AN EXCHANGE BETWEEN
DAVID MCKEE AND MIKE WILLIS

 

Friday, April 27th 2001

Hello brother Willis,

I hope you are doing well.

I am writing to you in hopes that you might agree to allow an article to be written on the subject of whether or not one who has been put away may later put away. The exact terminology would of course be improved upon, but you understand what I am asking for.

You may dismiss the matter as not having reached the level of importance to warrant an article or exchange, or you may believe that to allow such may fuel a fire that you would rather see die out. Brother Willis, Satan is not going to let this fire die out until he has done as much damage with it as he can. We can sit by and watch it burn, or allow Truth to be applied in such a way as to extinguish it.

You would either agree with what I believe and teach on the subject, wanting such to be heard, or you disagree. If you disagree, your effort should be one of wanting to expose the faults in my argument. Truth should be held up and promoted. Attacks against it should be made evident for what they are.

To give you an indication of the seriousness of the matter, Tim Haile has written that the position that others and myself hold to is creedalistic, divisive, and an evil that must be fought. This isn't going to fade away under a unity-in-diversity banner. As more begin to decipher the new language and terminology being applied to this subject, they will recognize what is being taught. And some may even wonder, "Where was Truth magazine during all of this?"

Your paper has always been a voice for Truth, often when it was clearly in the minority; but that did not deter it from standing for what was believed to be consistent with God's word. It has been the understood policy to allow opposing views to be expressed in an effort to be fair, as well as to help in bringing Truth to the surface as both sides of an argument could be examined. When the editorial policy becomes one of only running articles that the staff is in agreement with, it shows its biased slant and desire to promote its own teaching unopposed. Is Truth on the way to becoming another Christianity magazine?

Brother Willis, God has blessed you with this publication. It has been an effective tool for teaching the truth as I believe God would want it to be. You have been a good steward of this blessing. Yet, as a watchman, you must clearly see what is approaching with this subject at hand. As a good steward, you must recognize the responsibility that is yours in helping promote the truth on any subject from God's word.

With that in mind, I cannot help but hear the words of Mordecai as he spoke to Esther, "Who knows but that you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" Silence was her choice as there were dangers and risks involved if she let her voice be heard, to let it be made known that she was one of them.

The church is being threatened by a new evil. Brethren will divide over whether or not to accept adulterous marriages. You have a voice in Truth magazine. Will that voice be heard, or remain silent due to risks and dangers? Mordecai let Esther know that if she remained silent, "deliverance will arise from another place," but that she would be held responsible. Brother Willis, the voice of Truth will be heard, whether or not you allow an article to run on the subject, but I would hope your attitude would be one of wanting to assist that voice, not suppress it.

Brother Willis, my desire would only be to reveal what I believe to be the truth concerning what our Lord taught. I'm not asking for a page to list the names of those whose teaching in this area greatly concerns me; time will address those matters. Brethren are teaching that time and procedure are not involved in our Lord's statement in Matthew 19:9; that it has nothing to do with what takes place in the civil courts of our land. As a result, brethren are being taught that having been put away in a court of law does not negate the ability of that one who was put away to later put away, and later remarry. Jesus would define that as adultery. These brethren are defining it as God's law over man's law.

My approach would be to argue that what our Lord was teaching in Matt 19:9 referred to whatever the understood procedure is in a given culture that results in the ending of the relationship between the man and the woman. If in our country, a divorce in a civil court is the understood procedure, then that is what our Lord was teaching. If in another country, jumping backward over a fence is the understood procedure, then that is what our Lord was teaching. It is not about the piece of paper or what is on that paper, as some would try to label it. It is about, Did one go through the understood procedure in their given culture for the cause of sexual immorality?

For those who want go to darkest Africa to discount the understood procedure in our land, and ask about their lack of a legal system, the answer would remain: it would involve their understood procedure. If this is not what our Lord was teaching, then His teaching does not apply to those who do not have a courthouse and legal system. It is true that you may find some that have no concept of a man and woman coming together in a unique relationship. But upon teaching them God's will, a procedure would have to be taught and established that all in that culture would understand involved the two coming together, and a procedure that ended that relationship.

