by Al Maxey

Issue #367 ------- October 4, 2008
What is there in the vale of life
Half so delightful as a wife, when
Friendship, love, and peace combine
To stamp the marriage bond divine?

William Cowper {1731-1800}

Reporting For Marriage, Sir
Must Wives OBEY Their Husbands?

Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914), in his Devil's Dictionary, defined a bride as "a woman with a fine prospect of happiness behind her." Considering the nature of some husbands, as well as some so-called "marriages," this definition may not be all that far-fetched. Conversely, the well-respected reformer Martin Luther (1483-1546) observed in Table Talk, "There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage." Not all covenants of marriage, sadly, achieve God's Ideal for this special union of man and woman. Far too many become dysfunctional, and thus destructive (physically, spiritually and emotionally) to one or both partners. Thus, instead of a blessing, the couple (and, often, those around them) experience a curse.

Ideally, our marriage relationships will always be characterized by deep emotional nurturing. Each builds the other. In his powerful epistle to the Ephesian brethren, the apostle Paul penned one of the most moving testimonies to God's Ideal for marriage found anywhere within the inspired writings -- Ephesians 5:22-33. Consistent with the example of Jesus (when He was speaking of the covenant of marriage), Paul directs the hearts and minds of his brethren all the way back to the Genesis account and to God's original intent for the marital relationship [vs. 31]. He further likens marriage to the special relationship between Jesus Christ and the church, thereby emphasizing anew the sacredness and preciousness of the union between a man and a woman. "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her" [vs. 25]. "In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds it and cares for it, just as Christ does the church" [vs. 28-29]. "Each one of you must love his wife just as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband" [vs. 33]. Ideal marriage consists of a mutual love, nurturing and respect for one another. Without these active qualities, any union is on the pathway to disunion.

Sometimes, however, one or both of the partners in a covenant of marriage, not appreciating the essential nature of this mutual love and respect for one another, will seek to dominate the relationship in a self-serving manner. Rather than a covenant between husband and wife, it becomes more a contract between master and slave. Sadly, this is especially true of men who seek to rule the relationship with an iron fist. And what is even sadder is when women tolerate it, thinking it is "their God-ordained place" in both life and marriage to be dominated by men or their own husbands. Such unions cannot truly even be called a "marriage," but are simply pathological pairings of pathetically dysfunctional persons. It is a recipe for disaster, and such "marriages" rarely survive.

I have known, and known of, women who sincerely believed it was their duty as wives, as "ordained by deity," to be little more than puppets on a string in the hands of their puppet-masters (husbands). They would willingly "dance to his dictates," content to be under his constant control. Such misguided wives are operating under a devilish delusion, and the husbands who perpetuate such sick servitude, in my view, ought to be taken out behind the nearest barn and horse-whipped. Even more perverse and disturbing is that these people really seem to believe that our God has actually commanded such domination of women. Therefore, such sad scenarios are perpetuated "in faithful obedience to the heavenly Father." Frankly, to my way of thinking, such theology just adds blasphemy to spousal abuse, compounding the culpability of these woefully ignorant individuals.

Part of the problem here, of course, is psychological deviancy. There are some who derive some perverse satisfaction in being dominated, and others who derive that same satisfaction in dominating them. In such cases, restoration to normalcy may require some degree of psychiatric intervention. We shall leave those cases for the professionals. The focus in this particular issue of my weekly Reflections will be on those believers who simply embrace such marital dysfunction based upon a poor exegesis of Scripture and a misguided perception of the will (Ideal) of the Creator for these covenants of marriage. There are several key words and phrases, in a number of key NT passages, that need a far more careful analysis than these persons have given them if we would truly perceive the mind of our Father in this spiritually significant matter.

