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Should Christian Leaders Be Trusted?

The Line of Fire / Dr. Michael Brown
The Truth Network Radio
November 1, 2023 4:50 pm

Should Christian Leaders Be Trusted?

The Line of Fire / Dr. Michael Brown

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November 1, 2023 4:50 pm

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The following program is recorded content created by the Truth Network. So, can we really trust any spiritual leaders today? It's time for the Line of Fire with your host, biblical scholar and cultural commentator, Dr. Michael Brown. Your voice for moral sanity and spiritual clarity. Call 866-34-TRUTH to get on the Line of Fire.

And now, here's your host, Dr. Michael Brown. There's no denying that there have been many terrible scandals in the Church in recent years. There have always been failures, that's through the entire Bible and through Church and spiritual history, the history of Israel, the history of the Church.

That has always been the case. It seems that there are more and more major failures with prominent leaders, whether you're a Catholic or Protestant, whether you are a charismatic or non-charismatic, evangelical, non-evangelical. So many major leaders have fallen and now recent accusations against another major leader. Can you trust your pastor? Can you trust spiritual leaders? Can you trust any of us on the air talking to you about the Lord?

Let's talk about that straightforwardly today. Michael Brown, welcome to the Line of Fire. We are on the air, friends, for such a time as this. If you have a question for me, not a salacious detail question, I heard this, I heard this about this one or that one, but a practical question about how we deal with scandals like this, a practical question about charges against Mike Bickel, what about the alleged prophecies and visions and dreams and supernatural experiences, questions like that, by all means give me a call, 866-342-866-348-7884. I got very heavily into the word yesterday responding to my brother in the Lord, Jeff Durbin, and his colleagues at Apologia Radio about what I felt were some very serious misstatements about the identity of Israel and the Jewish people and the chosenness of Israel and the Jewish people. Just got in the word, didn't take any calls. If you want to weigh in on that subject or more broadly on Israel's war with Hamas, 866-344-TRUTH and I will try to get to some calls today.

Before I get into today's subject, I want to be as practical and forthright and helpful as I can. I was just looking at headlines before I got on the air, just wanted to see if there is any more major news out of Israel, etc. And Drudge Report is, it's widely, widely, widely used. There it is on the screen as I'm talking. There's a Jewish star and it says, FBI warns terror threat, high hatred of Jews surges.

And that's right in the middle. I've never seen anything that pronounced on Drudge Report like that in my life. And then on the top left, all the various headlines and Hamas vows to repeat October 7th over and over again, etc. Scary stuff. Yeah, Drudge is sensationalistic, conservative leaning but sensationalistic. And yeah, I fully understand that.

But it is not magnifying something that isn't there. It is talking about something very, very real happening around America, happening around the world. I'm grieved by it. I'm not surprised by it.

I'm not shocked by it. I've been documenting the nature of anti-Semitism and the nature of Jew hatred for well over 30 years now. Every individual is responsible to God. A Jew who sins is responsible to God just like a Gentile who sins. That remains the same. We're all saved and forgiven the same way through the blood of Jesus, the Messiah. That remains the same. And yes, Jews do good things and bad things like everybody else.

That remains the same. And yes, there have been times in our history, many times when we have been under divine discipline. I say that as a Jewish follower of Jesus. We have been under divine discipline. We have been expelled from the land. The temple was destroyed. These were all acts of divine judgment and discipline.

I recognize all that. At the same time, I will say categorically and without hesitation that Jew hatred, anti-Semitism by its very nature is demonic, is diabolical, is irrational. It goes beyond human reason or explanation. I absolutely hold to that. I've given lectures to that extent at universities in years past and fielded questions for hours with people trying to come up with other answers.

And they simply fall short when you look at the phenomenon of Jew hatred through history and how widespread and how irrational and how you cannot connect all the dots in any logical, earthly way. By all means, be on the alert, friends. Be on the alert praying because this is a demonic attack.

So be awake and alert to what is happening. All right. Mike Bickel was a personal friend. I spent hours of wonderful fellowship with him at different times. We didn't see each other much but would have wonderful fellowship when we would be together. And all my time with him was very Jesus glorifying. Nothing ever came up in our conversation and our interaction that would make me question him. In fact, to be absolutely candid, I've challenged critics of Mike to get with him, spend time with him. I told him to spend the day with him. If he had the time, your life would be enriched.

I thought very highly of him. And right now, there are very serious allegations, people very close to me saying the allegations are very credible. Let everything come to light. Everyone is entitled to due process. My whole show yesterday addressed if the charges are true, how do we respond to something like this?

I hope they're not true. Credible allegations I hear. Let everything come to light. Let there be due process.