As you can see brother Willis, I offer nothing complicated. But then, Truth is not complicated. Yet we are hearing the language of Ashdod all about us as new terms and definitions are being applied to the simple teaching of God's word. Many cannot even understand the rhetoric involved, but if the brother speaking it is revered enough, it is true enough for them.

You went to great lengths to help brethren understand the twisted language that was being applied to Romans 14. God's word is again being twisted. Will Truth magazine prove itself again to be a useful tool for God, or will it remain silent? Brother Willis, if you choose to remain silent, your own words will judge you as you have often expressed your opinion of those who remained silent in the face of controversy.

Brother Willis, I have enough confidence in your convictions to believe that you will at least respond to my request.

Sincerely,
David McKee


May 23, 2001

Hello Brother Willis,

I wrote the following on the 27th of April, but received no response from you. In a recent correspondence with Donnie Rader, he suggested that you might not have received my note, as your e-mail address has changed. I hope that is the reason, as I would rather not consider any other reasons for why you would not respond to a valid request.

In the most recent issue of Truth, the front-page article addresses the subject of whether or not to have a living will. Surely the subject that I address in the request below, one which is dividing brethren, is deserving of your consideration.

David McKee

(The April 27th letter followed at this point)


June 13, 2001

Dear brother McKee,

I have misplaced the letter that you mailed me, so I am resorting to e-mail in this reply. I normally don't like to do this since so frequently such correspondence ceases to be private correspondence. Also, please forgive me for taking so long to reply to your letter. I wanted to think about it for a while before writing a reply.

I appreciate your kind comments about my work as editor, but must confess that they came across to me somewhat like similar comments that some made toward Jesus before they set their trap. They said, "Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men. . ." (Matt. 22:16). I wish I didn't have that feeling about these kind things which you said, but they have that appearance to me.

You wrote asking about publishing an article "on the subject of whether or not one who has been put away may later put away." Knowing of the divisive pressing that you and others have given to this issue, I am aware somewhat of the background of this material. I would like to make several comments to you in reply to this letter.

1. There has not been published in Truth Magazine any material that teaches the "mental divorce" position, as  some are wont to call it. The stance that has been taken in the paper is that something that happens after the divorce cannot be the cause of the divorce.

2. Brethren who are agreed on the teaching of Matthew 19:9 have some differences in the application of the teachings of that passage in such things as (a) whether or not the innocent party must initiate the lawsuit; (b) whether or not the lawsuit must expressly state that the cause of the divorce is "for fornication"; (c) whether or not the innocent party can take back a person whom he previously divorced for fornication; (d) whether or not a woman may remarry following a scriptural divorce; etc. While these are matters of conscience for brethren, Romans 14 teaches that one must give his brother room to exercise his conscience and not to allow those matters to be made tests of fellowship.

3. I am aware that the congregation where you are makes this issue a test of fellowship as demonstrated by your canceling meetings of those who disagree with your position on this issue (namely Ron Halbrook, Larry Hafley, and Tim Haile). It seems rather inconsistent for you to claim persecution when some brethren respond to your making this a test of fellowship and choose to cut off your support because they have lost confidence in you. Perhaps you can clarify this.

A discussion of this issue is already going on in Gospel Truths. The issue was initiated there and the discussion of the issue should be followed through in that venue. I do not desire to duplicate the same discussion in Truth Magazine, in part because I believe this issue will have minimal impact in the long run along with any number of side issues. If I begin publishing such material, those who hold various views on such points as are listed under point 2 above will want to engage in endless debates in Truth Magazine. That would be counterproductive to the cause of truth.

The tragedy of this discussion is how it supports the cause of those who are teaching another law of divorce and remarriage other than what is revealed in Matthew 19:9. The impact of this discussion is going to be this: Brethren who have taken loose views on divorce and remarriage will say, "These brethren are not even able to agree among themselves. They will bite and devour one another. That is why we must be tolerant of the views taught by brother Hailey, brother Bassett, brother Puterbaugh, and others." If I publish the exchange you propose, I will be offering "exhibit A" as evidence to prove their claim! I don't have any desire to assist them in the accomplishment of their purpose, whether intentionally or unintentionally.

