Maxey - Martin Dialogue

An Email Exchange Between

Al Maxey, Minister/Elder
Cuba Avenue Church of Christ
Alamogordo, New Mexico


David Martin, Pastor
Solid Rock Baptist Church
Bartlett, Tennessee

Comments by Al Maxey

Monday, August 5, 2002


David wrote, "In your last post you state: 'The fact is: people and groups and nations EVOLVE.' Do you believe that evolution is a fact? I didn't expect you to be an evolutionist."

The word "evolve" simply means "to change or develop gradually." Over the course of time, people and groups and nations experience gradual change and development. An area, for example, may go from small rural communities to large cities. The economic situation of an area may EVOLVE from small farms to large industrial complexes. This is change, development ... "evolution" of peoples and societies.

Religious groups also evolve. The early church, for example, initially was composed of Jews in Jerusalem. It then began to develop and spread into the outer regions of the land. Other peoples (the Gentiles) were brought in. This is gradual change and development. This is the "evolution" of the church.

A single congregation may begin with a few dedicated disciples in a given area. It will then, ideally, begin to grow and develop over the course of years and generations. This congregation, hopefully, will "evolve" to the point of being able to appoint shepherds over the flock, and perhaps reach out to others in distant areas with the gospel. This, again, is evolution.

Yes, David, I believe in "evolution," as defined above. SO DO YOU!!! However, with regard to the idea that humanity "evolved" from some single-celled "something" that worked its way out of the primordial "ooze" and went through a series of "ape-like" creatures until we left the trees and began walking upright .... No, I don't embrace such a theory of evolution.


David wrote, "Here is an article written to refute mine. Would you take a look at it, and tell me if you are in agreement with this man's position." The article to which you referred me was written by a fellow member of the churches of Christ. His name is Larry Ray Hafley. I don't know Larry personally, but I know OF him. I also think he is aware of who I am. We have exchanged emails on occasion.

Larry would undoubtedly regard me as an "ultra liberal," and I consider Larry to be among the "ultra conservative" wing of the churches of Christ. Larry and I are a perfect example of the very point I have sought to make in my responses to you: the churches of Christ are a very diverse group in which one will find all manner of doctrine and practice. There are some things about which I would agree with Larry, there are other things upon which we simply do NOT agree. Yet, I consider him to be my brother IN CHRIST. As I have stated previously: one does not have to be my TWIN to be my BROTHER .... he only has to have the same Father!!

As for Larry's article, in which he sought to respond to the same challenge to the churches of Christ posed by you to which I myself responded, I would estimate I agree with about 60% of it. I thought he made some great observations, and I also believe he directed some very pointed challenges your way. Incidentally, David, did you ever respond to his article and to his challenges to your views? If so, where may one find a copy of that response?

There are some points in Larry's article with which I do NOT agree. His view of instrumental music, for example, is not my view. Larry and I have radically different perspectives of how to approach the task of interpreting God's Word, and it has led us to radically different perceptions of what our God expects of His people with regard to worship (as well as a few other areas of practical Christian application of divine principles). Nevertheless, we are both recognized leaders in the churches of Christ, and I consider him my beloved brother. All of which, once again, goes to illustrate my point, David: you can't judge the whole by the position of any one person (or group) within it. Thus, you can't judge the churches of Christ by the "southern extremists" with whom you personally have had contact. That has been your major failing, David. You've only been exposed to the rear-end of the elephant, which makes it difficult to draw an accurate picture of the entire animal itself.

By the way, David, at the beginning of Larry's response to you there is this brief background piece:

I asked you this in a private email earlier today, but would like to "put it on record" here in this post --- Would you please let us know the name of the elder with whom you had this "in-depth personal conversation," and would you also inform us of the identity of the congregation for which he served as an elder? Also, would you please provide for us the name of the evangelist with whom you had the 3-day public debate? Would you also provide us the location of the congregation for which he preached? Further, would you provide the specific location and dates for this debate? Were there audio or video tapes made of this debate, and, if there were, can they be obtained? If so, from whom? Is there a written transcript of this debate? If so, where can I obtain a copy?

David, I notice that you have posed several questions to me (which I have tried to answer), but that you have yet to address some of the major arguments I presented against some of your views of the churches of Christ and the teachings which you perceive them to embrace. I hope that in an upcoming response you will begin to deal with these legitimate challenges to some of your assertions.

I look forward to your response.

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