by Al Maxey

Issue #382 ------- January 19, 2009
When I was a boy of 14, my father was so
ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man
around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished
at how much the old man had learned in 7 years.

Mark Twain {1835-1910}

Overseer Offspring Quota
Must a Pastor Produce a Plurality
of Progeny to be Suited to Serve?

The snapshot to the left is one of my absolute favorites of all time. It was taken by my mom around the mid-1950s somewhere in the hills of northwestern New Mexico near Farmington. It depicts my father holding the hands of my sister and me as we both look up at him adoringly. I was blessed with great parents -- truly a gift from God -- and my dad has always served as a spiritual role model for me. For many, many years he has served as an elder in the church, and he continues to serve in that capacity in Cortez, Colorado to this day. I would not be who I am today if not for the love and guidance of this godly man!

Over the decades, my dad has provided spiritual leadership and oversight to countless precious souls in a number of congregations (both within our own nation as well as abroad). Without doubt, many will testify before the throne of God one day that they were greatly guided in their journey home in no small measure by this man's influence and example. Although, by profession, my dad was a public school administrator (both a Principal and Superintendent), nevertheless he would often preach and teach, and he did a lot to help begin the work among the Navajo people in the Four Corners area. As you might imagine, I am proud of my father. He has been a good and faithful servant of the church; a respected shepherd of the Lord's flock. BUT, what if I had been an only child? What if my sister had been an only child? Would this good man have thereby been "unqualified" to be an elder in the Lord's church? Did having two children make him "fit" for service, whereas having only one would have rendered him "unfit"?! Strange as it may sound, there are those who actually embrace such a doctrine, and who would've forbidden my father to serve as an elder if either my sister or I had not been born. In their opinion, a pastor must produce a plurality of progeny in order to be suitable for service as a shepherd over the spiritual flock.

What exactly has led some disciples to adopt this rather rigid point of view? Upon what passage of Scripture do they base their teaching? What rationale serves as the underlying basis for their highly proscriptive position? Essentially, their whole argument revolves around the Greek word tekna (translated "children") in two of the apostle Paul's statements regarding elders -- 1 Timothy 3:4 and Titus 1:6 -- and whether or not the use of the plural object (children) with respect to a singular subject (elder) has the flexibility grammatically to include a single child, or if it must always and only be regarded as denoting a plurality of offspring. In the former passage, Paul writes to Timothy that an overseer (singular) must be one who "manages his own household well, keeping his (singular) children (plural) under control with all dignity" [NASB]. In the latter passage, Paul declares unto Titus, "if any man (singular) ... having children (plural) who believe..." This singular-plural subject-object phraseology has led to considerable confusion and conflict among some Christians as they seek to interpret and apply this "condition" to the confirmation of pastors over the flock.

The legalists and patternists (who almost always are also textual literalists) will insist that Paul says "children," not "child," and thus the latter is forever excluded. Those who embrace such an interpretive philosophy generally tend to view the above two passages as a definitive "check list of qualifications" for pastors within the church which must be followed precisely and to the letter. "If Paul had meant 'child,' he would have said so." Legalism has a tendency to view the Scriptures as little more than an inspired source book for LAW. Thus, a legalist will look for "check lists" (with accompanying "proof texts") by which he endeavors to order his life (and to regulate everyone else's) acceptably before God. In so doing, sadly, he has only succeeded in missing the whole purpose of God's Word. Paul was not giving a definitive list of absolute qualifications to Timothy and Titus (the two lists are not even exactly the same). Rather, Paul is informing these two evangelists of the type of Spirit-led and -filled man the Lord seeks to serve as a shepherd over His flock. He is speaking of qualities, not qualifications. Within the former there is clearly room for some degree of flexibility, whereas in the latter one tends to find more rigidity. The former is an evidence of grace, the latter of law. I believe that our brother Charles Hodge summed it up quite beautifully when he wrote some years back that what we find in these passages "are character qualities and not legal qualifications." Brother Hodge wrote that these traits have been "too long misunderstood and misused. Men can easily make more of these qualities than God ever intended. The Bible is a book of concepts, principles and attitudes." He went on to point out that the passages reveal "God's concept" of spiritual leaders, and that these thoughts from Paul "really do not require technical thought -- simply honest common sense." I couldn't agree more.

