"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.21b-24
September 1947

Reply To The N. B. Hardeman "Hit And Run" Attacks - Part 4

In proof of my continuous fight against linking the church and the college together I simply cite the fact that beginning with 1930, the first year of my editorship with the Gospel Advocate, I began to write articles on the subject "Concerning the Church and the College." These articles appeared in the Gospel Advocate every year until the last. During the period of discussions of the organization question, John T. Hinds, C. R. Nichol and F. B. Srygley all wrote articles taking opposite views from those of Brother Brewer, and taking the same stand that I had repeatedly taken editorially. I published all of their articles in editorial space with editorial endorsement of the position they set forth. Here are some of the statements made in Brother Nichol's editorial with my endorsement, under the heading "Concerning Christian Colleges" as follows:

"In our issue of February 18 there appeared an article in this column from the pen of Brother John T. Hinds, our query editor, on the relation of the church to the college. The article was written in answer to a querist and was intended for the query department. Brother Hinds' remarks wore so timely and his distinctions so clear that his article was given editorial space for emphasis. Later the article was published in the Firm Foundation with editorial endorsement.

"In the Firm Foundation of March 8, Brother C. R. Nichol treats the same question with equal clarity and scriptural discrimination:

'It is difficult to oppose the way in which some people do some work without being put down as opposed to the work.'

'It is clearly within the right of the individual to start a school in which he teaches Bible along with other subjects.'

'It is not within the right of the church to take its money and spend it, or place it in the hands of men who will spend it, in maintaining athletics in a college, or teaching the branches called 'science' in the college curriculum.'

`Christian colleges are controlled by a board of regents, or a board of directors; and though they are Christians, they are selected from different sections of the country, and in their activities in connection with the colleges, the board is not the church. It is not within the power of the church to scripturally delegate authority to such a board.'

`The board is not the church, nor does it have authority to act for the church.'

'Numbers of brethren throughout the country think that it is out of harmony with righteousness for an individual or group of brethren to start a school, and when they find they are involved financially to declare the college belongs to the brethren, and they must save it.'

'It is my persuasion that if Christian colleges will make their appeals to individuals —and they have a right to do that—their trouble will soon be over, and local congregations will not suffer'."

I then commented on the Nichol articles as follows

"Brethren Hinds and Nichol are agreed and have set forth the only position scripturally defensible or consistent with the opposition that has been maintained against societies, organizations, and numerous other infringements upon the local church. If brethren everywhere could be made to see these distinctions and thus differentiate, it would not only save embarrassment to the church, but also be of profit to the schools."

Thus I indorsed the Hinds and Nichol articles editorially. Were Brethren Hinds and Nichol only "one step from a full grown Sommerite"? The editor of the Firm Foundation also indorsed the Hinds and Nichol articles editorially. Was he "only one step from a full-grown Sommerite"? What, then, is the matter with N. B. Hardeman? He is mad—all because we have challenged his teaching and that of his school in the issues of the present discussion. As for G. C. Brewer, we all know what has been the matter with him all of the time.

During this same period of discussion Brother F. B. Srygley's articles on these issues were also printed in editorial space in the Gospel Advocate, and I indorsed what he said. Among other things, Brother Srygley had the following to say:

"He, Daniel Sommer, seems to believe that the college or school where the Bible is taught, not as an adjunct of the church, but as an aid to the parents, is permissible. This has been the contention of the better informed brethren in this part of the country all the time. Brother David Lipscomb contended all along that these schools could be built and supported by Christians, not as an adjunct of the church, but as a help to Christian parents. Brother Lipscomb said this through the Advocate, and Brother Wallace has said the same in the Advocate, editorially several times."


"I do not believe that contributions should be made to these schools or any other secular business from the public treasury of the church. I will join the Review in trying to teach the brethren that this ought not to be done. Brother Baxter, the president of David Lipscomb College, said through the Advocate a few months ago that this should not be done."

Everyone knows that Brother Srygley's writings on the subject had more to do with Daniel Sommer's truce on the college question than any man at that time. But I suppose Brother Hardeman will say that Brother Srygley was "only one step from a full-grown Sommerite"! Such cheap demagoguery is beneath the ethics of a man who proposes to head an institution for "Christian education."

After severing connection with the Gospel Advocate in 1934, the Gospel Guardian was launched, 1935, and again my position on the institutional question was expressed. Later, when the Bible Banner began to be published, 1938, in the very first issue of it, I condemned "The current campaign to put Abilene Christian College in the budgets of the churches of Texas."

The positions stated in the Gospel Advocate, and re-stated from 1930 to 1934 in that paper, were printed and re-printed in the Bible Banner from 1938 until 1947.

But during all of these years between 1934 and 1947, more than thirteen years, Brother Hardeman has at no time challenged the constant and continuous statements in the Bible Banner on these questions, nor charged me with an inconsistent or contradictory course. He evidently did not believe any such thing. I think I know that he does not believe it now, and I know that I think he does not.

Concerning the remark in reference to Brother Showalter in the letter, he could not be expected to exactly appreciate the sideswipe at him, but he has done his share of that sort of thing with us.

