The following program is recorded content created by the Truth Network. So, let's ask the big obvious question, to what extent, if any, should Christians be involved in the culture wars? 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. Yes, we've touched on this question many times over the years, but it's so relevant, it's so on the table, it's so important that we are revisiting it today. Should we, should we as followers of Jesus, be involved in the culture wars? By which I mean, the volatile cultural battles of the day.
The battle over abortion, the battle over family, the battle over LGBTQ plus activism, the battle over racism. Should we be involved as followers of Jesus? Is there a way to do it that glorifies the Lord?
Is there a way to do it that is in keeping with our call to be disciples? Or is it always a distraction from the gospel? Does it divide over secondary issues and pull us away from preaching Jesus to the lost?
Does it put God in a particular political camp? Can we do this but separate from politics? To what extent should we be involved? Now, some might clearly be called by God to involvement in certain specific ways, but your average believer, your average church, your average minister of the gospel, to what extent should we be involved in the culture wars? Is it simply a matter of prayer?
Is it just a matter of loving our neighbor without getting into this? 866-344-TRUTH, welcome to the broadcast. Michael Brown, serving as your voice for moral sanity and spiritual clarity here, every day to infuse you with faith and truth and courage. Wanted to see you healthy, thriving, standing firm in the Lord.
We're here to equip you, help you, strengthen you. 866-348-7884, what's your take either way? Now, here's what's really interesting. By the way, we should have time for other calls, so if you have any other subject you want to bring up to me, however off topic it may be, at a certain point in the broadcast, we'll probably shift and start addressing your questions, calls, other subjects. If everybody wants to talk about this, we'll do it for the hour. But, if we shift at a certain point, other topics come up that we want to switch to, great. So, you can call now, and then we'll get to the calls in a little while.
866-348-7884. Now, I wrote a book that is due out in September of this year, really excited about it, called The Political Seduction of the Church. How millions of American Christians confuse the gospel with politics. I did not write the book to be popular, I did not write the book to make money, I did not write the book to increase my following. Quite the contrary, this book will be controversial to many, but I'm convicted that what I wrote is honoring the Lord. As best I understand, in harmony with the word, we'll let God and the readers judge. But, I've been thinking about this topic a lot in writing this book and researching for this book.
So, this is due out in September. The book that I'm currently writing now, that's due out in March of 2023, asks the question as to why so many Christians have left the faith. And deals with the whole issue of deconstructionism, as people are deconstructing and questioning what they believe.
And you know what's really fascinating? Really, really fascinating, is that there are people, especially young people, who left the church because the church got way too political. Way too political, especially white evangelical churches identifying with Donald Trump, turned them off, made them seem insensitive, bigoted, maybe even racist to some, and they left.
It's like, I'm not here for this. Or if it wasn't the church preaching it specifically, it was other evangelical leaders on conservative news, standing up for the president, seeming to preach the president when they were preaching the gospel. That's how it seemed to many. Or, it was the social media pages of Christians.
And they got turned off, and they walked out. It's like, I'm not here for politics. I'm here for the gospel. Conversely, conversely, there were others who said, you're not talking about politics enough. Where were you when George Floyd was killed? Where were you when the BLM movement was rising up?
Why were you so silent? So there are people who've left the church because the church was too political, and there are others who left the church because the church wasn't political enough. And one of my friends pastors a multiracial church, about 1200 people, equally divided between black, white, and Hispanic.
And they've been in harmony through the years, with understanding and learning from each other, and even different song selection that's more suitable for diverse congregation. So in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd, pastors sought to address issues with sensitivity. There were white families, in particular two families, where the husband was a cop, and they felt offended by the way he handled it and left. There were black families who were offended by the way he handled it and left. So what do you make of that? And historically, black churches, because of their history in America, because of the system of slavery and segregation and oppression that was there, largely united the cause of the gospel with the cause of justice, very obviously. So merging politics with the gospel was more common in black circles than in white circles.
And in any case, it's a very challenging thing to navigate. So I want you to think about this for a minute, alright? Let's put aside politics. Let's put aside first, Republican, Democrat, Trump, Biden. Let's put that aside, alright?
