by Al Maxey

Issue #461 ------- October 22, 2010
Crimestop means the faculty of stopping short, as though
by instinct, at the threshold of any dangerous thought. It
includes the power of not grasping analogies, of failing to
perceive logical errors, of misunderstanding the simplest
arguments if they are inimical to the Party's ideology.
Crimestop, in short, means protective stupidity.

George Orwell {1903-1950}
Nineteen Eighty-Four

Change Agents and Newspeak
Waddey's Whimsical Orwellianisms

In 1949, which was the year I was born, George Orwell (1903-1950) released his magnificent work 1984. It was a vision of the future in which the Party ruled with iron fists, and freedom of thought and individualism were deemed unacceptable. "Big Brother" was always watching, thus one must exercise great caution lest his attitudes and actions fall outside the parameters of what was deemed acceptable by the Party. "War is Peace ... Freedom is Slavery ... Ignorance is Strength" were the Party slogans inscribed upon the Ministry of Truth building for all to see. Thinking for oneself was discouraged. If you needed to know anything, the Party leaders would inform you of it. If it didn't come from the Party, it was not worth knowing. If anyone dared to hold views contrary to those of the Party, these would constitute "thought crimes." Thus, the faithful must employ "Crimestop," which enabled the many slaves of the Party to stop short of "dangerous thoughts." In short, it was the Party's gift to the masses of "protective stupidity." Such individuals would blissfully be incapable of "understanding the simplest arguments" and would be incapable of "grasping analogies" (sound familiar?). Their "stupidity" would thus protect them from the Party's disfavor by keeping them forever bound to the official version of Truth preached by the Party. To be in favor with the Party was to be saved; to think independently of the Party was to be lost.

With this "new and improved" society came new terminology -- terms that reflected the philosophy of the Party as it sought to rule and regulate the masses. "Newspeak" became the language of the realm, which is defined as "deliberately ambiguous and contradictory language used to mislead and manipulate the people." Newspeak was "propagandistic language marked by euphemism, circumlocution, and the inversion of customary meanings." The author points out that "its design was to diminish or narrow the range of thought." Newspeak was the language specifically created to express the Party ideas and ideals of "Doublethink," which was a reconstruction of reality, with an accompanying modification of memories, to accommodate Party preference. Orwell wrote, "Doublethink is a vast system of mental cheating" -- i.e., the ability to hold two completely contradictory beliefs in one's mind, and to accept both as Truth. In this way, for example, they could rationalize the concepts of freedom through enslavement or strength being found in ignorance. It was a "raping of reality" without which the Party could never justify its existence or exercise its power over the people. Frankly, it sounds remarkably similar to what we find among the parties of Christendom.

How ironic, then, to find the Party leaders today attempting to pin such Orwellianisms upon those persons simply seeking freedom of thought and expression in their own personal relationship with the heavenly Father. Such is consistent with a "party spirit," however. Thus, it is not overly surprising to find leaders within the various religious parties condemning those who dare to differ with them, and seeking to place upon them the characteristics of "newspeak" and "doublethink," when, in fact, it is they themselves who employ such manipulation and modification of the message of God's Grace. In the October, 2010 issue of Christianity: Then & Now (a publication that has been around for about a decade now, and is published by John Waddey, a preacher in Arizona) John has an article on page 3 titled "Preaching in Newspeak." In this article he once again goes after those dreaded "Change Agents," who, in the view of partyists, are the ultimate canker sore upon the Body of Christ Jesus. He provides a number of quotes by "Liberals" (mostly made by me, although he fails to mention the source -- after all, it would then be too easy for his readers to bring up my writings and discern for themselves what I really said and/or meant), and then John informs his readers that these statements are nothing but "doublethink" and "newspeak." John then reinterprets these statements, informing his readers what these loony liberals actually believe (which is hidden behind the deception of their public statements). It is, once again, a case of someone thinking they know better than you do what you meant by your words.

"There are preachers and teachers of religion who also use 'Newspeak.' They love the sweet sound of the traditional words and phrases of Christianity, but they do not care for the traditional meanings ascribed to them by biblical writers. These folks use the old religious terminology with their own new meanings, and those who are 'traditional' Christians are deceived because they hear the man speaking Scriptural words, not knowing he really means something quite different" [Christianity: Then & Now, October, 2010, vol. 10, no. 2, p. 3]. Notice that Mr. Waddey speaks of "traditional" words and phrases and meanings that have become the norm of "traditional" Christians. Of course, as is consistent with virtually all partyists, tradition is equated with Truth. MY wording, phrasing and meaning is exactly the same as that of the "biblical writers." In other words, agreement with ME is agreement with GOD. Thus, any departure from MY perception is deception!! So, the foundation is laid for building a case against all who dare to think for themselves and perhaps come to a differing perception as to what the biblical writers may have been seeking to convey through their writings.

