Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
September 3, 1964

Brother Wallace's Articles


We concluded last week a series of five articles by Brother Foy E. Wallace, Jr., under the general title "A Compendium of Issues." These articles were reprinted from TORCH, a brief publication of Brother Wallace's in the early 1950's which lived for only a few months. We felt that in view of a more recent article from the same pen, entitled "The Party Spirit and the Pseudo-Issues," the publication of these earlier writings would provide proper perspective for evaluation.

So far as this writer is concerned we feel no resentment, but rather compassion. Whatever resentment one might experience would be more in order if directed not against Brother Wallace but against the cynical and calloused exploitation of a once magnificent warrior by those who throughout the great years of his mighty battles for truth had nothing but contempt and hatred for him. And now that deep personal tragedy and the increasing burden of years have embittered and perhaps bewildered him, causing him to turn in blind and unreasoning fury against the principles for which he has battled all his life, his erstwhile implacable foes and bitterest enemies, like vultures, have swooped down upon him to exploit him in whatever way they can to further their own designs. It is reminiscent of the Digressives of yesteryear gleefully playing an organ over the lifeless body of J. W. McGarvey! We suspect that in their more sober moments, face to face with God and their own conscience, even these brethren must feel embarrassment at the use they are trying to make of this unfortunate and unhappy man.

We have received a great number of articles and letters from brethren all over the nation expressing shock and grief, and replying to the articles appearing in the Firm Foundation and to the chopped up (and consequently, at times, almost incoherent) republication of this material in the Gospel Advocate. We have published only a few of these, and as of now, think we will probably drop the subject with the publication of one more article from the pen of Brother Luther Blackmon. We see little good to be served by continued discussion, and it would take us many weeks, if not months, to use all the articles and letters submitted.

Good Out Of Evil

And what good for the cause of truth can come from this experience? There was one aspect of the Wallace article which we believe calls for the deepest kind of reflection and study — that was the charge of "splintering" factionalism among those who generally stand united in their opposition to "social gospel liberalism" as exhibited in such projects as the Herald of Truth and the development of church benevolent, educational, and social organizations. Let it be readily admitted that Brother Wallace's charges are exaggerated and blown-up, that they are a caricature of the true picture, and exist largely in an over-active imagination, still there is enough truth in what he said to cause grave concern to us all.

Brethren who stand for the truth of the gospel against the onslaughts of an increasing secularism in the more liberally-minded churches must learn to resolve their differences over inconsequential questions. We have seen faithful churches, conservative to the core, disrupted and disturbed, and in a few instances even split over trivialities. There seems to be all too often a spirit of "touchiness" which is willing to disrupt a congregation over matters of pure personality differences, when there is absolutely no doctrinal issue involved at all! For every stricture Brother Wallace made against this kind of senseless division among the conservatives let us give a hearty "Amen!" Furthermore, these personality clashes must not be twisted around and perverted into some "doctrinal" question — as is so often attempted.

The Way To Harmony

On of the surest remedies for these vexing and useless splits is an ever-increasing emphasis of personal evangelism That Christian who is working night and day for the salvation of some friend or loved one, whose prayers ascend up to God continually in behalf of this soul, whose thoughts by day and dreams by night are centered around bringing this one to Christ, will have little time nor taste for wasting energy on fruitless discussions as to invitation songs, Sunday night communion, or whether a wedding or a funeral is a "religious service" or not! If discussion of such subjects is necessary, then let it be done in an atmosphere of complete brotherly love, and not with the super-heated violence and emotionalism which in some instances, and in some discussions, have been seen. We cannot afford the luxury of battling among ourselves — the forces of Satan are too many and too active to permit of internecine struggles. When Paul and Barnabas felt they could not possibly work together, then they separated — with love, harmony, and goodwill on the part of each toward the other! Why can it not be so with Christians today?

The cause of conservatism is growing — in religion as well as in politics. This is the time for faithful churches to be aggressive and militant; the rate at which new congregations are being started (not less than 300 in the last five years according to our best information) could easily be doubled! We believe that it will be. The future belongs to the faithful ones — not to those who would turn the Lord's church into a social, secular club. We may shed a tear for those who fall by the way, but the fight for truth and righteousness must be neither stopped nor even slowed by such failures. There is time neither for useless self-pity nor for emotional recriminations against any who may have turned from the way of truth. Let God be their judge. We who are left to carry on the battle have too much to do to spend our time in vain pursuits.

If you have a chance to read the Wallace article, do so. Then search your heart and conscience and seek to benefit as much as you possibly can from whatever criticism you find in it which is just and deserved. Do not be upset by the intensity of his feelings, nor the sharpness of his pen; rather, seek to profit by any scriptural argument you find in his lengthy treatise (if such you find). The five articles which we have carried from TORCH have been put in mimeograph form, and are yours for the asking. Send 15 cents to cover cost of postage, and mail your request to Robert H. Parish, 413 E, Groesbeck, Lufkin, Texas.

— F. Y. T.