Response #3 to Brother Ron Chaffin 

By David Watts Jr. 

The following is a response to a letter brother Chaffin mailed on September 8, 2005 and I received on September 12, 2005. See Reply To David Watts Jr. No. 2

I encourage each reader to carefully read and consider everything brother Chaffin has said in his letter, carefully comparing it to the revealed Scriptures. I am confident that when the reader does that, he will again find brother Chaffin’s reply to be out of step with plainly revealed Scripture.

Brother Chaffin has said much in his most recent reply. I’ll not attempt to reply to every point he raises, as much of what he has said is undeserving of a reply, and much of the rest has been addressed before in my various replies to him and to others. Instead of replying to each and every point, the focus will continue to be on the fact that brother Chaffin continues to teach that a put away wife can lawfully marry another while her ex-husband still lives.

He persists in this false teaching despite clear prohibitions in Scripture such as Mt. 19:9 and in a variety of other places. His teaching is contrary to Scripture. His steadfast refusal thus far to repent from this false teaching reminds us of the Bible’s command to reject those who will not follow the Bible’s teaching (2 John 9-11)

In his September 8, 2005 reply to me, the reader will not only find much false teaching, but the reader will find even more stunning examples of brother Chaffin’s unbridled animosity toward one who will dare to challenge his teaching. Two examples will suffice to give the reader a sampling of the vile aftertaste of brother Chaffin’s bitter and vindictive tone.

Brother Chaffin says of me:

·                    “I believe that on the same basis that other mentally handicapped will get to heaven, then so will you. So just sit back, take it easy brother, and I’ll see you in heaven after awhile.”

And if that were not enough, he further impugns my mental ability by offering to write a more detailed explanation but instead says:

·                    “…it is questionable whether he would have the mental capability to understand what I did write anyway…”

Sadly, when brother Chaffin realizes that his teaching has no Scriptural basis he reaches for the only tool left at his disposal: personal assassination.

As for me, I’ll not resort to such carnal tactics. I will continue to demonstrate from the Scriptures that a put away person is prohibited from marrying another while their original spouse lives.

Last Response?

Brother Chaffin begins by claiming that I promised that my 2nd response was my final response. He mocks me for bowing out of the discussion so quickly. Here’s the single statement over which brother Chaffin is concerned:

“Dear reader, notice that neither in my first response to brother Chaffin, nor in this last response, have I questioned brother Chaffin’s honor, called him a liar, accused him of trying to make me “look stupid,” questioned his knowledge of the English language or compared him to President Clinton. Yet, he evidently finds such tactics to be proper.”

I’ve added a bit of emphasis to highlight the sentence in question. When I wrote that sentence, I was drawing a contrast between the manner of my writing and the manner of brother Chaffin’s writing. My writing deals with Scripture. His writing uses personal attacks and character assassination.

My intention was simply to distinguish my first response from “this my last (most recent) response.” “Last” was used in the sense of “most recent” response, not final response. It was never in my heart to arbitrarily end my dialogue with brother Chaffin.

But in the interest of clarity let me again invite brother Chaffin to agree to a formal written discussion involving a predetermined proposition, a set number of articles and a set word length for each article. Then, whether it is a four-part exchange or a six-part exchange, there will be no confusion. I am confident we can find a place where such an exchange can be published.

Brother Chaffin has refused so far to participate in a formal discussion, instead preferring this ad hoc discussion. Perhaps this time he will say “yes.”

Where Are We?

Before addressing various points in brother Chaffin’s second article, we need to summarize the state of our discussion at the present.

·                    I have shown from the Scriptures that God says unlawful divorce terminates the marriage, leaving the man and woman unmarried (1 Cor. 7:10-11). Brother Chaffin stands opposed to the Scriptures since he continues to claim that unlawful divorce does not terminate the marriage.

·                    I have shown from the Scriptures that when Christ authorizes a person to divorce their mate “for sexual immorality” (Mt. 19:9 – NKJV) He is addressing sexual immorality that occurred during the marriage, prior to the divorce and which is the reason for the divorce. Brother Chaffin stands opposed to the Scriptures when he teaches that the “sexual immorality” can be that which occurred years after the original divorce, occurred outside the realm of a marriage and was not the reason for the divorce.

