"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.4-5
December 1947

The Persons And Personalties In The College Controversy - Part 1

Roy E. Cogdill

For some time now, a discussion has been going on through the pages of the Bible Banner and some of our other religious papers on the question of whether -or not it is right for a congregation of the Lord's church to a college or school in which the Bible is taught when that school is organized as a human institution doing a secular work under a board of trustees.

As a discussion grows warmer and the pressure heavier, men find themselves involved because of their relation to the issues. There is absolutely no way to prevent this in any discussion about anything. However, to point out a man's inconsistency concerning the issue under discussion is one thing and to make an open direct assault on his character about matters that have absolutely no relation to the issue is quite another.

Brother N. B. Hardeman elected to take the lead in this discussion in favor of church support or the schools. It is presumed that he offered every argument that he could make in support of his position, and those arguments were examined and refuted completely and absolutely. He and others standing with him have been completely routed on the issue. Many of the inconsistent contentions made were exposed but no assault was made on his character, though perhaps he is as vulnerable from that point of view as any man before the public. Nothing of a personal nature entirely separated from the issue was injected into the discussion, until Brother Hardeman, mare of the weakness of his argument and the pressure and power of the truth against his position, completely abandoned the issue and everything connected with it, and launched as infamous an attack against the character of Brother Foy E. Wallace, Jr. as any of us have seen in this day. No political campaigner has ever made a more unfair, inexcusable, and untrue assault against the character of his opponent than N. B. Hardeman has made in this discussion. Why he has done so is obvious. Bro. Hardeman is not weak enough to think that whether Foy E. Wallace Jr. pays his debts or doesn't pay them has anything to do with whether or not the church should support a human institution such as the one of which he is president. He knows that it doesn't have any bearing whatever on that question. He has followed the old plan—if you don't like the message of the prophet, kill the prophet. His final answer to everything that has been said is: Foy E. Wallace, Jr. didn't pay his debts and isn't honest, therefore the church should contribute to the support of the colleges. Now isn't that conclusive proof? We expected better than that from Brother Hardeman.

The editors of the religious papers that published these attacks are just as guilty as Brother Hardeman. They knew the representations were untrue and printed them anyway.

Premillennial Tactics

Brother Hardeman has followed the same route that all the premillennialists and premillennial sympathizers have followed in the past. When they could not meet the issue and were exposed in their attempt to propagate their false doctrines, they always disprove every argument, to their own satisfaction I guess, with a personal fight against Brother Wallace. They have had the idea that if they could make brethren believe that Foy E. Wallace, Jr. is dishonest and a debt beater, that would make premillennialists out of all of them. Years ago they dragged all of Brother Wallace's personal affairs out into the open and sought to discredit him with them. At that time all the matters to which Brother Hardeman has referred were reviewed and the facts about all of them given by Brother Wallace and published in the pages of the Bible Banner. In fact, even before that, Brother Wallace had voluntarily made a statement to the brotherhood about his affairs and Brother Hardeman endorsed that statement a hundred percent as you will see from a letter by him to Bro. Wallace quoted in another article in this issue. Nothing new has developed since that time. The situation with reference to these personal affairs is exactly the same "now" as it was "then," but Brother Hardeman is not the same. There lies the difference.