Let's just talk issues. Let's say you live in the 1850s in America, right? You're a passionate follower of Jesus.
You honor the scriptures. You see the horror of the African slave trade. Even though new slaves are not being brought into America now, kidnapped and brought into America, you've got the slavery system, you've got much of the economy riding on the back of the slavery system, and you've got active slave owners throughout the South, many of them Christian, right? Some of them genuinely Christian, but obviously completely wrong here. It happens. It happens.
There are Christians today that are genuinely Christian, but they're dead wrong on abortion. It can happen. Many of us have more blind spots than we realize. You say, how could it happen? That's the question, but it does happen.
It does happen. So, you're living in the 1850s. Are you going to tell me as a follower of Jesus, you say, well, we shouldn't be involved in the slavery issue. It's too volatile. And after all, if we make that a major point in our message or a subdivision of what we're saying, even if it's second or third or fourth point, if we stand for this, then people are going to divide over it, and we'll lose people. We want to lead them to Jesus. We don't want to divide over slavery. It's just too volatile. Over time, little by little, it'll go away. It'll be abolished, but let's just focus on making people into disciples.
But hang on. What do disciples do? The Great Commission is to go and make disciples of the nations, but what do disciples do? Aren't disciples called to be the salt of the earth in the light of the world? Aren't disciples called to stand for justice? Doesn't loving my neighbor as myself require me to do something when my neighbor is being unjustly oppressed by a system and other Christians are joining into that system? Doesn't it call for that? The same principles that you have from Jesus, and then in 1 John, and then in Jacob, James, that if you see your brother in need, and you have the ability to help with that need, and you walk away, where's the love of God in you? How are you loving your neighbors yourself? Be thou warmed and filled when you've got an abundance in your refrigerator. No, that's not love.
So, just the love of God would require us to take action, right? Now, it comes to the election of Abraham Lincoln, and he's running against Douglas, some other candidates, but it's Republican, the anti-slavery party, and Democrat, the slavery party, right? It's Lincoln, the anti-slavery candidate, and Douglas, in the north, the slavery candidate, and a couple other candidates he's running against. So, that's the battle. That's the battle. You tell me you're not going to get involved politically?
You tell me you're not going to vote for Lincoln versus Douglas? You tell me that in your churches there's going to be no talk about this? Well, same thing with slavery today, or this past weekend.
Both places where I spoke, Dallas, then Tampa, or Tyler, Texas, and then Tampa. Both places where I spoke, I was asked to address LGBTQ-related issues, and tomorrow night in North Carolina, I'm scheduled to do a Q&A at a church where they want to talk to you about LGBTQ issues, but they also want to talk to you about CRT, critical race theory. They want to talk to you about intersectionality, because this is the world we live in, because kids are going to school and dealing with this, because you're on social media and dealing with this, because you're being bothered by the media and dealing with this, because each of the parties has very different platforms on these issues. And we've been talking about abortion day and night, especially since the overturning of Roe v. Wade on Friday. It feels good to say that, doesn't it? But, of course we are, because we're followers of Jesus. How could we not talk about these things? And yet, there's a way to do it that is gospel first, flowing into justice. Because of the gospel, we stand for what's right. Because of our love for Jesus, we love our neighbor. Because we are people of the light, we expose the darkness. Versus, these are primarily partisan political issues, and we're going to divide over politics, and we're going to get into the same political spirit of name calling and carnality and divisiveness.
Two very different things. And, I've said this before, I'll say it again, if I was the pastor of a local church, and that was my primary calling, or even more, if it was primarily an evangelist just reaching the lost, I would talk about these issues less than I do. This is part of my specific calling to talk about them as much as I do, as a talk radio host, as an op-ed writer, as someone called by God to advocate for revival in the church and gospel-based moral and cultural revolution in society. And, also, as someone called by God to have a prophetic side to me, a prophetic part of me, which is calling for repentance, calling for the church to wake up, and confronting the culture with its sin. And, many have that as part of their calling, part of who they are in the Lord, alright? So, this is part of what God's called me to do, and he gave me a commission in 2004, articulated in early 2005, reach out and resist. Reach out to the gay community with compassion, resist the agenda with courage. This has been a specific part of my calling, and then to equip the body, to help equip the body to deal with these things. But, as I was interacting with Pastor Andy Stanley recently, and he plans to come on my show, talk about his new book, Not In It To Win It.
