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The Line of Fire / Dr. Michael Brown
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April 2, 2021 4:30 pm

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The Line of Fire / Dr. Michael Brown

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April 2, 2021 4:30 pm

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You know, Jesus said that the world would know us by our love.

I think these days the word of God is the word of God, the word of God, the word of God. They'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love. Yeah, they'll know we are Christians by our love.

That's the way it's supposed to be. They're supposed to know we are Christians. The world is supposed to know we are Christians by the love. We have one for another. Jesus himself said it in John 13. But this the world will know that you're my disciples if you love one another. But really these days, I think if people were looking at us, people of the world watching us, if they were going to our social media pages and looking at our interaction, they wouldn't see love.

They'd see a lot of hate. Am I exaggerating? Welcome, friends, to the line of fire.

This is Michael Brown. Here's the number to call, 866-34-TRUTH, 866-348-7884. Now, I'm going to open the phone lines broadly to talk about anything you want to talk about today as we have time to get to different calls. We're going to weigh in on previous topics we've talked about, but I want our focus to start here. How are we presenting ourselves before the world? What is actually in our hearts? Who are we? In my book, Evangelicals at the Crossroads, I have a whole chapter that asks the question, have we failed the love test?

And the answer, looking at Scripture, looking at the way God calls us to live, looking at the way we treat each other, especially online, the answer is no, no, no. We have not passed the test. We have failed that test.

However, I worded it. If I asked if we passed, the answer is yes. If I asked, excuse me, have we passed, no.

Have we failed, yes. We savage each other. We attack each other. We just share baseless hearsay and throw out opinions left and right that are negative and nasty. We violate the counsels of the word over and over again in terms of our tongue, our speech, and we justify it now. Well, they're so bad.

The Democrats are so bad, or Trump is so bad, or this group is so bad. We justify the hatred. We justify the anger. We justify the mean-spiritedness. We justify the reckless use of our tongues.

I mean, Ephesians 4 tells us that we shouldn't let any unwholesome word come out of our mouths, but only that which is edifying for the benefit of the hearers. And there is so much self-righteousness in us, so much anger, hostility, so little grace, so little humility, so little kindness, so little forbearance, that if the world was watching us, and it is, if people were going to our social media pages, they'd be wondering what kind of people are they. At the least, at the least, the world would look at our social media pages, look at our interaction, because that's the public interaction, right? They can't live in our homes and see how we interact.

They're not there having meals with us and our friends, but they can see how we interact more broadly. At the very least, the world looking at us would conclude we are no different than anybody else. We are just as divided. We are just as politicized. We are just as mean-spirited. We are just as intolerant. We are just as judgmental. We are just as free to air opinions about others without fact and substantiation. We are just as likely to gossip. Maybe we don't use profanity as much as the world does. Maybe you find less of that on our pages. Some of our pages, we have filters that block that stuff before it's up, so you wouldn't see it even if people were posting it.

But otherwise, my feeling is, we resemble the world. I asked this question on Twitter. A little bit before the show, I posted this on Twitter. If you frequently use social media, this is my latest Twitter poll. If you frequently use social media, how would you characterize the interaction of committed Christians on these platforms? What would you think of us when reading through our posts? What kind of people are we?

And I gave four options, which is the limit on Twitter. Loving and kind, mean-spirited and nasty, not sure, something else explained, so we got a number of interesting comments there. Only 272 votes so far, just posted a little while ago.

But here are the results. Loving and kind, 27.6%. Mean-spirited and nasty, 33.1%. More people said, and these are probably many Christians with this analysis, too, that we'd be likely to be viewed as mean-spirited and nasty than loving and kind.

They're not sure, 20.2%, and something else, 19.1%. But thus far, in the early voting, it's just to give a feel of what people think, the number one characteristic, even more than loving and kind, is mean-spirited and nasty. This ought not to be, my friends. Yeah, but Dr. Brown, I'm not going to be weak. I'm not going to let someone come in my house and rob my family. We're not talking about self-defense.

We're not talking about self-defense. Well, I'm not going to sit back and not vote. Go ahead and vote. I encourage you to vote. Well, I'm not going to lay over and die and just let someone else take over our society.

No, by all means, use the godly weapons God's given us. Be a person of prayer. Be a person who stands for righteousness. Be a person who reaches out. Be a person who speaks up and stands up.

In love, in wisdom, but be that person. I'm not talking about capitulation to culture, but these days, you talk about being loving. Well, that's weak. I'm not going to be weak.

