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Homer Hailey and the Law of the Gentiles

"I have concluded that Brother Hailey developed this doctrine exclusively to deal with Marriage, divorce, and remarriage controversy raging within the church.  Homer Hailey’s “Law of the Gentile” was designed against the “Guilty Party” group but sought to eliminate Matthew 19 as binding on individuals before baptism.” Bobby G. Goodman Jr.

I. The published works of Homer Hailey establish that the Marriage and Divorce question produced a shift in Brother Hailey’s public beliefs.

1951 A.D. “Let’s Go Fishing For Men”, (Cogdill Foundation),: Homer Hailey produced one of the best known, widely used books in the church. He completely outlines the basic beliefs of the church and a method of teaching lost souls. Lessons three and four, “The Two Covenants” and "The New Covenant and Great Commission,” record Hailey's beliefs about this very subject. Not a single mention or hint is made about a “Law of the Gentiles.” His statements in this book outlines the church's traditional  beliefs and make arguments about all men being under Jesus’ law and no other. It is conclusive, Hailey did not then believe in the “Law of the Gentile,” at least publicly.

1973 A.D. “That You May Believe”, Baker Book Company” : Brother Hailey wrote this book to establish belief in Christ from the gospel of John. The “Law of the Gentile” is not mentioned or taught here either. Brother Hailey makes the same point about the Gentiles that I made in my teaching, "that the Gentiles were without God and therefore without a law from God.  Gentile wisdom and philosophy had failed miserably, for all Gentiles were without God and without hope in the world.” (page 71).  On page 68, Brother Hailey makes the ancient and traditional point that both Jew and Gentile needed Jesus' revelation,  the Gentiles were "ignorant of God".  On page 69, He states plainly that without Jesus "there is no other way or means of access."  I would suggest that Hailey's disciples read chapter 11 of this book which Hailey nicely outlines why people don't believe scripture and start their own doctrines: Superficial or fickle belief, Lack of Spiritual Perception, fear and moral cowardice, Lack of love of God, love for darkness, love of the glory of men, love of self and material things, hardened and prejudiced heart, intellectual pride, indifference! Amen, Brother Hailey

1991 A.D. “The Divorced and Remarried Who Would Come to God”, Nevada Publications: After 36 pages of outlining what is “The Law of the Gentiles” Brother Hailey says on page 37, “What does this have to do with the subject of marriage-divorce-remarriage? It simply shows that the people of the world are under a system of law other than Christ’s New Covenant.” This was a major departure from his previous teachings.

What happened between 1973 and 1991? The marriage and divorce question!

1972 Smith-Lacuata Debate

1976 Smith-Lovelady Debate

1977 Divorce and Remarriage by J.D. Thomas

1978 Divorce and Remarriage by Olan Hicks

1988 Incident At Belen, New Mexico in which Brother Hailey reveals a different belief then was previously published in his books. [See booklet “Fellowship on Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage” by Samuel G. Dawson for an account from a defender of Homer Hailey]

Was Homer Hailey’s publication of this new doctrine a result of the marriage and divorce question? Yes!

Based on what evidence? The doctrines appearance only after a decade of debate and controversy about divorce in the church. More importantly, Because Homer Hailey  in his book “The Divorced and Remarried Who would Come to God” connected this doctrine directly to the issue of Divorce!

1. The Law of the Gentile theory was published under the subject of Marriage and Divorce; a connection made by Homer Hailey.

2. That Homer Hailey used this law of the Gentiles to eliminate Matthew 19 as binding on individuals before baptism.” is not disputable. (see also pages 24, 25, 49, 60, 61 etc..)

Page 50, “A careful consideration of the relationship of the covenant of Christ and His law is very important, especially in view of the oft-repeated claim that those of the world are under Christ’s law (particularly that of Matt. 19:3-9).”

Page 55, “It appears that nothing could be clearer then that Matthew 19:3-10 referred not to the world, but to the citizens of ‘the kingdom of heaven’, the kingdom He came to establish.”

Page 55, “In considering Matthew 19:3-9, it should be carefully noted that Jesus is talking to Jews, men in covenant relationship with God, who had come to Him with a loaded questions; ‘Is it Lawful’ (according to the law of Moses) which identified the scope of the question asked. Gentiles, people out of covenant relationship with God, are not under consideration.”

Page 59, “Matthew 19:3-9 is a part of the covenant that the Christian lives under, not the alien. One cannot be judged by a law that he is not subject to.”

What if Homer Hailey did not change his belief on the covenants but has always believe in the existence of the Law of the Gentiles?

On page 9 of Homer Hailey's book, The Divorced and Remarried Who Would come to God, (1991, Nevada Publications) he says, "For some 50 years I have held a view on God's attitude toward divorced and remarried individuals who are seeking salvation in Christ which differs from that held by many of my brethren.  I have never hesitated to express that view privately when asked by individuals; but I have refrained from public preaching one it, except when requested by a congregation (with on possible exception which I have been told about but I don't recall) This hesitancy has been due to the explosive nature of the question and because I sought to avoid possible repercussions within congregations."

If this is so, then I would have to conclude it was deceptive to teach one thing publicly and to believe and teach another privately. (whether by the Great Homer Hailey or by a mere man such as I).  As the above references prove, brother Hailey was far from quiet about his beliefs about the Jews, Gentiles, covenants, and Christ.  He taught as we all have taught, as has been taught from the beginning by the church; that all men are under the Gospel of Christ, without any indication about this "Universal Moral Law of the Gentiles"..  So my question is: was Homer Hailey wrong then or now? deceptive then or now?  I have found this claim,  [having believed and taught their doctrines for a long time], to be common among his Law of the Gentiles disciples.  When discovered, they claim to have believed this for "many years", but those who have known and worshipped with them are aware they have publicly taught the traditional doctrines about the covenants, salvation, Gentiles, and Jesus' Gospel.  Were they wrong then or now? Were they deceptive then or now?  Everyday their actions persuade me that the deception has been there for many years.  My intelligence training recognizes evidence to the effect that they have cells of disciples who have quietly been making converts for years while telling the rest of us what we want to hear; slowly planting small but essential false ideas and assumptions in congregations.  They "come out of the closet" when they feel they have enough power to fight the battle openly.  I came from these congregations, but they did not reveal themselves to me, but fed me the standard line. More proof of an evil heart based on evidence personally available to me.

 "For "He who would love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit." 1Peter 3:10

1. History and Development of this Doctrine

2. Analysis of the Doctrine

3. What is wrong with this Doctrine

4. Ungodly Behavior

5. Homer Hailey and this Doctrine


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