This debate has been a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate just how far men will move away from the cross of Christ without accepting God's Word for what it is. In his second negative response Maxey jested, "Actually, I am being rather generous in characterizing his latest offering as his second 'affirmative.' More properly, as I perceive it, what we have here is more of a rebuttal of a rebuttal." What did he expect? Did Maxey expect to be able to communicate his false teaching without it being answered? I answered his error and attempted once again to get him to deal with the importance and place of God's Word in the scheme of salvation and fellowship, which has yet to happen in this debate. It is easy enough to answer Maxey's false teaching with the Bible, but getting Maxey and others with a similar mind set to acknowledge that truth is another matter.
It is strange to me as a Christian, preacher, and an elder, to read teaching that goes so far as to allege that men really do not even need the Bible to find salvation, but then uses the Bible to try to prove that those who demand Bible authority are wrong. One reader of the debate wrote the following to me:
I too am praying for Al's defeat. As long as he teaches error and refuses to accept the Bible for what it is and follow its teaching, he is a threat to the souls of men and women.
This debate is now posted at www.churchesofchrist.com. On that web site there is also a reader's guide to evaluating a debate. I pray that it will be useful to the readers of this debate. Maxey has been posting debate responses from his readers in his weekly Reflections. However, not all of his readers' responses find their way into his Reflections, as was noted by two different phone calls I received from Maxey's Reflections readers. When I made that information known on the ContendingFTF list, one reader sent me the following, "HA! Yeah that is standard operating procedure for Al. LOADS of sweet syrupy praise for himself. Nary a word of criticism." Another reader wrote the following, "We're seeing the real Al -- just like all wanna leftist radical leaders no criticisms are tolerated by the self-proclaimed tolerant one."
Another aspect noted in his Reflections readers' comments section is the number of remarks critical of my labeling Al Maxey with terms that describe the exact doctrines he now advocates. One reader noticed this too and sent me an email stating:
If you want your comments to get through to Maxey's readers, send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will try to find a place for your comments in my posts. Regardless of what is said, God's Word is what determines truth.
Answers to Al's T/F Questions
Questions for Al
Critique of Al's Second Rebuttal:
Al's T/F Answers
I asked Al, "Baptism for the remission of sins is essential for the salvation of all men living today. True or False?" To which Maxey suggested that the question was improperly worded because he thought that the question took into consideration those who are not accountable. However, those individuals are safe and are not in need of salvation. Nevertheless, he gave us his answer, which was as I suggested, "false." Maxey does not believe that a lost person needs to be baptized for the remission of sins to be saved. The Biblical pattern teaches that all accountable men living today must be baptized for the remission of sins before they can stand in the grace of God. Maxey denies this fundamental truth from God's Word. Part of the problem with the way Maxey perceived my question lies within his concept of accountability. Maxey alleges that "'accountability' to God is conditioned upon what degree of revelatory light is available to a particular man or woman." In my second affirmative I also asked Al, "Will people who sincerely worship the gods, but have never heard of Christ, be saved? Will they Al?" Maxey chose not to answer this question directly, but his comments about accountability answer the question for us. Notice that in the doctrine of Maxey (Maxey's teaching, not teaching about Maxey) accountability is based on "revelatory light." If the doctrine of Maxey were true doctrine, it would necessarily follow that people who do not have any of God's revelatory light are not accountable to God and therefore have no need of a Savior.
The doctrine of Christ teaches something different than the doctrine of Maxey. The Bible teaches that when Jesus comes again he will take vengeance on them "that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Thess. 1:8). There are two classes of people mentioned here. One class of people does not know God. Maxey is fond of citing Barnes on various matters. Notice what Barnes said about this class of people: "On all who are strangers to him; that is, who are living in pagan darkness, or who, having heard of him, have no practical acquaintance with him" (Barnes, n. d.). Barnes must have realized this truth based on Paul's usage of this particular phrase (cf. 1 Thess. 4:5). In Paul's day as well as in our day, there were people living in darkness without having available to them the revelatory light of God's Word. According to the Bible those people are accountable. Accountability is based on an individual's ability to believe, not on the availability of light (cf. Jonah 4:11). If the doctrine of Maxey were true doctrine, then taking the gospel to people actually harms them, because most people will not obey the gospel and be saved.