Yes, that's what we would want for anyone. And in fact, if there are genuine victims, they must be heard, and their care, their well-being must be the priority in everything that happens, along with sorting out what is true, what is not true, and dealing with it appropriately. So I don't back down for a split second for any of the things I've said about Mike over the years. And as far as I knew, the exemplary life that he lived, to my knowledge, nothing changes there, right? Heartbreaking if true.

Heartbreaking if true. But I want to say this to everyone who was impacted by his life in ministry. If you were impacted positively, that's from the Lord. Any good thing that comes from us is still from God. If I say something to you quoting scripture in a timely way, or the Spirit stirs my heart to share something with you, you say, Dr. Brown, those words changed my life. Well, that's the Lord. That's not me.

That's not Mike Brown. The greatest personal testimony I was ever involved with, where God used me to pray for other people who went out, and God moved through them and their community, and almost the entire community came to faith over a period of a year, almost 1,200 people, the most remarkable testimony I was ever personally involved with. When I got word of it, it was well over a year after it had happened. And this, excuse me, it was after a year that this had been going on, and I got the word at the end of that year.

So it wasn't the year after, it was the end of the year where God had moved in this community. And 1,150 out of 1,200 people had made professions of faith as a result of a move of God that broke out after I prayed for these people in a meeting. When I shared that with Nancy, the very first words out of her mouth, this is one of the reasons God brought Nancy into my life, exactly what I need. What a wonderful gift from God she is to me.

We go on 48 years of marriage and 50 years together as best friends. The first words she shared with me when I shared this testimony with her, she did not say praise the Lord. She did not say glory to God.

That's amazing. The first words she said to me were, and you can't take any credit for it. Those are the first words she said. She said, because think of all the thousands of people you've prayed for and that never happened. It's not like, I have power. If God used you to heal the sick, that's God who healed the sick. If God used you to give a prophetic word to someone, that's God who gave the word. If God used you to raise funds for the gospel, that's God who did it. At the end of the day, Jesus says in Luke 17, when we've done everything we're commanded to do, we say, Lord, I'm an unworthy servant. I just did what was my duty. All the service that we offer to God, if we die as martyrs, we're just doing our duty. We've been bought with a price. We're forever going to be with the Lord. Any sacrifice we make in this world is beyond tiny.

So, again, we don't know the final outcome. We pray for truth to come to light, the situation with Mike Bickel. But if one of his books stirred you to get closer to Jesus, praise God, that was the Lord that stirred you and that used Mike as a vessel, but we are all just earthly vessels. The psalmist said that God remembers our frame. He knows that we are dust.

That's the best of us. We're still just dust. We are human tents in which the glory of God dwells through Jesus, Christ in you, the hope of glory, and His grace is manifest through these human vessels. If you have been engaged in a house of prayer or have given yourself to prayer and fasting through Mike's influence, praise God, the prayers are just as real and the prayers are more needed than ever. And whatever encounters you have with God, they're real. Listen, if I share something with you that God did in my life and as a result of that, that draws you closer to God, whatever happens in my life in the future, whatever happened in my life in the past, if what I shared with you helped you have an encounter with God, that encounter with God is real.

I know at times like this we get rocked, but the reality is our faith was never in a man. If God's used me to minister to you and your life's been changed through it, glory to God, He gets the credit. Yes, I appreciate you letting me know and it's encouraging to hear that, but you don't praise Mike Brown, you praise the Lord.

You're right. We don't praise Pastor so-and-so, we praise the Lord. In fact, it's our habit, Nancy and I, for many, many years, if I might share something with her, you know, something I accomplished or, you know, just we're lightheartedly or something. I don't mean spiritual, but some lighthearted thing she'll say, praise you, praise you. You know, she'll give me some good report about, oh, praise you, honey. You know, we laugh about it, but nobody gets the praise except the Lord. God will give praise to each man. It's an amazing verse in 1 Corinthians 4, 1 Corinthians 4, I quoted it yesterday, that God will give praise to every man on that day. He'll be the one to say, well done, good and faithful servant.

And we can honor and respect and esteem one another, and that's what I'm going to come to. How do you know? How do you know whether you can trust the pastor or not? How do you know whether this evangelist is living right or not? How do you know if the author of that book is really true or not? How do you know if the guy you're listening to on the radio or watching on video right now is reliable? How do you know?

All very fair questions, and that's what I'm going to devote the next segment of the broadcast to, and then I will do my best to get to some calls as well. But I want to emphasize this once more. Maybe you've launched a house of prayer in your community, and you're the leader of a house of prayer in your community. And your model and inspiration for it was IHOPKC, International House of Prayer in Kansas City, where it's, what, going on 25 years of 24-7 worship and prayer going up to the throne of God from the prayer room there. That was your inspiration. Well, wonderful.

