"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.9-12a
December 1947

The Plain Facts Versus The N. B. Hardeman Falsehoods - Part 1

Foy E. Wallace, Jr.

The reading public of the churches of Christ has never in all the history of journalism witnessed such an abandonment of an issue and the resort to personalities as that which has been staged by N. B. Hardeman in the church supported college discussion. Deserting the issue weeks ago, depending on his personal power, backed by the two oldest periodicals among us, he has set out to do what others before him have failed to do, crush us and destroy us by wholesale assault in an onslaught of slime and slush and slander. His whole air has been arrogant and his spirit vile and vengeful.

Notwithstanding the desire of all, as well as my own, to see such a discussion as this terminated, there have been some matters recently introduced that compel attention.

I. "An Apology"

After weeks and weeks of spiteful personalities in the leading papers Brother Hardeman now comes out with -"an apology", the weakness and insufficiency of it must be apparent to even a casual reader.

1. No apology was made for what was said; he only apologized "to the brotherhood" for saying it.

2. The apology carried no retraction but was in effect a reiteration in the form of a concession that he had "descended" to our own "low level". I deny being "low" and I disclaim the "level" to which he descended. I may be lowly but I am not low. Brother Hardeman's articles have been filled with falsehoods. If falsehood is a sin, he has sinned grievously. If slander is a sin, he has sinned enormously. No "apology" is worth anything that is not accompanied by repentance and retraction.

3. It has every appearance of planned strategy. He even told certain ones ahead of time that his "Then and Now" article would be his last. What occurred between the short interval between his "last article" and his "apology" that caused him such compunction of conscience? Look at the facts, friends: N. B. Hardeman dips his hands deep into the mire, brings them up full of mud, slings the filth all over us, and then in immediate order published an "apology" to the "brotherhood."

4. The Gospel Advocate and the Firm Foundation are weeklies. The Bible Banner is a monthly. It is evident that he thought they could overwhelm us with concerted and coordinated attacks, aided by the editors of these papers. They expected to give us more than we could do, to say more than we could answer and then step up with an "apology" to the public leaving the reflections on character, the falsehood, the slander and the libel, all unanswered, to stay in the record unchallenged and uncorrected. After he says all that he wants to say, slings all the mud he wants to sling, he wants help to turn loose of something he has started, so he runs for cover behind a specious apology.

With these apologies on the apology, I want now to look into the last Hardeman article in the Gospel Advocate, to defend my honor and the honor of other members of my family against the false assertions of that article.

II. "Then And Now"

We stopped the presses on the last issue of the Bible Banner to insert a notice for all to "stand by for the facts" in this issue and we shall now make good that promise.

I. It is not true that I called upon N. B. Hardeman to help me out of the financial misfortunes of 1934.

When Brother Hardeman approached me by letter in March 1937, with certain plans, it was altogether unexpected, and he approached me with caution, realizing that it was a delicate matter, he said, to inject himself into my affairs. But he was pleased with my "reaction" and wrote me as follows: "I have read your letter over and over until the whole is thoroughly digested. I hesitated to write you as I did knowing fully the unpleasant reflections it might occasion." But he said, "Your reception was fine and the spirit you evidence is indeed commendable." He then said, "I will arrange to see Brother McQuiddy during the week and, if all is well, I will then arrange a meeting with him, Brother Akin, you and me (only these with no one else knowing anything about it). Be prepared to come regardless."

Thus it can be seen that my own affairs were only part of a plan which Brother Hardeman had formulated with reference to the management of the Gospel Advocate. He used my affairs to enlist Brother Akin, and used the whole situation to accomplish an end concerning the Gospel Advocate. As the matter developed I was called into a meeting with Brother Hardeman and Brother McQuiddy at Henderson. Brother Akin was invited by them and was present. The plan submitted was that I should return to the Gospel Advocate as editor if financial matters could be adjusted. Brother Akin asked Brother McQuiddy if the financial situation was the only thing that stood in the way, and he (McQuiddy) said that is was the only barrier, for he had rather have "Foy" as editor of the Gospel Advocate than any man living. Brother Akin then offered to provide the funds with which to put all of my financial affairs on a current basis so the arrangements could be concluded. I agreed to the plan on the condition that I would not be required to return to Nashville to live. Brother McQuiddy agreed that I could continue to live in Oklahoma City, as W. E. Brightwell could take care of all office duties pertaining to the Gospel Advocate, and I could serve as general editor away from the office, living in Oklahoma City with my family. This will explain many things with reference to Brother Hardeman's interest in my personal affairs then, and why he does not have the same interest in me now.