It is not amiss here to mention the fact that a few years ago Brother James A. Allen thought Brother Showalter had himself made a "blunder" which he referred to as very "unfortunate," such as Brother Showalter's supposed endorsement of "the assessment plan" and the "celebration of Pentecost" with the Christian Standard editors. Brother Allen thought Brother Showalter said some "ugly" things in reply, such as calling him "the Gospel Advocate's office girl." Brother Allen resented that, and said:

"For more reasons than one we regret the little, mean, unkind things Brother Showalter is saying. The Gospel Advocate cannot reply in kind . . . It is a tragedy for the cause of truth to have 'little' men at the head of publications sustained by the patronage of the brethren." Jitpobtd

Now whether Brother Showalter disclaims saying anything "ugly" about Brother Allen or not, if he can forget what Brother Allen said about him, receive him into his paper with as high commendation as accompanied Brother Allen's reply to Davidson, he should not allow Hardeman and Brewer to use the things that have passed between him and us to prejudice him and affect his attitude in this case. However, that is altogether up to Brother Showalter, for as we remarked, we have been on both the giving and the receiving end of the line in our relations with him through the years.

He cuts in to say that the reference to him in the Brewer letter had to do with the Morrow Foundation discussion, and that the "editor of the Advocate" was on the "wrong side" of that issue. Well, if I was on the wrong side of it then the editor of the Firm Foundation is on the wrong side, of it now, for he has flopped to the position that "the editor of the Advocate," along with John T. Hinds, C. R. Nichol, R. L. Whiteside, C. MI Pullias, Cled E. Wallace, and others maintained then, namely:

"Brother Morrow withdrew his charter and resumed his work of distributing Testaments and

Bibles as an individual matter."

Since the little "individual" Foundation was operating under exactly the same charter as David Lipscomb College, why has not the college been condemned for it? One had as much right to it as a board. Under the laws of Tennessee eleemosynary and non-profit organizations operated under the same charter. But if the same thing was done after the charter was withdrawn, or the same work done with the charter as without it, there is no real issue, and never was. If Brother Showalter wants to reprint that discussion in the Firm Foundation, it will be quite all right with me. I was satisfied with it then.

Second: In reference to the assertion that I must be considered "unstable, unsafe and unsound."

It is certainly pertinent to ask here, When did I become so? I will let some more of Brother Hardeman's letters testify with unvarying evidence against himself.

Already, in connection with the letters revealing Brother Hardeman's attitude toward G. C. Brewer, it has been seen that he was quite profuse with his compliments for me.

March 3, 1936, he wrote me:

"The most dependable brethren everywhere appreciate your ability and the frankness with which you discuss matters."

Again, April, 1939:

"I thank God that you are so abundantly able to present matters as you do."

I was sound, all right, then. But in December, 1942, after the war had been declared, after I was accused of being traitor to my friends, after Brother Boles had challenged us for a debate on a proposition that everybody knew was not stated in debatable terms—still I was sound, and Brother Hardeman "gave one hundred percent endorsement" to my reply to Brother Boles. Hear it:

December 19, 1942:

I wish all who disagree could manifest the same spirit as evidenced by you and Bro. Boles. I think your reply to him was exceeding fine and your suggestion that the editors and writers of the Gospel Advocate examine this among themselves is well put."

So I was not "unsafe" nor "unsound," not even "unstable," in December, 1942. Moreover Brother Hardeman "gave one hundred percent endorsement" to the "swords" and "spears" argument on Isa. 2. Hear him:

"Your comment on Isa. 2, without doubt, is the truth regarding "swords" and "spears." Such has been my conception of the passage for a number of years."

I was not even "unstable" then! And that was 1943. But again in 1943:

"I am far from believing that your efforts have been in vain. I have frequently said that you will not be fully appreciated until, perhaps, you have ceased from your labors. I think you have done more than all of the rest of us to save the churches from Premillennialism. I have preached against the "ism" but much of the material I secured from what you had said. I think the reason the fight has been left to you (while others of us have escaped personal opposition) is because we recognize your superior ability and your medium to put things across."

No one can imagine that Brother Hardeman thought March 17, 1943, when he wrote those lines that I "must be considered unstable, unsafe and unsound." But hear him again in the same letter:

"I have seen but few things you have ever written but with them I agree 100 percent. I have sometimes questioned your judgment of propriety but I never doubted your sincerity. I have always admired your bold, fearless stand on what you believe. You have endorsed most of the teaching done here and your influence in our behalf has been evidenced in concrete form. I know you have upheld the school and that it has had no better friend. I hope you may never have occasion to be otherwise."

