. Possibly some good has resulted from the arguments thus presented. It is regrettable that personalities have been injected. Truth and not victory should be the object of all controversy, and any effort to lessen the force of an opponent's argument by wit, caviling, ridicule, or reflection upon his character should be strictly avoided. This rule has been accepted to govern in all honorable debates. I have yielded to the temptation to violate this principle, and I offer to the brotherhood a genuine apology. Never again do I expect to descend to such low levels."

It is the generous thing to do, and the right thing to do to accept a "genuine apology" when it is offered to the right party or parties, and bears the earmarks of a genuine effort to right wrongs that have been committed. Frankly, as much as I desire to believe and say otherwise, Brother Hardeman's "so sorry" piece does not measure up to the demands of "a genuine apology." A friend of mine, whose ability and fairness are widely recognized, reacts in these words:

"Dear Cled: That apology—uh. Things must have got pretty hot for NBH. But it is a, mere effort to whitewash himself. He makes no apology to Foy—"to the brotherhood." He does not apologize for false statements. If I am a part of the brotherhood' he had in mind, I count his apology worthless. (Let him go to work to undo what he tried to do. Now let BOG and GHPS apologize for printing such stuff."

He signs off "In disgust."

Like Brother Brewer, Brother, Hardeman apologizes to the readers of the papers, evidently feeling that he has fallen far in their esteem. Before he did so, he said all he wanted to say, drove the knife of slander into Foy as deeply as he could and then says coolly: "Never again do I expect to descend to such low levels." He makes no apologies to Foy, makes no retractions and obviously hopes we will quit without exposing the false statements that marked his "descent to such low levels." He should have saved us that by making his apology complete. We can't quit until his slanders are corrected, and we have the facts to correct them. We sympathize with and share the feelings of a lot of good brethren who deeply regret the "low levels" this discussion has developed. We cannot, however, in justice allow Brother Hardeman to make his farewell a "hit and run" affair. He cannot "whitewash himself" at Foy's expense. Our part will soon be finished unless Brother Hardeman or Brother Brewer, or both, make it necessary for us to say more.

My character has not been attacked to a degree that raised my blood pressure any. It is true that Brother Brewer said that I had everything but "sincerity and truth" but then I make allowances for him. He did not write that in "a sober moment" but "in the excitement of impassioned speech." I'm putting a "fair construction upon these circumstances." I do not consider that anything either of them have said about me endangers either their salvation or my reputation. They can forget it.

There is one thing I do feel deeply about, very deeply. I have the greatest confidence in Foy's personal integrity and loyalty to the truth. In addition to that I have the deepest personal affection for him. I have always gone to his defense when he was unjustly attacked, with all the power of heart and pen at my command, and I will do it again if need be, and I have never been tempted to offer anybody any apologies for doing so. That is just the way it is.

There is another angle I'd like to say a few words about before I close my part of this unpleasant affair. If Brother Hardeman is under obligation to apologize for descending to "such low levels" so are Brother Goodpasture and Brother Showalter for publishing what he wrote con those "levels." Some years ago Brother Goodpasture "spread irritation over three pages" in which he did about the same thing Brother Hardeman has done and he has never even apologized "to the brotherhood." It looks as though he should have stuck some sort of an apology alongside of Brother Hardeman's. And while I'm saying things, it looks a little like Brother Showalter has "played monkey on the end of a string" for Brother Hardeman and the Gospel Advocate. Why didn't he leave the fight up to the Gospel Advocate and the Bible Banner? Hardeman and Brewer are both in Tennessee. The Gospel Advocate is a large paper, but Brother Showalter joins them in an effort to destroy Foy's influence. Brother Whiteside felt so strongly in the matter that he wrote Brother Showalter a letter inquiring why he joined the planned effort to discredit us in Texas! Our father and Brother Showalter have enjoyed a wonderful friendship in the past. He has admitted the fact that Foy has been his strong supporter and once sent him two hundred (200) subscribers from one town. Since he has had the Bible Banner, he helped send a large list from Oklahoma City to the Firm Foundation. And now he publishes scandals on Foy. It looks as though Foy secured whole gobs of subscribers for the Firm Foundation so they could read attacks on him. This in my opinion is stretching an "open forum policy" too far. It is like Foy sending large numbers of students to Freed-Hardeman College to hear N. B. Hardeman attack him in their classes. This had been going on for no telling how long before Foy found it out. Brother Hardeman's apology is too narrow in the middle and too short at both ends. It just doesn't cover the situation.

It is obvious to everybody I think that "the opposition" has been out after Foy and not me. I "have escaped personal opposition" to a rather remarkable degree. The plan was to "discredit" if not ruin Foy. It failed as it has failed before. Aside from all this it is still true that:

"The church can scripturally contribute to and support any work that the church is commanded to do, anything that is the work of the church; but the church cannot scripturally contribute to or support any work that the church is not commanded to do, that is not the work of the church."

If Brother Hardeman will make that apology genuine and complete and return to his former stated conviction that:

"I certainly do not indorse Brother Brewer's statements and would oppose any congregation putting Freed-Hardeman in their budgets. Such has ever been our sentiments," then maybe we can convert Brother Brewer and glory will abound and strife will cease.