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

Thursday, July 13, 2000

Darrell Broking's Response To
Al Maxey's Comments

Al Maxey: "Consider carefully the above principle. It deals with one's hermeneutical approach to God's inspired Word. Is Scripture to be viewed as a legal document which must be searched word for word for the purpose of establishing law, both specified and implied, the scrupulous observance of which assures one of justification and salvation? Must one rigidly bind both declared and deduced laws in order to achieve divine favor? Or, is the inspired Word a collection of documents, fully God-breathed, whose purpose is to reveal the nature of our God, His will for our lives, His plan for our redemption, and our response to His grace? Is it a revelation of His Son Jesus, His life and work, and an invitation to accept His loving self-sacrifice on our behalf?"

In answer to the question above, one must understand that God places emphasis on every word he gave men to study (see 2 Tim. 2:15). Notice what the Bible teaches in Galatians 3:16: "Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ." The Bible not only places emphasis on every godbreathed word, but on every godbreathed letter!

Where men discard the extreme value of learning God's declared and implied law, neither unity nor grace can reign. The Bible says, "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment" (1 Cor. 1:10). The mind of unity is the mind of Christ (Phil. 2:5). Christ said, "He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day" (John 12:48). Reject the words of holy writ and reject the loving self sacrifice of Jesus!

The inspired apostle taught the pattern concept of the New Testament. Notice another godbreathed statement: "Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus." (2 Tim. 1:13). The word "form" in 2 Timothy 1:13 translates a word meaning "a pattern" (see ASV), and "a model." By following the "pattern" of sound words men stand in unity, the mind of Christ and thereby appropriate his grace. Paul wrote the following to Timothy: "As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine" (1 Tim. 1:3); because, without following the godbreathed pattern of faith, unity and practice, men cannot enjoy God's wonderful grace.

Notice these godbreathed words: "But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness." What is required of a man to move out of the reign of sin unto death into God's grace? Obedience from the heart! Yes, men must put their heart and love into their relationship with God. But it must be acknowledged that the "invitation to accept His loving self-sacrifice on our behalf" demands obedience to the godbreathed "form of doctrine" or system of faith delivered unto men!

Al Maxey: "Do these documents contain a divine call to a rigid religion in which we seek to appease an angry God by engaging in strictly regulated ritualistic acts of service and worship (correctly performed, of course), or is it a call to a restored relationship with a loving Father through hearts surrendered to Him in holy living?"

Jesus Christ, man's Lord and Savior said, "But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him" (John 4:23). Many sincerely worship God, but God does not accept their worship because it is not according to truth (see John 17:17). Many worship God in truth, but through ritualism; therefore, God does not accept their worship. The Bible says, "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth" (John 4:24). True worshippers follow the truth or form of doctrine given in God's word regulating specific acts of worship, coupled with a restored relationship with God through obedience to the gospel and sincerity. This writer has mentioned punishment of Nadab and Abihu in his first and second posts dealing with this chapter of Down, But Not Out. Why does this writer's opponent not explain why God killed Nadab and Abihu? Many would like to know why God killed these men when they failed to follow the God given pattern, when they failed to "correctly" worship, but then will allow others to sin guilt free. Will an answer be forthcoming?

Al Maxey: "Jesus does not condemn these religionists and legalists for their observance of law. What He condemns is an attitude which was so narrow and rigid in its focus that they failed to see beyond the letter of the law to the spirit of it. In their quest for religious exactness they had failed to perceive the very qualities of heart and life which God truly desired of His people. Qualities such as mercy and compassion were left on the wayside, as were the people in need of them, in their quest to be legally correct."

The aforementioned paragraph is based on Matthew 23:23. Matthew 23:23 does not teach that Jesus condemns "an attitude which was so narrow and rigid in its focus that they failed to see beyond the letter of the law to the spirit of it." Matthew 23:23 deals with partial observance of the law. Notice the text once again: "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone." The Bible says that the individuals herein addressed by Jesus had "omitted the weightier matters of the law." The scribes and Pharisees were looking so far beyond the letter of the law, that Jesus had no choice but to sternly rebuke them.

This idea that the spirit of the law is something which differs from the words of the law, is an abomination in the sight of God our Savior. The Lord said, "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life" (John 6:63). The word of God then is the only mode whereby men may enjoy the quickening spirit! The concept of law and grace espoused by the writer of Down, But Not Out is a concept which quenches the life giving qualities of the doctrine of Christ from men and women. Christians must be aware of the devil's devices (2 Cor. 2:11). The devil knows the power of the word of God. One of his greatest ploys is to snatch that from the hearts of men and women. When explaining the parable of the sower, Jesus said, "When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side" (Matt. 13:19). If the wicked one can get men to believe that one must look beyond the "letter" of Christ's law to the "spirit" of that law, then he is victorious! He is victorious because the "words" of Christ, that is to say the doctrine of Christ, are "spirit" and "life." The greatest act of compassion about which Christians must be concerned, is that of telling lost sinners what the words of the law of Christ teach about the soul's salvation!

