Issue #235 -------
February 15, 2006
I consider the doctrine of the non-recognition
of our friends in heaven a marvelously
absurd one; I cannot conceive how there
can be any communion of saints in heaven
unless there be mutual recognition.
Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)
This past Sunday morning (February 12, 2006) I presented a sermon titled: "Headed For Our Heavenly Home: And Why I Can't Wait To Get There!" I listed eight reasons why Christians typically long for that eternal abode, and, since my sermons are accompanied by a PowerPoint slide presentation, these eight motivations were all illustrated with some touching graphics that attempted to depict, albeit imperfectly, the marvelous joys awaiting us there. After each of the points, one of my fellow elders, who happened to be leading singing that day, led the congregation in a hymn that was specifically selected to enhance musically the previous point. The congregation seemed to be genuinely edified by this focused worship/edification experience, and it also provided for a far more participatory phenomenon among those gathered. The sermon had been personally requested a couple of weeks earlier by one of our elderly members who is struggling with cancer and undergoing a series of radiation treatments. We all face many trials and tribulations during our earthly sojourn, all of which, I am convinced, will simply make that great eternal reunion one day all the sweeter. How wonderful heaven will be!!
Although our Lord has given us glimpses into this future abode, there is also much we don't know; much that has not been revealed to us in the inspired Word. Like you, I have lots of questions. There is much I would like to know, but, realistically, probably never will until that Great Awakening on the day of our Lord's return to collect His beloved Bride. One of the questions many ask, and this has been debated for centuries, is -- "Will we recognize one another in heaven?" Will I know my Mom and Dad, and will they know me? Will I recognize my dear grandparents? We speak of a wonderful reunion that awaits us there, but what if we don't know one another? What kind of reunion would that be? Although most disciples of Christ firmly believe we shall know one another in the hereafter, there are nevertheless a few who declare such will not be the case. Therefore, we ask -- "What sayeth the Scriptures?"
As already noted, there are some who truly believe there will be NO recognition of one another in heaven. There are several reasons they suggest this. First, they cite the exchange between Jesus and the Sadducees as recorded in Matthew 22:23-32. These Sadducees, "who say there is no resurrection" (so, obviously, their question posed to Jesus was not for the purpose of gaining insight, but hopefully to gain an advantage over Him), presented Jesus with the scenario of a husband who had died without having fathered any children, and so his brother took the woman to be his wife ... and so on and so on through seven brothers. They all die, and, finally, so does the woman herself. The Sadducees then ask Jesus whose wife this woman will be in the next life! Jesus responds, "At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven" (vs. 30).
Although this is indeed a very interesting passage, and raises some additional questions about future relationships in that eternal abode, it nevertheless does not suggest there will be no recognition. To try and move from "no marriage" to "no recognition" is quite an interpretive leap, in my opinion. Jesus says we shall be like the angels. Well, do angels recognize one another? They seem to have names, after all ... at least some of them do. There is Gabriel. Michael. Do you suppose these angels know one another? If they do, and if we are to be like them, then will we know one another? Of course, the advocates of the doctrine of non-recognition say that the only way in which we will be like the angels, according to Jesus in this passage, is in the fact that there will be no marriages. Thus, this passage really doesn't answer our question decisively one way or the other; it could be argued either way from this text, although I still believe it is a completely unwarranted assumption to draw the doctrine of non-recognition out of the doctrine of non-marriage.
Those who embrace the doctrine of non-recognition also suggest that many of the "dearly departed" would simply appear in heaven in a form unknown to us. For example, what about the many infants who die at birth? Will these forever be infants in heaven, or will God transform them into adults? If the latter, how would a mother know her child? How would a deceased infant (or even fetus) recognize its mother? What about the aged? How will my grandma appear in heaven? Will she be the aged woman I remember in my youth, or will she be rejuvenated in her resurrection body? If the latter, how will I recognize her? What about those who go through life with horrible deformities and malformations? For example, if the "Elephant Man" makes it to heaven, what will he look like? Certainly one would think ... one would hope ... he would not retain those deformities for all eternity! Thus, how would we recognize him?
