"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.IX No.VI Pg.10-11,16b
August 1947

Shadow Of Things To Come

James W. Adams

"Coming events cast their shadows before." A chilling shadow now lengthens across the brotherhood from coast to coast. The clouds pile high warning of the coming storm. Forces are marshalling for the fray. The battle lines are clearly drawn. Shall victory be lost in a negotiated peace that opens the door to the baneful and subversive influence of the premillennial heresy? Will the sacrifices and sufferings of the gallant soldiers of the cross (some who have already crossed the "chilly river") have been in vain ? Have these heroes of the cross barricaded the front door and repulsed the foe only to have some of our pious moderns traitorously slip in through the back door under the guise of brotherly love? Offensive though it may be to a certain "Christian business man", I say in the words of one more able than I, "They shall not pass"!

Norman Davidson And The Issue Before Us

By now all who read this are acquainted with Norman Davidson. He and his scheme were given full treatment in the Bible Banner of July 1946. You will remember the article of this writer "I Listened In" in the May 1947 issue of the B.B. in which he recorded a conversation which took place between Norman Davidson and Foy E. Wallace Jr. at Temple, Texas. Likely, you have read Davidson's article which has appeared in the Firm Foundation and the Apostolic Times. Perhaps you have even received his tract. Jimmie Lovell, the talkative and loose thinking editor of the West Coast Christian, informs us in his sheet of July 1947 that The West Coast Christian and the Gospel Advocate are furnishing Davidson with their mailing lists for the purpose of circulating the tract in question.

For those who are unacquainted with Davidson, may I say that he proposes to see that the premillennial teachers among our brethren be received back into the fellowship of loyal churches. They are not to renounce any item of their faith with respect to the premillennial heresy and are to be permitted to teach what they believe in the matter. This is Davidson's object, hence any, paper, or institution that aids and abets him in his effort thus becomes a party to and a participant in his unrighteous endeavor.

Norman Davidson and his unworthy scheme would hardly merit respectable notice were it not for the fact that so many prominent agencies among us are giving them attention. The very fact that he is thus noticed portends no good and indicates an attitude that casts a threatening shadow over the future peace and doctrinal purity of the churches of Christ.

In the Davidson article in the Firm Foundation, July 22, 1947, Davidson says, "I do not believe the premillennial views." I heard him say the same thing at Temple, but in a few moments thereafter, he vehemently said, "I do not know anything about it!" He further said, I have never heard R. H. Boll or 0. D. Bixler (premillennialist) teach anything contrary to the New Testament". When Brother Davidson makes any statement about premillennialism, he deserves not to be heard. What he knows about premillennialism could be put in a very small thimble and there would still be room for one of Jimmie Lovell's editorials, and incidentally, both would make about the same degree of sense.

Brother Davidson seems to think the whole controversy over premillennialism is but a squabble over different interpretations of "unfulfilled prophecy." In making such a statement, he but reveals the depth of his ignorance concerning premillennialism. I stand ready along with hundreds of other loyal gospel preachers to show wherein premillennialism is contradictory of and antagonistic to the plain teaching of the New Testament. It is not a speculation; it is a false doctrine.

Brother Davidson cries about someone "denying salvation to heathen Japan" because he opposes a premillennialist missionary. He quotes Phil. 1:15-18 concerning Paul's rejoicing over the preaching of Christ on the part of those motivated by "envy and strife" and shames the brother because he "would deny that Christ be preached at all, even though in sincerity and love, by any who may disagree with his infallible interpretations of prophecy!" Again our "Christian business man" betrays his incompetency to deal with this issue. Brother Davidson, you had better "stick" to designing furniture. Turn to Acts 8:5 and read, "Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ unto them." Note Acts 8:12, "When they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ." From a combination of these two statements, we learn that to preach Christ is to preach "the things (the truth J. W. A.) concerning the kingdom." No premillennialist on earth of any kind preaches the truth concerning the kingdom, hence does not "preach Christ" in the New Testament sense. Though a premillennialist preach his carnal and materialistic philosophy concerning the kingdom in all sincerity and love, in so doing, he is not preaching Christ. Try again, Brother Davidson, but watch your step. You are not designing furniture, and you cannot cover your mistakes with a little cotton and tapestry. Put it down, Brother Davidson, O. D. Bixler, our premillennialist brother, and his little embryonic missionary society are going to be opposed every step of the way. In the first place, the movement is unscriptural in organization. The leaders of two congregations constitute its supervisory board; members of several other congregations combined with members of the supervisory congregations form its administrative board; it solicits funds from churches for general missionary work and secular enterprises. A thing like this is wanting in scriptural authority in all of its distinctive features. In addition to this, it is honeycombed with premillennialists and premillennial sympathizers.

Brother Davidson quotes from David Lipscomb in his commentary on Romans, page 206, and implies that Brother Lipscomb's statement has reference to our attitude toward such as teach the fallacious doctrine of premillennialism as believed and taught by R. H. Boll and his followers today. I but ask my readers to get a copy of Lipscomb on Romans and read it to see that Davidson has misused the name, reputation, and work of a man long dead. Davidson implies that Brother Lipscomb held that the theory now believed and taught by R. H. Boll was simply a matter of interpretation of unfulfilled prophecies. I deny that Brother Lipscomb said such. It is not true. Other matters with which he deals having to do with occurrences in the past should be dealt with by those intimately familiar with them. However, if his accuracy is no better there than in his dealings with Brother Lipscomb, his representations are far from correct.

