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Black and White Believers Standing Together for Righteousness

Line of Fire / Dr. Michael Brown
The Truth Network Radio
June 6, 2022 5:20 pm

Black and White Believers Standing Together for Righteousness

Line of Fire / Dr. Michael Brown

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June 6, 2022 5:20 pm

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As white and black believers, what are our blind spots and how can we better work together for the good of the church and the good of the nation? 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. Friends, we are going to have a very important discussion today, an eye-opening, candid, edifying conversation. You can join in by calling 866-34-TRUTH, 866-348-7884. This is Michael Brown.

This is a conversation I've been wanting to have for quite some time. And I've got a guest in studio with me, Marcus Benjamin. He's an award-winning entrepreneur, leadership speaker. He shared the stage with people like John Maxwell. He has a strategic company helping other companies develop and grow. He's pastored for 14 years, involved in ministry to this day. Marcus Benjamin reached out to me last year.

We spent some time face-to-face together and have wanted to have this conversation. So, Marcus, welcome to The Line of Fire. Great to have you with us. Amen. I'm glad to be here.

Thank you. So, why was it that you reached out to me? When you reached out to me, you didn't know where I lived. You said, I'm going to fly to see this guy.

Let me find out. We're a few minutes from each other. Why did you want to reach out to me?

Honestly, when I was seeing the Twitter conversations from several years ago, I noticed that although I could tell you were a strong conservative in your position and beliefs, but you still had an objective and an unbiased vantage point that I thought was very rare. And that's where the conversations kind of got started where I was like, man, you know, this guy seems to be unbiased and committed to the truth wherever it leads. And so that was the primary impulse that led me to reach out to say, hey, man, where are you located? I'll fly to where you are. I think from that conversation, you was like, well, I'm in Charlotte. I was like, okay, I don't have to fly.

I can drive. I'm right here as well. Awesome.

Awesome. So, I mean, obviously we all have blind spots and we're seeking to honor the Lord and follow the truth wherever it leads. But that has been my goal for 50 years, regardless of the consequence. And when it comes to issues about politics, about race, about justice and things like that, okay, we have our background. We have our perspective. For you, though, what's the ultimate? Is it background?

Is it race, ethnicity? Is it Bible? What's the ultimate guiding line for you? The ultimate guiding line for me is the Kingdom of God is expressed through the ministry of Jesus. When Jesus was here, he taught, he preached the context that surrounded what he did with the Kingdom of God. He told us to repent for the Kingdom of God is here.

Change your thinking, change your way of looking. He was constantly challenging the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the prevailing culture with a Kingdom of God worldview and vantage point. You've heard it say, now I say unto you.

You've heard it said, now I say unto you. He was bringing a higher level macro or eternal perspective to the issues of our time that affected us here, but ultimately what affected us eternally. So, the Kingdom of God and Jesus Christ as King and Lord are the primary impulses that shaped my worldview. All right, so some years ago, there were missionary friends of mine in Holland.

They were living in an apartment. There were believers from Holland on one floor, these believers from America on another floor, and one day they were bringing their garbage out, and the Americans had all these soda cans with them, and the Dutch had all these beer cans with them, and the Dutch guys looked and said, if you're Christians, why are you drinking soda? And the Americans said, if you're Christians, why are you drinking beer? We often do that, especially when it comes to voting, and often it's white believers vote one way, black believers vote the other way, and we can't figure this out.

So, we've had some good conversations about history of things. So, in 2008, when Senator Obama ran for president, there was a very large turnout, African-American turnout, and in the state of California, the African-American voters helped tip the scales for Proposition 8, which is saying marriage is the union of one man, one woman, which we as white conservatives say amen to, but they also voted for Barack Obama, which seemed to be a complete contradiction. So, a fellow asked me once, he said, why do you think it is there's some elected officials, black Americans, they are pastors. On Sunday morning, they're preaching against homosexuality, against abortion, but then they're Democrats. I said, to me, it sounds hypocritical.

I don't get it. So, give me some of the history. Give me insight there. Well, first of all, the experience of black people in America as a group, and even in some cases individually, it is a complex issue. Our experience in America is unique from any other people group in America. We've been embraced, we've been asked to embrace a country that has not embraced us in large mass or in mass for many years.

We've been here, quote unquote, 1619 to the present, and if we're using a timeline, 1964 wasn't that long ago. So, our experience in America is different and is difficult, and it is complex. So, even when you reference Proposition 8, President Obama, et cetera, that's sort of emblematic of how our experience is in America. When you look at our history, what we've had to stand for, and unfortunately, standing for things that benefited black people haven't always benefited us long-term. Either when we look at civil rights legislation that has happened in this country, you know, 64, moving forward, there's a lot included in that civil rights bill that wasn't for black people. But in order for that civil rights bill to pass, because there were so much filibustering, arguing, we know how that went, it was almost as if black rights or black civil rights was sort of like a consolation prize amidst a whole lot of other things that was packaged into that.

