"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.VI Pg.2-3
August 1947

Brother Hardeman Is Ready To Quit

Cled E. Wallace

Brother Hardeman bids us a brief farewell in a late issue of the Firm Foundation. The smile was missing and he was nearly as "lugubrious" as his team-mate Brother Brewer. These wailing twins appear to be very unhappy and I feel sorry for them but they can blame nobody but themselves for the predicament they are in. Brother Hardeman roared in like a lion and ba-a-a-ed out like a lamb.

Here is the dying note of the swan-song. "Until the principle is stated and the law is given, along with a list of things permitted and things forbidden, it will be unnecessary to write further." Well, a man needs some sort of an excuse for quitting and if he can't find a good one he must take a lame one. It reminds me of the Irishman who bit into a green persimmon. "If anybody wants to hear anymore out of me, he'd better hurry and get close cause I'm close'n up."

In 1938 Brother Hardeman said:

"I am truly sorry that we cannot get together on matters relating to our schools, I certainly do not endorse the putting of our schools on the church budget. I would oppose having Freed-Hardeman so placed. Such has ever been my sentiment."

He still sticks to that statement but it seems to me that his adhesive qualities have about evaporated. His reason for opposing the school in the budget appears to be sound. "I have always said that I would oppose the placing of our schools in the church budgets and thus binding the church to their support." If he knows "the principle and the law" that directed him to this conclusion it ought to be unnecessary for us to keep giving it to him as he has repeatedly requested. The trouble seems to be that he is nosing around trying to find a loop-hole in the law so that he can get the same results as he could without the law. "But—but—but—but"— "the principle and the law are about to get "butted" clear out of binding reach. "But that any congregation has a right to make a donation to a school, I verily believe." Very well, suppose you give us "the principle and the law" for what you "verily believe" along this line. I am not a college president nor the head of anything except a family, and exercise the authority of that position quite modestly when the speaker of the house is around; but I know enough to be quite sure that those who affirm a practice are the ones to furnish "the principle and the law" justifying it, not the ones who oppose it. Brother Hardeman knows this much too when he is debating with a digressive. Since he knows and affirms that the sole business of the church is to preach the gospel and look after the poor, and can't find any authority for the church going into the school business, he does what nearly everybody else does who wants the church to do something there is no authority for; he demands that the negative state "the principle and the law" for its opposition. "Huh!" And "it will be unnecessary to write further" if we don't do it. In other words if we are not willing to relieve Brother Hardeman of the burden of establishing his proposition by "the principle and the law" he is going to quit. Farewell, Brother Hardeman. It was nice seeing you. I don't blame you in the least. Had I been in your place, I would have quit before you did. I really think you did quite well to take up as much space as you did considering your handicaps regarding "the principle and the law." An affirmant is sorely in need of some support when he resorts to a plea like this: "I would like to see a list of things forbidden. I predict that such a request will not be answered." What prophetic insight! He would of course be delighted to compile an encyclopedia like that if he were denying that the churches should put the colleges in the budget. And he is opposed to that! Bro. Hardeman has had a hard row to hoe and he is through but the crab-grass shines from one end to the other. He just hacked at it.

The readers of the Bible Banner have been treated to some pretty exhaustive lessons on "the principle and the law" governing church activities. Brother Hardeman and Brother Brewer want all the details. You may wonder why. I don't. I know all the symptoms when men are in need of something to ride out on.

I reckon I ought to leave Brother Hardeman a little something to be comforted over, but I don't think it would be good for the cause, or him either to do it. We'd just as well make a clean sweep of this thing while we are at it. He assumes and argues from the assumption that the relation of the church to the school is the same as it is to an orphans' home. What follows? Put the school in the budget where the orphan's home is. No, no, Brother Hardeman is opposed to that and has "ever been." Very well, let him make a statement that reads:

"I am truly sorry that we cannot get together on matters relating to our orphans' homes. I certainly do not endorse the putting of our orphans' homes on the church budget. Such has ever been my sentiment."

If he will just sign N.B.H. to that statement then we will know that he thinks the two are parallel. "I predict that such request will not be answered." And I think he was wise in quitting when he did. It will save him some embarrassment.

Brother Hardeman doesn't like the way we are carrying on our side of this discussion. He thinks we are "dizzy and confused" and make comparisons and references "for the sole purpose of prejudicing the readers and clouding the issue" that we "must prefer to evade the issue and talk about things wholly irrelevant." He even takes exception to the nice things I said about his picture and smile and calls them "sarcastic remarks" that "have nothing to do with the issue involved". He appears to be so "dizzy and confused" that he cannot distinguish a compliment from sarcasm. Of course I knew the smile didn't have anything to do with "the issue involved." That was one reason I wondered why it was put in the paper. Bro. Hardeman blames Bro. Showalter with it. Maybe Brother Showalter will be more careful next time and keep such irrelevant matter out of the paper. Really though, it wasn't a serious mistake. I liked the picture all right. It was the article that went with it that wasn't so hot. He appears to be a bit testy over what I said about the picture and remarks: "Plenty of people there are who can not answer the smile or the arguments." Really, I meant no harm and I have a plausible explanation which may be accepted for an apology. I needed something to fill my quota of space and since the "arguments" were too light to demand that much space I just filled in with "the smile." If Brother Showalter has a picture of Brother Hardeman looking like he does when he reads what I write, maybe he had better keep it out of the paper. However, if he wants to put it in I'll promise not to say anything about it.

Oh, yes! I thought I was about through but there's one more thing I can use to fill up space. This issue of the paper is a bit hard on me. The editor is flat of his back in Temple, Texas, following a major operation and the work of making up this issue of the paper falls on me. If it is a flop you'll understand why. The patient is doing well, thank you, has medical assurance that within weeks he will be back on the firing line with normal vigor, and normal vigor for him is plenty. If he would work just about twice as hard as I do and preach just twice as long as I do, he would have more time to take care of his health. Maybe he'll learn but he is like some other people I know. He doesn't pay too much attention to me when he's wrong and I'm right.

But that wasn't what I started out to say. Brother Laird, along with Earnest Beam and some others, mostly premillennialists and their sympathizers, are terribly worried over the threat that we hold over the churches as "dictators." He says:

"I deny the right of any preacher to dictate to a church what it should do with the 'Lord's money' unless he can show that the thing under consideration is wrong in itself."

Now, I'm less of a dictator than Brother Hardeman. I reserve the right as a Christian to reprove, rebuke and exhort whenever I think the situation demands it, but I do not claim the power of dictation over a church even if I "can show that the thing under consideration is wrong in itself." I'm not dictating to a man when I tell him he has to obey the gospel or go to hell. He can take his choice. I can't make him go to heaven unless he wants to. I can't make a church do right. But brother, I can tell it what is right. If it wants to stage a donkey show, and some of them are doing it without the sort of donkeys that eat hay, I can't do any more about it than warn and protest. I don't even try to boss the church where I live and preach, but I preach. Brother Hardeman knows we are not dictators. Brother Beam knows we are not dictators. Brother Davidson knows we are not dictators. Why all the fuss about dictators? I don't know unless it "be for the sole purpose of prejudicing the readers and clouding the issue."

But Brother Hardeman is probably out of hearing distance by now. "It will be unnecessary for him "to write further." Well, good-bye and good luck. Next time you appear in the paper, picture or no picture, get on the right side of the issue and you can do better and stay longer.