A lot I love about the book, parts I differ with strongly, but a lot I love about the book is he's calling the church to get away from partisan politics and focus on the Great Commission. But, I was saying to him, you know, so what do we do? And I'm waiting, you know, get on the air, we'll talk about it. What do we do if we say, okay, we're not going to fight the cultural roles politically, but on a pastoral level, this is the world our people live in. They're dealing with these things, their kids, their grandkids are, every single day. Surely we must address them together. All right, what's your take?
What's your take? Hey, am I helping you by talking about these things, by writing about them? 866-348-7884. 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 866-344-TRUTH. Here again is Dr. Michael Brown. Thank you so much for joining us on The Line of Fire. Come on, let's get healthy, physically and spiritually.
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Lots of great stuff there and stuff I've used for years myself. 866-344-TRUTH. I'm going to go to the phones momentarily, but let me say this. Over the years, I've posted questions on social media and I've said, I know what God's called me to do.
I'm not asking for your opinion telling me what you think I should do. I know what God's called me to do. I'm submitted to God. I'm in interaction with other leaders in the body. I have my number one critic on hand 24-7, my bride, and I know what God's called me to do. There's no question that a bone in my body questions what God's called me to do. I need to press into him even more and know him even better and serve him even more effectively.
And he may change many things in me over the years, but I know that I know that I know. He's called me to do what I'm doing now. And it is teaching and training people for ministry and different schools. It is constantly putting out resources for Jewish outreach and interacting with the Jewish community itself. It is writing books that are informative, you know, doctrinal issues and commentaries, but it's also rocking the boat, tackling the controversies, dealing with cultural issues.
I know that. But what I've asked on social media sometimes, and sometimes on radio, is this helpful to you? From your perspective, would you rather, I was just teaching the Bible and not intersecting with these things, or bring the Word of God into intersection with the culture? I want to know how it's affecting you. I know what God's called me to do.
I'm not asking your opinion, should I do something different? I'm asking from your perspective, are you finding this beneficial? The last time I asked that, and when I last checked to see, because I hadn't looked at it in a few years, there were over 3,000 comments on one social media page alone responding. And they were incredibly encouraging, saying, please do, please do, not enough to do, please do. Some weeks ago, a couple months ago, I rediscovered that thread and started reading the comments and was devastated in a good way. Like, oh boy, this is meeting a need. Wow. I mean, I knew it, but I was so encouraged by it.
And the invitations that come in and the questions that come are constantly, can you help us, can you help our church with this? Why? Because again, this is the world we live in. Put politics aside. Put partisan politics aside completely.
I would be great with this. If the people who visit your church, unless they happen to look out like a values voter God that you distribute around election time to say, here's where the candidates stand on different issues, right? Or they heard you preach on a certain subject by which they deduced how you probably vote, but otherwise, it'd be great if they have no clue how you vote.
They have no clue in your church what the demographics are, how many vote this way, how many vote that way. That would be great with me. But they should understand where you stand on the issues. All right, to the phones.
866-34-TRUTH. And I love it when people differ with me. I welcome it. I love constructive dialogue debate. I love it. So if you think I'm wrong here or off track or have a different view on where the church should stand, please give me a call as well.
All right, let's start in with Nikki in Portland, Oregon. What's your take on all this? Hey, God bless you, Dr. Brown. Thank you so much for taking my call.
You're very welcome. Yeah, your ministry has been such a blessing to me. My take is that, you know, for me, I think that we are to be influencers in the culture. However, I want to give a caveat to that, in that I don't know if everyone is called to that. Not every Christian may not have that gift. They may not be called to that, so they have to be sent to the Holy Spirit. But for me, I am called to that. That's what I do.
And that's the gift he's given me, so I have to use it. I get into a lot of discussions with other Christians who think that we shouldn't be involved. And we shouldn't be involved in politics, because Jesus is above politics, and I understand that. But what's the alternative?