And now--as late as the fall of 1946, less than one year ago from the date of his present spasms, I was so stable, so safe and so sound, that Brother Hardeman would not engage a teacher on his faculty without asking my "estimate." Read this one:

September 23, 1946:

"Regardless of all other matters, I would like to have your estimate of Bro. E. J. Ijams as a possible member of our faculty. If such a connection is had, he would be a teacher only. I understand that you had a talk with him while both of you were in Cookeville and because of your love of the truth and sound position, a statement relative to Bro. Ijams from you will be appreciated... I certainly don't want to make a mistake and it just occurs to me that Bro. Ijams might fit into our work. If you do not mind, I hope you may send me at once your estimate and opinion about this matter You will remember that some years ago I had an unpleasant correspondence with Bro. Ijams. Since matters have come out into the open at D. L. C. I can better understand his attitude and I would not say now some things that I said then. I mean to say that I did not know that there was an element within that school laying plans and doing their best to get rid of Ijams in order that another might have his place."

What were the things he said about Brother

Ijams "some years ago" that he would not say now? Is it what he said about "calling on sectarians to pray?" Incidentally, his letter suggests the idea that the only objection he ever had to Ijams was his connection with D. L. C. He hates David Lipscomb College with a vengeance.

So as the matters stands, the question stands: When did Brother N. B. Hardeman come to the conclusion that I "must be considered unstable, unsafe and unsound?"

1. It was not due to the position that I occupy on the college question, for that had been stated and restated many times while he was indorsing and commending me.

2. It was not due to any change or modification of my views on combatant and noncombatant army service, because he wrote me many letters of personal endorsement all during that period, even commending my reply to Brother H. Leo Boles.

3. I was not due to my criticisms of weaknesses in the other colleges because he was in all of that, shouting the refrain to "they shall not pass" every time I unfurled the Banner. And he sent me "good material for the Bible Banner" against the other schools, requesting me to write various editorials, but not to mention his name.

When, oh when, did "Foy" become unsound in the sight of N. B. Hardeman? Here it is: Comparatively a few weeks ago, not more than a very few months ago, when we dared to point out his own mistakes on the church-college question, and criticize his own inconsistencies.

In his own words, his disposition to count every man who does not agree with him his personal enemy, is indeed unfortunate."

Third: The charge that "he turned from his lifelong friends and from those who had helped him because they would not join him in contending for carnal warfare."

There was never a more carefully calculated, timed-for-effect, but deliberate misrepresentation than those words carry. And no one knows it any better than N. B. Hardeman. I am glad to say that my life-long friends are still my steadfast friends. Their name is legion, and I can prove it. I have turned from none of them. But friends with me are not mercenary. I have never estimated them on the basis of how much "help" I can calculate on receiving from them. When it comes to stating my convictions I never have considered the effect that it will have on the "help" I may get or not get from a friend or anybody else. Is that the reason Brother Hardeman could not be forced to state his convictions? Some men have "turned from me" because I stood by my honest convictions, but I have never turned against any friend. Some "fair weather" friends have also, for various other reasons, turned from me, not I have never worried over the "help" I lost. And now that N. B. Hardeman cannot use me to pull his chestnuts and has found out that we will criticize him and his school when they are wrong, just as quickly as we will criticize other men and their schools, he too has turned viciously against me, to walk with me no more, help me no more, fellowship me no more; and to anathematize me "unstable, unsafe and unsound." Methinks not many brethren, with the average ability to think, will follow his dictum in this matter.

There is a final phase—a serious thing seems certain. Feeling as Brother Hardeman does in this matter he will not restrain himself before his classes. He will without doubt teach the young preachers who attend his school his views on the church-college question. And he will fill every young preacher he can with the poison of his own feelings in these matters, as evidenced in his articles. Unless and until brethren of means can be assured that such will not be the case, who could feel justified in placing sums of money at Brother Hardeman's disposal through his college?

It was not necessary for Brother Hardeman to take this turn. But it verifies what dozens of good men who have known him for years have told me with warnings, that N. B. Hardeman has never been a friend to any man beyond the use that he can make of that man. He turned on A. G. Freed years ago, wrote or had written a long and bitter article against Brother Freed which the Gospel Advocate did not publish, and sent Brother Freed to his grave broken hearted. I have in my possession now a similar article which he wrote in a merciless "exposure" of Hall L. Calhoun after a disagreement between them while Brother Calhoun served on the faculty of the school. It appears to be N. B. Hardeman who cannot get along with men who have too much self-respect to kow-tow to him, and it is he who "counts every man his enemy who disagrees with him" or who criticizes him, in his school and out of it. Therefore, when he learns that I do not have a price tag on the lapel of my coat, he turns on me, as he turned on A. G. Freed.

We do regret the necessity of having to say the things that have been said, but facts and fairness, honesty and honor, virtue and valor require it. It has come to a pretty pass when it becomes necessary for us to reply to N. B. Hardeman on the same plane and in the same vein which we were forced to reply to Clinton Davidson. But we did not fear Davidson' nor any thing that he could do or get done; and we c1( not fear N. B. Hardeman nor anything that he can do or have done. We believe we are right. Nothing else counts. We could, I concede, with considerable cost to our just cause, have cast aside impelling inclinations of self-defense, and let the personalities pass. But regardless of an one's judgment in that matter, the issues involved in this controversy are vital, the church of Christ is at stake, and we cannot let them pass. On these issues, they have not passed—AND THEY SHALL NOT PASS!