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From China to the Babylon Bee

The Line of Fire / Dr. Michael Brown
The Truth Network Radio
October 26, 2021 4:30 pm

From China to the Babylon Bee

The Line of Fire / Dr. Michael Brown

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The following program is recorded content created by the Truth Network.

From standing up to China to a new book from the Babylon Bee, we've got you covered today. It's time for The Line of Fire with your host, activist, author, international speaker, and theologian, Dr. Michael Brown, your voice of moral, cultural, and spiritual revolution. Michael Brown is the director of the Coalition of Conscience and president of Fire School of Ministry. Get into The Line of Fire now by calling 866-34-TRUTH.

That's 866-34-TRUTH. Here again is Dr. Michael Brown. Welcome, friends, to The Line of Fire.

Prepare for a show where you put your seatbelts on and keep them on the entire broadcast. We're going to start with China, but then at the bottom of the hour, we're going to be joined by Joel Berry. He is the managing editor at the super popular Babylon Bee sarcasm Christian website, yeah, and he and his co-editor there have come out with a new book, The Babylon Bee Guide to Wokeness. Joel Berry will be joining us at the bottom of the hour. Full minds are open if you want to talk to him about anything, if you want to make a case for the church at the end of the age being in spiritual and moral decline or the fact that we should only expect things to get worse from here on until Jesus returns. We talked about that yesterday.

I reject that position, but by all means, give me a call, 866-34-TRUTH, or if I have time for some random calls on random questions, 866-34-TRUTH. China is in the news big time again in America over a number of major controversies. I spent some time in recent days with a colleague who's lived almost all of his adult life in China, raised his family in China, has immersed himself in Chinese culture, loves the Chinese people and works with the Chinese church.

I asked him about President Xi and about his goals as the leader of China. If you don't know, President Xi has really promoted himself as the new Mao, even his look and his face on billboards everywhere. And you have to understand that in Chinese society with emperors and empires and kind of a collective consciousness and the great national value being social harmony, it's this massive country that they are very much prone to group think.

We can do that in America, but we have a lot more individualism in America. That being said, President Xi definitely has very clear and specific goals. So I asked my colleague, what are his goals? What are China's goals? And he said, China wants to dominate the world. Very matter of factly.

And he's a sober-minded guy. He said, China wants to dominate the world economy and have the power to cripple the rest of the world's economy. And I was asking him about reports I hear about China wanting to get in Afghanistan and really get control there and trade routes and things like that. And he said, if they're able to get certain strongholds in certain parts of the world with trade and economy, they will dominate the world. And already so much of our money is tied up with China.

And we are so dependent on China. So we pray for the people of China. We want to see God's work there.

We want to see the church continue to grow. We want to see freedom and liberty for the people. But we must nationally stand up to the tyranny of China.

Okay. What's in the recent news? So Apple has capitulated once again to China and Apple has removed the Quran app and the Bible app. These are two specific apps that have been removed in China on the request of Chinese officials. And I want to read their specific reasoning for this. When BBC asked about it, Apple directed the BBC to its human rights policy, which says we're required to comply with local laws.

And at times there are complex issues about which we may disagree with governments and other stakeholders on the right path forward. Apple told the BBC that Chinese officials had said the apps breached laws on hosting, quote, illegal religious texts. When I went to China some years ago at the invitation of Franklin Graham, one of 40 leaders, Protestant evangelical leaders coming over from America, we met with Chinese officials and leaders in the national church, the Three-Self Church. They actually took us to a large printing press where Bibles were printed, sent out. Now, a lot of it was for show. A lot of those Bibles did not get to the people, but they wanted us to say, oh, look, we're printing Bibles. Look at this. We're getting Bibles out. Now an app is removed. Why? Because it is an illegal religious text.

The Bible and the Quran considered illegal religious texts. So what's the right thing to do? Apple should simply say, no, if you want our business, then you have to keep those texts. Do I have any hope that Apple will do that? Nope.

Nope. Oh, they'll stand boldly for Black Lives Matter in America. They'll stand boldly for LGBT rights in America. But when it comes to standing up to oppressive laws in Saudi Arabia or oppressive practices in China, nope, let's just do business.

