by Al Maxey

Issue #343 ------- April 1, 2008
Where there's Marriage without Love,
there will be Love without Marriage.

Benjamin Franklin {1706-1790}
Poor Richard's Almanac, May 1734

Divorce and Remarriage
Questions from an Elder in Texas

As most of you likely know, I get a lot of questions from my readers. I don't mind this at all, and always welcome such inquiries. I also make an effort to respond to each person who is sincerely seeking a better understanding of God's Word, and, to be honest, must admit to some seekers that I'm just as in the dark as they with regard to some matters. No, I do not have all the answers to life's burning questions. Indeed, I'm a long way from having "arrived" at perfect insight ... a very long way. However, I will make an effort to search the Scriptures, and do extra-biblical research, in order to try and gain greater insight into these areas where I am lacking. One of my professors in graduate school always said, "Never be afraid to say, 'I don't know!'" I have said it many times! Nevertheless, what little insight I do have, as a result of several decades of study and reflection, I am more than willing to share (sometimes to the delight of my readers; sometimes to their dismay).

As a result of the publication and release of my 200 page book in the summer of 2005, I get a fairly large number of questions on the topics of marriage, divorce and remarriage. A case in point is a recent email I received from an elder in the great state of Texas. Their congregation, as is true, quite sadly, of a growing number of congregations, has faced some turmoil over this particular subject. Therefore, this dear brother has appealed to me for some additional insight into several questions connected with MDR. He wrote, in part: "Brother Al, We recently had a group of about 60 people leave our congregation over their understanding of MDR. The Elders (of which I am one) have a more open understanding than the traditional view held by those who left; an understanding that allows for God's grace and forgiveness. As an interesting note: the average age of those who left is close to 70. Only 5-6 of those who left were actually involved (apart from attending and giving). They are missed, but their loss has not affected the work here significantly. We are willing to accept differing understandings on MDR, but they believe themselves in possession of 'the only genuine Truth' on the subject. We wish them well; they do not return the sentiment. Brother Al, I have purchased ten copies of your book Down, But Not Out, and several of the members here have been reading them and then passing them on to others. I want to thank you for this biblical study. I strongly believe it is the most thorough and understandable study available of all the Scriptures pertaining to this topic."

First of all, I would like to sincerely thank this elder for his kind endorsement of my book, and also for his purchase of ten copies to share with the members of his congregation. I pray it will be beneficial in bringing about greater understanding and healing to that group of disciples. Actually, the book is doing quite well in sales, and the publisher informs me that orders come in every week (in addition to sales through outlets like, Barnes & Noble, etc.). Just this morning I got a call from a minister in Kansas (who had previously purchased two copies of the book), who informed me that his elders liked it so much that they told him to call the publisher and order six more for their church library. I thank God that He has blessed this work and is using it to bring healing to His people. Second, I'm genuinely saddened to see brethren separate from one another over such matters of personal perception. I doubt there are many disciples of Christ who can truthfully say they are in 100% agreement with every other disciple in their congregation. I'm not sure there are even any two disciples who are in total agreement on everything taught in Scripture. Yet, we are ready to fight and/or flee over just about anything. This is truly a great tragedy. Our unity in Christ ought to be more enduring than that; it shouldn't crumble whenever two people/groups differ. But, it does ... and when it does, Satan wins yet another battle, and the Body of Christ is weakened just that much more. I appreciate the attitude of this elder, however -- he is willing to lovingly affirm and graciously accept those who differ with him. That is the pathway to peace. The other side, however, is not -- and that is the pathway to division and destruction. A "my way or the highway" spirit will never, ever further the cause of Christ, but only plays into the hands of Satan.

The Exception Clause

The above elder from Texas asked a number of questions in his email, and I would like to address several of them in this current issue of my weekly Reflections. The first question pertains to what has often been termed "the exception clause." This is found exclusively in the gospel account of Matthew, and is not included in any other NT passage pertaining to the topic of MDR (marriage, divorce, remarriage). In Matt. 5:32 Jesus says, "But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for the cause of unchastity, makes her commit adultery" [NASB]. Then in Matt. 19:9 we find Him saying, "And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery" [NASB]. These two highlighted statements, appearing in the middle of each of these sentences, are what are known collectively as "the exception clause." It is believed by many that these provide some kind of exception to the norm with regard to our Lord's expectations concerning the covenant of marriage and the trauma of divorce. This present issue of Reflections will not concern itself with an in-depth examination of the meaning and significance of this clause, as I have already provided that in Reflections #90. I would urge the reader at this point to pause long enough to read that article, as it will help promote a better understanding of our Lord's intent in this rather unique statement. One may find additional analysis and dialogue of this clause in my two published debates on MDR, both of which are listed below in the Readers' Reflections section (in the first reader response).

