Putting Away The Myths
About "Putting Away"

Tim Haile

March 15, 2002

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   Not long ago, I wrote an article entitled "What Constitutes Biblical Putting Away?" Though I did receive a large outpouring of positive and encouraging responses to that article, yet the article caused no small stir among some others. I believe I understand why this happened. In that article I did not use North American definitions and legal procedures to define and explain the biblical terms that I discussed. Some did not approve of my approach. To many people the word "divorce" necessarily implies lawyers, legal documents, lawsuits, courts and judges, and it means nothing to them apart from these things. Given the fact that I still receive occasional letters and phone calls from individuals who are continuing to study this issue, I thought it would be prudent to do some follow-up work on specific areas of the question about biblical putting away. This article is basically a usage study of the Greek word "apoluo." This is the Greek word that is translated "divorce" in many of our English translations.

A Word of Caution about Human Standards of Authority

   The Bible requires us to "speak as the oracles of God" when speaking on matters "that pertain to life and godliness" (1 Pet. 4:11; 2 Pet. 1:3). This requires us to use Bible words in Bible ways, and call Bible things by Bible names. This approach to the Scriptures has bound God-fearing, Bible-believing men and women together in the bond of the Spiritís unity (Eph. 4:1-6). This unity cannot be maintained among Godís people if we leave the scriptures and allow human authorities to define biblical concepts (Eph. 4:1-16; 1 Cor. 1:10; 1 Pet. 4:11). The words of Christ and His holy apostles and prophets must serve as our exclusive guide of faith and practice in all things "pertaining to God" (Jn. 12:48; 17:20-21; Rom. 15:17). The denominational world stands as a gigantic testament to the folly of reliance upon human standards for religious authority. Godís people must not tread that path. If they do, rampant division will be the inevitable result among them, as well.

The Importance of Using Biblical Definitions for Biblical Concepts

   The use of human religious standards has done more than just cause division; it has also led to sinful beliefs, practices and conclusions. For example, many religious people turn to human authorities for definitions for words like psallo or baptizo. This has led to the use instruments of music in their worship to God, and sprinkling water on people as a means of "baptizing" them. Godís people will not allow biblical actions and concepts to be defined by uninspired human authorities; they will use the Bible! Yes, we may consult Bible dictionaries, commentaries, and lexicons for help in classifying and collating biblical information. However, human definitions and explanations are only acceptable if they harmonize with the overall biblical use of the terms.

Application of This Rule to "Apoluo"

   Consistency demands that we use the same hermeneutic approach to all Bible topics. Whatever method is used to determine the meaning of psallo and baptizo should also be used in determining the meaning of apoluo ("put away"). So, what method is used? Do we allow human authorities, whether civil, religious, or a hybrid of the two? No. We look to the Bible. Let us go back to our words, psallo and baptizo. Psallo is well defined in Ephesians 5:19. Paul said it involves "speaking" and "singing and making melody in your heart unto the Lord." What about baptizo? Romans 6:4 and Colossians 2:12, tell us that baptism is a burial, not a sprinkling! Some lexicons and word studies do accurately reflect these truths, and are therefore, reliable tools in assisting us in our understanding. However, final authority belongs to God, and Godís authority is expressed in His word (Jn. 12:48).

   After considerable and careful review of various New Testament uses of the Greek word "apoluo," I have once again concluded that the Bible is its own best commentary. An objective evaluation of the various biblical texts where apoluo is used will convince any honest reader that the use of this word does not necessarily involve or require any particular action or procedure, whether civil or cultural. They simply arenít inherent in the word itself. We shall see that the only thing inherent in the meaning of the word apoluo is the right of a person to do a particular thing, or act in a particular way. This is clearly demonstrated in the dozens of passages where the word is used in the New Testament, and the weight of the evidence is simply overwhelming. If we will accept them, the simple and familiar Bible passages that we shall examine sufficiently explain the meaning of the much-disputed word "apoluo."