Al Maxey: "The same is done today by those more intent on achieving perfection in keeping law than in extending love and compassion to people about them who are in legitimate need."

Consider the Biblical truth on "perfection" in Christ. In his Philippian epistle the apostle wrote: "Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing" (Phil. 3:15-16). To what had the Philippians attained? Perfection in Christ. How were the brethren in Philippi to maintain that perfection or completeness? By walking according to the same rule and minding the same thing. An impossible task if one is allowed liberty to look beyond the written word of God.

Paul's teaching or doctrine is the Lord's commandments (1 Cor. 14:37). Paul taught this wisdom from above to present every man "perfect" in Christ (Col. 1:28). Listen to God again on this matter: "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works" (2 Tim. 3:16-17). God teaches the impossibility of perfection or completeness in Christ without following the words of scripture! In fact, listen to God again, "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" (James 1:25). Men might say, "look beyond the letter of the law," but God says, "receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls" (James 1:21). Men might say that no one needs to follow the letter of the law or the word, but God says: "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves" (James 1:22).

This completeness or perfection was not obtainable in an absolute sense under the law of Moses: "If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?" (Heb. 7:11). The good news of Christ is that this perfection is available today and it is available because of the new law of Jesus Christ! "For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law" (Heb. 7:12).

Al Maxey: "Husbands and wives will be torn apart, marriages broken, wives and children cast into the streets, if in the view of these rigid religionists some law inferred or deduced from some passage is not being scrupulously observed."

If the "letter" of God's law is the one and only standard for men today, then "adulterers" will experience some personal discomfort as a direct result of their own sin. It is written, "Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery" (Matt. 19:9); and "...the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God ..... nor adulterers ..... shall inherit the kingdom of God" (1 Cor. 6:9-10). For this reason the repentant persons having no right of remarriage "made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake" (Matt. 19:11). Because of sin men suffer. Unless men deal with their sin according to Christ's word, they will suffer eternally! No wonder some men seek something beyond the "letter" of the law. God only speaks to men through the "letters" of the Bible.

Al Maxey: "Perhaps this is why he hesitates to address any of my teaching on MDR, he's getting to the 'root of the problem.' ..... There were many things in Darrell's post that are certainly worthy of in-depth discussion, but I'm not sure they are 'on track' with the objective of this discussion ..... Darrell also made several statements concerning law and grace that would make extremely interesting topics of discussion, but to pursue these fascinating topics would get us so sidetracked from the matter at hand (the specific statements in my book concerning MDR which Darrell believes constitute 'false doctrine'), that I must resist anything other than a brief comment at this time ..... You stated, 'Maxey lists some matters of direct disobedience to God's word (children's worship, or singing with the aid of an instrument).' Again, I would sincerely love to discuss each of these items (and others) with you in some depth, but they clearly fall outside the parameters of this present discussion. At some point I think our readers are actually going to expect us to begin a discussion of marriage, divorce and remarriage --- and specifically what it is you find 'false' in my book. Perhaps we could begin to head back in that direction!!!"

This writer diligently attempted to get Al Maxey to debate propositions which would have narrowed this discussion tremendously. Al refused to discuss anything other than his book. Therefore, to make this discussion a reality it was agreed that "this discussion will focus only on Al Maxey's book Down, But Not Out, Darrell Broking's review of that book, and any rebuttals by either party in this specific exchange." This writer's comments have been true to the agreement. If this writer's opponent wants to leave the parameters of what he has written in these chapters, and in his rebuttals, and get on with Christ's marriage law, then I am more than willing so to do. Maybe the author of Down, But Not Out would consider focusing the rest of his effort denying that which is affirmed by this writer. The Bible teaches that any person putting his mate away for any reason other than fornication (he must be innocent of this high crime against God himself) may not marry another person. If he does marry again he lives in the state of adultery. All persons dying in the state of adultery are destined to eternal damnation. Now if the writer of Down, But Not Out wants to focus "only on Al Maxey's book Down, But Not Out, Darrell Broking's review of that book, and any rebuttals by either party in this specific exchange," then this writer must be true to the agreement and stay with the present course.

Al Maxey: "This is a common tactic, by-the-way; one which has been employed for centuries. If someone can't refute the specific teaching itself, then the 'next best thing' is to cast aspersions upon the one doing the teaching ..... Where Darrell has erred in his reasoning is in thinking that if one differs with him then one differs with God. If Darrell and I interpret a passage differently then he concludes that not only is my interpretation false, but furthermore I have no love for God or respect for the authority of His Word. If I truly loved God and respected His inspired Word then obviously I would just naturally agree 100% with everything Darrell said."

