"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.VI No.VI Pg.8
January 1944

Sighting-In Shots

Cled E. Wallace

The Pastors Association

Brother F. D. Srygley once remarked that he had always imagined he would like to be a Methodist bishop but for some scriptural obstacles that stood in the way. My imaginary ambitions do not run in that direction but I do have some of a less pretentious sort. I have often thought it would be real nice to be a member of the Pastors' Association in the town where I live and maybe work up to be president of it. Some factual and scriptural considerations always clip the wings and pull the tail feathers out of that ambition before it can take to the air and get going. It just doesn't fit into some ideas of religion I get from the New Testament. It is fundamentally a denominational setup. These pastors represent their denominations and have more authority to speak than I can claim. I am not a pastor and could only speak for myself. I am not even a member of a denomination. It might afford me some opportunity to work them over, so to speak, and teach them the way of the Lord more perfectly, but I cannot see my way clear to join an unscriptural organization to get to do that. I believe it was Paul who rejected the idea that it was proper to do evil that good may come. If I lived in a city where there were a dozen or more gospel preachers and they should form themselves into an organization to pass resolutions and otherwise busy themselves in behalf of the city and the churches of Christ, I do not believe I could even join that. Such organizations do not fit into the New Testament pattern, as I understand it. There is a principle involved which should not be submerged on the grounds of a doubtful expediency.

There is nothing personal about this. I much prefer to get along with people than be out of step with them, even denominational preachers. The majority of them, as I know them, are likeable fellows in the ordinary relations of life, but they are officially connected with religious setups I cannot endorse with my present views of the New Testament order of things. To be other than frank at this point would amount to insincerity.

Another thing occurs to me just here. A representative organization like the Pastors' Association naturally likes to assert its authority and craves an increase of power which is often exercised to the disadvantage of religious groups which are not represented in it. In some cities I'm told that nobody can conduct a religious program over a radio unless he is endorsed by the Pastor's Association of the city. In another city, the Pastors' association selects the ones who conduct chapel exercises at the High School. If you do not belong to the Association, you are just not selected. Personally I decline to look to it for authority to do anything, even if I do imagine sometimes I would like to be president of one.

* * * *

Still Taking Care Of Himself

It will be recalled that some time ago Brother Goodpasture editorially backed up Brother Dorris in writing a long series of ugly letters to me and assured the readers of the Gospel Advocate that Brother Dorris, the "venerable," was able to take care of himself and that those letters would be published in book form. Well, I have another one for the book. It is the twelfth, I believe, and contains

twelve typewritten pages. My apology for giving the readers a late sample of how Brother Dorris proposes to take care of himself is the fact that he is the author of one of the Advocate's commentaries, and has the editorial backing of the editor of the Advocate in his letter writing escapade. I find this on the first page of the long letter:

"I would be ashamed to leave such a dirty, nasty, stinking a job for the grace of God to perform. I shall do it myself. You need not worry my dear Brother about my cleaning up. I always 'clean up,' and down all over immediately after completing as dirty, nasty, stinking a job as threshing a bunch of war preachers who once knew and preached the truth but departed from it. Heretofore I have managed to get myself fairly clean by using only Ivory Soap, but this time the job is so nasty and dirty and stinks so bad that I shall have to use lye soap and old Dutch Cleanser mixed with concentrated lye and then fumigate to get the dirt and stink all off. It out stinks anything that I ever had to deal with. Its enough to make your great grandfather turn over in his grave and chew on his night shirt."

It isn't so much what Brother Dorris thinks of us that I am concerned about as I am about what Brother Goodpasture thinks of him. They both charge us with being out of harmony with the spirit of Christ in the position we advocate on the government question. They are strict and uncompromising pacifists and are, I suppose trying to demonstrate to us how Christ would act and talk and write. I notice that Brother Goodpasture is on the program to make a speech at Freed-Hardeman College. His subject is: "The Art Of Getting Along With Brethren." He might tell the story of what artists he and Brother Dorris are in taking care of themselves. I have an idea that these gentlemen are easy to get along with when you agree with them. I have had a taste of what happens when you disagree with them. Possibly, Brother Hardeman made a mistake. Maybe he ought to have let me handle that subject instead of Brother Goodpasture. I have at least one advantage over these brethren. I have stayed in a good humor and I'm afraid they haven't. Of course that does not mean that I am tickled over some things they have said about us. Who would be?

* * * *

Brother Whiteside puts it this way:

"Here is a puzzle? Those who were so loud in declaiming against war and claiming that all civil governments belong to the devil are now very quiet, with a few exceptions. Did this 'devil's government' tell them to quit? If they were obeying God in their writing and preaching, why are they now 'obeying the devil' instead of God?

I have thought, too, that it is a strange thing for a preacher and editor to think it is a mortal sin to kill in self-defense, and yet do his very best to kill two preachers with carnal words. What are carnal weapons? Was not the church at Corinth carrying on a carnal warfare among themselves with words as their weapons? Their strife was carnal."

Aside from the revelation it makes of the men who employs them, there is this danger in the use of carnal words as a weapon. They have a way of coming home to roost. Like hate, they do the hater more harm than the hated. Prudence, if not principle, should discourage their use.