Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
Arpil 26, 1962
NUMBER 50, PAGE 4,13b



It is a rainy afternoon in late March as I write these lines from my study here in the Park Hill Church at Fort Smith. The day is far spent, and memories crowd in as I undertake to write this final editorial for Volume Thirteen of the Gospel Guardian. How well I remember writing that first editorial! I was holding a meeting with the Central Church in Beaumont, and was staying on the top floor of a down-town hotel. (I've forgotten the name of it; but they described themselves as "Texas' tallest.")

How times have changed in these thirteen years! Just as a sample of how far our brethren have gone in liberalism and compromise, here are a couple of newspaper items that have been mailed to me within the week:

Members of the Pat Boone's fan club may fall off their seats when they see the new State Fair. Conservative Pat does a love scene bare-chested, expresses his unrequited passion in a manner that will make Paul Newman (considered to be one of Hollywood's 'earthiest' and sexiest love-makers) look at his laurels, loses that nice temper of his, and even asks for a drink." (From a column by Dorothy Kilgallen, appearing in the Dallas Times Herald, March 12, 1962.)

While Boone was making this show, he was in Dallas late last fall, appeared on the "Way of Truth" program of the Skillman Avenue Church of Christ, and was introduced to the audience by Brother John H. Banister as a "gospel preacher"!

The other item was from a Bay County (Florida) newspaper, and is as follows:

Municipal Auditorium as part of a two-man team

"Scheduled to appear Friday, March 30, in the from Harding College in Searcy, Arkansas, is Brig. Gen. William P. Campbell, (USA-Ret.), a prominent person in his own right.

"Campbell, a vice-president of Harding College since 1954, will appear with Dr. George Benson, Harding president, at the Auditorium Friday in the first of a two-day "Americanism Seminar" sponsored by Project Alert Incorporated of Bay County.

"A lay leader in the Protestant Episcopal Church, Campbell also is a member of Kiwanis International. He is a former director of both the American Investment and Income Fund and the Armed Forces Relief and Benefit Association."

The thing that interested me in that announcement was that Campbell, a vice-president of Harding College since 1954, is also and at the same time a "lay leader in the Protestant Episcopal Church." Do you remember the cry of holy horror the Gospel Advocate raised a couple of years ago when Florida Christian College dared to rent some property to an Episcopalian? Well, have you noticed how SILENT they have been for these eight years about Harding College having a high-ranking Episcopalian "lay-leader" occupying the second highest office in the administration? Are you surprised at that? Well, I'm not' And if you are, you are naive.

Yes, memories crowd in as I remember that first editorial, and how things were then, and compare then with now. I daresay there is not a "liberal" in the land who would have dreamed thirteen years ago that the pace to modernism would have been so swift and would have gone so far in so short a time. Things they themselves are doing now would have been sufficient grounds for them to have almost disfellowshipped a man thirteen years ago! And, as is always the case, the further they go, the faster becomes the pace. Witness what has happened to the Christian Church.

But while some have gone "wild" in their promotions, there has been a truly sacrificial spirit of total dedication revealed in others which is deeply inspiring and encouraging. Brethren by the thousands have shown a willingness to stand for the truth, to endure whatever hardships, persecutions, and humiliation such a stand might demand. They have not flinched nor faltered under the ridicule and epithets hurled upon them; they have not stumbled nor fallen under the most cruel and vicious misrepresentations. Their faith in God, their humility under false accusations, their unswerving loyalty to the truth has been a glorious and noble thing to behold.

But while I'm still in this reminiscent mood, I think I'll go back to that first editorial and lift a couple of paragraphs:

Editorial Responsibility

So far as we are concerned, this editorial job is one we did not seek. There will probably be plenty of people who are convinced to start with that they could do a much better job. The number holding this opinion is more likely to increase than to decrease as the weeks go by. But so, long as we are in this job, we are going to write and publish the things we think should be written and published. If there be those to whom such things are displeasing, it is no more than we expect. It shall be our constant endeavor, however, to be as free as possible from unintended offenses....

But for the doctrinal teachings which may give offense to innovators and errorists we shall make neither apology nor excuse. It is our intention and desire to wage an unrelenting offensive warfare" against all such perverters of truth. The teachings of God's Word are "most surely believed" by us. For these teachings we will never apologize.

Well, thirteen years have gone by, and I don't know that I could say it any better, or would want to say it any differently, today. Thanks to all of you for the help and encouragement you have been to me during these years. And let us all gird ourselves for the great battle that lies ahead — the unceasing warfare for "the faith once delivered." In our understanding of that truth, our teaching of it, and our practice of it lies our hope for eternity. — F.Y.T.