Friends, that's been the reality. How about it was just May, May of this year, where wrestling superstar and budding actor John Cena publicly apologized. I'm going to play a clip for a moment, but he had referenced, everyone understood he was talking about Taiwan, saying, this is the first country where this new movie he's in will be seen.

Well, that created an outrage. What? Taiwan's not a country. Taiwan's not legitimate. What?

So what does John Cena do? Well, he's been learning Chinese, wants to appeal to this base. I mean, it's great to learn the language of a country if you're serious about influencing there or having a stake there.

Obviously, it means a lot to the people there. I don't condemn him for learning Chinese. That's not the issue, but we'll just listen to a little part of the clip.

All right, so there are captions to what he was saying, which is the only way I know what he was saying. He was so, so, so, so, so, so, so sorry. So, so, so, so sorry.

He made a mistake. And I sent that clip to my friend who's lived in China these many years, and he wrote back saying, money talks, China knows it. Uh-huh.

Yeah. Money talks and China knows it. Back in, oh, let's see, it was, it was 2019 during the Hong Kong protests. This is against the oppressive ways of China. They've taken over Hong Kong. Protests, Daryl Morey, who's the general manager of the NBA team, the Houston Rockets, he tweeted his support. And he tweeted his support for the protesters. And immediately, massive backlash, headlines, China suspends business ties with NBA's Houston Rockets over Hong Kong tweet. Just looking at some of the statements, the Chinese Basketball Association said it would suspend all cooperation with the Texas-based team. China's Consulate General in Houston also urged the team to, quote, clarify and immediately correct the mistakes.

So what does Morey do? Well, he issues an apology. How dare he stand with these courageous people in Hong Kong? President Trump stood with them. They were standing for what was right. They were standing for freedom. They were risking their lives, at the least their careers, but certainly their lives, their livelihoods.

But no, no, no, no. If you offend China, we lose a lot of money, money. That's what it comes down to, friends.

Money, greed, materialism. So he said, I did not intend my tweet to cause any offense to Rocket fans and friends of mine in China. I was merely voicing one thought. Based on one interpretation of one complicated event, I've had a lot of opportunities since that tweet to hear and consider other perspectives. I've always appreciated the significant support our Chinese fans and sponsors have provided.

And I would hope that those who are upset will know that offending or misunderstanding them is not my intention. I tweet to my own and in no way represent the Rockets or the NBA. By the way, one year later, he was no longer with the Rockets, resigned and became president of or lead executive with another team in the NBA, just interestingly enough. So LeBron James, one of the greatest NBA players of all time, some would say the greatest, mostly Michael Jordan, certainly on the top two or three of all time, super influential, super popular worldwide.

Right. What did he have to say? And you know, he often speaks up boldly about racial inequality in America. He's not afraid to weigh in on social issues.

In fact, he uses his platform quite often to do that. So what did he say? He said, I don't want to get into a verbal feud with Daryl Morey, but I believe he wasn't educated on the situation at hand.

That's so grievous, friends. And he spoke. And so many people could have been harmed not only financially, physically, emotionally, spiritually. So just be careful what we tweet and say we do, even though, yes, we do have freedom of speech, but there's going to be a lot of negative that comes with that too.

As I noted in an article, maybe send Morey to a Chinese reeducation camp. He wasn't educated properly about this. What a shame.

I can virtually guarantee you if money and popularity were not involved, people would not be saying what they were saying. But some have decided to stand up. Now, this is significant, friends. I'm not going to have time for the whole clip now before our first break.

So I'll do that right into the break. Enes Kanter is from Turkey. He is a practicing Muslim playing now with the Boston Celtics.

He's not super superstar level, but he's a very solid, very good player in the NBA. So he recently called out China. And he spoke about Tibet and the wrongful takeover of Tibet by China decades ago and called for freeing Tibet.

And then spoke about the persecution of the Uyghur people, the Muslims. And even on his basketball shoes, because they're all about getting out of social message in the NBA. They spent all the last year doing it, social messages on their jerseys and commentators instead of just talking about the game would weigh in on social justice issues and things like that. It turned off many a fan who go to sports for relief from all the things happening in society and the pressures and tensions just ahead.

