The following program is recorded content created by the Truth Network. You know I find it interesting that some, quote, progressive Christians will say the biblical authors really didn't understand the text and then turn around and quote the Bible. Why?
And now, here's your host, Dr. Michael Brown. So, why do some people quote the Bible when they don't really believe that the Bible is the fully inspired Word of God? Why do some people look to what Jesus taught or what Paul taught or things like that while saying, well, Jesus didn't really understand certain things or Paul was just a man of his culture and his day? What's the point? How is it the Word of God?
What authority does it have? Welcome, friends, to the Line of Fire broadcast. Michael Brown, delighted to be with you as always. Here's the number to call to talk about this or any subject that you want. 866-344-866-348-7884. Phone lines are open for all your comments, questions, calls on any subjects that relate to the Line of Fire.
Try to do that as many days as possible and not just limit the calls to the things we're talking about on the air that particular day. You say, well, what brings this subject to mind? Why are you talking about it today? Well, I did a Zoom call yesterday, a web interview, and I was being asked about, well, there are certain claims, certain Christian teachers on YouTube or TikTok or different places like that. And, of course, this has happened for centuries in different levels, but they are making different claims and they're saying, well, look, you know, when the biblical authors prohibited homosexual practice, it was based on this and their culture. They didn't really understand what we understand today. Others have argued that the biblical authors weren't familiar with loving committed same-sex relationships like we know today. They were mainly concerned about homosexual promiscuity or prostitution or pederasty and things like that, and that's what they were really dealing with. If they knew what we knew today or if they understood what we understand today about sexual orientation, then their views would be different. Okay, you can hold to that view. You can say the Bible's not inspired.
You can say I don't believe anything that's written in it. You can say that they were just people of their times and reflecting things in their times and they had some level of spiritual inspiration but nothing that carries authority for us today. Okay, that would be consistent.
Obviously, I completely differ with that assessment, but that at least would be consistent. You're saying, look, they were people of their time. They believed certain things in their day. That's what they understood. That's what they were speaking about, but we understand better today. They might say, well, in biblical times, they thought that everything, like mental illness, was all demonic, and now we understand there are many causes to mental illness and it's wrong to think it's demonic. Someone may have that perspective.
That's fine. But then for them, the Bible can't really carry that much authority or weight. For them, the Bible cannot be authoritative because so much of it is colored by the time. So, I find it hypocritical. I find it inconsistent.
I find it illogical, any or all of those three things. I find it odd when someone would say, oh, no, no, I'm a Christian. I believe in Jesus.
I believe in salvation through him. But, you know, the biblical authors were just misinformed about certain things and that's how ultimately we, you know, I take some from scripture but not everything. Well, then why quote the Bible? What purpose does it serve?
What authority does it have? In what sense is it the word of God? Because ultimately, what you're saying is we know better. Ultimately, I'm looking through the lens of my morality or current 21st century morality or a moral consensus among the others that believe like I believe, and now interpreting the Bible through that lens. You know, I've mentioned many times when it comes to, say, issues of same-sex attraction, that someone maybe from their earliest days when they started to develop realized why I don't have the same feelings that my friends have, they felt different, and maybe that's you, that's who I'm talking to. And then you're going through puberty and your friends are attracted to the opposite sex, but you're not until you're shocked, you're attracted to the same sex, and you pray and you pray and you pray, ask God for help and this can't be, and you're afraid to talk to anybody about it, and you wrestle with it, and you finally discover all the other gay Christians and things like that, and all we've misinterpreted the Bible, and just as we misuse the Bible to support slavery and segregation and the oppression of women, we're misusing the Bible to support the ban on same-sex marriage and the ban on homosexual loving relationships, et cetera, et cetera. And what ultimately happens is that rather than interpreting your sexuality through the lens of Scripture, you interpret Scripture through the lens of your sexuality. And that becomes the massive problem, that the Bible loses its authority. The Bible is no longer the word of God.
It may be a collection of inspiring stories, it may have some amazing miracles that it recounts, it may tell us some beautiful things about God, but ultimately it cannot carry full and final authority over our lives because perhaps we know better. Perhaps we're more enlightened than the biblical authors. Now you say, oh, come on, man, are you just some rigid fundamentalist and you're going to argue that the earth is flat?