And I'm not saying all those things were negative or illegitimate, I'm just simply making a point that it wasn't a bill for black people, is my point. So, our experience in America is somewhat contradictory, and we're endeavoring to manifest what that should look like as believers and as people who are dealing with social issues that other people groups may not deal with to the extent that we have to. So, let's say you agree, and I'm not speaking of you individually, but say, we're talking majority here, right? So, about 80, 81% of white evangelicals that voted for Donald Trump, right? Overwhelmingly, black believers, not always considered evangelical, you know, different categories, but black believers still overwhelmingly voted for Hillary or for Biden, right? So, again, it's one of those things, I don't get it, because if we'd sit and talk, you'd say, oh, we're against abortion, we're against homosexuality. So, white believers just kind of look at that judgmentally. Well, there's something wrong there, and then conversely, well, how can you vote for a man like Donald Trump?

Right. So, why is it, how is it that so many black Americans, Christians, have been part of the Democratic Party or have that sense of loyalty? Well, you know, when we go back to, you know, America's history outside of, or let's look at civil rights, not civil rights, but the Civil War. You know, post-Civil War, you know, blacks in mass were getting elected into politics, and nearly every black person that was being elected into politics was being elected as a Republican, which that's a lot of history dynamic there.

But, you know, we don't have enough time to delve through that, you know, in this conversation. But if we're fast forwarding from 1865 and coming all the way up until, let's say, 1960, when you look at the civil rights movement in America that began to really crown and have national implications and influence, Dr. King utilizing the media to get this message out, to get these images out, et cetera, who were the people who were showing up in mass to support, quote, unquote, civil rights for black people. Well, what we find out is many of those people were liberal whites that were showing up in Selma, that were showing up in Birmingham, that were showing up in Jackson, Mississippi. Not the fundamentalist Christians. Not the fundamentalist Christians weren't showing up in mass. Now, we know there were people who were believers, white conservative believers, fundamentalists who were apart, but it was very much individual as opposed to a collective group of people saying, we're going to stand with black people who are going through this social issue. So a lot of the conservative white churches in the South were okay with segregation.

Unfortunately, yes. I mean, when Dr. King wrote his letter from the letter of, quote, unquote, the Birmingham jail, he wasn't writing that letter to, you know, people who were supporting him. He was writing that letter to, quote, unquote, what we can, at that point was, you know, the Christian moderate, right? You know, change is going to come, right?

You know, let's just keep, it'll be organic. Dr. King's like, well, it's 1963. It's 1961. You know, so from that standpoint, that affinity really started getting from wet concrete to hard concrete because of the type of white person, and I'm using white from a number standpoint, because black people didn't have, we didn't have political power, economic power at the national level. So, quote, unquote, you had to appeal to white sensitivity to get things moved through Congress, because what? We didn't have any congressmen. We didn't have that type of representation to make things happen. So, Dr. King had to form alliances with people who were not black to get things done.

Who were those, quote, unquote, alliances with? Unfortunately, quote, unquote, but fortunately, they were with liberal white America. They were the ones standing on the Edmund Pettus Bridge there with Dr. King and others. I mean, I asked my conservative friends all the time, how many of you had family, friends, church members that went down and stood on that bridge with Dr. King or spoke up publicly during that time?

And the vast majority of my current conservative friends can't speak to the affirmative. And it's not that they thought black people should just be second-class citizens, so on and so forth, but in terms of publicly standing and doing what was necessary politically and socially to communicate that, unfortunately, the white, quote, unquote, conservative church was missing in mass during that period of time. And that started that soldering between black believers and the Democrat Party. So there were certain values then that just said, these are important to us.

But right now, the most important thing is this. We're just treated as human beings in America and given some sense of equality. So just like I'm a vote Republican, but I have issues with other things in the party, abortion is such a non-negotiable for me that I can't think of voting for any other candidate if they're not pro-life. So there were non-negotiable values there that then form this relationship between black Americans and the Democrat Party.

That's correct. And even from that vantage point, it's like the typical white person doesn't have to deal with that type of mental tension, whereas within a particular party, the majority of black Christians do not per se support, you know, killing a child, killing it because, again, it's not a fetus in the womb. Those of us who are believers, it's a child in the womb. Conception is when life begins, not when a mother decides it.

That's, we believe, to be the solid Christian experience. So the typical white voter is not having to make a political decision that also has a, quote unquote, identity attached to it. A typical black person who's trying to vote their convictions, we also have to think about our blackness as we're casting that vote. And the typical white person doesn't have to have that experience.

