Brother Ron Chaffin’s article (scanned) follows the emails below. I implored him (on four occasions) to please send me an e-file of his article for the website.
Due to time restraints and since brother Ron was absolutely unwilling to assist in such a simple way, his article is posted as was scanned (not exact). – Jeff
----- Original Message -----
Subject: I received Your Response
Dear brother Ron,
I hope you and yours are all well.
I received your letter today and was somewhat surprised at your method of sending it. As brother Watts indicated well before he wrote his article, I would have been glad to publish a completed 4 part or 6 part exchange between the two of you from the beginning, but you declined (as shown in the e-mail exchange between you and brother Watts below). Nevertheless, if you will send me your article via e-mail, I will publish it as soon as brother Watts prepares a reply, as you acknowledged you expected in your letter to me.
With all due respect, he did not “blast away” in his first article, as you charged. He simply wrote a reply which revealed the flaws in your teaching. After reading your reply, I went back and read the article he wrote in response to your initial writing. It was respectful, as I expect his upcoming reply will be. Although he did expose the error that you had taught in your letter, he did not judge your character nor use derogatory and prejudicial language such as:
“You try to make your introductory remarks so sweet sounding, kind, loving, conciliatory and congenial but it appears to be nothing but a facade of what you really think of me.”
“One has to wonder if his interest is in a study of this subject matter or whether his interest is in smearing those that do not teach exactly as he.”
“You are deceiving the undiscerning mind, which makes it an outright lie when you attribute it to me!”
“Or unless he doesn't care what you write just so it trashes brethren who disagree with him” (emp. yours).
There are numerous other such quotes that surmise evil against both brother Watts and myself, (i.e. “collusion”) and that is disappointing, Ron. If you intend to reply again to brother Watts, I would kindly ask you to keep such comments to yourself and stick to the issue.
Moreover, in your response to brother Watts, you wrote, “Brother Watts, bro. Belknap, in collusion with you, made sure that I got an update to his Web site on which your response to what I wrote appears. You certainly did not show the courtesy of sending it to me.”
Ron, I need not remind you that you, yourself declined the exchange with the knowledge that brother David was going to examine your writings anyway (see his note to you below). I do not know if brother Watts made an attempt to send you his article just prior to my publishing it or not, but I had assured brother Watts that I would indeed notify you with an update (making “sure” you were aware of the response) as soon as I posted his article, as you have acknowledged. Since brother Watts had no expectation of a reply from you (due to your declining the opportunity when he offered it), what difference would it have made if you received a copy just prior to the time his response was posted to the website and the update was made?
Please note the below quotes from your initial letter you sent to Alan and requested that he share with the congregation here (underlined emphases mine, caps are your own):
“But he will have none of it, so he goes and gets a no fault divorce. Remember that TWO agreed to get married, TWO made vows to each other, and TWO are bound together by God. So in the above situation, he has repudiated (put away) her and his vows to her, but is still bound to her by God (Mt. 19:6). So that if six months later or two years later he commits adultery against her by marrying again, then she ( 1st wife) can then repudiate him and her vows to him (before the congregation even) and be free to marry another if she wishes.”
Note the order in what Jesus says: (1) He puts her away for some unscriptural reason, (2) then married another, (3) so Jesus says he commits adultery against her. THE ADULTERY WAS AFTER HE DIVORCED WIFE NO. 1 AND REMARRIED! Those who are so quick to charge us with “waiting game,” “mental divorce,” etc., are very big on the order in Mt. 19:9b, with which order I agree. I wonder why they pay no attention to the order in v. 19a, where (1) the man is married, (2) he puts her away for unscriptural reason (we agree if it is for fornication that she has no right to marry again), (3) marries another, THEN (4) he commits adultery.
“What determines the right of one to remarry? Is it not fornication on the part of one’s mate? Sure it is (Mt. 5:32; 19:9). And it matters not if it is committed, before divorce or after divorce (Mt. 19:9a; Mk. 10:11). His running to the courthouse first does not seal her fate for the rest of her life (meaning she cannot remarry without being guilty of adultery). The courthouse does not determine whether she can remarry or not, but God’s word determines that. And when he commits adultery even after divorcing her, HE HAS COMMITTED ADULTERY AGAINST HER, and thus she is free to put him away and remarry.”