The Biblical pattern also declares that those who do not obey the gospel will be lost (2 Thess. 1:8). Maxey also disagrees with the Bible in this matter. Maxey says that a person does not really have to obey the gospel to be saved. On this matter the doctrine of Maxey states:
Thus, according to Maxey, one does not even need the New Testament to find salvation in Christ the Lord. As I said earlier, God's Word is on trial here. Here is the problem with which Maxey will sooner or later have to address. Colossians 3:17 teaches, "And whatsoever ye do, in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." As was already proved in this debate the phrase, "In the name of the Lord" means by the authority of the Lord (Acts 4:7-10). It is impossible to know what the Lord has authorized without learning that matter from His Word. Christians are expected to "walk by faith" (2 Cor. 5:7). Faith comes by "hearing the word of God" (Rom. 10:17). Thus, where there is no Word of God there can be no faith, and without faith God cannot be pleased (Heb. 11:6).
The Word of God is the seed of the kingdom (Luke 8:11). Maxey's doctrine makes the parable of the sower a meaningless waste of space, because within that wonderful parable Jesus made it absolutely clear that one cannot, i.e., it is impossible, to be saved without hearing and obeying the Word of God. One of the most significant differences between the doctrine of Maxey and the doctrine of Christ is that Maxey teaches the people can be saved without the New Testament and Jesus' Word teaches otherwise. The doctrine of Christ teaches that the Word of God saves us because we are begotten by it (James 1:18) when we obey it (1 Pet. 1:22), and that we are born again of this incorruptible seed (1 Pet. 1:23). The Bible further teaches that we are sanctified by the Word of truth (John 17:17), and that Word of truth makes us free (John 8:32). Without the Word of God no man can be saved. Accountability is not based on light, but on the ability to believe.
I also asked Maxey a true or false question about the composition of the gospels, which he was unable to answer either way except to suggest the probability that the source theories behind the gospels are true. This is part of Maxey's problem and it is directly related to his attitude about the salvation of people without hearing and following the Word of God. Until we agree on what the Bible is and what it means to us as God's creation we will never have unity. Without a healthy respect for the Word of God as the revelation of the mind of God to men and the only means whereby men can learn to obey God unto salvation, then nothing in the Bible but a subjective core teaching will be respected. Furthermore, as Maxey demonstrated, that core teaching is not essential as long as the seeker longs for his Creator.
When asked about the Bible's infallibility Maxey agreed that it is, but only in as much as it agrees with modern scientific theories. Accordingly, if macro-evolution theorizes that the world is countless millions of years old, then it must be regardless of what the Creator of the world inspired men to write. In fact, Jesus was the agent through whom the creation took place. He placed humans on the earth at the beginning by discussing the marital arrangement of Adam and Eve and placing this event at the beginning (Matt. 19:5-9). Paul wrote, "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse" (Rom. 1:20). For those invisible things to be seen and understood from the "creation of the world," humans had to have been there at the beginning of the creation. The infallibility of the Scriptures does not allow room for the false doctrine of Theistic Evolution. The doctrines of the source theories behind the New Testament writings and theistic evolution go hand in glove together. All of the aforementioned errors are attempts to fuse Biblical teachings together with atheistic science. Apparently, some theologians are more concerned about legitimacy within the academy than they are with honoring the Word of God for what it is and for what it teaches.
When questioned about the possibility of salvation within denominationalism, Maxey responded in the affirmative and then taught that it is possible to be in Christ and in the Baptist denomination at the same time. If one will not respect the Bible for what it is and for what it teaches, then why not have salvation in denominationalism and in paganism for that matter. Maxey repeatedly affirmed that salvation is in Christ, which the Bible teaches. The difference between what Maxey and the Bible teach is that the Bible teaches that to be in Christ is to be in the church of Christ, not any denomination. The Bible teaches that one cannot enter the kingdom in denominationalism (Gal. 5:19-21). Additionally, the Bible teaches one and only one way into Christ and that way is baptism for the remission of sins (Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:27). Maxey must have found another way into Christ because he does not even believe that one needs the New Testament to find his or her way into Christ.
When asked about adding watermelon as a third emblem to the Lord's Table, Maxey affirmed that this would not constitute sin. With this new teaching we can use holy water and prayer beads in worship, and iconoclasm is no big deal. With this teaching it is not necessary to go to the Scriptures to learn how to Worship God. Anything that is offered to God out of sincerity then meets with God's approval. Who, knowing the Bible, can believe such a thing?