How the Bible Defines "Apoluo"

   King James translators variously translated this Greek term with the words, "depart, dismiss, divorce, forgive, go, let, liberty, loose, put, release and send." Though I do regularly use the King James Version, I am usually not a big fan of their translation technique that used as many different English words as possible to translate the same Greek word. Their method, though adding some spice to their translation, often makes word studies more difficult than they might otherwise be. There are more words to have to run down as a result of their method. Obviously, as noted above, the King James translators were able to think of several different words to translate the word apoluo.

   Of course, regardless of the translation, our lexicons and concordances enable us to easily search our Bibles to find out where the actual Greek term was used. In our present study, to a very great degree, we can use the contexts of the various passages where "apoluo" is used, to provide us with effective commentary on the wordís actual meaning. By combining the passages one learns that apoluo involves departing, dismissing, divorcing, releasing (whether from sins, captivity or company), letting go, loosing, sending away, setting free, liberating, departing or leaving. In an effort to expedite this study, and to assist the reader in arriving at sound, scriptural conclusions, I have categorized the passages according to their subject.

Emphasis of APOLUO: Separation Rights, Not Separation Procedures

"Depart"

   God had promised Simeon that he "would not see death until he had seen the Lordís Christ." After seeing baby Jesus, Simeon proclaimed, "Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart (apoluo) in peace, according to thy wordÖ" (Luke 2:29, KJV). Simeon had reference to his own death when he spoke these words. By allowing Simeon to see the Savior, God had relieved his anxieties and allayed his fears, thus allowing him to die in peace. Technically, the word "apoluo" is here used of the spiritís departure from the body. "Apoluo" is used because the Lord had the right to let Simeon die in his state of satisfaction and peace.

   Acts 23 tells of the occasion when Paulís nephew received word of an ambush that certain Jews had planned against Paul. Paul made arrangements for the young man to tell his story to the commander. Acts 23:22 says, "So the chief captain then let the young man depart (apoluo), and charged him, See thou tell no man that thou hast shewed these things to me." Apoluo is used to describe simple departure. The chief captain had the right to release the boy. This is demonstrated again in chapter 28:

"And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed (apoluo), after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers," (Acts 28:25, KJV).

   As demonstrated in this passage, the only thing suggested by the word "apoluo" was that some people departed, simply because they had the right to do so. Apoluo does not necessarily involve any civil or cultural processes or procedures.

"Go" or "Let Go"

   Again, the Bible is its own best commentary. There is nothing complicated about the meaning of "apoluo" as described in the following passages. Emphasis is upon the fact that someone had the right to act over or against someone else.

   Since the word apoluo is a general term used to describe all types of dismissing, releasing and freeing, we do not find it unusual to see it sometimes used in connection with civil law action. Peter said to the Jews, "The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified His Servant Jesus, whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let Him go (apoluo)" (Acts 3:13). After the Sanhedrin council had "further threatened" the disciples, "they let them goÖ" (Acts 4:21). Notice especially its use in verse 23 of Acts 4. The record says, "And being let go (apoluo), they went to their own companionsÖ" Here is an example of apoluo being used in the passive voice.

   After the Jewish council captured these disciples for a second time, they were beaten, commanded not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let go (apoluo) (Acts 5:40). In Acts 16:35; we are told, "The magistrates sent the officers, saying, Ďlet these men go (apoluo).í" After requiring Jason to post bond for the disciples, the city rulers of Thessalonica, let the disciples go (apoluo) (Acts 17:9).

   After hearing the cry, "Crucify Him! Crucify Him!" Pilate said to the blood thirsty Jews, a third time, "Why, what evil hath he done? I have found no cause of death in him: I will therefore chastise him, and let him go (apoluo)" (Luke 23:22). Johnís account adds, "And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go (apoluo), thou art not Caesar's friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar" (John 19:12).

   A similar application of "apoluo" is found in Acts 15:33, where Luke recorded, "And after they had tarried there a space, they were let go (apoluo) in peace from the brethren unto the apostles."