Just want to chill and watch a game, right? So he put that on his sneakers, free Tibet, free China. And obviously there's backlash coming against him, but he knows what it is to put his life on the line.

He's been an outspoken critic of Turkey and Erdogan. And he says that President Xi and the Chinese Communist Party, he tweets that someone has to teach you a lesson. I will never apologize for speaking the truth. You cannot buy me. You cannot scare me. You cannot silence me.

Bring it on. And then a couple of hashtags and then his shoes in English and in Chinese free China. We'll come back, play his clip. This man stand.

This man is facing down a whole lot of opposition and I think he's got the backbone to stand. It's The Line of Fire with your host, Dr. Michael Brown. Get into The Line of Fire now by calling 866-34-TRUTH. Here again is Dr. Michael Brown. Welcome friends to The Line of Fire.

Michael Brown, delighted to be with you. Talking about standing up to China. It's very interesting. I'm about to play a clip from Boston Celtics player Enes Kanter, himself a Turkish Muslim and a man who knows what it is to stand up to intimidation.

So before I play his clip, something very interesting. So I was talking to my colleague, spent, as I've said, almost all of his adult life living in China, raised his family in China, thoroughly immersed in Chinese culture, education there and loads of Chinese people, himself a committed Christian. And he told me something very interesting that the Chinese church, from liberal to conservative, was praying for the re-election of Donald Trump. What?

Are you serious? Many wept when he was not re-elected. You see, they told me, my friend told me that President Obama was liked by the Chinese, but not respected by the Chinese. Whereas Trump is respected by the Chinese people. I mean, he had a lot of opposition from the seniors, government, things like that, but he was liked by the Chinese people and he was respected by the Chinese people. So he was liked because he didn't speak evil of the people themselves, spoke well of them, their intelligence, even spoke well of President Xi himself on a personal level, but he wouldn't stand up to their policies and push back.

No, you want like this? It's not going to happen. And they respected that. They respected that.

So you think China must be looking at the NBA groveling, some of our superstars groveling, John Cena groveling, Apple capitulating. You think they respect that? Do you respect people that capitulate? Do you respect hirelings? Do you respect pastors, leaders that just go with the crowd and go with the financial flow rather than do what's right? Do we respect that?

No. Do the Chinese people respect that? I doubt it. They may be glad for the finances or the business or the victory, but do they respect that?

I certainly doubt that. So Enes Kanter rather than back down is now up the ante addressing Nike directly. And you'll see from his address that this guy's not some bigoted fundamentalist closed-minded hater. He's a man standing with principle against oppressive policies in China.

Listen to what he has to say. Dear Nike, your company says that you are making a positive impact in our communities. And that is true.

Yes, you are. Here in the United States, Nike stands with the Black Lives Matter. Nike stands with Stop Asian Hate. Nike stands with the Latino community. And Nike stands with the LGBTQ community.

And Nike remains vocal about injustice here in America. But when it comes to China, Nike remains silent. You do not address police brutality in China. You do not speak about discrimination against the LGBTQ community. You do not say a word about the oppression of minorities in China. You are scared to speak up. Who makes your shoes in China?

Do you even know? There are so many forced labor factories in China. For instance, Uyghur forced labor, in modern day slavery.

And it is happening right now in China. Millions of Uyghurs are currently detained sold and assigned to work at forced labor camps, prisons, and factories across the country. They are under constant surveillance with long working hours and poor living conditions. They are subject to political re-education.

They have no freedom of expression, no freedom of religion, and they are not even able to leave. Did you know that almost the entire imperial and footwear industry is tainted by Uyghur forced labor? Many well-known global brands are implicated.

And yes, that includes the one of the NBA's biggest sponsors, Nike. Nike claims that they do not allow any forced labor in their supply chains. Yet, they don't have the receipt to prove it. They have not publicly committed to cutting ties with the Chinese government's labor transfer scheme. They have not provided clear timelines or updates about their efforts to end this.

They have not publicly committed to the steps outlined by the coalition to end Uyghur forced labor. Don't forget, every time you put those shoes on your feet or you put that t-shirt on your back, there are so many tears and so much oppression and so much blood behind it all. Nike likes to say, just do it. Well, what are you doing about the slave labor that makes your shoes? That slave labor that makes you rich?