Wonderful. Whether leaders of that all proved to be exemplary or whether some were not, the fact that you launched a house of prayer is beautiful and wonderful in God's sight. The worship has gone to the throne of God just the same. And there's a critically important verse in Romans 3. We're going to start there.

We come back on the other side of the break as to how we did this, what our attitude should be, and then I'm going to give you practical steps as to whether you can or should trust Christian leaders. Again, if you don't have my app, download it, friends. It's Ask Dr. Brown Ministries, A-S-K-D-R Brown Ministries. Download it. You'll find access. You can listen to the podcast. You can watch the broadcast from there. Listen to or read our latest articles. Just post them once a day with further thoughts on how we process these things.

So download it, Ask Dr. Brown Ministries. If you're watching on YouTube, click thumbs up. Share the video.

Would you do that now? Facebook the same thing. Click like and share.

We'll be right back. This is Michael Ellison, founder of TriVita Wellness. I want to introduce our TriVita, Alfred Libby original patented sublingual B12, B6, and folate formula. I had the wonderful opportunity of meeting Alfred Libby, a pioneer in vitamin research. I also had the opportunity to obtain the patented formula and the rest is history with over 50 million tablets being taken by our TriVita members through the years. The amazing testimonies of mental clarity, mood enhancement, and more energy have been thrilling to me as a founder of TriVita Wellness. Not only is it an amazing B12 product, but it is loaded with the essential B6 vitamin. I call it the workhorse vitamin. It is vital for strong immune function and every body system. Here's what the National Center for Biotechnology Information says, and I quote, It plays a key role and is crucial to immune function.

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1-800-771-5584 or online at It's the Line of Fire with your host, Dr. Michael Brown. Get on the Line of Fire by calling 866-34-TRUTH.

Here again is Dr. Michael Brown. Thanks for joining us on the Line of Fire. Those watching online or listening to my podcast say, well, you have breaks. This is a live radio show going on stations around America as well as going out live on YouTube and Facebook and then later out by podcast. That's the explanation. Shout out of appreciation to our co-sponsor TriVita.

By all means, I encourage you to check out their amazing wellness products and in doing so, you'll bless yourself and you'll bless many others because of the funds donated to the Line of Fire to help us reach more people. All right, Romans chapter three. Romans chapter three, Paul has just finished talking about a Jew in the highest spiritual sense of the word, what that looks like and now returning to just talking about Jewish people, right?

Verse one, I talked about that at length yesterday. What advantage then is there in being a Jew? What value is there in circumcision?

Much in every way. First of all, the Jews have been entrusted with the very words of God. What if some were unfaithful?

It's obviously speaking about some of the Jewish people. This has happened through history, many at times have been unfaithful. What if some were unfaithful? Will their unfaithfulness nullify God's faithfulness?

Not at all. Let God be true and every human being a liar as it is written so that you may be proved right when you speak and prevail when you judge. Now, where is that coming from where Paul quotes as it is written? It's coming from Psalm 51. This is the Psalm of repentance of David after Nathan the prophet confronted him of his adulterous relationship with Bathsheba in which David had Bathsheba's husband Uriah the Hittite killed in battle, sickeningly so, and then took her as his wife and then the child that they had died, the first child. So that's recorded in 2 Samuel chapters 11 and 12 and then Psalm 51 is the Psalm of repentance. So the child dies and someone from the outside might have said, how could this happen?

How could this be? This is David. David's such a godly man, such a wonderful man and he took in this widow and married her and how could this be? And David's saying, no, no, no, I've sinned. I'm the one who sinned and yeah, I've sinned against Uriah and I've sinned against Bathsheba and I've sinned against others, but I sinned against you, God. All sin is ultimately sin against you, that you may be proved right when you speak.

In other words, whatever you do in the end is proven right. Why does God allow this? Why do certain things happen? In the end, we'll see that God is perfect in his goodness, perfect in his righteousness, perfect in his justice, perfect in his mercy, perfect in his love. That's who God is. In the end, we'll see there is no fault, no flaw, no lack in him whatsoever.

Why'd the baby die? Well, many things we don't know, we don't understand and it's not due to someone's sin. Many things we don't understand and we don't come to conclusions before the time. In that sense, 1 Corinthians 4, which I cited again yesterday, don't judge anything before the time.

Wait for everything to come to light. So in that case, we don't know why things happen in every situation, but in this one, David's saying, hey, this is on me. This is my sin that caused this and I'm guilty in your sight. The fact is, in the end, every human being may be proven a liar, but God's true.

That's the reality. It doesn't matter who falls, God is true. Now, not only is that the case, not only is that the case in terms of spiritual background here when we process this, but it's essential that we remember that our faith and hope are ultimately put in God alone, not in people, not in people. We trust people. We thank God he uses people, but our ultimate faith, the life and death faith, the faith by which we're going to stand before God, the faith by which we will not deny him no matter what it costs, that faith is ultimately in the Lord. It is in the risen savior, it is in God our King, it is not in a human being, it is not in a human institution.