Immediately after the meeting at Henderson, Brother Akin did all that he offered and agreed to do. I did all that I could to make matters pertaining to my personal affairs right in the sight of God and man. I went in person to every man who held "aught" against me and settled every claim, in some instances going beyond what I knew to be the right figures. A full and forthright statement was published in the Gospel Advocate and the Firm Foundation, on which Brother Hardeman commented in a letter to me as follows:

Brother Brigance and I have both read your article two or three times and we fail to see where any change would improve it. I think you have very clearly presented the facts and your reference to those who have criticized you is just and ought to serve the purpose of causing all of us to think twice before we let go from our tongue a sluice of slime."

But how difference "now" and "then"! It is Brother Hardeman who has "let go from his tongue" and his pen now the "sluice of slime." Did he "think twice" before he "let go" his own "sluices" in his recent articles?

When Brother Akin read the statement which Brethren Hardeman and Brigance commended, he also wrote me a touching letter, which I prize to this day, commending me for being "so willing and anxious to do right," one paragraph of which reads as follows:

"I feel like when anything is put in the past that it should be in the Past, and the confidence and trust that was in the beginning is the place I would like to start, and the things that have happened between that and now merely be for our profit and nothing more." (May 1937)

It gives me an inward joy in the midst of these outward buffetings to know that this good man, J. W. Akin, "in whom there is no guile" feels toward me now as he wrote then.

Again of the same matter Brother Hardeman again wrote:

deeply have read and re-read all you have to say... I am deeply impressed with your plain and unevasive statements and your willingness to adjust all matters." (Aug. 1937)

It was in these letters that Brother Hardeman referred to G. C. Brewer's personal attacks in these words: "Brewer's effort is far below what I thought even he was capable of doing." And in the same letter, he continued, "I am ashamed of men who claims to be such," that is—men who would do what Brewer and others were doing. Now Brother Hardeman is doing exactly the same thing in greater measure, and in so doing has gone "far below" what he thought "even he (Brewer) was capable of doing," and has joined in with the very men and their "such" of whom he said he was then "ashamed." It is therefore a just conclusion that all good people should now be ashamed of Brother N. B. Hardeman, and I believe they are.

As time went on, Brother Hardeman was unable to consummate " all the program" that he had planned. Because of admittedly heavy pressure put on him by various men among us, college men, premillennial sympathizers, a Nashville group, the Davidson element, the Brewer influence, and their kind everywhere, Brother McQuiddy felt that the opposition was too great, and he receded from the original plans.

Brother Hardeman then wrote me as follows:

"I have a call from Brother Leon (McQuiddy) to meet him in Nashville, Friday, this week . . . Be assured that I will do my best to urge a speedy consummation of all the program and I hope and pray that our plans and purposes may not miscarry. I believe the cause, of truth can best be served by what we are trying to do . . . When I have had a talk with Brother Leon, I will write you gain." (May 1937)

You will observe that Brother Hardeman referred to "all the program," my own affairs being only a part, and relatively a small part, in the whole program. But his "plans and purposes" affecting the Gospel Advocate did "miscarry," and the "plans" were all at once changed and the "program" shifted from the Gospel Advocate to the Firm Foundation. Brother Hardeman joined Brother McQuiddy in an effort to secure the ownership and management of the Firm Foundation, believing that if Brother Showalter was offered enough money he would sell it. But as in numerous other things, Brother Hardeman did not want anybody to "mention" his "name" at all "in connection" with these matters. He has shown himself to be great at getting others to do things when he does not want his own name mentioned! Some quotations from a few of the many letters in my files from him will show his "connection" with "all the program."