These are valid questions. We know that we shall indeed be changed when our bodies are raised from the dead at His coming, or when we, the living, are caught up in the air with Him, yet we also are uncertain as to exactly how we shall appear. The apostle John wrote, "Beloved, now we are children of God, and what we shall be has not yet been made known. But we know that when He appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him just as He is" (1 John 3:2). What exactly will we look like? We don't know. We haven't been told. What we do know, however, is that we shall be like Him. Was the resurrected Jesus recognizable? Well, there were times He was and times He wasn't. He seemed to have the ability to transform His form to some degree. Some recognized Him, some didn't. There is no question but what we shall also be transformed in some way so as to be made fit for that eternal realm. "It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body" (1 Cor. 15:42). "You do not sow the body which is to be" (vs. 37). "It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body" (vs. 44). "And just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly" (vs. 49). "We shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality" (vs. 51-53).
We will all be changed, transformed, recreated. What will we be like? We shall be like Him. "But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables Him to bring everything under His control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like His glorious body" (Philp. 3:20-21). And, no, I couldn't give you an exact description of that glorious body if my life depended on it ... thankfully, it doesn't. I know it will be wonderful, marvelous, magnificent. I know it will be vastly improved from this present earthly tent. Will I still be me? Yes, I believe I will be. Al Maxey will still be Al Maxey when raised and transformed. My hunch is, however, that my appearance will be changed. This fact, of course, leads some to believe I will not be recognizable to others, and that is certainly, at least on the surface, a seemingly strong argument for the doctrine of non-recognition, although the weakness of this argument is that it bases recognition upon purely outward, physical traits. There is far more to who we are than merely the outward markings of a physical body; our true identity is more inward. However, if recognition is purely physical in nature, they may have a point.
Another argument against the view that we shall know one another in the new heavens and earth is: "How can we truly be happy in heaven if we recognize the fact that some of our loved ones are missing?!" If we can recognize each other in the hereafter, then would we also not recognize the fact that some didn't make it? Could a mother really be happy if she knew her child had been cast into hell? Therefore, some argue that lack of recognition might actually be a great blessing!! Bro. Wayne Jackson sought to deal with this argument in an article that appeared in the October 7, 2003 issue of Christian Courier. His conclusion was that this emotional appeal was really just that, and it was most certainly not just cause biblically for discounting recognition of one another in the eternal realm. Jackson wrote, "It should not be argued that there will not be recognition in heaven, for that clearly is not the case. Nor is it feasible to suggest that one will have no remembrance of earthly associations." Bro. David Padfield, the minister for the Church of Christ in Zion, Illinois, answers this objection in the following manner in his little two-page tract titled "Will We Recognize Each Other in Heaven?" -- "When we speak of future recognition, some skeptic will usually ask, 'Would you be happy in heaven knowing some of your friends were not there?' ... Yes, we will be saddened by the loss of some, but I always thought this is why 'God will wipe away every tear from their eyes' (Rev. 21:4)." If in fact we are able to notice the absence of some (which implies we can recognize the presence of others), then I have no doubt that God will heal this hurt in some way. How? I don't know. But if He can remove the tears from our eyes, He can surely also remove the cause for them!
I personally must agree with the great preacher Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892) on this issue: "I believe that heaven is a fellowship of the saints, and that we shall know one another there." He also wrote, "Some have doubted whether there will be recognition in heaven; there is no room for such doubt, for it is called 'my Father's house;' and shall not the family be known to each other?" In many respects, the gathering together of the redeemed before their God for the great wedding festivities of the Lamb will be a family event -- the family of God!! Family reunions are not times when strangers congregate, but when those known and loved come together for sweet fellowship. Heaven will be just such an occasion. Jesus said, "And I say to you, that many shall come from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 8:11). Our Lord certainly seems to imply recognition at this table, doesn't He?! In a companion passage (Luke 13:28-29) Jesus states that part of the agony of those cast out from the presence of the Lord on that great day will be the fact that they will "see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God." Again, He seems to clearly suggest recognition.
