1920 J. D. Tant was barred from the Gospel Advocate starting in 1909 for some ten years. The story goes that David Lipscomb objected to Tant’s being banned but had turned effective control of the paper over to J. C. McQuiddy. The justification for the ban was a report that Tant had used “profane” language in the pulpit, a report Tant denied.
In 1920, J. C. McQuiddy offered this apology:
Some years ago J. D. Tant was shut out of the columns of the Gospel Advocate on what was thought to be reliable evidence, but further developments proved this to be untrue. For the injustice done him I offer my apology, and deeply regret the occurrence. The Advocate never charged nor believed him guilty of any criminal conduct, and only thought his plainness of speech often amounted to bluntness, which offended some people. The management of the Advocate was only anxious for him to prove himself innocent; but when his accusers refused to meet him in Nashville, J. D. Tant offering to pay all railroad expenses to and from Nashville, he had no way left to exonerate himself. It now appears clear that there is no truth in the accusation.”
(Gospel Advocate, 7 October 1920, p. 977).
J. D. Tant responded as follows:
Brother J. C. McQuiddy: I am glad to note in the Gospel Advocate of October 7 that you consider one, J. D. Tant, worthy of an apology from you on account of certain treatment given him by the Advocate in the long ago. While said treatment caused some of my friends and myself to lose respect for the Advocate, for we felt I did not have fair treatment, yet I assure you with all love that I accept your apology in full, and we will rub out the past and be brethren, as we were in the long ago.
It is also quite true that my language is blunt and plain; having been reared in the West, where we all use plain speech, and being an Irishman (for I’d be ashamed to be anything else), we all use language out there that can be understood. When I heard many of my brethren, especially among the pure-hearted preachers, claiming that my language was offensive because I said ‘bull’ in the pulpit, I hardly knew what to do. After all, a preacher must try to please the Lord instead of men in preaching the gospel. “David could not wear Saul’s armor to fight Goliath, yet he won the victory. Paul’s brethren said his speech was contemptible; yet he fought a good fight. Also, Paul said, “To the pure all things are pure; but to the defiled nothing is pure’. Many of my brethren who are shocked at my speech, I believe can not show up a better moral life than I can. “I shall not quit preaching to go to college now to learn smooth language that will please my brethren, but shall continue to preach the gospel straight and keep in touch with the Lord, and keep myself unspotted from the world. I will work and pray for the salvation of all men I may influence, for I am more anxious to fill heaven than I am to get a college education so I can use language that will please my brethren. I well know that I must soon give an account of my stewardship to God, and I think if I have preached the gospel and lived right, God will give me one hundred percent on language. And Freed and Hardeman will give me one hundred percent on penmanship, and then I’ll be on the safe side.” In love, J. D. Tant.
(Gospel Advocate, November 30, 1920)
1924 Harper (KN) College merged with Arkansas Christian College, which was located in Morrilton, Arkansas. The new institution was named after James A. Harding and was called Harding College.
J. N. Armstrong wrote, “It certainly is not easy to decide where the ‘line’ should be drawn.” (The Living Message August 21, 1924). He observed, “Really it is a late suggestion that a church is supposed to accept every position occupied by the preacher it may invite to preach for it.”
R.F. Duckworth reflected: “here went up a general complaint, “We are not doing anything, we are just dragging along,” But instead of making a search for the Divine remedy, human ingenuity began to lay plans for over-coming the seeming lack of interest. . . . In many cases they decided to have a “Located Preacher,” “Located Evangelist,” or “Located Minister,” and soon he felt the necessity of reaching the people some way other than public speaking, which he was able to do. So “Sunday Schools,” “Bible Classes,” etc., began to be installed. The Divine plan was forgotten. The human plans began to appeal to the human tendency to drift with the tide. The more worldly these meetings became the more they attracted the worldly minded. The folks were being entertained. The doctrines and commandments of men took sway over the doctrines and commandments of Jehovah.”
1925 R.F. Duckworth, then the editor of the Apostolic Way, published a separate listing of preachers who opposed the Sunday school in order to keep pro-Sunday school preachers from “sowing discord.”