Romans 7:1-3

This passage is highly significant to our study because it depicts what a covenant of marriage is not. It chronicles a dysfunctional relationship that can't even properly be characterized as God's Ideal for marriage. It really spoke to the cultural aspects of this union at the time of Paul's writing, and detailed the plight of women under what was known as "the law of the husband." The apostle Paul sought to employ this particular practice as an illustration of a much deeper spiritual truth relating to our relationship with the Lord. Thus, his teaching here is not an endorsement of the custom of his day. I have dealt with this passage quite extensively in Reflections #106 (The Law of the Husband), unto which I would refer those readers who might be interested in a far deeper exegesis and analysis. However, for the sake of the present study, we need to consider the following insight revealed to us within this passage: Paul was not seeking to convey some aspect of the Ideal with respect to the covenant of marriage. Instead, Paul proclaimed one of the many harsh realities of Jewish and Gentile law and custom which served to control one segment of the populace (i.e., wives). This legal dominion and lordship was at times oppressive and cruel if the husband was not a godly man, and, from a legal point of view, the hapless wife was powerless to effect her release and freedom. Barring a change of heart of the one who bound her, her only legal recourse for her release was his death. Indeed, in the entire passage, Paul never utilizes the common words signifying a covenant of marriage. Even in verse 2, Paul chooses not to use the usual expression for "marriage," but speaks of the woman being "under a man" --- hupandros. The theological significance of this is that Paul is emphasizing the fact of a person being bound to something from which they are powerless to extricate themselves; and a later release which was secured by a death. With the death of this husband, however, the wife was at that point "released from the law of marriage" (Romans 7:2, NIV). The NASB reads --- "...released from the law concerning the husband." More literally, the Greek text states --- "...from the law of the man/husband." Again, one detects the nature of the absolute authority and lordship the man was given over the woman by such laws and customs. It was law that, quite frankly, favored the man rather than the woman. Such were the inequities often evident in ancient, more primitive, cultures. This "law of the husband" thus allowed male dominance and "lordship" in almost all areas of the marital relationship.

It should be noted, however, that this is NOT declared to be the Ideal of our God for these covenants of marriage. Indeed, just the opposite. God did not institute marriage as a venue for hard-hearted men to legally lord it over women. Such a view is morally repugnant, and it is utterly contrary to the intent of our Creator. A great many lessons are taught by the apostle Paul in this passage from his epistle to the brethren in the city of Rome, but one of those lessons is not that wives are to be regarded as legally "under a man," and that he has the God-given authority to "order her about" as a master might a slave. Women are a very special creation of our Lord God; they are "gifts of grace" so utterly unique and special that men should be willing to sacrifice themselves completely for them. The relation of women to men is comparable to (according to Paul) the relation of the church to Christ, and we are all aware that He expressed His love for His bride by giving Himself up for her [Eph. 5:25]. This is not a self-serving action, but rather a self-sacrificing one!

Ephesians 5:22-33

By way of a dramatic contrast to the misguided perception of some men, as was/is evidenced in certain cultural expressions and expectations of male-female unions (cf. Romans 7), we have the glorious Ideal of our Creator as expressed by inspiration in Ephesians 5:22-33. Held high for our view and review are the qualities of divine love as expressed by the Bridegroom for His bride. Yes, some do indeed look at this passage and quickly point out that "the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church" [vs. 23]. They regard this term as clear validation of their superiority to and authority over their wives, thus enabling them to dictate to them as they will, with the wives having no option but to obey their every whim. I deal with this concept of "headship," and the significance of this term, in Reflections #276 (Trim Not Thy Tresses). I further examine the whole concept of man's "authority over" woman in Reflections #216 (Head Coverings For Women). I would strongly urge the reader to examine the evidence in both for a clearer perspective of the issue in this current study.

The sad reality is that, even in our "enlightened" age, the indictment of Malachi 2:14 still applies unto too many men: "The Lord has been a witness between you and the wife of your youth. You have acted treacherously against her, though she was your marriage partner and your wife by covenant." What should be occurring in these most intimate of relationships is depicted in Hosea 2:19-20 -- "I will take you to be my wife forever. I will take you to be my wife in righteousness, justice, love and compassion. I will take you to be my wife in faithfulness, and you will know the Lord." Men, if our wives can look at us and see within our attitudes and actions the very image of the Lord, then we have achieved the Ideal of our Creator for this blessed union. If, however, they see a self-centered, abusive, dictatorial little lord over the household, then there is nothing God-like or Christ-like about this "man." Instead, he is beneath the level of a brute beast in the wild, deserving of no respect whatsoever.