No, no, I'm not. I understand the biblical authors used observational language, right? So, when they talk about the sun rising and the sun setting, that's what they saw, that's what they understood. And I would suppose, like people in the ancient world thought the sun went around the earth, which was the logical assumption.
Who would not think that just without other outside knowledge? Yeah, you'd probably think the earth, the sun goes around the earth and the earth is stable and fixed, it doesn't move, it doesn't rotate. That's what you would think if you didn't have more information and so that the biblical authors are using observational language to understand that. You know, Psalm 19 pictures the sun like going out on a circle, going around and going back because that's how it looked. But there's nothing in that having to do with morality, there's nothing in there having to do with the revelation of who God is, there's nothing in there in terms of the sun rising and the sun setting that affects how I live today.
And we talk about the same thing, sunrise, sunset, it's just a figure of speech because it's observational even though we understand that the earth goes around the sun rather than the sun going around the earth. And we do understand that there were laws that God gave Israel to keep them separate from the nations, whereas there are other laws God gave Israel based on universal moral prohibitions. So, for example, it is a universal moral prohibition for all people, do not murder.
Yes, that's true. Do not murder is a universal moral prohibition for all people. But don't sow two different kinds of seed in your field, that was a matter of teaching Israel separation. That was a matter of teaching Israel aspects of purity and relationship to God and not being mixed, not having foreign mixtures and things like that. But there's nothing intrinsically sinful about sowing your field with two different kinds of seeds, there is something intrinsically sinful about murder.
That's what's prohibited for all people. Going right back to Genesis, the ninth chapter, when it's legislated, whoever sheds man's blood by man shall his blood be shed because man, human beings have created an image of God. And it's understood even before that that Cain killing Abel was a sinful, wrong thing to do. Just based on human conscience, what God put within us.
So, we understand there are distinctions. That's why dietary laws from the Old Testament are not mandated for all believers for all time. I know some believe they are, but I don't believe you can make a case for that based on the New Testament. You cannot argue that dietary laws are mandatory for all people for all time, but that's not because Israel was just a people of a time.
No, it's because God gave certain laws for certain purposes. And where the biblical authors were people of their time, people of their day, people with certain information, that is not what is in the Word of God for us today. In other words, whatever Paul's understanding was of science in the first century, whatever Paul's understanding of the universe was in the first century, whatever Moses' understanding was of these things, 1300, 1400 years before the time of Jesus, whatever their respective understandings were, that is not part of what is inspired in Scripture that tells us how to live or that tells us who God is. They were not products of their time in terms of their revelation of who God is.
They were not products of their time in terms of their revelation of how we are to live and what God is calling us to do. So, there may be certain things that were cultural, like the question of head coverings in 1 Corinthians 11. So, we know in the ancient world, some parts of the world to this day, a married woman covers her head in public. Alright, and it is a sign of being married and it's a sign also of honor and respect for her husband. Well, what about in the home? Well, she doesn't have to have her head covered in the home.
What about if you have a home meeting with other believers there? Well, now it becomes a public meeting, so she should have her head covered. Alright, well, we don't have head coverings in our American culture today for women.
I mean, here and there you have it in some different groups, but it's not the norm. So, what should we deduce from that passage? Well, there's still the proper order of male, female, husband, wife in the home that God has established. There's still gender distinctions that are important, right, but the head covering thing was cultural, the spiritual application of it we still make today. But that's very, very different from scripture saying, people who live like this will not inherit the kingdom. Well, they didn't really understand certain aspects of human psychology today.
Here, think of it like this. We can look at alcoholism as a sickness only, as a disease only, and there are aspects of sickness and disease to it. But ultimately, drunkenness, someone who is a drunkard, someone who is an unrepentant alcoholic, the Bible looks at as a persistent sinner who is giving evidence that he does not belong to God or she does not belong to God and therefore will not inherit the kingdom of God. So again, I find it as utterly inconsistent and illogical and hypocritical to say on very, very important life and death matters, the meaning of marriage, the meaning of sexuality, the meaning of relationships, the meaning of godly living, essential foundational things in terms of what God requires of us and expects of us and standards that he has set and institutions that he has set in place such as marriage. I find it illogical, hypocritical, and inconsistent for, quote, progressive liberal Christians to say biblical writers got some of those things wrong, but we're still going to quote the Bible and follow the Bible.