Got it. So even in your own life history and upbringing, right, as you were getting a job or had an opening in a business, you know, something like this, that was new. They had not hired blacks there before. What were you thinking when you were going through that? Well, when I worked for a very large bank in the South, tremendous opportunity, worked with some tremendous people, black, white, Hispanic colleagues, tremendous colleagues.

But those tremendous colleagues did not affect and or create the culture of that bank. For example, nobody told me that I needed to wear, I need to have a black suit, a navy blue suit, a gray suit, no loud ties, solid ties, you know, black, navy blue, et cetera. That was the prevailing culture. No one came to me and told me to do that. I saw what everybody else was doing. So I realized this was the culture of this environment.

OK, so I need to follow suit in order to be successful and accepted in the culture. So from that standpoint, the prevailing culture was there were no black people in high level executive positions. There was no black people in high level decision making positions. There were no black people in C suite positions, et cetera.

So even at my position at the bank when I started, there were no other black men in that position. So I had to start making some decisions about what that looked like for me. And so I think I can share a little bit more about that in a few moments. We'll come back. Friends, these are the conversations we need to have in our churches. But you can join in and question me. Question my guest, Marcus Benjamin, eight six six three for truth.

We'll be right back. It's the line of fire with your host, Dr. Michael Brown. Get on the line of fire by calling eight six six three for truth. Here again is Dr. Michael Brown. Thanks for joining us on the line of fire.

This is Michael Brown with my special guest in studio with me, Marcus Benjamin, a business and ministry leader. And we're having a black and white conversation. We're trying to talk things through as I hope we can do in the workplace, in our churches and our communities to understand one another's perspectives. We still may differ at the end of the day, but at least we understand where people are coming from.

So. So, Marcus, I was mentioning all my life work history. I'm conscious of being a believer, a messianic Jew, because, you know, small minority there and get rejected. But I'm not thinking if I have this job, how is it going to affect other whites after me?

I mean, it never once occurred to me. But as you were coming up in the corporate world, you were the first to have certain doors open for you. So you weren't just thinking about yourself, though.

What was going on? What was your mentality? I was thinking about the other black males specifically and black people in general who would come behind me or have the potential to come behind me and how my pattern of success, attainment, et cetera, productivity would create opportunities for them or hinder opportunities for them. That was a daily consciousness to the extent that in the morning, I believe as a believer, I should pray for my company. I should pray for its success, pray for its blessing and benefit, because I'm working there. But I also prayed that God would help me be a great example for him and a great example of being a black person in this particular bank. Right.

So again, that's something I doubt. Other white believers might relate to the believer part. I want to shine as a believer. I want to make this look good for other believers.

But they wouldn't be thinking I want to make this look good for other whites. It's just nothing we dealt with. Right.

Can I jump in real quick? Yeah, yeah. You'll find this funny. I tell people all the time, the statement is, you know, the most segregated hour of the week is Sunday morning at 10 or 11 o'clock.

I disagree with that. I tell people all the time, the most segregated hour in America is Monday morning in financial services. It is the most segregated. You want to find out segregation? You want to see no black people?

You start going to financial services, investments, advisory, large scale capital markets, institutional banking, et cetera. When you see a black person, it's almost like, oh, wow. I mean, you get so excited because you can go months and never see someone who looks like you.

This is the word I lived in. You can go months and never see someone who looks like you. Got it. All right. So again, it's so important that we understand one another's life experiences. And this is something that helps give insight into the corporate feeling. White Americans, Americans in general, are very individualistic. You compare us to other parts of the world or to the biblical mentality, very tribal, very corporate. You go to the Middle East, still very tribal, very corporate. Americans are some of the most individualistic people in the world. And it gives us that can-do mentality.

I can do it. Anything's possible. The land of opportunities. There's a lot of good with that. But then there's the corporate, the family, the tribal mentality where you're thinking more in a group. It seems to be that black Americans would have more of that corporate feeling than many white Americans. Again, just a cultural thing. And that's some of what you're speaking to.

That's correct. And not only is that true with our broader cultural history on the continent of Africa, but also here in America, that if we did not bind together, if we did not build our own ecosystems and communities through song, through spirituality, through faith, through quote-unquote code-switching, et cetera, then we would not have survived to the extent that we did because there were so many things, even black hymns, et cetera. Many of them were songs that were sung to help get us to certain places so that we can understand what freedom looked like, so on and so forth. So we had to have that cultural dynamic or we would not have survived the way that we did, which was challenging and difficult.

But imagine that with a purely individualistic perspective, it would have been even more damaging for us from approximately 1635 until 1865. So in all my life, looking at presidents of America, so we've always had white men except for President Obama. It never once dawned on me, oh, I'm glad there's a white man in the White House. Oh, it's so good to see a white man in the White House. Oh, it's so gratifying to finally see a white man in the White House. The thought, for obvious reasons, that's all we've ever had. Correct.