Some, however, leave common sense in the cloak room when they enter the classroom of biblical interpretation. In effect, they have already determined what they believe (or it has been determined for them); their purpose in examining the Scriptures is to prove it. Elders must have more than one child. That's just the way it is. End of discussion. Paul says "children," he doesn't say "child." That proves it. "The Bible means what it says, and says what it means." Now, drop it and do as we say! Dr. George Faull, President of Summit Theological Seminary, wrote at the end of his study of this whole issue, "This should be sufficient to show that those who insist on more than one child have fallen prey to straining at a 'word' instead of grasping a biblical concept." Such straining and lack of perception, sadly, is the obvious fallacy of legalism (obvious to all except the legalist). Jesus said that such people, by straining gnats, have swallowed camels [Matt. 23:24]. I don't think our Lord was overly impressed with their interpretive skills, to say the least.

Therefore, how encouraging it is when those who have been leaders among legalists awaken to their folly. This has happened repeatedly in the lives of those with honest, seeking hearts and minds. And it has happened with regard to this very issue under consideration in this current Reflections. Brother H. E. Phillips, by way of a stunning example, since he was a well-respected leader and author within the Non-Institutional Churches of Christ (at times referred to pejoratively as the "Anti's"), wrote an excellent, as well as lengthy, book titled "Scriptural Elders and Deacons" (published by Guardian of Truth in 1959) in which he boldly declared, "This author has in the past committed himself to the position that a man MUST have more than one child to qualify for the eldership. The position in that form I now disown. It is the prerogative of students of the Bible to modify or change a point of belief when the evidence demands it, and I do not feel in the least humiliated in admitting this error, because all are subject to mistakes, and the only righteous course to take is to admit them and make corrections as far as possible" [p. 144]. No person who knew Bro. Phillips would ever characterize him a "liberal," and yet he clearly broke with the extremist position of a good number of those within his wing of our faith-heritage over this particular issue. The above mentioned Dr. George Faull also totally reversed course on this teaching, declaring, "There are those who teach that elders must have a plurality of children. I used to teach that same error, but have come to a different position through a study of the Word of God." If only more legalists and patternists would be as honestly open to change when presented with Truth.

Brother Don Martin, the Minister for the Holly Street Church of Christ in Denver, Colorado, and the force behind the web site known as Bible Questions, is an extremely vocal advocate for the view that elders MUST have a plurality of offspring, although he is honest enough to acknowledge in one of his articles on the subject -- "As far as the reason for requiring more than one child, I can only speculate." And many who have taken this position have done just that, with some of the speculation crossing over into the realm of the bizarre. For example, I came across one group who felt that the more children a man was able to father, the more "virile" he was, and thus the more "fit" to lead the flock. This smacks of Darwinian Alpha Ramism, frankly, with the studly "rams" in the church inheriting the group in the pews, rather than a grouping of ewes! I think perhaps such theorists have had the wool pulled over their eyes, so to speak! A much more logical and rational speculation is that since elders will be called upon to lead a plurality of members, it would simply make sense that they should demonstrate proven leadership with a plurality of offspring, since just as the personalities and challenges presented by children will differ, so also the personalities and challenges presented by those in the local congregation. This is, admittedly, a good argument, especially in light of the fact that Paul writes, "If a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?" [1 Tim. 3:5]. The home is clearly the "proving ground" for the prospective pastor.

However, to be fair, there are a couple of problems with this line of reasoning. One, it is purely speculation. Although someone might assume this is the purpose of a plurality of offspring, such is not actually specified in Scripture. Elevating personal perception to the level of divine precept is always risky, at best. Brother David Posey, the Minister and one of the Elders for the Folsom Point Church of Christ in Folsom, California, has rightly pointed out that regardless of how logical some theory might sound to ourselves and our comrades, such is ultimately "irrelevant, because it is still human reasoning," rather than divine mandate [Focus Magazine, "Sticky Issues in the Qualifications of Elders"]. Further, there are most certainly special challenges, as well as special blessings, associated with raising an only child. Indeed, some have pointed out that in families with a great many children, the older children will quite often begin to assume some of the child-rearing responsibilities of their younger siblings to aid their parents. In a congregational setting, shepherds will indeed be dealing with a plurality of sheep, but far more often than not their pastoring will be done in the lives of individuals (one on one). Thus, the skills acquired from raising an only child are also of considerable value. I believe one would be hard-pressed to prove that one was more valuable than the other. They are different, but of equal value. Just imagine an eldership in which shepherds with both personal backgrounds and skills are laboring together to serve the members. I would think it would be far more balanced and thus effective in addressing the needs of the flock (both collectively and individually). But, the speculations of both sides of the issue are just that --- speculations, and these can never rise to the level of binding LAW.