That is a fact and at times like this, we're reminded of it. Thank God for the human beings he uses. But what does Paul write in 1 Corinthians 3? What after all is Apollos? What after all is Paul? Just servants through whom God worked.

One plants, another waters, but God gives the increases, so neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but God who gives the increase. You know, when I'm able to produce something very quickly, maybe write a book in a short period of time, when I wrote Authentic Fire, responding to Pastor John MacArthur's Strange Fire, when I wrote that, what was it, ten years ago, I really felt God stirring my heart to write. Obviously, you evaluated, you tested by the word, the other things, but I felt God stirred my heart to write, and I wrote 300 pages in three weeks, and this is in the midst of doing radio and other ministry, 300 pages of serious heavy material in three weeks, and then others added in different appendices, so it ended up being like a 450-page book, and from the day I started writing it to the day it was published was seven weeks, I mean, just, I never experienced anything anywhere near that in terms of turnaround and writing at that intensity, a burden of intensity at times, but that was even another gear. And if I tell Nancy, hey, hon, you know, I wrote this 300 pages in three weeks to glorify God, I'm telling her to glorify God, she'll say, obviously you weren't praying that much. That would be her response, like, if you had that much time to write, you probably weren't praying that much, and her second response is, God's giving you a gift, so? It's like, that's not impressive.

You know, I'm just about six foot three, oh, I'm taller than you. What kind of idiocy is that, right? So let me give you three very, very practical steps here in terms of how we respond trusting leaders, all right? Number one, understand that the great majority of leaders are not in sexual scandals or moral failure. The great, great majority are, if the great majority were, the church would have completely collapsed and died centuries ago. If the great majority were, churches would be empty, everything would fall apart. It's just the reality, or sins would find us out if that was the case. So number one, the great majority are not in ongoing sexual moral failure or habitual sexual moral failure or have had some major fall in their lives and secretly covered it up.

That is not the case with the great majority, therefore, common sense would tell you, well, in the great majority of cases, there are not going to be scandals that come up. Life experience will tell you. Second thing is trust leaders to the extent they've earned your trust. To the extent you've watched them walk, you say, but you never know what's in somebody's heart, right?

But where to go based on what we can see, right? Look at the example that we can see, the relationships with other leaders that know them, people to whom they're accountable, the relationships with their spouses, their children. And you watch as carefully as you can. And to the extent you've been in the trenches with this person, you watch them to the extent they've earned your trust, continue to trust them.

So first, the great majority of leaders are not in some type of serious sexual moral sin. That's the first thing. The second thing, to the extent you've watched someone, you've known them, people close to them, have watched them, known them, they're strong accountability in their lives, their relationships are strong and interpersonal relationships, et cetera. To that extent, you trust the person to the extent they've earned your trust.

You can honor their authority, but you can trust them to the extent they've earned your trust. That's the second thing. The third thing is don't exalt people. Don't make people into these unbelievably anointed superstars that walk on the clouds. Ooh, I still remember.

I was speaking at a messianic conference in the late 1980s, and I was like a big shot, like I was some well-known guy to some of the people there, because it was like a big fish in a small pond kind of thing. And one young man, I was younger than two, one young man came up to Nancy and he said to her, what's it like? He didn't know who he was asking, wrong person to ask. He said to her, what's it like? She said, what do you mean? She goes, what's it like to be married to him? Now she'll tell you I'm true blue by God's grace.

She'll tell you I'm sincere. If you've got questions about all this, talk to Nancy and the people closest to me. But none of us walk on the air. And any anointing we have, any gift we have, that's from the Lord. He's the one that gets the glory and the credit. So don't over-exalt people, we're all still just people. By God's grace, living lies separated to Him, but far from perfect.

So don't over-exalt people and it'll spare us from a lot of disappointment. All right, we're going to be right back and it takes some calls, much more to dive into as we discuss, can we, should we trust Christian leaders? We'll be right back.

Hey friends, Dr. Michael Brown here. Do you remember when people thought I was crazy? When I said it's not too late for America, that God can still do something in our country that there is going to be a pushback, a gospel-based moral and cultural revolution.

And do you remember when people thought that you were crazy because you felt the same way? Because you believe what I was saying and already felt it in your heart? Well friends, that pushback is here. The gospel-based moral and cultural revolution we've been talking about for 25 years is unfolding and we are right in the thick of it and the line of fire broadcast is divinely positioned for such a time as this. Friends, you would be so gratified and blessed as I hear, if you could hear what I hear, testimony after testimony as leaders, young people, old people, moms, dads, students, people from all backgrounds come up to me and say, Dr. Brown, you're providing a template for us. You're providing a blueprint for us. You're showing us how to do this, how to have hearts of compassion, backbones of steel.

