Maxey - Broking Discussion
A Critical Review and Defense of
Down, But Not Out

Wednesday, July 5, 2000

Darrell Broking's Response To
Maxey's Comments About Broking's Review
Of Chapter Two Of Down, But Not Out

Al Maxey: "I think the Expositor's Bible Commentary makes an insightful observation on this very point, Darrell, if you will allow me one brief non-MDR quotation: 'Jesus' point is not that rules admit of exceptions but that the Scriptures themselves do not condemn David for his action; therefore the rigidity of the Pharisees' interpretation of the law is not in accord with Scripture itself' (Vol. 8, page 280-281). This is the very principle I sought to convey in chapter two of my book."

Maxey "found it somewhat curious that Darrell chose to focus the bulk of his criticism upon a brief, passing reference to Jesus' remarks about David and his men eating the showbread." To allow Maxey to answer his own curiosity, after reading chapter two in his book I came to the same conclusion stated by Maxey in the paragraph above. Maxey wrote, "This is the very principle I sought to convey in chapter two of my book." Because the principle conveyed in chapter two is erroneous, it is necessary to correct the erroneous principle and direct minds back to the word of God. This is the foundation needed when the Lord's doctrine of marriage, divorce and remarriage is finally discussed in this review series. Failure to respect Biblical authority manifests itself in every violation of God's law.

Al Maxey: "Some religionists have become so rigid in their regulation of God's people that they have left little room for the intercessory grace and compassion of God Almighty! God relates to His people through grace, not law. Indeed, to suggest the latter is to risk being severed from Christ (Galatians 5:4)."

The root of the problem being discussed is a lack of respect for Bible authority. False teaching on the subject of marriage, divorce and remarriage is just a symptom of his failure to respect the authority of the Bible. God's compassion and grace are not inseparable from God's law. The text of Galatians 5:4 is falsely portrayed above to represent law in general. This is the classic liberal (by the term liberal here I mean those who loose where God has bound) representation of Galatians 5:4. Those falsely assuming that the passage relates to law in general fail to understand the import of Romans, Second Corinthians, Hebrews and Galatians. In these wonderful books of the Bible Paul demonstrates the passing of the Mosaic law and its replacement with the superior law of Jesus Christ. Galatians 5:4 denotes the damnable consequences of seeking justification through the Mosaic law.

The Bible teaches that grace reigns through righteousness (Rom. 5:21). Righteousness is the state of one who walks in harmony with God's law (see 1 John 3:4; 5:17; Ps. 119:172; Luke 7:30-31 and Matt. 3:15). That God's grace is inseparable from his law is seen in Titus 2:11-12 where grace instructs, yes it commands, men to live in harmony with God's law. Peter said that Christians are kept through faith (the system of faith) unto salvation (1 Pet. 1:5, 9). Peter commands Christians to live as "obedient children" (1 Pet. 1:14), and he reminds all that God will judge "without respect of persons ... according to every man's work" (1 Pet. 1:17). The great apostle said that Christians have purified their souls "in obeying the truth" (1 Pet. 1:22), and Peter commands Christians to "abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul" (1 Pet. 2:11). About what was Peter writing? Peter was writing about "the true grace of God" (1 Pet. 5:12). Men make a tremendous error when seeking to quench New Testament law with grace. The apostle of LOVE was correct when he wrote: "And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments" (1 John 2:3).

Scenarios about people standing in water about to be baptized when the Lord comes are interesting, but dangerous. Servants of the Lord have authority only to tell others what the Lord teaches through his word (Matt. 28:18-20; 1 Pet. 4:11; John 12:48; Gal. 1:6-9; et al). If one were in the middle of a vast desert when he learned of God's law about baptism for the remission of sins, then the best thing for him would be to die trying to get to enough water to be immersed. Arguments and scenarios like the aforementioned are as edifying as an attempt to determine whether or not Adam had a belly button. God will judge each man by the deeds of his life compared with God's law (Rev. 20:12; John 12:48). People who want to preach others into heaven would do well to be patient and wait on God.

Al Maxey: "Yes, Darrell, we are called to obedience. But, let me ask you a question. Have you obeyed perfectly? Are you ever disobedient? Are you even aware of some of the areas in which you may be disobedient? Isn't it wonderful we have such a GRACIOUS God? One who is loving, compassionate, merciful, accepting .... even to those who violate His law?"

Yes Al, I have erred from the truth both as a sinner and as a Christian. And I am so grateful that I can follow God's second law of pardon so the blood of Christ can keep on cleansing my sin (1 John 1:7-9).

Al Maxey: "'Does God encourage legalism?' No! Quite the contrary! And by 'legalism' I do NOT mean 'obedience.' Legalism is a mindset which seeks justification before God by the scrupulous binding and observance of a burdensome legal code; salvation via systematic religion."

The New Testament teaches a "system of systematic religion." It is called the gospel, the law of faith, the perfect law of liberty, et al. Notice James 1:25: "But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed." The word "looketh" here is from a word meaning "to stoop and look, to gaze intently." A working definition of this word can be read in John 20:5, 11. The system of New Testament law is so important that one must look intently therein and continue therein in order to be blessed. James teaches systematic religion.

Al Maxey: "We must cross every 't' and dot every 'i' just perfectly or we will experience the just wrath of a vengeful God."

It is sad to learn of those that take the position that God's law for men is a tedious and difficult thing to learn. After listing some matters of opinion, Maxey lists some matters of direct disobedience to God's word (children's worship, or singing with the aid of an instrument), and states: "The pathway to heaven is not paved with pugnacious precision in practice, but by continuing commitment to Christ. We are justified by faithfulness to a Person, not to an ever growing list of precepts. It is relationship, not religion, that ultimately will prove redemptive!"

