"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.4-6,7a
August 1947

The Campaign Gets Under Way

Cled E. Wallace

In this essay I shall play more the role of a news commentator than a critic. It will be remembered that some months ago we got hold of that now celebrated Norman Davidson batch of Letters, the publication of which created such widespread consternation. The letters revealed a plot to white-wash Brother Boll and his pre-millennial movement into a respectability that would be acceptable to churches and brethren generally. It involved smearing some of the rest of us including some worthies of the past who are now dead but of course that wouldn't matter. "Norman Davidson and His Plea for Unity was to be a blitzkrieg as devastating as the publication of the letters turned out to be. But we beat them to it and nipped the surprise campaign in the bud. They were robbed of the element of surprise. The plan was to secretly enlist the support of more or less powerful men throughout the country including the editors of some of the papers, and some of the presidents of the colleges and then spring a publicity campaign on the unsuspecting brethren. We got hold of the letters, published them and upset the plan.

I have kept a weather eye open to see what would happen and it has—in the Firm Foundation. I expected it but all signs pointed to Gospel Broadcast. The editor of that periodical has been laying a perfect foundation for such a thing for weeks. To a news-hound like me the metamorphosis of the editor of the Gospel Broadcast is as fascinating as that of a chrysalis into a butterfly. The ugly duckling has changed almost overnight into a charming and smiling debutante. In Texas he was known as the wildest of the wild boys and his name became about the same as a synonym for fanaticism. Brethren will long remember his cavortings in the name of Christ throughout this section. Since he went north something cooled him off. Maybe it was the climate. After listening to him and about him for years, I wasn't quite prepared to find him contentedly purring editorially each week like a kitten full of warm milk. Being naturally suspicious of some folks, I have just sat and watched him. He loves everybody—except the Bible Banner. He can now make all due and undue allowances for Brother Boll and Brother Bixler and the whole premillennial group. It fitted in perfectly with the rumor that came floating by that he was hand in glove with Norman Davidson. In a recent editorial he says:

"Current courses of criticism in our brotherhood are in mind as we write. A Christian goes to a brother to apologize for a sin of the past and instead of it being taken in the spirit of Christ it is used as a basis for a violent attack upon character and intent of the one making the apology."

Now just wipe away your tears over this heartless conduct. The suppliant sinner was Norman Davidson. The hard-hearted man void of the "spirit of Christ" was Foy Wallace. The "violent attack" was made by James W. Adams who reported in the Bible Banner just what happened and what was said when Davidson and Wallace met. And if you have more tears to shed prepare to shed them now.

"Mistakes of our Christian colleges are made the basis for campaigns of criticism which numb the hearts of God's faithful as they, in fear of violating God's word know not which way to turn. Anyone and everyone and everything is the basis for criticism by those who hold the first attitude mentioned above."

Now let us all cry! Poor Bro. Davidson and "our Christian colleges" have certainly been near where Satan's throne is. As for "God's faithful" neither their hearts nor their heads are as "numb" as the editor thinks they are. I suspect that the majority of them have begun to suspicion the cause of the change that has taken place in the editor of the Gospel Broadcast.

So sitting, watching and thinking a little I about had it figured out that Brother Davidson would launch his delayed and emasculated campaign in the Gospel Broadcast. Instead it peeps out at us through four-and-one-half pages of the Firm Foundation. In a way that is better for it is getting an editorial review which it probably wouldn't get in the Gospel Broadcast. The Firm Foundation and its esteemed editor are nicer than they used to be when I was writing for the paper, but they are not near as nice as the Gospel Broadcast and its editor. If I can point out a thing or two in "the Norman Davidson plea" that Brother Showalter has possibly overlooked and get him riled up a bit, he will probably do a good job of reviewing that wild and unusual document.

Brother Showalter thinks that: "Brother Davidson is a good man, certainly honest and sincere; were it not the case I would not regard it as worthwhile to let him be heard, or spend time and space in reviewing what he says." That is very generous of Brother Showalter in view of the fact that Brother Davidson does not appear to fully reciprocate the confidence. It so happened that Brother Davidson quoted Brother Showalter in that private correspondence we got under "false pretenses" and when it was published in the Bible Banner, Brother Showalter denied some of it and came mighty close to calling Brother Davidson a liar. Possibly after looking him over he has decided that Brother Davidson is not capable of accurately reporting a conversation, and doesn't hold him responsible. But Brother Davidson hasn't changed his mind about Brother Showalter and shyly insinuates it into the very article he sends to the Firm Foundation for publication:

"My quotations from prominent men were so used to plant fear in the hearts of these brethren and cause them to disavow their previous statements made to me."

Brother Showalter was one of the most "prominent" of these men Brother Davidson quoted and according to Brother Davidson he got so scared of us it caused him to "disavow" a statement he made to Brother Davidson. Now it is an interesting point they can settle between them as to who is "certainly honest and sincere." Brother Showalter says Brother Davidson is. I have been laboring under the impression that Brother Showalter is. Maybe there is just an "honest" mistake somewhere. But anyhow it is crystal clear that Brother Davidson still thinks that Brother Showalter disavowed statements he made to him because we planted fear in his heart. We had no idea of scaring him at all and certainly not that bad.