Is it anarchy? I just don't understand it. So I'm with you on this. I agree with you, and I strongly agree with you, because those are my gifts. But there may be some other Christians, but that's not what they're called to. So I don't think that it's one way or another. I think it's the gifts that we've been given by the Holy Spirit that we're supposed to really listen to. So what do you think about that?
Well, two things. Number one is that, yes, there are different callings for different individuals. And we have to give ourselves to those callings and honor those who have different callings, and not compare ourselves to ourselves or judge each other by ourselves. The other side is that, in general, all believers are called to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. And therefore, on some level, let's even leave out the word political. On some level, we'll engage the culture.
That is an inevitability, a salt of the earth and light of the world. Hey, thank you, Nikki, for the call. 866-348-7884.
Let's go to Jesse in Twin Cities, Minnesota. Thanks for calling the line of fire. Hi, thanks for taking my call, Dr. Brown.
You're welcome. So I just wanted to somewhat agree with you that, along with the last caller, that everyone has a different calling, and I think a pastor's calling is really to preach doctrine. Because, you know, many millennials think the Holy Spirit is a force, or that Jesus is a god and is just a good teacher, and they're just completely ignorant of the gospel and sin. So I think there is a proneness to error on politics, where we leave the gospel out of the equation, and I think that's what I think the role of the pastor is. Of course, they have people with their problems and things like that, too, and that may overlap with cultural issues. And I just wanted to say, I totally understand that that's your calling, and that you have a calling to speak into the culture like that, but I don't know if I necessarily see that the same way for a pastor.
Yeah, so Jesse, thanks for the comments. The pastor of a local church has a lot of responsibilities to nurture the flock, to see that believers are healthy, grounded in the fundamentals of the faith. They have to develop ministry for children, they have to develop ministry for singles, they have to be equipped to counsel couples.
They want to be making a positive impact in their community, you know, there may be some needs that arise after some hurricane or flood, and they want to be there, hey, we've got food, or we've got essentials for you here. And then they want to be reaching out to the lost, so this is just part of the life of the body, right? Now, your average pastor cannot devote the time that I've devoted to studying, say, LGBTQ-related issues, or be talking as much about pro-life issues as we've been talking about, as much. Again, it's a relative thing. I do believe that over the course of a year that the body should be equipped.
You know, you may have a month, okay, this is our cultural emphasis month, right? And you get the body sensitized to issues of race that are dividing America. Or you say, hey, a lot of folks are dealing with issues about, you know, you've got a gay friend, or should you go to a same-sex wedding?
Or what happens when your own kid identifies as transgender? So that's where we then bring in the resources for them, right? But if I was, here, and we'll go one step further, so just to interact, because we're in agreement on this. So, if I was primarily an evangelist, that that was my calling, and the evangelists that I know, they are really evangelists. I mean, whatever room you put them in, for whatever reason, they're going to give an altar call for the lost. If you put them in a room with the, you know, the leading megachurch pastors in America, they're going to give a call to the lost to see if any of them are, you know, not really saved.
I mean, they're doing a wedding, they're doing a funeral, they're doing an opening prayer at a baseball game, whatever, they're going to give a call for the lost, because that's what evangelists do. You don't want to have a lot of other things associated with your message. You know what I'm saying? You don't want, oh, you're a Trump supporter, or you're a Biden supporter.
Well, wait, wait, wait, wait. You were so vocal about this gay legislation in your city, or you were leading the pro-abortion, or the, excuse me, the pro-life cause, and, okay, so here's the deal. I would agree that those are righteous causes, some of the things that I mentioned, I was just giving arbitrary examples otherwise, but now that you're associated with that, I mean, you can't speak about it, but it has to be so subservient to your gospel message. So, for example, if you're talking about LGBTQ issues, you're reaching out to that community, right? I was called first, resist the agenda, and then as God broke my heart for the people, reach out to the people. So, the church is doing both, but there's some churches, the whole thing they major on is reaching out, reaching out, reaching out to the LGBTQ community. So, the church, the whole thing they major on is resisting the agenda, and both are fulfilling a calling, but let the ones reaching out take a stand also for what is right. Let the ones taking a stand also be compassionate to the lost. That's the both and calling, but some of us will be called to do one thing more than another.