The readership of this discussion should read the Biblical evidence supporting each writer's arguments, then and only then, should the readership decide which (if either) of the participants in this discussion agrees with God's word. God's word can be understood (Eph. 3:4; 2 Tim 2:15), but only when the "words" of the Bible are examined. God never inspired a message hidden behind the "words" of the Bible. The Holy Ghost taught the doctrine of Christ, through inspired men, by the medium of words (1 Cor. 2:13). Theology pleasing to God must be based only on the words given by God to men. If either, or both, participants in this discussion agree with the Lord, it can only be determined by reading the Biblical text itself and "listening" to what God has to say on the matter. It is herein suggested to the readership of this discussion, to examine each paragraph and statement made by each participant, to see if each participant is basing his position on Biblical evidence, which he has supplied to you the readership in each paragraph, or is he basing his position on a relative standard which looks beyond the "letter" of God's word. If men are at liberty to look beyond the "letters" of absolute truth, then the Bible is an unnecessary source of abominable division and there is no need for this, or any, Biblical discussion.

Al Maxey: "For example, Darrell said: '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.' Here is what Paul says in the above mentioned passage: 'For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age.' I fail to see how this passage teaches what Darrell has stated. How does this passage declare that grace is inseparable from law?"

If my opponent decides to continue with a chapter by chapter review of his book, and in that process he decides to continue our discussion on this particular chapter, then it would be beneficial for him to explain how "grace" can instruct men to deny "ungodliness and worldly lusts," without communicating to men a standard of words (for communication must employ the use of a specific vocabulary). That standard is called the doctrine of Christ (2 John 9-11), the perfect law of liberty (James 1:25), the law of Christ (1 Cor. 9:21), the law of faith (Rom. 3:27) and the gospel (2 Thess. 1:8). A list of specific words of instruction against "ungodliness and worldly lusts," and words of instruction in sober, godly living, is recorded in Galatians 5:19-25. When this standard is not followed, God's grace will not reign.

Notice these godbreathed words declaring "no grace" to those remaining in "ungodliness and worldly lusts: that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God" (Gal. 5:21). The point is simple. Without a clear, specific standard of godbreathed words, instruction is not possible. God gave his absolute standard of truth and that standard instructs. Follow the standard and enjoy the wonderful grace of God. Deny the standard and forsake the opportunity to enjoy God's soul saving grace. If there is no absolute standard, then men are bound to abject slavery! The good news is that God delivers, through the sacrifice of Christ, when both the positive and negative terms of the godbreathed standard are followed. If this is not the case, then my opponent is under obligation to give a Biblical explanation as to the reign of God's grace, and he is herein called upon to do so.

Al Maxey: "Darrell further wrote: 'Men make a tremendous error when seeking to quench New Testament law with grace.' That is a rather shocking statement to me, and perhaps one day Darrell will allow me to engage him in a more detailed study of this doctrine of his. But, again, this is hardly the time or place for a debate on law versus grace, any more than it is the time or place for an extended debate on 'versionism.'"

The readership is asked to read the Biblical evidence supplied by this writer, as this writer explained how law and grace work together. Then go back and review his opponent's use of the Bible to demonstrate that this writer created his own doctrine. Examine the Biblical evidence and then draw your own conclusions. The reason that all of this is important, beside the fact that it is an answer to teaching in Down, But Not Out, is that if God is unable to communicate a clear standard for men to follow, then men do not have a moral standard. If God said, "Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery" (Matt. 19:9); and "...the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God ..... nor adulterers ..... shall inherit the kingdom of God" (1 Cor. 6:9-10); meant something else, something hidden beyond the "letters" he gave men in the Bible, then men have no standard. Furthermore, this writer finds it interesting that most children can read the aforementioned verses and understand the Lord's message, but some men read the same verses and deny that the Lord meant what he said therein. If the Biblical text, itself, does not form man's theology, then man's theology is anti-Christ (the readership is encouraged to pause here and read John 12:48).

Al Maxey: "Darrell, you made reference to 'God's second law of pardon' about halfway through your post. I am unfamiliar with this phrase, and am at a loss as to what you meant. Perhaps you could clarify that phrase for me, and let me know what 'God's second law of pardon' is. Thanks."