No, no, you're not. You're following your morality. It's like Augustine said that when you believe what you like in the gospels, it's not the gospels anymore.
You believe it's yourself, to paraphrase his words. So, let's either accept what God says in his words, studying it the best as we can and learning in the cultural context as best as we can and making proper application. Let's do that to the best of our ability, bowing down before God and saying, Lord, what you say I will do. Well, let's not take the Bible seriously at all.
There is no middle ground position. Either the biblical authors were inspired by God when they spoke about these life and death issues and through that inspiration, they understood human nature and what God required of us or they just had some opinions. That's not going to tell me how to live today.
If they're inspired by God, you better believe it's going to tell me how to live. Alright, we will be right back. 866-348-7884. You get to weigh in with your comments, questions.
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We will get to some calls. I want to go back to a mini radio debate that I had years ago with Matthew Vines who became the poster boy for, quote, gay Christianity. And when did we have this? This was in 2014, I think. Yeah, I believe it was around 2014. I was asked to come on Up for Debate, which was hosted on Moody Radio by Julie Royce back then, and asked if I would do a debate with Matthew Vines about these issues, can you be gay and Christian, et cetera.
Of course. Well, what we found out through someone that was in his private Facebook group was that he had agreed to do a debate on the air, did not know it was going to be with me, then when he found out it was going to be with me, he and others working with him agreed that it would be worse publicity to back out of the debate than to do the debate at all, so we went ahead with it. And you can watch it if you just go to AskDrBrown.org, just type in Vines, or on the app, Ask Dr. Brown Ministries app, just type in Vines.
You should be able to find it immediately, same on our YouTube channel, Ask Dr. Brown on YouTube. But significantly, if you listen to it, and again, it's not a full debate, he's declined, James White, myself, Robert Gagnon, to do debates, he did a dialogue debate with Sean McDowell, which I think is self-evident in terms of where the truth stood on that. You'll watch it and say, wow, Sean really nailed it, and he did it with grace and truth as well together. But what's significant is that Matthew could not, did not, raise one single scripture to support his position in the entire 45 minutes or hour that we did the debate. Not one single verse could he raise from the Bible, giving positive support to his view that same-sex relations were sanctioned by God in any setting, or could be sanctioned by God in any setting. So, during the debate, he asked me a question, okay, give examples of loving first century, loving committed monogamous same-sex relationships that Paul would have been familiar with. For example, Anthony Thistleton, one of the top Greek New Testament scholars in his massive commentary on 1 Corinthians in the New International Greek commentary series, makes the point that Corinth was very similar to our day, that the settings that he would have encountered are similar.
And of course, other scholars have pointed out classicists and things like that, that the idea of long-term loving committed same-sex relations are not just a modern phenomenon, but something that existed in the ancient world as well. Well, I had documented that. I had quotes in my book, Can You Began Christian? But I'm not a classicist, and I didn't have those texts in my mind just off the top of my head to rattle them off. So, on the air when I was asked for that, I said, just look for the documentation in Can You Began Christian? Then right after the debate, I posted an article with plenty of links and references. So, you've got references right before the time of Paul, right after the time of Paul.
So, this was not like no one ever heard of this in the ancient world, right? So, during the debate, Matthew thought, ah, he's got his gotcha moment. Again, he didn't have a single verse to raise to support his position throughout. And my heart really broke, but God really gave me a burden for Matthew the days before that. Of course, he wouldn't take that seriously at all.
But I'm just saying, God really laid him on my heart to pray for him. I'm sure many others have since then. But this is what he posted afterwards. A friend recently sent me this article because he saw similar arguments being raised today. Matthew posted this. In case you missed it, here's the audio from my radio debate with Michael Brown this morning.
Unfortunately, there were some significant audio problems for those who were watching on the live video feed, but this audio-only recording is better. I can't say I expected the most nuanced or substantive conversation today. Still, Brown ended up conceding two very important points. By the way, there was no concession.