To the owner of Nike, Phil Knight, I have a message for you. How about I book a plane ticket for us? Let's fly to China together. We can try to visit these slave labor camps and you can see it with your own eyes. LeBron James eyes, LeBron James and Michael Jordan.

You guys are welcome to come too. Nike must be a participant in this. Stop the hypocrisy.

Stop the modern day slavery now. Good for him. Good for Enes Kanter. And my take is he'd rather lose his career. He'd rather get blacklisted by the NBA.

He'd rather have a target on his back than stand down. But friends, that's the only way change is going to come. That's the only way that we're going to make a difference. My next book comes out in March, The Silencing of the Lambs, and we give many strategies for taking a stand. But it comes from this same spirit that says we're going to speak out for what's right. We're going to do what's right. We're going to do what's right. And we're not going to back down.

Why? Because we have convictions. Here, to speak candidly as always, if my brothers and sisters in Christian ministry would simply live like this. Let's not even talk about the world, secular society again, Enes Kanter is not a Christian, he's a Muslim. If my brothers and sisters in Christian ministry would simply stand for what is right, regardless of cost or consequence, America would look different.

Oh, many do, and I thank God for them. And many have sacrificed, and I thank God for that. And in many a way, difficult decisions, because most churches do not have extra funds. And most churches, if you're in leadership, you have to think, okay, if we take this stand, it may cost us this program, and we're not going to be able to continue to feed the poor in our city. Or if we take this stand, then we're not going to be able to pay the salary of the youth pastor and his wife that we just brought in to serve our young people. Or if we take this stand, that it's going to cut into our support for missionaries.

In other words, you're juggling lots of things. But the bottom line is, if we bring in funds by doing what's wrong, if we bring in funds by being compromised, then what's the use of it? And the real irony, the tragic irony in all of this is that with all the capitulation to China because of greed—now I'm talking back to the larger issues, not just the Christian ministry issues, but back to China and the larger issues—the real irony here and the tragedy of it is not only do we lose our souls in the process by just becoming pawns to money and to fame, but in the end, China gets what it wants, it has the world domination, and it might just cripple our economy.

So you end up with far less than what you started with. I sent the article to my colleague who's lived in China all these many years, and he sent me back a couple of quotes, one Benjamin Franklin. Those who would give up essential liberty to pursue a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. So those who would give up an essential liberty to pursue a little temporary pleasure, financial profit, popularity deserve neither safety nor liberty, deserve none of the above. All right, one last thing, and then we're going to switch over and talk to Joel Berry from the Babylon Bee.

I tweeted this out just a little while ago. How about a little decency in the aftermath of Alec Baldwin's unintentional killing of a crew member? However much he decries politics and personality, and even if there was negligence on his part, this is not the time to gloat or accuse. He's clearly shattered by the event.

Can we not be any better than the world in our reaction? You know, I haven't commented on this up until now because there's nothing for me to comment on that intersects with our show. It's a tragic event that took place on a movie shoot, and was there negligence on Baldwin's part? Some say under no circumstances do you point the gun at somebody on the set, and others have said, well, if he's one of the producers, then isn't he responsible for the crew that's there, etc. But here's what's clear.

He thought, from everything that we know, he thought the gun was called cold, that was perfectly safe to use. He's going to wear this for the rest of his life. It's going to mark him and weigh on him on some level for the rest of his life. He's obviously completely shattered over it, and the widower is not blaming Baldwin at this point for the death of his wife. But you get people kind of gloating, well, yeah, shows you.

I mean, he mocked Trump all this time. Are we animals? Can we do no better than the world would do? Or that someone on the other side might do towards us if we had some tragedy?

Yeah, karma comes your way. So how about a little decency? I'm sure that's the sentiment of most of us, but it should be our only response. Sadness for the family. Sadness for Alec Baldwin.

Perhaps, in a time of brokenness, this will give him time to reflect and maybe he ought to work in his life. Real eternal principles. Jimmy, it's got to believe in brother, right?

We'll be right back. For those who are not watching, I am wearing a New York sweatshirt. That is in honor of my guest, Joel Berry. He is one of the two editors, along with Kyle Mann, at the Babylon Bee, the world's leading online satire site.