Never occurred to me, nor is it a value. I want a white man in the White House. It's immature. I want the right person in the White House. How did it feel as a black American for the first time to have a black man in the White House? Well, quite honestly, I want to speak to my children first, because when President Obama or former President Obama became president of the inauguration, we know about the numbers, the scope, the size, and the cultural impact, so on and so forth. But to look at my children, who my son is 21 now, my daughter is 19, they were in, well, my son was in, I think, sixth grade or so, you know, when the inauguration happened.

My daughter was in fourth, fifth grade, somewhere in there. But to sit there, my wife and I were on the chair to the right, the television was to the front, they were on the floor. And to see how they were watching television. Now, mind you, we were not raising our children, at that point, in a purely ethnic, pro-black context. We believed that we were black people, our children knew they were black, they knew they had brown, they knew they had melanin in their skin, and so on and so forth. But in terms of talking about racism at a very high level, etc., we did not do that at that point. And I'm using that context because when they were watching television, as a dad and a mom, it was more about what they were seeing than what we were experiencing.

The gleam in their eye, the excitement in their tone of voice, look dad, look mom, so on and so forth. So number one, that was my first experience. That was my greatest experience. The second part was personally knowing what my father didn't have access to. My grandfather could not go to school. Two years before my grandfather passed away, my grandfather told me, you know, Marcus, I would have loved to have the opportunity to go to school. And I said, Granddad, what do you mean? He was like, they wouldn't let me go to school. Now, don't you think about this. This is my grandfather talking to me two years before he passed away.

They would not let me go to school. Now, in that context, what is he saying is that the focus was agriculture and the farming life. And even though it was not slavery, but it was still Jim Crow South, his primary responsibility was to tend the farm that he was, quote unquote, employed on, not getting educated, not getting a broader perspective of society, not engaging hopes, dreams or aspirations. So thinking about my grandfather and then my father, and then now me sitting here watching this, then I had that benefit of as a black male, whether I grew with all of, you know, former President Obama's policies and perspectives or not wasn't the issue. It was that there was an articulate, smart, intelligent, handsome black family in the White House. And that was a primary reason why tens of millions of black people celebrated, even if they didn't agree with everything Obama did or what he believed politically.

Right. So I actually did something that could have easily been misunderstood. But I had enough obvious sense to realize how big a day this was. Of course, I voted against Obama, didn't matter who was running. I was voting against him because of the policies that were fundamental to me that are non-negotiable. At the same time, I realized that this was a day of significance and would bring tremendous pride.

So I asked callers, I asked black callers, what does this day mean to you? You know, I wanted them to have the ability on my show to articulate that and to celebrate that as much as I had profound differences. Right. And I know just with your beliefs that you would have had profound differences on key issues.

We never even discussed your personal vote. That's not the issue. But again, without this perspective, because this is very recent, right? Right.

Like you say, 64. That's pretty recent. I was nine years old. That's when the Beatles came to America, right? That's pretty recent. But this is very recent. This is 2008, right? So this is still the world in which we live.

And obviously, we can emphasize race in an unhealthy way. Right. And I found the opposite with you. You're kingdom of God, kingdom of God, kingdom of God.

Now let's work that out in every area of life. But without this understanding, we're ships passing each other in the night. There was a brother called me once, and it was right after another death at the hands of police, regardless of justified or not, it was it opened up a new wound in the community. And this fellow said, You know, I go to a big white church, there are only a few blacks there.

But there's never ever any mention of any of this or just say, we want to pray for black brothers and sisters. We know it's a challenging time, whatever. And I said, Well, what what do you want us to do beyond talk about it? So just that, I just want you to acknowledge it, acknowledge it. And that's where we often miss each other. Um, all right, I want to play a clip. But time is time is short.

We'll do it on the other side of the break. You you texted me about abortion and racism. What did you say in that text? I made a statement that if black people, black leaders, specifically black believers who are leaders, pastors, etc, would have an honest, candid apologetic about abortion. And if white conservatives would have an honest, candid, apologetic about racism, it's quite possible that we could lead in a revival in America, if we stopped allowing the secular to drive these narratives, and that the black church and the white church would sincerely apologetically look at these issues, historically and theologically, rather than simply taking the political sides that have been established before us, we should be we should have been the leaders.

But unfortunately, you know, we have not. And so we're typically responding to society, we're responding to the Democrat Party platform, we're responding to the Republican Party platform, we're responding to, you know, Planned Parenthood, or we're responding to, you know, now, Supreme Court justices being confirmed, not confirmed. So my point is, we're we're responding to these things, as opposed to leading in the conversation. And you can't lead. I mean, our conversation right now is a expression of leadership.

I'm actively listening to you to understand, you're actively listening to me to understand. That is not what happens in America. And quite honestly, Mike, it's not happening with with believers. So how can we expect all of this revival that most pastors are preaching about, to actually occur in America, if the most important issue, quote unquote, to a white conservative right now is what? Is abortion. The most important issue right now to a black believer is racism.