If you think this issue needs to be pressed, you are free to exercise your judgment to press it to the full extent of your ability. You can start your own paper for the purpose of promoting this position. You can challenge brethren to debate you at your home congregation and in that of others who are sympathetic with your desire to push this position to the point of dividing brethren. I learned some time ago that I don't have to scratch every time someone has an itch to debate.

I would also like to suggest that, since you believe this issue needs to be pressed, that you print both sides in the local church bulletin. Why not print the Osborne-Belknap exchange for the benefit of the local church where you are?

Frankly, I resent the implication that you made in such words as the following: "The church is being threatened by a new evil. Brethren will divide over whether or not to accept adulterous marriages. You have a voice in Truth magazine. Will that voice be heard, or remain silent due to risks and dangers?" The implication is that, if I don't open Truth Magazine for a discussion of the issue that you are promoting to the point of making it a test of fellowship, then I am thereby accepting adulterous marriages! I do not share your conviction and take personal offense at your charge that I am hereby supporting adulterous marriages!

You wrote about this issue saying, "Satan is not going to let this fire die out until he has done as much damage with it as he can." I agree with you that "Satan" is the one stirring this fire. It was first stirred by those who are trying to alienate brethren who have been in agreement with each other on divorce and remarriage for the purpose of having a broadened fellowship with those who are teaching the Hailey, Puterbaugh, or Bassett positions on divorce and remarriage. However, Satan's cause is being abetted by those of you who are pressing other brethren who hold their private judgments in application to themselves in obedience to Romans 14, chiding them to start preaching their opinions, breaking fellowship with these brethren because
they disagree with your judgment, and otherwise making one's personal judgments a test of fellowship. I don't want to be used by Satan in this fashion.

As one among many watchmen, I am concerned about promoting the truth on various subjects and alerting brethren to dangers. One of the dangers that I presently see is the danger of men exalting their private opinions to the level of divine revelation, making them a test of fellowship, and fragmenting brethren. I recognize that you do not have the same assessment of this issue as I do. You will have to use those resources that God has granted to you as you judge best and I will have to use the resources God has granted to be
according to what I judge best. I do not judge the kingdom of God will be enhanced by promoting this discussion and, therefore, am not interested in publishing the article that you proposed.

Brotherly,
Mike Willis
 


June 20, 2001,

Dear brother Willis,

It is difficult to believe that about a year ago I was writing to you commending you for the stand you had taken against error, only to find myself now at odds with you over a similar issue. I truly wish this was just a matter of judgment and opinions that we could dismiss as of little concern, but I don't believe that will be possible. I also regret that the tone of our discourse reflects how far we have fallen in our respect for one another. Perhaps time can repair that as we can look back and see that each was attempting to prevent the spread of error, and no other motives were involved.

Brother Willis, as uncertain as you are about the sincerity of my words concerning your work as an editor, I am equally uncertain about the reason you gave for the delay in writing to me. You had chosen not to respond to several letters that I had written you over the past year. I showed you the respect of sending them by way of the postal service rather than, what appears at times to be, the flippant use of e-mail. To my recent requests for an exchange of articles in your magazine I again received no response. But as I thought would happen, when I began to state publicly that you had not replied to my request, I then received a response from you. Adding to my uncertainty is your ability to quote from a letter that you say you misplaced. I would rather ask you to forgive me for doubting you than to be uncertain as to why you at last responded. It is unfortunate when brethren can no longer trust the sincerity of another.

I probably would not have felt compelled to write you had you not asked for a clarification. You said, "It seems rather inconsistent for you to claim persecution when some brethren respond to your making this a test of fellowship and choose to cut off your support because they have lost confidence in you. Perhaps you can clarify this." I am afraid I will have difficulty clarifying this as I do not recall making such a statement. Nothing that I have written to you implies this, unless you can assist me in pointing out the statement you are referring to.

