To the readers of the Anabaptist Voice magazine

Recently we sent an article to the editor of the Anabaptist Voice (AV) which is about: Marriage, divorce and remarriage, in the context of Biblical historical and cultural background. The editor has decided to publish some of this in the AV No. 31 (winter 2024), in the "Round Table Discussions" section. 

The way this has been reproduced totally ignores the intent or meaning of the article sent. In fact, the article/document sent along, is not even mentioned or referred to at all! What remains is a comment by the editor himself justifying his (USA Mennonite) position, without refuting a single argument of the article sent along. 

In order to give every AV reader the opportunity to properly assess this, we provide here the complete email correspondence with the AV editor, so that the AV reader can judge for himself whether the editor has represented and handled matters fairly and honestly or not! 

For those interested in the totally ignored article sent along to AV, here is the link.


Email correspondence in time line order starting with my first email:


Dear Brother James,

First of all, thank you for publishing AV. We enjoy reading it in the Netherlands for several years now. Yes, that is how far the AV goes. 

Now you probably know that the situation in other parts of the world regarding marriage, divorce and remarriage can be quite different. This is also true in Europe (and especially in the Netherlands where we live). 

A lot followers of Christ (who feel most at home in the Anabaptist/Amish corner), after coming out of the world and accepting God as our Giver of Life and Christ as our Savior and turning our lives and actions towards Him, are unfortunately not accepted by the Anabaptist communities in the USA. 

This because, many were once married and divorced in the world and are now (re)married in the Lord. 

Any sin we have done in the world, repented of, and let go of (even though there are things we can never "fix" again) is forgiven by these groups, except when people are remarried (after a worldly marriage) in the Lord. Isn't that strange? (1 Cor.6:9-11)

This has puzzled me. So I went deeper into what the Bible really says about this in the context of the historical and cultural background. So here attached is a comprehensive article I wrote on my findings (translated into my best English) on marriage, divorce, and remarriage. 

Perhaps you will find it interesting and challenging enough to publish it (in whole of parts of) in a future AV?

I realize that the conclusions are rather contrary to the traditional views held by most Anabaptist congregations in the U.S., but hopefully that will not prevent you from giving it some attention, as you have often done with other controversial issues. 

Holding on to traditions is good, except when they turn out not to be Scriptural (Matt. 15:3). 

I hope to hear from you soon, and may God bless you and your work, 

a brother in Christ, Boaz Harmsen, The Netherlands.



Brother Boaz,
I would like to use part of your letter in the AV30 Round Table.
Peace, James


(Same date)

Dear brother James,

thank you for your response, and willingness to publish this controversial topic.
We know how 'strong' the Anabaptists community thinks about this, and it shows your courage
that you want to pay attention to this.

We're looking forward to read about it and the reactions also.

May God Bless You with all your work for the Kingdom, Boaz



Brother Boaz,
Greetings. I am interested in the nature of your publishing work. Publishing really does take a lot of effort and money. I spent a lot of money self-publishing the first three books in the Conquest Series. Thankfully some of it has come back in royalties since CAM Books decided to publish the series. Your letter came in after AV30 was already in the works. We have included part of your letter and a response in the AV31 Round Table. Lord willing, AV31 will go to press sometime in January.
Peace, James 



Dear Brother James,

Thank you for your prompt reply and willingness to publish part of it in AV31.

I would like also suggest providing the link to the PDF version of the full article I've sent you, which is available on our website, so that people can read (and/or download) the whole article, and the evidence presented theirin for themselves. Here is the link to the complete article in English:


We are a small Christian publishing house. Most of the material we present digital, because (as you mentioned) is printing on paper expensive. We have translated some books and articles by David Berçot amongst others, into Dutch. You can have a quick look for yourself on our website:

https://plain-living.nl (only in Dutch).

Or more specifically and in several languages available our website with amongst others, topics the early Christians also write about. (https://oldtimereligion.nl)

I look forward to reading AV31,

Blessings, Boaz



Brother Boaz,

Thank you for your letter.

We want to encourage you and Rebekah in your dedication to following Christ.That is the right way to be part of His kingdom.

Maybe I am misleading you.  I did not say I was going to publish part of your document.

I am publishing part of your “letter.” We want our readers to know your perspective on divorce and remarriage.

Then we will give our thoughts on the correct biblical interpretation and application of the scripture.
We very seldom reference other websites.

Peace, James



Brother James,

Thank you for your encouraging words.

About the article in AV31:

My personal experience, opinion, interpretation or perspective is totally irrelevant, useless, and complete of no interest for your readers.

If you haven't read the document, which is the underlying Biblical, cultural and historical presented evidence, my personal 'opinion' is only one of many human opinions about the subject.

So I'm not (and your readers shouldn't also be) interested in someone's personal opinions (even my own),
but only in Biblical Truth

We should want to know WHAT JESUS MEANT, when He answered the question in Matt. 19
"“Is it lawful to divorce a wife for any cause?”"

As I understand, you want to share my personal opinion or experience with the Anabaptists readers in the USA, related to the subject. But then you (and your readers) are missing the whole point of the discussion. As I wrote, you and your readers should be concerned about what Jesus really meant, and not in my personal, totally subjective opinion.

And that's including anyone's (correct????) 'thoughts' about the subject, if you don't have Biblical underlying arguments.

That's why the document is unseparable from my personal letter. You can't have a fair discussion without presenting all the facts given for a controversial subject as this, against the doctrine of what the Anabaptists now hold as 'Biblical truth'. 

(See chapter 12 of the document that it is, by the way, not even a historical Anabaptist view at all.)

We haven't anything to do or fellowship with anyone of your Anabaptists / Mennonite fellowships in the USA, and are not visiting or are a member of any church or group. That's because we belong to Christ's Church, His body of believers, as Acts 7:48 says: "Yet the Most High does not live in houses made by human hands," (NET)

So don't print (parts) of our personal opinion (or letter) about the subject. It's not worth reading and discussing it, again, without the arguments presented in the document. 

Use the arguments in the document with Biblical, cultural and historical facts, and let your readers 'counterfeit' this, if they want or can, with the use of Scripture. Only then you and your readers can and will have a useful 'round table' discussion.

Blessings, Boaz.



Brother Boaz,

Please be patient with us.

I did print off and read most or all of your paper on divorce and remarriage.
We will not use your name with anything that comes out in AV31.

It seems to us your paper is trying to prove something the Bible does not say.
But if we disagree in our understanding, your argument is with God and not with me or AV.

I said I want to encourage you in obedience to Christ. 
So continue to maintain a good conscience void of offense toward God and toward men.

Peace, James


End of correspondence before printing in AV31

Last email from me:


To Mr. James Landis, editor of the Anabaptist Voice,

We are very disappointed and troubled by your honesty in how you have handled the information we have provided you regarding the item, Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage.

The published article in AV31 Round Table, has been totally taken out of context, and has only been used to reflect your own opinion / tradition. You have ignored my explicit request not to publish anything about this if you do not want to refer to the article. Therefore, we have placed all our email correspondence with you and your replies on our website, with a reference to the article in question, so that the readers of AV can judge for themselves whether you have dealt with this honestly and sincerely or not! We are also sending the link of this website item to our contacts in the US.

We hereby cancel our subscription to the Anabaptist Voice.
Because we don’t want to have contact with people who act 

But most of all, God is the Judge if we stand for Him.

Regards Boaz.


© OTR 2023