It's just his word. One, lifelong celibacy is the consequence for some people of an absolute rejection of same-sex relationships. First, how is that a concession? Of course, for some, if God doesn't change their hearts and desires, then they are given over to the Lord and they're celibate.
Yeah, why is that a concession? Jesus said, if you want to follow me, deny yourself, take up the cross. None of us is guaranteed marriage, family, anything. We might be martyred tomorrow for Jesus. Our lives don't belong to us. So, no concession, of course. I state that freely.
Not everyone changes. Not everyone's able to have same-sex or opposite-sex attractions. It's certainly possible, according to the Gospel, not everyone experiences it and some are celibate, joyfully so.
Jesus is more than enough for them. And two, Brown knows of no first-century texts that describe loving and committed same-sex relationships. No, I said I couldn't cite them on the air.
I didn't have them in my head. That's not what we were debating. We were asking what the scripture says. So, he goes on, fast-forward to 3350 in the show for Brown's acknowledgement of the first point, 4240, for his inability to cite any first-century texts describing long-term same-sex unions. As Brown said, quote, I did not come in off the top of my head to give you various Greek sources.
Why are these points so important? Brown argues that Paul was very familiar with loving, committed same-sex unions that were just like those we commonly see today. From a historic standpoint, this is very weak claim.
And when pressed on it, Brown could provide no support at all for it. He ended up citing a fourth-century B.C. text after the break. But, of course, that isn't when Paul lived. And that text describes a pederastic relationship that continued into adulthood, which is rather different from modern-day same-sex marriages.
In short, Brown could not defend his claim that Paul explicitly rejected long-term equal status same-sex unions because he can supply no contemporaneous text that actually describes such relationships. If, rather than the core weaknesses of his arguments, all that today's debate accomplished, then it was a worthwhile experience. In other words, he's saying he didn't make any good points.
He didn't do well overall. But at least he got this little point across. I mean, remarkably, one of his colleagues said, yeah, when pressed, when I said, look, Jesus knew the hearts of every human being, right? Why didn't Jesus then affirm same-sex relationships?
He knows what was in people's hearts. One of his colleagues, a professing Christian, said, well, Jesus obviously didn't know everything. Yeah, I mean, that's paraphrased. Bottom line is, scholars have provided texts from right before the days of Paul, right after the days of Paul, that, yes, these types of relationships existed.
Okay? But even if Paul never saw it, even if he never saw it, never knew of it, the only homosexual relations that he knew of were abusive, there was nothing long-term committed loving, which is interesting to say it didn't exist for centuries and centuries until just recently. What does that say then of same-sex relationships?
But the big thing is it's a complete denial of inspiration. It's a complete denial of the authority of Scripture. It's plainly saying that if the authors, biblical authors, had encountered different things, they would have written differently.
If they were aware of different things. It's almost like saying if you knew how devoted some Muslims were to God, you wouldn't say that they're lost without Jesus. If you knew how devoted some Jews are that don't believe in Jesus, if you know how devoted they were to God, you wouldn't believe that Jesus is the only way. No, I don't believe that Jesus is the only way based on my ignorance of other people and their religions. Some of the most devoted people I know in terms of their spiritual life and their daily study and their habits and their prayer and their seeking to live godly lives are traditional Jews. And I'm sure the more Muslims I know, I'd meet many fine devoted Muslims, etc., etc. It's not a matter of, well, I just don't know about these other people.
That's why I hold to what I hold to. This is a complete insult to biblical inspiration. It's saying that the biblical authors didn't really understand human nature by the Spirit. They didn't really understand human sin by the Spirit.
They didn't really understand God's plan for marriage and sexuality by the Spirit because they were just products of their own time and culture. That's a complete rejection of the authority of the Word of God. It's a self-defeating argument that goes nowhere. And, again, historically it's not accurate on top of that. And the articles I posted immediately after the article I did, others did, made that clear with plenty of references.
But it's not even an argument to have. Let's just say Moses, Paul, Jesus, they never saw a loving, sane, sex couple. They didn't understand God. They didn't understand human nature.