And neither party is having a conversation with each other about this. But yet we're still praying and preaching about revival. Impossible.

Impossible is the word. So all things are possible with God. And we're going to look to him for help and grace to move us forward. Let me just say this. If any of you are in any way offended by anything we're saying, that's good. It means we're pushing some buttons because we're not trying to be offensive. But there are controversies we're talking through together. And there's going to be much more light than heat.

866, 342. We're going to take some calls as well. Stay right here. We'll be right back. 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 as we have a candid conversation, black and white, about working together as believers to advance the kingdom of God, which means learning from each other, which means understanding one of those perspectives, whether we agree or not.

It is something that we really need to do to take time to do. My apologies to our Hispanic listeners, to our Asian American listeners, Native American listeners, others to say, where do we fit in the conversation? Well, we all fit in different places.

This is how we model it. We're going to take some calls in a little while, so feel free to weigh in. I know that there'll be comments on our social media weighing in, but this is a great time for you to have a conversation too.

866-348-7884. As I sit with business entrepreneur, leadership speaker, and Minister Marcus Benjamin, I want to play a clip for you. You've heard it before listening to my show, but I want to play this clip. This is from Pastor Greg Locke, and he's very expressive in sharing what he shares here. I have asked believers the question, how can you look Jesus in the eye and say, vote for Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden when they are so pro-abortion and pro-homosexual activists, etc., and said, if you can't vote for Trump, I get that, but how can you vote for the other? That was my question. But I do know there are believers who vote differently. I understand that. So he says it in his way, and he's not necessarily, as he clarified in my show, talking about like a local board election or somebody who might be a Democratic-Republican, but the national policies.

This is what he had to say. I'm to the place right now, if you vote Democrat, I don't even want you around this church. You can get out. You can get out, you demon. You can get out, you baby butchering election thief. You cannot be a Christian and vote Democrat in this nation. I don't care how mad that makes you. You get pissed off if you want to. You cannot be a Christian and vote Democrat in this nation. They are God-denying demons that butcher babies and hate this nation.

They hate this nation. Get mad all you want to. I don't care if you stand.

I don't care if you throw tomatoes, praise God. I'm about to throw a microphone up in his house. CNN could eat my dirty socks. You cannot be a Democrat and a Christian.

You cannot. Somebody say amen. The rest of you, get out. Get out. Get out in the name of Jesus.

I ain't playing your stupid games. All right, now Pastor Locke has a particular style, and on the air he said, hey, he could wrestle between the angry prophet and the pastoral shepherd and trying to work those things through. So we won't talk different style, preaching, anything like that. He also made comments about Republicans. I heard him speak a clip in front of the White House, or in front of the Supreme Court, where he said our problem is not in the White House, it's in God's house, and both of the parties are corrupt. So he's qualified certain things. But as you hear that, sharing a lot of the values about what's wrong with the Democratic Party, how do you feel? Well, I will say first and foremost that his comments were ridiculous.

And I'll say that, unprecedented and ridiculous. One, as he mentioned on your show a certain time ago, I guess maybe a few days ago or a week or so, whenever that was, he endeavored to clarify, provide context, so on and so forth. But the moment you invoke the name of Jesus talking about politics, from the platform, the moment you're using church language, say amen, which means a confirmation, so be it, I agree. And you're doing that from a platform of grace and truth. The Bible says the law came by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

So grace doesn't ignore the truth, it provides context for truth. I just could not believe that he was not repudiated by more people. So applauding you for stepping out and saying the things that you said, especially regarding the insurrection, the comments that he made that could be very inflammatory, especially considering what had just recently happened in Buffalo.

Then, of course, I guess a few, what, a week or a couple of, look at the last two to three weeks of shootings in America. The last thing someone, a preacher, should be standing up on the pulpit saying, you know what, I'm going to go to the pulpit in America. The last thing someone, a preacher, should be standing up on the pulpit saying is something that would give people like that a license and greater conviction to go out and do what they do, even if they're not, quote, unquote, doing directly what he said, he's still instigating that.

Then let's go to another point. Could a black preacher stand up and say that and not be crucified by every media outlet in America? And I'm not sure if a black preacher would do that. Because I'm thinking back to, let's say, I'm not sure when it was, so certainly I don't want to date it, but Pastor Jeremiah Wright made a statement, who was former President Obama's pastor. Not God bless America, God curse America.

Yes, that type of thing. We all know what the cultural, social, crucify him, for the lack of a better phrase, statement that came from nearly every corner of the country. And I'm not saying that it was right for that type of rhetoric to go forth, but I'm simply making a point that is this statement less inflammatory than that one? Because when you think about that type of statement, the rhetoric, the quote, unquote, what we call in today's world saying it with your chest. I mean, he said that with his chest.