I also asked Maxey the following question, "Man shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God." Maxey said that this is true, but went on to allege that "every word" means only that which God commanded and not every Word which proceeds from the mouth of God. I asked Maxey to "please tell us what part or parts of the New Testament are not Jesus' Word? What part of the New Testament writing will Maxey affirm are not Jesus' Words, i.e., His teaching or doctrine?" From the way Maxey answered this question it necessarily follows that all of the New Testament, except those very few things that we are commanded to do, are not Jesus' Words. But if you are living in the deepest South American jungles and you don't have the New Testament, no problem, you don't need it. Just follow that burning hunch that tells you a God had to create this world and worship him according to that burning nudge and you will find yourself in Him, saved, and in fellowship with all of the redeemed. Ladies and gentlemen, if you don't understand how far away from the truth Maxey's doctrine is, then I pity your souls in that Day to come. I pray that something may be said or done in this debate to open your understanding to the importance and place of God's Word in the scheme of things.
Broking's Answers to Maxey's Questions Discussed
Unlike Maxey, I do not believe that baptism is an act of worship. This is not surprising because Maxey and me are miles apart on the subject of baptism. Baptism is the point at which an alien sinner finds forgiveness and enters salvation. Maxey, on the other hand, believes in salvation before baptism for the remission of sins. That makes as much sense as saying that salvation existed before Jesus died on the cross for our sins. Jesus said that his blood was shed for the remission of sins (Matt. 26:28). Through Peter Jesus said that baptism is for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38). There was either salvation before Jesus shed His blood, or there is no salvation before the point of baptism for the remission of sins, period. That is, if you believe the Bible is God's literal Word! If baptism is an act of worship, and it is not, then alien sinners are able to approach God in worship. If Maxey is consistent with his teaching he will have to agree that alien sinners have the approval of God to worship Him. Through Peter, Jesus said, "But the face of the Lord is against them that do evil" (1 Pet. 3:12). Before baptism all people in need of salvation are still "doing evil" and therefore do not have the approval of God to worship Him. Baptism for the remission of sins brings us into a relationship with God that allows us to go on and worship Him.
In the dialogue preliminary to this debate Maxey promised to unleash "some surprises" designed to leave me "sputtering and red-faced!!" (Maxey, List Announcement, 2008). Maybe my answers to his 3rd and 4th questions were designed by the loving and kind Al Maxey to turn my cheeks red and make me sputter. Neither of which happened. In fact, the criticism that Maxey sent my way in regard to the precise wording of the debate propositions can be redirected right back to him. Notice that on Sunday June 8th I sent an email to the ContendingFTF list which said:
Maxey responded to this email about three hours after it was sent with the following: "Howdy Darrell, I assume your below post was intended for me?!! After being so thoroughly defeated in our first debate, however, I'm surprised you would want another" (Maxey, Re: Debate on Patternism). To which I replied, "You know how much I enjoy the taste of defeat! Darrell." Maxey then wrote, "Well then ... that explains why you would solicit yet another. I'd be happy to oblige" (Maxey, Re: Debate on Patternism). Notice that Maxey agreed to enter into a debate as one who "denies that there is a New Testament Pattern to which we must conform." I understood Maxey's position as he understands mine. I have no desire to make Maxey sputter and turn red in the face because he fine-tuned his position. I would much rather see Maxey sputtering and red-faced because he acknowledged his guilt in regard to the Master's holiness, which brings about a genuine blushing before God. I do not expect to change Maxey's mind at all. One debate reader sent me an email in which he wrote:
The fact of the matter is some are being helped, and for this God is to be praised. One reader told me that when he read Maxey's first negative that it appeared that Maxey defeated me with his teaching. He went on to say that when he read what I wrote and then checked it out with the Bible that it was clear that Maxey's appeal is only worldly and that his teaching cannot stand up to the Word of God. Another reader sent the following in an email:
Thank God for the Word of truth and its power in a good and honest heart.