In the Lord's parable of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31) one also sees recognition suggested. Although this is clearly just a parable, and one should not take it too literally (I refer the reader to Reflections #28 in which I provide an analysis of this story), nevertheless I think the Lord certainly was operating from a fundamental perception among the Jewish people that there would be recognition in the afterlife. The account of Jesus on the mount where He was transfigured (Luke 9:28f; Matt. 17:1f), and the appearance of Moses and Elijah, also suggests retention of one's identity in the eternal realm. These two men were identifiable! And who could fail to be moved by the heartfelt statement uttered by David following the death of his infant son --- "I shall go to him, but he will not return to me" (2 Samuel 12:23). David apparently expected to be reunited with his son one day. Throughout the OT writings we find one who has died depicted as being "gathered to his people" or "resting with his fathers." Although this may well be little more than a poetic expression for death, nevertheless it conveys the common perception of a reunion at some point, a hope held dear by many peoples throughout the world. Small comfort this would be if there was no ultimate recognition of one's people or fathers or loved ones who had preceded one in death.
Our Christian hymns are filled with poetic expressions of this hope of seeing our loved ones again one day. In the hymn "O Think of the Home Over There" we read, "I'll soon be at home over there, For the end of my journey I see; Many dear to my heart, over there, Are watching and waiting for me." We are singing of recognition. "We shall meet on that beautiful shore" is the sweet refrain from the inspiring hymn "Sweet By and By." One of my very favorite hymns is the old classic: "Beyond the Sunset." Note the following words from this beautiful hymn: "Beyond the sunset, O glad reunion, With our dear loved ones who've gone before; In that fair homeland we'll know no parting; Beyond the sunset for ever more!" What a glorious reunion with loved ones! Recognition. And who among us has not often sung the following beautiful chorus from the hymn "If We Never Meet Again" --- "If we never meet again this side of heaven, As we struggle through this world and its strife, There's another meeting place somewhere in heaven, By the side of the river of life." Yes, God's people often sing of heaven, and, when we do so, we sing of that joyful reunion with those whom we love. Recognition. This is a fundamental aspect of our Christian hope.
In his first epistle to the brethren in Thessalonica, Paul spoke to the concern among many of the disciples as to the disposition of their departed loved ones. "But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve, as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus" (1 Thess. 4:13-14). We have hope. Part of the nature of this hope is that we shall one day be reunited with those who have preceded us in death. There will be a meeting together with them and the Lord (vs. 17). "Therefore comfort one another with these words" (vs. 18). I believe a significant aspect of this comforting would be that the living would have the blessed assurance that they would see these departed loved ones again. For further insight into this passage, I would refer the reader to Reflections #41 -- A Meeting In The Air.
In summation, we must admit that there is much we don't know about the nature of the afterlife. What will we look like? What exactly will we be doing there? The questions go on and on. The reality is: we have far more questions than answers. However, one thing we can be sure of is that whatever God has planned for the redeemed, it will be glorious beyond comparison with anything we have yet experienced. I doubt any of us will have any complaints. Will we know and recognize one another there? Although I am not prepared to be dogmatic about my views on this matter, I am nevertheless convicted, based upon the above brief study, that the answer is Yes, we will know one another. Exactly how God will bring this about, I don't know; I leave it in His more than capable hands! My ultimate concern in this life is to live in such a way that I may experience the next life, and to assist as many others as I can to experience the same eternal joys that await us. I hope to see you there! And whether we recognize one another or not, won't it be wonderful to be in the presence of our heavenly Father, His beloved Son, and the Holy Spirit?! All else will truly pale in comparison!
From Bro. John Clayton in Indiana:
Bro. Al, I don't know whether you will remember me or not, but we have worked together in the past. Your article "The Great Belly Button Debate" was excellent, and I would like to run it in our bimonthly journal Does God Exist? This journal can be accessed on our web site at www.doesgodexist.org, but we also mail it to roughly 20,000 people. We would tell them about your Reflections also, if that is okay. Let me know if this is something you are willing to let us do. We work way ahead on our bimonthly, so I can't tell you whether it will be in the July/August issue or the next one. Those are the issues where we are working right now. I love your writing! You are not in the mold of most brotherhood writers, and the depth you give is very much needed. Keep up the good work!