   Three days after his arrival in Rome, Paul called the leaders of the Jews together and recounted the key events that had led to his being in Rome. Describing the intentions of the Romans in Jerusalem, Paul said, "Who, when they had examined me, would have let me go, because there was no cause of death in me." (Acts 28:18). As noted above, just a few verses later, in verse 25 of this chapter; the KJV translated this same word by the word "departed." This is an important reminder, for it demonstrates that though the Greek word apoluo may sometimes refer to actions taken by civil authorities, it does not always involve them. This fact plainly demonstrates that "apoluo" is not a special divorce term in the Bible, as some appear to think. It is a very general term that emphasizes separation rights, not separation procedures. I will point out here, that in the definition portion of his lexicon, Henry Thayer never uses the word "divorce" as an acceptable definition of the word "apoluo." He does use five other words, but "divorce" is not one of them. These Bible passages that we are considering explain why.

"Dismiss"

   As noted above, Acts 15:33 uses apoluo to describe the action of the Antioch brethren being "let go." Verse 30 of this same chapter uses the same word to describe the releasing of brethren from the Jerusalem church, but there the King James translators used the word "dismissed" in place of "let go." The verse reads, "So when they were dismissed (apoluo), they came to Antioch: and when they had gathered the multitude together, they delivered the epistle."

   If the word "apoluo" necessarily implies some civil law procedure, then North American churches would have to obtain a court order permitting them to dismiss their assemblies every time they were ready to depart!

   Apoluo is used in a legal context in Acts 19:41, but this simply emphasizes how universal the word is in its various applications. Apoluo involves dismissal. That dismissal may be of a legal assembly, or a spiritual assembly. There is nothing about the word apoluo that allows its use for one kind of dismissal, while disallowing its use for the other. Luke spoke of the actions of the town clerk when he recorded, "And when he had thus spoken, he dismissed (apoluo) the assembly." Notice again, that the above passages merely emphasize someoneís right to "dismiss." No particular action, practice, or procedure is suggested.

"Forgive"

   Jesus said, "Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive (apoluo), and ye shall be forgiven (apoluo)" (Luke 6:37). Here the word apoluo is used of one being set free, loosed, or released from the guilt and consequences of sin. Although some religious groups do seek to intertwine civil, human authority with divine authority in this area, honest Bible students will grant no such connection. Civil authorities, including courts and legislative bodies, have absolutely no role in the granting of divine pardon. Jesus had power on earth to forgive sins (Mk. 2:10). In Luke 6:37, apoluo is used to stress this right or power. Luke 6:37 twice uses apoluo in ways having nothing to do with civil authorities, or cultural procedures or requirements. These things simply arenít inherent in the word.

"Let" (to set free, release, loose)

   Luke 13 tells of a sick woman who was healed by Jesus. She "had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up." The next verse says, "But when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and said to her, "Woman, you are loosed from (apoluo) your infirmity" (Luke 13:11-12). Early in the next chapter we read:

{2} "And behold, there was a certain man before Him who had dropsy.

{3} "And Jesus, answering, spoke to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, ĎIs it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?í

{4} "But they kept silent. And He took him and healed him, and let him go (apoluo)" (Luke 14:2-4, NKJV)

   Nothing is said in either of these passages about any civil law procedure. Apoluo was used of the womanís being freed or released from the effects of her infirmity, and of the man being dismissed from the Lordís presence. Jesus had the right to do both. Emphasis is not upon any procedure for loosing, but upon the right to loose.

"Liberty"

   Closely related to the previous examples, the King James translators opted for the word "liberty" as an acceptable rendering of apoluo in a couple of passages. The Hebrew writer said, "Know ye that our brother Timothy is set at liberty (apoluo); with whom, if he come shortly, I will see you" (Heb. 13:23). Concerning Paul, Agrippa told Festus, "This man might have been set at liberty (apoluo), if he had not appealed unto Caesar" (Acts 26:32). The idea is that of being released or freed, as newer versions have it. Again, just because the general term apoluo is used in connection with governmental action does not mean that it always implies such involvement. We have examined many passages already, and shall see many more ahead, that simply do not make any such connection.