Maxey also commented about my comments in regard to his 5th question for me. Maxey wrote, "Well, Darrell Broking doesn't feel the day is binding with regard to collections, but he does feel the day is binding with regard to partaking of the communion." The fact of the matter is that Darrell Broking acknowledges that First Corinthians 16:1-2 is absolutely binding for each and every Lord's Day worship assembly. A good translation of the Greek of First Corinthians 16:2 reads, "On the first day of each week, each one of you by himself is to deposit [with the purpose of] storing up that which he might prosper, so that when I come no collections [will have to] be made at that time." By the way, Maxey asked me a question about serving the Lord's Supper to shut-ins. I wonder how many brethren offer shut-ins all five acts of New Testament worship, the collection notwithstanding. This act of worship cannot be replaced or omitted with God's approval. Now then, does the pattern allow Christians to give beyond what they have set aside for the Lord's Day collection? Through Paul Jesus said, "As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith" (Gal. 6:10). If church has an opportunity to give beyond the Lord's Day gathering to help someone or an authorized work, then they have Bible for the practice. What the church does not have is one word of Scripture allowing the church to observe the Lord's Supper any day other than the Lord's Day.
A Few Observations About Maxey's 2nd Rebuttal
In my second affirmative I wrote, "The perceptive differences of men can't be a big deal according to Maxey's theory, as long as those perceptions are the outgrowth of hearts directed toward pleasing God." Maxey replied, "Yes, brother, that is exactly what I believe Scripture teaches." Well, Maxey, that is just your subjective perception and it flies in the face of all that the Bible teaches. Romans 14 is a favorite pattern passage for anti-patternists. In this chapter Paul wrote about matters of opinion not doctrine. It is clear from the Bible that unity is not expected on every matter. Eating meats sacrificed to idols created a problem for the early church, but God did not command the church not to eat meat sacrificed to idols. Romans 14 reveals the not the pattern to agree to disagree on all matters. It reveals the pattern that governs all matters of opinion. Why appeal to Romans 14 if the New Testament does not really matter anyway? Maxey wrote, "Each faction has its own patternistic list (which they will never, ever provide, even if you should plead for it, which I have been for well over 30 years now), and all others are judged to be either saved or lost simply by how well they comply or fail to conform." The interesting thing in all of this is that Maxey too has a "patternistic list" and condemns those who do not agree with him.
Maxey's subjective ideas about Romans 14 evaporate when someone disagrees with his pattern. Maxey also wrote, "Perfect agreement on all things is not only unrealistic, it is unachievable. Not only that ... it is undesirable! But, perfect agreement in all things is NOT what Paul was calling for in 1 Cor. 1:10." True, agreement in all things is not required by God, only agreement on matters of the doctrine of Christ. Maxey, if you don't agree with me and at the same time you want to honor your perception of Romans 14, then just love me anyway and don't try to get me to violate my conscience. After all, according to Maxey it is unrealistic to think that we can agree on the doctrine of Christ. Is it arrogance? Is it pride? I do not know, but I pity the man who so forcefully presses the idea that men must agree to disagree in religion, but then at the same time forcefully condemns those who disagree with his pattern.
Hebrews 7:14 Revisited
In my second affirmative I wrote, "Hebrews 7:14 is one of several passages demonstrating that fallible men must make inference from the silence of Scripture in order to please God." Notice Maxey's response:
I hope that did not hurt your jaws too bad. Maxey also wrote, "The tribe from which all the priests were to be taken was Levi .... and only Levi. Do you just suppose that might be why Darrell referred to it as the 'Levitical Priesthood' in his above statement?!!" By revisiting the context of my statement notice that I also wrote, "The writer of Hebrews was arguing the fact that Jesus could not have been a priest on earth. Why? Because God said that the priests had to descend from Aaron, and Jesus was from another tribe." This did not hurt my jaws, but it is a little hard on the neck to try to keep up with which direction Al wants to travel. Maxey wrote further:
Ok, it seems that Maxey gets it as far as the Levitical priesthood is concerned, but hang on to your necks because they are about to swing in the opposite direction with these words from Maxey:
Come on Al, the Bible says to sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. That is what God said. To use Maxey's own words, "God had SPOKEN. God had SPECIFIED. He was NOT silent." Amen, amen!!! I wonder who "succeeded in proving their [his] own ignorance and inability when it comes to sound biblical exegesis." Last Sunday, August 3rd, I visited a congregation in Texas. A member of that congregation approached me and said, "Darrell you have so much more patience than I do." He had read the first two affirmatives and negatives in this debate and made the point that he just did not have the patience to deal with the double-talking Al Maxey. I guess that he just cannot understand that Maxey is a wonderfully loving person, especially when ridiculing and mocking those who do not agree with his "agree to disagree" doctrine.
The Case for Understanding the NT
There are many like Maxey who believe that the Bible cannot be correctly interpreted. They say that the best men can do is to agree to disagree about Biblical interpretations. Others suggest that interpreters can make the Bible mean whatever they want it to mean. Skeptics suggest that the Bible offers nothing of value to men because there are so many different interpretations of it.
