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

Friday, November 3, 2000

A Response to Broking's
Summary On Matthew 19:6
By Al Maxey

Darrell states that "Paul's comments in I Corinthians 7:10-11 are inspired commentary on the Lord's prohibitive statement recorded in Matthew 19:6. These verses need to be considered together." He later observes: " would be consistent to keep Matthew 19:6 right in line with its parallel passage and inspired commentary."

There is no question but what Paul and Jesus both have God's IDEAL in mind here, just as Malachi did in Malachi 2:14-16. The concept of the IDEAL in the covenant of marriage runs all through Scripture. Naturally, Jesus and Paul would both have it in mind and thus incorporate it into their teaching. God intended marriages to be permanent and not to be fractured for every frivolous reason (as they were during the time of Christ and Paul). Thus, both held up God's original design for marriage. I don't think Paul's statement is as much an "inspired commentary" on what Jesus said, as what they BOTH said is an "inspired commentary" on God's IDEAL for marriage.

Thus, to the degree that they both uphold that IDEAL, I agree with Darrell that there is some parallelism here. However, Jesus and Paul then progress from this IDEAL into various other statements relevant to varying situations. Paul, for example, after establishing the IDEAL, then addresses a host of scenarios: married believers, separated believers, religiously mixed marriages, virgins, widows, etc. He even addresses the matter of remarriage for the divorced in verses 27-28. Thus, I would hesitate to try and press this "inspired commentary on Matthew 19:6" concept too much farther than the obvious fact that both uphold the original design of the Creator: one man for one woman for life.

How Paul then goes on to advise those who find themselves in failed marriages, and how this advice relates to what Jesus taught subsequent to Matthew 19:6, is another matter, and can indeed be addressed (to some relevant degree) in an evaluation of the various parts of the doctrine of Matthew 19:9 (and the parallel passages in Mark and Luke). Darrell alludes to this in such statements as: "Yes Al, I am going to use any passage of scripture which pertains to the exceptive clause" and "Any passages shedding light on these issues will be introduced at that time." That is fine, as long as the passages introduced are actually relevant to the doctrine being discussed, and not an attempt at a diversion.

Just as a "somewhat light-hearted" observation, Darrell has repeatedly referred to my teaching as a "doctrine of demons." He did so four times just in his last post. According to I Timothy 4:1-3, those who proclaim "doctrines of demons" are, in part, "men who forbid marriage." I'll let the readers judge which of the two of us is the one "forbidding marriage" in this discussion! And yes, this comment is partly "tongue-in-cheek" ..... however, I think there may well be a bit of truth here, as well. Darrell, by his doctrine, would forbid marriage to large numbers of people, based simply upon his own interpretation of a few passages.

Darrell, in his post, speaks of some occasion when "Al simply threw in the towel and refused to answer what he teaches." I'm not sure when that would have been. I don't recall ever throwing in the towel or refusing to defend my teaching. Indeed, I've had to keep after Darrell just to keep this discussion going. Perhaps he could provide the statement, and the circumstances, where I "threw in the towel." Just curious.

Darrell wrote: "Al, the reason I mentioned your lean toward an anti-hell doctrine is because when a man teaches error that is the doctrine of demons, he will eventually have to deny that hell even exists. This is what many of your predecessors have done, so I look for it from you too."

I'm not sure who you have in mind when you speak of my "predecessors." Perhaps you could give us all some names here. As for denying the reality of hell, I most certainly DO NOT. The Bible clearly teaches that there is a "lake of fire" which has been prepared, and that those who are counted unworthy of immortality will be cast there to experience the "second death." I will even go farther than some (who believe the fire to be figurative): I believe the "eternal fire" to be literal fire; the same fire, perhaps, which destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah (Jude 7) and "reduced them to ashes" (II Peter 2:6). Yes, Darrell, I am a firm believer in the reality of hell. I would hate to see you go there.

Darrell wrote: "I will now begin to work on your doctrine of demons as it relates to the exceptive clause. I hope that in the next section of this discussion that you will do a better job of debating the issues which divide us and make you a false teacher."

I look forward to that post, Darrell. And I will be hoping that "in the next section" perhaps you will do a better job of exemplifying the spirit of Jesus and showing a bit more brotherly love and respect for one with whom you differ.

May God richly bless you, brother!

Home Index