Letters dishonorably taken—Davidson says, "My personal, private correspondence was procured under false pretenses by a preacher in the largest circles of influence and was published without consent of either writer or receiver of letters." Knowing that the Bible Banner published the letters referred to in July 1946, the reader would conclude that Davidson refers to Foy E. Wallace, Jr., editor, as the individual who procured Davidson's letters under "false pretenses." In the conversation which I heard between Davidson and Wallace, I learned all about this affair. Hear me when I say, Foy E. Wallace, Jr., did not procure these letters under false pretenses nor publish them unethically. The letters were sent to him by one of the outstanding preachers of the brotherhood to whom they were sent by the receiver, Bro. McQuiddy of the Gospel Advocate. This outstanding preacher sent them to Foy E. Wallace, Jr., with no restrictions as to their use, Since Davidson has thus reflected on Brother Wallace, I am calling on this outstanding preacher to come out of the bushes and acknowledge his part in the matter, exonerate Brother Wallace, and courageously assume the responsibility for his action. His action in sending these letters to Brother Wallace is both ethical and defensible, and truth and right demand that he reveal himself. If he will not come out, some of us who know the truth are going to do the job for him.

That Which Darkens the Shadow

Reference has already been made to the fact that prominent men and agencies among us seem to be giving to Norman Davidson an amount of attention altogether out of proportion with the importance of the man and his movement. Could it be that otherwise sound brethren are letting personal animosity toward other brethren cloud their thinking or does it portend a general weakening with reference to their attitude toward premillennialism and premillennialists?

The West Coast Christian. —Our loquacious friend, Jimmie Love-all, the editor, who lovingly designates his distorted idea of certain brethren as "baptized devils" and who is on intimate letter-writing terms with "old Nick" himself graciously provides Norman Davidson with his mailing list to promote his scheme.

The Gospel Advocate. —The Advocate while not printing the Davidson article, according to Brother Jimmie Lovell, obligingly provides Davidson with its mailing list to circulate his proposals. Yes, the editor of the Gospel Advocate did speak rather pointedly some weeks past on this matter, but what does that amount to if they supply their mailing list to facilitate the propagation of Davidson's views ? Does the Advocate have both a public and a private policy?

The Firm Foundation. —The Foundation prints the Davidson article with certain strictures by its editor. We await with bated breath the mature, studied pronouncements of the editor of the Firm Foundation. It is to be hoped that his statements will be unequivocal to the point of being incapable of being misunderstood. May they more clearly indicate his exact position than do his utterances on the question of the support of the colleges by the churches. The deadline for publication prevents my waiting for Brother Showalter's next article.

The Apostolic Times. —This paper prints Davidson's article with much praise of Brother Davidson and defers answering until next month. If I were going to print it in a monthly, I think I could find space to answer it in the same issue. We await the answer.

The Gospel Broadcast. —The prophet of old should have lived until our day and he would have a demonstrable answer to the question, "Can a leopard change his spots?" For years the benignant editor of Gospel Broadcast was so sound in the faith and felt so keenly his responsibility with respect to "marking" that he even advocated withdrawing fellowship from those who attended the movies. Now he so loves his brethren that he can fellowship all of them. The gracious mantle of his charity even covers the premillennialists. Yesterday, he tried the "purify by force route"; today, he gently treads the flower-scented path of compromise; tomorrow, what his attitude will be, Omniscience alone knows. The genial editor of the G. B. now takes up the cudgel for Norman Davidson and the premillennialists. In so doing, he feels obligated to give us some lessons in brotherly love. Criticism from this gentleman on such a subject come with exceedingly poor grace. His incompetency would hardly be questioned anywhere. He but makes himself ludicrous when he prattles about brotherly love. Surely, he has cast himself in the wrong role, He is out of character. The rebel of yesterday assumes the role of appeaser today. The militant controversialist becomes the "tie that binds." The staunch defender of radicalism dons the garb of the harbinger of a new era of pacifism. Ah! yes, the "leopard" of Del Rio, Dallas, and Grand Prairie fame has "changed his spots" and sprouted wings. He is now the gentle dove of Iowa. Tell us Brother Smith, do you advocate that the premillennialist should be recognized, fellowshipped, and permitted to teach his doctrine among loyal congregations?

Here We Stand

Brother Davidson says in his article already mentioned that no preacher could stand the attacks made against him because of his proposals, but he says, "Here I will stand, brethren." Brother Davidson has some of the weakest, most cowardly preacher friends that I know anything about. He told Brother Wallace in Temple that "200 prominent preachers stood with him, but were afraid to come out." He continues to harp on this point. We have challenged him to name them. He will not. They are a pack of cowards and will not help him. Indeed his predicament is terrible. Get out of that bunch, Brother Davidson, and stand with us on the truth, and we will "come out." Here we stand unalterably opposed to proposals of Norman Davidson, and in the words of a soldier of old, "we will fight it out on this line" if it takes from now on, come what may.

* * * *

Since writing the above, Brother James A. Allen, editor of the Apostolic Times, has written a most appropriate and timely answer to the letter of the "Christian business man." Brother Allen's article, which is published in the Firm Foundation of July 29, .1947, is not only an answer to Brother Davidson, but is a complete refutation and exposure of Davidson's claims and objectives. It is to be hoped that all members of the church will read Brother Allen's article With care that the exact relationship of the faithful to the premillennial faction might be understood.

Brother G. H. P. Showalter's full endorsement editorially of the sentiments expressed in Brother Allen's article will mean much to the clarification of this issue in the minds of his constituency. The mighty influence of the Firm Foundation will do much to neutralize the efforts of those among us who would open the doors of Christian fellowship to the teachers of pernicious error.