After all the dust of human assumption and speculation has settled, we're left with a couple of statements by Paul in which he states that an elder (singular) is to have children (plural). Thus, the question must be resolved in some manner as to whether the use of the plural is absolute, allowing of no diminishing to a single child. If it is, as some staunchly maintain, and if the apostle Paul is truly providing us with a check list of legal qualifications for elders, then all men who have fathered only one child are disqualified. Many good men, with fabulous spiritual qualities, have been barred from serving as pastors by this one "legal ruling" alone. What a disservice has been done to these men, and to the church as a whole, if this ruling is wrong!! Therefore, we must investigate this singular subject - plural object construction to determine if the plural may include the singular in biblical usage. We must further investigate (if the response to the first inquiry is discovered to be affirmative) as to whether such usage is common within the writings of the apostle Paul, and especially if that usage can be demonstrated within his Pastoral Epistles (which would be the most immediate context).

First, we should note that even those who declare that elders must have more than one child will admit that at times in the Bible the singular may be contained within the plural. This is a common usage in most all languages. Brother Don Martin, who serves the Lord in Denver, Colorado, and who was mentioned above as a vocal advocate of the plurality of offspring position, declared in his article on the matter: "In all fairness, there is what is called 'plurals of class.' Plurals of class involve the plural form being used when it can have a singular application, as well as the plural." I must applaud and commend Don for this admission, for he has acknowledged what some will deny quite vehemently. One legalist insisted, "Plurals and singulars are not interchangeable. 'Children' means children; 'child' means child." Well, yes and no. The reality of our language is that at times each of these terms may include the other. And that is clearly what is at issue here. DOES the plural include the singular in Paul's statements regarding elders?! According to the rules of Greek grammatical construction -- it may. This does not mean it has to, but it does allow for the possibility. Again, let me applaud Bro. Martin for the following additional admission: "A determination of the singular application or inclusion when the plural is used is more a matter of interpretation." This is true. Since the plural object with the singular subject may or may not include the singular object, authorial intent, as determined by sound biblical exegesis and the employment of accepted principles of biblical interpretation, is key to a correct understanding as to which is most likely in view.

Can we provide some biblical examples of this usage of the plural to include the singular? Yes, we most assuredly can. In fact, they are common in both the OT and NT writings. Consider Genesis 21:7. "And Sarah said, 'Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.'" How many children did Abraham and Sarah have together? That's right -- only one. In fact, in the very asking of the question I just asked we see that the use of the word "children" may also be understood to include the singular. If a Principal sent out a note during the summer to each family in his district which read, "Dad & Mom, you must register your children for the coming year by August 10th" -- would parents of a single child consider themselves excluded from this instruction? Of course not. The singular is clearly understood by any rational person to be included in the use of the plural. Such usage is common in our language, just as it was very common within the Bible. Would Sarah "nurse children"? Yes, she would ... even though she only had one son (although some legalists have countered this by saying Sarah obviously hired herself out to other families as a wet-nurse, and in so doing "nursed children" --- how's that for fabrication to prove an assumption?).

In Leviticus 25:40-41, which speaks of the release of slaves in the year of Jubilee, it says, "As a hired servant and a sojourner he shall be with you, and shall serve you until the Year of Jubilee. And then he shall depart from you -- he and his children with him -- and shall return to his own family." Here once again we find the singular - plural construction. A man and his children are to be released. But, what if a man has only one child? That is not uncommon. Does this law of release NOT apply to him?! Must a single child remain in servitude? Or, is an only child (singular) included in the word children (plural). I doubt you will find any biblical scholar anywhere who would take the narrow view of this law of release. Clearly, the singular is understood in the plural.