The main gist behind your reply to brother Watts seems to be a complaint that brother Watts misrepresented you and that he was dishonorable because he misrepresented you. You stated:
“‘I NEVER SAID one no longer in a marriage can put away...’ I teach that one is still in that marriage. I NEVER SAID ‘adultery six years, or forty years after the marriage is over...’ I say the marriage is not over in the sight of God.”
Nevertheless, that charge cannot be reconciled with your previous words such as “gets a no fault divorce,” “he puts her away for unscriptural reason," "before divorce or after divorce,” “even after divorcing her.” Brother Ron, are you saying that after what you, yourself called a “divorce” whereby “he puts her away for unscriptural reason” means that “one is still in that marriage” (as opposed to the God-bound obligation)? If so, then I implore you to use part of your subsequent reply to brother Watts to explain the discrepancy of how one is “divorced,” “put away” and “unmarried,” (I Cor. 7:10-11), yet they are “still in that marriage.”
Ron, I have no ill will for you (I think very much of you!) or anyone else whose writings have been examined on my website. My efforts have been out of a sincere desire to forewarn brethren so that the church can be pure and free of fellowship with adultery and false teaching. I am sorry that we have come to be on opposite sides of this issue and wish that we could both be united in the truth, because we cannot be united in diversity (Amos 3:3).
----- Original Message -----
Subject: Fw: I received Your Response
Dear brother Ron,
I hope this letter finds you in good health.
I am sorry that I have not had the chance to get back to you earlier, but I am fairly certain that Alan (and possibly others in Beckley) have informed you that I have been out of town much of this last month.
I am still waiting for you to “send me your article via e-mail,” that I requested in both an e-mail letter to you (6-4-05, below), and on your telephone answering machine (6-7-05). Regarding your article, I had stated, “I will publish it as soon as brother Watts prepares a reply.” Well, brother David has informed me that he is almost finished with his response, however I have yet to receive your e-copy via e-mail.
Brother Ron, if you want me to publish your article, I am asking you to please have the courtesy to send it in a format that is convenient. You have acknowledged your ability to receive and send e-mails. All it would take is your cooperation and a minute or two to e-mail it out.
I am writing to kindly ask you to demonstrate your willingness to manifest a spirit of brotherly consideration by helping, rather than hindering the publishing of your materials that you want to be published. I will await e-copies of your article: Responding To David Watts Jr., as well as your Study: THE COVENANT IN MARRIAGE by Ronald D. Chaffin and Anthony Genton. I promise you (in writing) that when I post these works, I will print them in their entirety, as you have requested.
Will you please send your materials in e-format to help expedite things?
----- Original Message -----
Subject: Fw: I received Your Response
Dear brother Ron,
I trust all is well with you and yours.
Ron, I am wondering why you will not answer my e-mails and phone call with the attached files I kindly requested?
You offered petty complaints against David because he didn’t send you a copy of his article before I put it up on the website (due to your prior refusal to participate in an exchange), even when I had sent you notification of it immediately after its posting. Yet you sent a letter to every member at Beckley (which included erroneous information about me in it), when you never even gave me the courtesy of a copy of it. (Had it not been for the brethren giving me a copy, I would not even have known of its existence.) Moreover, your repeated actions of ignoring my requests (for electronic copies of your material) in letters and a phone message to you certainly does not exemplify Jesus’ teaching of, doing unto others as you would have them do unto you (Mt. 7:12; cf. 5:44-48).
I have brother Watts’ response and am ready to post it. Since I am under time constraints with my impending move, if you decide to once again ignore this request, I will simply use the scanned (photographed) files that I have of your article. In this case, your lack of cooperation will not make things harder on me, but simply more difficult for those whom you hope to influence with your writing. Either way, it will go up on the site – but it is your action (or lack thereof) that will determine how attractive and easy to read your materials will be.
Please send your article: Responding To David Watts Jr., as well as your Study: THE COVENANT IN MARRIAGE by Ronald D. Chaffin and Anthony Genton, or I will simple use scanned (photographed) files.
Brother David Watts’ E-mails Follow:
----- Original Message -----
Subject: your recent
As far as I know, you and I have never met. I preach at the Reel Road Church of Christ in Longview, TX. I hope this letter finds you and your family doing well.