"Send" (send away, let go)

   After Jesus had cast the demons out of the man in the country of the Gadarenes, the man returned to Jesus, hoping that he might stay with Him. "But Jesus sent him away (apoluo), saying, ĎReturn to your own houseÖí" (Luke 8:38-39). Acts 13:3 tells of the occasion when the prophets and teachers at the church in Antioch were told to "Separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." After fasting and praying, they laid their hands on them and "sent them away (apoluo)." Vine observes that "this sending was a letting go, intimating that they would gladly have retained them."

   On different occasions we read where Jesus sent the multitudes away (apoluo) (Matt. 14:15,22,23; Mk. 6:36,45; 8:3,9). All of these passages use the word apoluo and none of them either state or imply anything about civil authorities or cultural procedures! Honest Bible students are simply forced to conclude that the Greek word that is translated "divorce" in many translations of the Bible does not necessarily include any particular civil or cultural procedure.

"Release"

   In the parable of forgiveness, the servant with great debt fell down at his masterís feet and pleads for patience. We then read that his master "was moved with compassion, and loosed (apoluo) him, and forgave him the debt" (Matt. 18:27). Here, apoluo is used in close connection with forgiveness, as in Luke 6:37. As I pointed out there, the word is used apart from any civil law, or cultural procedure defining its action.

   It would be difficult for any Bible student to think of the word "release," without thinking of Jesus and Pilate. Several times in scripture we read about Pilateís wishes, offers and attempts to release Jesus, because he could find no fault in Him. In these passages, the word "release" is a translation of the Greek word "apoluo." In fact, in the King James Version the word "release" is always translated from the word "apoluo."

   Matthew 27:15 speaks of the custom of the governor "releasing (apoluo) unto the multitude a prisoner whom they wished." Once the crowd was gathered, "Pilate said unto them, ĎWhom will ye that I release (apoluo) unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ?í" Verse 21 indicates that Pilate asked this again. He said, "Whether of the twain will ye that I release (apoluo) unto you?" In verse 26 we see where Pilate caved to the requests of the mob: "Then released (apoluo) he Barabbas unto themÖ" Parallel passages, where the Greek apoluo is translated by the word "release," may be seen in Mark 15:6,9,11,15; Luke 23:16,18,20,22,25; and John 18:39(twice); 19:10,12.

   It is important to note, that in the above passages, apoluo is used to describe the actions of one man in granting the biased wish of an angry mob. The granting of this wish to release Barabbas meant the release of a murderer (Acts 3:14). Barabbasí release was in clear contradiction with Mosaic Law (Lev. 24:17). Thus, here is an example of the word apoluo being used to describe an unapproved loosing. Legally speaking, and ignoring the spiritual implications of this event, Jesus retained the right to be loosed, for He remained "holy and just" (Acts 3:14). Pilate, the acting civil authority, was "determined to let Jesus go" (Acts 3:13). Had Pilate acted according to his own conscience this is exactly what he would have done Ė he would have let Jesus go. The conclusion is simple. The word apoluo is a general New Testament word for loosing, releasing or freeing. Its use is no necessary reflection or infringement upon the legitimate, God-given rights of the parties involved. This fact becomes extremely important in the divorce passages that we shall consider immediately below.

"Put" (away) & "Divorce"

   The last two words that I wish to consider are the words "put" or "put away" and "divorce." From the above passages, we have learned three important things. 1) We must admit that civil courts and cultural procedures are not inherent in the word apoluo. 2) The right or power of a person or group of people to do a particular thing is what inheres in the word apoluo. 3) The Bible uses the word apoluo to refer to dismissals, even when they are contrary to the will of God.

   For the most part, brethren have had little difficulty understanding apoluo in most of the above connections. However, differences have arisen over the meaning of this same word when it is translated by the word "divorce." I would propose to you that there is absolutely no difference in the meaning and action of this word in the divorce contexts. It carries the same idea of loosing, separating, freeing, dismissing, leaving, departing or sending away. Furthermore, there is nothing inherent in the word that requires a connection with civil authority or any cultural, societal, or civil procedure. Romans 13:1-4 and 1 Peter 2:13-15 do require our compliance with civil authorities and procedures. However, this compliance is limited to areas where divine authority is not negated. Let us remember that direct statements, approved apostolic examples, and necessary conclusions express divine authority. There have been recent efforts to limit the realm of our commitment to God to direct commands, at least in areas where civil law contradicts God. This teaching is an affront to God. This doctrine tells God that His word is so weak and feeble that human authority can nullify it. This constitutes a clear lack of respect for Godís authority, and it will lead men to eternal destruction (Acts 3:22-23; Heb. 12:25).