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Here again is Dr. Michael Brown. Thanks, friends, for joining us. Hey, shout out to our team of monthly supporters or torchbearers. You help carry us around the nation, around the globe. You help us put out tens of thousands of hours of free material and resources to bless the body, including Jewish outreach sources.

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We've got many strategies in place to do just that. If you believe in this message, if you feel, to the extent you know me, that you can trust us to be on the front lines and to deal with the controversies without shrinking back, to deal with them with truth and with compassion, with grace and truth together, hearts of compassion, backbones of steel, I encourage you to stand with us. Join our team. Become a monthly supporter. If you want to ask,, click on donate monthly support before you do it. Read all the ways we pour back into you and the things we make available to you to thank you for standing with us.

And then after you do that, sign up. Let us expand this holy army, making a difference in the world today for the honor and glory of Jesus' name. 866-342, I'm going to the phones momentarily, momentarily. First, I need to bring in my guest from Israel, Ron Cantor.

So I'm interrupting the flow of things and then I will get to your other calls. But first we go to Israel, my dear longtime friend, Ron Cantor. Hey Ron, how are you and the family holding up right now? We're doing okay.

Thanks for asking. You know, about six months ago we moved to the south to Ashkelon, which is about 10 miles north of Gaza. We moved there to be close to my mother-in-law who is now in a nursing home in Tel Aviv, a very nice nursing home.

So she left and she's in the safety of Tel Aviv, but we are still in Ashkelon enduring the rocket fire. And what's the emotional state of people in Israel? Obviously it's a big question, but generally speaking, what's the emotional state of people? I would say at this point it's defiant. I think initially it was utter shock on October 7th in the afternoon, in the evening, the next day, just how could this happen?

Just utter and complete shock. And then that kind of turned into a steel, a defiance. You know, if you turn on any TV channel, every commercial ends with the phrase, you know, no matter what they're selling, it ends with the phrase, yachad n'n'tzeach, together we'll have victory. And I think that the people at this point, they understand that Hamas needs to go, the majority of the nation, and we're willing to pay the price, a precious price, which is our soldiers, our young people, our young men and women.

That is the only way to get rid of this terrorist organization. So it went from just utter shock, mourning, sadness, horror, to a defiance. Yeah. Yeah. So much, so much more we could talk about, Ron, but you're here for a very focused purpose, which is really, really important.

You contacted me this morning. So please tell our listeners and viewers what they can do to make a difference right now. Well, we have 240 plus hostages in Gaza. You can't even imagine what that is like to be under the control of a terrorist organization, use this pawns. Our living soldiers, not soldiers, I'm sorry, civilians, they could not be worth more if Hamas robbed Fort Knox. That is what a coup they received. And so they are now using these 240 Israelis and people from other countries as, you know, holding them for ransom.

And while Israel is willing to trade often a thousand living terrorists just for one corpse of an Israel, you can imagine what 240 living Israelis are worth. So we are praying tomorrow night from 6 p.m. tomorrow night, Thursday, November 2nd until 6 p.m. on Shabbat, which is right when we enter into the Shabbat on Friday, we're going to be praying and fasting. And we're inviting people all over the world to join with us. We're going to kick it off on God TV's Facebook page tomorrow night, 6 p.m. Israel time. That is, right now it's six hours ahead of you guys.

I don't know when your clock changes, so it's going to be six or seven hours ahead. But we're praying and we're asking God, do a miracle. I'm reminded of Acts chapter 12, where an angel showed up and let Peter out of prison. We had a young girl released the other day and her family, there's some great video of her family, they're Orthodox Jews, and they were doing everything they could do to cry out to God for her to be returned.

And she was miraculously, they found her, they went in, nobody was injured even though they went in under gunfire in the heart of Gaza. So I'm asking people to join us in prayer for 24 hours. You don't have to pray for 24 hours, maybe you could fast, and we're going to ask God for a miracle. We're going to ask God to set them free. Right, and everybody from every background that knows the Lord should agree on this. This is something that we should all agree on, whether you say, well, I don't know if Israel should be doing exactly what they're doing, Gaza, and what about the suffering people there. These are all valid concerns and we pray for God's mercy on all involved. But this is something we can all agree in, so starting tomorrow, 6 p.m., wherever you are, so it'll be a fast over 24 hours, right?

Wherever you are, 6 p.m., so eat up until 6 p.m., and then just 24 hours, have dinner after that, and as you, let the fast be like a prayer going up to the throne of God the whole time. Let that fast lift up to Him, and then pray God release the hostage supernaturally. And let it be that God gets glorified through it. Let it be that there are reports of miracles of rescuing these hostages. Amen. Hey Ron, thanks for standing true in the midst of this, and we will pray and believe God together for miracles in the days ahead. Thanks man.