Should I assume this is what others are relating to you and you are simply relying on their version? Believe me, brother Willis, I have never felt persecuted over the matter, nor have I claimed persecution. The only time I have pointed out these happenings is to make clear that this is no light matter. These things are happening. Actually, the fallout of these events has encouraged me, as it drew the support of other congregations who see this teaching for what it is. It is good to know of others who will stand for the truth. The inconsistency seems to be found in those who, like yourself, will criticize me for making this a test of fellowship, but then commend those who cancelled the meeting and dropped the support. Perhaps you can clarify this. But as I have said, God drew the line; I am simply trying to hold to it.

For all the reasons you gave for why an exchange would not be allowed to run in your paper, none of them address the issue at hand. If my concern was to be found in one of those areas you mentioned, I could understand why you would think it a trivial matter, but such is not the case. My concern addresses this question: Can one who has been put away remarry another while their spouse is living? Our Lord says she cannot, but brethren dear to both of us, and perhaps yourself, are advocating a position that does permit that one who has been put away to remarry while her spouse is living. It is that simple, and it is that serious. You write it off as having minimal impact, yet our Lord called it adultery.

Brother Willis, what have you offered me by way of teaching to instruct me in the error of my ways? Show me my wrong, good brother. Do you think so little of me that you would let me do the work of Satan (as you see it) and not attempt to reason with me? No, you have not attempted to reason with me, instruct me, or show me from Scripture my error. Your letter made clear how perturbed you are about my efforts, but Truth was not made clear in your letter. I hold up our Lord's teaching to you and you hold up your feelings of resentment.

Perhaps I could encourage you to read something from a recent article I read by an experienced brother. It was from an article entitled, "Subtle Signs," under the heading, "Castigating those who expose error," and is discussing the treatment of those who oppose error and the effect it might have on a young preacher. The portion of interest reads as follows: "Would you not conclude, 'If I want to be a successful preacher, I better keep my mouth shut when some prominent brother teaches error or my brethren will say about me what they are saying about this brother who exposes the false teaching of this popular preacher'? Consequently, this environment creates preachers without the backbone to withstand error."

Sincerely,
David McKee


June 25, 2001

David,

I want to clarify what I have misplaced. I misplaced the hard copy (through the mail) letter that you mailed me. I have your digital copy and was able to copy from that. As to how long it took me to respond, I have been absolutely forthright with you. I was not aware until this 6/20 e-mail that you were making public reference to my not replying to you. I am confident that you will amend your statements to reflect my correspondence with you.

I think it was your material published in Gospel Truths that makes reference to meetings being canceled and support lost (most recent issue). This may also have been mentioned by Jeff Belknap in his response to Harry. At any rate, if this is viewed as improper and incorrect behavior by one side, would it not be equally incorrect if you canceled meetings or cut support? As I recall, this exchange started when you persuaded the local church where you are to cancel their meeting with brother Halbrook, brother Hafley, and brother Haile. Do I have incorrect information? Am I correct in understanding that you equate the position (that is, you believe both positions lead to damnation) that you perceive brother Halbrook to be holding with that held by brother Hailey, although their positions are different?

Your statement that "God drew the line" indicates that you believe that there is no room for personal judgment in the civil process of divorce. Does this include who must initiate the civil proceedings, what must be written on the court documents, etc.? Does the innocent party who has been sued for divorce have the right to countersue and then have the right to remarriage? If so, what Scripture provides you the instructions to make these determinations?

If I am understanding your position that no "put away" person has the right of remarriage, then the innocent party in a divorce for fornication has no right of remarriage unless she initiates the lawsuit. (A counter suit would not help, unless you can provide biblical evidence of it changing something.) This reduces the issue to the "race to the courthouse." So, if an innocent party seeks to get his mate to repent and save the marriage, but that mates initiates civil divorce and refuses to repent, the innocent party has no right of remarriage! Have I understood your position correctly? I have no interest in misrepresenting you. And, what would be the situation in first century Judaism when a woman could not bring a divorce lawsuit against a man? Could she ever under any circumstances do what Jesus said she could do put away her mate for fornication and remarry? If so, how would she go about doing this?