God Expects Men to Learn the Truth
To Timothy Paul wrote, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Tim. 2:15). From a study of this verse it is clear that Paul's instruction to rightly divide the word of truth implies that the Bible can be interpreted correctly. The word translated study means "to be diligent, earnest, or eager." When this word is used with an infinitive as it is here it means "make every effort to do one's best, to be eager" (Zodhiates, 1993). The implication is that men can overcome all obstacles that are placed in the way of proper interpretation of the Bible. The word ashamed implies that men can correctly interpret the Bible.
There can be no doubt that God expects men to imitate Jesus. Paul wrote, "Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ" (1 Cor. 11:1). The Greek word translated followers means "to imitate" (Zodhiates, 1993). How did Jesus our example approach Scripture?
It is interesting that today it is often said that the Bible is non-scientific and cannot be used to discuss matters of science. This approach to the Bible has contributed to allusion that the Bible cannot be understood by men. However, it is evident that Jesus understood the creation account of Adam and Eve (Mat. 13:35; 25:34, Mark 10:6), Noah's Ark and the flood (Mat. 24:38-39; Luke 17:26-27), Jonah and the whale (Mat. 12:39-41), Sodom and Gomorrah (Matthew 10:15), and the account of Lot and his wife (Luke 17:28-29) as literal events, regardless of what science suggests is possible. Those who suggest that the aforementioned events are allegories, or have meanings which are to be understood beyond the literal sense that was understood and taught by Jesus, will never be able to overcome the obstacle of modern science. Jesus was the agent through whom the creation took place (John 1:1-3) and Moses was the inspired penman who wrote about the creation, flood, and Sodom and Gomorrah. Jesus said of Moses' writings, "But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?" (John 5:47). If Jesus' Word cannot be trusted on these matters, then it cannot be trusted at all.
Jesus affirmed the Bible's Divine inspiration (Mat. 22:43), its indestructibility (Mat. 5:17-18), its infallibility (John 10:35), its final authority (Matt. 4:4,7,10), its historicity (Matt. 12:40; 24:37), its factual inerrancy (Matt. 22:29-32), and its spiritual clarity (Luke 24:25). Moreover, He emphasized the importance of each word of Scripture: "And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail" (Luke 16:17). There were times when Jesus based His argumentation on a single expression of the Biblical text (Matt. 22:32, 43-45; John 10:34).
The Responsibility of the Church
Just as Jesus respected and honored the Bible as the authoritative Word of God, so must the church. To Timothy Paul also noted that the church is "the pillar and ground of the truth" (1 Tim. 3:15). The church is not to make its own truth, it is to support the truth, just as Jesus supported the truth of the Old Testament writings. Therefore, like Timothy, the church today must see to it that "no other doctrine" is taught among us (1 Tim. 1:3). The doctrine that is to be supported by the church is called the "glorious gospel of the blessed God" (1 Tim. 1:11). Jesus sent Paul to preach the gospel (1 Cor. 1:17), which he did by preaching the faith (Gal. 1:23). This is the faith in which God expects His people to be united (Eph. 4:13). In fact, Christians who fail to continue in the faith will be lost (Col. 1:23). God expects men to understand the Bible alike and to follow it as the reliable guide that it is.
Jude said that the faith "was once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 3, EMTV). We have all of the truth that God intended for us to have. Jude also said that this is the faith for which the church must earnestly contend (v. 3). This is the case because the church is the pillar and ground of the truth. The reason for the command in Jude 3 is stated in verse 4: "For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ." Notice that people who deny that the Bible is truth, and truth which is to be expressly followed by men, turn the grace of God into lasciviousness. They say that the Bible is not a Book of law; thus, they engage in sin while claiming that they are covered by the grace of God. Al Maxey is the classic example of the ungodly noted in Jude 4.
The fact of the matter is that there will always be those who turn away from the faith (1 Tim. 4:1; 6:21). Those who preach the Word must preach it faithfully at all times (2 Tim. 4:2), knowing that not all men will enjoy hearing the truth. The church must continue to contend for the faith and see to it that only the faith is taught among us, which means that God expects men to correctly interpret and understand His Word.