In preparing his readers for the quotes he's about to provide, Waddey writes (with respect to these "Newspeak" statements), "We observe it today coming from the mouths and pens of our change agents. It is very possible you have heard them used by change-agent preachers. Only by careful observation will you discover that what is said is not really what is meant by their words" [ibid]. It should be noted that George Orwell himself declared that the design of "Newspeak" was simply to "diminish or narrow the range of thought." In other words, if we narrow the use of the phrase "Church of Christ" to mean only those within our little group, rather than its true biblical meaning of all those in relationship with Christ Jesus, is it not this diminished perception of the phrase that is truly "Newspeak," rather than the non-sectarian departure by free thinkers from traditional perceptions? With this in mind, notice what John Waddey claims:

How can one read the above and not detect sectarian and denominational thinking?! John Waddey equates the "Church of Christ" with a group "here in America" that those within it "know and love." The idea that Christ's church is much broader than the parameters of any one group or movement, and that it includes all those throughout the world, known ultimately only to God, is dismissed by John as little more than the mystical imaginings of change agents. Yes, I have made the above statement ("I love the Church of Christ") many times, but it must always be understood within its overall context. For example, I have stated on occasion my intense love for my own faith-heritage in the Stone-Campbell Movement. I am a product of this religious group "here in America," and have the utmost love and respect for those within it, as well as for many of its traditions. However, I also have tremendous love for the One Body of Christ Jesus -- His church here on earth -- which includes all those persons who are in relationship with Him. Only God knows the identity of every one of these brethren of mine, and precisely how many there are, but I believe I can safely say that they are not ALL to be found within that group denominated "Church of Christ." The parameters of His universal church are not as narrow as those various groups draw around themselves. I am a member of His One Body, who just happens to be affiliated with one of the branches of the Stone-Campbell Movement. Yes, I love both, and for different reasons. John Waddey seems to think that such clarification of the distinction between the two constitutes "Newspeak." However, please remember that the design of Newspeak is "to diminish or narrow the range of thought." If one narrows the One Body of Christ to a group denominated "Church of Christ" that we "here in America" have come to "know and love," then this, by definition, is "Newspeak." In essence, Waddey has employed Doublethink by seeking to "reconstruct reality" to conform to the parameters of his party.

It is almost impossible for those steeped in sectarianism to think in a non-partisan manner. Their focus is almost always on their party, rather than upon individual disciples. "What church do you go to?" is the primary concern. Are you one of those "denominationalists," or do you belong to the "one, true church"? Are you "one of US," or are you "one of THEM"? This confusion is perceived in the above statement by John, who stated that change agents believe that the universal One Body of Christ "includes all the various churches of the Catholic and Protestant world." This seems to suggest that the One Body is composed of sects rather than saints. Christ's church is simply His people. It has nothing to do with one's traditional practices or religious affiliations or theological perceptions and preferences. It has to do with spiritual relationship. Those individual saints In Him constitute His church. These individual saints may have a great many different convictions about matters of faith, their worship styles may vary, their traditions may be unfamiliar to each other. But, wherever God has a child, I have a brother or sister ... and together we are His family ... His body ... His church. It is all about unity, not uniformity.

If a preacher really is trying to "convince enough members to make the change to instrumental music," then for that preacher it is NOT a "non-issue," any more than it is a "non-issue" to the preacher trying to convince people to abandon the use of instruments as aids or accompaniment to their singing. If someone is pushing one view over the other, then it is an "issue" with him/her!! It is possible, however, for someone to genuinely love their tradition without having a desire to impose it as Law upon the rest of humanity. I do indeed happen to love my a cappella tradition (and, yes, that is what I consider it to be --- tradition), but I do NOT consider it "the ONLY proper way for the church to praise God," and if anyone thinks that is what I meant when I said I love a cappella, then they are reading far more into my statement than is actually there or was ever intended. Not everyone who loves some particular custom or tradition has a "hidden agenda" --- a secret desire to enslave the rest of the world to their personal preference. I do have a preference, but I do NOT have any desire to promote one view over the other. I can worship equally well with either style. So, for me, it is truly a NON-issue, since I embrace as brethren those who embrace each of these practices! Therefore, when I say I love a cappella, that is all that it means!! John needs to quit searching for subversives under every stone!!