No, no. It takes a lot of strength, inner strength to love. It takes a lot of inner strength to love those who hate you. I was watching a very, very powerful documentary, Tortured for Christ. I shouldn't say documentary. It is a movie based on historical fact with Richard and Sabina Wurmbrandt and lays out some of the torture, some of the horror that they experienced and others experienced in prison. And it's very intense, having read a lot of Richard Wurmbrandt's works years ago and then had the extraordinary pleasure of spending time with him and Sabina at length on a couple of occasions. What extraordinary human beings, what extraordinary saintly human beings. I was struck watching the movie a few weeks back.

Here they are in an incredibly oppressive situation with murderous soldiers taking over their country and crackdown, communist crackdown and so on. And they practice love towards their enemies. There's an extraordinary scene towards the end of the movie. And every time Wurmbrandt would pray in his cell, he'd get beaten, preach, he'd get beaten. And here he is, his hair matted with blood, the actor, the Romanian actor that's playing him, his hair matted with blood, beaten and bruised, and he gets on his knees quite intentionally to pray, knowing he's going to be seen by the guard. And the guard is an angry, atheistic monster. I'm not saying atheist is a monster.

I'm saying he is an atheist and he is a monster, cruel. And he sees Wurmbrandt praying, swings the door open, furious with him. He says, what are you praying for? Your wife is gone. Your child is gone. You're going to rot here in this cell. You've got nothing less to pray for. What are you praying for? And Wurmbrandt says to him, I'm praying for you.

And the guy's stunned. That's what's going to change the world, friends. That is what is going to change the world. Here, let me tell you what Jesus said. He's our Lord. He's the one who sets the standards. He's the one who tells us how to live.

If you are a follower of Jesus, if you consider yourself a true Christian, whatever other term you use as a biblical follower of Jesus, if that's who you are, he's your Lord. He's your master. He gives you the marching orders.

These are non-negotiable. This is our calling. Matthew Chapter five.

Let me read this to you. Matthew Chapter five, beginning in verse forty three. Jesus says this. You've heard that it was said you shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you so that you may be children of your father in heaven. He causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

For if you love those who love you, what reward you have? Even the tax collectors do the same, don't they? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than anyone else?

Even the pagans do that, don't they? Therefore be perfect. So the same wholehearted loving attitude that your father has, therefore be perfect.

Just as your father in heaven is perfect. And look again, I tell you, Jesus is telling you and me, love your enemies. Love, love, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Here's what what Jesus says in Luke six. He tells us to forgive, not to condemn. There also he calls us to love our enemies. Friends, this is the Jesus way to overcome the world. This is the Jesus way to change people around us, not by intimidation, not by force, not by anger. You say, well, I love people enough to tell the truth.

Yeah. But is it coming from a heart of love? Just because you're candid doesn't mean you're loving. Just because you tell it like it is doesn't mean you're loving. When you're full of love, you go to God in prayer. When you're full of love, you spend time crying out for the people that are hurting, that are going in the wrong direction, that are deceived.

That's what love does. You say, well, Jesus rebuked the Pharisees and I'm going to do the same he did. Well, first, if he was physically here in our midst today, he'd probably be rebuking a lot of us because the Pharisees were highly respected religious people in this society. So he'd probably be rebuking us as the religious people in the society, at least many of us. The other thing is, he was the perfect, sinless son of God and was able to rebuke without any hypocrisy. A lot of us, if we start rebuking that one, that one, that one, we're accusing ourselves in the process. But more than that, he died for those people.

He died for the people he was rebuking. How much time do we spend in prayer for those that we think are heading on the wrong path? Those politically that we differ with?

Those in the body that we think are dangerous or wrong or whatever? Or those who are really hurting us as enemies? How much time do we spend praying for them? Jesus died for them.

He died for his enemies. At the least, a call to love ours. Alright, we'll be right back. Get your calls as well.

866-342. Here again is Dr. Michael Brown. Are we known for our love or for our hate? I have to admit, I've been grieved for many years, for many years now.

Not just in the political season with Trump getting so much of our attention and the nation divided politically even more than it was in the past. But for years, I've been grieved about our conduct on social media. Now, I'm not presenting myself as some perfect saint here or some self-righteous, look at me, I have no faults. Perhaps because of the amount of talking and writing I've done over the years and the amount of things I've said that I regret and the bad attitudes that I had in years past. Whatever reason, God's dealt with me a lot about my tongue. Probably because I've sinned more with my tongue than most other people and made more mistakes with my tongue than other people. So God's disciplined me and corrected me over the years and given me a filter so that I am very careful when I speak.