So what's New York got to do with this? Well, I'm a follower of Jesus, but a New York Jew, born in New York City, raised on Long Island, spent almost half my life in New York, Long Island. So sarcasm kind of runs in my blood. It's just a very natural part of who I am. And all the more than was I thrilled to see a Christian website using sarcasm to powerfully convey truth and for the glory of God, the new book by Joel Berry and Kyle Mann, The Babylon Bee Guide to Wokeness. Hey, Joel, thanks for taking time out of your schedule to join me today. Oh, thanks for having me. It's an honor. I appreciate it.

Well, great to have you. So before we get into the contents of your book, how did The Babylon Bee come about in the first place? That's one. And two, did you ever dream it would become as successful as it has?

No. Well, you know, I was not actually there at the beginning. The Babylon Bee was started by a guy named Adam Ford, and it was kind of inspired by what The Onion does. Adam was scrolling through The Onion one day, and he found a headline about the Supreme Court justices who had just decided Obergefell in favor of redefining marriage.

And The Onion headline was something to the effect of four Supreme Court justices suddenly realized that they will now be the villains in an upcoming Oscar-winning movie. And, you know, he looked at that and thought, well, I don't agree with that, but it's still kind of funny. Like, you still kind of respect the joke and the wittiness of the way the point was made, and that kind of inspired him.

He's like, you know, our side ought to be doing this, you know? And so he kind of put the word out that he was starting a Christian satire site, and, you know, just started taking submissions. Never expected it to go big or viral or anything like that, and I think the first headline that went viral for us was, it was a Holy Spirit unable to move through congregation after the fog machine breaks. That was something online, and we, you know, we kind of got our start with inside church humor, and people really resonated with it, because, you know, for the first time they were seeing comedy that got Christians and that didn't despise them, you know?

And so people really responded to it, it grew from there, and we never dreamed it would be as big as it is today. Yeah, and I mean, it's gotten so big that you've had fake headlines banned for their, as if they're real, on social media, right? Yes, the fact that the Guardians of Truth at Snopes and USA Today, they come after us pretty hard. They typically are working with Facebook, and what Facebook will do is they'll award grants to fact-checkers to fact-check our satire, so it always adds to the comedy of the whole situation. When you write a headline like, you know, after water discovered on the moon, Trump proposes space navy, that's another headline we wrote. USA Today fact-checked that one, and it just makes it that much funnier. Yeah, you know, years ago, I was doing radio one day, and my producer came in and handed me something, and, you know, Ann Coulter had just gone one step too far, and I said, you know, look, I appreciate a lot of what she says, but this is just way overboard, and then he comes running, and I think it, something feels funny about this, and he comes running, and it's like, oh, I'm sorry, that was from The Onion, I'm so sorry, I missed it, you know? So, I mean, they're written in such a way to be believable, and I'm just looking at one headline now about something I'm about to comment on, write an article. Obama tells girl raped in school restroom to stop peddling fake outrage.

So, I mean, the reality of this is, I mean, it is basically what happened, that's what the parents are being told. So, you are, it's a lot of fun in this, and I've shared headlines just because they're so funny, and they're, they hit the point so well, but you're also getting a message out, aren't you? Absolutely. I mean, you know, the thing that is interesting about what we do, and just humor in general, there's a good quote from a writer named G.K. Chesterton, who we were big fans of at the B, and he says that comedy can get in under the door while truth is still fumbling at the handle, and sometimes just a snappy headline can really just cut straight to the truth more effectively than, you know, say, a 10-page op-ed in the New York Times or, you know, even a book can. If you can just get really to the core of what needs to be said and do it in a way that makes people chuckle a little bit, it can be very effective.

So, yeah, you know, there is a, we do have a point of view, we have a message, and the goal is to point to the truth any way we can. Right, and look, as followers of Jesus, we have to be able to critique ourselves, and sometimes we can do it by laughing at ourselves. You know, a comedian can get away with a lot of things that others can't, but there's something about satire and sarcasm. You know, I had to learn over the years, and I joke about it, that there's sanctified sarcasm when I'm in the spirit, but, you know, we know Elijah famously engages in it in 1 Kings 18 where he mocks the prophets of Baal and wears your god, and perhaps the best understanding of the Hebrew in one portion is, you know, maybe he's on the toilet and he's relieving himself, but, you know, hey, shout a little louder.

