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

Tuesday, September 12, 2000

A Response by Al Maxey to
Broking's Additional Comments

Darrell has returned once again to his opinion with respect to the word "lelusai" and its usage in the I Corinthians 7:27 passage. We both expressed our convictions concerning this Greek term in the examination of Chapter Four, and I won't burden the readers or Darrell with a restatement of my research into this matter. It is on the record for all to read. I will address the matter again, however, when we examine Chapter Seven in my book, which deals with the teaching of the apostle Paul. At that time it will become necessary to look far more closely at this passage and compare his teaching to the declarations of our Lord Jesus Christ.

My critic maintains, "the immediate context of I Corinthians 7, and the overall context of the New Testament writings, will not allow the usage for which my opponent contends." Needless to say, I couldn't disagree more. Just the opposite is true, in my view. I am personally convicted that Darrell's theory is totally at odds with biblical Truth. In his third paragraph, Darrell attempts an exegesis of I Cor. 7:10-11, but fails miserably to perceive the actual meaning of the passage, and also the meaning of key words within the passage. Again, that will be made abundantly clear when we get to our discussion of the teaching of Paul.

After expressing his opinion as to the meaning of the above passage in Paul's first letter to the Corinthian brethren, Darrell reflects, "Now that is right down there where the calves can get it, as brother Keeble would say." "Not all that's green is grass," one philosopher once stated. More than a few unenlightened and inexperienced calves have gorged and bloated on false fodder. "Accessibility don't guarantee digestibility!," the old country farmer might muse.

My Greek professor in graduate school pointed out that the study of the Greek NT was somewhat like the prospector who went out searching for gold. Many nuggets could be found lying about on the surface, and the novice gleefully gathered them up, but the real treasures had to be mined, and that takes a bit more skill. I believe Darrell has cried "Eureka!" over the nuggets he's found on the ground, and in his excitement has failed to perceive the gold mine deeper down. When we get to our study of the writings of Paul, I will try to display the vast spiritual treasure (the richness of enlightenment) awaiting those willing to look a bit deeper into the Word.

We are not yet ready for the teaching of the apostle Paul, however. To truly appreciate it one must first feast upon the teaching of Jesus Christ. We have yet to do that. I had hoped that Darrell would critique Chapter Five of Down, But Not Out in this post. After all, he spent 21 days preparing it, so I expected a lengthy, thorough exposition of the "many falsehoods" he had found in that chapter. However, it appears that once again my critic has come up empty-handed. The first half of his post was a rehash of his opinion on "lelusai" and an attempt at an exegesis of a passage in I Corinthians 7, the significance of which he has clearly failed to perceive. The other half of his post consisted of comments on Herod and Herodias, which I suppose is the sum total of his "criticism" of Chapter Five of my book. Notice the following few paragraphs from my book (Chapter Five) on this historical situation:

Darrell correctly points out that "God recognized their marriage as unlawful." The Law of God, as given through Moses, clearly declared it unlawful for a man to take his brother's wife. This is exactly what Herod Antipas had done. But not only was this an unlawful marriage in that sense, it was also an incestuous one. Herod Antipas was also the uncle of Herodias! This relationship was morally wrong on several counts.

Darrell seems to imply the major factor in God's rejection of this present marriage is that they were both "unscripturally divorced" and thus not "scriptural candidates" for remarriage. However, it was not the simple fact that they were divorced that caused their current union to be regarded as unlawful, as Darrell implies, it was rather the treacherous and unlawful way in which they had severed their covenants in order to join themselves together, and with WHOM they had joined themselves together: they were uncle & niece, and brother-in-law & sister-in-law. This was a despicable act from numerous angles; it can hardly be appealed to as any kind of "norm" in establishing NT doctrine on MDR. It was a most unique case, and an especially abominable one. Because of the power of the participants in this union, and the sensitivity of Herod to criticism, it was the perfect setting for the critics of Jesus to seek His downfall.

Darrell points out that Herod and Herodias "were amenable to God's law." I agree! As Darrell goes on to point out, all men everywhere will be judged by the Standard given from above. Brother Broking wrote, "Jesus did not give the world a standard of morality that differs with the standard given to the church." Again, I find myself in complete agreement with Darrell on this.

Darrell wrote, "those who assume all divorced persons are free to marry again assume more than the Bible teaches." I would tend to agree with this also, Darrell, although I think we would approach the application of this somewhat differently. I don't think it is the fact of divorce itself which forbids a second union to some individuals, but rather the nature of the second union. If a man leaves his wife for a MAN, I don't believe he has the right to THAT union! Jesus (in Luke), to provide another example, described those who were simply hopping from one wife to another with no regard for their victims or the Law of God. This also was condemned. These people had no right to such abominable behavior. Incestuous unions were also forbidden, regardless of one's previous marital condition.

The Bible does not give carte blanche to play "musical mates." I have never suggested such, and would oppose anyone who taught such. However, the Bible is also not as restrictive with regard to subsequent unions as Darrell would have us believe. Darrell believes God forbids remarriage to all but a select handful of approved candidates. The passages to which Darrell appeals for this theory of his simply do not teach this, in spite of his impassioned professions to the contrary. He has assumed far more than is actually there.

We are right at the threshold of these vital teachings of Jesus Christ, and we will undoubtedly be discussing them in-depth in our next few posts. Finally, we are going to get to Darrell's "final word" on the subject. When we do, the readers will discover the major differences in our two views of MDR, and the basis (or lack thereof) for each.

Darrell writes, "Only those who are innocent of fornication, and put away a spouse guilty of fornication, have the Lord's authority to be bound to another in marriage." To use Darrell's own words, I believe he "assumes more than the Bible teaches." This will be brought out as we discuss the teaching of Jesus Christ. "Would to God that men today would stop allowing the world to be the thermostat of doctrine. The Bible occupies that position." AMEN, Darrell. I hope we will both remember this in the exchanges which lie before us!!

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