I am writing because brother Jeff Belknap showed me an article that you had recently written defending the idea that a divorced woman can remarry once her ex-husband commits adultery. I believe such teaching is in direct violation of what is revealed in Scripture. As a result, your article greatly concerns me.
I plan to write a response to your article.
But before I do that, I wanted to write to you privately. It is my personal practice that if I feel I must reply to what a brother has written, I write to them privately first.
I have attached to this email the article in question. Although I refer to it as an “article”, it actually appears to be perhaps three different pieces of writing.
Before replying in any sort of public fashion, there are a few things I wanted to make sure of:
· I assume you still believe and teach what you expressed in this article.
· Apart from some personal details being redacted, is the attached article accurate and written the way you wrote it?
· It appeared to me that your article was designed for “public consumption” as opposed to being a of private “thinking out-loud” kind of document. If indeed this was a “public” sort of document, I think it would be appropriate to give it a public response.
· Apart from the reality that you probably believe I am the one teaching error, is there any reason why you would strongly discourage me from replying to your article?
I assure you my interest in replying is not due to any disagreeable nature on my part. My interest in responding is strictly to teach accurately what I am convinced is Bible truth, and to respond to what I am convinced is false teaching.
I would like to invite you to join me in a written discussion if it meets with your approval. We could treat the attached file as your first affirmative. We could agree to have perhaps a four or six part exchange. Or, you might think of a better way to handle it.
I believe brother Jeff Belknap would be willing to host both sides of the discussion in an unmodified format. Likewise, I am sure there are some other men that might hold similar views as you that would be glad to also post the articles in their completeness.
Of course, I’m sure you agree that whenever brethren cordially discuss their differences, only good can come.
Please let me know your thoughts on this at your earliest convenience.
David Watts Jr.
----- Original Message -----
Subject: following up
Dear brother Chaffin,
I never did hear back from you with respect to this email. I heard you had been out of the country. I know it can be hard to catch up and get back to all the email. I thought I’d touch base with you again.
I am leaving today (Monday 4/4/05) for a vacation with my family. I’ll be back on April 13. Perhaps I will have heard from you by then.
----- Original Message -----
Subject: Re: following up
Dear brother Chaffin,
Thank you for your reply.
I’m sorry that you won’t consider participating in a written discussion on this matter. Unfortunately your response is the same as all others at this point.
You say you don’t want to provide me with an avenue “to confuse the minds of people further.” Surely you must realize that I am able to freely write and freely distribute my writing on this subject apart from any participation on your part. Therefore, I already have ample “avenue” to teach on this subject. What I was offering to you was an opportunity for you to reach those people that you claim I am confusing. They would have the opportunity to read what I have written, and in the very same location, replying to the same arguments, they could read what you have written (and vice-versa).
Nevertheless, I will reply to your article(s) in a time and manner that I deem appropriate.
Dear bro. Watts,
I heard you were at the Haile-Smith debate. I was also. If after that debate and the Gwen-Reeves debate last year, and after your exchanges with bro. Cavender and after reading what I have already written, and other such; if those things have not been able to penetrate your mind to convict you of truth, then I do not believe there is any thing more that I could say that would help you.
Concerning the material which you have which you say I authored and your desire to debate me, just let me say that I am not interested in providing any kind of avenue for you to confuse the minds of people further. So you say or write anything you want to and if I happen to see or read it and I desire to reply in some fashion, then I will do that. I know you have issued debate challenges to others as well so maybe one of them will be willing.
I wish God’s blessings on all your efforts that are for good and truth and right.
----- Original Message -----
Subject: Reply to your article
I hope this message finds you and your family in good health.
The following attachment is a reply to your article of June 3, 2005 in which you responded to me.
I’ll ask brother Belknap to publish this on his website at his convenience.
2213 Smith Rd.
June 3, 2005
Included in this envelope is a response I wrote to what bro. David Watts Jr. wrote and which you published on your Web site. Since he said you gave him my original material to which he responded, I would like to request that you publish my response to him on your Web site also, please, so that your readers can read and make up their own minds as to what God's word teaches on the matters discussed.
You may wish to get bro. Watts or someone else to write a response to what is herein included, which is okay with me. But it seems to be a reasonable request to ask you to publish this since you published my first material with no consultation with me nor any offer to study the matters nor any word from you whatsoever. Or maybe I should just not write this request and you would probably have bro. Watts to blast away again. But you can be sure that this will spread around in due time one way or another.
