Near the bottom of this document is a portion of brother Mark Mayberry’s article, which is another example of a Truth Magazine associate who seeks to promote continued fellowship among those who disagree whether the present post-divorce “putting away” and marriage to another doctrine ends in adultery.
Instead of focusing on our true differences (who Jesus was referring to when he specifically stated, “he who marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery,” Matthew 5:32b; 19:9b; Luke 16:18b), brother Mayberry follows the lead of other Truth Magazine associates in attempting to down-play our differences as simply a benign disagreement over “civil procedure” or an “application,” instead of soul-condemning adultery.
Truth Magazine has also published others’ materials that echo brother Mayberry’s fellowship ideas related to the mental divorce controversy. Both brothers Connie W. Adams and Weldon E. Warnock have asserted that the doctrine of post-divorce “putting away” and marriage to another should not be a “litmus test” regarding continued fellowship with those who teach it:
“In the minds of some this issue has become a litmus test as to whether or not some of us can work together in a private publishing business which is not the church, is not supported by contributions from churches, and which does not attempt to do the work of the church.” Connie W. Adams, Truth Magazine, Reply to “Some Thoughts on Divorce and Remarriage” (Volume XLIX, Number 9), May 5, 2005
“It was not until brother Belknap arrived on the scene and cranked up his computer that confusion and dissension on MDR started. He began putting on his website every little tidbit of those with whom he disagreed and presenting it in the context of heresy. He set out to poison the minds of some of the members in Beckley that I was a false teacher. He claims he interrogated all preachers who were, and are, scheduled to hold meetings at Beckley as to their position on MDR. If they did not pass the litmus test, the meeting was cancelled.” Weldon E. Warnock, Truth Magazine (July 21, 2005, Volume XLIX, Number 14) http://www.mentaldivorce.com/mdrstudies/ReplyToWeldon.htm
Moreover, although (over the course of the past few years) brother Willis has received several articles on this controversial topic which scripturally challenge these fellowship views, he has not published even one of them!
Nevertheless, consider how Mike Willis’ own words from 1990 apply to his current duplicitous editorial practices:
“Adultery is a sin which keeps one out of heaven and is treated as a matter for congregational disfellowship (Gal. 5:19-23; 1 Cor. 5). Consequently, this matter cannot scripturally be placed in the category of Romans 14, as brother Harrell contends. Neither those who practice remarriage following divorce for any cause nor those who preach the error, leading men to commit adultery, will be received by Christ and his disciples….
The Lord’s teaching on divorce and remarriage does not fall into the category of Romans 14. When men violate what Jesus said on divorce and remarriage, they commit the sin of adultery, a work of the flesh which keeps one out of heaven (Matt. 5:32; 19:9; Lk. 16:18; Gal. 5:19-21). To call for unity in diversity on the sin of adultery makes just as much sense as calling for a unity in diversity in the realm of homosexuality, as presently is occurring in mainline Protestant denominations. This call for unity in diversity on divorce and remarriage is the position which was presented by brother Harrell in his extended series in Christianity Magazine to which I objected. What Scripture was cited which supports his conclusion? I have read and re-read brother Harrell’s material and have not yet found the Scripture. We need a scriptural defense of the position that the subject of divorce and remarriage falls into the category of Romans 14 instead of 2 John 9-11. It is not in brother Harrell’s response….
In re-reading his manuscript, you will notice that brother Harrell does not deny believing in a unity-in-diversity on divorce and remarriage; rather, he chides me for calling for doctrinal agreement on the subject! Brother Harrell needs to tell us, in regard to his unity-in-diversity position on divorce and remarriage, ‘What saith the Scriptures?’ He states his view but is a long way from proving it with book, chapter, and verse….
If the divorce and remarriage issue is in the same category as the covering, brother Harrell would be forced to conclude that the woman who does not wear a covering (from the point of view of those who believe women must wear the covering in the assembly of the saints) is in the same spiritual condition as an adulterer!....
Christianity Magazine has its own editors to determine what its publishing policies should be. I have neither the right nor the desire to dictate to them what policies they should have. However, I am reminded of the proverb of Solomon: ‘Even a child is known by his doings, whether it be right’ (Prov. 20:11). If Christianity Magazine chooses to close its door to printing both sides of a position, continues to promote one side of a controversial subject, and makes personal attacks against brethren without allowing them space to reply, we will know Christianity Magazine by its doings. [emp. jhb; note also the personal, slanderous attack against me which was written by brother Weldon Warnock, and published in Truth Magazine on July 21, 2005. I wrote and sent a Reply To Weldon to brother Willis (and Adams) which clearly proved brother Warnock’s charges to be false, but brother Willis refused to publish it in the same venue where the attack was published.]