They weren't inspired. And Jesus wasn't the Son who knew everything about human beings. What a tragic self-defeating argument. But that is a picture of liberal, progressive Christianity.
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Let's start with Patrick in Charlotte, North Carolina. Welcome to the line of fire. Thank you.
You're welcome. I am an alcoholic and I was participating in the rooms of AA for well at five years. I didn't know the difference between that and the twelve steps of Celebrate Recovery, which is biblically of God's word. In the rooms of AA, they have such things as gay men's meetings only. Sure, it's secular. It started with biblical principles from what I understand, but it's just become secular. So of course, as long as you acknowledge some kind of higher power, you're going to have all kinds of different worldly secular meetings. Yeah, I would expect that. So obviously, that's not the Lord's will for me to try to find companionship in that environment, because the verse in God's word says, Why shall fools have money in hand to pay for wisdom when they cannot understand it?
Meaning the word of God by the blood of the lamb living within them. So Patrick, what's happened in your own life? Where are you at now? I do not drink alcohol.
I quit drinking well at two and a half years ago, approximately. However, I'm not being forgiven for my rude manner of behavior or smoking pot of saying what I said on the premises of churches. So the verse in the Bible says, If you do not have forgiveness on your brother and his trespassing, I will not have forgiveness on yours. This is nothing physically I've done.
This is nothing grand trathado of robbery. This is what I just said. So I can't go and join at the few Celebrate Recovery meetings that is available in the Charlotte area or an hour or so out because of that. Now that's God's word saying that in clear.
Wait, so hang on. Patrick, I just want to try to understand this. Are you saying that God doesn't want you to participate because you're not forgiven or that people won't accept you? They will not accept me to partake in their get-together meetings. So you're saying you have gone to leadership, you have said, please forgive me, I made mistakes in the past and I'd like to be part of your program, and they won't have you? The main pastor at the Celebrate Recovery meeting off of City Mall, I'm sorry.
Don't mention specific places here. I'm sorry. Okay, well anyway, he welcomed me to their meeting get-together for everybody. And it was like a two-faced joker as I was experiencing of non-honesty, forgiveness, honesty, obviously the law showed up, they were hanging out in the hallway. It's everything of, I might as well be at an AA meeting.
There's nothing different of the environment of God's word. Okay, so just, have you, do you have current issues with the law right now? Right now I have nothing except a minor possession marijuana charge that I gotta do 24 hours of community service.
Nothing besides that. Alright, so here's what I want to encourage you. If there's nothing you have to go to the police about, I want to encourage you to find a local church, don't even worry about a Celebrate Recovery program right now, alright?
The alcohol issues are issues, but they're not the big issues. Find a local gospel preaching church, go in, meet with, if it's a big church you're not going to be able to meet with the pastor necessarily, but someone on pastoral staff, at smaller church you might be able to meet with the pastor. And just say, hey, here's my background, here are my struggles, this is what's been going on in my life, how can I grow in Jesus? How can I learn, how can I get closer to the Lord, I've had history of these issues, etc, etc. And the key thing is really just becoming a disciple, just growing in your relationship with the Lord with the help of other brothers and sisters around you. And if you're serious, you'll definitely find a home, you'll definitely find a congregation where you fit, where you start to grow hearing the word of God, being around other godly believers. And look, we all know, especially in the early days, the many mistakes that we made as new believers, some of us, like me, raise both hands for that, you know? Many mistakes, idiotic things, and people there, hey, they knew God was merciful, they were merciful to me as I grew and started to go from baby steps to child steps to adult steps. So that's the key, is just getting plugged in, not even looking for a recovery program initially, but just a local fellowship where you can grow in Jesus.
And then as you do, things will start to fall into place for you. Hey, may God's grace be yours, Patrick, I appreciate the call. I had mentioned earlier in the show, if you're just tuning in, if that was completely unrelated to anything, I did talk about earlier that you might say, well, look, drunkenness, being a drunkard in the Bible was sinful, but that's because biblical authors didn't understand that alcoholism is a disease. I'm saying, yeah, there are aspects to it that are disease-like, in other words, things that, in your upbringing and things that become part of your life, and that you really need help, you may need a program, you may need deliverance, you may just be able to break the habit, like God helped me just break the habit with drugs 51 years ago, but it's still sinful to practice it, that's bottom line. There's a lot in human nature that becomes addictive and we can have scientific explanations for it, but ultimately, sin is sin, Jesus forgives sin and does give us grace to change. That's the gospel, that's the power of grace.