It could be a race issue, it could be something else. Let it all, though, flow out of our relationship with Jesus and let it not devolve into politics, because the world of politics is not the world of the kingdom of God. They intersect, but they're not the same world. We'll be right back. What a joy to speak with you today. You know what would give me even greater joy? To know that you're getting my emails.
Yeah, that would really give me joy, because I know you're going to benefit. Every week, you'll get an update. Here are the latest articles that I wrote. Here are the latest videos that we put out. We're about to send out an email with all the details about our next trip to Israel, God willing.
The second half of May, roughly the second half of May of 2023. We want you to know about that. We've got a brand new book coming out.
How about Political Seduction of the Church, coming out in September. We'll tell you about how to get a pre-ordered signed copy. So, this is a way to stay informed, to not miss anything, and then we send you some special welcome emails to tell you more about my background from LSD to PhD. What our ministry does, how we can serve you. Here are the resources we have. So, take a minute, go to AskDrBrown.org, A-S-K-D-R Brown dot org, and then just sign up for the emails. And immediately, we want to send you also a free mini book, an e-book, How to Pray for America. 866-3-4-TRUTH is the number to call.
Let us go to Gloria in Austin, Texas. Welcome to the line of fire. Hi, Dr. Brown. Can you hear me? Yes, if you're talking right in the phone, that's the best of all. So, go ahead.
Alright, thank you. So, first, I just want to definitely say thank you for this platform. It has been very educational for me. Yesterday, I was listening to the show, and while you were talking about the whole idea of Roe vs. Wade, prior to the whole subject of Roe vs. Wade, I've always been anti-abortion, but I've never been someone who's a pro-life type of person. I go out and say, you know, I'm pro-life. I've always felt that the whole reason for abortion is because there's a whole... It's like having a plant and then the middle is abortion, but at the root, the root cause is just sexual immorality. We have a culture that pushes us to a point where we... Because, to be honest, I think 85% of abortions are done by people who willingly choose to do that. And a lot of the time, it's because, you know, someone doesn't want the baby, right?
And there are two kinds of people. The one who's done it will say they felt absolutely muffed for doing it. They even end up hating the person who made them do it. And then there's another group of people who... They've become desensitized to the idea that, you know, I just did something that is horrendous. So I've always felt that the problem at hand is not necessarily abortion, but the culture that promotes sexual immorality, that's where the problem is.
I feel like a lot of young ladies... I'm going to use myself as an example. If I had grown up in a culture where I had an understanding that it's okay to keep yourself with your husband, it's okay to understand the sanctity of marriage and coming together with one person sexually.
If I had an understanding when I was younger, I wouldn't make a lot of the mistakes that I made when I was younger. And, you know, for sure, just to jump in for a second, for sure, there are larger cultural issues, right? There absolutely are larger cultural issues. The problem, as I'm sure you agree, is that it still comes down to whether it's right to take the innocent life of the baby, whether it's right to punish the baby because of the mistakes that were made by the mother or the father of the baby, or that were imposed on the mother, things that were done that she didn't want done. As terrible as it may be, is it right to punish the baby?
And is that a human being in there? And then what happens to the larger culture when we become a culture of death and abortion is just normal part of, quote, life? And let me throw this one other thing before I go to another call, but thank you, thank you for calling. One other thought, and we were just chatting before the show about this, some of our team, you grow up today as a young woman, right? So I think of our granddaughters, they're 21 and 15. So they grew up, now they've grown up in a different environment than the typical worldly environment, but they've grown up in a world in which abortion has always been here. Well, think of our daughters who were born in 1977, 1978. Abortion was already the law of the land then. And then think of Nancy who when Roe became law was maybe 18 years old, right?
So that was just normal then, just normal way of life. So people have grown up, it's understandable why some women are just terrified, but what, how, this is our fundamental right. This is where we as the church have to not just win a debate with them or say, yeah, you're crazy.
Come on, it's a baby's life here, why are you getting all worked up? No, no, reach out, reach out, communicate, let's do it. Hey, hey, Gloria, thank you for weighing in, I appreciate it. By the way, check out my latest article on the stream, stream.org, just found it on the stream. stream.org, will God send rain on pro-life states and withhold it from pro-abortion states? Is God going to make a distinction over that?