If he's a god, you know, maybe you gotta wake him up or something. So there is that point for it, and, you know, just looking at a note from one of my producers, I generally share the B more than anything else, so it gets things out in an appealing way, but when you have a whole book out, your new book, The Babylon B Guide to Wokeness, you're obviously having fun with it, and it's entertaining, but there's something you want to convey in that as well. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, the whole woke movement has been, I think for a lot of people, a really scary thing to see, and just how quickly it has taken over, you know, our institutions, our universities, and even our churches, unfortunately, and, you know, I think there's a lot of hand-wringing about it, there's a lot of fear about it, and I think a lot of that is not unfounded, because it is a very evil and destructive movement, but we kind of thought that, you know, maybe it's time for someone to just mock this whole thing, you know, maybe it needs the Babylon B treatment, you know, and so we really tried to, in writing this book, make it very substantive. We studied wokeness, we studied critical theory, a lot of the academics and scholars behind critical theory to make sure that we, you know, we were expressing this properly, and so there is some depth to the book, but it is told in a very funny and more funny and mocking way, there's a lot of pictures, you know, you can almost turn to any page in the book, and you'll find something to laugh at, and so we had a lot of fun writing it. Yeah, and it's, you know, looking at some of the pictures and some of the memes, it's serious critique, I mean, some have to look at and think, because a lot of the stuff has surfaced, but a lot of it goes deeper, there are deeper issues that we're after. By the way, what you just said reminded me of a famous quote from Martin Luther, the best way to drive out the devil if he will not yield to texts of scriptures to jeer and flout him for he cannot bear scorn.

That's right. Yeah, so there are things we just have to say, hey look, I love the people, I care about the people, but this is just nonsense, this is, you know, we need to kind of snap people out of the stupor, so I just want to read this because the description is so good, Babylon B, to show the world you're a good person, and also to avoid getting cancelled and having your life ruined by a Twitter mob, you need to get woke. In the Babylon B Guide to Wokeness, the writers of satirical sensation, the Babylon B, tell you how to choose your pronouns, blame everyone else for your problems, and show the world how virtuous you are with virtuous signaling profile pictures and stunning and brave hashtags. A tongue-in-cheek guide to the far left's obsession with intersectional insanity, the Babylon B Guide to Wokeness will help you laugh at the state of our culture so you don't cry.

How would you define intersectionality, either an actual description or a satirical description? Well, I would say that it is essentially an attempt to replace a lot of the morals that were established by our Christian heritage. It's a way to assign value to things and to people outside of what God tells us in Scripture, that we are infinitely precious as individuals and made in the image of God. This is a materialistic philosophy that is inspired by liberation theology, which tore through and destroyed South America and Soviet communism before that, and then going all the way back to Marx. It traces its roots in Marx, and what it attempts to do is create a new conglomeration or a proletariat of different interest groups that can then be united to overthrow the West, essentially. Their goal is to take what the Christian values of the United States, which are at their core against racism and bigotry and prejudice. America, I think, is probably the least racist country on earth, and it's an attempt to take that natural hatred towards racism that we have and turn it into a hatred of Western values, a hatred of capitalism, a hatred of our own heritage.

It's very insidious, and if you're not very diligent about understanding what these academics are saying and the way that they're using and misusing these words, it's very easy to get duped by it. Yeah, and it does appeal to things that are important to us. None of us want to be bigots. None of us decent people want to be bigots or haters. We know a lot of the terrible sins of the past. We don't want to be discriminatory, so there's this appeal. And then because of what Native Americans have suffered, because of what African Americans have suffered, there's something innate that says, hey, we don't want to add to that suffering, and we want to be the ones to respond rightly.

And then the pendulum swings in the other direction in a terribly divisive way, in a terribly destructive way, and one ultimately that you said that really does have Marxist roots and ideology. All right, we'll be right back with Joel Berry. He and Kyle Mann have written The Babylon Bee Guide to Wokeness, and, Joel, I should tell you that I cut my teeth as a boy reading Mad Magazine and basically memorized mad, snappy answers to stupid questions.

