"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.VII Pg.18b-21a
September 1947

Reply To The N. B. Hardeman "Hit And Run" Attacks - Part 3

Now, add to the above statements the dramatic shout of Brewer in his debate with Coleman the Communist in California, that he was "ready to shoulder a gun to defend Christianity against Communism." In 1931-34 Brother Brewer was an out-and-out Conscientious Objector, one who could not even accept noncombat service in the army of this nation, nor even buy a war stamp or a war bond, for to do so was to become a "participant" in the slaughter. But my! What a change came over him within two years, and how he reversed himself. In 1937 he was "ready to shoulder a gun" to promote Christianity against Communism. In 1940 he said, "if this country must go to war" he "for one" would fight! Since he then was the one who challenged "any man" to name the principle that would justify a Christian to bear arms, let him now, in his own words to others, "try to think of one." Brother Hardeman says that Brother Brewer "believes now as he did then," but he is now "arm and arm" with Brewer against "Foy." They are indeed a cunning couple to be casting knowing looks at each other and talking about somebody else "changing" on anything.

Both Hardeman and Brewer were of "full age" when these first statements were made. They were of "fuller age" in 1947 when their contrary statements were made. Brewer "had been preaching for a number of years" for the 'biggest" churches in the brotherhood, and Hardeman had been president for "a number of years" of the only school "among us" that he can indorse. "Why did they not know their stand?" Really, it does take "a lot of gall" for them to say what they said then, and "write such articles now" as Hardeman did in the Gospel Advocate and Firm Foundation. I say again that they are a pretty pair to be talking about anybody changing on anything or of anyone meeting himself coming back anywhere.

Fifth: Hardeman versus Hardeman on the

"war question."

On every hand it has been asked, "Where does N. B. Hardeman stand on the government and war question?" With many that has been the "sixty-four dollar question"—because N. B. Hardeman would not declare himself. In May, 1945, he complained to us in a letter that "both you and Bro. Cled were trying to line me up as a partisan in this matter and I have refused to become such." In October, 1945, he wrote me again: "It did seem that you and Bro. Cled tried to force me to say more than I ever did about the war question." Now, far be it from Cled or me to try to force President Hardeman to tell where he stands and what he believes. But he has always boasted that there is not any question before the brethren concerning which he could not and would not state his position "on a post card." We naturally thought he would do that on "the war question." But no!. He did not want anybody to know his real convictions on that question, if he had any, or to find it out if he didn't have any. Why not? Was he afraid of someone who was "helping" him, or think they might quit "helping" him?

Well, it so happens that Cled and I did not have to "line him up"—he did it himself. But he thought the brethren would not find it out. He wrote a letter, this time to the draft board at Okmulgee, Oklahoma. Here is what he said:

February .11, 1943, Local Draft Board, Okmulgee, Oklahoma, Gentlemen: I can fully appreciate the problems that are presented to local boards. My purpose in writing you is to make clear, if I can, the position of the Church of Christ regarding war.

"There is no ecclesiastical body with authority to regulate any member's convictions. Neither does the local church have such authority. As to whether or not any member is a conscientious objector is a matter wholly within the individual and you will find in the same congregation some who are objectors and others who are not. I have no right nor reason to doubt the statement of any member who thus claims to be and it seems to me that each board should accept the' statement made unless there is sufficient reason to show that the person thus making the statement is not honest in so doing.

"We have a number of young men in this school. Several have been classified ready to fight; others have been placed in non-combative service because of their convictions and bona fide preachers of the gospel have been classed in 4-D. From different officials who have visited us, I have found that they are unacquainted with the policy of the Church of Christ, hence in my veins in the cause my forefathers fought and died for ... the explanation to you gentlemen.

"This college is not a unit on the matter of objection. Like the church it is an individual affair and some of the faculty would no doubt be objectors, while others of us feel otherwise.

"Very truly yours, N. B. Hardeman."

Now notice, Brother Hardeman says: "Some of the faculty would no doubt be objectors, while others of us feel otherwise." Cautious as the Henderson diplomat was, he stated his own classification. "Others of us"—when a man says "us" does he not include himself? So some of Brother Hardeman's faculty are "objectors", but he is one of the "us" who feels otherwise." Why, then, has he not been willing to let the brethren know how he "feels?" Did it make him a partisan to tell the Draft Board? If not, why should it make him a partisan to tell the brethren?

That letter to the Draft Board bears marks of the politician that everyone knows N. B. Hardeman to be—it is a mixture of political and sectarian phraseology. He claims the high prerogative of stating the "policy" for "The Church of Christ" on war. Both his qualifications and his right to do such a thing as that may well be questioned. If for no other reason, no man is qualified to write the policy for the church who will not state his own position to the church. He says plainly that we were trying to force him to do "more than he ever did on the war question." When a man who takes as big a hand in politics as he has always taken in the politics of Tennessee, withholds his position on the government question in order to stand in with certain groups in the church who would turn against him, he is playing politics with both the church and the government, and to call him what he is, simply a cheap politician, is neither "ridicule" nor "abuse," but just plain facts.