Once again John has jumped to some enormous, not to mention erroneous, conclusions from what is a rather simple declarative statement. I do indeed love many of our "brotherhood" traditions. Some are quite special to me personally, and I have no desire to abandon them. They touch me spiritually, and are of great value in my journey of faith. I also have great respect for, and am honored to be a part of, our Stone-Campbell heritage in the group denominated "Church of Christ." My dad and mom raised me up as a part of this faith-heritage, several of my biological forefathers were leaders within this movement (G. C. Brewer was a cousin), so I truly cherish my religious roots. It is an important part of my personal background. I have no desire to deny it nor forsake it. My heritage, however, does not define who or what I am, although it may help one better understand some of the traditions with which I was raised, and thus some of my own preferences. Who and what I am is defined by my relationship with God through His Son, and by the presence and leading within me of His Spirit!! To assume that my above statement defines my theological identity as a "restorationist," is to assume far too much. I am not, in point of fact, a restorationist. I see no real benefit or purpose to imposing first century practices upon 21st century disciples. The times are different, the cultures are different, the challenges are different, etc. Truth is a constant. God's message of Grace is a constant. Loving God and loving others is a constant. How one expresses these Truths evangelistically will vary greatly from culture to culture, as will how one expresses themselves in worship to their sovereign God. I may not worship the same way as a 1st century Jewish Christian, but my worship is no less accepted and appreciated by God if it comes from the heart, just as theirs did. I have no real desire to restore some elusive "pattern." Rather, like genuine disciples throughout the ages, I will simply raise up the Person of Jesus Christ for all to see. He will then draw into His loving embrace all those being saved!! Together we will all constitute His Family ... His One Body ... His universal Church.

If I had a dollar for every time my critics declared that I didn't believe in the necessity of baptism I could probably retire comfortably to a cabin by a clear blue lake. I don't suppose it does a whole lot of good to keep denying their assertions, for the more one denies them, the more forceful they become in saying, "Yes you do!! I know better than you do what you believe!!" I have a great many writings that state quite clearly, and repeatedly, my position on this, thus I shall let them speak for themselves. Mr. Waddey also states in his article that "change agents" (among whom I am regarded by him as one of the worst) "reject the concept that the Bible is the law of Christ" ... "they are vehement in denying that the Bible is a divine pattern to which we're expected to conform" ... and "they view the Bible as a love letter from God, filled with comfortable words, to which strict obedience is not necessary." The key words that tend to define the theological position of people like John Waddey are "law" and "pattern." I am most definitely not a "legalistic patternist," although I will certainly admit that the Bible (including the New Covenant writings) does contain direct commands from God and provides guiding principles that we can use to pattern our attitudes and actions in such a way as to be more like Jesus. When He commands, we obey. However, you will find that the New Covenant writings are much more about LOVE than about LAW. Thus, they are indeed filled with great comfort for those who embrace His gift of Grace.

The year 1984 came and went almost 27 years ago. George Orwell's book remains a classic to this day, and likely always will. In some ways his vision of the future never came to pass. Yet, in other ways, his insights into human nature were not only confirmed by the future, but by the past as well. There have always been tyrants who sought to subdue their fellows to their own will. This was/is not only true politically and socially, but also religiously. Thinking for yourself is discouraged; if there is anything you really need to know, you will be informed of it by the Party. Do not step beyond the narrow parameters of the Party. Do not question the doctrine of the Party. Never challenge the leaders of the Party. Thought crimes will not be tolerated by the Party. Yes, Waddey is right -- there are indeed still those "Preaching in Newspeak." Sadly, though, John has misidentified the source of this "doublethink" and "doublespeak." It isn't coming from those who are proclaiming freedom in Christ. John, "thou art the man!"