A gospel "preacher" and "keeper" of the faith (1 Tim. 6:20) must always preach God's laws of pardon. By pardon forgiveness of sins and release from the sting of sin is to be understood. An alien sinner (one alien to Christ's kingdom, which is the church) must begin his journey toward grace by hearing God's word (Rom. 10:17), believing that Jesus is the "I Am" (John 8:24), confessing Christ before men (Matt. 10:32; 1 Tim. 6:12), repenting of sin (Luke 13:3,5) -- repentance is a change of mind resulting from godly sorrow (2 Cor. 7:10), and resulting in a change of life (Matt. 12:41; Jonah 3:10; Matt. 3:8). Those living in adultery must get out of adultery before they are washed (1 Cor. 6:9-11). Baptism cleanses sinners from their sin, it does not cleanse the "practice" of sin (please read 1 John 3:6 in the King James Version of the Bible); therefore, the Lord joined "repentance" and "baptism" together (Acts 2:38); and, what the Lord joined together, let not man put asunder! Then one must be baptized into Christ (Gal. 3:27), into the body which is the church of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13; Col. 1:18-24), which is also the same as being baptized into the kingdom (John 3:3,5; Col. 1:13-14). This is the first law of pardon, because a sinner is not pardoned until he takes these steps.

In Christ, Christians practice Christianity not sin. In the process of living, Christians will sin (1 John 1:8). The readership of this discussion would do well to read the epistle of First John in the King James Version of the Bible. The King James Version of the Bible will help the readership see that the Holy Ghost makes a distinction between a Christian who sins from time to time, and an erring brother (the Bible calls one who has been pardoned the first time, but practices sin, an erring brother, not a Christian) who practices sin. When the word sin employs the "eth" on the ending, the Holy Ghost is making the distinction between sin and the practice of sin. Walking in the light (1 John 1:7) means that when a Christian sins he will follow God's law of pardon for the Christian. He will "repent," "confess" and "pray" (see Acts 8:21-24; 1 John 1:7-9). This is the law of pardon for those in Christ; therefore, the second law of pardon. If one does not like the term "second law of pardon," then maybe it would be best for him to simply say that the Bible teaches Christians to repent, confess and pray when they sin.

Al Maxey: "I was rather shocked to read the following statements by you, Darrell: 'The New Testament teaches a "system of systematic religion." It is called the gospel ..... The system of New Testament law is so important ..... James teaches systematic religion.' I cannot even begin to agree with such a concept. I believe it to be totally false. However, again, our current discussion is not on the nature of the book of James, or whether James teaches 'systematic religion,' or if the gospel is a system of systematic religion."

The phrase in Colossians 2:12 "through the faith" translates the Greek "dia tes (the) pisteos." The apostle was writing about the system of faith. The system which is to be preached (Gal. 1:23), obeyed (Acts 6:7) and lived (Gal. 2:20). The definite article in the original is significant because it separates the faith from all other beliefs or systems (see Eph. 4:5). Colossians 2:12 and Galatians 2:20 are key passages because they deal with man's obedience to the system of faith. Some want to render this phrase "justified by faith in Christ." This is considerably different than justified "by THE faith of Jesus Christ."

The system of faith makes it possible for men to learn about and embrace God's great and wonderful grace (without which can no man be saved!). For example, Colossians 2:12 is a key to understanding the import of Ephesians 2:8. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God." Paul did not say that the gift of salvation is received by grace alone. Notice the words of Paul in Ephesians' twin epistle: "Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead" (Col. 2:12). The inspired penman said that the Christian is raised with him (Jesus) through "the faith." Verse 13 equates this to being quickened (made alive) together with Christ, and to the forgiveness of sins. This wonderful gift of salvation, by grace through faith, is obtainable through "the faith" or the system of faith.

This system of faith is based upon God's power or operation, hence it is by grace; but, it is not by grace alone. Because of this truth, the true church of Christ acknowledges that "the faith" must be obeyed; and, that the system of faith commands baptism for the remission of sins (Col. 2:12-13). "The faith" is an extremely important Biblical subject. Why is "the faith" so important to the discussion of marriage, divorce and remarriage? Because the faith, or the system of faith, demands repentance and a change of life in order to be blessed by God's saving grace!

This writer has attempted to answer each and every question asked by his opponent. If one has been overlooked, when it is pointed out to this writer, it will be addressed. In order for this discussion to go forward, this writer's opponent needs to give the readership of this discussion some Bible answers to the questions which he has yet to answer. This quote is from this writer's last installment in the Maxey-Broking Discussion: "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."

This writer calls upon his opponent once again to answer the statement above, so that the Maxey-Broking Discussion can move closer to discussing the New Testament doctrine of marriage, divorce and remarriage. Before concluding this post, this writer will do as his opponent, and take the liberty of quoting from another about David and the shewbread incident.

Al Maxey: "Darrell wrote: '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.' Well, that interpretation got my attention. Again, it is certainly one I had never come across before."

Here is a quote from one who says that the inquiry of the Lord was made before the shewbread was given to David:

The following statement represents the truth from holy writ:

Whether the authority to eat the shewbread was given through communication with God by the priest is not the issue. The issue is that Jesus' teaching justifies David's action as non-sin; and, that today men can only learn about God's will through the "letters" breathed by God (Heb. 2:1-4; 1:1; John 12:48).

In Him,

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