A copy of this has also been sent to bro. Watts at this same time, so he should have it a day or so after you receive this.
Hope you and yours are doing well. I seem to be. I was really impressed with the way that Andy is developing as a song leader when I was up there last.
Responding To David Watts Jr.
By Ronald D. Chaffin
Into whose ever hands this may fall, since I am replying to things which bro. Watts wrote, and unless you have already read what he wrote, you will not know that to which I am responding. So, therefore, be sure to read what I first wrote to which he responds, then read what he wrote, and then read the following in order for you to logically follow the thoughts. If you should have this in your hand without access to the foregoing, then you can contact me (see addresses at the end) and I will see that you get it.
Bro. Watts, bro. Belknap, in collusion with you, made sure that I got an update to his Web site on which your response to what I wrote appears. You certainly did not show the courtesy of sending it to me. I must say that I am highly disappointed in you, which served to confirm my thoughts in deciding not to accept your offer of a debate. I'm sorry, but I cannot accept you as an honorable man since you have put words into my mouth in your written response which I have never spoken nor written at any time; which things in turn amount to nothing but lies. I speak plainly while trying not to be unkind. You try to make your introductory remarks so sweet sounding, kind, loving, conciliatory and congenial but it appears to be nothing but a fa9ade of what you really think of me. Because when it comes right down to it, "Brother Chaffin" is nothing less than a teacher of "another gospel" who should be "rejected" because he "victimizes" people by giving them a "false hope." Now that is the best possible way to promote brotherly love and open, honest searching of the Scriptures, isn't it? I wonder if that is the way you approach people out in the world, bro. Watts? How many do you get to study with you by saying things like that to them? Remember, this is the first time you and I have studied together, and we are supposed to be brethren (2Thes. 3: 15- "not as an enemy, but. ..as a brother)!
Since you previously said that Bro. Jeff Belknap sent you my writings to which you are responding, and since your response appears on his Web site, I will ask him to publish my reply to you so that his readers might see whether or not I speak the truth. If I do not speak the truth, then that would serve Jeff's purpose, I suppose, to show that I am not the honorable one. But to publish this, I believe, would be honorable on his part so that all may decide for themselves. The brethren at Beckley, WV where he preaches generally know me pretty well since I have preached there a few times, I have led singing for them numerous times, and prayers also, attended their meetings, performed weddings for four of their members over the years, etc., etc. If bro. Belknap refuses to publish this, then I very well may see to it that the members at Beckley receive a copy of your and my writings so that they can see for themselves whether you or I, and/or bro. Belknap also, is honorable. He has become party to what you have written by giving my material to you to review, and by publishing it on the Internet without any disclaimers, and without any offer of a rebuttal by me. One has to wonder if his interest is in a study of this subject matter or whether his interest is in smearing those that do not teach exactly as he.
Bro. Watts, you say, "Brother Chaffin has defended in writing the mental divorce viewpoint. .." I did no such thing! I even denied believing such. You see, you did not say that according to your understanding, or that it is your conclusion, that I am defending such. But you directly charge me with defending "the mental divorce viewpoint." I DID NOT! All I can say about it is that it is a lie. I did not say that, and I do not teach what you attributed to me. But you made it sound good to your adherents, didn't you?
Emotional Test Case
You accuse me of “emotional baggage.” According to that, we can have very little (if any at all) emotions to playa part in divorce. So next time one of the sisters has a husband who tells her he wants a divorce, then she cannot be shocked, cannot tell him that she still loves him, BECAUSE THAT WOULD BE EMOTIONAL BAGGAGE, and she would just be exaggerating her feelings. She should just say, "No, I do not want a divorce." By your line of thinking, neither can she ask him to reconsider, or to talk to the elders, or get some marriage counseling, because you would accuse her of acting on emotions, and we cannot have that. The reason, bro. Watts, that you cannot see Ahab, Nabal, Cain and Diotrephes all rolled into one is BECAUSE YOU DO NOT SEE ADULTERY THROUGH THE EYES OF GOD……..