Brother Hardeman says of me: "He ridiculed, made fun of, and insinuated that all conscientious objectors were downright hypocrites." That is just another premeditated prevarication. I have never insinuated nor in any way intimated that any "conscientious" objector is a hypocrite. But any man who will write the kind of letter to a Draft Board that N. B. Hardeman wrote, and then conceal it to keep the brethren from finding it out, is a hypocrite.

But is it a fact that to discuss the matter is "more than he ever did about the war question" ? His memory on war is as bad as Bro. Brewer's memory on the budget. In the Firm Foundation, May 1, 1934, there appears a statement from N. B. Hardeman on war. He said:

"Inasmuch as that religious body known in the Federal Census of Religions as the "Churches of Christ" has no organization other than, or larger than, a single congregation and consequently has no way of expressing its position as a whole upon any matter, we, as members, teachers, preachers and leaders in this religious organization take this method of putting ourselves on record in regard to war. We believe it to be entirely contrary to the teaching of Jesus Christ for Christians to participate in combatant service in war".

Now that is certainly revealing as the article is signed by "Members of the faculty of Freed-Hardeman College." The whole article is as contradictory with itself as Brewer and Hardeman are with themselves. The teaching of Jesus Christ, he says, is contrary to "combatant service in war." Wonder how he would go about making these same passages on "non-resistance" which he uses against combat service harmonize with the resistance necessary to "non-combatant service in war," which he declares is not contrary to the teaching of Jesus. His trouble is in misapplying the passages in the first place. The President of Freed-Hardeman College really ought to go to Lufkin and let Cogdill and Arceneaux teach him Bible hermeneutics. Again, he meets himself coming back, and has passed himself "coming and going" so many times that he doesn't stop long enough to recognize himself anywhere.

It is a matter of record that Brethren Hardeman and Brewer have both switched positions on the "war question." They cannot truthfully deny it. But they are both loud in their denunciations of "Foy" for his "change on the war question." Yea, they would "ridicule" and "abuse" him for doing in lesser degree a thing they have done in a greater degree. "Wherefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgeth doest the same things." (Rom. 2:1)

Take a last look at N. B. Hardeman's statements side by side:


"We believe it to be entirely contrary to the teaching of Jesus Christ for Christians to participate in combatant service in war... The above doctrine has been taught in this college since it was founded twenty-five years ago."


"This college is not a unit on the matter of objection. Like the church it is an individual affair and some of the faculty would no doubt be objectors, while some of us feel otherwise."

Brother Hardeman was of "full age" when in 1934 he put himself "on record in regard to war." And, "he was of fuller age" when in 1943 he made the opposite statement to the Draft Board. "He had been preaching a number of years and had been president of one of the biggest schools in the brotherhood. Why did he not know his stand?" I know that is embarrassing—but Brother Hardeman brought it all on himself. "He seems not to know today where they will be tomorrow". Again, I say they are a pretty pair to prate about another man "changing," walking "arm in arm" with somebody, and meeting himself coming back! "Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that which he alloweth." (Rom. 14:22).

As for me, when my views on combatant and noncombatant service were straightened out, I knew where I stood, and announced it to all the brethren. I did not suppress my views nor my words, previous or present, but published the 1936 statement in full giving the reasons for the extent to which I had changed and the arguments that had corrected me (which incidentally have never been answered), all of which appeared in the Bible Banner of February 1943, as follows:

"Much has been made of that short statement of mine in the Gospel Guardian in 1936. I have no disposition to suppress my words. Rather have I had the desire to correct the misstatements and misapplications of that little article, and to set the matter rightNor do I have any disposition to escape the responsibility for the statement. At the time it was written I held the non-combatant viewpoint—but I was never a C. O. I had taken for granted the noncombatant view, having heard it expounded from my seniors from my youth up. The piece I wrote reveals how fully I had accepted and how fervently I felt that sentiment. The article also indicates that it was only sentiment, for not one single argument nor the slightest efforts to prove or to disprove anything was made. On the contrary the article yielded to the opposite view of the military question by the admissions that the "deductions" were all in favor of the other side. It thus conceded what was deducible in the premises."

The effort on the part of these brethren now to make it appear that they have rattled a "skeleton in the closet," by dragging the "war question" out, will be considered by all thinking persons as their one and only hope of shifting the issue from themselves to us. But they have bogged down in the meshes of their own contradictions and inconsistencies. The only thing they can do is what they have already done, namely, ignore everything, answer nothing and keep on bringing up something else.

