"And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery."

~ Matthew 19:9

[See Charts - Click Here]

Since October of the year 2000, I have written several articles in response to a disturbing doctrine that is being defended and is growing at an alarming pace. Unfortunately, it seems that because of the personalities involved, many are hiding their heads in the sand (Isa. 56:10; Ezk. 3:17-18; Obad. 11; Jas. 4:17). I pray that they will have a change of heart! Attempts to get articles addressing this subject published have met with increasing difficulty.  Brother Mike Willis, editor of Truth Magazine, was asked if he would allow publication of an exchange regarding this topic. He declined, stating (among other reasons) that the topic belonged in the category of Romans 14 and asserted that those openly opposed to the brethren's teaching (as quoted below) were guilty of divisiveness. Furthermore, having refused to print my last two articles in Gospel Anchor, brother Tim Haile has recently told me he will not print any more of my "illogical and unscriptural conclusions and misrepresentations."

It truly saddens me that those desiring a scriptural examination of this topic have run into such roadblocks in getting the word out. Because scripture teaches that it is the responsibility of all Christians to sound the alarm when danger threatens, this web page has been established, so that others can be accurately informed and forewarned (Prov. 17:15; 18:5; 28:4). - Jeff Belknap

First of all, it is necessary for you to know the substance of the doctrine that I am objecting to. I have no desire to misrepresent anyone, and therefore have supplied quotes from brethren, in which they represent their own views.

Biblical Putting Away




Published in Preceptor
(August – October 2007)

Reprinted with the approval
of brothers Watts & Barnett



UPDATED (11/19/07)

Straw Man


By David Watts, Jr.
This link will take you
 to another website.
(used with permission)

"Ron Halbrook and I believe and think alike on MDR in just about every detail..."

Bill Cavender (10/05)

"I believe what
brother Cavender
and others are teaching on
this subject
is false doctrine."

J. T. Smith (11/04)

Click Here
to listen to
of those advocating
mental divorce!

UPDATED (8/3/05)
UPDATED (1/29/05)


Complete Transcript
PowerPoint Slides

Tim Haile
Audio Clips

Is An Unapproved Putting Away Really A Divorce?Answer # 1
Answer # 2
Answer # 3

How Serious Is This Issue?
Answer # 1
Answer # 2
Answer # 3


Ron Halbrook
Weldon Warnock
Bill Cavendar
Harry Osborne
Bill Reeves
Tim Haile

[click here]

Jesse G. Jenkins


Mark 10:11-12


Are Fighting
The Same Battle


MDR Tracts


UPDATED (1/29/04)



Putting Away

It A


Is The "Second Putting Away" Possible?

J.T. Smith (Torch, 10/87)
(used with permission)

Excellent article
by James Hahn

It Is Written

This link will take you
to another website.
(used with permission)


Warnock-Deason Exchange

Connie W. Adams’ Editorial

(In Its Published Sequence)

Reprinted with the
approval of all Involved

Patton-Phillips Debate

Marshall E. Patton
H. E. Phillips

(Feb. - Apr. 1987, STS)

(In Its Published Sequence)

An examination
of the

By David Lytle

84-page overhead study of
 the issue - notes included

Recommended Reading

Mental Marriages and Mental Divorces
(by Gene Frost).
Published by The Preceptor Company
Fax 409-866-8259; preceptorprint@aol.com

Is It Lawful?
A Comprehensive
Study of Divorce
(by Dennis G. Allan
and Gary Fisher)

Divorce & Remarriage; What Does
The Text Say?
(by Donnie Rader) Published by
Religious Supply, Inc.


Ron Halbrook's Own Words As They Relate To The "Mental Divorce" Position:

The following are papers written by Ron and transcripts of material presented by Ron through the years demonstrating both the error he is charged with and the fact that he both publicly and privately teaches it:

Belknap-Halbrook Exchange and A Letter of Concern and Plea for Influence of Fellow Workers

An Examination of Ron Halbrook's Charts and Bill Cavender, The Point Man For Truth Magazine

 Truth Magazine Against Truth Magazine and Truth Magazine Strikes Again via Mark Mayberry

 Truth Magazine: Then Vs. Now and Connie Adams: Then Vs. Now

Reply To Weldon (My Reply To Weldon's Slander in T.M. Was Never Allowed In The Same Venue)

The MDR Creed:

The New Basis of Justification
for Unity in Diversity

Click Here


"Differences In Application"

The New Reasoning Behind Toleration
of Doctrinal Error

Click Here


The Link Below

The False Doctrine
Bobby Holmes
& Tom Roberts




Willis Errors Answered
PPT Charts


Bobby Holmes
For "Biblical"
Putting Away

Marriage and Divorce
Northside church of Christ
Mansfield, TX


Connie W. Adams

"Emotional Arguments"
Eastside church of Christ
Athens, AL
June 20, 2006

Audio on
for Divorce

Audio on
Mental Divorce

How does he justify continued, ongoing fellowship with those who
he exposes?