That wasn't an intellectual, let me craft this, you know. No, he said that with his chest. And I just, as I heard it, I just could not believe the overwhelming, even you mentioned it on your show a few weeks ago or a few days ago, the overwhelming support that he had for the statements that he was making. And according to him, you know, if I vote a Democrat, I'm a demon. There is no other way to context you. Now, he endeavored to try to provide some different context when you and him were having a conversation. But he didn't say, he didn't say he didn't specify, as he said on the show, well, CNN comes and these people, different people, he said, if you vote Democrat, you're a demon.

How do you then try to articulate and back yourself out of that? And there'll be people who are probably more upset with some of the things I've said on your show right now than they're upset with what he said. And these are believers. These are people who go to church every week, which gets me to my point and certainly want to get your feedback on it is my personal relationship with God should be the basis of my apologetic, my personal relationship with God. I am, I am convinced I've preached, I've been a pastor, I've led pastors, I've had tremendous conversations all across the country and the prevailing narrative is true. I always, how many people have at least read the New Testament from Matthew to Revelation in the last two years?

We know the answer to that question. Less than 10% of Christians have read the New Testament from, well, the New Testament. And these are, and as Christians, we're speaking authoritatively about what God's will and mine perspective is, and we're not even studying what he wrote.

So what qualification do I have to interpret another person's perspective when I'm not even invested in the perspective of the person that I called Lord? All right, so let's go here then and try to open this up then. So from my perspective, right, I believe justice is important, I believe caring for the poor is important, I believe these are issues, but I end up just with these overwhelming social issues to me that are non-negotiable. So the preservation of life, beginning of the womb, then the family unit.

So those are big things. Where does someone stand on gay activism is going to play in, not because I'm focused on gays, but because of the larger social agenda, how it affects marriage and family. Always going to start with abortion. But then as I break things down, I even see on like standing with Israel, not against Palestinians, but recognizing Israel's right to exist, standing with Israel, that the Democrats, boy, they're on the wrong side of everything. I did a, and I'm a registered independent, just as a matter of conscience, that I don't identify with the political party, even though I've voted heavily Republican for years, I don't, so that's my own, just my personal conscience there, right? Okay, so I did this thing online one day, and it's, you know, I answered like a whole bunch of questions as to, you know, where I should vote.

I was curious to see where it came out, and it came out 100% Republican, 0% Democrat. So I could say, okay, look, this issue is important. This issue is important. This issue is important. And the Democrats are wrong on that. So I don't see, I wouldn't say it the way Pastor Locke said it, but I don't see how you could love the Lord and vote Democrat. What would you... At the presidential level?

Presidential, Congress level, those, you know, the major decision-making. Okay. However, that's my perspective, which I'm sharing honestly. I don't judge someone's walk with the Lord. That differs me. What would you say to white evangelicals that we are completely missing the point, missing God's heart, missing values important to him, and we're thinking we're champions for the Bible, champions for God, and we don't see our own blind spots? That's an entire, our broadcast by itself.

But here's what I will use as my personal experience. Yeah, please get it out. Prior to 2008, my wife and I participated and were invited to participate in many conservative Republican, quote-unquote, think tanks, conversations, dinners, you know how that works. Nearly every year that I was an adult, when it was at least seen or perceived that this guy's a black conservative, right?

Because of his position on abortion. You're an up and comer. I've become a professional. Yeah, I'm a professional.

I'm an investment advisor. Hey, this guy's doing well, so on and so forth. So we were invited to those conversations, to those meetings, et cetera. Every month, we're getting emails. This is coming up. Mark, I say we want to see you here, et cetera, et cetera, phone calls, et cetera, et cetera.

This is what's happening literally from 2003-4 up until, no, 2001-2, because that's when I started my banking career, up until 2007. Okay. And I remember we were at a particular event, conservative Republican event, et cetera, breakout tables conversation, and I brought up race. I brought up the conversation as, I brought up the conversation as, you know, out of all that we've discussed, is there a plank? Is there a perspective?

Is there some type of initiation actions, et cetera? What is our collective approach toward race, racism, white supremacy? Let's just begin to have this conversation.

How do we, so on and so forth. And the conversation was very chippy, very chippy, et cetera. My wife and I were there. We had the conversation and we shared our position, so on and so forth.

From that day, the end of that conference to the present, my wife and I have never received another email invitation. Now I let listeners decide what made that decision. So if I was considered a conservative, quote unquote, because of my perspective, and I believe God's perspective on abortion, but the moment I bring up race and racism in America as a conservative or a perceived conservative at that point, off all email lists, off all phone blasts, I never got invited again until Bishop Harry Jackson, who I knew personally, called me on the phone during the 2016 presidential election. There was a gathering at Winthrop University, I think it was Marco Rubio, so on and so forth. He said, Marcus, I want you in the room.