In Matthew 22:24, the Sadducees challenged Jesus with a scenario drawn from the Law of Moses: "If a man dies, having no children, his brother as next of kin shall marry his wife, and raise up an offspring to his brother." Here we find a man (singular) who had "no children" (plural). According to the law, that man's brother was obliged to "go into" his deceased brother's wife and father children for him. What if the dead man had fathered only one child? Would this man's brother still be required to take on his sister-in-law? Or, does the word "children" include "child"? Not only may we assume the latter, but in this case we actually have proof that it does. The law in question may be found in Deut. 25:5 -- "When brothers live together and one of them dies and has no son ... her husband's brother shall go in to her and take her to himself as wife and perform the duty of a husband's brother to her." Here we discover Scripture interpreting itself. The "children" (plural) of the Matthew text clearly includes the "son" (singular) of the Deuteronomy text, and so it would have been understood by Jesus and the Sadducees that day many years ago as the latter confronted the former. Brother H. E. Phillips observed, "Matthew and Moses wrote being guided by the same Spirit, and there is no contradiction in what they say. The plural 'children' in Matthew 22:24 includes the singular of Deuteronomy 25:5" [p. 148].

In Luke 14:26, Jesus said, "If anyone (singular) comes unto Me, and does not hate his (singular) own father and mother and wife and children (plural) and brothers (plural) and sisters (plural), yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple." Would the man who only had one child, or only one brother, or only one sister, be excluded from this charge? Or, as most understand this, does the plural include the singular in this construction? I know of no one who takes the narrow view here (although some, simply for the sake of their theory, would probably do so). We could quite easily list a great many more such illustrative examples (such as the one provided in 1 Cor. 7:14), but I think the point has been sufficiently made. Of even more importance to our study is how the apostle Paul employed this grammatical construction, and especially how he used it in his Pastoral Epistles. Did Paul make use of it? Yes, he most certainly did. Did he use it within his Pastorals? Yes, he did, and a number of times, thus giving us the benefit of interpretive context for his statement about a man desiring to be an elder and his "children." So, let's take a closer look at these.

In 1 Timothy 5, Paul gives a number of instructions to widows. For example, in vs. 16 he says, "If any woman (singular) who is a believer has widows (plural) in her family, she (singular) should help them (plural) and not let the church be burdened with them." So, let's assume that the legalists are correct, and that the plural does NOT include the singular -- does this construction thereby relieve women who only have one widow in their family from the obligation to care for them, thus forcing the church to care for that widow? If the legalists are correct, then that's indeed the conclusion to be drawn. Bro. Roy H. Lanier, Sr., a very highly respected leader, now deceased, in our fellowship, wrote, in an article titled "Elders and Children" -- "The word 'woman' is singular and the word 'widows' is plural, and according to the argument of some, she is not obligated by this verse to care for that one destitute widow. Yet, I think no person with any ability to reason will ever make such a contention." Unfortunately, there are indeed a number of brethren without "any ability to reason" who DO make such a contention. Like Bro. Lanier, I believe that they are dead wrong. Such a view is clearly inconsistent with the overall teaching of Paul, not to mention being inconsistent with the remainder of Scripture. Brother Clem Thurman observed, "Such arguments, silly as they are, show how shallow is the reasoning that tries to bind the plural in ways that violate the plain statements of Scripture" [Gospel Minutes, March 9, 1990].

In verses 3-4 of this same chapter, Paul writes, "Honor widows who are widows indeed; but if any widow (singular) has children (plural) or grandchildren (plural), let them first learn to practice piety in regard to their own family, and to make some return to their parents; for this is acceptable in the sight of God." Once again, let's assume that the legalists are correct, and that the plural does NOT include the singular. IF that is true, then Paul's statement excludes the only child or the only grandchild of such a widow. An only child and/or grandchild, therefore, does NOT have "to practice piety in regard to their own family," since the plural excludes the singular. Right?! That is the inevitable conclusion IF one accepts the "reasoning" of these legalists and literalists. Brother Joseph H. Cox points out this inevitable conclusion that must be drawn from this ridiculous doctrine in an article from over half a century ago, and he mocks all of those who embrace such lunacy [Gospel Advocate, "Child -- Children," February 1, 1951, p. 69-70]. Brother H. E. Phillips notes, "If the word 'children' in 1 Timothy 3:4 means only the plural number to the exclusion of the singular, then it has the same meaning in 1 Timothy 5:4, and the widow who has only one child is not obligated to be cared for by him, but must become a charge of the church" [p. 149]. This, of course, is absurd, and is entirely contrary to the spirit of Scripture.