I am astounded at your arrogance when you write, "I hold up our Lord's teachings to you and you hold up your feelings of resentment." I resent your accusations that I am not holding up the Lord's teaching; I am offended by your charge of resentment. The fact that I believe you are headed down a path that will ultimately divide brethren over a matter of human judgment does not mean that I resent you. I am simply opposed to what you are affirming. Does your opposition to brother Halbrook equate to sinful resentment?

I have not castigated you for exposing error, as you charged by citing my quotation. I am replying to your efforts to bind your human judgment as divine law (1 Tim. 4:1-3). So long as I judge your efforts this way, I cannot encourage you in the pursuit of your goal, which is what you are asking me to do by participating in publishing your material.

Brotherly,
Mike Willis


June 25, 2001

Brother Willis,

Although we strongly disagree in this matter, I will take your reply as a positive sign.  I'm not sure why you chose not to respond to all the other letters I sent you; that of course is your business, but I am encouraged that you are opening the door for discussion.  Such a discussion can only help in understanding one another and in our efforts to reason with one another.

Brother Willis, I stated that I was uncertain about the reason you gave for your delay in writing, but now that you have made clear to me that my uncertainties were unwarranted, I apologize.  Truly, I am relieved to do so.  I do still want to have faith and confidence in you even though we may disagree.  I don't want our discussion to be clouded by doubts as to the motives of one another.  Again, I believe you, and I apologize for having doubted your forthrightness.

Regardless of where the statements may have been made concerning the cancellation of meetings, none were claims of persecution on my part.  That was the only issue you asked me to clarify, but I did not see in your response where I had made such a claim.  I am not sure how brother Belknap may have stated it, but you addressed the complaint to me, and I knew I had not made such a claim.  Again, my references to such happenings were only to point out the seriousness of what was unfolding in response to those who wanted to act as if it was all much ado about nothing.  I'll not ask that you amend the statement, "It seems rather inconsistent for you to claim persecution," as I imagine you simply misunderstood what was being said.

Brother Willis, I don't view the cancellation of meetings as improper when it is determined that the one who is to hold the meeting teaches something that is false.  I'm sure you would have held up the hands of those who may have cancelled meetings with brother Hailey -- if such took place.  You might think it wise for congregations to cancel meetings with brother Harrell at this point.  But then you may not.  When I was initially talking to brother Halbrook about his position and where it might lead, he argued strongly against the idea of canceling meetings.  He went on to say that he would not be opposed to Jack Freemen coming to hold a meeting, if he could be questioned afterwards.  I asked him how he would do that after having debated the man and labeling him as a false teacher.  Brother Halbrook replied that he would let a Catholic priest get up into the pulpit if he could ask him questions afterwards. 

When II Jn 11 says, "If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine," can that not apply to someone who has been scheduled for a meeting, and you realize that he would be coming and not bringing "this doctrine."  I'm sure I do not have to engage in a discussion with you about what our actions would say of that one if we had him in, knowing what he teaches, even if he didn't preach it from the pulpit.  Frankly, I can see it happening here again as we may have some scheduled who have come out in favor of Florida College's position and teaching on Creation.  Should we still let the man come in, knowing that he would argue that the six days are not literal?  Should we let him come in, but question him later?  What if he is very clever in the arguments he makes and some are persuaded by him to believe that position?  Would it have been thought wise to allow such a man to come in?  I guess that is the danger of scheduling meetings out into the future.  A man can change between the time he was scheduled and the time of his arrival.

Brother Willis, you greatly underestimate the church here in Athens.  I am truly blessed to be here.  No one had to persuade them to cancel these meetings.  When the teachings of these men was laid out, they saw it clearly for what it is: a false teaching that permits adulterous marriages.  The brethren here are aware that the positions held by brothers Halbrook and Hailey differ in their approach to Matt 19:9.  But they are also aware that the consequences are similar.  Does it matter how you arrive at adultery if that is what you arrive at? 