And are there other issues important to the Lord also that must be brought into the equation? So check that article out, it will get you thinking. We go to Laurie in New York City, welcome to the line of fire. Hi, how are you?
Doing very well, thank you. Yes, I have a couple of comments, but it really does have to do with, well, you know, a lot of these issues, I mean, we kind of treat them all separately and not really as a symptom of the greater evil. And I really think it has a name, and I think it's socialism, it's communism. A lot of the things that we see are characteristic of those types of regimes.
And I really believe that it is satanic, it is a basically Satan manifesting himself in our culture. And, you know, when people are talking about politics, it's like, you know, everything is political for the left, everything. Your whole entire life, Christianity is now political. If you hold to Christian values, you can't get away from politics at this point.
I want to tell you like a little story. A friend of mine who's very much on the left had basically, you know, was saying how, you know, we should be like other civilized countries, you know, with healthcare and all this other stuff, other civilized countries. And then shortly thereafter that I was reading in 1 Samuel, where God was talking to Samuel. You know, we need a king.
Israel wants a king like the other nations. Yeah, yes. And that line jumped out at me, that we want to be like other nations. And, you know, this suggested to me this is definitely something that is an ancient spiritual thing that is in our culture. And it's not even just in the culture at large.
You know, I've heard you, I've heard other teachers, but it's in the church. Right, there is a mindset, a worldly mindset, and rather than the church renewing its mind by the word, the church often becomes like the world, either trying to become relevant or, you know, what often happens in our elite institutions of learning, our Christian colleges, universities and seminaries, that we end up trying to show how woke and enlightened we are, which is by saying to the world, look, we think like you think also, whereas we should be radically different. You know, and last thing just to say to this, there are those that, like Dennis Prager, make a distinction between the left and liberals. And the left, he and others would very much join often with a socialist, communist way of thinking. And it is interesting that, you know, you read these documents, which some said were just propaganda documents in the 50s, but others said, no, no, this is communist agenda.
And one thing was how homosexual activism will change America and so on and so forth. But we always have to remember that America is just another country in this world. It may have certain origins that have much stronger Jewish Christian roots or Judeo-Christian roots, and at the same time some real deep sin and problems from our foundation, but we're just another country in this world. In other words, we're not the covenant nation. There was one covenant nation, Israel, and Israel is called through the Messiah to be a light to the world. Israel today, yes, I believe brought back to the land by God, but in many ways in sin and disobedience to God. And America is just part of the world, like China, like Russia, like Mexico, like Canada, and within America, the body of believers. And we are part of the ekklesia, the congregation, the messianic assembly, the church.
We are part of that with other believers worldwide, but America is just part of the world, and that's what we always have to remember. Hey, thank you for weighing in. I appreciate it. 866-344-TRUTH.
Let's go to Robert in Mountain Home, Texas. Welcome to the line of fire. Thank you, Dr. Brown.
I seem to always be fighting the battle at AI. Forty years ago in the pro-life movement, what came to life was all of the activists, the spouses, the elders and wives were using abortifacient birth control. And I did the math, and there was more abortifacient, more abortions taking place within the organizations, the churches, than what was going on at Planned Parenthood. And what specifically, what type of birth control are you talking about, abortifacient birth control? Oh, I can't, you know, that was 40 years ago, all the ones that were available.
No, I'm just wondering what was available. Well, I think the pill was one, you know, the IUD, the diet, I can't remember all of the... Right, but none of those are contraceptive devices which many Christians would object to, many Catholics would object to, but they're not causing abortions. Well, their conception takes place. No, no, if conception takes place, then those have failed to do their job. So that's, Robert, that's a whole other debate, the debate about contraception. Clarence Thomas has a lot of people very concerned because he's saying we have to revisit, just like revisited Roe, that was bad precedent, we have to revisit Obergefell, this redefining of marriage, which I agree on, it's just bad decision, and we have to revisit the permitting of contraception, which I don't believe is in that same class, and Justice Alito said, no, those are separate issues anyway, only this has to do with potential life.
