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From the legacy of Mikhail Gorbachev to a new important book about homosexuality and Christianity, we've got you covered today. It's time for The Line of Fire with your host, biblical scholar and cultural commentator, Dr. Michael Brown, your voice for moral sanity and spiritual clarity. Call 866-34-TRUTH to get on The Line of Fire. And now, here's your host, Dr. Michael Brown.
Thank you so much for joining us today on The Line of Fire. Today is going to be an eye-opening broadcast. At the bottom of the hour, I'll be joined by MD Perkins to talk about his new book on dangerous affirmation about the threat of, quote, gay Christianity. But we're going to start today talking about Mikhail Gorbachev who passed away yesterday at the age of 91. I want to reflect on some things that I think will be important for our perspective today.
Michael Brown, welcome to the broadcast. I've got a question for you before we get to the heart of things. How many of you are old enough to remember when there was speculation that Gorbachev was the Antichrist? How many remember that? I tweeted about that. I'm going to share some of the responses that I got from that. I tweeted about that last night. Quite a few people said, oh yeah, I do remember. How many of you remember? If you remember that, what did you hear? What were you thinking?
What was going around? 866-342. Give me a call.
866-348-7884. Gorbachev was a younger leader, came to power after the old guard of the Communist Party and the leaders of the Soviet Union had seemed to fail. Almost in their old age and weakness, they seemed to be a picture of a failing regime. Gorbachev came in as kind of a whiz kid and just in his 40s, this was so young for a leader of that stature. And he saw that the West was getting ahead in different ways and that change needed to come. So he was the last leader of the Soviet Union as we knew it for many years. And this signaled some of the end of the Cold War. So he tried to advocate what was called perestroika, reform, and glasnost openness, although he was still a strong communist leader and there was not a whole lot of freedom of speech allowed in the country.
Don't mistake it for America or other countries. But he did bring about some dramatic changes. And then the big thing is it was under his leadership that the Berlin Wall came down.
And this is what I want to talk to you about. There are many good things Gorbachev did, there are things that he didn't do. He still again was a communist leader, but there were some major, major breakthroughs. And that was the end of the Cold War then, and then of course the dissolution of the Soviet empire. It could well be that Vladimir Putin wants to reconstitute the Soviet empire, the Soviet Union.
But this was the dissolution of it in his day. As one republic after another broke away, and they remain, almost all of them, broken away to this day. But it started with the Berlin Wall. So after World War II, as you know, sometime after World War II, a wall is erected to separate East Berlin from West Berlin.
It divides families, divides communities, and East Berlin was part of East Germany, which was one of the most oppressive communist regimes on the planet. I remember seeing East Germany win dramatically, disproportionately, they would win all these gold medals in the Olympics. And we were told, well, from early on, they look for kids that could be good athletes, and then they begin to train them. Well, that was part of it.
They had a very rigorous program, but there was also a lot of performance enhancing drugs and those kinds of things brought further scandals. But a very closed, oppressive system. Still a lot of atheism in that part of Germany, disproportionately so as a legacy to the years of communism. But in his most famous speech, Ronald Reagan stands in front of the Berlin Wall and says these memorable words.
Some of you remember hearing them, for others, you may know the story, but maybe you never heard the words. Let's listen to President Reagan. Behind me stands a wall that encircles the free sectors of this city, part of a vast system of barriers that divides the entire continent of Europe. General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization, come here to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate.
Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall. So what happened? Well, an announcement was incorrectly made that the wall was coming down and people swarmed the wall, began to tear it down. Well, what would have been done in the past if there was any such attempt?
Shoot the people on the spot, send out the tanks, put it down. What happened? Gorbachev let it come down. Whatever his motivation was in not stepping in and not interfering and not using violence as would have been done in the past, the wall came down, a historic moment in the 20th century, a turning point. And then in the aftermath of that, as freedom and liberation came, now you've got a unified German, or little by little it's going to work towards reunification. Now you've got other parts of the Soviet bloc breaking away and that was the end of the Soviet Union. So that was the beginning of the end, the wall coming down. So the first thing that I want to communicate to you is this. That dramatic change can happen suddenly and out of the blue with massive repercussions.
The ripple effect can be massive. I just want to put this before you. I am not a historian in terms of history of the modern world. I am anything but an expert on Russia or the Soviet Union. So I know a little, I know some, many of you know the same, many of you know more. So I'm not weighing in to say, let me reflect as a historian of modern Russian history, an expert on modern Russian history, let me reflect on the contributions of Mikhail Gorbachev, his strengths and weaknesses. I'm not the one to do that.
Others will do it a thousand times better than me. But what I can do as a spiritual leader, as someone functioning, as your voice of moral sanity and spiritual clarity, as someone seeking to get a spiritual lesson from natural things, seeking to reflect, you never really know what will be the straw that breaks the camel's back, what will be the crack in the dam that takes the whole dam down, what will open up a flood of radical and dramatic change. Here, think of this in America. We were having growing racial tension in America. There was the shooting of my namesake, Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, that triggered a lot of riots and unrest across America. But it was only with the killing of George Floyd by a policeman that things were suddenly triggered, not just in America, but around the world and the rebirthing of BLM and things like that. I'm not commenting on all of those events.
I'm not making a statement about any of this. I'm simply saying one event triggered a whole lot and America looks and feels different afterwards for better or for worse. That's just what happened. So this is the way history often unfolds, that something happens suddenly out of the blue or seemingly suddenly out of the blue, but it's often something rising, rising, rising, rising, and then it becomes a turning point. I watched another documentary on Woodstock. It was produced after 50 years and reflecting back on things and maybe the biggest takeaway from this major event in August of 1969 involving over 400,000 people in upstate New York. The biggest takeaway in watching it, something I knew already, but was reminded of that this was the validation of the hippie dream. This was the proof that hundreds of thousands of people could come together and it was peace and it was love and there was no violence and there was no hatred. There's a kind of utopia and we can create a better world.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-03 20:25:18 / 2023-03-03 20:29:06 / 4