Returning to this elder's question. He wrote: "The 'exception clause' in Matthew is said not to be in some of the original manuscripts. Do you have any validation of this?" The short answer is "No." Actually, both clauses are firmly established by the manuscript evidence, and there is no validation to the assertion that some original manuscripts omit these clauses. In all the sources I researched there is no hint whatsoever that biblical scholars have ever questioned their place in the original text. On the other hand, there are portions of both passages that do have problems associated with them. In Matt. 5:32, the final clause of that verse -- "and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery" [NASB] -- is found in some manuscripts, but it is omitted in some. Where it is found, there are also a number of different wordings. The same is true of the companion statement in Matt. 19:9 -- "and marries another woman" [NASB]. Neither of these two assertions, however, impact the reliability of the so-called "exception clause." The evidence attests to its genuineness. The only textual question pertains to a slight matter of wording in the Matt. 19:9 passage. "The 'excepting clause' in the Matthean account of Jesus' teaching on divorce occurs in two forms" [Dr. Bruce M. Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, p. 47]. Some manuscripts retain the same wording as the Matt. 5:32 passage (parektos logou porneias), whereas other manuscripts opt for me epi porneia, although each essentially conveys the same thought. Some textual scholars feel that scribes may have altered the second form above in some manuscripts so that the wording of both passages would be the same. Unfortunately, this was not an uncommon practice of these scribes as they made copies of earlier manuscripts. There are many places where this can be demonstrated when one examines the history and transmission of the biblical documents ... but that's another study (a class I'll be teaching, by the way, this coming fall quarter at our congregation).

The Council of Trent

Second, the shepherd in Texas writes -- "I understand that the 'traditional' view on MDR is almost directly from the Council of Trent. I have looked at this manuscript online, but cannot wade through it to get a clear picture of this teaching. Do you have any help or references on this?" It has oft been said that the Council of Trent was the official Roman Catholic response to the public burning of the June 15, 1520 papal bull, Exsurge Domine, of Pope Leo X, condemning the teachings of Martin Luther (1483-1546), although the council did not actually convene for another two and a half decades. Although multi-faceted in scope, it is fairly safe to state that Martin Luther's teachings were far more faith/grace-centered than the Roman Catholic leadership of his day. Luther, through his prolific writings and his many public proclamations, was having a tremendous influence upon the thinking of the laity (as well as some within the clergy). This could not be tolerated by the powers that be in the Papal See. This rogue clergyman was filling the hearts and minds of the people with notions of freedom in Christ from the dogma of institutionalized religion and its attendant oppression. Thus, the Council of Trent was convened to solidify traditional Catholic theology and doctrine, thereby officially countering, it was hoped, the growing "heresy" of "change agents" like Martin Luther.

The Council of Trent actually occurred over a period of 18 years (1545-1563), and spanned the reigns of five popes. It took the Catholic leadership 25 years to even convene the first session, for the more they looked into the teachings of Luther (and others like him), the more they realized how difficult it was going to be to rationally counter these arguments. Thus, delay after delay took place as they tried to figure out how to justify their dogma in the face of his challenges. The result of the 25 sessions, in three separate sittings (which took over four years), "was a greater volume of legislation than the combined output of all the previous 18 general councils recognized by the Roman Catholic Church." Many of the disciplinary reforms required by this legislation were born of fear of the teachings of Luther, who was seeking to turn men's minds back to what the Bible actually said, rather than what the Church said it said. Thus, the Council declared that the curriculum in all Catholic seminaries was to be scholastic rather than biblical. Thirty-three canons were issued condemning Luther's "error" on justification by faith. The sacraments were given more time in the Council than any other doctrinal matter. Seven sacraments were instituted by Christ, it was affirmed: baptism, confirmation, communion, penance, unction, orders, marriage. With regard to communion, transubstantiation was confirmed as the official church doctrine, thus condemning the various views of Luther, Zwingli, Karlstardt, Calvin and others. Church tradition was declared to be equally authoritative with Scripture; the Church leaders alone were divinely invested with the authority to correctly interpret the Bible, not the laity; the Vulgate was to be used exclusively in all public readings and writings. Sound familiar?! No version but the KJV? No interpretation correct but ours? Tradition equal to Truth? Like Martin Luther, we're still having to fight for freedom from bondage to religious regulation; we're still struggling against the Institution to bring a grace-centered, Jesus-focused worshipful experience into the lives of His people. We are still wandering through a desert of tradition to find that refreshing oasis of Truth.

