Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
May 12, 1960
NUMBER 2, PAGE 8-10a

Reviewing A Review

Lloyd Barker, Hillsboro, Ohio

Brother James D. Bales made a chapel speech at Harding College and has sent in a 17 page article to the Guardian replying to my article of May 14, 1959. I have a tape of his chapel speech and will refer to it in this reply. Brother Bales apparently wanted his article to appear in the middle of the summer when few students would receive the Guardian. Naturally this would have suited him. He now demands that he have a reply to my reply or his article cannot be printed. To this, brother Tant has agreed.

It is a high compliment to brother Tant and the Guardian for brother Bales to send in a 17 page article giving his "side." This shows the fairness of brother Tant. The Gospel Advocate and other kindred papers would never allow the "other side" to be heard, as all now know. They slander and give no opportunity to reply.

Brother Bales' statement that I was "advised not to re-enroll" is humorous. A warning that any effort to re-enroll would cause my transcript to be marked so that other colleges would probably not accept me as a student and also that the dean was certain that my degree would not be passed on if the hours were earned could hardly be called "advice"! Brother Bales should quit trying to cover up for the administration and admit that I was kicked out. At the end of his article he does say I was "asked" to leave. This could hardly be the same as mere "advice".

I shall make no reply to the first part of brother Bales article except to say he left no possibility for teachers misunderstanding students. Is there no possibility of this? Some seemingly think not.

He then charges me with misunderstanding. If I ever understood anything, brother Bales cellarly said in class that he saw nothing unscriptural with a missionary society provided there was no dictation. There were not only two but four students (that I know) who remember him making the statement. One student was in another class and said many in the class heard brother Bales say the same thing. This comes before Benson — and a few days later brother Bales denies believing such! He now writes that it was a slip of the tongue. This we all may do but it seems odd that the same slip (not a word but a sentence) would he made in two different classes.

Next he charges me with misrepresenting him concerning his material in Christ's Body. The Church. This is not so according to his own logic and other faculty members. They said my general statement concerning instrumental music and missionary societies and some at Harding "raised a cloud of suspicion over" all at the college. According to their own logic, did not brother Bales indict all who oppose churches supporting benevolent organizations? The effort is made by many to leave the impression that all those who oppose church support of human organizations do nothing worth mentioning in benevolence but only argue over "how". Nothing is farther from the truth, but the effort is nevertheless made everywhere to deceive people into believing we do not believe in caring for little orphans. T challenge brother Bales to name several to hack up his charges. Many at Harding demanded that I specify individuals in my charges and this is why names were given. Will brother Bales give names? We doubt it. I certainly did not intend to misrepresent his material if such were done. Let him give their names and there can be no misunderstanding.

He claims I misrepresented brethren Spaulding and Kasbaum on their belief on missionary societies. His illustration does not illustrate at all. They used the words "missionary society" themselves and said it would be scriptural providing there were no dictating. 'I did not attribute to them the above belief because they believe in church support of human organizations but because they used the words themselves. Brother Bales takes a specific case and makes a general statement and leaves out the specific publishing company under discussion. I did not do this but used the two general words they used. Two other preachers and I discussed this with brother Kasbaum and he admitted using the two words "missionary society" and that he still believes cooperative societies for the preaching of the Gospel may be supported by churches. Any fair minded person can see that I did not misrepresent. They used the term "missionary society" in a general sense and I only repeated their term. Since when is that misrepresenting? Would to God brethren would represent my belief on the all sufficiency of the church as correctly as I did their belief on cooperative missionary societies — by using my own terms and phrases.

In his chapel speech, brother Bales said I had more definitions for missionary society than anyone he ever saw. This is an effort to cast me in a bad light. He has as many definitions as I do. He brought up and agreed to all definitions I gave concerting publishing houses being societies. Brother Spaulding believes that those participating in a debate could be called a missionary society. I deny this but this does show that Bales knows someone who has more definition for missionary society than I have. In view of the above definition by brother Spaulding, it is ridiculous to charge someone else with using the term loosely. If I were using the term missionary society loosely, why call me a liar and say I implied a dictating organization?