A Parallel Situation

Several years ago Brother S. H. Hall was in Oklahoma City in a meeting. During that meeting they had a special service one afternoon for all the preachers and elders of the city. Brother Hall proposed to explain his participation in the "unity meetings" with the Digressives and his attitude on premillennialism, and permit questions to be asked. I was called by some of the brethren and asked to attend that meeting. When Brother Hall had finished his speech, he was asked this question: "Why did you leave town during the fourth Hardeman meeting in Nashville and refuse to cooperate in it, when you knew that the meeting was to be especially directed against premillennialism?" In response to that question Brother Hall stated that he could not fellowship Brother Hardeman in that meeting because of his character. He was pressed for an incident in Brother Hardeman's life and conduct that made him unworthy of fellowship. He mentioned the incident that occurred in Huntsville, Alabama, in which some charges were made against Brother Hardeman. He admitted when questioned further that the incident was old, had happened years before, and that he had known about it when Brother Hardeman held his first three meetings in Nashville at the Ryman Auditorium, and when the Boswell-Hardeman debate was held. He further admitted, when pressed, that he had fellowshipped all three of the former meetings, and the debate, knowing just as much about that incident as he knew when the fourth meeting came. He decided all of a sudden after three meetings and a debate that Brother Hardeman wasn't worthy of his fellowship because of that incident which he had known all the time. None of us believed that to be the real reason why Brother Hall didn't fellowship the fourth meeting. I believed then, and I do till now, that premillennial sympathy on Brother Hall's part was the real reason. The point however, is this: Brother Hardeman stands in—"exactly the same position now with reference to Brother Wallace. He knew all about the settlement of Brother Wallace's affairs, at the time it had happened, having injected himself into the matter. He endorsed the settlement then, and Brother Wallace's statement about the settlement, without reservation. He has pretended ever since "then" and until "now" to be a close friend to Brother Wallace, but for some reason—all of a sudden—Brother Hardeman has decided that Brother Wallace is unworthy and unreliable, for reasons that he has known about all the time. Who can give him credit for sincerity in his reference to matters that occurred almost fifteen years ago, when he has endorsed those particular matters all of these ensuing years? It will take more than a half-breathed, superficial apology to the brethren to restore any confidence in N. B. Hardeman's sincerity about any of these matters. It has just about been destroyed, with most of us for all time to come.

A similar situation with reference to the fourth meeting in Nashville developed between Brother Hardeman and the Central Church in Nashville. That church recorded in its minutes a resolution signed by the officers of the congregation refusing to announce or permit to be announced the meeting to be held by Brother Hardeman. Of course they had no other fellowship with it. Later on in explanation of their action they denied premillennial sympathies and assigned their action to the fact that they did not count Brother Hardeman personally worthy of their fellowship. They had fellowshipped him before, and have done so since, but they suspended it for a season. If they knew anything they had not known all the time, nothing was said or done about it that anybody knows. If Brother Hardeman has corrected the reason they would not fellowship him since the fourth meeting, nothing has been said about that, though the refusal to take part in the, meeting received wide publicity. You would think that after tasting that kind of treatment Brother Hardeman would be slow to administer such to anybody, but maybe that is where he learned it.

Houston Central Church Tactics

When Brother Hardeman's name was suggested for a meeting in Houston supported by all the churches, objection to him was raised by the Central Church on the ground of his character. The matter was dropped at that time. Later plans were made by the Norhill church to conduct such a meeting in the Music Hall with Brother Foy E. Wallace Jr. doing the preaching. Because they had not made the plans and were not making the arrangements for the meeting, and, for other reasons probably, the Central Church refused to cooperate in that meeting. They made, through two of the elders and their preacher, Burton Coffman, the same kind of a fight against Brother Wallace that Brother Hardeman has recently made, objecting to him on the ground that he had acted dishonestly, and would not pay his debts. This accusation was introduced in the presence of thirty or thirty-five preachers in the Houston area. When the charge was brought out into the open, it was disputed and denied in Brother Wallace's behalf, and given the name that properly describes it—"a dirty lie." They were called upon to produce the proof or stand branded as such. They could not do it. Later, the elders of the Norhill church, joined by the elders of the Heights church, wrote them and requested that they name the incident where Brother Wallace had ever refused to honor any obligation that he had made and do his best to discharge it. They were told that if they would produce the instance of it that it would be taken to the elders of the church where he lived and the demand that they deal with him and it be made. That instance has never been shown until this day by them or anyone else. Brother Hardeman cannot show it now, and until he does produce some proof of dishonesty—some specific instance of an obligation denied and no effort made to meet its demands—he stands with the elders of the Central church in Houston, and with Burton Coffman, their preacher—guilty of propagating a lie to the injury of a gospel preacher and to his own condemnation. Brother Hardeman needs to repent—not just apologize. He has not acted just discourteously but dishonestly.