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

A 193 page book by Al Maxey

One Bread, One Body
An Examination of Eucharistic
Expectation, Evolution and Extremism

A 230 page book by Al Maxey

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Readers' Reflections

From a Reader in Arkansas:

Brother Al, My husband and I have been reading your new book One Bread, One Body together. We read several pages daily, allow the thoughts to soak in, and then we discuss them with each other. We've now almost finished your book. Having been raised in the Churches of Christ, and coming from an ultra-conservative (Non-Institutional) background, and moving more to the other side of the spectrum over the last thirty years or so, we understand your writings, for the most part, and know where you're coming from. I so wish that all Christians had an open mind to Truth. We have friends and relatives that we truly wish would read your new book, and we'd even purchase it for them if we knew they'd read it. I have already had one sent to a nephew who occasionally preaches for the congregation where he lives. I pray he will open his mind to the cogent thoughts you present in your book! If we could only get those with this mindset to read even a few pages of your book with an open mind, perhaps their minds would be whetted enough to read more!!

From a Reader in Canada:

Brother Al, I just finished reading your new book One Bread, One Body and really appreciate all that you have covered in what you have written. Hopefully, like Campbell, you can help bring down some walls that are preventing all the brethren from coming together in unity and love for our Lord Jesus the Messiah. Again, I really enjoyed your book. Thanks!

From a Reader in North Carolina:

Dear Brother Al, Enclosed please find a check for an autographed copy of your new book One Bread, One Body. This book is a gift for a friend of ours, who is a new fan of yours, named ------. We are faithful readers of your writings, and we lift you and your efforts up in prayer always!! Thank you!

From the Granddaughter of a CFTF Leader:

Dear Mr. Maxey, I read your article about me and Aunt ---- today in Reflections #460. I appreciate it very much, and I truly hope that it makes a difference, even if for only one person! I also appreciated the honesty and respect you showed both of us in your writing. You can choose whether or not to make this known, since you have already written your excellent article, but I am also willing to make the same offer my aunt has made (i.e., you may share my name and email address with anyone who asks you for them, and I will be glad to respond to them). Also, I would like to be subscribed to your Reflections, please. Thank you!!

From the Daughter of a CFTF Leader:

My Dear Brother Al, You did a fabulous job with both our stories in your last Reflections!! I was so deeply touched that you chose not to share the more intimate aspects of our lives that we had revealed to you -- you could have; we did give you permission!! -- but, unlike my father, David Brown and "Fiery Iry," who love to do things like that, you refused to get down in the dirt on their level. As you stated, some things are better left unsaid. Thank you for your compassion. Please keep us in your prayers, as I am also keeping you in mine, for a firestorm of hate is about to be unleashed! Stay on guard, Al ... I know these men and their tactics well, and I have seen them destroy so many people who dared to cross them.

From a Reader in Missouri:

Dear Bro. Al, The comments of the two women who managed to break free brought me to tears!! I have been trying to find my way out for over a year now, and I can't seem to do it. I NEED HELP!! Can I please have the information to correspond with these two women?! Your Reflections have changed my life over the last few months. I have never felt such a longing for freedom! I recently attended a gospel meeting at our congregation held by a man I have loved and still do. His name is Maxie Boren, and he is one of the most kind and loving gospel preachers I have ever known. But, with my new-found sense of freedom, I found his messages narrow and hopeless. The theme of the series was "What Does The Bible Say?" and I was amazed to be told that "the Bible says" that the Church of Christ church is the ONLY true church, and ONLY those within this church are heaven bound. How sad and pathetic!! The saddest part is that I used to feel the same way, and am so thankful that I have seen the light, but I am having a very hard time breaking free of my narrow-minded brethren!! It has gotten to where attending services is somewhat of an endurance test. I have talked very little to my family about my new views, but what little talking I have done has not been received very well. This is going to be a really rough path for me, but one I know I must go down. I need all the help I can get. Thanks so much for what you do, Al. Your writings have really changed my life!!

From a Reader in [Unknown]:

Dear Brother Al, I found myself crying as I read your latest Reflections describing the horrific suffering of these two precious souls. Thank you, Al, for setting the example of loving, teaching, enduring and forgiving in your labors for the Master. There are so many who would rather aggravate the other workers in the vineyard than tend to their own work. I love you and respect you, brother, and I look forward to another hug from you at The 2011 Tulsa Workshop, where I understand you will be one of the speakers again!! I pray that God continues filling you with grace, mercy and strength so that you might keep on being Christ-like in the face of opposition from His enemies. These precious souls you are helping are worth it!