Deut. 22:21 -harlotry calls for stoning to death to put away the evil from your midst
Lev. 21:9- the priest's daughter who became a harlot was to be burnt with fire
Lev. 19:29 -harlotry is wicked itself and leads to the land being full of wickedness
Prov. 23:27- a harlot is like a deep ditch
1 Cor. 5: 1 -such hideous fornication not even found among the Gentiles
1 Cor. 10:8- because of fornication God killed 23,000 in one day
Eph. 5:3 - fornication should not even be named among you as becometh saints
Jude 7 -because of fornication Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed
Learn, bro. Watts, God’s attitude. Then, I’m sure, you will want to retract your statement.
You know what, bro. Watts ? "Thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest dost practice the same things" (Rom. 2:1 ). How is that? Because you "load your test case" like you say I did. "Thou art the man" (2 Sam. 12:7). You say, "Brother Chaffin goes on to argue that this post-divorce divorcing. .." Where did I ever say anything about "post-divorce divorcing," bro. Watts? Would you quote that from what I wrote for me? Did you add that for effect. bro. Watts? Be careful because you might become guilty of "emotional baggage." A simple "putting away" which the KJV and ASV use doesn't sound nearly so dreadful and terrible and non-legal as POST -DIVORCE DIVORCING, does it?
On top of this, bro. Watts, for you to say that I am teaching "post-divorce divorcing" causes your adherents to call up in their mind that I teach that the scalawag husband (is that too emotional for you?) divorces his wife, i.e. gets a civil document (unscripturally -too emotional?) and then some time later, I teach, that she can divorce him, i.e. get a civil document (which we all know cannot be done in the laws of the land) .You know that I never said any such thing, nor do I teach that. But that is exactly the ridiculous implication you wanted to leave with your adherents, to make me look as stupid and idiotic as possible! You are deceiving the undiscerning mind, which makes it an outright lie when you attribute it to me! Again, you understand why I said I do not consider you to be honorable?
In the very same sentence as referred to above, you say I am teaching, "whether it be six months, six years or 40 years after the divorce." Can you give me a direct quote from my writings where I say "six years or 40 years"? Were you shooting for the best possible construction ofwhat I actually did say, or for a worse construction? Any discerning reader with an honest and good heart can see (Lk. 8:15). You wouldn't be putting in some extra BAGGAGE, would you ? Yep, stretching those years out makes it sound a lot worse, doesn't it? Look out! The one finger that you point toward me causes three others to point back at you. But I would like to see where I said those words. Is it all right for you to insert "excessive baggage," bro. Watts, but not for me? I will be waiting for the quote (or your acknowledgement of "baggage") and bro. Belknap' s publishing of the same, since he gave to you what I wrote and obviously endorses what you wrote in reply to me or he would not post it to his Web site. Or unless he doesn't care what you write just so it trashes brethren who disagree with him. I wonder if the brethren at Beckley really believe that bro. Belknap is promoting genuine Bible study?
Let me ask you, bro. Watts, how would you describe either a "wicked" husband or a "faithful" wife without using adjectives? Jesus Himself used adjectives to describe people. Briefly looking in Matthew's record, He spoke of a "just" man (1:19), a "wise" man (7:24), a "foolish" man (7:26), a "righteous" man (10:41), a "good" man and an "evil" man (12:32). So was Jesus using a bunch of adjectives to embellish with emotions His point? Was Jesus not capable of stating His case "objectively and unemotionally"? I guess brother Luke should have taken lessons from brother Watts before writing the book of Acts, for it would seem that he went overboard when he described a certain one as "devout. . .feared God ...gave much alms. ..prayed ...always. ...well reported of' (10:2,22). Luke should have just said he was a good man (but I guess that would be too emotional for you). Or maybe he should have just called him "a man. "
The apostle Paul should have heard from you, bro. Watts, before he did his writings also. If anyone ever overdid it, it would certainly be Paul. "Lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, haughty, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, implacable, slanderers, without self- control, ~, no lovers of good, traitors, headstrong, Ruffed up, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God" (2 Tim. 3:2-4) is certainly ONE example of him not being objective and unemotional, would you say? Paul should have just said there would be some mean people in the last days (but that would have been too emotional, probably). Maybe Paul had 'insufficient Biblical authority" for what he was writing so he "compensated" "with excessive emotional appeal." Do you think, since Paul was loading the Scriptures with excessive emotions, that we maybe need to re-write the Scriptures, bro. Watts? Do you see in the above quote from 2 Tim. 3 the items in Paul's list that I have underlined? Oh, yes, that's all of them, isn't it? That is exactly the same list that he could have used in talking about fornicators. I am not saying that every fornicator is guilty of every one of these things every time they commit fornication. But several of the items could easily be involved at anyone time.