To set the record straight, when the men here met on a Sunday to discuss brother Halbrook's meeting, I was still in favor of him coming and discussing the issue as part of the meeting.  Others were very much opposed, but yielded.  The following day, I believe, is when I called you in Texas.  I had that much respect for you and thought you would help me.  I was very disappointed in our conversation, but you advised canceling the meeting if it was going to wound the conscience of another, or disrupt the peace here.  But by that following Wednesday, I was ashamed that I had asked that the meeting continue over the protests of others.  And I had to admit that if Ron did discuss the matter and it was true that he taught what he does, how could we allow the meeting to continue?  On that Wednesday night, we met so that I could apologize to those whose conscience would have been wounded in yielding to my wishes, and to acknowledge that if what we perceived to be the teaching of this man was so, then we could not support him in the effort.  So as you can see, the church here has been very helpful to me, not a group of simple-minded children that I am leading about by the hand.

Brother Hafley all but canceled the meeting himself when he learned what had happened with brother Halbrook, in that he believes similarly.  And the meeting with brother Haile was only canceled a few weeks ago, but to no one's surprise as the church there made it clear they did not agree with the position of this church as evidenced by their cancellation of my meeting months earlier.

Brother Willis, God, through His Son, drew the line when He stated that, "whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery."  To do as many are doing, by raising all of these various scenario possibilities, is looking for an exception to establish the rule.  Our Lord did not address who got there first, what had to be written, and so on.  Our Lord spoke of what that one who is put away cannot do.  We can come up with "what ifs?" all day, but at the end of the day, someone put someone away.  And our Lord said that one who was put away cannot remarry.  Where is your Scripture that will allow one who has been put away to remarry someone other than her spouse, while he is alive?  Will you do, as others, and simply ignore that initial putting away that took place, and by so doing, allow her to later put him away and be able to remarry?  Can you not see how I view this as a clear violation of our Lord's teaching?

I am aware of how the language is changing.  You cannot charge anyone with teaching the mental divorce position, but it has now been worked into that which is to be public in nature (the how of which is still being worked on).  You cannot charge one with teaching that there can be a second putting away, as these refuse to acknowledge that initial putting away.  But all of that changes nothing.  Our Lord spoke of a man putting away his wife for scriptural or unscriptural cause(Matt 19:9).  In either case, she could not marry another.  But brethren are formulating a teaching that simply sets aside that unscriptural putting away.  And having set it aside, these now tell her that she can remarry.  Our Lord forbids it and man permits it.  This is something we can agree to disagree about, brother Willis?  We agree in principle but differ in application, and so the adultery is OK?

Brother Willis, I am trying to answer the issues you raised in the order you presented them in your letter.  I doubt that I will have answered every question you raised, but that is more in an effort to be brief.  If there is a question that you did want answered, please ask again.  I have no trouble stating what I believe on each of your questions, but I don't want to make the reading difficult at this point.

Brother Willis, I apologize if I implied that you resent me.  However, I do believe your tone reflects a resentment you feel for what I am doing.  One can feel righteous indignation over what another is doing to harm the cause of Christ, but one still needs to show from Scripture why they feel that righteous indignation.  You can look at your own letters to see if you have attempted to teach me from Scripture.  Even in this last letter, you ask a lot of questions based on different scenarios, as if that establishes truth.  I can still ask, "Where is the teaching?"  Asking me what I think, or how I view another man's doctrine is not reasoning with me from Scripture.  I come to you with, "Whoever marries her who is put away commits adultery," and you come to me with, "Does it matter who gets to the courthouse first?"  But again, I did not mean to imply that you resent me personally, but rather, what I am doing.

Brother Willis, what you view as binding human judgments as divine law, I view as exposing error.  It does sadden me that brethren such as yourself view those who are attempting to hold to the simple teaching of our Lord, nothing added or taken away, as binding where God has not bound.  It is far easier to see that what you are doing is loosening where God has not loosed.