Amen. Thank you, Mike, and God bless to your entire audience. All right, God bless, love you man. 86634truth, hey, just a shout out to my buddy Daniel. I won't use the normal name you're known by, but just saw your email during a break here, so shout out as this new friendship emerges here.

All right, 86634truth. Let's go over to, uh, Searcy, Arkansas, Travis, you are on the line of fire, welcome to the broadcast. Hey, Dr. Brown, how you doing?

Doing well, thank you. Um, so, listen, I'm, I'm, I'm a Christian leader, I'm a minister, and, uh, I travel, and I kind of see a lot of stuff, like, I know Mike Bickel hasn't officially been proven guilty or anything yet, if he is, but I see a lot of scandal and stuff just going on in leadership, not necessarily famous leaders, but just leadership at a local level. And one of my biggest questions is, is God, how can I make sure that this kind of thing doesn't happen to me, because none of us are, are, uh, completely irresistible to temptation. So that was the question I had for you is how can we as leaders make sure that we don't fall in the future, if that makes sense?

Yes, sir, and that's the, that's the first question to ask, and I appreciate you asking it. Um, it's, it's, when I teach about these things, about sexual immorality, and I've taught about it over the decades, fully aware of how any of us could fall, fully aware of temptation in my own life, any of our lives over the years. So that's the first thing, it could happen to any of us, it could happen to, not this one, not this one. You know, I was talking to one brother in ministry, his wife left him, abandoned him, and got into an adulterous affair, and then divorced him, and he always thought she would never ever be unfaithful.

You know, he might be, but she would never be, and it turned out she was. So it could happen to any of us. You start there, that's one thing. Second thing, you're careful with the little things. You don't play games with the little things, well, you know, flirtatious here, or just a little extra physical contact here, or you play with the little things, they turn into big things. In any area of our life, a little compromise here, a little compromise there.

So first it could happen to any of us. Second, you start out not playing games with little things. Third, guard your personal relationship with the Lord. If you spend quality time in God's presence, it's much harder to fall away. Generally speaking, either prayer will keep us from sin, or sin will keep us from prayer. Either prayer will keep us from the Word of God, or the Word of God will keep us from prayer. You say, what about Mike Bickley who spent hours and hours in prayer in the Word every day? A wonderful question.

God knows, and again, we don't know the whole situation, let it all come to light. But if that was the case, if someone was spending hours in prayer in the Word, then they weren't really encountering God, it was just by rote or ritual. Because if you're really encountering God, you cannot live in persistent sin. You're either going to push away from God, or you're going to be brought to repentance. It's going to happen.

It's going to happen. So that's the next thing, guarding your personal relationship with God. Fourth, have godly accountable relationships. People that can speak into your life. People that have power to remove you from ministry. People that you've walked with.

Don't let it be when someone gets close to you and starts to confront you that, no, they'll push them away. Be open to receive correction. I remember the first piece of hate mail I ever got. I was out speaking somewhere, and somebody put a letter at our book table.

I don't even know how to book shit, it just could have been cassette tapes. And I brought it home. I said to Nancy, look at this, you're not going to believe this.

I was probably in my late 20s at that point. I said, you're not going to believe this. And she read it, she goes, yeah, it's crazy. She said, do you think there's any truth to it? I said, what do you mean, the guy's off his rocker?

She goes, oh no, the guy's a nut job, but you think there might be some truth to it. I was like, examine, let's always examine ourselves. So you're willing to do that. And then, if you'd never listened to my message, acharit. Acharit, the most important message I've ever preached. People tell me decades later, they've never forgotten it. Not because of my brilliant message, but because of what we open up in scripture.

Acharit, check our app, website, and look for A-C-H-A-R-I-T. That's probably how we spell it, Acharit. Search on YouTube with my name, Acharit, the final end. It will show you from scripture this principle that I have preached to myself over and over and over again over the decades and preached to others. God shows us the final end, the final consequences. If you could see that, if you could see it, you work for years, you pray, you're fast, you give yourself in ministry, you spend years, you spend decades building respect and an honorable ministry and building a church, and then in one moment you could blow it all. And it brings reproach to your family and your name now instead of something that's respected is something that's reviled and you hurt the reputation of the Lord, you see the disappointment of so many people.

If you could see the end first, you'd run from the thing. So keep that message always before you. In my book, Go and Sin No More, I break that down in writing in a chapter.

Go and Sin No More, you'll find that chapter on the final end. And stay low, man. We receive correction, we stay low, God gives grace to the humble. But let's do it. It can happen to any of us.