It is my studied conviction that Christians, whether they be wives or children, are to be subject to those husbands and fathers who are themselves sincerely seeking to be subject to the Lord God within their lives. But it is also my conviction that they are NOT obligated to subject themselves to the whims of one who has chosen NOT to subject himself unto the Lord, and who, instead, seeks to dominate the family and demand obedience to his every godless or selfish whim. "Children, obey your parents in the Lord" [Eph. 6:1]. In verse 4, fathers are charged with conducting themselves in a responsible, godly way toward their own children. If a father orders his young daughter to go out on the street and prostitute herself, is she obligated by God to obey her father? Of course not. Her obligation to her biological father ends where his dictates step beyond the parameters of God's dictates. The same principle would hold true for the wife. God has placed the man as the head of the household, but with this responsibility comes the requirement that they in turn submit themselves in everything unto the Lord. If he is unwilling to submit to the Lord, then how can he rightfully expect others to submit to him? The relationship that must take primacy over all other relationships is our relationship with the Lord. HE comes first for us all. "He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me" [Matt. 10:37; cf. Luke 14:26].

Yes, the members of a household are obligated to submit to the head of that household IF the head of that household is truly representative of the Supreme Head of that household, having submitted himself in all things unto HIM. Yes, children are to submit to parents IF the parents are truly representative of their Father in heaven. Where the chain of submission above us breaks down, however, so does the obligation to submit. My wife has no obligation to submit to my leadership in the family if my requests of her would place her in opposition to God's will. Nor is she obligated to submit to my whims if these dictates degrade her in any way. If I am truly submitted to the Lord, then it would be unthinkable for me to ask anything of her that would in any way shame or harm or debase her. My goal should be to do all in my power, even to the sacrifice of myself, to see that her every need is met. THAT is how Christ (the Bridegroom) relates to HIS bride (the church). I must do no less. If I am THAT kind of a husband, then I can assure you there will be no problem with her showing love and respect, and even submission. If I am NOT that kind of a husband, then not only do I not deserve her love, respect and submission ... I don't even deserve HER!! Jesus "nourished and cherished" His bride [Eph. 5:29], He didn't treat her like a dog. He loved her as He loved Himself [vs. 28, 33].

In response to such self-sacrificial devotion, wives are to submit to and respect their husbands, says the apostle Paul in this passage. These are terms that need to be examined so that we don't get the wrong impression here. The first is the Greek word hupotasso, which is really a military term signifying to stand in ranks under the leadership of another. Having served in the military, I know only too well what it means to stand orderly in the ranks while others above you lead. I also know the obligation of those in ranks when a leader decides to remove himself from submission to those above him and go off on his own. Those who stand in the ranks may not always agree with the decisions of those who lead them, but if these leaders are seeking to the best of their ability and understanding to fulfill the orders of those above them, and to complete the mission, and if this mission is just and honorable and in keeping with the principles of our Constitution, which we are sworn to uphold, then we obey. The same is true in the church, and the same is true in the family. Eph. 5:24 informs us that just as the church is "subject" (hupotasso) to Christ, so also ought wives to be unto their husbands. The practical, operative parallel, therefore, is the submission of the church to Jesus, who clearly declared that He Himself is in submission to God. "But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ" [1 Cor. 11:3]. Again, please note carefully the chain of submission! The church is obligated to submit to Christ as Christ submits to the Father, and wives are obligated to submit to their husbands as they (the husbands) submit to Christ. It is much like Paul who, just two verses earlier, instructed us -- "Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ" [vs. 1]. Submission is always conditional in nature. No wife is obligated to submit to a husband who has refused to submit himself to the Lord, and who thus seeks to impose upon his wife an obedience that would place her well beyond the parameters of those attitudes and actions prescribed and proscribed by God. Her first obligation is to HIM, and then only to her husband to the degree that he represents in his leadership the will of the Lord.

The other vital word is found in Eph. 5:33 -- "Each one of you must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband." The word translated "respect" is the Greek word phobeo, which means "to show respect, reverence, deference toward." "The wife is to give her husband the respect that is due him in the Lord (vs. 22). As vs. 21 has made plain, such respect is conditioned by and expressive of reverence for Christ. It also assumes that the husband will so love his wife as to be worthy of such deference" [The Expositor's Bible Commentary, vol. 11, p. 79]. I can absolutely assure you, if a husband is daily displaying such self-sacrificial love for his wife, nourishing and cherishing her as though she were his very own body, that wife will have no difficulty showing love and respect for her husband. You cannot demand respect; it must be earned.