Ben Carson. So I was in the room. I was at the dinner. But that was only because Bishop Jackson knew me personally. And we had many personal conversations and he said, Marcus, you need to be back in the room.

Unfortunately, he's no longer alive. But I'm simply making a point, the typical believer who's black and aware of his or her blackness and understanding that position in America as a Christian, our attention at the poll is not the same as a conservative white. And I am unapologetic about that. And so for us, it's not as black and white, pun intended, right? As saying, okay, abortion. No, I'm thinking about abortion. And I'm thinking about my black son, who my wife and I have to have a conversation with about how he needs to respond to a police officer to make sure he comes home alive.

So then we can then do legally if something needed to be needed to happen legally. We have to have that conversation. The typical white conservative doesn't deal with that at the poll.

The typical black person. We have to deal with that. Got it. Loud and clear. We'll be right back.

We'll get to some calls as well. Stay right here. 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, friends, for joining us on the line of fire. Okay. I want to go to the phones and then dive back into some key questions I have with my guests Marcus, Benjamin.

Jacqueline in Greenville, South Carolina. Thanks for calling the line of fire. Thanks for holding. You're on the air. Hey, how are you? Doing very well. Thanks. Good.

Thank you so much for your time. Yes, I listen to you just about every day. I watch you on YouTube. I really enjoy it. Thank you.

I was driving and I heard you guys talking. And it really saddens me that anyone has to deal with that in life daily. I totally understand that you have, you know, all of these issues about racism and the African Americans in America. But what really saddens me is that I wonder, when are we going to look towards the future? When are we going to stop looking to the past? And I am truly sorry for everything that your grandfathers or fathers or whoever in your family, whatever they experience, I'm so sorry for that.

But I can't apologize or ask forgiveness for something that I did not do. And I truly think all of this talk constantly about racism is pushing us apart instead of pulling us together. I embrace anyone as my brother and sister in Christ.

I love everyone. I don't see color. But I think, too, one more thing on the issue of voting.

I do believe if you're Christian, you would not vote Democrat because I would not put my race, which is white, above God's word. Let me just jump in, only so I can make sure that Marcus can respond, because you said a whole bunch there, and I'm sure you speak for a lot of other listeners as well, Jacquelyn. So thank you for calling. Forgive me for cutting you off. I just want to make sure that I allow Marcus to respond fully. But thank you.

Thank you for your call. So respond from your heart to that. Well, I appreciate her perspective, and I believe her perspective is consistent with a lot of well-meaning Christians, white, et cetera, in America. Several stories I could tell to contextualize that. I can tell the story of a former banker who didn't know that his stepfather was a member of the KKK, who I sat down in his office and he apologized to me because he didn't find out that the hood in his stepfather's closet was actually a hood that was of the Ku Klux Klan. He found that out when he went to college. And he was ignorant because his parents told him a different story.

His stepfather was a volunteer serving and helping the police force. That's the story that he was told until he went to college and found out about the Ku Klux Klan. And he sat down.

I sat down in his office. He apologized to me. Marcus, I said, you can't apologize. You can't correct what you didn't know. I said, but there are many well-meaning whites who have been told a wrong narrative about things that factually happened that affected people like me.

Take that apology and articulate that to your fellow brothers and sisters. That would be a start at a start at an individual level. We can go to Wells Fargo CEO a few years ago who said on a corporate call with thousands of employees across the country, we can't find qualified black candidates for executive positions. While on the phone, thousands of black men and women with MBAs, executive MBAs, high level education who are stuck in lower level positions that are beneath their level of qualification. While the CEO of one of the largest banks in the country is saying we can't find quality of qualified black candidates for executive level and or upper management roles. We can go to Kelly King at BB&T now truest who sat down with the journal back in 2020 and saying we did our own independent internal investigation and found out that not only is the history of our bank tied to slavery, but we've had disparate practices within our culture that hindered black people from advancing and excelling.

Now mind you, I was an employee of that company bringing some of those things out back in 2004. My point is simply this, an individual can be against racism and love everybody. Let me jump in and say this, we need to see color because color, one is God's creation, two has ethnic distinctions and benefits and blessings that we should celebrate and acknowledge and even though every culture has its own issues, we need to realize that God wants us to see color because he created us that way.

So we see it in diversity, what our sister meant was she doesn't see it in a prejudicial way, she sees everyone as equal in the Lord, but there is the diversity and just like a man's difference in a woman. Right, we should see that. Right, right, right. So let me say this and Jacqueline thank you, thank you for calling.

Thank you for that. Yeah it's important to hear that perspective, it really is. So to me it's never struck me to apologize and especially with my parents, my mother coming over from England as an orphan, my dad's parents coming over from Russia turn of the last century, so it's not you know and then being Jewish American, everything feels different, but to me the issue is how has the past affected the present?