With regard to those poor widows who are chosen to be taken care of by the church, Paul says that she may only be put on the list if "she (singular) has brought up children (plural)" [1 Tim. 5:10]. So, let me see if I have all of this just right: if this poor widow has all the other qualities enumerated here by Paul (over 60 years old, has shown hospitality to strangers, washed the feet of the saints, assisted those in distress, devoted herself to every good work, etc.), but she only birthed one child, then she isn't worthy of being cared for by the church?! Why, you ask? Simple -- Paul said "children," not "child." This woman only brought up one child, therefore the church must let her starve! Sure. Makes sense to me. NOT!! Brethren, the reality here is this: the construction is exactly the same in these three examples from Paul's first epistle to Timothy as it is in his statement, in that same epistle, concerning an elder and children. The exact same construction. Brother Roy H. Lanier, Sr. stated, "Consistency forces us to interpret all four of these statements alike. If we reject as an elder the man who has only one believing child, then we must take a most unenviable position with reference to the other three passages." He goes on to state: "I think no intelligent person will argue that." I agree, which is why those who do argue this position are ... well ... you get the drift.

Bro. Johnny Ramsey, in a brief article in a late 1991 or early 1992 issue of Gospel Minutes concluded, "If a man is otherwise qualified, I do not believe he needs a plurality of offspring who are Christians to be qualified." Bro. David Thurman, in yet another issue of Gospel Minutes (from 1974), concurred: "It seems that Paul's clear intent here is to describe how this man molds and shapes his children, not to specify how many children he has, whether one or many. ... Since Scripture can use the term 'children' to apply to one child, I believe an elder is not disqualified just because he has only one child." Brother H. E. Phillips concludes, "There is no escape from the fact that if 1 Timothy 3:4 means that the bishop must have a plurality of children to the exclusion of only one, then all these other passages that are similar must carry the same meaning. But, if in all these other passages where the plural 'children' is understood to mean offspring without regard to definite number -- including the singular with the plural -- then 1 Timothy 3:4 and Titus 1:6 have the same meaning" [p. 150]. This is my assessment of the matter as well, and thus I believe and I teach that those men who have only one child are just as suitable for service as a shepherd in the church as those men who have more than one child. Let us, therefore, never be guilty of excluding from service those selected by the Spirit [Acts 20:28].

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Readers' Reflections

From a Reader in Georgia:

Dear Bro. Al, Please let Shelly know that my wife and I are keeping you both in our daily prayers! We love you both dearly, and we continue to appreciate all that you are doing. The Contending for the Faith bunch is really nutty! I keep on struggling over how anyone could possibly look to them for any kind of leadership, and yet they clearly have their group of followers. Unbelievable! You have to admit, though, that their crazy, childish remarks are "entertaining." At the same time, I genuinely believe that they have stepped completely off the edge and have become enemies of the Faith. In my opinion, they do not merely represent some benign segment of Christianity, but have set themselves against the very will, nature and purpose of God. While I have prayed for them (that they will open their hearts and minds to the Truth), I have also prayed that they will be defeated, and that all their attempts to gain or keep any followers for their "other gospel" (which is really no gospel -- Gal. 1:6-7) will result in utter and complete failure.

From a Reader in Alabama:

Bro. Al, "Don't confuse me with the facts; I've already made up my mind" would be the quote my mother would attribute to those full of "dogmatic certainty." Don't we all know folks like this?!!

From a Minister in Texas:

Dear Brother Al, "Self-Inflicted Blindness" was an excellent article! Yes, tradition is indeed an extremely powerful driving force among the brothers and sisters of our "faith heritage" -- a much too powerful force! It causes much grief and division, which is very evident. Because of this sense of satisfaction in the knowledge of "The Truth" which they feel they have fully obtained, and which fits well with their Tradition, they think they have "arrived" at what God wants. There is absolutely no reasoning with them, even when using God's own words. It is really sad! I fear for their eternal safety. Is there any way you know of to reach these people?! I would appreciate any suggestions.