Brother Bales tries to cover up for brother Sears in judging me to be a liar. Again, I did not interpret dean Sears' language because he used the word "liar". Brother Benson said because of my lack of integrity, they would not give me a degree. This is really calling me a liar or dishonest. Brother Spaulding said I deliberately misrepresented him. This would be lying. At the close of brother Bales article, he states that my "lack of integrity" was "so great" they told me to leave. In a personal letter, brother Bales states he thinks I am dishonest. So why declare that I misrepresented, brother Sears? Brother Sears himself would not deny the second time that he called me a "liar." The reason this is so serious is because God will judge the above as they have judged me. I may be wrong but certainly would never stoop to lying. Certainly my motives were probed despite brother Bales' denial.

Next, the charge made of inconsistency because of my charges and claiming they were not "railing accusations". To rail is to scold in a harsh, insolent, or haughty manner. The person's attitude is involved and not just the accusation. I see no inconsistency here. Brother Bales seems to know more about my heart than I do.

The next section of his article did deal with my wife. He charged her with being an incompetent worker and thus was not given another job. Brother Bales admits that the article was the reason brother Teague fired her despite the fact that Bro. Benson told a student, Marvin Garner, that my article had nothing to do with my wife being fired. They now see that it is ridiculous to claim that my article was not the cause of my wife being fired and so now they tell the story as all could see it should be told. After some more material was sent to brother Bales establishing the fact that the three secretaries who worked with my wife did not believe that her work merited her being fired, he writes me to leave the part of his article out which deals with her. He did not apologize for insulting her in his chapel speech and now admits that he had not checked with the other secretaries in the office to see if she were a competent worker. Will he do this?

Brother Spaulding and brother Kasbaum were not discussing Herald of Truth nor church support of Morrilton Orphan Home when they said that churches could support a missionary society providing there were no dictating. Brother Bales is very unfair in claiming I read into their statements that which they did not say. This has been discussed some earlier in this article. Brother Bales does not deny that they used the term missionary society but by leaving this admission out, he tries to get the reader to believe I was unfair.

Concerning bro. Moore, bro. Bales admitted in his chapel speech that Brother Moore believed instrumental music was scriptural in worship. Why does he now try to leave the impression that it is only a matter of broad er fellowship? Brother Moore does believe instrumental music is right in worship. It is not just a matter of fellowship. Half truths are no truths at all.

Brother Davis did say that he saw nothing wrong with churches supporting any organization so long as the pure Gospel is being preached and no dictation is involved. Brother Bales does not deny this but states what else brother Davis believes. I didn't say he would support the Missionary Society of the Christian Church but only gave his statement whirl, endorses any organization brethren want through which to preach Christ.

Why would brother Bales bring up private matters which have been settled except to try and "dig up" all he can to injure my reputation. Mr. Meyers never denied believing in cooperative missionary societies nor would he affirm he did but did state that he knew why I might think he would not oppose such. He admits that even the liberals at Harding consider him a liberal — more liberal than they.

As usual, brother Bales does not investigate enough. I discussed briefly with Mr. Meyers all three charges. The first one was not a charge but only an explanation why I did not also call him brother. I did not (possibly I should have) state further about him objecting to the title of "Dr." because all would know why I would not address him as such, being opposed to such titles myself.

Mr. Meyers did say to me personally that he had not decided to what extent the book of Luke is inspired. He may quote a Scripture occasionally in preaching but defended his lack of Scripture quotations in his preaching. He would hardly average one each sermon. Brother Bales' defense of such shows why there are drifting from a Bible emphasis on authority for all we do in religion. Brother Bales admits that my statement concerning Mr. Meyers is correct. If "He is not convinced that it is a parable", neither is he convinced that it is not a parable. Therefore, my statement, that he does not believe Jonah was ever in the belly of a fish, is correct.

Low Standards

I did not deny that there are some sincere Christians there. There are some good men there. Brother Bales insists that a faculty member who was disgusted with many of the standards at Harding would in no way endanger his job if this were known. By admitting that my article was why my wife was fired and all the defense he made for Teague firing her definitely gives away what would be done to a teacher under similar circumstances. Could not teachers give out information? Why was John Kasbaum fired from the faculty and not permitted in a class room his last semester? Was it not partly because of his courageous opposition to brother Benson's efforts to keep Harding segregated? A refusal to renew John's contract shows what happens to faculty members who oppose Benson.


