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

Wednesday, November 1, 2000

A Response to Broking's Perceptions
Of My Views On Matthew 19:6
By Al Maxey

Darrell entitled his latest post "A Reply to Al Maxey's EISEGESIS on Matthew 19:6." I find this almost amusing in light of the fact that it is Darrell who has been guilty of imposing his own assumptions back into the text. I believe I demonstrated that quite well in my last post.

Darrell wrote: "Matthew 19:6 says nothing about remarriage at all. It says nothing about a severing wherein God allows any remarriage. Friends, when you get through the pomp and fluff of Down, But Not Out and corral Al Maxey on the real issue at hand, what argument does Al have from verse 6? He has no argument at all. Yes, he convicts himself of fatal eisegesis!"

I am frankly beginning to wonder if Darrell actually reads what I write, or if he is just reacting to what he thinks I have written. I really am at a loss as to where he comes up with some of his information and ideas about my beliefs. If one will go back and read my last post (not to mention my book), one will discover that I never sought to derive from Matt. 19:6 what Darrell has assumed. I do not make the "arguments" from verse six that he assumes I make. Far from it. I really make only two major points about what is conveyed in the statement by Jesus recorded in verse six:

  1. Jesus is commanding those who are fracturing their marriage covenants for every frivolous reason imaginable to STOP. The breakdown of covenants of marriage had reached epidemic proportions during that time, and Jesus made it clear that they were far from God's IDEAL for marriage. It was time for them to refocus on what God desired for marriage, and forever cease this senseless severing of marital unions. I'm sure even Darrell would agree with this analysis of Jesus' intent.

  2. Jesus did not declare the severing of a covenant of marriage to be impossible, He declared it to be unacceptable. He didn't say man cannot terminate these covenants (they were clearly doing so), rather He commanded them to cease that which was already in progress. It's just like God's prohibition against murder. It was never God's intention that people murder each other, but they do it anyway .... and those murdered are just as dead! In like manner, it was never God's intention that covenants of marriage be severed, but people were DOING it .... and the marriages were just as terminated. Jesus didn't say, "What God has joined together, man CAN'T separate." Rather, He told them to STOP what they were DOING --- severing the bonds of matrimony. Again, Jesus did not declare the impossibility of divorce, He declared its unacceptability.

This is ALL that I would draw from this particular verse. The issues of whether or not one can remarry, whether or not one is "living in adultery" if they DO remarry, and other such matters, are NOT addressed in Matthew 19:6. Jesus merely spoke to the matter of the rampant disruption of marriages, and declared it was time to bring such sinful behavior to an end.

Darrell wrote: "...the issue of remarriage and its continual results must be addressed in Matthew 19:9 not in verse 6." I couldn't agree more!! I don't believe I ever suggested that verse six spoke to such matters. The only point I made in my last post was that some have attempted to form a theology from verse six which declares the impossibility of divorce; that God does not truly recognize ANY divorce, and that ANY subsequent marriage is therefore a "living in sin." I pointed out that I do not believe such theology can be drawn from that verse. I agree with Darrell on this point. Verse six has absolutely nothing to do with the matter of remarriage and whether or not such is sinful. I'm not quite sure why he thinks I might think otherwise. Perhaps Darrell could provide us all with some direct quotes of mine where I declared such teaching from this one verse.

Darrell again makes it clear in his post that he believes one who remarries, after having been "unscripturally" divorced, is "living in adultery" and will go to hell. Obviously, Matt. 19:6 says nothing whatsoever about such a doctrine, so this must come from somewhere else. Where it comes from is Darrell's faulty understanding of the so-called "exception clause," his faulty perception of the significance of the Present Indicative in Matthew 19:9, and his failure to fully appreciate the full range of meaning of such terms as Porneia and Moicheia. He has formulated his theology upon a faulty foundation, and then he characterizes as "damnable error" any perception or interpretation which differs from his own.

I provided "a mammoth amount of material" (his words) in my last post addressing each of the errors Darrell has made in his approach to these critical areas, and he has side-stepped them all in his present post. Instead, he has accused me of drawing doctrine from verse six which I have clearly never done. He has completely failed to perceive what I declared with regard to verse six, and has not yet addressed the solid evidence provided which displays the flaws in his own eisegesis of the above enumerated matters.

I look forward to Darrell's response to something I DID say in my last post (this present post of his dealt with things I DIDN'T say). I am anxious to hear his thoughts on my comments with respect to the so-called "exception clause," for example. Also, I would like to hear his justification for discounting the bulk of Greek scholarship and declaring the Present Indicative of Matt. 19:9 to be "continuing action." We also need to get into the verb forms utilized by Jesus, with special attention to Voice. All of this is where the substance of our differences lie, NOT in verse six (which is probably one of the few verses we DO substantially agree upon).

THESE are the issues which have led Darrell to embrace a different understanding than I on the subject of MDR. Whether he likes to admit it or not, we do not disagree substantially on verse six. Where we substantially disagree is on how to interpret what Jesus said NEXT. It is my belief that Darrell has woefully mishandled the Greek text, and that his deductions and doctrine are thereby false. Thus, I await his response to these matters.

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