My initial request to you concerning your paper was that an exchange be allowed on this subject.  I did not have to be the one submitting material.  I thought it would be a good way for Truth to be examined as both sides were laid out against one another.  I thought, Surely, what is Truth will be made clear as brethren examine and discuss the issue, whether I be found right or wrong.  Someone made a sad comment about the change you gave to the heading of your magazine and the appearance of the title by saying, "Truth is fading."  I hope such will not be the case.  I do hope we can continue to discuss the matter in a way that shows the respect we are to have for one another as brothers in Christ.  I hope to hear from you soon.

Sincerely,
David McKee


July 11, 2001

David and Jeff,

I have received the following list of preachers that agree with you on the "mental adultery" position. I am asking if either or both of you are responsible for creating this list of "sound preachers"? Thanks for letting me know.

(The list follows)

Mike


July 15, 2001

Brother Willis,

I was hoping that the next time I heard from you it would be in response to my last letter.

I would assume you received the list anonymously or else you would be inquiring at the source. If brother Belknap is like myself, you'll not receive anything from either one of us anonymously. But speaking for myself, if I had put together a list of preachers who would view the position you are defending as that which will lead to adultery, it would have been a much longer list. It is encouraging, however, to see some more names that I am unfamiliar with letting it be known that they stand for what is right. Are they asking, "Where is Mike Willis?"

You might explain what you mean by "mental adultery" if you don't mind. I believe we have been talking about more than lusting after someone in your heart.

Could I also ask why you would want to know if brother Belknap or myself is responsible for the list you received? What use would such information be to you?

Brother Willis, you asked for a response and you have received it. Surely you will show the same courtesy.

Your brother,
David McKee


July 17, 2001

David,

I am away in a gospel meeting when your e-mail arrived stating that you were not responsible for the list of "sound" preachers on "mental adultery." Thank you for taking the time to respond.

I have only a couple of minutes to go through my e-mail before having to leave this morning, but wanted to acknowledge your e-mail.

Mike


July 17, 2001

Brother Willis,

I showed you the respect and courtesy of not only responding, but also answering your question. I am hoping that you will do the same by answering the questions I asked of you. I know that you are busy and will not be able to respond right away.

David McKee


August 20, 2001

Brother Willis,

I am writing you this letter to let you know that I will be sending Jeff Belknap the exchange that you and I have had so that he may post it on his website.  Brother Belknap has stated on his site that, "Attempts to get articles addressing this subject published, have met with increasing difficulty. Subsequently, an editor of one of the most widely distributed conservative brotherhood magazines was asked if he would allow publication of an exchange regarding this topic. He declined, stating 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."  When brother Belknap is questioned about this, and whether or not the magazine in reference is Truth, brethren express amazement and disbelief.  He was recently asked if he would be willing to verify the refusal of Truth Magazine to run articles on the subject under discussion.

Brother Willis, I initially contacted you about this subject in hopes that you might have some influence on brother Halbrook.  My follow-up contact, as contained in this address, was to you as the editor of Truth Magazine, and you replied to me from an editorial standpoint.  If our discussion had concerned a private matter, I would not be inclined to share it with others, at least not without your permission.  But our discussion concerned what would take place in the public realm, especially pertaining to the editorial stance of Truth Magazine on this subject.  And as your response stands in such contrast to what has been the perceived editorial policy concerning controversial subjects and fairness to all, I feel the need to let others know.

My motivation in this matter is not just to let others know how you have dealt with this subject.  I am hoping to create more discussion on a subject that many are only now becoming aware of.  We are told in Ephesians 5:8, to, "have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them."  When men of influence travel about the country teaching or defending error, such needs to be exposed.  You understand that I feel souls are at stake in this matter and it does not belong in the realm of judgment, as you would suggest. 

Brother Willis, I have always thought that something would eventually run in Truth Magazine on this subject.  But some time back I realized that it would probably be in the form of a statement from you, at last being compelled to state your convictions in this matter as you have chosen to remain silent up to this point.  Believing that you stood for the truth in this matter, it was my initial hope that you would be a good influence on those who disagreed.  It is now my hope that others will be a good influence on you.

Your brother,
David McKee


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Last Updated:  Thursday, January 26, 2006 12:41 PM

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