Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
April 17, 1958

"Cleaning Up Campaign"

Wm. E. Wallace, Ft. Smith, Arkansas

I note from several sources that some of the leaders in the present day liberal drives are calling for cleaner warfare — on the part of participants in their own camp.

I am especially interested in Tom Warren's efforts along this line. In the Gospel Advocate of February 20 Brother Warren says,

"But while we oppose their false theories with all of our being, let us not be misled into turning our guns against the persons involved. Even when it is necessary to 'mark them' we must remember that such action is done in love, according to the Bible, meaning of love. Brethren, when you are injured personally by an exponent of error, fight his false teaching with all your might — but remember that vengeance belongs to the Lord."

My judgment is, that statement will be taken with a grain of salt by men like W. L. Totty, Sterl Watson and some of the younger zealots of the liberal encampments. But if Brother Warren can clean up the warfare of the liberals I say more power to him. At least it is a good omen. He is willing to say something about it, even if he does say it with a persecution complex. His statement shows he recognizes the problem and realizes how incompatible are mean personality attacks to Christian character.

A lot of repenting needs to be done too. Those who have followed controversies in which the Gospel Advocate has participated since 1939, know that a "cleaning up" campaign should have begun long ago. And if the brethren who have indulged in the sort of thing Brother Warren is condemning are as honest as Christians are supposed to be, they will not mind acknowledging their wrongs. If they do not think they need to do so, they have an odd understanding of repentance. And, if they don't repent, Brother Warren's efforts are of no avail. The editorial page of the Gospel Advocate is open to statements and confessions, and Brother Warren's clean-up campaign would gain momentum if a good many of the Gospel Advocate writers would make proper confessions of their past practice of "turning guns against persons." I had wondered since the Birmingham debate why Guy N. Woods had taken a cleaner course in his discussion with Roy E. Cogdill. He did not insert into that debate the sort of stuff he has used in other debates, and in his articles. Maybe Tom Warren's presence as his moderator had much to do with that.

I have one suggestion for Brother Warren in his effort to clean up the fight — while he is working on the personality attack angle, consider also the matter of sophistry and the matter of misrepresentation of an opponent's position. These brethren who are crying out "anti-orphan home" and "anti-cooperation" know there are no such "critters."

But Tom Warren's article points in the right direction — if he can clean up his newly chosen surroundings and make the way straight for truth and righteousness, brethren will be pleased, angels will rejoice and the church will be spared much heartache and disgrace.