From a Reader in New Mexico:
Al, There really are some good aspects in Buddhism, and many of them, in fact, actually approach Christian ideas. The two are compatible enough that, although I have worked in two Christian counseling agencies, I have had Buddhist clients seek us out because of what they see as the agreements in the two "philosophies." Wholeness, compatibility, joining together, peace, personal transformation and understanding, and the attainment eventually of a state of transcendence are the ideas Buddhist clients give as compatible with Christianity, and the reasons they have for seeking counseling from Christians rather than secular therapists. As you say, there really is some good in virtually every religion. Perhaps instead of chasing people away by insisting on their being just like us before we will talk with them (as opposed to talking "to" them, as is too often our practice), we could behave more like Paul with the Athenians (Acts 17) and politely show them through our actions and words that Jesus is that "unknown" God, the creator and fulfillment of Nirvana.
From a Reader in Florida:
Al, Thank you so much for answering my questions about Buddhism and the doctrine of Karma. I knew if anyone could explain it, you could, and that you could still teach what Christ had to say on these issues. I'll be reading your article many more times. The Reflections article on "Reciprocity" was equally helpful to me. I'm still pondering the concept of cognitive dissonance. I feel like the Queen of Sheba who came to Solomon to have her questions answered, and to see if his wisdom was as great as she had heard. Thank you so much! Also, I thought you might find this interesting -- my husband attended a seminar yesterday in connection with his profession and the speaker asked the people attending to list who they'd most like to meet in person. My husband listed: Rudi Giuliani, Al Maxey, and Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf.
From an Elder in Arizona:
Brother Al, Thanks for the enlightenment on Karma. That was REALLY interesting! Your study and knowledge of all these different subjects is of much value to everybody. Thanks for sharing with us! I had finished sleeping by four a.m., so I came in here and brought up the "Maxey stuff" on my computer. The comments in your readers' section confirm that you are showing people the way out of bondage unto legalism and into freedom. I'm thankful you are shining the light into the "dark places of the church" so Jesus can set them free. I think you are a modern day Ketcherside. Carl was my mentor to bring me out of legalism and into His Marvelous Grace.
From a Reader in Alabama:
Al, Your article on Karma was interesting, but what a waste of your time. Go preach the gospel to a lost and dying world.
From a Reader in (Unknown):
I read your Reflections article on belly buttons, and it was interesting. I agree with it, even though I never gave it much thought before. I also read Reflections #234 about cause and effect and karma, and I found that interesting too. However, why would I want to search out and study my neighbors' religions in such detail (exhaustively) when I haven't even scratched the surface on what is to be learned from the Word of God?
From a Reader in Tennessee:
Dear Bro. Al, Now I have been "Karma-lized" ... and it was worthwhile!! Have you had the opportunity to get to know Ken Rideout? He has written well on the general subject of your article in the book: The Truth You Know You Know. Ken spent about 40 years as an evangelist in the Far East. The book was an easy read.
From a Reader in Florida:
Al, With regard to ultra-conservatives -- although I believe there are some good, kind people within that group, there are also some very extreme, unbalanced, "off the deep end" people found there! I am starting to believe that perhaps their extremism and imbalance are actually connected to their religious beliefs. It is sort of like the chicken and the egg argument in some respects, because I am not sure yet whether these people become so unbalanced in life because of their association with these ultra-conservative (CENI hermeneutic) groups, or if they are unbalanced mentally to begin with, and therefore just seem more drawn to such religious beliefs. But, I believe there is a degree to which these two go hand-in-hand. I see how anxiety-driven some in my own family have always been (who are ultra-conservatives). And yet, when I consider what I've always heard from their pulpits -- that we can never be assured of our salvation, that we can never do enough, or be enough, etc. -- my question is: how could they be anything but anxious?!! Anxiety is based in fear, and if one is uncertain about salvation, one's whole life is filled with fear.