From a Reader in Texas:

Brother Al, Just got an opportunity to read your latest Reflections -- "God's Powerful Pamphleteer" -- and appreciate so much hearing of those who discovered the special relationship we are called together to enjoy. I also appreciate your dialogue with the daughter and granddaughter of the CFTF leader. They obviously are in need of much comfort as they watch their father and grandfather behave this way. I am 100% with you on the reasoning behind not sharing the intimate details they provided you of the abuse they've experienced. There are some who would simply see that as you attacking this man and behaving in a non-Christian manner. One of the things that lifted me up so greatly when I began my own journey away from being one of those people was having people I knew connect me with others who were also making that transition out of legalism. I don't really need the details of their story, but as you communicate with them, you have my permission to share my name and email address with them as another brother they can lean on for support, if they need to. By the way, based upon quite a few comments overheard about you and your writings at the Abilene Christian University "Summit" recently, it looks like the "Al Maxey: Warrior for Oneness" message is getting out big time!! Bravo, brother!!

From a Reader in Florida:

Brother Al, You are right. I had never heard of Rice Haggard. It was wonderful learning about him in your last Reflections. "O to be like him!" I also truly respect your decision not to "post to the public" the two women's letters, but rather to give those in need the opportunity to contact them privately. I am so sorry for all they have had to endure growing up in such legalistic homes! I sincerely pray that help can be found for those who have had to endure such abuse, and I also pray for the parents who have caused so many to fall away due to their rigid beliefs and actions.

From a Missionary in Peru:

Brother Al, Thank you for your latest Reflections. The second part was truly tragic. I think you were wise not to hang out the dirty clothing in public, but one could weep for those dear sisters in the Lord who have suffered so deeply at the hands of one who should be their support and protector. But, cults maintain their power through lies, control and manipulation. May the Lord strengthen your arm and use you to save many from the influences of such men!

From a Minister in Tennessee:

Dear Bro. Al, Your Reflections on the Rice Haggard pamphlet was very good! I enjoyed reading it. Thanks! May we all have the same thirst for unity and disdain for division that our spiritual brother of yesteryear had. Also, I want to thank you for sharing with your readers the fact that you were contacted by the daughter and granddaughter of one of the Contending for the Faith leaders. Both of these women are to be commended for their spirit and courage! I too have felt the sting of their father and grandfather!! But as much as we all hate what he has done and is doing, let us pray that he might change. When I finally removed the veil of legalism and gave up being a hypocrite a few years ago, a "friend" of mine turned on me with all he had, and turned to ----- for help, who wrote some vicious things against me (even though he didn't know me), resorting to childish ridicule, just as he did with you. At first this bothered me some, but then I thought about how it is an honor to suffer for righteousness' sake. Also, I came to discover that several others, such as yourself, were enduring far more persecution at their hands than I was. Thank you, Al, for being steadfast in the face of the devil's attacks against Truth. Both you and your Reflections articles have been an encouragement to me and to others. May God continue to bless you and your family in His service.

From a Reader in [Unknown]:

Dear Brother Maxey, Your Reflections web site has been recommended to me by several people, and I wanted to let you know that I have been enjoying reading your thoughts on all manner of spiritual matters. I know that many people are being helped, blessed and encouraged by reading what you have to say. I am sorry, but not surprised, to read that you have been attacked by the people who produce that Contending for the Faith magazine. One of my friends has been attacked several times in that scandal sheet. Having worked in the news media for more than a few years, I can say with all confidence that CFTF, Seek the Old Paths, and others of that ilk have even lower journalistic standards than the weekly world news broadcasts!! The potshots at your military service hit close to home. My next-door neighbor, and a dear friend, who passed away last month, was a Vietnam veteran. He was one of the kindest, most humble and least judgmental people I ever knew. He never preached a sermon, to my knowledge, but he sure lived a good one!! He was proud of his service, but only saw himself as doing his job, and was glad they let him serve. I got that same vibe reading about your service! Al, you have every reason to be proud of your service to our country!! Attacking your wife is also unconscionable!! I don't recall the exact words, but the story was that President Reagan called a columnist who had taken cheap shots at his beloved Nancy, and he told him that it was "a pretty low person" who would attack another man's wife to get at him. My dad was a Church of Christ minister, and he had to deal with people like that in his congregations. The things that some of those people said about my family -- in my presence -- were cruel. One elder, in particular, used to love bringing his pistol to church, and even "joked" to me about using it on my dad!! That is cruel and vile and simply godless. And yet, these people claim to be Christians! Well, I didn't mean to write a whole speech here ... I just wanted to say that I appreciate your work!

