Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
February 23, 1950

A Letter From The Padens

Lubbock, Texas January 23, 1950

Dear Brother Tant:

We are the father and mother of two of the boys in Italy, of whom Bro. Cled E. Wallace has so much to say ridiculing the work and workers over there. The heading of the article was misleading in saying "That Rock Fight In Italy"; the rocks were thrown only from the Catholic side and couldn't be called a fight. This is not the only attack made on the men as they went from place to place teaching God's word; there have been several, totally inspired by the priests who offered the blessings of some saint to get their dirty work done. He referred to the brethren not having been so excited since "the baby fell in the well", an expression that to our ears does not sound like brotherly love. Neither do we appreciate his reference to the church of our Lord as our denomination. We're not a denomination, even in fun, if one could call such language fun.

As to our persuading the President and State Department to bomb the Vatican, no one has entertained such an idea. All we want from the state department and American Embassy is to make Italy stay with her treaty she signed guaranteeing the four freedoms. Why did Paul appeal to Caesar? Does Bro. Wallace indict Paul for this action? As to our being outnumbered, has Bro. Wallace ever read Judges 7:2-7? The people were trusting in their number and own power and God reduced them from 32,000 to 300 lest they think their strength was in their number. It seems that Bro. Wallace has "the grasshopper complex" of the ten spies. They, too, said their enemies were too much for them. We are not trusting in our numbers nor strength but in the power of God. If God be for us, who can be against us? God and one man constitute a majority. One of our boys said many times before he went over there that he would be afraid to go to Italy without the prayers of God's people. "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much" and think of the prayers of all the Christians in America and then, God is on our side, too.

Opinions differ. He says the publicity the church is getting is not doing any good; others who believe in mission work have expressed the opinion that it is the greatest thing that has happened for the church in many years to wake her up to the dangers of Roman Catholicism.

I wonder if he knows that, being inspired by the persecution of the Christians, a large group of Protestants in Naples, Italy, have drafted a resolution and sent it to the United States State Department and American Embassy asking them to make Italy stay with the freedom clause in the peace treaty that she signed. The group was composed of Waldensias, Seventh Day Adventists, Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Free Lance Brethren and possibly others. So our "Innocents Abroad", as he so sarcastically calls them, are not the only people in Italy who want freedom from Catholicism.

He spoke of 150,000 members getting mad and that he was not mad. He has demonstrated in this article his entire lack of sympathy toward the effort that has been put forth to carry the gospel, in obedience to the commands of Christ Jesus, into Italy, and to teach the thousands who had never heard of New Testament Christianity, to assist the more than 260 souls to render obedience to the Truth. I'm reminded of Jesus' own words in Matthew 23:13, "But woe unto you, scribes, Pharisees, hypocrites, for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer them that are entering to go in." He would not go take the gospel to any nation and is doing all he can to hinder the work and workers in all foreign fields. Can you give a good reason why? Does Bro. Wallace, too, believe that he can comply with the great commission and not get sea sick?

He spoke of 700 ministers and laymen, as well as the brethren who went to Italy being "half-cocked." Does he think the effort should not have been made to carry the good news to Italy, Germany, Japan or the other parts of the world? " We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren." Does he love the minister of the big church in Houston who called a "mass prayer meeting" to pray for the workers in Italy? Does he even believe in a prayer meeting? He has never mentioned that he has ever prayed for the work in Italy?

He could have informed himself on the truth concerning the visas that were obtained for the evangelists to enter Italy, and he would not have planted the doubt in the minds of the uninformed that the Italian government was correct in its claim that they came in as tourists and set up permanent installations. I think he knows that they were told by the Italian Consul at New Orleans that they could only obtain temporary visas over here but when they got to Italy they could get permanent visas, and they went on, on that promise from the Italian Consul.

Bro. Tant, since you are editor of the Gospel Guardian and you have allowed Bro. Wallace's article to be printed and it necessarily follows that you endorse it, we would like to ask that you publish this reply in your paper to clarify some facts to show our disapproval of Bro. Wallace's un-Christlike attitude toward the work and workers in Italy.

We hope and pray that never again will you print an article that is so full of ridicule and criticism to the great brotherhood of the body of Christ. That can only sow discord among brethren.

Yours in Christ Jesus, Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Paden