Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
May 18, 1950

Misrepresenting The Dead

Cled E. Wallace

The editor of the Gospel Advocate, "1950 style," ties a tail on to brother H. Leo Boles' kite, "1940 style," and tries to make it fly parallel to the present position and attitude of the Gospel Advocate. After viewing the results, I am inclined to think brother Boles' kite flies higher and straighter without the "1950 style" tail on it.

In short, the editor of the Advocate rather irritably charges the editor of the Gospel Guardian with using a "garbled quotation" from brother Boles' article, and making an "absurd use of what had been said," and then added:

"The reader will be able to understand. It is bad to misrepresent the living; it is even worse to misrepresent the dead."

After reading brother Tant's "garbled quotation," and brother Boles' entire article as reproduced in the Gospel Advocate, it appears to me that "the reader will be able to understand" that brother Goodpasture's charges of misrepresentation are without any foundation whatever. The readers of the Advocate, including the editor, should "be able to understand" that the "cooperation" advocated by brother Boles, is not the kind we are criticizing.

Some time ago, the editor of the Advocate published a quotation from brother W. W. Otey, designed to show that he endorsed the position of the Advocate, and its attitude toward the Gospel Guardian. Brother Otey thinks the Advocate misrepresented his position, put him in a wrong light before its readers, but it refused to publish a correction. The editor of the Advocate chides the editor of the Guardian in these words, and it is not a "garbled quotation."

"It seems difficult for the editor of the Guardian to get his mind off the year 1940. It was in May, 1940, that his antiwar article appeared in the Rocky Mountain Christian. In the meantime he says that he was forced to revise and modify a few of his former conceptions and attitudes concerning some things he said and wrote about war in 1940. It seems that the year 1940 haunts him like Banquo's ghost."

It is in order to reveal the fact that the editor of the Advocate refused to allow the editor of the Guardian to explain to Advocate readers, the revisions and modifications of "a few of his former conceptions and attitudes concerning some things he said and wrote about war in 1940." This is not treating "the living" with very great consideration. What is it that "haunts" the editor of the Gospel Advocate? I don't think it is Banquo's ghost. Some sort of fear appears to be haunting him. The readers of the Advocate should "be able to understand," by this time, that their editor is withholding something from them.

Some very intelligent people claim that they detect a difference in style and attitude in the Gospel Advocate of late years. The editor tells us that this is simply not true.

"Again, why say '1940 style,' if not to leave the impression that the '1940 style' of the Advocate is different from the '1950 style?' The editor of the Advocate can as heartily endorse the article by

brother Boles now as he did when it was originally written. He has not 'revised' and 'modified' his conceptions' and 'attitudes' on this phase of the New Testament church. Any attempt to make it

appear otherwise is gross misrepresentation."

Now, we are getting somewhere. On this basis, we ought to be able to understand each other better and love each other more. As for "misrepresentation," that isn't in my line. I'd as soon lie about brother Goodpasture, as to misrepresent him, and it takes up less space in the paper to spell it. Since brother Goodpasture "heartily endorses" brother Boles' article "on this phase of the New Testament church," we are really so much alike that somebody is liable to mistake him for an associate editor of the Gospel Guardian. What does brother Boles say, that brother Goodpasture so "heartily endorses?"

"The good work of one church may be cited to encourage another, but never connected organically with other churches. No church has any right to send out its representative, delegate, or appointee and lay just claims upon other churches for support or help to carry out its own program." Now, if we can get Brownfield, Lubbock and Memphis to agree with brother Boles, the Gospel Advocate and the

Gospel Guardian on this, peace ought to be in sight. Brother Boles further says, and the editor of the Advocate "heartily endorses" it:

"Moreover, the church is to be free from all obligations below. No publishing house, cafeteria, lunchroom, or business shall engage and claim the efforts of the church. No religious journal, college, or educational institution may justly lay claim to support from the church."

Now, if we can get brother Brewer, and the president of David Lipscomb and Harding colleges to agree with brother Boles, editor Goodpasture and the Gospel Guardian on this, we will be on our way. I don't think the Firm Foundation and Abilene Christian College will give us any trouble. A. C. C. is already about half-way converted. They do not ask the churches for money, but close their eyes, turn around and let a church slip it into an open palm, if it wants to. This may be attributed to modesty. They do not want to be put in the light of dictating to a church as to what it shall do with its money.

Instead of misrepresenting the Gospel Advocate, it may be that we have just misunderstood it. Brother Brewer wrote three and a half pages—I didn't say columns— some months ago, which did not sound a bit like the article from brother Boles, reprinted in a current issue. He recently suggested that there are a lot of things we can do for the Lord, not found in "a few stipulated conditions of New Testament teaching," and not even dreamed of by folks with "petrified brains." Naturally, some of us thought that brother Goodpasture agreed with brother Brewer, especially so, since about everything that has appeared in the Gospel Advocate for a long time, has been on that side of the question. It is a relief to have him tell us that he agrees with brother Boles. He ought to give his readers more of that sort of stuff from brother Boles. If he can't write it, he can reprint it. Incidentally, our missionary headquarters in Memphis, did not mail out to the churches brother Boles' views on "cooperation." Somehow, or other, it found time, help and money to lay down a nationwide barrage of brother Brewer's tract, taken from the Gospel Advocate's files, informing the brethren of the many things they can do, not found in "the stipulated conditions of New Testament teaching." I do not think brother Boles would have "heartily endorsed" this.

For fear that the editor of the Advocate will overlook it, or be drowned out by brother Brewer and the Memphis office, I am going to let brother Boles tell us more about "cooperation" that he can be expected to "heartily endorse." He "being dead, yet speaketh." His style "is no different from the 1950 style" of the Gospel Advocate!

"Churches which are fulfilling their mission separate and independent of other churches nevertheless are cooperating with all other churches that fulfills their mission. It seems that we ought to see this, that we ought to recognize this fundamental truth. This is the only church cooperation that is taught in the New Testament."

(Gospel Advocate, Jan. 28, 1932)

Any effort to make it appear that anything else in the article contradicts this is a "gross misrepresentation."

"This leads to the declaration that the missionary work of preaching the gospel as recorded in the New Testament was done by individual churches acting independently of each other. There is no example in the New Testament of two or more churches joining together their funds for the support of the gospel. (Emphasis his) J. W. Mc-Garvey, who was an able exponent of society work, or churches working through missionary societies, was called upon to give an example of churches cooperating in having the gospel preached. He replied: 'I do not find in the New Testament a single example of two or more churches that cooperated in mission work.' Professor McGarvey had written two commentaries on the book of Acts of the Apostles: he had been a close student of the New Testament for many years; and he was in favor of churches working through the missionary society. In fact, he stoutly defended the missionary society and urged churches to support the missionary society. He was frequently called upon to give his reasons for such church cooperation in missionary work. The fact that he did not give it is proof positive that he could not give it. But when he makes the confession that there is no such example in the New Testament where 'two or more churches' cooperated in missionary work, we may know that there is none to be found in the New Testament. Brethren who are specializing in 'missionary work' and traveling over the country trying to get churches to 'cooperate' in supporting missionaries should ponder seriously this statement of Professor McGarvey. A challenge is here issued to any one to find a New Testament example of two or more churches uniting their funds and supporting the preaching of the gospel."

(Gospel Advocate, Nov. 3, 1932)

This is not all of the article, but any effort to make it appear that anything else in the article contradicts this, is also a "gross misrepresentation."

There is much more along this line, and to the same point, from the same source. I will be glad to furnish as much of it as is necessary, from time to time, to make the readers of the Advocate "able to understand" what the editor "heartily endorses" and really believes.