Yes, we publish Both Sides. One of our sister journals explains her refusal to publish both sides of controversial issues by the statement that she does not want to furnish a medium for teaching error ‘error’ naturally being any position contrary to the editor of that journal…..
Well, we just have to confess we aren’t that infallible. There is the bare possibility that the editor of the Gospel Guardian just conceivably might be wrong on a point here and there. Any how, when honest and sincere brethren differ from us, and we have attacked their teaching on the pages of this paper, we think it only fair to let them have a hearing. And that’s our policy in all these controversial matters.
As for being afraid to ‘publish error’ – well, we have a pretty good precedent for publishing a bit of error now and then. The inspired writers even published some of Satan’s speeches! We believe that truth contrasted with error has nothing to fear.” Mike Willis, “A Brotherly Response: ‘What Saith The Scriptures?’” Guardian of Truth XXXIV: 15, pp. 457-460, 466-469, (August 2, 1990)
Heresy and Factionalism
“…On the issue of marriage, divorce and remarriage, faithful brethren agree that Matthew 19:9 applies to saint and sinner alike. Faithful brethren agree that Jesus allowed one exception regarding divorce and remarriage: ‘except for immorality/fornication.’ However, brethren frequently differ regarding civil procedure. Why? Because Scripture does not focus on procedure (civil or otherwise), but rather upon the cause of the sundering of a union. Unfortunately, fellowship among like-minded brethren is being imperiled today by those who would bind their opinion regarding divorce procedure and foster division over an issue that is not specifically addressed in Scripture.
We can agree upon the things that God has revealed. However, we differ regarding the secret things, i.e., things that are not revealed (cf. Deut. 29:29). When addressing such matters, humility trumps haughty self-assertiveness: ‘Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor?’ (Rom. 11:33-34; cf. Isa. 40:12-14).
In writing to the Corinthians, Paul asked, ‘For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him?’ Man cannot intuitively know God’s mind. Apart from revelation, we are without guidance. However, with revelation comes insight and understanding. Thanks be to God: ‘But we have the mind of Christ’ (1 Cor. 2:11-16).
In matters of revelation, where divine truth is clearly set forth (1 Cor. 2:12-13), let us boldly weld the sword of the Spirit (Eph. 6:17-20). In matters of opinion, let us be cautious and considerate (Rom. 14:10-13). Remember the declaration of Thomas Campbell: ‘In matters of faith, unity; in matters of judgment, liberty; in all things, charity.’…”
Division over Instrumental Music in Worship – 1800’s
“Since we all still believe in the deity of Christ, and the necessity of baptism, that we must not dictate where Christ has not dictated, and that some of the brethren who are pushing for division over instrumental music are guilty of murderous stiffling of free thought and free speech. We insist that Rom. 14 allow that very large liberty that we have no right to trench on.” Isaac Errett, (Christian Church) Editor, Christian Standard
Division over Instrumental Music in Worship – 1908
“I close the debate in fellowship and love if we will agree that unless instrumental music is hurting someone else that it may be used just as meat may be used if it don’t hurt someone.” J. B. Briney (Otey/Briney Debate in Louisville, KY)
Division over Premillenialism – 1930-40
“We agree to disagree over premillenialism because it comes under Romans 14.” R. H. Bohl
Division over MDR – 1988-1990
In November, 1988, Christianity Magazine published a “personal defense of Homer Hailey.”
“Homer Hailey believes that those who are baptized into Christ may remain in their present marital state.” Ed Harrell, Christianity Magazine (Homer Hailey: False Teacher?)
Beginning in February, 1989, a series of articles were published on Romans 14 & Fellowship:
April 1989 – Covers error “in matters of ‘faith.’”
May 1989 – Covers error of “considerable moral and doctrinal import.”
May 1990 – “Tolerates contradictory teachings and practices on important moral and doctrinal questions.” Ed Harrell, Christianity Magazine
Dear reader, the convoluted reasoning of post-divorce “putting away” to marry another while one’s bound man/woman still lives comes with a lot of baggage. It not only distorts the difference between God’s actions of binding and loosing with man’s actions of marrying and divorcing (right or wrong), it also confuses matters of the faith (lawful vs. adulterous marriage) with matters of liberty (Romans 14). - Jeff