Tacoma, WA


Audio Excerpts Of:

Ron Halbrook,

Justin Monts


Larry Jones

Click Here


Paul R. Blake

Audio Sermon
Mental Divorce

Brown Street
Church of Christ
October 7, 2004 

Paul Blake:
Then vs. Now


J.T. Smith


DVD's, CD's, MP3's
Click Here


Articles Written That Refute Ron Halbrook's "Application":

E-mail Exchanges Between Various Brethren:

Needed History Lessons:

(Chart modified from The Caprock Messenger, 8/19/01, jhb)

Why Some Have Encountered So Many Difficulties Seeking To Teach The Truth:

My Own Concerns and Position:

Heard Something About Me Lately?

Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage
By Ron Halbrook
"Now when we preach these things today, we’re accused of CAUSING DIVISION.  Dear friend, I want you to remember, departure from the authority of God’s word results in division.  And the one who introduces error splits the log.  Who causes division?  The one that promotes a perverted gospel.  Those that introduced the missionary society drove the wedge of human law that divided the Lord’s church.  Those that drove the wedge of instrumental music divided the church.  Not those that opposed it!  Those that opposed it were pleading for scriptural authority, scriptural unity.  But those that introduce the perverted theories of men divide the church.  So it is with premillennialism, benevolent societies, the Herald of Truth, the sponsoring church and so it is with these new laws and theories and speculations and perversions concerning marriage and divorce.  And there any number of them.  Some talk about the Kingdom law, Matthew 19:9 only for the church.  Some talk about baptism changing your marital status.  Here you are in adultery—baptize you—and now you’re not in adultery anymore.  You’re in the same marriage but just, mumbo jumbo, went through the water and the same marriage is not adultery anymore.  And then some redefine adultery so that it is not a sexual act at all.  And then some say the fornicator can marry another.  And some talk about that exception on the basis of desertion.  These theories are not taught in God’s word.  And listen friend, when we oppose the theories we’re not causing division.  What’s causing division then?  The theories of men!" (emp. jhb). - Beckley, WV, 5/30/91 (LISTEN)

Regarding Controversy
By Ron Halbrook

"Be willing to hear both sides of the issues involved and be wary of excuses offered for closing the door to open discussion. 'Try,' test, or examine the teachers in this controversy – no matter who they are – and do it by comparing what they say with Scripture (I Jn. 4:1,6).  Do not be timid about approaching the men involved to ask for the Bible basis of their conduct and teaching. Pay close attention to whether they actually give you Bible passages or whether they merely talk around the subject. Notice whether they seem tense, resentful, and angry when you question them, or whether they seem to truly welcome and appreciate your questions. Those who stand on the truth find that it gives them a confidence which creates calmness and patience in discussing the questions of honest people. Those who cannot give Scripture for their position suffer from arrogance, impatience, and frustration which create bitter resentment against those who dare to question them. Something is wrong if the man you question does not seem glad for the opportunity to fulfill I Peter 3:15 (‘be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you’)."

Fight of Faith or Needless Controversy
By Harry Osborne

“Brethren, when you look at a controversy arise, and you see that the way people handle it is by boycotting the preaching of those things that have to do with truth, you’ve found, most likely, where the error is.  Truth is never afraid to stand up.  Truth is never afraid to stand there and have a discussion of truth, to have an open Bible and to study those issues.  Truth is always ready to do that.  Error is not.  Error is going to be something that tries to work behind the back, it’s going to be something that tries to label through unnecessary means, it’s going to be something that takes quotations out of context, attributes things to people that are not so.  That’s what error does.”  - Paden City, WV, 4/10/03 (LISTEN)

“Dumb Dogs” In The Pulpit
By Robert H. Farish
(Taken from The Gospel Guardian, June 30, 1949)

“Dumb dogs” is the blunt term Isaiah used to describe those of his day who failed in their duty of guarding the flock of God – “dumb dogs, they cannot bark” (Isaiah 56:9-11).  In this sense Isaiah pictures the helplessness of the flock when they, because of the failure of the guarding dogs, are exposed to the wild beasts of forest and field.  The attacking beasts are bold because they know that no threatening bark will be uttered to frighten them or to alarm the flock into flight.

A consideration of the present perilous situation of the church brings Isaiah’s scathing rebuke to mind.  For it is very apparent that the church is seriously threatened and is in real danger because of the silence of many of her preachers.  Too many preachers in the pulpits are “dumb dogs,” ignoring the ominous threat of error and evil; too many in the pew are praising these “dumb dogs” for their very silence and are heaping contempt upon those who raise the alarm.

Our “adversary, the devil as a roaring lion goeth about seeking whom he may devour.”  Sobriety and vigilance are required of every Christian.  Let no one be deceived; the enemy will avail himself of every opportunity afforded by the silence of the watchmen.  To fail to give warning when danger appears is simply criminal.

"Too many times, we care more for a person’s feelings than we do for his soul."

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Last Updated:  Monday, November 19, 2007 10:04 AM