Sad it is that a man will deny the simple truth of God's word. The Bible is a love letter because Jesus said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15). He also said, "Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you" (John 15:14). The apostle of love wrote, "By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous" (1 John 5:2-3). No man can follow the Bible and conclude that commitment to Christ is separate from abiding in Christ's or apostolic doctrine (Acts 2:42). To reject the doctrine is to reject Christ himself (John 12:28; 2 John 9-11).

Al Maxey: "However, the Lord, in His inspired Word, also addresses the problem of those who are obsessed with the 'letter of the law.' That too is a false trail which leads away from God. Paul stated, 'But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter' (Romans 2:29). I appreciate the way the NIV renders Paul's thought in Romans 7:6 --- 'But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.' Notice also this thought: We are 'servants of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life' (II Corinthians 3:6)."

Once again confusion expresses itself in regards to Romans, Second Corinthians, Galatians and Hebrews. In these great books of truth, Paul is dealing with Christians wanting to leave the system of faith and seek justification through the law of Moses. The NIV is often used by individuals wanting to get their man made doctrines from a Biblical text. The NIV is not a reliable standard translation of the Bible and has been worked to support many doctrines of men.

Paul simply alludes to the fact that Christ took away Moses' law and replaced it with the law of the Spirit which is the gospel (please read 1 Cor. 9:21). Second Corinthians 3:6 cannot be understood when removed from it context. Herein the word "letter" means Moses' law and "Spirit" refers to the system of faith or the gospel system.

Al Maxey: "Darrell, I do not promote justification or salvation through compliance to a legal code. I am not a minister of the letter of the law; I am a minister of Christ Jesus. I bring people to HIM, not to laws inferred by men from the inspired writings."

Gospel preachers realize that they cannot separate the man (Christ) from the plan (the system of faith). The Bible teaches that Christ must be preached by presenting New Testament doctrine. For example some apostles were once arrested for "teaching in the name" of Christ (Acts 5:28). They had been filling Jerusalem with their doctrine or apostolic doctrine (Acts 5:28; 2:42). What had they been doing? They had been teaching and preaching Jesus Christ (Acts 5:42). Gospel preachers preached the man (Christ) by, through and with his plan (the perfect law of liberty).

Al Maxey: "What I deny, brother Broking, is that Jesus ever used the phrase 'living in adultery' or 'living in sin' to describe the remarriage of those previously divorced (whether innocent or guilty). Nowhere does Jesus employ this terminology. 'Living in sin' and 'living in adultery,' when used with reference to second marriages, are man-made phrases and are NOT utilized in Scripture. This fact is undeniable, Darrell, and I intend to challenge you to try and prove otherwise when we get to our discussion of the teaching of Jesus Christ."

Jesus did not speak in English and the original manuscripts were not written in English. In a strictly technical sense Jesus never said "living in adultery." From the original one may only conclude that Jesus' position is that unscriptural marriages, as pertaining to divorce and remarriage, constitute a continued state of adultery. However, if God does not mean what he says in his law, then why worry about it anyway? Why write a book espousing the position that unscripturally remarried people do not live in sin? Maybe there is still enough respect for Bible authority in the humanistic world, that a book like Down, But Not Out is needed to help sway men from a strictly objective, absolute standard of truth to subjective relativism.

Concerning the matter of David and the shewbread please consider the context of Matthew 12. The disciples were plucking grain not harvesting it; therefore, their actions did not violate God's law. The Pharisees accused the disciples of "doing what is not lawful" (vs. 2). Jesus then answers this charge by going back to the law. The key to verse 4 is that it is connected to verse 5. The priests were not profaning the Sabbath because they were following God's law, which allowed an exception to the Sabbath law for the priests. But Jesus said that the priests "profane" the Sabbath. Because the law commanded the priest to labor on the Sabbath, the word "profane" cannot be understood in its literal sense. It is used as a figure known as sarcasm. Because these verses are connected it is easy to see that Jesus' answer as recorded in verse 4, "it is not lawful," is also sarcasm.

Did David have authority to eat the shewbread? Yes he did! Does the Bible teach this outside of the context of Matthew 12:1-8; Mark 2:23-28 and Luke 6:1-5? Yes it does. As Bible students are aware, the priest of God was able to communicate directly with the Lord through the "urim" and "thummin" (see 1 Sam. 28:6; Exod. 28:30 and Lev. 8:8). When David sought to eat the old shewbread, Ahimelech inquired of the Lord and then after getting word from the Lord he gave David the shewbread (1 Sam. 22:10). David's exceptive clause came directly from the Lord. Today word from the Lord comes only through the Bible (Heb. 1:1-2; John 12:48). It is vain to assume that the Lord instituted a principle of disobedience in the record of Matthew 12:1-8.

Al Maxey "found it somewhat curious that Darrell chose to focus the bulk of his criticism upon a brief, passing reference to Jesus' remarks about David and his men eating the showbread." This writer finds it interesting that Maxey did not attempt to answer any of the material presented about the consistency of God's law. Is God just if he killed Nadab, Abihu, Uzzah, Ananias and Sapphira for disobeying what some men allude to as "pugnacious precision in practice," if he allows others to violate his law "guilt-free"? Some men say that God let David violate his law guilt free. The Bible says that "every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward" (Heb. 2:2). David did not err when he ate the shewbread.

In Him,

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