But you could say there is hypocrisy because contraception birth control is being used by pro-life leaders and churches, non-Catholic, you could argue that, but they're not abortifacient, they're not causing abortions. We thank you for weighing in. Got a break 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. Thank you so much for joining us on the Line of Fire, 866-348-7884. Friends, everyone has distinct callings. Everyone has the same general calling. In other words, as followers of Jesus, we are all called to glorify God. We are all called to love God and love our neighbor as ourself. We are all called to be salt of the earth and light of the world, which works itself out in many different ways. But not everyone is called to do it the same way. The arm does something different than the leg, the eye something different than the ear. What we have to do is unite in our diversity to do the will of God. As I said that, my hands just naturally came together in class.
Well, that's the body working together in complex mechanism, right? We unite as one in our diversity, but we do not compromise the standards of God. In other words, we don't unite with sin, we don't unite with compromise. And sometimes, here I'll quote the Methodist preacher W.E. Sankster, a great quote that I first read in Leonard Ravenhill's Why Revival tarries, How shall I feel at the judgment if multitudes of missed opportunities pass before me in full array, and all my excuses prove to be disguises of my cowardice and pride?
I think I have that almost exactly right. So, we're not talking about making excuses. Well, that's not my calling. A lot of things we're called to do that we don't like to do. A lot of things we're called to do that are unpleasant.
A lot of things we're called to do that are difficult. Well, that's not my calling. I don't have grace to do that, by which I mean I don't feel like it, or it's hard on my flesh. I don't have grace to fast today, meaning I would rather eat.
I've done that, how about you? I don't feel the Lord in that, meaning I'd rather avoid this confrontation. But, when you're walking with the Lord, and to the best of your knowledge, you have surrendered to him. To the best of your knowledge, Lord, I'm here to please you, honor you, glorify you, whatever the cost, whatever the consequences.
We all know Paul's words in Philippians 1 21, for me to live as Christ, to die as gain. What did he say in the verse before that? Was that something he was just sharing because he was diagnosed with sickness, and hey, for me to live as Christ, die as gain? Many have quoted it in that way, and you apply it in a life-giving way, that's fine.
But, what was he saying? He's in prison, he doesn't know if he's going to live or die, if he's going to be martyred or not, and it seems that God's giving him a choice. And he says in verse 20 of Philippians 1, I eagerly expect and hope that I will be in no way ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now, as always, Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death, for to live is Christ, to die is gain. That is Gospel 101. You died, Colossians 3, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 2 Corinthians 5, what does Paul say in verse 15? When we realize that Jesus died for all, we conclude that all died, and that we no longer live for ourselves, but for him who died for us and rose from the dead.
Here I am, Lord, send me. That's Gospel 101. We prayed prayers like that so often during the Brownsville Revival with our students at the Brownsville Revival School of Ministry that they started putting out bumper stickers and made it the school slogan, by life or by death. This is how we honor the Lord, not to take the lives of others, but to give our lives for others.
This is where we start. If the Lord has us do something uncomfortable, so be it. We belong to him. We've already pledged our blood.
Everything else is minor thereafter with the help and grace of God. At the same time, we're not out to be troublemakers. We're not out to fight meanness with meanness and anger with anger and with force.
That's not who we are. When people revile us, we bless them. When they mock us, we pray for them. When they persecute us, we ask the Lord to touch them. That's how we fight our battles. We overcome evil with good. We overcome hatred with love.
We overcome truth with lies. One of the most reproachful things about what's happened to so many of us in recent years is we've gotten so politicized that on our social media pages we'll post a Bible verse one day and then a link to a beautiful worship song the next day and then the day after that, some mocking political meme. Here's some picture mocking Donald Trump as being fat.
Here's some picture mocking Joe Biden's mental capacities and so on and so forth. What? What are we doing? Jacob, James, the third chapter with our voice, we bless God and we curse people.
What is that? How does that glorify the Lord? It drives people away. Now when I talk about Jesus, it's Jesus plus I'm a Republican or Jesus plus I'm a Democrat or Jesus plus I'm for Trump or Jesus plus I'm against Trump and that becomes our definition. No, no, we can have our political involvement.