And then if you would read what you yourself wrote you could note that you used the words lawful, lawfully, or unlawful 21 times in talking about these matters of marriage, divorce and remarriage. Did you go overboard, bro. Watts? How many times do you see those words used in the Scriptures in regard to these matters? More than two? Would 21 times "be a clue for us that perhaps insufficient Biblical authority is being compensated for with excessive emotional appeal" on your part? In other words, you are trying to drum-up a certain response in the mind of your readers by your improper use and overuse of the words lawful, lawfully or unlawfully (i.e. as legal terms, in conjunction with lawyers, courts, civil documents, etc.). The word translated "lawful" is always used as a verb in the NT "signifying it is permitted, it is lawful (or interrogatively, is it lawful?)." See Vine's. However, you use it as an adjective or adverb 21 times to try to indicate some kind of civil procedure or civil document WHICH JESUS
WAS NOT TALKING ABOUT NOR WAS HE ASKED ABOUT!
Context of Fornication, Divorce Action and "Divorce"
Bro. Watts, your "Context" arguments are all for nought. Why? Because you "err, not knowing the scriptures" (Mt. 22:29) nor, evidently, modem English language. For one to be guilty of adultery marriage is involved, which means having a wife/husband, by the very definition of the Greek and English words. Note these definitions and quotes:
Adultery -"j.LOtX(X(j), to have unlawful intercourse with another's wife, to commit adultery with: 'ttv(x. in bibl. Grk. mid. j.LOtX(j)(Xt, to commit adultery : of the man, Mt. v.32b ...xix.9 ...9b. ..
; 87t (Xt)'t1lv, commits the sin of adultery against her (i.e. that has been put away), Mk. x.11; of thewoman,Mt. v.32 ...Mk. x.12 ..." -Thayer's, GREEK-ENGLISH LEXICON OF THE NEW TESTAMENT, p.417
"~txaoJ.L<Xt, I commit adultery, not only of a married woman but of a married man (see Mt. xix. 9, v.l., Mk. x.ll)" -Alexander Souter, A POCKET LEXICON TO THE GREEK NEW TESTAMENT, p.162
"I.101.X&\)O), I commit adultery (of a man with a married woman, but also (Lk.xvi.18) of a married man). -ibid.
"But adultery is possible only if there is carnal intercourse between a married man and a married or betrothed Israelites, Dt. 22;22 if.; Lv. 20:10. Adultery is the violation of the marriage of another, Gn. 39:10 if' (in the OT and Judaism-rdc). --Kittle's, THEOLOGICAL DICTIONARY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT, IV:730
The English definition bears out the same point: "sexual intercourse between a married man and a woman not his wife, or between a married woman and a man not her husband" -Webster. In Mt. 19:9, which you want to focus on, the man is still married to the first wife, being the reason that Jesus says he commits adultery .In the sight of God he already and still has a wife, regardless of what he does or civil government does or anyone else does.
Notice a quote in regard to the attitude of the ancients:
" A mark of the ancient view of marriage is that unconditional fidelity is demanded of the wife alone. The married man is not forbidden to have intercourse with an unmaIried woman" (in the Greek and Roman world -rdc). -ibid. p.732
But Jesus corrected this lax attitude toward a man's conduct and tells us that she is much more than a piece of property to be ill-treated and disregarded at his whim (Eph. 5:28-29). And he is obligated to faithfulness as much as she is (l Cor. 7:2).