·                    I have shown from the Scriptures that Christ’ use of apoluo in Mt. 19:1-12 shows that the kind of divorce that Christ is authorizing for fornication is that which results in termination of all normal attributes of a marriage. It results in a termination of cohabitation, sexual relationship, companionship, etc. Brother Chaffin continues to oppose the Scriptures when he claims that the divorce Christ authorizes is one that can occur years after all normal attributes of the marriage have already been terminated.

·                    I have shown from the Scriptures that the authority to divorce one’s mate for sexual immorality exists in a context of two people who are married and bound. I have shown that brother Chaffin attempts to drag that authority into a new context where two people are indeed bound (per Romans 7), but not married. While the Bible authorizes one to put away the person to whom they are married and bound, Brother Chaffin continues to be unable to show Bible authority for one to “divorce” a person to whom they are not married yet bound.

·                    I have shown from the Scriptures that God expressly prohibits a put away person from marrying another while their original mate still lives. I have shown from the Scriptures that when unlawful divorce occurs the man and woman may reconcile to each other (1 Cor. 7:10-11), thus marrying each other again.

Unfortunately, brother Chaffin continues to oppose God’s word.

A Just Charge?

Brother Chaffin makes a serious charge against me. Let us examine this charge fairly to see if I have wronged him in some way. Here’s his complaint:

“Remember, that you have never met me before, never studied with me before, but right off the bat you tell me that I am victimizing people, so you are rejecting me, because I give false hope to people by preaching another gospel… The apostle Paul said, ‘AFTER a first and second admonition reject’ (Titus 3:10), but you did it ON THE FIRST.”

Is this a just charge? Let’s call some evidence into testimony.

I read brother Chaffin’s public writing sometime in January or February of 2005. On February 24, 2005 I wrote to brother Chaffin privately and told him that I believed he was teaching false doctrine. Given that his teaching was public in nature, I communicated to him privately that I planned to write a public response to his teaching. I privately asked him if he still believed these things. I privately asked him if the articles were indeed genuine and truly his. I asked him privately if perhaps his writing was just sort of a “thinking out loud” sort of document that was not really intended for public consumption. I even asked him privately if there was some particular reason why he felt I should not respond to his article.

I assured him privately that I was not trying to be disagreeable. I assured him privately that my effort was strictly an effort to teach the truth accurately and to reject false teaching.

Knowing that formal written discussions have certain advantages over impromptu and informal discussions, I then invited brother Chaffin to participate in a formal written discussion and asked for his thoughts on all this at his earliest convenience.

What do you suppose was brother Chaffin’s response to my inquiry? Perhaps he carefully wrote back and offered to discuss and study our differences? No. Instead, he wrote back and said in part:

“…If after that debate {Smith – Haile} 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. {emphasis mine – dwjr}

“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. {emphasis mine – dwjr} I know you have issued debate challenges to others as well so maybe one of them will be willing.

Clearly, brother Chaffin knew that I had major concerns with his teaching, yet refused to engage in a discussion of those matters or even answer simple questions designed to make sure that I was understanding his teaching correctly. Rather than “give a defense,” he simply gave up. Not only did he refuse a public discussion, but he refused further private email contact.

Now, let the careful reader observe that brother Chaffin knows these facts. He knows that I approached him privately. He knows that I reached out to him in a concerned and well-intention fashion. He knows that I tried to give him every benefit of the doubt. But brother Chaffin also knows that he rebuffed my efforts and prevented any future dialogue.

Not to be discouraged by his above private reply to me, I even wrote to him again privately, but he was not willing to discuss these matters either privately or publicly.

Since brother Chaffin knows these facts, why does he act as though my first article was the first time he knew of my concerns? The facts indicate otherwise. Brother Chaffin knew of my concerns and rejected any future dialogue (public or private) with me.

Where, Where, Where?

Brother Chaffin wants to know where he said “anything” about a “post divorce-divorcing.” Perhaps brother Chaffin dislikes that term because he knows it does great damage to his false doctrine.

But, let’s show it again in black and white – in brother Chaffin’s own words. His original material said this:

“He goes and gets a no fault divorce… So in the above situation he has repudiated (put away) her and his vows to her, but is still bound to her by God… 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… and be free to marry another if she wishes. This is exactly what Jesus teaches in Mk. 10:11…”

Not a single word between the quotation marks belongs to me. Every word belongs to brother Chaffin.

Now, let’s break down what he said into a more workable format:

1.                  He describes a man who divorces his wife.

2.                  He says of that situation, “in the above situation he has repudiated (put away) her and his vows to her…”

3.                  Brother Chaffin acknowledges that this is a divorce.

4.                  He then says that when the man marries another, “she (1st wife) can then repudiate him and her vows to him… and be free to marry another if she wishes.”

