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

Tuesday, December 19, 2000

Continuing Comments & Criticisms
By Darrell Broking

Al says, "As I have pointed out amply, I fully acknowledge the force of the imperative in these verses. Frankly, I'm not sure what Darrell's objection is." Then Al goes on to state the problem which was presented to him:

Well Al, it seems that you clearly see the "connection" of what you refer to as "disconnected." You understand completely the objection I have raised. Its alleged disconnection is just that it is disconnected from your theory. I gave Bible for my position. Your position is going beyond the doctrine of Christ. If all men would agree to stay with the Bible on matters of obligation, then there would be much less division in religion.

Al says, "As one might suspect, I disagree completely with Darrell's assessment. I think his viewpoint is entirely false." Al, it's not a problem to disagree with me. The problem is your rejection of Jesus' doctrine (John 12:48; 2 John 9-11).

Al wrote: "In the very same chapter Paul says the following to the divorced (and he does not speak to the cause of the divorce, whether it be 'scriptural' or 'unscriptural'): 'Are you released from a wife? Do not seek a wife' (vs. 27b). This last phrase, by the way, is a Present Active Imperative. It is a command!! What is Paul's advice here?: DO NOT GET MARRIED!!!"

First of all, the immediate context and the overall context of the New Testament does speak to the cause of divorce. Al, when you argue this point you are no different than the denominational theologian who argues against baptism in order to obtain the remission of sins, because some passages mention faith only.

In the second place, the Bible disagrees with you that all divorce equals total separation from one's spouse. For example you argue that the word "luo" in its various forms, when used to denote what we call divorce, means total separation from the covenant to which God stands as a witness. On August 8th you wrote:

In light of this information, I wonder why you do not teach that when a person breaks God's law he receives a total release from God's law? In our recent question and answer exchange you contradicted yourself here, Al. For example, notice that in the conditional relative clause, "hos eav oun luse mian ton entolon touton" ("Whosoever therefore shall break one of these commands") -- Matt. 5:19 -- that the third person singular, first aorist subjunctive of luo is used to denote the breaking of God's law. Al, I know that you will work hard to argue against yourself here, but I pray that you will see your inconsistency. If what you argue about divorce were true, then when one shall violate God's law, he shall be totally free from God's law. Finally Al, the charge not to marry was given in the context of "the present distress" (1 Cor. 7:26); and it was qualified by the statement, "But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned;" which is indicative of the fact that scriptural candidates for marriage are under consideration. If, as you allege, the statement "But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned," then Paul is in error for commanding that anyone who puts away a spouse (the context clearly ties into Matthew 19:6-9), for reasons other than fornication, to remain unmarried or be reconciled to their spouse. The time element you introduce herein is not found in all of the holy writ! Yes Al, this is a tremendous blunder in your theory of marriage, divorce and remarriage.

Al says that "this is where Darrell departs from reality, however. In the REAL world reconciliations don't always happen. Some marriages are so totally destroyed that they will never be saved .... ever! Darrell believes that in such cases these people must remain forever single and celibate. I do not believe the Bible teaches this."

Al's belief of a thing does not make it so. Nor does this writer's belief of a thing make it so. The Lord's words are plain and easy to understand. Jesus said that "whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another committeth adultery." Al, this is why some who have divorced for reasons other than fornication "have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake" (Matt. 19:12). This is Bible, not a man's mere opinion!

Al says, "I suppose with regard to this matter we will simply have to agree to disagree. I have presented my case in great detail, both in my book and here in this discussion." Once again Al, your philosophy stands in opposition to the doctrine of Christ. For our Lord would have us all "speak the same thing, that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment" (1 Cor. 1:10). The case you presented in your book takes the simple words of our Lord and the inspired writers of the New Testament, and changes their true import and meaning to fit your theory. The only way we can be united in this matter is to stay with that which is written in the Book.

Al says, "However, nothing I say will sway my opponent from his harsh legalisms." Al, if demanding to stay with what is written and obey it as it is written is "harsh legalism," then so be it. I plead guilty to the charge because my Lord said, "He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day" (John 12:48). Not only this, but the Bible says that "he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him" (Heb. 5:9); and, like Paul, I am "under the law to Christ" (1 Cor. 9:21). Religious unity is only possible when men stay with what is written. Not to distract us from the discussion at hand, but to present this in another way: Al, you do not see the sin of using mechanical instruments of music in worship, because you are willing to go beyond what is written in Colossians 3:16 and Ephesians 5:19. Until people stop going beyond the doctrine of Christ, there will be division and charges of "harsh legalism" directed toward those who demand a "thus saith the Lord" for all that is done in religion (Col. 3:17)!

