"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.VII Pg.2
February 1944

The Wallace - Matthews Debate

Glenn L. Wallace

In September of 1943, I heard Dr. John Matthews of Los Angeles in a debate and heard him boast of his desire to debate his theories. I immediately contacted him on behalf of the Central Church here in the city. After many delays and efforts on the part of Matthews to have the debate cancelled, we finally arrived at an understanding and on January 18, 19, 20 and 23 the discussions were held. All expenses were paid by Central Church and although we were promised half the support for the hall rent, we have never received the money. The Embassy Auditorium and the Philharmonic Auditorium were used for the debate and large audiences attended all sessions. The largest audiences ever assembled in a service of our people in this city, were the result, and more outsiders heard the gospel than would have been possible in any other service.

John Allen Hudson, of the Southwest Church in Los Angeles, was a constant source of help and encouragement, both before and during the debate. C. R. Nichol, of the Vermont Avenue Church, was our moderator, and his counsel and assistance was deeply appreciated by all. All the preachers and churches of the Los Angeles area gave their whole-hearted cooperation. Many spent money in advertising in their sections and nearly all dismissed their weeknight services to attend.

Dr. Matthews is a Presbyterian, and although he is not a debater, he is by far the best speaker of the Anglo-Israel movement in this section. He has traveled over the world, and was formerly a lecturer on Shakespeare. He has a large following in Southern California and is one of about a dozen preachers of this theory. Dr. Matthews has no church, but depends upon his radio preaching plus Sunday engagements in a large auditorium to keep him going. He proved to be one of the weakest debaters it has ever been ours to hear. The first two sessions Brother Wallace was in the affirmative and Dr. Matthews read a prepared negative speech throughout. He took no notes and refused to answer a single argument made. His defeat was so evident to the audience that many of his followers have attended our services since the debate.

Foy E. Wallace, Jr., editor of the Bible Banner, was the representative of the church. Central Church here in Los Angeles and all Southern California are grateful for the great work that he did in defense of the truth. The Central church was a former place of labor for him and he preached to an overflowing house on Sunday morning while in the city.

The Anglo-Israel movement is not new, although it is new to America. It is centered chiefly in the British Isles and has followers in Australia, New Zealand and Canada. It is a religion of race and seeks to prove that the Anglo Saxon peoples are the "modern covenant people of God." It has all the old doctrines of the premillennialist made to fit Britain and America rather than the Jews. It affirms that the ten tribes are the roots of the Anglo-Saxon races and that all the fleshly, earthly promises God made to the Israelites in the Old Testament will find their fulfillment in "us." The present king of England is seated upon the "throne of David, and the throne will be taken by Christ at his return and will be again transferred to Jerusalem. It can be seen that that would add greatly to any feeling of superiority an Englishman or American might have of himself. It amounts to little more than the "master race" theory of the dictator nations. The doctrine is definitely un-American as well as un-Christian.

Bro. Wallace affirmed that baptism is for the remission of sins. It was evident that Matthews had never debated with a gospel preacher previous to this discussion, as he was completely lost on this subject. Our second affirmative was that Christ is now king on David's throne. Dr. Matthews affirmed that Christ will return to the earth for one thousand years. His last affirmative was, "The Anglo-Saxon, Celtic races are descended in large part from the ten tribes of Israel and are the modern covenant people of God." Since Matthews did not do much affirming, it was necessary for Bro. Wallace to show what the doctrine was and then to take it apart.

The proposition, "descended in large part," was used with force on Dr. Matthews. He was asked to tell just what part was not descended from the ten tribes. Since he admits that not all are a part of Israel, he was unable to tell what part was. If the present king of England is on David's throne, then when the thirteen colonies rebelled against England, they rebelled against a divine throne, and are today as much in rebellion as the ten tribes originally were and the United States would be perpetuating that rebellion even now. This was used with telling effect upon Matthews. It should be remembered that the English government does not give any endorsement to such foolishness as this. England and America stand as two great allies today and are not responsible for such absurd theories as advanced by these Anglo-Israelites.

Central Church feels that this was one of the greatest opportunities that has ever been offered the Cause in Los Angeles and it was well cared for during the debate. A fine spirit prevailed throughout and even brethren who were skeptical about the good of debates, admitted that this one was an outstanding success.

The material used in the speeches delivered by Brother Wallace on the throne of David and on the Israel question will be placed in tract form soon. Information about securing these can be secured by writing the Central Church of Christ, 12th and Hoover, Los Angeles 6, California.