866-34-TRUTH, let's go to Makai in Fayetteville, North Carolina, welcome to the line of fire. Hey, Dr. Brown, can you hear me? I can hear you. All right. I actually had a question about the power of life and death in the tongue. I'm sorry, I was trying to pull it up. Death and life are in the power of the tongue and those who love it will eat its fruit, yeah.
Right. So, I've been hearing this a lot, and it's almost like people are saying, like, don't say you're sick, or else, you know, you may get sick because of the power and life and death in the tongue. Like, for example, if I had cancer, I would basically tell my cancer that it doesn't belong here, and I would be healed, and, like, do I pray? So, when I say these things, am I relying on the power that is in my tongue, or am I relying on the power of these that are both? I'm confused about this topic.
Yeah, great question and very fair question. So, let's first say what the verse is saying, right? That our words can give life or our words can bring death. You can speak words of someone that bring them encouragement and hope and faith. You can speak words to someone that cause them to go out and kill themselves.
They get so discouraged, right? You can speak words over a child that are life-giving words that help shape a right and healthy consciousness, or you can speak words over a child that are deadly and destructive and lead them to depression and self-harm. So, death and life are in the power of the tongue. We can say yes to God or no to God, so there is life in saying yes and death in saying no.
So, that's clearly true biblically. And, as we speak in harmony with God, when there are times to tell a spiritual mountain to move, in Jesus' name it will move. And there are times when, by the Spirit of God being on us, we can tell sickness to leave, we can rebuke it in Jesus' name, and it will happen.
However, the notion that I can just create realities with my words is a false teaching found in the Word of Faith camp, especially in extreme forms of Word of Faith. You can't tell someone you're sick. You can't say, hey, pray for me, I'm sick. No, no, because now it's a negative confession. That's not a negative confession. A negative confession is God will never heal me.
He never heals anybody. I'm just destined to always be sick because there's something wrong with me. That's a negative confession. To tell someone, hey, would you pray for me? I'm sick. I'm asking God to heal me. That's not a negative confession. That is a truthful confession. In fact, James, Jacob, the fifth chapter says, if anyone's sick, they should call for the elders of the church. If you're sick, you're bedridden, please come and pray.
Why? You're telling them the information. You know, there was a faith Bible school years ago, and on the application, I kid you not, they would tell people we want factual answers, not faith answers, because they'd ask people about their past, and the people would change the past because they're now speaking in faith. Or like you fail a test, and so I got an A by faith.
No, you didn't get an A by faith, you failed. That's the reality. So there is this fantasy world where you're afraid to say, oh, if I say that, it would say, oh, no, the words came out of my mouth, I can't take it back, and you get caught up in all kinds of things. Or you think that you have this supernatural power to just speak whatever you want to speak and it's going to happen. No, that's not true. And you should not be hung up on that. If there's a disease in your body and you know by God this doesn't belong, speak it in faith in Jesus name, but don't deny its existence or its reality or just think by speaking stuff, it happens automatically. Absolutely not. Stay right there.
I want to talk to you on the other side of the break. I'm Paul Burnett, a board certified doctor of holistic health, and I want to take this opportunity to talk to you about the importance of healthy blood flow and how it's enhanced by a miracle molecule known as nitric oxide. You see, blood vessels release nitric oxide, which increases blood flow known as something called vasodilation. At Triveda, we take blood flow seriously for our members, and we've developed a nitric oxide plus supplement that has been formulated with natural ingredients designed to maximize nitric oxide production in our blood vessels, which increases blood flow. You may be wondering why you don't have as much energy as you used to. One study that I came across revealed that by the age of 40, we only produce about 50% of the nitric oxide production as compared to our 20s. And by the age of 70, the study showed that we're only producing about 15 to 25%.
