Maxey - Hughes Debate

Third Rebuttal
to the First Proposition
by Michael Hughes

Monday, October 14, 2002

Al did not like that I referred to his comment "God seemingly puts more significance on a wet body than a willing heart" as "an appeal to the emotionally absurd." Yet in his following comments it seems to me that he does not recognize why I refer to it as such. He cites Hosea 6:6, "For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings." (His translation substitutes loyalty for mercy).

Al, let me ask a rhetorical question. Do you really intend to imply that God did NOT want sacrifice at all? Is it your intent with this passage and with Psalm 51:16-17 as well as 1 Samuel 16:7, to imply that God did not want the very things that He commanded? That is what you are implying whether you intend to or not. If these passages are to be taken as you try to present them then we have to assume that God just arbitrarily demanded sacrifices that he truly did not want.

The implication of that is more severe than you perhaps imagine for we are told that Heb 9:22 KJV "And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission." Then six verses later we read, Heb 9:28 KJV "So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation." Peter tells us that we "were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:" 1 Peter 1:18-19 KJV. Now Brother if what you are trying to imply is true, then our God is more cruel that even the God Molech whom He despised so much. We have a God that allowed the sacrifice of His Son. He did so UNNECESSARILY. If sacrifice was so undesirable to Him then He need have never required it in the first place.

You make the statement that "It was not the sacrifices and rituals that ultimately gained one his restoration and salvation, it was a sincere HEART turned fully to God." Al, what you do not see is that the one does not exclude the other! Oh, you gave lip service to it in your definitions, but you do not truly believe it. Your arguments all imply a sincere heart without the follow through obedience. This is why the statement is an appeal to the emotionally absurd. It tries to lead a person to the emotional feelings of the heart is right as long a sincerity is involved and God is much more pleased with sincerity than with compliance. It is emotional and it is absurd.

It is absurd because the Bible DOES NOT TEACH SUCH. John 14:15 KJV "If ye love me, keep my commandments." Emotion (attitude) and obedience. John 15:14 KJV "Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you." Emotion (attitude) and obedience. John 14:21-24 KJV "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me." Emotion (attitude) and obedience.

Even concerning our worship Jesus said that we must, must mind you, worship Him in spirit (attitude) and truth (obedience). The two are inseparable yet you have argued that one can be saved without the other consistently throughout your affirmative while claiming that you do not believe the very thing that you are arguing for!

Al you misquoted me when you said that I said "that it is reasonable to think a willing heart would be acceptable to God." What I actually said, (and I had to read my rebuttal twice to find what you were referencing) was this; "It would SEEM that a willing heart is perfectly acceptable doesn't." (I left the "it" off the end of that sentence). I went on to say that "It would be sufficient for me. It would be sufficient to any one of you reading this discussion. It certainly SEEMS reasonable that it would be acceptable to God."

This was to point out the emotional appeal that Al made when he said "Thus, God seemingly puts more significance on a wet body than a willing heart." What I said in response to that and what Al said that I said are NOT the same.

He then refers to the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15. He talks about a Father who "will run and embrace that child who has turned away from the pigpen and is headed for home, . . ." He say "THAT is the revealed nature of the Father I worship and serve. He doesn't sit on the porch waiting for those last few feet to be walked and for every penitent act to be performed."

So Al, yes this parable shows a Father that is waiting with open arms for the prodigal child to return home to Him. That is the intent of the parable is to show the Father's willingness to forgive. Where can we infer anything in that parable that negates the necessity of doing what the Father requires. Is there something in this parable that negates the need to be baptized? The need to have one's sins washed away? No, Al. There is not.

Wait . . . it does say "while he was yet afar off" doesn't it. Perhaps this means that one hasn't even walked out the door to get in the car yet? Al, you know that it doesn't. It was you yourself that said in your very first affirmative that a command not obeyed is a command not obeyed. A person that has not been baptized has not obeyed. Plain and simple.

In response to my request for a thus saith the Lord for an exception to baptism Al acknowledges that there is not one. He states, "If such a passage existed we would not be having this debate." Al, I submit to you that since there is no such passage we should not be having this debate. I can and will show where there are many "thus saith the Lord's" necessitating baptism. You can show none showing a commandment, an example, nor a necessary inference that there is an exception to baptism being required. In all honesty that should be sufficient to end the discussion. We are having this discussion because you friend are unwilling to accept what the scriptures do say.

He then states that "our discussion centers around our respective views of the nature of our Father in a very special circumstance. Which has the greater governance over His dealings with penitent believers: law or love? Commandment or compassion? The Father I have come to know is characterized by the latter. Michael apparently perceives Him as the former."

This statement epitomizes the terrible misunderstanding that Al has concerning our God. Law and love are not separated. I have already shown that previously in this article. Commandment and compassion are not incompatible. Read Romans 9:15-33. God says that He will have mercy upon whom He will have mercy and compassion upon whom He will have compassion. The rest of that passage makes clear just whom that will be. It will be those whose love for God makes them obedient to His will. Law and love, commandment and compassion my friend are inseparable concepts. Too many today try to convince us that we have a shizophrenic God. There is law BECAUSE of love. There is commandment BECAUSE of compassion.

Alas, I got in a hurry and paid the penalty. I meant to say "Jesus did NOT "not condemn" her sin." I left out the word sin and changed the meaning of the sentence. Other than that Al had no adequate response to my comments concerning the woman at the well and they still stand unopposed.

Then in reponse to my comments about his examples of those in the process of obeying, but dying before having obeyed he simply says that "once again I would remind him that our God's ways are not BENEATH man's but rather HIGHER! NOBLER!" This is tantamount to Al saying that his position is higher and nobler because he considers it the more merciful and compassionate. I think that he dangerously presumes too much. He certainly has not proven that it is the case that God would save someone that has not obeyed Him.

He did not like my response about the two persons (examples) that he gave. I thought I was rather clear that grace was not mine to extend. That was what he asked me, if I would extend grace to them. Apparently what he meant to ask me is did I believe that the scriptures teach that these two men were compliant with the will of God and saved as a result of their obedience. My answer is no they were not obedient and no they are not saved . . . according to the scriptures!

Al makes another inadequate stab at Abraham, but totally ignored my illustration of what would be required for Abraham to become a parallel to his affirmative. Abraham still does not help him.

In response to Nadab & Abihu, Uzzah, and Uzziah, Al totally ignores Uzzah and Uzziah and makes only unsubstantiated assertion concerning Nadab and Abihu. I won't offer arguments against mere assertion. If he had evidence showing that Nadab and Abihu were drunk he should have presented it. I see no such evidence. He disagrees on each that there was good intent, but offers no arguments so I have to suppose that he has none.

In response to Al's story of God's working in mysterious ways all I can say is that such a story at the end of Al's failed affirmative does not surprise me at all. I will say this however if a man waits his entire life then finally after living so long decides well, now I will get baptized and dies on the way to the baptistery then my friends that man took his chances and lost. As a result, he died lost. Heb 10:31 KJV "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God."