The Power to "Put Away"

   Just as the use of apoluo in the above passages always assumes someoneís power or right to dismiss or depart, so it does in the divorce passages.

   Jesus twice used the word apoluo in Matthew 5:32, in His response to the Pharisees. Shifting attention away from common misconceptions, and directing attention back to Godís original marriage law, Jesus said, "But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away (apoluo) his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced (apoluo) committeth adultery."

   Our Lordís general use of the word apoluo means that, at any given time, and in any given marriage, both parties possess the power to break (sunder, Matt. 19:6) the physical marriage union.

   Note carefully, that I said they could break the "marriage" at any given time. There is a huge difference between a "marriage" and a marriage "bond." Herodias was still "bound" to Philip, even though she had "married" Herod (Mk. 6:17). Jesus taught that a person could divorce his wife, without scriptural cause, and "marry another," but that new union would be adulterous (Matt. 19:9). Romans 7:3 says a woman would be an adulteress if she "married" one man, while being "bound" to another. 1 Corinthians 7:11 described a woman as being "unmarried," even while maintaining the right to be reconciled with her "husband." This means she was bound though unmarried. The Bible uses the word "marriage" to describe the physical marriage relationship without regard to the marriage bond.

   Having defined my terms, if I decide today to break my marriage with my wife, I have the power to do so, and so does she. I could accomplish such by simply leaving her and never coming back, or I could divorce her through legal channels. Jesus plainly acknowledged this power on the part of married people to sunder their marriage, and He tells us that He sees all such sunderings. He also holds all parties accountable for any subsequent remarriages that may occur following these unapproved divorces. He called all such remarriages adulterous (Matt. 5:32; 19:9; Mk. 10:11-12; Lk. 16:18). Jesus stated fornication (sexual immorality) as the only acceptable grounds for divorce and remarriage, and He limited the right of remarriage to the innocent party (see my article entitled, "Grounds for Scriptural Remarriage; The Right Motive, or the Right Method?").

   Consistent with other applications of apoluo, its use in the above "putting away" passages does acknowledge the power or right of a married person to loose himself, physically, from a marriage partner. In the absence of sexual immorality on the part of one partner, this loosing is only physical, and has absolutely no affect on the actual marriage bond, which is controlled by God (Matt. 19:6). Even a fornicator can break the marriage, but he has no power over the marriage bond.

   According to Jesus, the presence of fornication changes the outcome of the remarriage scenario. In the absence of fornication, both divorced parties commit adultery by remarrying. Contrariwise, the presence of fornication in a marriage allows the innocent party the right to remarry without committing adultery. Jesus extended a new marital right to this innocent person, and it is important for us to see why. According to Jesus, the innocent personís right to remarry is based upon their spouseís sexual immorality. As we said above, the very use of the word apoluo proves that anyone can break a marriage. However, in marriages involving the sin of fornication by one party, Jesus said the innocent person has power over the marriage bond, not just the physical union. Note that in these cases, the right that is inherent in apoluo includes the right of remarriage! This is the part of the divorce equation that some people fail to see. The presence of fornication changes the outcome of the remarriage scenario. It shifts the "putting away" rights from the marriage relationship to the marriage bond. Given the recent controversy, I must stress this last point. When fornication is present in a marriage, and one person is innocent, apoluo still emphasizes a right of someone to do something. However, unlike the many passages above, where apoluo rights were often possessed merely upon the basis of oneís physical position over others, the innocent personís remarriage rights are given by JESUS (Matt. 5:32; 19:9).

Godís Example of "Putting Away"

   The Old Testament provides us with the rationale and basis for this New Testament legislation. In describing Israelís unfaithfulness to the Lord, Jeremiah 3:20 says,

"Surely as a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, saith the LORD."