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May you live with greater wellness. 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, it's Dr. Michael Brown. All right, I'm getting right back to Mackay on the Line of the Moment, 866-34-TRUTH. First, a shout-out to our new California listeners on KWTD 91.9 FM or KWTW 88.5 FM on Westside Christian Fellowship Radio.
So, you're listening to me from 6 to 7 in the evening in California. I just went out for my friend, Pastor Shane Eidelman, who hosts this network that is right after Shane. So, right after Pastor Shane is me. You get a one-two punch here.
We'll probably be saying the same thing some days because of our similar hearts. But welcome to the broadcast. Make sure you download our app, Ask Dr. Brown Ministries, Ask Dr. Brown Ministries.
Everybody listening, download the app and get instant access to thousands of hours of free resources. Okay, so, Mackay, back to you. Does that answer your question sufficiently or do you have a follow-up question to what I shared with you? Yes, that answers it great.
I have one more question if you don't mind. Okay, so let me just say this then to reinforce for everyone. We believe that the words we speak are very important, but they don't have the power to create the way God creates. And simply speaking, reality is not a bad confession.
Look at what Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 7. He's talking about his own state, fears on the inside, troubles on the outside. He talks about what he was going through, conflicted. It's not a negative confession to say I'm having a hard time or I'm really struggling. It's a negative confession to say nothing's ever going to go right, God never helps me, etc. And conversely, to just say something, well, I'll never get sick, you can say that all you want, it doesn't make it so.
But when we are in harmony with God, speaking truth according to what is written in the Word or is prompted by the Spirit, then that is supernaturally empowered by faith. So let's not get hung up over this and think, oh no, I said I'm thinking I'm going to get a job. Oh, you'll never get that negative confession. Or say I'm going to get a job, it's going to make it happen.
No, it doesn't work like that. And especially when we fall into denial of reality, that's when it's really dangerous. And quote, I'm confessing my healing until they bury me. If I was really in faith and confessing my healing, they wouldn't be burying me.
So, all right, so your other question, go ahead, sir. I really want to know, is self-defense permissible using the New Testament scripture? Because, you know, we see scriptures like turn another cheek, etc.
And if it is, when is it? Because I know we're persecuted for our faith, we're martyred. Are we able to fight back?
I assume not. So if we are legitimately being persecuted for our faith, we can flee, right? If they're persecuted in one city, flee to another, Matthew 10, 23.
So that's one thing. We can take it, right? But to fight back, let's say that, you know, for example, you're a mixed martial artist and you're getting persecuted for your faith, it's like, okay, I've had enough with this. I'm going to take this guy out with a spitting back kick or something like that. No, obviously not. However, the verses about turn the other cheek and don't resist evil have to do with personal retaliation.
I'm not going to get into this in depth now as I've answered it many times, but it's a very fair question. It's talking about, let's say you wrong me a certain way. Well, I'm going to get you back for it. You insulted me, I'm going to insult you even more.
You took advantage of me, I'm going to take advantage of you. And I'm going to hold you, you did something where I can get legal retaliation against you, I'm going to do it, I'm going to hurt you back, rather than say, I'm just going to walk away from it, turn the other cheek, and bless you rather than curse you. When it comes to self-defense, it's an issue of saving life, right? Now, you might still decide, hey, I don't want to hurt somebody in a fight and I'd rather just try to avoid a fight.
That's fine. But if somebody breaks into your home, let's say you're the dad, and somebody breaks into your home, there's been a rapist, a serial killer on the loose, and he breaks into your home and before you can call 911, you realize he's broken through a window and he's coming for your wife and kids. You've got a baseball bat nearby, and you can take that guy out, or if you had to, shoot him, you're saving your family. It is an act of preserving life and saving life, as opposed to a matter of personal retaliation. So, somebody comes up to you and says, man, you're stupid, I think you're ugly, and they slap you. You can, out of self-control as a believer, just say, God bless you, man, looks like you're not having a good day, and walk away from that, right?
As opposed to slug the guy back. However, someone just tries to take your life, you know, some mugger decides he's going to take all your money and kill you in the process, and you have the ability to disarm that person, or knock them out, you're doing a good thing, and hopefully the police can take it from there. So, since we have wisdom and common sense, and since the Bible talks about the value of saving life, preserving life, and since the verses in the New Testament have to do with personal retaliation, or not resisting one's persecution for the faith, then there's no reason why we can't use self-defense.
