Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
December 22, 1966
NUMBER 33, PAGE 8b-9a

My Apology To Brother Cawyer And The Herald Of Truth

Walter N. Henderson

In the Gospel Guardian on August 27, 1964, I had an article entitled "Who Paid The Bill?" In this article some questions were raised about a letter written on Herald of Truth stationery and mailed in Herald of Truth's envelopes, along with a bulletin of Harding College urging people to attend a seminar on communism at said school. In October of that year I received a letter from brother W. F. Cawyer demanding that I apologize through the pages of the Gospel Guardian for slandering the elders of the Highland church. If you have access to that issue of the Guardian read the article, and you judge whether or not I slandered the elders of Highland.

However, I do owe brother Cawyer an apology. I apologize to him for waiting so long in writing this article informing the brotherhood he said, "Harding College paid the entire bill." Brother Cawyer, will you forgive me for this delay?

In my exchange with brother Cawyer I asked, "Why was Herald of Truth stationary used in the interest of Harding College?" He answered, "Brother E. R. Harper, one of our members, used our stationery to invite people to attend the workshop 'Fighting Communism' at Searcy, Arkansas. As a member of Highland, don't you think he had a right to use our stationery?" If being a member of Highland gave brother Harper the right to use Herald of Truth stationery to advertise and promote Harding College, it would give all members of Highland the right to use Herald of Truth stationery to advertise and promote any worthy endeavor near and dear to their hearts. If this is not right, will brother Cawyer tell us why it is not right? No, I don't think brother Harper had the right to take stationery bought with money donated for the purpose of preaching the gospel to promote Harding College. Churches all over the country sent that money to preach the gospel of Christ to the lost, and the board of directors of the Herald of Truth spent it to advertise Harding College. Because I questioned this action, I am asked to apologize! What next?

Let us suppose Dr. John Doe, a Veterinarian, is a member of Highland, and he is also President of the Breeders' Association of America, and he wants to invite all breeders to attend a convention of that association, would it be right for him to use Herald of Truth stationery to do so? If not, why not? On what grounds could the elders of Highland object to this? To object to this while approving of brother E. R. Harper's use of it would prove brother Harper to be a privileged person or Harding College to be a preferred promotion. Under such management, is it any wonder the operating cost of the Herald of Truth is so high?

Brother Cawyer, how many boxes of envelopes and reams of paper did brother Harper use inviting people to attend the seminar at Harding College in Searcy, Arkansas? How much did this stationery cost the Herald of Truth? Isn't this forcing some churches which oppose the school in the churches' budgets to support and promote the interest of Harding College? Doesn't this destroy in some measure the autonomy of the contributing churches? Isn't this a misuse of the funds?

In one letter brother Cawyer tells me, "For your information Harding College paid the entire bill;" in another letter he says: "Brother E. R. Harper, one of our members, used our stationery to invite people to attend the workshop 'Fighting Communism' at Searcy, Arkansas." From this it appears Harding College didn't pay the entire bill after all. We need some light on this?

Even if the entire bill was paid by Harding College, the way it was handled gave the appearance that the Herald of Truth was spending its funds to promote the college. This cast reflections on their actions; it caused many to wonder. Every thing ought to be above suspicion. It was their action, not my article, that caused brethren to question the matter. If they had not furnished brother Harper their stationery to advertise and promote Harding College, my article would not have been written. They should have provided "for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men." (2 Cor.8:21).

I asked brother Cawyer, "Why did Fifth and Highland church get mixed up in a work of Harding College?" He answered: "Highland church is not mixed up with Harding College in any way whatsoever. You mixed it up falsely, willingly, and purposely to slander and question the integrity of the Highland elders in Abilene, Texas. Now based upon facts and per your promise, you are obligated to -apologize and print your apology in the Gospel Guardian which carried your article in their August 27, 1964 issue." When the elders of Highland let brother E. R. Harper use Herald of Truth stationery to promote the seminar at Harding College, they mixed it up with the school. Wherein have I slandered them?

Again brother Cawyer said, "Near the closing lines of your fifth paragraph, and we quote, 'If these churches entrusted their money to the Highland elders to preach the gospel of Christ over the Herald of Truth program, and instead they paid this bill with it, they are guilty of misappropriating funds. This is not Christianity.' Will you also include this in your apology?" Brother Cawyer, what were you doing when you let brother Harper use Herald of Truth stationary to promote an activity of Harding College? The contributing churches did not send your elders the money for that purpose did they? I suggest you read 2 Cor. 8:19-21, and follow Paul's example when handling money entrusted to your administration.

I have a letter written by brother Batsell Barrett Baxter, on David Lipscomb College stationery, asking for support for the Herald of Truth. Many of these were mailed out. Did the college pay for this? or did it come out of Herald of Truth funds? From where I sit, I cannot tell whether the colleges are the servants of the Herald of Truth or whether the Herald of Truth is the handmaid of the colleges. They are so interwoven it is hard to tell where one leaves off and the other one begins. What makes this so bad is there are nearly 2,000 congregations mixed up in this, and the end is not in sight. Brother Cawyer, who mixed these congregations up with these human institutions? Realizing the seriousness of it, I close now by quoting your last statement to me, "Let's be clean with each other and honest before God and man because you're going to face this in the judgment."