Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 16, 1950

Brother Hardeman's Articles


It is a real pleasure that we bring you in this issue the first of a series of articles from the pen of brother Pat Hardeman on the general subject of Christian evidences, and particularly the defense of the truth of the gospel against the foolish philosophies and basic fallacies of modernism. Brother Hardeman is a teacher of Bible in Florida Christian College; he is thoroughly prepared in the field in which he will write. The Guardian is grateful that he has agreed to take time from a very heavy schedule to prepare these articles for our readers.

The churches of the Lord have, for the most part, been free from the withering blight of modernism. Those few unstable souls among us who have lost their faith through the years have usually forsaken the church and gone into of the modernistic cults—witness Reedy, Etter, Charles Klingman, Sikes, et al. Lately however there have been increasing signs that a group of younger "modernists" may be growing up in the church who are of a different turn of mind. Instead of forsaking the church, they seem bent on turning the church into their modernistic trend of thinking. We have in our files many writings and bulletins from some of these brethren which give clear evidence of uncertainty, doubt, and general instability in their thinking. They have a halting, wavering, and general questioning indecision in their minds about some of the fundamental principles of the gospel concerning which no Christian should have even the shadow of a doubt.

The Guardian in the months ahead intends to deal at length with this very serious threat to the church. Thoughtful brethren from many sections of the nation have urged us to do so for some time. California brethren particularly are apprehensive over the matter. Most of our gospel journals devote an occasional article to the subject, but we feel that an occasional article is not enough; the menace is assuming proportions that call for an all out aggressive campaign.

With this in mind, we have asked brother Hardeman to prepare this series of articles for us. Other articles from other brethren will follow in due course. The time to wage a campaign against error is before error becomes entrenched. We are neither alarmists nor heresy-hunters but we believe the time for action is upon us. And we are as "dedicated" as we ever were for the "propagation and defense of New Testament Christianity."

We Completely Disagree

In this issue we publish an article from brother James Fowler which is a reply to a previous article by brother Robert Welch. We are glad, of course, to publish brother Fowler's article, although we are in total, absolute, and unrelieved disagreement with his sentiments on the "thee", "thou", and "you" portion of it. We are fully aware that the "thee" and "thou" of the Elizabethan era were the equivalent of our modern "you". But we believe brother Fowler has overlooked the fact that the Elizabethan age had nothing exactly equivalent to our modern "leading in prayer". The public, formal prayers were either recited in Latin by the Catholic priests, or else they were read from the prayer books by the established clergymen.

And, quite apart from that, in our modern usage there can be no doubt or question that the stately and Biblical "thee" and "thou" carry to the average ear a far deeper and more reverential connotation than the familiar and vulgar (common) "you". Since a public leader is wording the prayer not for himself alone but for all those others who may be praying, why can he not accept the form which is most familiar and least jarring to their ears? We confess that more than once we have been rudely shocked and disconcerted in following a "leader" in prayer when he used the intimate, familiar, palsy-walsy term of equality "you" in addressing the God of heaven. Such intimacy may be proper and acceptable in the seclusion of his own room; it is certainly out of place in any kind of formal or public prayer. We once knew a very cultured, dignified, and godly elder who in the privacy of his own home and among a few very close and select friends habitually addressed his spouse as "Angel-puss". But we never heard him address her in such manner in any public place or before a formal gathering. There may be terms that one would use in addressing Jehovah in private and individual prayers which are completely out of place in a formal, public, and general "leading" of prayer for others. And, as far as we are concerned, we are always shocked and a little bit resentful when some brother tries to lead a prayer for us and begins by putting himself on terms of intimacy and equality in his address to God.

We are glad to publish brother Fowler's article, of course, for we realize that he speaks for many others. And the Guardian certainly recognizes that in matters of taste and judgment (which this is) everybody has a right to his own point of view. Brother Fowler expresses his; and we've expressed ours. And that's that!