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 David Martin

Sunday, August 11, 2002

Al, you refer to the both of us as "disciples." If one of us is saved, the other is lost and therefore not a "disciple." You call our dialogue a discussion of differences between "brethren." We are NOT "brethren" according to me or YOU, if we truly believe what we say we do.

You also state that you cannot judge who is a heretic and who is not. Then it is impossible for you to obey Titus 3:10,11. A heretic is one who holds views contrary to correct Bible doctrine, particularly in regard to the fundamental doctrines, especially salvation. If you cannot discern heresy, then you cannot warn those under your spiritual care, yet, you no doubt expose what you believe is false doctrine.

As Mr. Spock used to say, "Illogical."

Al, I want to respond to your comments regarding the conversion of the Gentiles in Acts 10 and the disciples of Acts 19 that you addressed in answering Question #13 of my article.

Regarding ACTS 10

Mr. Maxey says:

My response --- The only Jews to speak in tongues on the day of Pentecost were the disciples gathered in the upper room, and the apostles who preached in tongues to the Jews present that day. Those who repented and were baptized that day are not said to have spoken in tongues at all. Acts 1 & 2 testify to this fact.

Mr. Maxey says:

My response --- So far, so good! -- no argument. But watch as Al can't make up his mind if he is a "Church of Christ" or a Baptist!

Mr. Maxey says:

My response --- Here, Al is a "Church of Christ." But the answer to his question is that "the point" is that the Lord commanded believers to be baptized for the same reason that Al gives us in the following line:

Mr. Maxey says:

My response --- Here, Al is a Baptist! This is the BAPTIST position! That baptism is a demonstration (illustration & expression) of our faith in Christ, not the exercise of our faith in Christ for salvation. Salvation is experienced when the lost, convicted sinner repents of his sin and receives Christ by faith into his heart. Baptism is the demonstration (illustration & expression) of our faith in Christ that FOLLOWS our exercise of faith in Christ. Us Baptists refer to water baptism as "the outward demonstration of an inward act." That is, baptism pictures (it is a "figure," not the real thing according to 1 Peter 3:21; again, a demonstration is an illustration or "figure") OUTWARDLY & PHYSICALLY what took place in the heart of the believer and in the spiritual world when he was saved. So, Al is taking the BAPTIST position here.

Mr. Maxey says:

My response --- Al, your logic here would, as you say, earn you a failing grade. IF the Gentiles WERE to refuse to be baptized (your "straw argument"), which they DID NOT (so there your "straw dummy" collapses), but if they did, the fact is that THEY HAD ALREADY RECEIVED THE HOLY GHOST according to the text! And again, without obeying they would not have gotten the Holy Ghost (Acts 5:32). Therefore they MUST have obeyed to receive the Holy Ghost, and this, according to the Bible in any version, including your NASV, happened BEFORE they were baptized. So, to parrot your question: "What was the point?" Answer: out of obedience to Christ's command, one of the first steps in following Christ as a disciple, but not to be saved. They received salvation by faith, not water baptism. Acts 10 and 11 is clear and plain about this. Comparing scripture with scripture in Acts 10 & 11, there is no way anyone can find baptism preached as a means of receiving forgiveness of sins. Acts 10:43 is the only mention of forgiveness, and it is conditioned upon believing, not being baptized.

Regarding ACTS 19

Mr. Maxey says:

My response --- That is what the verse says, not what I say. Notice that Al has confused ME with the BIBLE. How peculiar.

Mr. Maxey says:

My response --- Hmm. The Bible says in Romans 8:9 that if you do not have the Spirit of God, you are NOT Christ's. I am only repeating what the Bible says. Again, Al is confusing ME with the BIBLE.

Mr. Maxey says:

My response --- Pastor Martin would believe the Bible.

Mr. Maxey says:

My response --- Pastor Martin is only stating what the Bible said. Once again, Al is confusing ME with the BIBLE.

Mr. Maxey says:

My response --- Al is wrong here if he is implying that they received the Holy Ghost through water baptism. The FACT is that they DID NOT according to the verse that Al refers to. The very verse (v.6) tells us that they received the Holy Ghost "when Paul had laid his hands upon them." This is the same scenario as Acts 8 where people believed and were baptized but DID NOT receive the Holy Ghost UNTIL the apostles laid their hands upon them. Neither ACTS 19 or ACTS 8 are in accordance with ACTS 2:38, unless our Campbellite friends are going to violate their own principle and SPEAK where the Bible is SILENT.

Mr. Maxey says:

My response --- Just for "grins and giggles," let's follow Al's reasoning that these disciples needed to be baptized properly in order to have their sins forgiven BECAUSE THEY WERE NOT BAPTIZED ACCORDING TO ACTS 2:38. Well, if we said that, we would be just as wrong as Al. These disciples said that they were baptized "unto John's baptism" (Acts 19:3). Well, lo and behold, according to MARK 1:4, John's baptism was for repentance and "for the remission of sins." So, if that is the case, WERE THERE SINS FORGIVEN when they repented and John baptized them? Or not until Paul baptized them? Or BOTH times? WHEN? If the "church of Christ' folks are correct in their interpretation of the phrase "for the remission of sins" then these disciples were forgiven TWICE. This demonstrates that from John until Pentecost, there is a transitional period of time, going from the O.T. to the N.T. , from Law to Grace, from Israel to the Church, and you must be careful to not build doctrine on "shifting sand." Acts is a HISTORY book. The Epistles are the DOCTRINAL books, and you must interpret ACTS in the light of the Epistles, not the other way around. The fact is that you cannot OVERTHROW clear verses of scripture with ones that are not so clear. All rules have exceptions that "prove the rule." ACTS 10 & 11 present the RULE. All others are exceptions if they contradict that rule, and must be special cases. Again, you cannot overthrow the rule with an exception, in the Bible, or any where else.

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