As was already noted somewhat in passing, the Council of Trent was the 19th Ecumenical Council of the Roman Catholic Church, and is easily considered to be by far the most important and influential of them all. It convened three times, beginning on December 13, 1545 and ending on December 4, 1563. The rulings and regulations of this council would remain for several centuries. Indeed, it would be over 300 years before the next Ecumenical Council was convened. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church states: "The Council of Trent was the most impressive embodiment of the ideals of the Counter-Reformation." Martin Luther knew a council was being prepared [indeed, Pope Paul III (1534-1549) had called for it almost a decade earlier, but his cardinals were unanimously opposed], and so he'd been preparing for this assault on his teaching [he wrote the Smalcald Articles, which defined those areas where he felt some compromise could occur, and those areas of faith, doctrine and practice where such compromise should never occur]. Sadly, the continual delays in convening this council were so numerous that by the time it finally began Martin Luther only had two months left to live (he died on February 18, 1546). Thus, for the next 18 years the Roman Catholic Church would seek to counter the influence of a man who was no longer alive to defend his teaching.

That portion of this council that most concerns us here, however, took place near the very end of the third meeting (which adjourned on December 4, 1563 with the proclamation, "Anathema to all heretics, anathema, anathema!"). Session 24 was held November 11, 1563, and it was in this session that the sacrament of marriage and problems associated therewith (such as divorce) were addressed. This occurred under the reign of Pope Pius IV (1559-1565). Twelve canons were issued at the end of this session regarding "The Sacrament of Matrimony." In Canon #9 the primacy of the celibate state was reaffirmed. Polygamy was condemned in Canon #2. Various additional matters were also addressed. However, it is Canon #7 with which we are specifically concerned in this present study. This particular canon declares that both spouses who are party to a divorce (when the cause of divorce is the adultery of one spouse), "even the innocent one who gave not occasion to the adultery, cannot contract another marriage during the lifetime of the other; and that he is guilty of adultery who, having put away the adulteress, shall take another wife, as also she, who, having put away the adulterer, shall take another husband." Here we see that remarriage is denied to all parties in a divorce ... even the party innocent of the sin of adultery ... as long as the other spouse is alive. Needless to say, this goes significantly beyond the teaching of the New Covenant writings, as I have sought to demonstrate within my book. This is also considerably more restrictive than most traditionalists within Churches of Christ teach, since generally they will allow the right of remarriage to the spouse not guilty of adultery (true in most other conservative Christian groups as well). So, to answer this elder's question -- yes, the traditional position is based somewhat on this canon (though they would say it's based only upon the Scriptures), but over the past several hundred years that canon has been softened somewhat in favor of the innocent party (at least by most traditionalists, although some do indeed adhere totally, at least in practice if not in profession, to the decree of the Council of Trent).

The Greek Word Apoluo

The shepherd from the great state of Texas writes, "The word apoluo, when one looks it up, is given the definition 'divorce' in the latter part of the list of possible meanings. I take this to be influenced by the above mentioned council. Is there reference to definitions in manuscripts before the 1600's? I suspect the definitions are a result of external pressure and understanding of the traditional view as opposed to true meaning." I'm not sure that I fully grasp the concern that prompted this specific question. Most words, after all, will generally have a rather wide semantic range of meaning and application. I checked several different sources, and some listed "divorce" early on in the list of meanings, whereas others placed it lower on the list. I doubt there is anything overly sinister in such an arrangement; probably very little more than editorial preference. Undoubtedly there are references to this word and its significance in writings that predate 1600, although I do not have immediate access to a definitive listing. This might make a rather good project for someone with sufficient time, patience and resources to embark upon such an undertaking. I personally do not believe there is any evidence to suggest pressure from the Council of Trent, or from those who embraced its tenets, had much impact on our current understanding of this particular Greek term. I have dealt with it in my book in a number of places, but let me just provide the follow excerpt from page 84 of Down, But Not Out:

Geneva Bible Marginal Notes

Finally, this brother writes, "I have read that in the margin notes of the Geneva Bible it is written that apoluo does not mean 'divorce.' Wal-Mart does not have a copy of this manuscript. Any help or resource on validating this?" Ahhhh ... yet another failing of the Wal-Mart empire!!! Seriously, though, I'd be surprised if they did have a copy. It is not very common today, and many have probably never heard of it, but in its day it was the most beloved of the English versions. It was easily the most widely read and most influential English Bible of the 16th and 17th centuries, and was especially beloved by the Puritans. Indeed, it was often referred to as The Puritan's Bible, and was brought with the Pilgrims as they set sail on the Mayflower. From 1560 to 1644 it went through over 200 different printings, and was the version of choice for many of the greatest theologians and writers of that time (including such men as John Bunyan and John Milton). When Queen Mary ("Bloody Mary") banned the printing of the Scriptures in English for the common people, many fled to Geneva where they began work on an English Bible for the people (thus the name The Geneva Bible).

One of the great features of this Bible, a feature that certainly made it popular with the common people, was its extensive use of marginal notes, all written by some of the great Protestant Reformation leaders of that time; men like John Calvin, John Knox, Miles Coverdale, William Whittingham, Anthony Gilby, William Keithe, Thomas Sampson, Thomas Wood, and many others. These extensive notes were designed to help the common reader better understand the Scriptures, something that infuriated the Roman Catholic leadership who believed the interpretation of the Scriptures was not the responsibility or right of the laity, but only of the clergy. These notes run almost 300,000 words, and make up almost one third of the length of this version. For many, many decades these marginal notes aided the people in better understanding the Word of God. These notes were also the ultimate reason for the demise of this version, as King James considered them "seditious," and thus made ownership of this version a felony. Thus, to quiet these "seditious" teachings of the Protestant Reformers, King James demanded an "authorized" version be produced that would forever replace it, and which would retain the use of certain words and phrases approved by him. This would, in the course of time, come to be known as The King James Version. It would be promoted with such fervor (while The Geneva Bible was defamed with equal fervor) that the final printing of the latter would occur in 1644. For those interested, The Geneva Bible may be read online in its entirety, with all its notes (both the 1560 and 1599 printings). It is quite interesting to study.

With regard to the question by the elder from Texas -- "I have read that in the margin notes of the Geneva Bible it is written that apoluo does not mean 'divorce.'" -- actually, that is not true. In the Matthew 5:32 text there are no notes dealing with the topic, and in the Matthew 19:9 text there are only two notes, one from the 1560 version, the other from the 1599 version. The latter note simply makes the observation regarding the passage in general that there would be no need of divorce if those committing adultery were treated as the Law required: i.e., they were to be put to death! It does not suggest divorce didn't exist, it merely suggested that if the Law of Moses was observed strictly then it would never occur (at least not for the cause of adultery). The other note, from the 1560 edition, is the one that might have caused some to think what the brother suggested in his question. This note opines, with respect to the covenant of marriage: "For this band cannot be broken at man's pleasure." The point of this statement is clearly not to suggest the impossibility of divorce, but rather to stress that these covenants were entered into with God as witness, and they were not subject to disbanding on a whim. During the time of Christ, marriages were cast aside and new ones entered into "at man's pleasure," and the Lord condemned the practice in no uncertain terms! "One woman for one man for life" was the IDEAL, and the selfish wishes of men were never to be elevated above this eternal IDEAL of our God. Does it happen? Yes. Are marriages too often terminated "at man's pleasure"? Yes, to man's shame. Such is sin, and we should call it no less.


As I have noted a good many times during the past five and a half years I have been publishing these weekly Reflections, I truly enjoy the communication I receive from the readers throughout the world. I welcome your comments and questions, appreciate your encouragement and support, and even commend those who seek to provide constructive criticism in a spirit of love. Several readers over the years have actually journeyed here to meet with us, and I love it when that happens. A couple from Alaska came by a couple of weeks ago, and another couple from California was here this week (they are actually moving here next month). I truly feel like this ministry has expanded the parameters of my awareness of the vast Family of God. I have brethren in Christ everywhere (as do you), and this reality ought to help us move beyond the narrow confines of our personal and party preferences into the exciting relationships that await us. May God help us all to increasingly embrace our freedom in Christ Jesus and thus come to know the joy of fellowship He has reserved for us in ONE BODY.