From a Reader in Oklahoma:

Bro. Al, Your Reflections article on "Emotions in Worship" was thrilling to read. For too many years I sat in a pew, eyes straight forward, ears closed and hands clasped tightly together during periods of worship. About a year and a half ago we were blessed to have a new minister come to work with us. His enthusiasm and love for the Lord, and his invitations to smile, and even to say "Amen," have loosened my hold on my emotions, and now I enjoy worship so much more. Whenever we have a baptism, the entire auditorium breaks out in clapping and shouts of "Amen" and even an occasional tear or two. When a person comes back home from a life of sin, many of our members will follow that person to the front to hug their neck and rejoice before the Lord that another soul has come back home. We have finally relaxed our stone faces (and hearts), and we praise God with joyful noises, including clapping and "Amens." We are not show-offs, just people who are truly thrilled that the Creator is aware of us, and that He cares for us. If that does not bring a tingle to the spine, a tear to the eye and clapping to the hands, then check your temperature -- you are probably at room temperature (spiritually) and growing colder.

From a Reader in Oklahoma:

Dear Bro. Al, Once again you have written a masterful piece on the blindness of men. Continue the struggle, my brother! Your gifts of clear-sightedness and great writing ability are opening the eyes of many precious souls. The vicious attacks against you by today's Pharisees serve only to awaken a growing number from their blind allegiance to tradition!

From a Reader in Texas:

Dear Bro. Al, The men's class at the church where I attend here in Lubbock will be studying Haggai this Wednesday night. I searched the Internet for some study materials on this prophet and found your Study of Haggai. It was a great help! Thank you, and blessings to you in the new year, sir.

From a Reader in Kansas:

Dear Brother Al, For the past several years I have been pondering something conceptualized in your recent Reflections titled "Expressing Emotion in Worship." Al, I am struggling to find a biblical basis for our perpetual use of that two word prepositional phrase: "in worship." Just what constitutes "in worship"? When some man in a public assembly gets up and announces, "Let us begin our worship," have we then entered "into worship"? If so, why? Does that same "worship" then come to an end when someone simply says so? If so, why? Where exactly does "in worship" begin and end? I would really appreciate an article, or series of articles, on this topic. Thank you, brother, for your continual labor of love. Soldier On!

From a Reader in Georgia:

Bro. Al, Please keep up the good work. I am confident that you will keep soldiering on despite the puny attacks from a few pseudo-Christians. There is an entire army of Christians out there praying for you!

From a Reader in Florida:

Dear Brother Al, I had surgery recently and am just now able to do some catching up on reading your past issues of Reflections. I just read one from November (#375) and saw the comments in the readers' section from Morris Bowers and Daniel Denham. I don't know who these two people are, but I can certainly tell that they are hateful and misguided! Goodness, the name-calling and disparaging remarks they used were venomous!! What unhappy men they must be. I guess I should pray for them, but, quite frankly, I would much rather leave them schlepping around in their own ignorance and misery. God bless you, brother! Far more people love and respect you than you can possibly imagine!!

From an Elder in Missouri:

Dear Brother Al, While at school in Denver, I had the good fortune to spend some time at the feet of Roy Lanier. Often during our lunch breaks he would join my classmates and me, while eating his own brown bag lunch (usually a sandwich of some type, if memory serves). I recall, during one of these lunches, that we asked him many questions about a particular topic that had become a hot button topic of debate among us. Roy spoke with his usual calm and meek manner, and he gave us some things to think on, as well as his studied judgment. A week or so later he joined some of us in a similar discussion on the same topic. His thoughts sounded somewhat different than what he had said earlier, and one of us spoke up and asked him about the apparent difference in statements. He smiled and nodded and then said, "Well, son, I have studied some since then!" That exchange has stuck in my mind ever since. He was in his 80's at the time, and had been preaching since a teen, yet he continued to study and allow the Word to mold his thoughts, instead of the other way around (as far too many have done). I have tried to live by that example ever since.

From a Reader in Kentucky:

Brother Al, I reread today one of your earlier Reflections (issue #84) in which you dealt with the use and abuse of 2 John 9-11. It is pretty clear that the doctrine in question is that of denying that Jesus came in the flesh, not petty squabbles over what men have decided is the "law of Christ." Thanks for helping me to see this Scripture more clearly and in greater depth.

From a Missionary in Colombia, South America:

Dear Brother Al, Enclosed you will find a check for the purchase of your Reflections on CD and the bonus CD's. I appreciate your ministry very much and often incorporate many of the things you teach into my leadership training classes here in Colombia. May God bless you in 2009.

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