The fact of the matter remains. The New Testament is the pattern for salvation and fellowship. Without the New Testament men cannot come to the Christ. Thus far in this debate it has been proved that the New Testament is the divine pattern for salvation and fellowship. It is the apostles' doctrine and the form of sound words (Acts 2:42; 2 Tim. 1:13), and it is given for our obedience (Rom. 1:5). It is the gospel of Christ and it is also called the commandments of Christ (Rom. 1:16; Matt. 28:19). (By the way, I really did not need Al for this debate. If I had known that Al was going to try to redirect the readers of this debate to his Reflections archives, I could have taken his statements directly from his archives and refuted them.) The Bible is the Word of God and without following its teachings men cannot be saved.
One other matter needs to be addressed before this segment of the debate is completed. Maxey mentioned Daniel Coe's statement which was posted on the ContendingFTF discussion list. What Maxey said was true, Daniel said what Al claimed. What Al did not tell you is that Daniel Coe followed up his post with the following:
A man as well-educated as Al Maxey knows better than to separate a statement from its context, or does he?
Additional Reader Responses
From Virginia: "Good points! It will be interesting to see how he'll respond. What's especially intriguing me in his position are: 1) his self-contradiction in his own writings in which he appeals to Bible authority to establish that we must not appeal to Bible authority; 2) his use of the phrase 'the New Testament' in his writings elsewhere to refer to the 27 books, but these are not 'the New Testament' as per his position in this debate; and 3) how he claims to follow Christ as THE pattern, and yet there is not one thing that he could tell you about what Christ did, taught, etc. (aside from the facts that He lived and died, as evidenced by Tacitus, Suetonius, et al.) without the inspired Record of the Bible!"
The following comments were emailed to be by a brother in Christ in Florida who read an email that Al sent me with comments from his readers, one of whom was John Arnold a leader at the newly formed and enlightened Appalachian Church of Christ: "It is interesting that he would tell you that John Arnold is still corresponding with him. Just continues to show the tri-cities area preachers are in total fellowship with Maxey and those of his ilk."
From a Preacher in Virginia: "Darrell, Al clearly is trying to poison the wells and silence critics on his own board. That's simply further proof of the moral bankruptcy of his ideas. It is so sad to see folks who profess to be Christians and lovers of the Word of God 'who cannot reason beyond the end of their noses,' as a history teacher of mine used to describe liberals in his day."
Another preacher wrote:
"What stands out in Al's second 'rebuttal' is that he likes to rely on many things that have nothing to do with the very things he is claiming expertise in. In answering Darrell's question on Baptism (#1), he talks about 'revelatory light' and 'available light,' of which, he alleges, men must have in order to be judged on the baptism standard, yet the New Testament neither contains this terminology nor teaches this in principle. In answering question #4 regarding salvation in the Baptist church, Al replies 'true,' yet cannot provide one passage of scripture that demonstrates there is even a 'Baptist church' in the Bible or that there is salvation in such an institute. Then, in dealing with your answers to his questions, he begins with a definition of worship that is foreign to the use of the word in the Bible. He says, 'One of the best definitions of "worship" that I have heard is: "Worship is the expression of the devotion of one's heart."' The Bible word most often translated 'worship' is defined as 'to kiss toward,' and every example of the act being performed in the scriptures is an action that has divine sanction. It has little to do with an 'expression of devotion,' though such may very well illustrate the Bible term when one considers 'in spirit' (John 4:24). The real question is, 'Why can't Al use Bible definitions?,' especially since he purports himself to be an 'expert.'
"In his take on 1 Cor. 1:10, there is a further implication that we cannot understand the meaning of a few simple words. Al suggests to others that they need to, subjectively, 'discover the meaning.' Such is postmodernism gone to seed! It is merely subjectiveness which removes any kind of standard at all. Is it really true that one cannot understand the meaning of 'speak the same thing'? According to Al this means different things to different people. What value is the written word, then? Further, Al, once again, puts his hopes and reliance on extra-Biblical material (denominational material, at that) to tell him what he should believe in the passage (The Pulpit Commentary). Is Al unable to read?
"In dealing with Silence or Specificity, Al further hangs himself. He has already said that instrumental music is NOT sin, yet suggests that Heb. 7:14 can only be understood in the light of what God SAID about the priesthood. Al forgets that God has already SAID about music as well. If it applies to Heb. 7:14, it applies to Col. 3:16 as well.
"This kind of thinking on Al's part goes on throughout the 'rebuttal.' Further, he still has not answered your questions with regard to which parts of the Bible we are accountable to. I guess if you don't specify, you can make it up as you go along."