"When Brother Leon (McQuiddy) returned from Memphis, he called me at Jackson and said matters were fairly satisfactory. This I have told you before. I have been expecting a letter from him since his trip to Austin. If I do not hear from him by Monday or Tuesday I will find occasion to write him a word. In fact, I am writing him now." (Apr. 1937)

So he wrote Brother McQuiddy as follows, the copy of which I have before me:

"I am sincerely hoping that I may hear from you within a few days of your visit to Austin and that all plans are completed. In going over this whole matter, I can't see anything other than wisdom in the consummation of this program." (Apr. 1937)

At this point I asked to be allowed to withdraw myself from the "program." I had not applied for the editorship of the Gospel Advocate at all. In the "midnight letter" over which he has tried to create such a nightmare I referred to myself as the "clay in the potter's hand" because the details of the plans which I did not fully know at the time, proposed to restore me to a current financial basis, in return for which I was to cooperate editorially in "all the program" involving the Gospel Advocate. I believed I was in the "house of my friends" as well as "In the potter's hand," and for Brother Hardeman to take advantage of a time of adversity, when I was in the depths, and wading deep waters, to make it appear that I had sold myself, to him personally to be molded, as clay in his hands, reveals his own unscrupulous intentions. I did not know that men in high places in the church could become so unconscionable as both Brother Brewer and Brother Hardeman have shown themselves to be in the perversion of letters. My only recourse is to give to the readers the contents of their own letters to me in proof of the plain facts in the case.

After the plans shifted from the Gospel Advocate to the Firm Foundation, no such stipulation being in our first agreement, I asked to withdraw from the "program." Brother Hardeman wrote me that he did not want me to withdraw from the negotiations. I was not a candidate for the editorship of the Gospel Advocate or the Firm Foundation, I had certainly made no such application and I plainly said so, but Brother Hardeman wrote me as follows:

"I really believe you will have to exercise more patience in the matter...It is hard for him (Brother McQuiddy) get any satisfaction out of Brother Showalter and this is holding matters in the present state. If I were you I would just let things rock without withdrawing negotiations and go on with your engagement. He fears the deal is off at Austin . . . I will be at 212 Alamosa in San Antonio. It is possible that Brother Showalter may be down and that I can listen and learn some of his plans."

So Brother Hardeman was going to "listen" in order to "learn" some of Brother Showalter's "plans" without letting Brother Showalter know what he was doing! He was doing espionage work for "the speedy consummation of all the program."

The "plans and purposes" regarding both the Gospel Advocate and the Firm Foundation eventually "miscarried" and as a substitute, the publication of a monthly magazine was proposed with me as editor and Brother McQuiddy as publisher. This was done, and The Bible Banner (the name I gave to it) came into existence. Brother McQuiddy agreed to back it, and the first four issues were printed on the presses of McQuiddy Printing Company in Nashville, Tennessee. At this time Clinton Davidson appeared on the scene with his New Christian Leader movement, and when the Bible Banner took up the task of exposing him, he threatened to sue us all—and Brother McQuiddy wanted to be released from all connection with the

Bible Banner. Another meeting was called at Henderson, and I was offered a $150.00 per month editorial salary to discontinue the Bible Banner and write a one-page-a-week article for the Gospel Advocate. Brother Hardeman advised me in the presence of several witnesses to take it, and stop the Bible Banner. When I asked him why, he replied: "You need the money, Brother Foy." I answered, "Yes I do; but honor is more than money" and I told them that I would crawl back home and live on crackers and water before I would submit to such a deal. I returned to Oklahoma City, determined to find a way to publish the Bible Banner according to the public promises that had been made regarding it.

At this point I received some interesting letters from Brother Hardeman.