5.                  And, brother Chaffin claims that all of this is taught by Jesus in Mk 10:11.

6.                  Since Jesus is talking about divorce in Mk 10:11, it is right to conclude that brother Chaffin understands this repudiation by the woman of her husband – as divorce.

So, we have a divorce, and then we have another divorce.

Ř                  Divorce number one is that which the man did to his wife.

Ř                  Divorce number two is that which the woman can supposedly do to her ex-husband.

While brother Chaffin considers me to be “mentally handicapped,” I have enough mental capacity to know that “post” means “after or afterwards.” Since brother Chaffin does factually believe (stated in his own words above) that a divorce that comes after the original divorce is authorized by Mk 10:11, then brother Chaffin does factually speak in support of a “post-divorce divorce.”

The truth is, brother Chaffin knows good and well that he spoke in favor of a divorce following the original divorce – or a post-divorce divorce. His attempt to claim otherwise rings as hollow as his false doctrine.

Six Years or 40 Years?

Here’s another of the same kind of thing. Please note very carefully brother Chaffin’s own claims. He has factually argued that the interval between the unlawful divorce of the wife and her learning of his present adultery and subsequent mental repudiation is irrelevant. He has repeatedly argued that it doesn’t matter.

He in fact used the words “six months or two years” to argue that it didn’t matter how long the second post-divorce “divorce” took place after the original divorce. Again, from brother Chaffin’s first article:

“How long after he put her away did he remarry and therefore commit adultery? Jesus didn’t say did He? It may have been six months or two years for all we know.”

Therefore, since it does not matter how long the interval has been, it can easily be six months (his words) or two years (his words) or 40 years (my words).

Brother Chaffin thinks I referenced 40 years in order to score emotional points. On the contrary, I mentioned 40 years because it is the fact of what brother Chaffin believes and teaches. He can deny it if he wishes, but he wrote the sentence, not me. What would be far better than empty denials is for brother Chaffin to repudiate such an ungodly concept.

Thayer Again

Brother Chaffin continues to stand his ground with Thayer even when it arrays him against Christ. That really is quite remarkable. Brother Chaffin thinks that I do like the Baptists, Methodists, and Christian church people do – in setting aside what Thayer says for convenience sake about the Greek word eis as it relates to “baptism for the remission of sins.”

I certainly hope that brother Chaffin is relying upon God’s word to convince the Baptists, Methodists, and Christian church people that they are doing wrong, and not relying upon Thayer.

The reason we convince the Baptists and Methodists that they are mistaken about the usage of eis is because of what God says and how He uses eis.

And likewise, as I demonstrated in my second article, we must see how Jesus uses the words apoluo and the word translated adultery. And while brother Chaffin desperately needs to accept Thayer’s definition of “repudiation” as the final word (unfortunately for brother Chaffin, even Thayer has much more to say about it) – Christ shows that apoluo means much more than repudiation. Christ shows it requires the termination of the physical relationship – a “sending out of the house.”

Perhaps brother Chaffin will tell us how a person can sever what has already been severed. Perhaps he will tell us how a person who has seen every part of the marriage relationship cut off, can now cut off what was already cut off. Perhaps he will tell us how a person that Paul describes as “unmarried” can now repudiate what has already been broken and shattered.

Perhaps he will also tell us why he claims the parties to an unlawful divorce are still married, yet the apostle Paul says the parties to a divorce are “unmarried.”

Brother Chaffin did not do much to try to defend these amazing statements from his first article. Perhaps he is not so comfortable with the way he once spoke. I quoted these in my second article. I’ll quote them again here.

Brother Chaffin said:

·                    “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.” (13)

·                    “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.” (16)

·                    “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.” (19)

·                    “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.” (19)

Hear brother Chaffin loud and clear. He says that when a man divorces his wife (not for fornication) they are still married! Paul says they are “unmarried” (1 Cor. 7:10). Brother Chaffin says they are “still married.” This pattern of brother Chaffin’s arraying himself in complete opposition to what the Bible teaches is very concerning. Let’s recap some examples of where he has placed himself.

The Bible Says

Brother Chaffin Says

Divorce leaves the man and wife unmarried.

Divorce leaves the man and wife married.

The put away wife may not marry another.

The put away wife may marry another.

Lawful divorce is that which was prompted by fornication (sexual immorality) in the marriage and which ends the marriage.

Lawful divorce is that which can occur years after the original divorce for adultery which occurred years after the divorce.


1 Cor. 7:10

It seems that Brother Chaffin wants to do some strange things with 1 Cor. 7:10. What does the “depart” of 1 Cor. 7:10 mean? Whatever it means, its action leaves the two people “unmarried.” That’s divine revelation.

Now, what could possibly leave two people “unmarried?” Well, I suppose brother Chaffin and I would agree that death leaves two people “unmarried.” So is Paul talking about death? Obviously Paul is not referring to death, for a dead person cannot “be reconciled” to their former mate as described in 1 Cor. 7:11.

What then could Paul possibly be describing? Maybe “depart” means she got mad at her husband? But getting mad at your spouse doesn’t make you “unmarried.”

In truth, the word “depart” is parallel with three other instances of the word “divorce.” Paul says, “And a man should not divorce his wife.” This is parallel to “a wife is not to depart…”

Brother Chaffin then asks how this woman can be reconciled to her ex-husband? The answer is plain and simple. If she and her husband unlawfully divorced and now realize that it was wrong and wish to make it right, they reconcile by simply marrying each other again.

Paul’s command to be reconciled is in perfect harmony with the Lord’s prohibition against a divorced person marrying another person. They may marry each other again if repentance and reconciliation opens that door, for factually they are still bound to each other (Rom. 7).

Not a Real Divorce?

Brother Chaffin then takes issue with my citation of eight Bible passages to show that the unlawful divorce is still a real divorce with real consequences. I never thought I would hear a gospel preacher chastise another gospel preacher for quoting accurately the words of Jesus. Yet brother Chaffin does just that:

“And you quote bits and pieces from 8 verses to try to prop this argument up. Here is another of your SMOKE SCREENS.”

I quoted phrases from Jesus Christ, God in the flesh. I’m surprised that doesn’t move brother Chaffin. It really should.

But brother Chaffin says,

“Rather than give us 8 bits and pieces, bro. Watts, what you need to do is give JUST ONE statement from scripture that says that God accepts or condones such unscriptural divorces, or where He gives the ungodly the right to do so. JUST ONE!”

I have provided that one verse, and will provide it again. The question is “will you accept it?” Jesus said:

“Whoever divorces his wife, except it be for fornication, and marries another commits adultery. And whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.” (Mt. 19:9)

Right in this ONE verse, we have the following:

·                    A man divorces his wife for unlawful reasons (not for fornication).

·                    He marries another and commits adultery.

·                    Whoever marries the woman who was divorced, commits adultery.

This one simple verse proves that the divorce action, although unlawful, is still real and still has real consequences. The one who was put away – cannot lawfully marry another. Take it or leave it brother Chaffin, but clearly the divorce has real consequences. Does God approve of the unlawful divorce? No. Clearly it is sinful. But does it still have real consequences? Absolutely.

It is true that Christ says, “Let not man put asunder…” But does that mean it is impossible for man to put asunder? It does not mean that it is impossible for man to “put asunder.” Rather, Christ is saying that man should not “put asunder.”

Paul also tells Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:12, “Let no man despise thy youth…”

Yet brother Chaffin in his reply has repeatedly sought to despise my “youth.” I fully understand why a man in his difficult position must turn to such carnal techniques, but does the fact that he has done what God forbids make it any less real? Of course not – when he despises my youth, it is still a real event with real consequences.

Such is the same when man “puts asunder what God has joined together.” It is unlawful, but still real and still has real consequences.


Brother Chaffin returns to the word “adultery.” Here is a very critical point. Brother Chaffin argues based upon Thayer’s definition of adultery. Since Thayer associates adultery with one being married, brother Chaffin argues the man committing the adultery in Mt. 19:9 is still married to his innocent wife. If Thayer says it, it must be so!

Or maybe not.

The reason Christ says, “whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery” is because it is adultery to have sexual relations with a person to whom you are not BOUND by God. That’s what Paul explains in Rom. 7:2-3. Nothing in Christ’s condemnation of her unlawful remarriage proves that she is still married to the first husband (and thus somehow able to mentally divorce him when he remarries.)

Again, Christ forbids what brother Chaffin teaches. I’ll take my stand with Christ.

Another Challenge?

Brother Chaffin now says:

“I challenge you to give me JUST ONE statement from Jesus where He says that adultery (fornication) must occur before the innocent is put away for the innocent to be free to marry another.”

