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

Thursday, August 3, 2000

Comments by Darrell Broking
On Chapter Three of Maxey's Book

In Al Maxey's last post, Maxey said that his positions were close to this writer's positions on many of the areas noted in the discussion of chapter two. Further comments on extreme differences of those positions will be mentioned in the final summary of the Maxey-Broking Discussion.

Al Maxey: "After divorcing Israel, God had entered into a relationship with her sister Judah, but the latter was proving to be little better than the former."

The truth of the matter is that God entered into his marriage relationship with Judah and Israel at the same time. According to the Bible this occurred before the division of Israel and Judah (Jer. 31:31-34).

Al Maxey: "Some, even after reading these declarations of Scripture, are simply unable or unwilling to accept the fact that the Lord God could ever have been personally involved in a divorce and remarriage. If, as some have staunchly maintained, these conditions constitute sin which is unpardonable, what does this suggest about God?! Although it is certainly true that God was the innocent party in this whole tragic affair, one still cannot avoid the fact that God has been divorced and remarried!"

Maxey's divorce and remarriage scenario does not agree with the Biblical record. Furthermore, as Maxey points out, if it were true that God put away Israel then married Judah, then God was just because Israel was the guilty party. When this scenario is viewed in light of the New Testament doctrine of marriage, divorce and remarriage, God would be allowed to remarry, but not Judah (Matt. 19:9).

Al Maxey: "Painful though it may be to acknowledge, one must accept the fact that God divorced His first wife Israel, and then married her sister Judah, from whom He later separated for a time. Through no fault of His own, the IDEAL was not even achieved by God Himself! ..... These passages from the prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah also assist in the clarification of another misconception commonly held: God does not actually recognize a state of divorce; only death can terminate a marriage. If this be so, does this not suggest that God and Judah were guilty of an adulterous relationship?! If the first marriage was not truly at an end, because both spouses were still alive, then God was 'living in sin' with the sister of His wife! Such accusations have often been hurled at one's fellow man, but would any man be so bold as to suggest such of God?! Perhaps reflection in this area will lead to greater caution in making such charges against others."

This writer agrees with Maxey that God knows when a divorce takes place. The point of contention, upon which the discussion will soon focus, is the right of unscripturally divorced persons to remarry.

Al Maxey: "Even though they may well be the 'guilty party' in the breakdown of the relationship, they are not without hope, for they are not beyond the reach of God's forgiveness, or the cleansing power of Christ's blood. Rather than an attitude of cold condemnation, God's ambassadors of grace must show forth an attitude of loving concern, and proclaim a message of healing and hope."

No, the guilty party is not without hope. Guilty parties may choose to become eunuchs in order to enter into eternal life (Matt. 19:12). The blood of Christ will not take an adulterous union and re-create it into the state of purity anymore than it can re-create homosexuality into purity. God's ambassadors of grace, the apostles (2 Cor. 5:20), taught the doctrine of repentance working hand in hand with loving concern, healing and hope.

Chapter 3 of Down, But Not Out is based upon the erroneous assumption that God first married Israel, then after divorcing Israel he married Israel's sister Judah. This writer will comment on another inconsistency of this false view of God's covenant with the Jews during the Mosaic dispensation as another chapter of Down, But Not Out is reviewed. For now it is enough to point out that the teaching in chapter three is based upon error.

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