Notice please a further quote:
" A mark of the NT is the sharp intensifying of the concept of adultery .The right of a man to sexual freedom is denied. Like the wife, the husband is under an obligation of fidelity. The wife is exalted to the same dignity as the husband. Marriage. ..is a life-long fellowship of the partners. Only thus does it actualize the ideal intended in creation (Mt. 5:32; 19:8). On this .ground Jesus rejects the provision of the Law and the scribes concerning divorce of ~e .~e " under the legal form of a bill of divorcement (Dt. 24:1 ~ a.7toAuro, a.7tocr"ta.crtov). This IS ill conflict with the will of God (Mt. 19:6ff.). For this reason the remarriage of a man after divorcing his wife, or the remarrying of the divorced woman, is tantamount to adultery (Mt. 5:32; 19:9; Mk. 10:11f.; Lk. 16:18; cf. 1 C 7:10)" (in the NT -rdc). -ibid. pp. 733
You see, bro. Watts, all of your elaborate wordiness in regard to trying to define divorce from Deut. 24 and then trying to pin that on what Jesus said is nothing more than what Baptists do in trying to pin "only" on what Jesus or Paul said about being saved by faith. Or when the denominationalist says we can use a mechanical instrument of music today because they did back in the OT. Can you not see that Jesus is rejecting what Moses allowed in OT times? "Let not man put asunder. ...But from the beginning it hath not been so" (Mt. 19:6,8). The first of those two statements of Jesus is immediately before their reference to Moses in Deut. 24 and the second statement is immediately after their reference to Moses. And then you turn right around and do the very thing that Jesus just said not to do and which has not been from the beginning, i.e. you accept a putting away with a writing of divorcement from civil government as a means of ending that marriage. That is also LETTING man put asunder when Jesus said LET NOT man put asunder (v.6). When Jesus said, "let not man put asunder," the reality is that man is not always obedient, and therefore do sunder their marriages in the courts of men, which is not approved by God unless it was done for the cause of fornication. But if it is for the proper cause, THEN that is God doing the sundering. There is only ONE reason that Jesus allows and accepts for one to put away his/her mate and that is for fornication. If it is done for any other cause, then that husband and wife are STILL married in the sight of God, regardless of what the courts may do, and they become guilty of adultery upon marrying another.
All you wrote in your "context" arguments therefore amounts to nothing more than a heap of words about NOTHING. Do you know what the context is??? Don't jump in the middle of the lake before you first start at the edge of the lake and learn to swim. So don't start trying to understand Mt. 19:9 before you understand the reason behind His statement. Jesus was asked a question in v .3, which gives us the setting. DidHeanswerthatquestioninv.4? No. DidHeinv.5? No. Inv.6? No. Whataboutv.7andv.8? No. NOT UNTIL WE REACH V.9 DO WE FIND HIS ANSWER!
(3) And there came unto him Pharisees, trying him, and saying, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?
(9) And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and he that marrieth her when she is put away committeth adultery.
Can a man put away his wife just for any reason? No. There is only one reason that man can put away his wife. And if he does it for any other reason he commits adultery in remarrying. That, bro. Watts, is the context in which we find Jesus' statement. From v.4 through v.8 were some incidental remarks made in regard to marriage, but His actual answer is found in v.9. THEY DID NOT ASK JESUS ABOUT BEFORE OR AFTER ANYTHING AND SO HE W AS NOT ANSWERING BEFORE OR AFTER ANYTHING. That before or after business is all a contrivance in vour own mind. bro. Watts .We need to learn to bring "every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ" (2Cor. 10:5). Like Paul also said, we can also be "alienated and enemies in your mind in your evil works" (Col. 1:21). Give up living "in the lusts of our flesh, doing the desires of the flesh and of the mind" (Eph.2:3). In simple words, come down off our high horse of arrogance and accept what God' s word says, just like we might tell some denominationalist to do who demonstrates such haughtiness.
Bro. Watts, what I wrote above also answers what you said about "against her" in Mk. 10:11. Keep things in context. bro. Watts. WAS JESUS ASKED ABOUT A MAN AND HIS SECOND WIFE? Or was he asked about a man putting away his first wife? Don't dodge it. Come clean and give us an answer. When Jesus said that scoundrel (is that too emotional?) shall put away "his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her," you feel the force of that verse of scripture, don't you? Yes, you rightly said it is "ongoing, continuing action. It is the kind of ongoing, continuing adultery that takes place between a man and his new wife as they have the ongoing, continuing sexual relationship." -David Watts Jr.
Thank you, bro. Watts. I never dreamed you would admit it. It is just like the apostle Paul says, they once "lived in these things" (Col. 3:7). Ongoing, continuing action. And one of those "things" they lived in was fornication (v .5). Every time that man and his 2nd wife went to bed, they went to the bed of adultery (Rev. 2:22), because his first marriage is still intact (to use one of your favorite words). He commits adultery against her and that's why his first wife has the right to put him away. Did he have the right to put away his first wife of Mk. 10: 11 ? No. "Let not man put asunder" (10:9). Did he put her away in the court of man? Yes. Did he put her away in the eyes of (approved of) God? NO! He is still married to wife #1 in God's sight and that is why it is adultery.