The fact that the clause only appears in Matthew makes absolutely no difference to its validity. Robertson, while dealing with a group of scholars in disagreement with the genuineness of the exceptive clause because it is in Matthew alone, wrote: "That in my opinion is gratuitous criticism which is unwilling to accept Matthew's report because it disagrees with one's views on the subject of divorce" (Word Pictures in the New Testament, p. 155). I must echo his words in your case too, Al.

If a clause stating an exception is not an exceptive clause, then what is it? Scripture is an objective standard to which conformity is to be made, not a subjective standard offering room to agree to disagree on salvation issues. Friends, if the Bible does not mean what it says, what does it mean? Not only this, but why does my opponent in this discussion attack what he surmises is a lack of ability to comprehend? Al, I comprehend exactly what you say in regard to the exceptive clause of Matt. 19:9. You use it simply to assign guilt! But Jesus Christ did not teach what you teach, Al.

Let's examine Matthew 19:9. "Lego de humin" ("But I am saying to you"), Moses' doctrine is no longer the standard. Jesus forbids even the divorce that Deuteronomy 24:1-4 allowed. "hoti" introduces a direct discourse. Jesus is giving his teaching which is applicable in the kingdom dispensation. "hos an apolose .... kai gamesa" a present general condition in which the apodosis has a present tense that contemplates the future as well as the present, "moikatai." The phrase, "me epi porneia" ("not upon fornication") modifies "apolose" and presents a true exception, under which the apodosis does not apply. Therefore, the corollary to the conditional sentence is "whosoever divorces his wife for fornication and marries another does not commit adultery." The English translation of this verse is clear and understandable. That is until one comes along and says, "that exceptive clause in Matthew 19:9, well let me explain to you why it does not mean what it says."

There is no confusion here, Al. If there is no exception to Jesus' law on divorce and remarriage, then whosoever divorces and remarries commits adultery.

And Al says, "Where in the world he comes up with his 'insights' into what I believe and teach is beyond me!! I neither believe nor teach any of what he has stated."

As I point out above, if your position on the exceptive clause were true, then your doctrine makes all divorced and remarried persons adulterers. I know, as well as the readership of this discussion, that you don't believe this conclusion. But consistency with the Bible demands it.

Al, I wish it were that simple, but it is not. In a paragraph above I have shown what the Lord's will is on the matter. If the conditions in the protasis are true, then the apodosis is true. Al, there is a huge hole in your position and most people can see it. You are forcing all of your thrust here to the divorce itself. But our Lord is not. He is stating a condition which results from divorce AND REMARRIAGE, not divorce alone. Divorcing not upon fornication (meaning only when fornication has occurred) and marrying another constitutes adultery. This the Lord teaches, the Bible teaches, and every faithful Christian teaches.

Al says, "How does this 'forbid all divorced persons from remarriage?' It doesn't forbid remarriage at all. It has nothing whatsoever to do with remarriage. It merely assigns responsibility for the divorce." Al, I have answered this already in the post.

You clearly disagree with Jesus on this matter.

Al wrote: "Darrell states that my interpretation would suggest that 'all remarriage would thus constitute adultery.' How in the world did he arrive at that? I don't believe it suggests any such thing. Remarriage does NOT constitute adultery."

Al, you are partially correct here. Remarriage itself does not constitute adultery. However, as I proved above, each time one divorces not upon fornication and marries another, he commits adultery, that is, he keeps on committing adultery.

Al, if your vain attempt to wish away the exceptive clause constituted true and healthy doctrine, then all persons who divorce and then remarry enter into adultery. It is that simple. As far as your multiplicity of e-mails is concerned, I have a nice collection myself. But, unlike you Al, I choose to follow the Bible regardless of what everyone else wants to do. "Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest judgment" (Exodus 23:2). "Though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished: but the seed of the righteous shall be delivered" (Prov. 11:21). "Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished" (Prov. 16:5). Al Maxey, I challenge you to get away from the word games in which you major and deal with the doctrine at hand.

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