We can speak to things, but Jesus is Jesus. Let's not drag him down with other things. You say, yeah, but you're bringing a pro-life. Ah, righteous issues is different than political affiliation. Defending the life of the unborn is different than defending a political party. The life of that child is precious and innocent.
A political party is flawed with a lot of corruption in it, even if I agree with one party more than the other. All right, back to the phones. Let's go to Cade in Louisiana. Thanks for holding. Welcome to the line of fire.
Hey, thank you so much for what you do, Dr. Michael Brown. I just wanted to give my take on if we should be in the culture war and specifically about pastors. I think with politics and culture, yes, a million percent and more right now, we have to be preaching and fighting on it. If the big issues of today were what kind of renewable energy we use or a Keystone Pipeline, maybe not.
But the issues are sexual immorality and the murder of children, so obviously, yes, a thousand times yes. We have to be preaching on the big sins of the day. This is the example we see of the prophets, of Jesus, of Paul's letters. The big issues of sin in any given day are what we're supposed to be calling out, condemning, and calling people to repentance over. And I'm an evangelist.
Whenever I go out, I don't just say, hey, repent of lying. I list long lists of things, even if you looked at the gloss, even if you did this, because you have to extend it to everyone so that you don't have the man living in homosexuality say, OK, well, I'll give up lying and stealing for today. Or the person who's having abortions saying, OK, I'll give up cursing and gluttony today.
We have to preach on the whole wide range of issues. This is the example in the Bible, and if not, we're going to have unrepentant people in the church. All right, so, Kate, well said, absolutely well said, wonderfully said, clearly said, biblically said.
Look, when Paul is laying out lists of sins for the body and say, if you do this, you won't inherit the kingdom of God. Well, now you're preaching to the lost and sinners, calling into repentance, and you're going to address things, especially the elephants in the room. The key thing is this, can you do that without making it a partisan political issue?
And the answer is yes. In other words, you can preach against sin, and I don't know if you vote Republican, Democrat, Independent, Libertarian, or not at all, because it wasn't about politics. You can preach against sin and call us out for being politically consumed. So, I think the line that gets cross, Kate, is when we take preach against sin, and then one party happens to agree with more of our moral standards than the other, and now we become known politically. So, I would say amen to what you're preaching, amen to evangelist preaching as part of, we're not making a, we're not making general statements about cultural issues, we're talking about sins that people are committing in the culture for which they have to give account to God.
Individually we're doing it, corporately we're doing it, and to not address it is to be irresponsible and to be missing lots of things that are going on, but Kate, do you believe you can do that without being known as a politically, a partisan political evangelist? Yeah, I definitely think that's 100% possible, and you never have to mention a name or political party, you just call out the sins, and if politics pops into someone's mind when you're doing it just because it's an issue of the day, you can't really control that. Yeah, well what you can say is, look, I'm not talking Trump, Biden, I'm not talking Republican, Democrat, I'm talking you, God, sin, right? In other words, we just say what we're not talking about, so when I said if I was an evangelist, I wouldn't do what I do, I wouldn't major on it as much as I do, because there's so many other issues of sin and brokenness. I've majored on it by divine calling and to equip the body in these areas, but absolutely, when you're dealing with sin, sin is sin, when you're dealing with disobedience, and Kate, we know that there's so many women who've had abortions, and they're hurting. And I told one evangelist, I said, bro, what you said about abortion was absolutely right on, but you failed to say there's mercy here. You talked about the horror of the sin, and he was talking mainly to believers in this meeting with an evangelist. I said, but bro, you didn't preach the mercy of God and forgiveness through the cross, so I believe that many of the women that are angry and raging are angry and raging because they're hurting on the inside, and that we become the enemy. Rather than dealing, wait, wait, no, you sinned, that's why you've got this conflict, don't yell at me, there's a conflict inside of you. So yes, yes, yes, sir, amen to your call, amen to what you're doing, amen to the way that you said it. I appreciate it, and stand with you, keep going for the lost and glorifying Jesus. Well friends, thanks for the calls, thanks for the input, thanks for the interaction, this is why we do what we do on live talk radio. With your help, thanks so much.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-29 01:35:21 / 2023-03-29 01:54:24 / 19