As for G. C. Brewer's War Memorial speech, I have not the slightest "apology" to make for "so severely rebuking" that speech. As for "belligerent warlike ratiocinations" my sentiments are still against such as that, and I am no more sentimentally disposed now than I was then to militarism and war. I still believe what I said about the Brewer speech as well as his grandstand play on shouldering a gun to defend Christianity against Communism in the debate. We do not use the "carnal weapon" in a spiritual warfare." Brewer was wrong in offering such a thing. His was an example of the wrong use of the sword, of what a "war-monger" really is. We cannot shoot Christianity into nor machine gun Communism out of everybody. Certainly Paul would not so preach; neither would I; and "such blustering from a gospel preacher before a worldly political organization, ought to make every Christian who reads it blush with shame." No, I have no apology to offer, sirs. But in view of what N. B. Hardeman has said about G. C. Brewer, as quoted in the letters herein printed, in the light of his present "arm in arm" step with him—he is the one to do the apologizing to Brewer.

Sixth: Hardeman versus Hardeman on the David Lipscomb book.

On this point he says:

"While Foy was editor of the Gospel Advocate, I do not believe he could have been induced to publish O. C. Lambert's attack on David Lipscomb. Later it seemed to give him pleasure to publish Lambert's attacks on this great man."

But the plain fact is that "Lambert" did not attack David Lipscomb, "the great man," at all, as "Hardeman" knows. Brother Lambert simply abstracted the contents of the book, Civil Government, which has long been public property.

There was no attack on Lipscomb as a man. Why this from N. B. Hardman? He does not indorse David Lipscomb's view on the Christian's relation to government, nor his book Civil Government. In that book Brother Lipscomb teaches that a Christian cannot vote, hold office, teach in any school under government administration whether municipal, state or national; that a Christian cannot be a "postmaster," that being an administrative office, or hold any official connection with the government. Brother Hardeman not only votes, but votes everybody else he can in West Tennessee, so the politicians say. He has held public office and conducts campaigns for men who run for office, from constable in Chester County to the Governor of Tennessee. The fact is, N. B. Hardeman has a state-wide reputation as a preacher who dabbles in politics. He received some obnoxious publicity through state papers for his political activities, to the extent that some brethren in Nashville and over the state complained that his influence was hurting the church. Does Hardeman believe the book, Civil Government ? Oh no! Can he be "induced" to write an article to the Gospel Advocate plainly stating his attitude on the contents of that book, which Brother Lambert clearly outlined? "I do not believe that he could be induced" to make any part of an honest statement of his convictions on the contents of the David Lipscomb Civil Government book, like "Lambert" did, or anything else that cause certain ones to quit "helping" him.

Hardeman Versus "Foy"

It will proper here to answer some of the charges made in the article such as the assertion that "he passed so many times from one position to another"; that "he gave one hundred percent endorsement" to Brewer's teaching on organizations; and "he must be considered 'unstable, unsafe and unsound' ."

First: In reference to the assertion that X "gave one hundred percent endorsement" to Brewer's teaching on Organizations.

Time was when both Brother Hardeman and Brother Brewer were quite confidential with me, I reciprocated that confidence. Hence, we can all publish letters—they started it, but "two can play that game," if that is what they want. The particular letter to Brother Brewer from me, which Brother Hardeman prints, was written from Albuquerque, N. M., nearly fifteen years ago. It does not indorse any position of Brother Brewer's. It was editorial approval of the publication of his articles.

It was the year of the two debates with Charles M. Neal. The work was heavy. I was in the mountains of New Mexico in August, preparing manuscripts of the debate for the book. I was not in direct charge of the editorial office of the Gospel Advocate, having delegated the work to others. Brother Brewer's articles became mixed and out of order. He thought one or more of them had been cast aside. Hence, the explanation—I had given them editorial approval. For what? For publication. But it is stated that "we talked the matter over before they were written"; exactly so; and I told Brother Brewer, and also Brother McQuiddy, plainly, that I did not agree with Brother Brewer's views on the college-in-the-budget issue. I also told Brother Brewer that if he could prove that proposition I would be his first convert.

Knowing my views which had been so repeatedly stated, and knowing G. C. Brewer as he did and still does, my friend Jack Meyer felt exercised over the result of giving G. C. Brewer a free hand with such a medium. He knew Brewer better than I did, and while I thought then that Brother Meyer was "over-exercised," time and developments proved that he was right. I am not conscious of having been converted by Brother Brewer, but if they can produce the factual evidence that he did accomplish the task of converting me to his college-in-the-budget doctrine. I can counter with the evidence that I did not stay converted (he lost his quarry), and I will admit that I was either unconscious, or suffering from mental fag, or else confess that I have reversed myself nearly as many times as they have, changed almost as many times as they have, and if I should by any chance do such a thing a few more times I will get to be as inconsistent as they are, and have a memory about as bad as theirs. So instead of gaining anything so far as the issue is concerned, it would only put me in their company, and three of that kind would simply be too many. If it happens, I will make my acknowledgements and get out of it.