I do not think Brother Showalter ought to feel too depressed because Brother Davidson doesn't have much confidence either in his honesty or his courage. Just read what he thinks about us and we think at least as much of ourselves as Brother Showalter does.

"Letters Dishonorably Taken"

"My personal, private correspondence was procured under false pretense by a preacher in the largest circles of influence and was published without consent of either writer or receiver of the letters. My quotations from prominent men were used to plant fear in the hearts of these brethren and cause them to disavow their previous statements made to me.

Isn't it strange that in the name of loyalty and soundness, leaders among us should stoop to such low levels of dishonor as to follow such tactics? Does this unholy violation tell us nothing of the fundamental unsoundness of those who attack our efforts? Is not this unholy spirit, by which they hope to use their public influence, considerably worse than anything they attack? And should not brethren who follow them be informed of all the facts? My conviction is that they should, hence the present effort."

My conviction is that they should be informed or all the facts" in view of the fact that Brother Davidson doesn't seem to have them, or is unwilling to tell them. The "personal, private correspondence" referred to are the Davidson letters to Brother McQuiddy we published some months ago in the Bible Banner. That we "procured" them "under false pretenses" is a plain falsehood and if you can think of a shorter word you may use it, whether intended or not as the case may be. Brother N. B. Hardeman mailed a complete copy of those letters to the editor of the Bible Banner and they were handed over to me for my respects. These are the letters we were widely accused of "stealing" from somebody's files. Others received copies from the same source we got ours. Now, I have been reading rumors to the effect that if we publish the truth about this thing, dire consequences will follow, things will be told that will "ruin" us and all that sort of thing. All right, here's the truth. Now turn on the hot stuff. We have been lied about anonymously and otherwise long enough to get used to it. Norman Davidson himself wrote "private" letters attacking the character of the editor of the Bible Banner and denied it till he was confronted with the evidence. Then he confessed that he had "sinned" and promised to write other letters correcting it. If he has ever done so, I have never heard of it. This is not pleasant but it is the sort of thing we are up against. It isn't shocking to me that leaders in such a movement as Norman Davidson is advocating in the Firm Foundation "should stoop to such levels of dishonor as to follow such tactics". It has been going on so long I'm accustomed to it. So I'm willing for Brother Showalter to pass the compliments and make the curtsies. I'll stick to the facts. And when he gets through with Brother Davidson, if we think he hasn't done enough, we'll do some more. And we have the facts and the matter to do it with. The only advantage he has over us is money and we wouldn't swap what we have that he doesn't have for all the money there is.

Since writing the article "The Campaign Gets Under Way" I have received a later issue of both the Firm Foundation and the Gospel Broadcast. Some additional remarks are in order which may modify some things said in that article. They will at least serve as an appendix.

We are inserting in full an editorial by the veteran and esteemed editor of the Firm Foundation. It together with the exhaustive treatment of the situation by Brother James A. Allen of the Apostolic Times plow right into the "Davidson Plea" and tear it to tatters. I'm not the excitable type but it appears to me that Brother Showalter has knocked the ball clear out of the park and broke up the ball game. I'm as happy as can be over it, and perfectly content to know that we got a base-hit or so before he came to bat.

The Davidson matter came out in the Gospel Broadcast as I have been expecting it to and the carefully worded editorial displays the close fellowship existing between the editor of that paper and Brother Davidson on these matters. I thought possibly Jake Hinds would kick up a bit. He did say a nice piece that sounds like somebody else, and it boiled down to the profound observation that he would about as soon fellowship a premillennialist as a preacher who uses tobacco. That gives the editor of the Bible Banner an advantage of me. He doesn't smoke. I hate for Foy

to enjoy more of Jake's fellowship than I do. However a good cigar tastes better to me than Jake's article smells.

There has been a good deal said about Brother Davidson's honesty, sincerity and the like. Our dealing with him is unfortunate. It seems that he made an exception of us. Before he made the changes that we got those letters fraudulently and descended to a low plane of dishonor, he was made acquainted with the facts and shown impeachable evidence by the editor of the Bible Banner himself. Brother Hardeman sent the letters to us and the copy we got was mimeographed. Others received like copies. Brother Hardeman later denied that he sent them. Possibly he forgot sending 'the letters and possibly 'Brother Davidson, being a very busy man forgot what he was told and shown. Surely "honest and sincere" men would not deliberately do such things! But facts are facts and we have them. So this is to 'tell everybody who doesn't know that Brother Hardeman sent us mimeographed 'copies of the letters with no restriction as to their use. Brother Davidson says they were his "private" letters. How come we received mimeographed copies of them? It's a funny way to keep things "private"; especially to send them to us. In addition to telling others we are reminding Brother Hardeman and Brother Davidson that Brother Hardeman sent us the letters, or to be precise, mimeographed copies of them.