1 Peter 3:1-6

In 1 Peter 3:7, the apostle Peter describes husbands and wives as "fellow heirs of the grace of life." This, of course, is the Ideal: both partners in this covenant of marriage will be devoted to the Lord and seeking to help one another live according to His will. Sadly, this isn't always the case. Sometimes one spouse is a believer and the other spouse is not. Paul deals with this matter in 1 Cor. 7:12-16, urging the believer to seek to live in such a way as to bring the unbeliever to a relationship with the Lord. If that does NOT happen, however, and if the unbeliever chooses to abandon the relationship, Paul wants the believer (and here he uses the wife as the example of the believing spouse) to realize that she is no longer "bound" to her former spouse. She is free. I have dealt with this passage far more extensively in Reflections #93 -- Advice for Troubled Marriages. The apostle Peter offers somewhat similar advice in the passage before us, saying that wives should seek to win over their disobedient husbands. His advice is that nagging is not the tactic of choice, but rather quietly and consistently living her faith daily before him. In this way, it is possible that "they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior" [1 Pet. 3:1-2].

These are women who clearly understand that their primary allegiance is to the Lord, but that this allegiance may be displayed by a humble, respectful demeanor in their other interpersonal relationships. Paul urged the same demeanor upon slaves as they served their masters. Paul wasn't endorsing slavery any more than he was endorsing Christians marrying outside their faith, but Paul was a realist. These relationships existed, therefore believers needed advice as to how best to exemplify a Christ-like spirit in such circumstances. The advice, essentially, was to be consistent in your love and devotion for Christ Jesus, and let that love and reverence and respect spill over into your other relationships as well, hopefully impacting them all in a positive way. Peter was most certainly NOT advising wives to do whatever their disobedient husbands ordered them to do, whether such actions were consistent with God's will or not. That would be contrary to the teaching of the Word. But, short of such disobedience to the Father, one should behave lovingly and respectfully toward her husband, as is fitting of a disciple of Jesus Christ, in the hope that such behavior would win their husbands to the Lord.

In verses 1 and 5, where Peter urged wives to be "submissive" to their husbands, this is again the Greek military term hupotasso, a word whose significance we have already examined above. However, there is another statement in this passage that has been eagerly embraced by those seeking justification for their perverse view that husbands can lord it over their wives in every area of life. That statement is found in the first part of verse 6 -- "Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord." Well, there you have it!! Women are to obey their masters, even calling them "lord." Can't get any clearer than that, now can you?!! Or, so they assert. But, have they truly perceived the authorial intent of Peter here? I believe not.

First, it should be noted that in ancient times the term "lord" was a term of respect, much like we might employ the term "sir." It did not necessarily suggest that one regarded another as their "master" in all areas of life, or that they viewed themselves as the "slave" of another. One can feel and show respect for another without groveling at their feet like a whipped dog. Second, the word translated here as "obey" is the Greek term hupakouo, which simply means "to listen to respectfully." It comes from a combination of two words in Greek: the verb akouo (meaning "to hear, to listen") and the preposition hupo (meaning "under"). Abraham was the "head" of his wife, thus she listened to him as one under that headship. The same word is used in Eph. 6:1 of children "obeying" their parents (i.e., listening to them with an attitude of respect). The passage clearly says nothing about giving blind, unquestioning obedience to another regardless of what they may choose to require of you. Such mindless devotion to another is never imposed upon the disciple of Jesus Christ. Indeed, we're cautioned against such many times throughout God's inspired Word.

One should also not overlook the rest of 1 Pet. 3:6 where women are called to imitate the example of Sarah, "doing what is right without being frightened by any fear" [NASB]. The NIV reads, "do what is right and do not give way to fear." Sarah maintained a humble, respectful spirit, and yet she showed some resolve and backbone at times as well, like when she demanded that Abraham drive Hagar and her son out [Gen. 21:10], which he did. Indeed, God told Abraham, "Whatever Sarah tells you, listen to her" [vs. 12]. Sarah respected her husband, but she was no doormat either, and God stood by her and ordered her husband to comply with her demand. Women today follow in the steps of Sarah when they show love and respect to their mates, but do so with "no fear" of standing up for what is right and proper and in keeping with God's will. "Where the will of God, therefore, is clear, either in command or in prohibition, a Christian woman will not allow fear to keep her from obeying the Lord first of all" [Dr. Paul E. Kretzmann, Popular Commentary of the Bible: The NT, vol. 2, p. 531].