I am very careful when I post things. So there are plenty of areas where you could sit and teach me because you are stronger in this area than I am or wiser in this area than I am or more experienced in this area than I am or more Christ-like in this area than I am. Plenty, plenty of areas where many of you, if I got to know you, I'd learn from you and you'd be a great example to me in many areas of your life. And perhaps when it comes to addressing controversial issues, God's just given me a certain grace under fire. Perhaps I can be an example to others in this regard, how we speak, how we address controversies, how we treat one another, perhaps. And it's in that light that I've just been so grieved over the way we treat each other.

I remember writing an article years back when Rick and Kay Warren's son committed suicide and the attacks coming against Rick Warren for his son committing suicide. You think, what? What kind of world is it? And these are Christians savaging each other, attacking each other.

You think of everything the word says about the tongue and Jacob James, the third chapter, how the tongue says the whole world on fire. You think, what are we doing? And now we become so politicized. I talked about it yesterday.

I have an article that's out today. It's time to take our focus off Trump. Whether you're a Trump lover, a Trump hater, we've gotten so politicized.

And then we've been taught to hate. I'll call for prayer, just like I called for prayer for Donald Trump. I called for prayer for Joe Biden and people are attacking.

How dare you? You're a baby killer. But we're praying for the man. We're praying for the man to come to know the Lord and have a heart change in terms of these issues. I thank God that people prayed for me when I was a rebel and deep in sin as a teenager. Even it's called for prayer for people. They don't they they don't want to respond to that. They get angry over that, let alone you say, love your enemies. That's weak. No, that's strong.

That takes supernatural grace and strength. So here, here's some grids for us by which we can examine our words. I'm going to go to the phones.

866-348-7884. Let's start in Galatians Chapter five. And I'm probably going to post this tomorrow, an article that we're known by our hate more than our love. Galatians five. Paul, after discussing and listing the deeds of the flesh, which include hostility and strife and jealousy and rage and selfish ambition and dissension and factions. He then talks about the fruit of the rock, the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. This is what should describe us. This is the fruit of life in the spirit.

Shall I read it again? Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. How about this? As Paul describes love in this classic chapter, 1 Corinthians Chapter 13, look at what he says there. Does this characterize the way we communicate with each other? Does this describe us if people were looking for people like that? Would they say, oh, those Christians, I go to their Facebook pages or their Instagram accounts or their Twitter.

Yeah, that's that's where I go. That's who they are. Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not envy, does not brag. It's not puffed up. It does not behave inappropriately. It does not seek its own way.

It is not provoked. It keeps no account of wrong. It does not rejoice over injustice, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things. It believes all things. It hopes all things. It endures all things. Love never fails. Wow.

Chew on that. That's something I prayed over daily for years, especially as a new believer, pray those those qualities of love of my own life, because I was so lacking in it, especially with a fierce, crazy temper. This is this is who we are to be.

And this is how you overcome anything, even the greatest societal madness imaginable. Paul writes in Romans 12 that they were to bless those who curse us and overcome evil with good. Couple more verses then to the phones. First Peter, look what's written in First Peter, the first chapter, verse 22. Now that you have purified your souls in obedience to the truth, leading to sincere brotherly love, love one another fervently from a pure heart. This this is our calling. A purification of our souls leads to sincere brotherly love.

Wow. So love one another fervently from a pure heart. I I think of some of my trips over to India with dear friends that I have there and just leaving at the airport and the hugs and the tears. Some missionary friends I work with in Italy for years, and just when you when you leave the team living sacrificially together in these tents and trailers and just the profound love you have and the time you spend in the trenches with men and women of God, fellow laborers and the incredible love you have and the people that prayed you through tragedy and hardship. And that's what's going to change the world, not our political views, whatever they are, not us bashing people over the head with sarcastic mocking means love is going to change people. Last verse, then to the phones.

First John four versus 14 and 15. We know that we have to get this right. We know that we have passed out of death into life because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer. You know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. Let's go to the phones.

We start in Jackson, Mississippi. Jonathan, welcome to the line of fire. Shalom, Dr. Brown Shalom. I feel just like the Jews must have felt on the day of Pentecost when Peter preached to them about that they had crucified Jesus. My heart is fricked like theirs was that I'm guilty as charged of what you're talking about. I've made a lot of posts that I'm sure my family, the ones that aren't saved, it had a negative effect on them because of how passionate I feel about my politics and the direction I feel our country is going so far away from my pilgrim's father's vision for this country to evangelize the world and to be for the glory of Jesus Christ.

So Jonathan, let me ask you this, and I appreciate your your candor and your humility. Can you trace how this happened? In other words, can you say I used to be this kind of person and I became this kind of person, at least on social media? And here's how I got there. Can you trace it in your own thinking? To a certain degree, it's by reacting in the flesh to what the left does and the left is. Like, for instance, you know, I think I read where Katie Couric is quoted as saying that us Trump supporters need to be deprogrammed. You know, that's how I feel about the left.