Reflections on CD
Down, But Not Out
A Study of Divorce and Remarriage
in Light of God's Healing Grace

A 200 page book by Al Maxey
Order Your Copy Today
Publisher: (301) 695-1707
Reflections on the Holy Spirit
A Published Tract by Al Maxey
Order Copies From:
J. Elbert Peters
1701 Jeannette Circle, NW
Huntsville, Alabama 35816
(256) 859-3186
Readers' Reflections

From a Reader in Texas:

Dear Brother Maxey, First, I would like to say that I very much enjoy your weekly Reflections. I have gained a great deal of biblical information from reading them. Please continue this great work. Second, I can't even begin to tell you how many times I have read your book Down, But Not Out, as well as your two published debates on MDR -- The Maxey-Broking Debate and The Maxey-Thomas Debate. I must say that your debates are amazing! You completely embarrassed Darrell Broking and his presentation! I thought Ron Thomas did a slightly better job than Darrell at presenting his case, but in the end you showed both of them to be totally wrong in their beliefs. I learn something new every time I study these two debates. Thank you for making them available to the public for reading, and thank you again for all your effort in helping others get through this troubling issue of MDR. May God bless you and your family.

From a Minister in Louisiana:

Brother Al, What I fail to understand about John Waddey is his critical and condemning tone in light of the fact that he himself is the recipient of enormous grace!! He appears to me to be one who has been forgiven much, but who loves little. In spite of his past failures (well known to many), he's allowed to preach and serve as a "Bishop" via his paper. You would think that John Waddey would be filled with more compassion for those who fall short, willing to accept those who differ with him in a spirit of grace and mercy.

From a Reader in Texas:

Bro. Al, May the Lord continue to strengthen you! It must be disheartening at times to receive such negative, malicious charges thrown your way for simply daring to speak out against sectarianism and those who would hold to traditions above the very Word of God. Keep up the good work. I pray for you!!

From a Reader in Louisiana:

Dear Brother Al, Would you please send me the entire retort of John Waddey? Thank you very much. Brother, we love and respect you more than you can ever know. You are certainly a courageous and intelligent man of God. Grace and peace to you.

From a Reader in [Unknown]:

Bro. Al, Your last article was amazing, as usual. I thought you might like to know that my daughter said there were about 1000 people present at the instrumental service at Quail Springs Church of Christ in Oklahoma City on Easter Sunday!! Keep on keeping on, brother!

From a New Reader in South Dakota:

Hello Brother Al, We would like to be added to the mailing list to receive Reflections. Thank you for your insights, for your willingness to study afresh, and for the love with which you reach out to those who have been hurt! God has special work for you!

From a Minister in California:

Bro. Al, I have just completed reading your Reflections article: "The Evil That Waits Within." I've also read the accompanying letters, most of which addressed the despicable Daily Oklahoman ads regarding the Quail Springs Church of Christ. In the very last letter were these telltale words: "I just don't understand why they cannot see the damage they are doing to the cause of Christ. I guess they're just blinded by their delusions and misunderstandings of the Gospel." And there it is -- in black and white!! The blind leading the blind; the exact same tribe that clamored for the head of Jesus for three years, eventually getting their way. According to Jesus, that bunch was beyond rescue ("sons of hell"). Today's bunch is no different. But, many of those whom they've deceived and led into the ditch of legalism are salvageable when the light of Truth and Grace shines upon them. Your Reflections ministry IS making a difference! Thanks, Al, for being true to your divine calling at much personal cost. I deeply appreciate your courage and conviction, wrapped in grace. You are making a difference as you rescue real souls from the abyss. I am on your support team, lifting you up for the Lord's strength and courage daily.

From a Reader in Texas:

Brother Al, In your last Reflections you made the following statement: "As for the major thrust of my Reflections, it is not against this group, but rather all about helping my fellow disciples perceive what I believe our true focus should be, instead of becoming increasingly weighed down with human traditions elevated to law. I attack the cancer within the Body, not the Body itself." I really appreciate this statement, Al, and I can testify that for me you have proven to be exactly what this statement claims! Due to the legalistic nature of my heritage, I was concerned about some of the beliefs I was beginning to have. I was surprised that when I sought guidance from the only brother I fully trusted, he supported the truths I was beginning to see in the Scriptures --- truths that were opposed to the traditional views (laws) of our brotherhood. This brother put me on to your writings, and I have been blessed by your words ever since!! Whenever I have written to you over the years, even though you must get thousands of emails, I have always been given your best in response, and have been made to feel like an important member with you in God's family. I've always appreciated your approach --- where you consider others to be your brethren, even though they might not consider you to be a brother. I love your statement: "You don't have to be my twin to be my brother." May God continually bless you with all the right words to keep helping those of us who need to know the difference between Tradition and Truth. I love you and your work!!