1 Timothy 5:14

We dare not leave this whole subject of the various roles of men and women within the household, and the relationship of wives and husbands, without noticing a very interesting word employed by the apostle Paul in his first letter to the young evangelist Timothy. In giving counsel to young widows, he urges them to "marry, have children, and manage their homes" [1 Tim. 5:14]. Let's notice a few other notable translations of this last phrase: "guide the house" [KJV] ... "preside over a home" [NEB] ... "rule the household" [ASV]. The whole phrase is actually just a single word in the Greek -- oikodespoteo, which quite literally would be: "house despot." It simply means -- "to be master/head of a household; to occupy one's self in the management of a household" [The Analytical Greek Lexicon, p. 283]. Remarkably, Paul uses this term with reference to the WIFE. "The verb is only found here in the Greek Bible" [Dr. W. Robertson Nicoll, The Expositor's Greek Testament, vol. 4, p. 133]. Clearly, the wife was expected to "rule the roost," as the old expression goes, and yet she did so while showing love, respect and daily devotion to her husband, who, in turn, showed love, respect and daily devotion to the Lord, while they both sought to raise up the children to show love, respect and daily devotion to their parents and to the Lord. It was all truly a partnership, just as we are all responsible partners with our Lord Jesus in His cause here on earth, yet managing His affairs with respectful, loving submission to His righteous will.


Husbands, wives and children should all be aware that they each have their respective roles and functions within the household, and how they should relate to one another has been established by our Lord. There is a "chain of loving submission," for want of a better phrase, that must be honored. Few would question that truth. However, this "submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ" [Eph. 5:21] is a far cry from the heartless tyranny some men seek to impose upon their wives as "God's will for marriage." Various societies and cultures have subjugated women to men over the centuries, but one will not find this promoted in Scripture, and especially not the New Covenant writings. The apostle Paul, who penned much of these writings, did a lot in his time to lift the place of women from where men had placed them to where God would have them to be. Let's not work against the Lord by reducing them again to the status of slaves "under a man." If we do, we have completely failed to perceive the ennobling and enabling force of God's grace upon our "one another relationships" in Christ Jesus.

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

A 200 page book by Al Maxey
Publisher: (301) 695-1707
Reflections on the Holy Spirit
A Published Tract by Al Maxey
Order From: J. Elbert Peters:
The Maxey-Broking Debate
on the Doctrine of Patternism

{This debate is now in progress}
Readers' Reflections

Special Announcement --- Dr. Don Givens (pictured at left with Randy Travis) and his wonderful wife Miriam have been dear friends to Shelly and me since our days ministering together in the Hawaiian Islands. Don has written several books, but his very latest one is a personal reflection/commentary on the book of Ecclesiastes titled Storms of Life. In it he examines both the vanity as well as the value of life. I was honored to be asked to read and review the book prior to its release, and my thoughts appear on the back cover in the form of a personal endorsement. The Foreword to Don's book was written by a brother-in-Christ, who also just happens to be a very famous Country Music recording star: Randy Travis. Don did a fabulous job on this book and his insights are invaluable. It is now available on, and I highly recommend it to you.

From a One Cup Minister in California:

Brother Al, Your third affirmative in your debate with Darrell Broking was masterful!! I was so afraid that you were going to be lured into a "Law cesspool" by attempting to provide a list of particulars that we are to abide by in order to be saved. I was so relieved and so delighted that you simply "listed" -- Love God and Love Your Neighbor. That was completely masterful.

From an Elder in Florida:

Bro. Al, I fear that Darrell Broking is storing up all the "many errors" he considers you to have made, along with a ton of just plain old "hateful spite," that he will then dump on you in his final rebuttal (when you are unable to make a response) to make a show that "he won!" However, this debate should not be about winning or losing, but about opening minds to Truth and righteousness. I know that you are probably already aware of his tactics, but I am earnestly praying that you will be able to write a fourth affirmative that will leave no room for any legitimate biblical rebuttal. I've noticed that Darrell has been increasingly condescending to you in his posts, while you continue to remain encouraging, loving and kind. He keeps saying "Maxey" this and "Maxey" that. Brother, please keep a loving frame of mind in your final affirmative; describe your love for Darrell and those who side with his views, call him "brother," but stand firm in your call for him and others to cease making law where God never intended there to be law. Al, you are in my prayers!!

