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

Tuesday, May 23, 2000

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

Much of the content of chapter one is opinionative and not worthy of debate. However, when Deuteronomy 24:1-4 is used as a pattern for Jesus' doctrine of marriage, divorce and remarriage, the study is no longer in the realm of opinion, it is a doctrinal matter.

Al wrote: "In order to fully understand the intent and significance of Deuteronomy 24:1-4, and how God views divorce and remarriage, it is also important to notice some of the terminology utilized."

The premise that God "views" (present tense) divorce and remarriage as he did when Moses penned Deuteronomy 24:1-4 is without Biblical support. When Jesus said, "And I say unto you" (Matt. 19:9), he was giving all men God's "view" (present tense) on divorce and remarriage. In Al's second post dealing with Down, But Not Out's introduction he wrote: "Although I do not believe we are under the old law today, nevertheless we can gain much insight from the writings of the 39 books of the OT. I do not believe they in any way negate or overrule, nor are they inconsistent with, the teaching of Jesus Christ and the inspired NT authors .... Further, I sought to demonstrate that the teaching of Jesus and His inspired writers is also very consistent with the truths about MDR proclaimed in the OT writings."

The word "inconsistent" means, "lacking coherence or agreement; discrepant; lacking uniformity; self-contradicting; incongruous." The fact of the matter is that there are many doctrines in the Old Testament that are inconsistent with Jesus' present doctrine. Polygamy, animal sacrifice, and mechanical instruments of music in praise to God were tolerated, allowed or commanded while men were amenable to Old Testament doctrine, but they are completely inconsistent with New Testament doctrine. While the Old Testament can teach Christians, it is not a standard dealing with New Testament law.

Al's second post dealing with the introduction to his book also contained these words, "I think, however, that we must not discount the inspired writings of the OT in our search for the FULL counsel of our God on this subject." When inspired gospel preachers preached the full counsel of God they were bold to declare total abolishment of the Old Law (Eph. 2:14-15; Col. 2:14; Heb. 7:12; 10:9-10).

Al wrote: "In this passage the divorced woman is said to become 'the wife of another man' (vs. 2), who is then referred to as her 'second husband' (vs. 3). He too issued her a certificate of divorce, indicating that a legal marriage was being dissolved. The first husband is commanded not to 'marry her again' (vs. 4). What is the message here? Is it, as some have suggested, that God does not really recognize divorce?"

That God recognizes when divorce takes place is not the issue over which Al Maxey and I are divided. God sees every divorce granted today. Many divorced will even go and marry again, and God sees this too. But in a majority of cases God calls the new marriage "adultery" and says that adulterers shall not inherit the kingdom of God (Matt. 19:9; I Cor. 6:9). Deuteronomy 24:1-4 is passe in relation to New Testament doctrine on marriage, divorce and remarriage.

Al wrote: "The text clearly recognizes that one marriage has ended and another has been entered into, which in turn also comes to an end. The second union is viewed as nothing less than a legal covenant of marriage, and the participants are represented as nothing other than husband and wife. These provisions of God's Law in no way suggest He is pleased with the tragic failures manifested in the lives of His people. They have failed to achieve the IDEAL, and that grieves Him. These provisions do suggest, however, that God is painfully aware of the circumstances and consequences of their behavior. God is a realist, and He responds to man's needs realistically. Marriages had ended; new marriages had begun; and God addressed Himself to those realities. To maintain that God never recognized the termination of the first union, nor the establishment of the second, is to declare far more than the text itself. Indeed, it is to declare the very opposite."

Yes Al God is a realist. Men need to understand this about God. God's law is very real and unalterable. The reality is that God's law, to which all men are amenable, says that when the IDEAL is cast aside in transgression, one or both parties involved in that divorce may not marry again. If they do they live in sin. Yes, God acknowledges that adulterers have entered into new "marriages." Many people do things and live life styles that constitute sin and God, being the realist he is, says that is man's choice. If a man chooses the course of sin God will not invite him into the place of many mansions. God's law is adapted to man's spiritual needs, not man's wish list. Al, much of what God allowed in old times he will not allow today. May all men stand resolved to obey God even when God's will may be considered arbitrary!

The following is taken from Al's last post in this discussion. "Darrell wrote: 'Al Maxey's IDEAL implies that if your first marriage does not succeed, get a new wife and try, try again. If that does not work, then by all means try again. Al Maxey's IDEAL actually encourages people to live in the sinful state of adultery.' Once again, you will note the absence of any quote from my book. I have never taught such a thing, and do not teach it in my book. Darrell's *impression* of what I teach is a far cry from my actual teaching. I think our discussion will make this abundantly clear."

Dear reader as this post in the Maxey - Broking discussion is centered on Al's view of Old Testament doctrine and Deuteronomy 24 being consistent with New Testament doctrine on marriage, divorce and remarriage, what think ye? Is my "impression" a far cry from what Al actually teaches?

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