From a Minister in Kansas:

Brother Al, One Cup man here. I've just read your latest Reflections. I must say, I never cease to be amazed at the tactics used by some members of the church. John Waddey never addressed even one of the statements you made in your review of his last article. If he is really so worried about the damage you are doing to the Body of Christ, then why doesn't he take up your teaching and deal with it? The ultra-legalistic patternists must talk among themselves often, for they all use the same "pattern" when it comes to dealing with those with whom they disagree. The "pattern" is -- they never answer questions, they always speak in a derogatory fashion, and they tell the whole church just how dangerous everybody else is. They never allow any questioning of their own views, because they have ALL of the truth! They have the "pattern." It's just a shame they aren't willing to share that "pattern" with the rest of us!! They won't tell us what it is!! Please keep up the good work, Al, and may God bless you in your efforts.

From a Reader in Texas:

Bro. Al, I am 58 and was raised in a rural SW Oklahoma congregation. We were taught most, if not all, of the "traditional" issues as though they actually were "The Word." I have since attended various congregations in Oklahoma and Texas. Along with the rest of the Body, I believe we are evolving into a more Grace & Love fellowship. However, when I go back to that home congregation in Oklahoma, I still see far more unenlightened (which I equate with uneducated) brethren than I would like to see. However, as more and more who grew up there are now returning, after having been exposed to the many teachings of the "change agents," I'm seeing more enlightenment even there! I think that most of the places where the church is still steeped in sectarianism is where the members are much less educated. The continued use of the phrase "change agents" betrays their greatest fear -- CHANGE. Please keep up the good work!! I believe as you do -- that this factious branch of our heritage will disappear with time. However, it does take some courage on the part of the rest of us to stand up to them.

From a Reader in Texas:

Dear Bro. Al, I just read the retort that John Waddey sent to you, and I must admit that my heart aches for you because you are the recipient of these comments, and it further aches to know that someone who calls himself a Christian would hold this attitude toward someone dedicated to living and representing Christ. If you were promoting sex outside of marriage, drunkenness, stealing, murder, and any number of acts of the fleshly nature, I would expect him to think of you in this way. Instead, you draw this criticism for daring to believe we can be different in the realm of righteousness and still be members of the same Family. I am reminded of an older lady who informed me that the only things not sinful during our worship services were those specific things "authorized in the Scriptures." I purchased a card and wrote her a note telling her how special she was to me and my family, and I thanked her in this card for being such a great example to all the kids in our youth group. I passed the note to her during our Sunday morning worship service (and, yes, I even wrote it during the sermon). She later told me how much joy this note had given her. She commented that she had been at a spiritual low point in her life for about a week because she was "getting too old to be of any use to anyone in the church." We were close enough that I told her I was glad it had lifted her spirits, and that I only hoped God would not hold the "sin" of me doing this during our worship service against me!! Bro. Al, may God never allow a sense of hopelessness and frustration to take root in your life!! Satan is surely throwing a lot in your direction right now!!

From a Reader in Alabama:

Dear Al Maxey, Your emails have happened across my view, and I am simply horrified that you would not be at all fearful of a terrible, living God -- before whom we will all stand so soon. To distort or change in any way the simple truth of The Book is to stand on thin ice indeed. Please read Rev. 22:18-19. God will certainly have the last word. In Christian Love, --- ------

From a Reader in Texas:

Brother Al, In Eccl. 3:1-8, 11 God has set a time for everything, both good and bad. There is "a time to tear down" (vs. 3), which I think has arrived in Oklahoma with those who are taking out the advertisements in the newspaper. However, there is also "a time to build up" (vs. 3). That is where you come in, and every other clear-thinking person -- a time to build up those torn down and set straight the wrong that those ads have done. As Solomon set forth in verse 1, everything has its time, and it is up to us to use that time. We must build up, not tear down, the One Body. I just wanted to get this off my chest, Bro. Al. Thank you for being you, and may God bless you and your work!!

If you would like to be removed from or added to this
mailing list, contact me and I will immediately comply.
If you are challenged by these Reflections, then feel
free to send them on to others and encourage them
to write for a free subscription. These articles may all
be purchased on CD. Check the ARCHIVES for
details and past issues of these weekly Reflections: