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

Thursday, July 13, 2000

A Response by Al Maxey to
Darrell Broking's Comments

Darrell has written his most lengthy post yet (5223 words, according to my computer counter -- I think I'm rubbing off on him!!!), and he has spoken passionately about many matters of interest. Frankly, I agree with many of his points, although some of his terms and phrases I tend to be uncomfortable with as I feel they lend themselves too easily to misinterpretation. Nevertheless, in all of these thousands of words there was really little relevant to our discussion. I would imagine our readers are becoming as frustrated as I am, wondering when -- if ever -- substantiation of his charges against my teaching on MDR, as presented in my book, will be provided.

Darrell wrote: "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 ...." Darrell makes it appear that he went the "extra mile" to try and engage me in a discussion about my views on MDR, but that I was resistant to such an exchange. He makes it appear that he finally submitted to my unreasonable demands to discuss only my book just so that he could make this current discussion "a reality."

This is not quite what transpired behind the scenes, however. There had been numerous accusations made against my ministry, my teaching and me by Darrell and others on his EGH List. These are all fully documented in the EGH archives, so I don't need to drag out the specific statements (although I would be glad to list them for anyone who is interested, and where to find them). The only reason I had insisted on being allowed the opportunity to defend my book Down, But Not Out on Darrell's EGH List is because it was characterized in public as containing information which would condemn a person's soul. For example, on February 4, 2000 (EGH archive #4494) in a post with the subject line "Al Maxey's Error" Darrell wrote: "I have read Al's book and it is more than enough to help many in adultery 'feel' comfortable in sin all the way into everlasting damnation."

Long before this statement I had been pleading with Darrell to give me the opportunity to simply defend my book against the charges leveled against it. I was almost shameless in my pursuit of a discussion with him on this matter. It was finally agreed to, but not before DARRELL wrote a list of conditions which HAD to be met if he would agree to discuss his objections to my book with me. HE wrote the condition that this discussion would involve ONLY my book, his review, and my rebuttals, and that no other writings by either of us, or anyone else, could be included. We quibbled about his conditions back and forth, and some were modified somewhat, but finally I agreed to them (although with a few reservations, which I mentioned to Darrell). I did so in order that I might have a chance, at long last, to defend my name and ministry (and book) in public. All I have ever asked was that he provide substantiation for his belief that my book is filled with such damnable teaching that it will send one to hell. I wanted PROOF (clear examples from my book), and I wanted a chance to make a defense from God's Word.

So far, the PROOF has been sadly lacking. Entire chapters of my book have been summarily dismissed as not worthy of discussion, but with no justification as to WHY. Thousands of words of teaching on MDR as perceived in OT Scripture is dismissed without comment in order to argue illustrations and examples which were only mentioned in passing in the text of the book. Thousands of words have been exchanged on the comparisons and contrasts between law and grace; versions of the Bible have been brought up, instrumental music, children's worship, and a host of other issues. Now, Darrell is challenging me to basically forget my book altogether and simply discuss one verse in the Bible with him (Matt. 19:9). We are getting farther and farther away from the stated purpose of this discussion and my simple desire to defend my work against the public charge it is filled with damnable false teaching.

Darrell has raised some interesting topics in the course of our discussion, and I would love to spend months discussing them with him. And I will DO so, if he so desires, in a separate discussion. But ALL I want to do in THIS discussion is force Darrell to SUBSTANTIATE the charges he has made against the teaching presented in my book, and then to make a defense. To date there has been little to no actual substantiation of anything in my book as being false. All he has done is show that he and I differ on some matters, but that hardly makes one false.

I will address a few remarks which Darrell made in his most recent post, but then I will challenge Darrell to return to the stated purpose of this discussion, and to make some effort to clearly substantiate the items in my book which he believes to be false. If Darrell wants to acknowledge that there is nothing "out of harmony with God's Word" in the chapters dealing with the OT canon, then fine. I will accept his acknowledgement that he has no problem with those chapters, and we can move on to his beloved Matthew 19:9. But, as long as he contends these early chapters are "out of harmony" with the Bible, then he is obligated to substantiate that charge. To date he has failed to do so.

Darrell wrote: "One must understand that God places emphasis on every word he gave men to study." He further stated: "The Bible not only places emphasis on every godbreathed word, but on every godbreathed letter!" Darrell, I agree with you 100%. I too believe, and have always taught, that every single sentence, word and letter in the Bible is put there for a specific reason. You will get no argument from me here.

Darrell wrote: "The inspired apostle taught the pattern concept of the New Testament." My brother-in-Christ and I differ on this matter, as is probably fairly obvious. I do not believe in the so-called "pattern theology." I have had lengthy written discussions over the years with those who believe this way, and if Darrell would like to engage in such a discussion, I would be happy to accommodate him. However, it is beyond the scope of our present purpose.