Well brother Chaffin, your challenge is based on false suppositions. I can’t show you such a passage. Christ doesn’t say that adultery must occur before the innocent is put away for the innocent to be free to marry another. Rather, in the context of an intact (“one flesh,” Mt. 19:5-6) marriage relationship, Christ shows that the innocent must put away the guilty for the innocent to be able to lawfully marry another.

Here it is again:

“Whoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and marries another commits adultery….” Mt. 19:9.

The “except” statement forces us to make this necessary conclusion:

“Whoever puts away his wife for fornication and marries another does not commit adultery.”

The ability to divorce and marry another lawfully is given only to the one that puts away the guilty fornicator during the course of an intact, lawful marriage – for fornication that occurs during such a marriage.


Brother Chaffin instructs us regarding the phrase in Mt. 19:9 “and shall marry another.” Brother Chaffin says:

“So that when he takes ‘another of the same sort,’ of what is He talking? Another “wife,” of course. AND THAT IS WHAT MAKES IT ADULTERY!”

But this in no way proves that the man is still married to the first wife. Rather, as Paul explains, he is still bound to the first wife. According to 1 Cor. 7:10 he is no longer married to the first wife but according to Rom. 7 he is still bound to the first wife. We must keep these two concepts clear in our minds.

Unlawful divorce leaves people unmarried (1 Cor. 7) but still bound (Rom. 7). Future sexual relations are sinful.

Romans 7 – Finally

Finally, brother Chaffin has a few words about Romans 7. The thrust of his argument here is that Paul says, “if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man…” The argument goes like this:

·                    Paul describes the woman’s ex-husband as “her husband” – therefore they are still married!

·                    Therefore, if they are still married, such post-divorce adultery gives the innocent the right to repudiate the guilty and now be free to marry another.

So here we have it, the final proof text. The case is closed, the discussion is over. Brother Chaffin has found a passage that refers to the woman’s ex-husband as “her husband” proving forevermore that divorce leaves the man and woman still married to each other “in God’s eyes.”

So what we can learn from this place is that anywhere a spouse is referred to as “your husband” or “their husband” – it proves they are still married. Right?

Perhaps not.

Well, let’s test this theory of brother Chaffin’s. We shall test it in Acts 5. Verse 9 would be a suitable place to test this theory. Let’s see what we have:

“Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out.”

By using this theory of brother Chaffin’s (that anytime a spouse is referred to as one’s “husband” or “wife” it proves that they are presently married) we learn this astonishing fact: Even after Ananias died, he was still married to Sapphira.

Yet we must also consider that Paul declares that death severs the bond. Therefore, taking these passages together we see that they apparently remain married after death, but are no longer bound. Thus, because a wife is no longer bound to her husband, she is free to marry another.

Except now when she marries another, she has two husbands. This sounds more and more like the confusion of those Pharisees concerning the wife and her seven husbands.

But the careful Bible student realizes that the Bible will sometimes refer to the parties in a dialogue by use of a simple identifying attribute. That was the case in Acts 5 and it is the case in Rom. 7 as well. “Thy husband” is simply the language used to identify the man being referred to. “Thy husband” is used for identification purposes, not to prove that Sapphira was still married to a dead man.

Brother Chaffin asks, “Does the Spirit know how to say “former husband”? Of course the Spirit knows how to communicate this phrase. As brother Chaffin illustrated, sometimes the Spirit used that kind of phrase. But just as the Spirit chose not to use the term “former harlot” to identify Rahab, He chose not to use “former husband” in Acts 5:9 – because it is obvious to even those who brother Chaffin considers “mentally handicapped” that Sapphira’s marriage to Ananias was over when he died. And Scripture confirms it (1 Cor. 7:10-11).

Is There More?

There is much more than can be said. But there is even more that has already been said in my prior public responses to brother Chaffin. You can find them on or I will be glad to email you my various articles if you’ll let me know at

I pray that brother Chaffin will relent from this false teaching and align himself with the plainly revealed teaching of Christ in Mt. 5:32, 19:9, Mark 10:10-11 and Luke 16:18.

Until such time, I again invite brother Chaffin to narrow the focus of our discussion by agreeing to a formal proposition and a formal written debate.

I hope this time he will say, “yes.” 

David Watts Jr.
7632 Gull Road
Gilmer, TX 75645

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Last Updated:  Thursday, January 26, 2006 12:41 PM