From a Reader in Texas:

Brother Al, I have often wondered if the ultra-legalists could actually separate the way they deal with their brethren (which behavior results, I am convinced, from their imperative personalities) from the way that they deal with their own families. We accidentally hired a man with such a mindset at our small congregation. He met with the congregation for over a month before we hired him. He was cooperative and amiable before the hiring, then changed into this hateful, dogmatic person immediately after. When we released him within a year, he went after the ones in the congregation he perceived as being in opposition to him, damning them all to hell. He then tried to establish another congregation here, and went after those members he felt to be vulnerable. Several years later a member here saw his wife at a store in town. She said that she had divorced him, and that this was, in part, due to his physical abuse of her! This incident, along with the letters from the daughter and granddaughter of the Contending for the Faith leader, just may indicate this is far more prevalent among these people than we realize! After all, this mindset is not just a theological one, in my opinion, as much as it is a manifestation of an imperative personality type.

From a Minister in Kentucky:

Dear Bro. Al, Your Reflections on Rice Haggard was most interesting. It is remarkable that those early pioneers had so clear a vision of the need for unity and how to achieve it, while we, supposedly their spiritual heirs, seem to have so little understanding of either!!

From a Minister in Oklahoma:

My Dearest Brother Al, Thank you so much for the recent advice and encouragement you provided me in a weak moment I was having, and for letting me lean on you. Sometimes we all need to be reminded about what is truly important. If you ever need a shoulder to lean on, brother, I am here for you! I hope to see you and Shelly at the upcoming 2011 Tulsa Workshop, Lord willing. Your Reflections articles are loved by a great many people, Al, just as you are, and I use them often in my devotionals here. May you continue in the wisdom of His divine grace and love. Peace be with you!

From a Reader in Texas:

Brother Al, In the last paragraph of Reflections #459 --- You Can't Be Serious! --- you again hit the nail squarely on the head when you wrote, "Yet in each of these cases, those groups condemned will declare their practice 'expedient' ... and then turn right around and condemn another group for violating God's 'silence.' It's lunacy! One man's innovation is another man's expedient. Both are following an approach to Scripture devised by man and not by God." That statement right there, brother, should be enough to cause most of the followers of legalism to "snap out of it." If we could just get them to really read it, that is. You always manage to reveal Truth in such a clear and concise manner. Keep up the good work.

From a Pastor in Texas:

Brother Al, Your teachings on God's "silence" have been very valuable to me, and I appreciate your work in the Kingdom of God. I also pray for your efforts within your own Church Heritage, and for you due to the harshness you experience as a result of correcting God's House. You are addressing major problems within your Church Heritage, and thus are a shepherd who is actively seeking to protect his flock. Brother Al, I would feel extremely secure within a place of worship that had you as its leader and pastor. May God always be with you. I pray for the Holy Spirit to uphold you, comforting you and your loved ones.

From a New Reader in Russia:

Dear Brother Al, I would like to be placed on your mailing list for your Reflections. My name is ----- ------, and I serve the Lord as the minister for the --------- Church of Christ, Russia. Someone has recommended your Reflections to me, so I would like to try it. Thank you.

From a Reader in Texas:

Brother Al, Keep up the good work, and keep those studies coming! I went to the "Summit" at Abilene Christian University, and there is a real pleasant breeze of change coming from what I saw and heard!! The Holy Spirit is definitely working in the hearts of many within our fellowship!

From a Reader in Michigan:

Dear Brother Al, I have been reading your Reflections for many years, and I appreciate your thoughts and instruction. I have learned to live a more grace-centered life because of your help, along with other voices in the brotherhood. Thank you so much for all you do!

From a Reader in North Carolina:

Brother Al, Your last Reflections was a wonderful article on the dangers of partyism! Brother Haggard is certainly an inspiration! I also enjoyed the emails from "the girls" -- the daughter and granddaughter of not only one of your revilers, but one whom I would consider an enemy of the Gospel and Cross of Christ!! Thank God for men like Brother Haggard, and thank God for modern-day pastors like you, Brother Al. Keep the faith.

Special Note --- You may remember from my last issue of Reflections that a reader from Texas wrote, "I read (or maybe dreamed) of a verse in the Bible that was talking about the right to use greater force to defend oneself or one's property 'in the night' than in the daylight. I need to find this passage in the Bible, if it's there (or did I just dream this?)." I put this question of his to you, and you came through for him (since I couldn't recall where it was). Several of you wrote to say it was Exodus 22:2-3. I sent the information on to the reader in Texas, and he was very grateful to you all. Thank you!! --- Al Maxey

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