A futher example of how our judgment ought to be consistent is the way ecclesias deal with marriage outside the truth. We do not require separation before re-fellowship. We do however call for repentance and recognition of the law of Christ. If the erring brother or sister confesses their error and manifests the fruit of the spirit in a life in harmony with the law of Christ and directing their family to follow a godly example, the ecclesia accepts them. When the situation is compared to divorce and remarriage cases, we see both are contrary to the law the Lord. Yet the one, upon confession of sin and expressed desire for acceptance, is re-fellowshipped and may remain in a “state of being unequally yoked” for the rest of their lives. But with the other, the sacrifice of separation from spouse and possibly children is called for as “evidence” of true repentance!
Bro. Dowling, who knew Bro. Roberts personally, was well acquainted with his well-balanced judgement, and upon comparing how ecclesias deal with these two types of cases states, “The future interests of all parties are equally involved. The hope of the conversion of the unbeliever in the one case (with respect to marriage outside the truth) is more than equalised by the hope of saving a soul or souls from death (with respect to divorce and remarriage). In both cases, it is an effort to convert ‘a sinner from the error of his way’ (James 5:20). Only when they refused to acknowledge or confess their sin, are we justified in refusing to receive them. There is, in all such cases, the opportunity of seeking forgiveness with the divine assurance that ‘he that seeketh findeth’” (Matthew 7:8).