From a Reader in Nevada:
Bro. Maxey, I wrote to you once before praising you for your article on 12-step programs -- Reflections #164 -- Stairway to Recovery. I continue to enjoy your writings. When I wrote you before, I mentioned that I now attend a non-denominational Christian church, and have received a lot of flak from my Church of Christ family members over my decision. While attending the Church of Christ, however, it seemed that one view that was repeatedly taught was that "you never really knew if you were really saved" since confession of all sins was necessary daily to be saved. A few months ago I visited a relative who is still in the Church of Christ. He shared with me that he was so proud of himself for opening a can of worms at his church by admonishing the church leadership for allowing a Christian college group to sing during the worship service. He told me how he was "setting them all right" by showing them that God is all about patterns, especially patterns in worship. After having read all your writings on patternism, I am sure you can visually picture the disagreement he and I had over his statements. Then the argument turned to me attending a church with instrumental music. It basically ended when he flat out told me that my salvation was lost because of the music in the building and the wrong name on the building. Knowing the ultra-conservative mindset, I'll bet none of this is really surprising you!! How sad it is to me that so many Church of Christ members live their lives judging other people's hearts and thinking that they are going to be the only ones in heaven. Yes, I know that not all who are in the Church of Christ feel this way, but a good number still do!!
From a Minister in California:
Brother Al, I was reading your response to the individual who stated that because Adam and Eve were created as adults there might have been deception on the part of God in the appearance of age, etc. While one might be able to draw that particular conclusion, I have recently been open to the idea that God created Adam as a child, and then raised him up to adulthood. It is certainly consistent with God being the ultimate parent: raising up a little child and protecting him from all harm, nurturing him. It could also be put forward that when Adam came to a suitable age, it became obvious that there was no suitable helper for him, so God created Eve to be that helper. I have no problem with the concept of God coming down to Earth, forming a little baby out of the soil, and breathing the breath of life into the little child. The first eyes that baby Adam looked into were the eyes of a loving God, devoted to loving His creation for all eternity. Anyway, that is an alternate concept that I personally don't believe is contradictory to the Scriptures.
From a Reader in North Carolina:
Good Morning Al, I can only imagine how full your inbox stays, but I simply must take this opportunity to tell you just how much your work means to us here. I pass along many Reflections to my network of preachers and friends, many of whom have subsequently subscribed for themselves. My enthusiasm for your work, however, proved to be too much for some here, and we've had to leave the ---------- Church of Christ where we'd been for 35 years, and where I had served as treasurer, elder, and primary adult teacher. (The evangelist I hired there turned out to be a disciple of David Pharr ... 'nuff said!!) But, God is still involved in the affairs of men, even in our little corner of Christendom, and our 30 minute drive to the ---------- Church of Christ has been a great blessing to us. Al, I'm sure you are reminded by someone daily that your work is both effectual and appreciated. Perhaps mine is the first kudu of the day. God bless!
From a Reader in Texas:
Bro. Al, I have a problem that I would like to officially beg for your help with. Recently, we attended a Men's Retreat for our church which focused on the qualities of a Christian leader. Before the classes began, I took part in a conversation with one of our speakers and was shocked and dismayed at what I heard. This "brother" used the awful word "nigger" no less than 8 times in a derogatory way to describe a particular person or group. This man has been attending our services for less than six months and I have not gotten to know him. Nevertheless, I confronted him about the way he was speaking and spent the next hour listening to him attempt to justify his attitude toward black people. Try as I might, he would not budge from his attitude. I left it alone, and went on with my evening. Later, when it was his turn to speak about integrity and character, it was hard for me to listen to him knowing his feelings. Now for the problem. What should I do? I have a hard time sitting by and not calling him out in front of everyone! My instinct is to expose his hatred. However, this person is very well-liked by many men in our fellowship whom I assume are unaware of his attitude. What is the proper thing to do? By the way, I have already read your Reflections article on racism (Issue #149) and it was right on!
From a Reader in California:
Brother Al, I absolutely LOVE the correspondence from other readers. As I have said, it keeps me from feeling so alone when I read about the journey others are having to make -- just as we in this household had to make. I am constantly frustrated to think that TRUTH is so long in coming. I long for the day when your Reflections have saturated the entire One Cup Church of Christ brotherhood that I grew up in. Maybe at that time all of us who grew up in that controlled and regulated environment -- complete with all the disfellowshipping of and disassociating with those who didn't agree with us -- can meet in fellowship once again.
