The attached material is the collective response made by brethren and collectively reviewed in two days of men’s meetings at Fort Worth, Texas following the 1997 September camp. This is a response to Jack Langford’s second rebuttal to the conclusions of many brethren under the title:
“MARRIAGE, DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE
To please God, must believers defrauded by a spouse live the remainder of their lives in celibacy?
The conclusions presented in this response were arrived at after many hours of study both individually and collectively by approximately thirty brethren who could be categorized as older or younger and respected and active in assembly life, and/or those in public ministry among us. Those attending included Gordon Grant, Ed Gruenstein, John Otis, Herschel Carroll, Bill Amyett, Paul Lane, Dwight Stevens, Scott Grove, Jeff Grove, Robert Grove, Jim Stogsdill, Nathan Price, Jim Maurer, Bob Harrison, Russell Ross, John Morey, Bob Morey, Weyman Zelder, Jim Stevens, Bruce Stevens, Ralph Johnson, Ed Payton, Delbert Brittain, Art Werner, Larry Woods, Tom Collins, Dave Bowin, Sr., Raymond Morrow, Paul Bishop, Norman Tarwater, Ray Sharpless, Ray White and Jack Hobson.
A sincere effort has been made to reproduce Jack’s documents exactly as we received them. Emphasis (bold face, italics, and underline), is as originally presented. Where this is not the case, it is noted as being “added,” “ours”, or “emphasis added”.
Jack, by mail, broadly distributed across the United States his second rebuttal to our study. We have made no effort to determine who received one and who did not. Because of this broad distribution we make this copy of both Jack’s first and his second rebuttal available to you. Our responses to his thoughts are inserted in the text of his rebuttals. We ask that you prayerfully and carefully study this material with an open Bible.
It should be noted that at the time of this writing, our brother Jack Langford, has been marked to be avoided as a divisive brother. This step was not taken by Jack’s brethren in Fort Worth, Texas, because of any doctrinal disagreement.
Over the past five years, there has been a growing number of doctrinal issues where Jack has not been in agreement with his brethren. When we become aware of doctrinal disagreements among brethren, it is our commitment to initially address them with longsuffering and forbearance. Efforts to resolve the disagreements should continue until successful as long as the spir-itual welfare of the innocent or the weak in faith is not compromised. This we endeavored to do with our brother Jack Langford. However, when one begins to publicly challenge and try to enlist support in conflict with his brethren, then order must be maintained.
Anyone who might think that Jack was disciplined by the church because of disagreements on the following subjects:
a.) The purchasing of insurance by Christians,
b.) Ephesians 4 and the one baptism mentioned there,
c.) Jack’s confidence that he can determine the date for the rapture of the church,
d.) His disagreement with our conclusions on the subject of divorce and remarriage,
is completely mistaken or misinformed.
When one stops “endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (EPH 4:3) the church must take action. Particularly is this true of one who has been esteemed as Jack Langford has been among us. He is one in the category of James 3:1 “My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.” Jack has been a teacher among us, when he speaks he has great ability to influence people and he is greatly loved.
For these reasons when he became disorderly, it could not be tolerated. Jack’s disorderliness was publicly and privately addressed (by his brethren living in the Fort Worth, Texas area) in loving concern for God’s family and in faithfulness to our beloved brother, Jack Langford, who is currently overtaken in a fault. There was (as reported to us by brethren in Fort Worth, Texas) no disagreement expressed by brethren there to the fact that this action should be taken. May this Godly effort soon result in restoration of our brother to fellowship with Jesus Christ and his brethren.
– Robert A. Grove
(For many brethren meeting in the name of the Lord
Jesus Christ—November 29, 1997)