Let thy God's grace. Thank you for the call, sir. Are you experiencing fatigue, heart palpitations, or tingling in your hands and feet? These may be signs that you are deficient in vitamin B12, which may increase your risk of serious cardiovascular conditions without you even knowing it. I'm Paul Burnett, a board-certified doctor of holistic health and director of wellness services at TriVita, and I have some exciting news for you. Introducing TriVita's HCYGARD, the breakthrough sublingual B12 natural supplement scientifically formulated to support maximum absorption and support healthy levels of homocysteine. What is homocysteine, you may ask? Well, it's an amino acid that when elevated can cause damage to the lining of your arteries, which over time increases your overall risk for a cardiovascular event. TriVita's HCYGARD is highly absorbable because of its sublingual form and because of its methylated form of B12, which enhances its bioavailability, maximizing its crucial role in reducing unhealthy levels of homocysteine.

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These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This is how we rise up. It's the line of fire with your host, Dr. Michael Brown. Get on the line of fire by calling 866-34-TRUTH.

Here again is Dr. Michael Brown. Welcome back, friends, to the line of fire, 866-34-TRUTH. Let me say again, friends, that I'm going to trust someone as best as I know them. They're people I've worked with, some of our key leadership team in our ministry.

Folks that I've been friends with for 40 years now, 40 years. And most of the folks on our larger ministry team, we've worked with one level or another 25 years, 30 years, known them, known them for their solid marriages. I trust them. I trust our ministry leaders.

They run the finances in our ministry and make major decisions, and we trust them to do that. I'm going to walk like that. I want to be surprised and shocked when I hear a report that a friend like Mike Bickel or a colleague fell.

I want to be shocked if I didn't see it coming. There are plenty of people over the years I've warned. I've lost friendships over the years by warning people privately.

Mike Brown, why don't you address this? Well, I've talked to the person privately in certain cases. I've rebuked people privately.

I've pleaded with people privately. And plenty of people have spoken into my life, and by God's grace, I try to be a good listener. I try to learn. I try to humble myself. I try to repent and walk in that posture, remembering that God resisted proudly, gives grace to the humble. And one of the most disturbing things in my own life was, oh, I'm going back now 30 years, where a colleague just saw something that was just wrong in my attitude in ministry and tried to speak into my life. And I pushed back to say, hey, God's using me, and look at the success we're having. That was idiotic.

It was arrogant. And God used another man of God to speak the same thing into my life. When he said it, I realized, wow, what you're saying is true.

It was a minor attitude adjustment, but it was important, because at the beginning of a trajectory, it was important. But the thing that grieved me was the way I responded with pride to someone, well, God's blessing my ministry. It's like, what's that got to do with, what does that prove? If you have a big ministry, a big church, a successful business, what does that prove? The thing may collapse tomorrow, or it may just be built on God's grace, or maybe it's built on years of faithful service, but now your attitude's wrong.

Maybe you've gotten proud, and God wants to deal with that pride. So let's stay low. Let's stay teachable. So there are people that, when I've heard they've fallen, I'm not surprised. And some of them I spoke to privately before they did and had concerns and warned them. I mean, talk about situations years ago, you wouldn't know the people involved.

And other times, it's a complete shock. I'm glad. I'm glad. Not that I didn't see it coming, but that I'm not suspicious of everybody. So let's be wise. Let's be discerning. And let's do our best to have our eyes wide open and not deny certain things. You know, and I've even reminded myself, okay, if you see anything, if you see anything that just seems odd, pray, and then talk to the person. Don't wait.

Maybe this could save them from hurting themselves. So I'm not saying we walk around naively. By all means, we hold one another accountable at the highest standards, at the highest levels.

Absolutely. But I'm not going to walk around suspicious of everybody because now, for the most part, I'm going to be wrong. I'd rather be surprised once every five or 10 or 20 years than walk around mistrusting everybody and be wrong 90% of the time. But again, as I said, to the extent you know someone, to that extent, you trust them. But don't exalt them. Don't look to them as if they're God. We do so, we make a mistake. We hurt ourselves, we hurt them as well. Well, let's go back to the phones, we go over to Chicago, Anil, welcome to the line of fire.

Thank you. About eight years ago, I was unjustly kicked out of a mega church in the Chicago suburbs. And since then, I've been totally disillusioned with the American church model.

I believe they're just businesses. And for the last four years, I stopped going to church. I've never attended a church, but I had nightly family prayers with my family. And my walk with Jesus is strong, I can tell you. And I only started going back to church two weeks ago since I went to India. And my Sunday school teacher from 30 years ago, he said, there is benefit in being in the community. But let me tell you the reason why the church in America is breaking down.

And let me tell you why. This is it's a private Christianity is a private walk with Jesus, and but with public fruits. But in America, with capitalism, you have turned it into a business, everything is a business. So they say, if you get you want to give, you give to God by giving to us, you serve God by serving us, that's how it is in churches. And the priesthood of the believer is completely eliminated. So now you have the Protestant Church, very similar to the Roman Catholic Church, and which is both are now Old Testament church models.