Jesus condemned wearing or calling men by religious titles. "Mr." is only showing respect and in no way shows spiritual overlordship. I would not address the Pope of Rome personally as "Pope" even though this is more than a religious title. Brother Bales admits that some offices send out letters addressed "Father". "Reverend", "Sister" and such titles. Maybe now some will believe that at least this one standard is low.

Other Colleges

All with whom I discussed the matter did think that brother Benson did choose a few questions out of his large handful in order to cast Freed-Hardeman and Florida Christian College in a bad light. He accomplished this whether he planned it or not. Brother Bales admits that Benson did say that all students there who did not like it should recall that the road that brought them there is just as open as when they came. Brother Benson not only implied that those disturbed over the condition there would not be "forced to remain" but that they should not remain. If someone told me they didn't like things at my house and I reminded them that the door that brought them there is as open as when they came, plus an unkind manner in stating this they would feel much more than that I wasn't going to "force" them to stay. Any normal person would take such a blunt statement as an invitation to leave or shut up.

Naturally the school spirit would cause the majority of the students to side with the administration on this or any criticisms of the college. Would not this be true of the students of any denominational college? What does this prove? Even when in error, the majority will defend a college or other such institution when a charge is made against it. Students at a Baptist College would declare that they could "maintain and develop true Christianity in our work here". Few of the students have much respect for brother Benson but they, as the Sadducees and Pharisees, will unite to fight one who would be as Paul or Christ.

If there were any doubt in Brother Bales' mind concerning brother Benson being soft and ready to defend Masonry, would he have not gone to Benson and gotten his denial rather than say he wasn't there and say some did not so understand it? Benson is soft on many evils in the church that will keep the money coming into Harding from all sources possible.

Our brother stresses investigating thoroughly and going to the person involved before making a thing public. With this I agree wholeheartedly. Earlier in his article and in chapel he said a friend of his told him that I had a spy system in many offices at Harding. Brother Bales did not check this with me and thus violated his above principle. The charge is false. If it were true, the statement certainly would not have been said to Vice-President Ganus, whom he said gave him the false statement. Brother Bales not only violated his above principle in this instance but throughout the entire article. He never came to me once. I went to him several times and discussed differences with about twenty faculty members and many students while there. Brother Bales and others would like to leave the impression that I was a "heresy hunter" and also that I did not discuss the matter. Which will they try to spread that I seldom did any investigating in connection with my charges or was always discussing and investigating? One can easily see that both charges could not be consistent disregarding the fact that both are false. If consistency is a jewel, then brother Bales' "jewel box" is as bare as Mother Hubbard's cupboard.

Notice what brother Bales either admits or does not deny concerning my first article:

(1) That many students at Harding believe that a cooperative missionary society and instrumental music in worship would be Scriptural. This was never denied by the faculty either.

(2) That Meyers isn't sure whether Jonah was ever really in the belly of a fish. It may be a parable according to him.

(3) That brother Moore believes instrumental music is right in worship. If he never teaches this in public or private. Why do so many know it? He taught me concerning his beliefs for an hour.

(4) That "Father", "Reverend", "Sister" and such religious titles are typed on personal letters going out of offices at Harding.

(5) That there is pressure there to agree with the majority.

(6) That Benson said any students who didn't like it there should remember the road was open to leave.

(7) That my article was the cause of my wife being fired, as I believed, despite Benson's denial.

(8) That my wife is a capable worker. Enough information is in brother Bales hands to cause him to delete the part of his article insulting her as a worker.

(9) That brethren Spaulding and Kasbaum did use the term missionary society. Thus any effort to imply that I used terms that they didn't is misrepresenting.

If I were right on so many charges, some investigating from a sincere heart must have been done. The great Judgment Day will reveal that the other statements are true also. This has been written to destroy no good but only the bad. Jesus came to bring division and not peace when error makes it necessary. None should fear opposing colleges or great preachers when they are in error. This should always be done in love and for Christ — never for revenge and as a result of our own dislikes. This reply seems necessary due to the many false charges in brother Bales attack on me. To quote brother A. S. Croom, a courageous preacher and elder of the College church in Searcy, "Sometimes it is wrong to remain silent." For this reason I have spoken.