   Even though Israelís infidelity had already caused her to "depart" from God to join her new lovers (see Ezek. 23:9-11), yet God retained His putting away rights against her. Jeremiah 3:8 says, "And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also." Israel had committed adultery "with stones and with stocks" (idolatry, Jer. 3:9), and her "treacherous sister," Judah, was following in Israelís footsteps. This same language is used in Malachi chapter two, where God condemns Judahís unfaithfulness, frivolous divorces and religiously mixed marriages (Mal. 2:14-16). In the same way that the fornicator "deals treacherously against" his spouse by his own sexual unfaithfulness, even so Israel and Judah had dealt treacherously against their God through their unfaithfulness.

   Godís right to put Israel away was based upon Israelís unfaithfulness, not upon any subsequent action that Israel may have taken, or the speed with which God reacted. In fact, as the innocent party, God retained absolute control over when the putting away would occur. We should note that God mercifully granted Israel a sufficient amount of time for her to acknowledge her wrongs and return to Him. Before putting Israel away, He sent many prophets urging her to repent (Jer. 3:12). Sadly, they cast God behind their backs and turned to their lovers, the gods of Egypt, Assyria, and Babylon (Ezek. 23).

   Ezekiel 23:18 describes a defining point in Godís mind, at which He could no longer tolerate Israelís detestable ways. The verse says, "So she carried on her whoredoms, and exposed her nakedness: then my mind was alienated from her, like as my mind was alienated from her sister." At that point God made the decision to put Israel away. He began to withhold His protective providence over her. He would allow her enemies to overrun her (Ezek. 23:23-ff). He would cut off her rain (Jer. 3:3), and He would replace her blessings with curses (Mal. 2:2).

   Just as God tried to lead Israel to repentance and reconciliation, an innocent party may try to lead a sexually unfaithful mate to repentance. The amount of time permitted for this is for the innocent person to decide: Not the fornicator. At some point, whether sooner or later, the innocent party will make the decision that ultimately determines the marital status of the guilty party. Either the innocent personís mind will be "alienated" from the guilty, as Godís was against Israel, or they will allow the guilty to return to the marriage bed. Either way, it is not for the fornicator to decide.

   Just as Ezekiel 23:18 described the point at which Godís mind was alienated from Israel, so that He determined to put her away for her unfaithfulness, Maryís husband, Joseph, reached a similar conclusion. The word apoluo is used in Matthew 1:19 in reference to Josephís intended actions against Mary. Not knowing the peculiar circumstances of Maryís pregnancy, "Joseph, her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away (apoluo) privately" (Matt.1:19). Based upon Josephís limited knowledge of the situation, and assuming that he had legitimate cause for putting away, he had decided to loose himself from Mary. This simple verse uses the word apoluo to emphasize Josephís (perceived) right to put Mary away for a scriptural cause. Of course, the angel intervened and upon learning the facts, Joseph changed his mind.

   In Matthew 19:3 the Pharisees asked Jesus, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce (apoluo) his wife for just any reason?" Jesus answered that question in verse 9 when He said, "And I say unto you, whoever divorces (apoluo) his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery." Apoluo is also found in Mark 10:11 and 12 and in Luke 16:18 (twice). The word carries the same force in these passages as it does in others. Depending upon the subject, someone has the right or power to do a particular thing or act in a particular way. As I explained above, in divorce cases not involving fornication, either party may "put away" the marriage. However, in cases that do involve fornication, the innocent party possesses an additional right: The right to remarry without committing adultery. Jesus predicated this right upon the guilty partyís fornication, not upon civil or cultural divorce procedures. It is a right inherent in apoluo, which is extended to the innocent party in divorces involving the sin of fornication.

   I am hopeful that this study has helped you to see and understand how the word "apoluo" is used in the Bible. I hope you have learned that the word stresses separation rights, rather than separation actions and procedures. Godís people will never be able to unite upon human decrees and civil procedures, nor do they need to do so. However, all that are willing to accept Godís word, as an exclusive guide of faith and practice will be able to maintain unity. To this end, let us allow God, not human courts, to authorize our practices and define our terms.

Tim Haile

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