" You have ground for the sentiment that you have expressed and I am forced to share the same opinion that you hold, viz., that Brother McQuiddy never really intended to carry out what was agreed upon in my home. I feel that all else has been a substitute, a postponement and an effort to get released from you. I think you have indeed been done an injustice. You have grounds to publish in the Banner the whole procedure and thus explain why certain steps have been made and announcements appeared. I think, however, it might be better to suffer the injury than try to explain all things that lie back of it. I am sure that Brother McQuiddy has lost some friends but I do not believe it right to try to injure the Gospel Advocate because of such steps as he has taken." (Feb. 1939)

It was all right for me to suffer injury, but the Gospel Advocate must not be injured! I think the reader can now begin to see the background" of the Gospel Advocate's attitude and of some things that have "resulted since."

But hear Brother Hardeman again:

"I am sorry that Brother McQuiddy has lost the confidence that Brother Akin, Austin Taylor and a host of others, who know the facts, had in him. I think this was unnecessary." (Feb. 1939)

Wonder what Brother McQuiddy will think of that, coming as it did from N. B. Hardeman, the man whom he has accommodated with all the space he wanted to carry on his present campaign of calumny! And what will Brother Showalter think when Brother Hardeman goes to Austin for that meeting in March—will Brother Hardeman "listen" and "learn" some more of Brother Showalters plans while he is there!

Next came the anonymous circulars; obviously promoted by Clinton Davidson, carrying a series of attacks on me—the same kind of attacks Brother N. B. Hardeman is now making. So it will be in order to hear what Brother Hardeman had to say then in contrast with what he is saying now.

"I have seen the circular put out by Davidson and can appreciate fully how this affects you. I could not blame you for making a statement as you indicate and I would of course sign an article as to what my understanding was of the original plan."

Thus has it been necessary, through all of these years for me to fight off repeated attacks, and no sooner has one attack been repulsed than another comes from another flank.

Of their continued attacks Brother Hardeman wrote:

"A member of the board of the Leader has written Brother Leon to know if he would be interested in taking it over. It looks like the thing will fail and I pray that it may. 'It was conceived in sin and brought forth in iniquity'. Davidson leaves behind him a sluice of slime wherever he goes." (July 1939)

But it is the same "sluice" that Davidson leaves behind him "wherever he goes" that Brother Hardeman is "sluicing" in the Gospel Advocate and the Firm Foundation. If it was Clinton Davidson "slime" then, is it not N. B. Hardeman "slime" now?

Concerning these attacks Brother Leon McQuiddy wrote me as follows:

"It is true that, according to every preacher in this territory, you are being helped rather than hurt by the anonymous attacks being made upon you" (Apr. 1939)

But now N. B. Hardeman is making the same attacks with his name signed to them now that Clinton Davidson was making without his name signed to them then. Do the publisher and editor of the Gospel Advocate think the Hardeman attacks are "helping" rather than "hurting" now?

Hear Brother Hardeman on this point again:

"I really believe that the war being waged against you is proving advantageous both to you and to the cause. I said such to Brother Leon (McQuiddy) and he agreed. Were it all to go over I have an idea his original intent would be carried out." (July 1939)

But the same "war" is being "waged" by Brother Hardeman now that was being waged by those to whom he referred then. Does Brother McQuiddy think it is "advantageous" both to me and the cause now, and for that reason allows the editor to publish it?

These are some of the facts regarding "the plans and purposes" and the "consummation of all the program" about which Brother Hardeman first "hesitated to write me"—proving plainly that his assertion that I "begged" and "pleaded" with him, or with anybody else, to help me is absolutely false. Brother Hardeman has not told the truth about the matter at all, and he knows it.

In the same connection he makes the untrue statement that when I asked him to join the staff of writers on the Gospel Guardian, and later the Bible Banner, he refused. The opposite is the truth. He accepted the place on the staff of the Gospel Guardian, and his name was on the masthead as long as it was published, as anybody having copies of it can easily verify. As for the Bible Banner, Brother Hardeman again testifies against himself in a letter to me, Feb. 4, 1939:

"It is perfectly all right for you to let my name appear in your paper (Bible Banner) with the understanding that you will use material that I have already delivered. It might he possible that I would send you an article occasionally."