Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 4, 1954

I Am Disappointed

Voyd N. Ballard, Shafter, California

Eighteen years ago I made my first attempt to preach the gospel in an old country school house in the hills of Arkansas. The next five years following that first attempt were spent in preaching the gospel by monthly appointments and in meetings at different places between Ft. Smith and Little Rock.

During that time Brother E. R. Harper was the preacher for the congregation known at that time as the Fourth and State Street Church of Christ in Little Rock. Brother Harper was known and highly respected throughout the state for his ability to preach the gospel and his courageous stand for the Truth. Large crowds assembled wherever he went to conduct meetings. In his preaching he "spake as one having authority." His writings were filled with scripture texts to prove his points. When he wrote his booklet exposing premillennial teaching in Harding College and elsewhere in the state he gave the "book, chapter, and verse." I thought then (and do now) that his article on the "Mystic Knights of the Liberals" was a masterpiece. To me then, just a boy preacher, E. R. Harper was outstanding — a pattern any boy preacher could well follow. Because of this I have tried to keep up with his work throughout the years.

But now I am disappointed — deeply disappointed. My ideal is shattered. And I wonder how many more young men there are who feel the same way. It is distressing to me that E. It. Harper will even attempt to defend an unscriptural set-up like Herald of Truth; it is even more distressing that he will write pages .without giving one single verse of scripture in support of his position. I never dreamed that E. R. Harper would attempt the defense of anything without giving a "thus saith the Lord."

When the discussion of Herald of Truth first started and Brother Harper announced that he intended to keep out of it I was disappointed. I thought surely if any man can show that Herald of Truth is scriptural E. R. Harper is that man. Later on when it was announced that articles would be forthcoming from his pen I looked forward to them with much interest. I thought now we will get the scriptures that Brother Harper honestly thinks authorizes this program. But when those articles appeared and I read page after page without finding even one scripture citation I was disappointed. I am also disappointed that Brother Harper has not written on the subject "What Is Wrong With the Missionary Society." If Brother Harper would write on this subject in accordance with his ability he could give us material that would be useful for all time to come in combating institutionalism in the church. I feel that I am one among hundreds that would like to see him give forth with the best he has on the subject.