They have further sharpened my sarcastic sword. All right, we'll be right back. Don't go anywhere. It's The Line of Fire with your host, activist, author, international speaker and theologian, Dr. Michael Brown. Your voice of moral, cultural and spiritual revolution. Get into The Line of Fire now by calling 866-34-TRUTH. Here again is Dr. Michael Brown. I'm speaking with Joel Berry.

I could read his satirical bio here. Maybe I'll do that later together with Kyle Mann, managing editor and chief of Babylon Bee. If you've never been to Babylon Bee, go there, and it'll make it a regular habit of going there afterwards. The new book, The Babylon Bee Guide to Wokeness. Hey, Joel, I got to tell you one thing. I've been fighting off some depression and discouragement.

Maybe you can help me. I've always counted a badge of honor when I get attacked for speaking the truth and maligned, and so I've been attacked by the SPLC and the HRC and GLAAD and these different organizations. I'm on the hate list and the hit list of many of these, but to my knowledge, I've never been lampooned on the Bee. Either I'm too nice a guy or I'm too balanced or I'm just not well-known enough, but I don't know. It's just been kind of discouraging. I had to fight the impulse of bringing it up, but I just thought for fairness, I should let you know that I'm really kind of bummed over it, just to be honest. Let's see how this interview goes. Maybe I'll have something.

It could well be. I'll dig a few holes for myself along the way. How concerned are you with where the nation is going with this woke culture and cancel culture and CRT in the schools?

Because obviously you spend a lot of time putting the book out and you have fun in doing it, but do you feel some urgency in all this? Yeah. I'm not particularly optimistic. I think that at this point, where we're at in our country and our culture, our only hope, and I know this is something that you talk a lot about on your show, is spiritual revival. I think that the reformation or anything done to fix this is not going to come from the political sphere, even necessarily the cultural sphere. It's going to have to come from the ground up in a new great awakening, and I hold out hope that that can happen.

I mean, we serve a sovereign God and He has the power to do that if He wants to. At the same time, I think that I hold a bit of a tragic view of life, and I think that the reason we're called the Babylon Bee is that we're inspired by Daniel and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who were exiled into Babylon. Their entire way of life, their kingdom, was taken away from them. And Daniel, he saw the fall of his own kingdom, his own country. He saw the fall of the Babylonian empire, which was at that point the greatest empire in the history of the world, and he saw the rise of the Medes and the Persians. He had this perspective that kingdoms rise and fall, countries rise and fall, but the Word of God remains, and his kingdom that Jesus established, it will never fail. That's the hope that we hold out, that God can bring about revival if He wants, but if not, if America's days are numbered and it's not going to get better, we have the hope and the joy that comes from knowing that we are citizens of God, citizens of a kingdom that will never be overthrown, and we serve a king who will never be kicked out of office. And keeping that in mind, keeping that in front of us, I think, as we're going through the news every day, as we're writing our satire, it's really important because we hope to convey that hope in our own small way.

Yeah, and I'm so with you in what you're saying, Joel. I'm not just trying to resonate, but my newest book just came out this month. It's called Revival or We Die, but I just finished writing a book due out next September about the political seduction of the church, and I was talking to a friend of mine who's lived in China most of his adult life. I talked about China the first half of the show today. He's a committed Christian but immersed in Chinese culture and understand what's happening there, works with top church leaders, and the Chinese Christians don't have the goal of making China even greater. And if you talk, say, to a Native American about Make America Great Again, at what point are you saying it was great?

There are different perspectives. Because we have a lot of good Christian history in America, because we have many Christian principles in our founding, and because we've been a vast majority professing Christian through our history, it's easy to conflate the flag with the cross. It's easy to think that the kingdom, that America must be blessed because we're the specially chosen nation, but the reality is God's building this church, and a healthy church is the key. Charles Spurgeon said a healthy church kills error and tears and pieces evil, and he said not so very long ago, our nation tolerated slavery in our colonies, philanthropists endeavored to destroy slavery, but when was it utterly abolished?

He said it was when Wilberforce roused the Church of God, when the Church of God addressed herself to the conflict, then she tore the evil thing to pieces. So that's what has to happen. As the church gets healthy, then it will bring about cultural change.

