"Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of truth." — (Psalm 60:4)
"Lift ye up a banner upon the high mountain, exalt the voice unto them." — (Isaiah 13:2)
Devoted To The Defense Of The Church Against All Errors And Innovations
Vol.III No.XI Pg.14,15
June 1941

A Planned Attack E. R. Harper

E. R. Harper

I have a letter from Searcy this morning stating that Harding is planning:

1.To dig me up by the roots. 2. Answer my allegations. 3. Wait for my counter attack. 4. Smother me under a barrage of affidavits.

In this you get the method of attack used in modern warfare in religion, as well as in Germany. To dig me up by the roots will be a delight to them, I am sure, for as long as there is a "root of the truth" left in me and Harding College, is defending Premillennialism, I shall be a "thorn in their flesh."

But let me ask Harding College and Brother Benson if it would not be better. 1. To get rid of premillennialism at Harding. 2. To stop defending the premillennialists over the country. 3. Stop having them hang around Harding as they have been for the past years. 4. Come out in the open and meet me before the brotherhood and prove that what I have is not the truth as I have asked and settle this affair once and for all. If I am lying about it; if Brother Armstrong has not written these letters; if he has not published the articles I say he has, then a public discussion on the issue will show me up and forever ruin me with an honest brotherhood. I will then have "rooted myself up by the roots" and would have saved Harding all that trouble. They know I have what I say I have and they had rather "root some body up" than meet the issue and correct their errors.

But this is no new threat to me. I have had to meet all the time such charges here as the following:

  1. That I want to be president of Harding and that I have threatened to so be.
  2. That I want to be Dean of Bible, and have threatened to so be.
  3. That I want to be president of the Board and have threatened to so be.
  4. That I threatened to get them out so that I could place Brother L. R. Wilson in as president of the school, and I would then become Dean of Harding College and we would run it. (It is a fact that about seven years ago one of the board members who was a special friend of Brother Wilson's told me that Brother Armstrong was looking for some one to become president of the school, and this board member asked me what I thought about Brother Wilson's becoming that president. I asked him if Brother Armstrong would allow Brother Wilson to be the president and he said that he was sure he would. I was asked by this man to find out what could be done about it. As I now remember I never mentioned it to Brother Wilson in my life and this same board member spoke to others about him and one or two asked me about it and I remember telling one or two men that it would not work, that Wilson was not the man to work with Brother Armstrong.)
  5. That I am the Pope of Arkansas.
  6. It has even been told that I admitted that not one of these things I am publishing is true and that I am just doing it to try to hurt the school because I am jealous of them.

I am willing to meet the issue before the public but they take cover in tracts that mislead and whispering campaigns that are false. The reason for my tracts on this is that I can't get them to come out in the open before the brotherhood and it is my only means of defense. I will only be too glad to meet them face-to-face and discuss it. Then if I am wrong you will know, and if they are wrong you will know.

Brother Benson admitted to me in private conversation that these letters and articles were premillennial and that Brother Armstrong should be retired but he did not know how to get it done, but that he would retire him if he taught it in the schools if "he found it out." He was confronted with this material, most of it at Ft. Smith, and he together with Brother Sears, gave as their reason for not retiring Brother Armstrong, that Brother Armstrong was so old and his health so bad that it would kill him to have to stop. Brethren Benson and Sears admitted to Brother Pool that Brother Armstrong is premillennial but that they could do nothing about it, and Brother Sears said they just could not keep him from writing these things.

I have a letter from Brother McNutt in Memphis Tennessee saying that Brother Clark said in the presence of others besides Bro. McNutt that he, Clark, had advised Benson that he should get rid of Brother Armstrong and Brother Benson told him that "he did not seem to know how to go about obtaining his resignation, in view of his age and long connection with the college." In this same conversation Brother Clark said that Brother Benson had admitted to him that Brother Armstrong was not right on this issue, and admitted his position on 1 Cor. 15:23-28, and Brother Clark told him that he should get rid of Brother Armstrong.

I have a letter from Brother Lyles, of Muskogee, Oklahoma, saying: "There are many things of which I have wondered since the Ft. Smith meeting a few years ago. When we were in—recently I heard some things that caused me to remember the Ft. Smith meeting. If you remember correctly Brethren Benson, Sears, and Sherrill all admitted in that meeting that Brother Armstrong is premillennial, but that it would kill him to retire him from the work. Later it was learned that he knew of the meeting (Brother Armstrong) all the time. During the meeting Brother Sherrill denied nothing but rather tried to prove that the stand they were taking was right. He even stated John T. Hinds and David Lipscomb taught the theory which proof he never submitted." This letter goes on to say that while on this same trip "one preacher stated he (a certain teacher in Harding now) knew Brother Armstrong taught premillennialism but not the same as Boll. He stated nature would soon take care of the matter. If I remember correctly this same thought was advanced in Ft. Smith. It seems to me that it would be far better for the soul of a man to try to teach him his error than wish he would die. It seems to me that Brother Armstrong's supposed friends would rather see him pass on than try to convince him of his error. I love Brother Armstrong and hope he lives long on the earth but pray he may become convinced of the danger of his position before it is too late."

Now brethren just remember this: If I had wanted to be teaching in the school or had I wanted to be on the board of Harding College I could have gotten in by just doing what they wanted me to do. I was asked by them to come to their meetings: to appear at different times on their programs. Brother Benson has asked me several times to appear on their lecture courses. He even tried to get me to teach Bible this year, that is the past term, at Harding and it has even been discussed at times of my being a member of the board.

I have spoken once or twice at Harding in years past and appeared on one of their Thanksgiving programs upon the promise that Harding was going to clean up. I even told Brother Benson that I would teach two days a week at Harding this past school term provided that Brother West was made Dean of Bible but that term only, for I would under no circumstance tie myself down to a school. My work with the church is too inviting and pleasant to give it up for school life.

Now as to waiting for my counter attack, I am able to send that counter attack on in advance due to the kindness of some friend I have there at Searcy, unknown to me thus far and I am sure unsuspected by them. They may be assured of the fact that I shall defend myself and if needs be I shall tour the brotherhood with these facts I have, challenging them, on every hand to meet me in public. I am sure I have a number of places that I can appear and present the actual proof. So if they wish to try to ruin my influence in the above threats then may the Lord have mercy on them for I shall appear in person to see that truth is defended.

The threat to smother me with affidavits from people with whom I have talked is their privilege, but just remember I will meet Harding College in public debate on this issue. If they have the "goods on me" and I do not have "the goods" on them then why not meet me before the public and "root me up." That is what they want to do rather than settle this affair and have the truth to come to the front.

I remember that at the crucifixion of our Lord those in error were able to get the mob to swear falsely against the Christ. Naboth was put to death by the affidavits of false witnesses. Anything I have said I shall admit and keep fighting. One thing, be sure to remember, "If Brother Armstrong is a premillennialist and I meet them and prove it," the "Battle of the Atlantic" will have been won and the "Axis Collaboration" with her "threat of a blitz" on Harper's honesty, will meet the same fate as did the "Bismarck" that now Sleep in "Davy Jones' Locker," and Harding will have to repudiate her present allies, the premillennialists, and come into the old Jerusalem order of the church, or "desert entirely" the church of our Lord and take her stand with Boll, Davidson, Rutherford, Norris, Bogard, whom Brother Armstrong and Harding so gladly defended during our debate here at Little Rock, and all other Future kingdom advocates.