Why did you not give a standard translation that translates the Greek ~ as "with" her rather than "~against" ~ as in the KJV and ASV of Mk. 10: 11 ? Would it be because there are none? They all translate that little Greek word as "against," don't they, bro. Watts? "Against" the first wife, NOT "with" the second wife. Yes, sir, just like Thayer said in the quote I gave from him earlier in this reply: "commits the sin of adultery against her (i.e. that has been put away), Mk. x: 11." Thayer is a standard authority that brethren have accepted for many years. But even if we did not know a lick of Greek, the CONTEXT still tells us Jesus was asked and He was answering a question about what a man could do about getting rid of his FIRST wife. He was not asked about and He was not answering! What the man's relationship be WITH his second wife!!! And you say "there is absolutely no contextual evidence that would demand or even suggest that the 'her' goes all the way back to the original wife"??? Bro. Watts, that statement is a very poor example of "handling aright the word of truth" (2Tim. 2:15). But it is an EXCELLENT EXAMPLE of your grabbing at straws to try to prop up a position you have taken rather than trying to understand what God ' s word says! ! ! Shame on you!
It was former President Clinton who, by making up his own definitions of words ( what does "is" mean?) and deciding the rules of grammar , that could justify himself and say, "1 did not have sex with that girl" (1 hope that' s not too emotional for you) .You know, if one is allowed to define all the words, make all the rules, and assign to others all of whatever teachings, then you can make a brother look pretty bad, can't you, bro. Watts. By such shallow shenanigans did Pres. Clinton bring shame and reproach on himself and the country, by twisting words away from the truth. YOU ARE DOING THE SAME THING! You did it with bro. Cavender and now you have done it with me. Your charts are a perfect example. Do you actually think that I do not believe what Jesus said? Not what you say He teaches, but what He actually taught? He DID NOT actually teach "intact," did He, bro Watts? You mean by that term "before divorcing" the first wife. I know that is not what He was teaching, because in Mark's account He said the man committed adultery against her AFTER he put away her away (Mk. 10: 11). Remember, bro. Watts, "the sum of thy word is truth" (Psa. 119: 160). We need to take all that is said. Not just the part that backs up our pet peeve. Did He ACTUALLY SAY "lawful"' bro. Watts? If so, would you quote the verse for me? Did he actually say "ex-spouse," bro. Watts. You continually put words in the mouth of Jesus. Etc.
And you do exactly the same thing on the other side of your chart, which you label "Brother Chaffin' s Teaching." Bro. Watts, I DENY EVERYONE OF THOSE THINGS that you list as my teaching for one reason or another .I NEVER SAID one "no longer in a marriage can put away. .." I teach that one is still in that marriage. I NEVER SAID "adultery six years, or forty years after the marriage is over. .." I say the marriage is not over in the sight of God. I NEVER SAID "the innocent may mentally' divorce ' ..." I have told you there is action involved. I NEVER SAID "for all practical purposes a purely mental decision. .." Again, I have told you that there is action involved. I NEVER SAID "the put away innocent. ..can 'divorce' the guilty ..." meaning what you mean by using the word "divorce." I NEVER SAID "mentally divorce your ex-spouse..." Quote it for me, please! DO YOU SEE WHAT I MEAN, BRO. WATTS, -),~, WHEN I SAID YOU ARE NOT HONORABLE?
Bro. Watts, you say, "We ca11 upon our Baptist friends to put away their outside thinking. We plead with them, 'Just read and understand the plain simple statement of Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38 and I Peter 3:21 '."
Yes we do, and after all our pleas they STILL call us Campbellites, don't they? And after a11 our pleas to our institutional brethren, they STILL call us "antis," don't they? After all my denials, you STILL charge me with teaching and defending "mental divorce," don't you? I would suggest that you heed your own appeal to be fair, just and honest of heart as you search the scriptures, or what brethren write. ~ not just mouth words to sound good before men. Say it from the heart.
Ronald D. Chaffin
P.S. This was mailed to David Watts Jr. and Jeff Belknap on June 3, 2005 by US Postal Service, certified mail, return receipt requested.