Where is the Gospel Advocate? Brother Davidson's main peeve against former editors and writers of the Gospel Advocate who made the paper what it used to be, the leader in the fight against premillennialism and its advocates. These include J. C. McQuiddy, F. B. Srygley, F. W. Smith, M. C. Kurfees and others able and outspoken. Where is the present editor of the Gospel Advocate? Is Achilles sulking in his tent? I can't think we won't see anything in the Advocate about the situation. Brother Davidson has every reason to be delighted with the cooperation and fellowship he found in the Gospel Broadcast. I won't shock the printer by saying what he thinks of the Firm Foundation. As for us, he likes us of course, everybody does. What would he like for the Advocate to do? Print his stuff and treat it like the Gospel Broadcast did? He cannot hope for that. Print it without comment? He can't hope for that. Say nothing about it, observe an eloquent silence and furnish him with a subscription list for his private use? Shades of McQuiddy, Kurfees, Smith and Srygley! He surely can't expect that!

The Promised Review

The article beginning on the opposite page is an advance publication of an editorial to appear in the August number of "The Apostolic Times," a very creditable monthly periodical of Nashville, Tennessee. The editor, Brother Jas. A. Allen, was a former editor of the Gospel Advocate and one of the best editors the Advocate has had, so far as my humble judgment goes. Having had the privilege of reading the reply of Brother Allen I very cheerfully adopt it as my own review of Brother Davidson's article published in last week's issue. Brother Allen granted me permission to do so, and for this he has my sincere thanks. I give this the more cheerfully for the reason that Brother Allen has had perfect knowledge of the false teaching of Brother Boll's premillennialism and its evil influence from the beginning, and is better acquainted than I with some of the personal attacks and facts of history, sprung by Brother Davidson. (And which to me seem very much out of place.) Quotations that involve only a half truth, and particularly from men who are dead and cannot explain their statements or correct misrepresentations are out of place in a search for truth. Of course, Brother David. Lipscomb was not in sympathy with the speculative theories of Boll and to try to so represent him in order to gather sympathy or support for Brother Boll and his false and unscriptural teaching is ridiculous. And the same is true of Brother Harding and others.

Brother Davidson's trouble when it is all boiled down amounts to this, that the churches (or nearly all of them) and at least two of the colleges oppose Boll and his teaching, will not fellowship him, that is will not have him preach for them, and regard his teaching as to a future reign of Christ on earth as a dangerous doctrine, wholly unsupported by the teaching of the New Testament. I think he might well have added, also, the other three or four colleges conducted by brethren who are loyal members of the churches of Christ. There must be something wrong with a teaching that is discarded by the elders of nearly all the churches of Christ, and Brother Davidson would do well to post up a little as to the meaning of Premillennialism. It is a pity that Brother Boll persists in his obstinacy to teach his false and speculative theory: and it is also a pitiful thing to see men like Brother Norman Davidson' who says he does not believe the teaching of Boll's Premillennialism himself, try to bolster up and hold up the teaching, never-the-less by defending Brother.

That the New Testament teaches that the children of God, the disciples of Christ should be united there is no doubt. But the apostles of our Lord have also taught exactly how this unity must be brought about. Listen to the Apostle Paul: "Now I beseech you brethren by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind, and in the same judgment" (1 Cor. 1:10). The only way to unity that God requires is for all to speak the same thing. The preachers Brother Davidson so severely denounces are teaching that we must all speak the same thing. One cannot teach things not taught in the New Testament and be at unity with those who teach only as the oracles of God teach. They are divided and the only way for them to be united is for them all to teach just what the Bible reveals; then they will all be teaching the same thing, and this is just exactly what Paul here requires. Suppose some one departs and begins the teaching of Premillennialism. He becomes then and there a divider of the people of God; Premillennialism cannot be found as a teaching of the Bible. The only claim its proponents make for it is that it is an effort to interpret unfilled prophecy. "Of the same mind" most assuredly does not allow that we think and teach differently. It means that God requires that his children be of one mind and that they will thus be united. This is the only unity that God approves; it is the unity urged upon the people of God in the New Testament.

As for discord there will always be discord when any part of the membership of the church of the Lord departs from the sound teaching of the New Testament, and the cure for it is not to fellowship and unite with the false teacher but to oppose the false teacher and his false teaching. This must be done in the spirit of Christ, but must not be neglected. All Christians must earnestly contend for the faith and oppose what is contrary to it. To do otherwise in order to be at peace with some false teacher is to betray the Master and surrender to the forces of evil. It is true that the Savior came to bring peace on earth and that he prayed that his people should be one; but it is also true that the Savior himself said he came to bring about separation as well. "Suppose ye that I am come to bring peace on earth? I tell you, Nay, but rather division" is his way of expressing it. (Luke 12:51-53). The right must be separated from the wrong, the good from the bad. This must be done before unity. Can Brother Davidson really know that Jesus said this? Also that John wrote: "If any one cometh unto you, and bringeth not this teaching, receive him not into your house, and give him no greeting."—Firm Foundation.