Yes. So let me ask you a question, Anil. There's much you say that I agree with, in my book Revolution in the Church, Challenging the Religious System with a Call for Radical Change. I make some of these very statements about the lack of emphasis of the priesthood of the believer, that even though the Reformation did say that, and Martin Luther famously said, you know, every believer is like a priest or a bishop or a pope in that regard, that it didn't work out like that. You still ended up with the clergy laity distinction, which is unbiblical. There is a clear calling on leaders in the body, but the clergy laity distinction is unbiblical and something that's very harmful. And I agree that we don't have as much personal discipleship as we could and should.

But I would suggest to you, sir, with all candor, and as one who's been to India 28 times and ministered there and risked my life ministering there with friends over the decades, I just want to appeal to you that there is an overreaction in what you're stating. Because I work closely with many fine churches. Some of them are mega churches, and none of them are a business.

None of the ones I work with closely. They are devoted to the Lord, they pray over the funds that come in, they help the poor, they help missions around the world. Some fight human trafficking and other horrors like that in our day. They have ministries of compassion. I know the pastors, and yes, a lot of money comes through these ministries, but they're very careful with it, they pray over it, they're accountable to God for it, they're not enriching themselves through it. So look, my first revival-related book was called The End of the American Gospel Enterprise. And it was based on an anonymous statement, I don't know who said it, but the anonymous statement was, what began as a movement in Jerusalem became a philosophy in Greece, a monument in Rome, a culture in Europe, and an enterprise in America. And I've said for years, the American church, we know how to make everything Christian and we know how to sell it.

And that's one reason I've been such a bad fundraiser over the years, because of all the junk that I oppose and stand against. But I know many churches that are making disciples that emphasize the priesthood of the believer, so I agree that many of your critiques apply to much of the Church of America, but I would just avoid the broad statements that it's all a business, or all these big churches are like this. That's imbalanced and that's a result of your own hurt, in my opinion. So I agree with much of your critique, but I believe it's overstated. What are your thoughts on what I said? Like I said, it is a private relationship with Jesus, with public fruits. It's not just we're a body, though, but we're a body, aren't we? It's not just a private—okay, when Jesus teaches us to pray, what words does he say?

What should we say? Our Father, who art in heaven. Our Father. Our Father. So I'm part of a body.

I'm part of a family. So it's an individual relationship with God. It doesn't come through a priest or a bishop or a pope or a rabbi.

It comes directly to God through Jesus. But it's our Father. We're part of a body. We're part of a community. Lead us not into temptation. That's what we can't— But I— Go ahead. But I have family prayers every night with my 12-year-old son and my wife, who is a strong Christian, and we sing a song, we read the Bible, and each of us prays in turn.

And I am afraid to go and have an affair or things like that because I know God—I feel God spanks me a lot. Yeah, yeah. I can relate. I can relate. But, sir, it's not—just to suggest this, and I—this is a perfect day to call in and discuss this.

Perfect day. Your call's completely appropriate, and I welcome it. It's just being part of a body, it's for everybody. And in other words, when you're part of a body—I'm not active in my local church, I haven't been for years because I'm traveling all the time. I'm active in many churches in the body in many, many different ways. But it's—we receive from one another, right? All the teaching in the Scriptures, in the New Testament, to all the letters, it's assuming people are a community of believers. So you have your—What if you're a single person?

What do you do then? Well, the church is the community. It's the extension of our personal relationship with God lived out together with others.

So just like you're doing with your family, now on a larger level, you're doing it with other men, other women, other children, other families, and you're bringing your gifts to them, what you can offer them, and the wisdom that you have and the grace that you have and the experience that you have, and they're offering what they have to you, and we're building each other up, and we're strengthening each other, and we're sharpening each other, and we're learning from each other. And we do take a certain portion of our income to support those who minister to us. Those who preach the gospel should live by the gospel.

That's a biblical adage. But then at the same time, leaders can work together to say, hey, we've got additional money. How can we use that in a larger way to help missionaries around the world?

So it's not just random. How can we use that to help the poor in our community? How can we use that to meet the needs of a family within the body? So it's a cooperative effort. It's a cooperative effort. So it's not either-or.

It's both-and. Our private relationship with the Lord and being part of a body of a local community, and in that sense, thank God for all the good He's doing, and you better believe there's a lot that needs to be shaken up very, very deeply. All right, thank you, sir, for the candid call. Back with you tomorrow. Again, if you don't have the app, download it now. Dr. Brown Ministries, ASK, D.R. Brown Ministries.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-04 15:15:24 / 2023-11-04 15:37:41 / 22

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