You know, it's been said that politics is downstream from culture, but when you have so many Christians in a country, then culture is downstream from the condition of the church, right? That's right, that's right. So what's your hope for readers of the Babylon Bee, God to Wokeness? Is this going to equip them, is going to inspire them, is it going to give them tools, is it good for teenagers, young people too?

What do you recommend? Yeah, I think it's good for all ages, it's safe for all ages, you know, we try to keep it pretty clean, you know. My hope in this is that it works on two levels, that it will make you laugh, you know, at the way the world's going, make you laugh at the whole situation, the absurdity of Wokeness, while at the same time informing you a little bit. You know, you can go through and kind of breeze through, laugh at the pictures and some of the funny diagrams that we have, but if you read slowly, there are some substantive parts of the book where you can really get a good grasp on what Wokeness is, how it works, where it comes from, and it's all written, the book is written kind of from the perspective of a woke person, you know, a very unself-aware and passionate woke person, and maybe overly honest about what they believe, and so that's kind of where the comedy comes from, is you have a woke person describing Wokeness without parsing their word or hiding their true motive. And you know, part of what you're doing and part of what satire does, when it does bring in righteous ridicule, it reminds us we cannot accept certain things except in the norm. I wrote about that the other day, that we just have to constantly remind ourselves, because we're so bombarded and there's so many personal stories that are put forward to paint certain pictures, that we constantly have to say, no, no, no, this is not normal. No, no, they're choosing your gender pronouns.

No, this is not normal. No, we can't accept this, and so this is a great way to just get jarred with it, and then at the same time to remember, hey, a lot of the people who are, quote, woke, they're looking for something, for some type of utopia, for some type of forced equality, and that's not going to happen. What we need is the kingdom of God, so remember to have the burden for them in the midst of the deception. One last thing, Joel, I want to alert you to something, because this is very serious. I just, for the first time I'm seeing this, but this was just posted for me. I can't give out the sources, but I just got this note, quote, I've been planning a secret sting operation on the Babylon Bee by creating a new site called the Wasp, so just, this could be big, man, I just want to, I'm reading it right off my screen, I just want to, yeah, I know, you're going to have to rethink everything, and just always be on the alert, make sure you parse everything carefully, lest someone misunderstands you. That's right, you've got to be careful. I actually had a friend say, please don't send those out, because people take them seriously. It's like, you've got to be kidding me, but, and, okay, this really is the last thing.

I'm very sensitive about my mustache, so if at any point you go after me, please leave that out, because I'm sensitive about that. I know James White is very sensitive about his Calvinism, I've debated him, I've debated him, but you went after his Calvinism, but this would be too close to home for me, so I just want to alert you. Oh man, you've done it now, you're in trouble. So one last thing I noticed when I just went to the site today, that you actually have a news site now, where the news that's being reported sounds impossible, but it's true, did I read that correctly? That's right, yeah, we get a lot of comments on our satire site that, wow, this is too close to reality, this could easily be real news, and what we found over time was that a lot of our satire was coming true, and we call them prophecies now.

Yeah, really, yeah. When you're skirting so close to the truth the way we do, sometimes it's only a matter of time, sometimes it's only a matter of time before what we were lampooning a few months ago comes true, and so we started the site Not To Be, it is a real news site, so the stuff that you'll find there is real news, and the goal is to find news that sounds so ridiculous and off the wall that you'd swear it came from the Babylon Bee if you didn't know better. And how do people find that? It's NotToBe.com. NotToBe.com.

Really creative title. Yeah, and friends, you also have the option of getting premium content there, additional things you can subscribe to, so check it out, BabylonBee, if you've never been there,.com or NotToBe.com. The new book, Joel Berry, Kyle Mann, The Babylon Bee Guide to Woke This. Hey man, in all seriousness, keep up the amazing work, and thanks for getting this book out, much appreciated. Thank you so much. All right, well friends, we are out of time, but we've got a whole bunch of major, important, critical things to talk to you about on the next broadcast, so don't miss it, right here on The Line of Fire. Another program powered by the Truth Network.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-30 21:44:00 / 2023-07-30 22:02:03 / 18

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