From: Tom M Roberts [tmr65@juno.com]
Sent: Wednesday, March 29, 2006 12:59 PM
To: sportsstan@yahoo.com; oaksfolkss@aol.com; jgallman@aol.com; bholmes180@sbcglobal.net; ckellywilson@sbcglobal.net
Subject: Teaching on Divorce
March 29, 2006
 

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Kelly:
 
I have received your post from Sunday, March 26, in which you label me as unsound, thus a false teacher, as you have Bobby Holmes.  Then, you challenge me for a public discussion. As always, you failed to address what I wrote to you.
 
I want you to understand clearly that I see no need to debate this issue since it clearly belongs in the realm of judgment. If you want to hold the position that you do, that is your privilege, but you are binding where scriptures do not bind. It simply is not true that the only cause for divorce (not remarriage) is fornication. I have shown scripture for what I believe and you have rejected the teaching of Christ. More than that, you are trying to force brethren to line up behind you and the division you set in motion at Mansfield.
 
Quoting from brother Cox in his paper on "Stipulations," (page 5, # 6): "What this allows for is the following: We all agree that an individual who would be precluded from serving God in a marriage would have the right to a divorce in order to serve God. This is understood from Acts 5:29. Note: This is the main point made by Bobby in his lesson, and it is not disputed by anyone!" (Emp. his, tr). Also: "It would be better to argue that Acts 5:29 "We ought to obey God rather than man" impacts every relationship and instruction we receive from those subservient to God. This would allow for Bobby's contention that one who would otherwise be precluded from serving God could divorce without sin, without allowing for nebulous and nonexplicit claims of 'exceptions' to a 'general rule'." (Emp. his, tr) I agree with this entirely, and have used additional scriptures to prove it. This is where I stand: firmly on a scriptural basis.
 
But I am concerned with the fact that you are labeling me as a false teacher in the presence of brethren from Westside. I have known and loved these brethren since 1961 when they supported me in the gospel at Whitesboro, Texas. Then later, I lived and worked peacefully with them from 1972-1982 as the local preacher. Their soundness is beyond question and they have always regarded me, until your accusations, as a sound teacher of the gospel. The end result of your attitude and teaching is divisiveness and strife. It is regrettable that you have put the eldership at Westside in the position that they are forced to be in. Beyond the fact of error on your part, you are causing unrest in a congregation that only wants to serve the Lord and be at peace. When faithful brethren have stood for the truth, our critics have said that our defense of the truth will end up with us "meeting in a phone booth," splintered and dwindling in number. Your extreme position makes their prediction come true. I make no apologies for "contending for the faith," but your error involves brethren in needless controversy that splinters brethren without cause.
 
Consequently, I am ready to discuss the propositions below, provided you can get the endorsement of the eldership at Westside. You and I can meet before the brethren for two nights. The first night, I will affirm the first proposition; the second night you can affirm the second proposition. Since I have to make preparations for my move back to Texas, we will need to arrange a date that is suitable for both of us. That date will be arranged after you receive the endorsement of the Westside eldership. If they choose to place this in the realm of judgment and will not endorse your proposition, our discussion is at an end. I pray it will also put this unrest to an end.
 
Proposition One:
The Scriptures teach that when a marriage is sundered for a cause other than fornication, a Christian may either remain unmarried or be reconciled without inherently being guilty of sin.  
 
Affirm: Tom Roberts
Deny: Kelly Wilson
 
Proposition Two: The Scriptures teach that it is sinful to obtain a civil divorce for any cause other than fornication and that anyone teaching otherwise is a false teacher, unworthy of fellowship.
 
Affirm: Kelly Wilson
Deny: Tom Roberts 
 
I am set for the defense of the gospel.
 
Tom Roberts