I have been asked about Nadab and Abihu. Darrell asks, "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 ..... Will an answer be forthcoming?" I will be happy to provide an answer, Darrell. I direct you and the readers to my sermon: Nadab and Abihu: The Nature of Their Fatal Error which can be found on my web page (and if some are unable to access the Internet, I will be happy to send them a copy of the sermon via private e-mail; I would also be willing to place the entire sermon on the EGH List, if Darrell gives his approval).

I think you will find that it was as much their attitude which condemned them as it was their actions -- and probably more of the former than the latter. The same with Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5). It was not so much that they withheld some of their gift (which they didn't really have to give in the first place), but that they were deceptive and lied to the Spirit of God. Again, it was attitude far more than actions which earned them their severe punishment. The example of Uzzah (II Sam. 6:1-11), I'll freely admit, still troubles me. I have yet to come up with a satisfactory explanation for that episode. Yes, I freely admit that I do not have all the answers. But, the overall teaching of God's Word leads me personally to believe that attitude is far more vital to our God than specific actions correctly and minutely performed.

Just another remark in passing: We make much of God's dealing with Nadab and Abihu, but what about how He dealt with their brothers, Eleazar and Ithamar? They too offered a worship which was less than 100% in keeping with the "pattern," and they were NOT killed (Lev. 10:12-20). Why? Others point to Hezekiah and his observance of the Passover in a manner very much different than the prescribed "pattern" (II Chron. 30). I suppose we could discuss such examples endlessly, but again it is beyond the stated purpose of this discussion. However, if you would like to discuss "patternism" in a separate published discussion, just say the word, Darrell. The same applies for "versionism" or any other "---ism" you might want to discuss with me.

Darrell wrote: "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. .... Because of sin men suffer. Unless men deal with their sin according to Christ's word, they will suffer eternally!" I have repeatedly stated that God's Word is the Standard by which we are to conduct our lives, and by which we will be judged. God has revealed His will for us in His inspired Word, and if we reject that will then we shall indeed suffer for it. Again, we are in full agreement here, Darrell. Just because you and I disagree on how to INTERPRET each and every passage of Scripture, does not mean that either of us has rejected God's Standard!!!

Darrell stated: "For this reason the repentant persons having no right of remarriage 'made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake' (Matt. 19:11)." I'll have to admit that this is an interpretation I have never heard before. Let me make sure I understood you correctly! Are you saying that those individuals mentioned in Matthew 19:11-12 who "made themselves eunuchs" did so because they had repented but were denied the right to remarry?! I will do some more research on this, and we can discuss it further when we get to the teaching of Jesus Christ.

Another statement of Darrell's with which I fully agree is: "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." Darrell further wrote: "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." Again, I agree 100% with this. In fact, I have stated this repeatedly.

Darrell asks: "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." I have never denied the written Word is our Standard, Darrell. Indeed, I uphold it as our Standard. I do not believe that men "hear voices," or that they are guided into new revelation through such means. ALL we are given from our God comes to us from the pages of the inspired Word. My only contention is that we need to try and perceive the spirit of the law which is given to us. But, yes, God has given us specifics in His Word which are very clear and understandable. You mentioned Galatians 5:19-25 as a good example of this, and I agree with you. You wrote: "Without a clear, specific standard of godbreathed words, instruction is not possible. God gave his absolute standard of truth and that standard instructs." Again, I agree 100%.

Darrell, we agree on much of what you wrote. Our difference is not in the Standard. We both accept God's Word as the Standard. We do not even disagree over the fact that God has communicated to us in WORDS. Of course He did. Where we sometimes differ, Darrell, is in the interpretation and application of those words. Darrell wrote: "If the Biblical text, itself, does not form man's theology, then man's theology is anti-Christ." Once more I agree with you 100%. But, it is in how men interpret that biblical text that we find disagreement among men. No one person has a monopoly on perfect understanding of the biblical text. We ALL have a long way to go before we can claim infallibility.

We differ, for example, on this concept of the gospel being some kind of "systematic religion." However, there is no question but what there is a "body of teaching" (I prefer this phrase) clearly contained in Scripture to which we must submit or forfeit salvation. And, as Darrell suggests, this is indeed important to the discussion of MDR. Yes, this "body of teaching" -- or, "the faith, or the system of faith" -- "demands repentance and a change of life in order to be blessed by God's saving grace!" Again, I agree with you.

I hope that perhaps we can now move our discussion back to the topic of MDR. More specifically, I await the substantiation of your accusations against my work so that I may defend Down, But Not Out against the charge that it is "out of harmony" with God's Word, and that it contains damnable doctrine which will condemn a person's soul to hell. Please, Darrell, show me!!

If you want to declare the entire OT portion of my book to be in accord with the Scriptures, and you want to make the point that it is only my view of NT teaching with which you disagree, then SO STATE, and we can move on. But as long as you contend that my earlier chapters are out of harmony with the Bible, then you have an obligation to PROVIDE THE EVIDENCE of that charge, and then allow me the opportunity to defend myself.

I look forward, as do the readers, I'm sure, to continuing with our discussion on MDR, and specifically those portions of my work which you claim are false.

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