Special Update --- Most of you remember that I began the new year with a Reflections article titled "The Silence Syndrome" (Issue #228) which was dated January 3rd. In this article I reviewed articles by two brethren, Wayne Jackson and Garland Elkins, who were promoting the so-called "Law of Silence," in which they strongly suggested biblical silence should be regarded as prohibitive in nature. Before I even mailed that issue of Reflections to the subscribers, I sent both of these men a copy. In Bro. Elkins' case, I also sent a copy to every instructor at the Memphis School of Preaching, as well as the support staff at the school, and also the leaders at the church that supports this effort. One of the teachers at the school wrote me and demanded I never write him again! I never heard from any of the others. I also never heard from Bro. Wayne Jackson, even though I heard from several readers who informed me that they had been in touch with both of these men whose articles I had reviewed and had encouraged them to respond. Neither ever did.
However, two readers of these Reflections chose to respond to my previous article -- T. Pierce Brown and Hugh Fulford -- and I addressed both of these challenges in my Reflections article titled "Speaking Out On Silence" (Issue #230) which was dated January 13th. I got a few more emails from Hugh following the publishing of that article, but I never again heard from Bro. T. Pierce Brown. That's where everything stood until just a few days ago. On February 9th I received an email from Garland Elkins in which he informed me, "Until a few days ago, as far as I could remember, I had not heard your name. I inquired of a faithful and able brother and he informed me of your liberal views." Garland informed me that he knew nothing of my previous review of his own writings on the subject ("that you were attacking my articles" is how he actually phrased it). I found this hard to believe in view of the fact that I had not only sent him a copy of the article, but every one of the instructors and support staff at his school (with one instructor demanding I not bother them again), as well as the leadership at the congregation that oversees the work. I also found it rather interesting that the person who emailed me Garland's MS Word attached response indicated that Garland intended to respond to me a month ago, but had lost my email address (yet in the forwarded attachment it was stated he was unaware of my articles).
At any rate, Bro. Garland Elkins finally chose to respond. His response was, basically, that he would not respond since Bro. Brown and Bro. Fulford were already doing enough to refute my teaching. He wrote, "I have known these brethren for many years, and just as I would have expected they answered all of your arguments (quibbles). Therefore, I shall observe as they continue to expose your error." Well, neither man is currently exposing anything. In fact, Bro. Brown, as already noted, never bothered to write back. Nevertheless, Bro. Elkins was less than impressed with my two above referenced Reflections articles. Thus, he wrote, "Seldom have I seen in the same amount of space as much false logic, reckless handling of Scripture, and unfair charges as you have packed into what you have written." Although he made some rather bold assertions here, he nevertheless failed to provide even one single example of "false logic, reckless handling of Scripture, and unfair charges." Not even one! Accusation without substantiation is irresponsible. I would challenge Garland Elkins to provide specific examples from my two above referenced Reflections articles of each of the above three categories cited by him. When Jesus stood before His accusers, He said, "If I have spoken wrongly, bear witness of the wrong!" (John 18:23). His accusers, of course, never provided that evidence. I suspect I shall not be receiving it either! Garland also stated, "Al, I have nothing but kindness for you personally. However, I have nothing but opposition to the error that you teach, and the terrible thing that you are doing in seeking to lead others into error. ... With kindness I point out that instead of making valid arguments, your so-called arguments are nothing more than assumptions and assertions, and brethren Brown and Fulford, in their refutation of what you have written about the silence of the Scriptures, have answered them."
He continued, "You appeared to imply that either I was afraid, or could not reply to you. You are wrong on both counts. Jesus spoke when He needed to speak and remained silent when that was best. As Solomon wrote, there is 'a time to keep silence, and a time to speak' (Eccl. 3:7). When Christ was before Herod it is said of Herod, 'Then he questioned Him with many words; but He answered him nothing' (Luke 23:9). Jesus knew that Herod was not searching for the truth. He knew Herod's motive, and He had no intention of satisfying his curiosity. The inspired writer Solomon wrote, 'Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him' (Prov. 26:4). The Lord said, 'neither cast ye your pearls before swine' (Matt. 7:6)." Thus, I think it safe to assume (speaking of making assumptions) that Bro. Elkins will not be personally addressing any of my points in my examination of his published articles on the "Law of Silence." To do so would, in his estimation, be casting his pearls before swine! Disappointing, but not unexpected at all! I have been dealing with the ultra-conservative, legalistic patternists for many, many years, and very rarely will any break from the pattern of aggressive avoidance evidenced above.
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