I'm gonna sit up on that one, I like that one. Right so that's the thing, the fact that your kids who did not grow up in a home where race was talked about a lot had that feeling seeing Barack Obama inaugurated, right, the fact that you have to have the conversation with your son. Here you are a successful man, I'm sure you don't live in a rundown neighborhood, right, and still you feel that you have to have the conversation with your son just because of racial profiling or the amount of whatever the issues are.

My personal experience with police officers, I've had some great experiences with police officers and I've had some horrible ones as well. I'm thinking about in the last a year and a half I'm here flying out of, I fly before COVID, I was on a plane once a week flying across the country doing consulting, so I'm always at TSA, I'm always there, I'm flying first class. That morning I've got on my Jordan hoodie, I've got my Jordan sweatpants on, I've got my Jordan shoes on, I'm walking through TSA putting a few hundred dollars in my pocket, an elderly, not an elderly, maybe close to 60 white gentlemen, stop that guy, he stole my money, stop that black guy right there, he stole my money. TSA descends on me.

Are you serious? This is a year and a half ago at Charlotte Douglas Airport. Okay I was flying sitting next to a super well-dressed black bishop about two years ago, a short flight from Phoenix to California. I'm upgraded because I fly so much, he's in first class. As we get to talking, we start talking about race issues and you know blind spots, things like that, he said you know why I dress like this? He said because if I don't dress like this I don't get treated properly in first class.

I said today? He goes yeah yeah, they're gonna wonder what are you doing in first class? Listen, a joke, there's a good friend of mine, we flew first class, we flew out to Arizona, we had a business meeting and he, I was a little bit more, I was dressed more business casual, he was in his hoodie, he was a Raiders fan, he's got his Raiders hoodie on, he's got his Raiders hat on, so on and so forth, and he and he's about 6'3, you know maybe 245, 250, so he's a bigger guy and I said Brown listen, that's my brother, he's probably listening right now, I said bro listen, you need to put a smile on your face man.

And he said what? Bro, you need to put a smile on your face, do you not notice how people are staring at us? Now mind you, we were walking through the airport in, well in a particular city, walking through the airport and we are literally being, this is about 6 30 in the morning, stared at like who are these people?

This is in a major airport in America in 2019. The point I'm endeavoring to make is an individual experience and an individual commitment to love, I've got some amazing white brothers and sisters, I mean amazing, we love them, they've been at our house, we've stayed with them, they've stayed with us, amazing, so this is not me not liking white people. None of those relationships caused me to devoid myself of my personal experience, my love for God and my experience as a black man in America. The reason why those relationships are as strong as they are is because those white friends of mine acknowledge that Marcus, man we never had to deal with that, we don't have to have those conversations. I'm sitting, so what this was is conversation number one and then God willing we'll do a conversation number two to unpack the text you sent to me about how the white church can help the black church have a solid apologetic about abortion and God's hard for that, the black church can help the white church have a better understanding of apologetic about righteousness and racism and we can work together. I'm flying first class one day, sit next to a black man who's a big guy and he looks kind of muscular, he's got big hands, so I'm thinking must have been a football player, this is what I'm thinking to myself, he's a big, I mean this, if it was a white guy that's, I would have thought that, but especially because he's in first class right, we get to chatting, he's a university chancellor and he says to me, he says, he says the funny thing is if you see me in first class you think I'm either a football player or else it's going to be a rapper, right, and it's like I was wondering if you're a football player, so so and anyway all that to say the issue is the present, right, how the past affects the present, when I deal with anti-semitism in church history I say here's when you need to address it, if the seed is still there, right, or if the effects of the past are still felt in the present, correct, so it's the exact same thing here, it's not about oh we need to apologize again, I've never, I've not applied, it hasn't dawned on me in our talk I need to apologize to you for anything, right, but the fact that here you are a successful black man, entrepreneur, leadership speaker, either you have a whole list of people you stare at the stage with and all this and that you're still your life experience that you're going through this or the inequality in the job market, various things like okay so we still have work to do, let's be sensitive to it and you're not advocating voting Democrat either. No I'm not, I'm advocating for believers if I say it this way, the simplest way I can say it, if a true believer doesn't contradict their party at some point in time there is a problem, because the Republican party has great pieces to it, the Democrat party does have some solid pieces to it, but if I never disagree and if my personal convictions are always lockstep with a Republican plank or a Democrat plank, so what are we saying about the authority of God's word, that God's word has now been completely distilled within a Republican or Democrat context, I've got significant problems with that. All right friends we're going to leave it here, weigh in on the comment section on YouTube, Facebook, God willing we're going to do a part two, hopefully we've modeled some ways to have a healthy candid conversation. Another program powered by the Truth Network.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-08 15:25:45 / 2023-04-08 15:46:35 / 21

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