From a Minister in Florida:

Brother Al, I have emailed Darrell Broking and begged him to reconsider his views. I told him that many of us, as members of the Churches of Christ who have reformed, have had to swallow our pride and admit that we had been wrong about many things. I really believe Darrell would love to change his views, but I am afraid he is not willing to swallow that huge chunk of pride in his mouth!! It is a difficult thing to do ... I know ... but once it is down -- Wow! What a relief it is!! I told him that I knew how difficult this would be for him, since this debate is literally being read all over the world and he has voiced his views in their hearing ... but, it is something he needs to do. I also told him that genuine brethren would NOT laugh at him or mock him for changing his views, but would rather praise God that the Spirit had reached his heart. We should ALL be praying for Darrell Broking in the hope that God will soften his heart to receive the Truth. I honestly believe Darrell wants the Truth, I really do! I just feel that it is now a matter of pride. Keep fanning the flame, Brother Al.

From a Minister in Kansas:

Brother Maxey, I am the son of a Church of Christ preacher, and there are a good number of Church of Christ preachers within my family. I grew up "hard and heavy" under the CENI "silence is prohibitive" model, and, having difficulty with this view from the beginning, I studied it in great depth. My study led me away from the restrictive view of silence. After much deliberation, I recently (just within the past two years) accepted an invitation to become the preacher for an Independent Christian Church, as I felt this was best for my own spiritual growth, as well as that of my family. In the course of the past year, the rest of my family, including my parents, have labeled me a "false teacher" who is "deviant from the truth of the gospel," and they have threatened to "disfellowship" me! I tell you this because I just want to say -- our freedom in Christ Jesus is worth the persecution!! I fully believe there are many gospel preachers within ultra-legalistic Churches of Christ who continue to babble out the restrictive view of silence without being fully convicted of this so-called "truth." Yet many of them continue on this pathway out of fear of what their own friends and family might say or do if they spoke out against it. I was once there!! For those who do choose the pathway of freedom, I just want to offer this word of encouragement --- It is worth it. So, for those who may be struggling with fear, I simply say, as one who has been there and done that: fear not what men may do to you; it is a fight for freedom well worth the battle scars you will receive. Thank you, Brother Maxey, for your web site and for your insights! I appreciate all that you do to help others become free in Christ.

From a Minister in California:

Brother Al, Your last issue of Reflections ("To Fulfill, Not Abolish") was another gem. Because He fulfilled the Law perfectly --- every single jot and tittle --- we don't have to. Your Reflections ministry continues to open the eyes and the hearts of many, many recovering legalistic patternists! What thrills me the most in your weekly mailouts are the many letters from those who have established a personal daily relationship with Jesus and are now exulting in their newly-found freedom in His grace. May God bless you, brother!

From an Evangelist in Washington:

Dear Brother Al, I really want to thank you for your article "To Fulfill, Not Abolish." I find myself in complete agreement with your analysis of Matthew 5:17. I have been greatly appreciating your weekly Reflections, as one who has also shaken off the chains of legalism and law. I pray daily for our brethren who have placed this yoke upon themselves that the Lord never intended or designed for us to bear.

From an Evangelist in Alabama:

Dear Bro. Al, We are praying that the Lord will continue blessing His ministry of grace through your Reflections for many more years! Your humble spirit, thorough research and skillful writing continually help draw many nearer to the heart of our God. Thank you.

From a Minister in Oklahoma:

Bro. Al, I've just caught up on the debate between you and Darrell Broking since getting on your mailing list a few days ago. It's my observation (and it's probably that of others as well) that until a patternist experiences the gift of God's grace, he/she is incapable of being inculcated by the Spirit of Christ. How can the Spirit of Truth actually teach them unless that person is at least minimally prepared in heart to receive that teaching?! I imagine you can see the conclusion I would come to about the spiritual condition of such a legalistic patternist.

From a Minister in Florida:

Brother Al, I've enjoyed your work for a long time. Your studies are causing me to dig deeper ... and it's exciting! You have answered so many of my questions, and the things you teach I have thought for quite some time. Now I don't feel so alone! Be blessed, brother!

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