There's nothing in Scripture that would tell us not to, and many reasons that we should. Hey, thank you for the call and the questions. Let's go over to Jim in Greensboro. Welcome to the Line of Fire.
Thank you very much, Dr. Brown. I'm Jim, and I have a question pertaining to courage. Hey, Jim, I apologize, and truth, if you could just try to see if we can get a better connection with Jim, maybe you could understand the question, but it was cutting in and out for me, so rather than try to decipher it and make it hard for everyone listening, yeah, sorry, so maybe we'll come back to Jim in a moment. You know, there's a lot of crucifying of the flesh that we do as followers of Jesus, right? There are things that our flesh wants to do that we say no to, and then it becomes lifestyle to say no to certain things, right? It becomes lifestyle to live a certain way, where it's not like a daily battle, not that we'll never be tempted, right? We're always vigilant, let him who thinks to stand take heed lest he falls, 1 Corinthians 10, 12, we understand that, but crucifying the flesh, saying no to the flesh, that's the norm for us as believers. We don't live the way the world lives, so the way some of us live before we need the Lord, which is just indulging ourselves, you want to do this, you do that, you want to do that, you do that, doesn't matter if it's harmful, doesn't matter if it's sinful, doesn't matter how it affects others, none of that matters, just do what I want to do, right? Gratifying the desires of the flesh and the mind, as Paul describes the way we lived before we were believers in Ephesians 2. Now as disciples, the followers of Jesus, what's cross 101, gospel 101?
If anyone wants to come after me, let him deny himself, take up the cross, and follow me. So, this is just built into who we are, this is just built into our lives, the way we live, the way we conduct ourselves, and because of that, sometimes we wonder, well, how far does it go? Sometimes we wonder, you know, where is there an outlet or something like that?
Is there ever an outlet for the flesh, etc.? You know, is self-defense an outlet for the flesh? It's one thing if I respond to violence with violence because I'm angry, right? It's one thing when you provoke me, and maybe, you know, my temper, I used to have a terrible temper, I just wasn't a physical fighter, I fought with my tongue, was vicious and ugly with my tongue, but let's just say that you've got a real bad temper, you had a history of being violent, and somebody comes up behind you and shoves you, now you're a follower of Jesus, right? They come up behind you and shove you, and you're, turn, turn, I'm gonna get, no, that's where you're saying no, that's where you have to crucify the flesh, that's where you have to say no to those carnal desires, that's where you have to say no to this desire to pound that person into the ground because they dared shove you.
That's where, when you really see grace at work in your life, you turn, it's like, hey bud, sorry to be in your way, just smile and step out of the way, let the person walk past, they're looking for a fight, they're trying to pick a fight, not with you. That's very different than self-defense, when you don't want to hurt the person, where you're not responding, yeah, your adrenaline may be going, but you're not responding with carnal anger, like how dare you touch me, you shove me, I'm gonna knock you out. It's totally different than the question of, if someone's trying to mug you, Jesus is not saying there, hey, let them mug you, and in fact, if you've got the whole family, have everyone stop and give them all their wallets and credit cards and everything else and make the mugger's day really good, right? If you had the power, if you saw somebody had just stolen an elderly woman, comes out of a bank, and she's just withdrawn money, and somebody comes running down the street, knocks her over, and takes off with the money, if you had the ability to put your leg out and trip that person as they ran by to try to stop them, that's a good thing to do. That's not the sinful flesh, that's not retaliation. Now, if you then jumped on that person and beat them to a pulp until they were unconscious and unrecognizable, well, that's another thing. So, there is a place for self-defense, there is a place for just being practical, right?
That's different than the question of personal retaliation. So, it's good to want to be spiritual, it's good to want to honor the Lord, and it's good to be practical. At the same time, tomorrow, Thirdly Jewish Thursday, we're going to start with a really interesting interview about a massive prayer initiative for Israel, and then we'll take your Jewish-related calls. May the blessing and smile of heaven be upon you. Another program powered by the Truth Network.
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