Yeah, yeah. No, I mean, Jonathan, that's a great observation because it can be maddening. I talked about it yesterday that in terms of the division in our country and the crazed emotions on all sides or the the intense emotions, I should say, on all sides, that that Trump stirred up a whole lot and the left wing media.

It stirred up a whole lot. In other words, the hostility going both ways. But that's the thing. We're not of either the Republican kingdom or the Democrat kingdom. We're of God's kingdom.

And that's the thing where. So it's totally understandable to feel that way. But but we are supernatural people.

We are we are called to live and act differently. And yes, so to recognize it and then to humble yourself and then to say, Lord, help me to really reflect you. And for me, look, I'm I'm I'm quick to respond, man. I love to do this. You say this.

I'm back in your face. And it's often the flesh. That's why it's sometimes a good practice. Jonathan is if you're really upset about something, write out exactly how you want to respond and then put it aside. Go spend time with the Lord, come back and look at it, because often it's like, yes, that's not what I want to say. Or at that moment, at that moment, it felt right. It felt justifiable, you know, but the moment you step away from it, you think, what in the world is that? You know, when I was a teenager in high school, brand new believer, and I'm sharing the gospel with somebody and some some kid comes in that I knew from school, you know, former drug user with me goes, oh, yeah, I saw the light. I saw the light. Brown saw the lights mocking me. And I and I said, because I had to have a quick response. Oh, yeah, I saw the light of you burning in hell. I thought, what a jerk. What a complete jerk I was. I had to have the right comeback.

But have that word just be so sharp, because that's what we used to do. We'd rank each other out in school. You say this about me. I say that about you. Now I'm supposed to be following Jesus.

And I do that in the most crass, loveless way imaginable. God help us to step higher. We'll be right back. It's the line of fire with your host, Dr. Michael Brown. Get into the line of fire now by calling 866-34-TRUTH.

Here again is Dr. Michael Brown. We will work with each other. We will work side by side. We will work with each other. We will work side by side.

And we'll guard each man's dignity and see each man's pride. And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love. Yeah, they'll know we are Christians by our love.

That's the way it's supposed to be. Again, Jesus said that they, the world, they will know that we are His disciples if we have love one for another. Which means that the world would have an understanding that the followers of Jesus are different, that the world would have the concept that the followers of Jesus are marked by love. And therefore, when you see this community that has this incredible love for each other, you think, oh, they must be His followers. Isn't that profound?

866-34-8-7-8-8-4. Michael Brown, welcome to the line of fire. Many of you listening around the country, watching around the country are in the midst of real severe weather. Some in places where you virtually never get cold on this level, snow on this level. And some will be listening days later because your power is out. May God's grace be there in the midst of it. May you have wisdom. May the local authorities have wisdom in handling things. May there be safety for those on the road. And just a quick reminder, not so quick to make judgments about weather patterns. Well, there's supposed to be judgment.

Well, Texas, what was Texas being judged for specifically now? Just try carefully with that. 866-34-TRUTH. Let's go to Ben in Montgomery County, Maryland. Welcome to the line of fire. Good afternoon, Dr. Brown.

Good afternoon. Yes, I was basically planning to answer the question on your YouTube channel for this video. Are we known by our love or by our hate? Yeah. I wouldn't necessarily claim that Christians in the traditional sense, I would say by their hate.

And I know that seems very off, but I'm pretty sure it could seem reasonable. So why do you feel that way? Well, number one, I genuinely believe that this term anger is essentially a synonym for hate. And I believe this anger that majority of Christians have is a sign of that inaction.

Yeah. So let's say, for example, the world is going to brand us haters, no matter what. For example, if I say it's best if a kid has a mom and a dad, I'm considered a hater. If I say it's not fair for a 15-year-old girl to compete on the sports team with a 15-year-old boy who identifies as a female, that's considered hate. The world may brand us hateful no matter what.

But the question is, what are we demonstrating? And sometimes we are known better for our angry, negative attitudes than for love. And I do know that if people show up at local churches struggling in different areas or even openly defiant, they're going to meet with a lot of love. But I'm with you, man, that love is not translating out the way it needs to.

The world sees a lot of anger with us, especially now that we've gotten so politicized, sees a tremendous amount of anger. Hey, Ben, thanks for weighing in candidly. I appreciate it. All right. Some of you are going to get mad at me. But please hear me. So I'm prefacing it. Prepare yourselves for what I'm going to say, because some of you are going to get very upset with me for saying it. But to whatever extent you know me, if you've been longtime listeners of the broadcast, give me your best year. All right.

So just take a second. Just breathe deep, because some of you are going to get very upset with what I say. When I look at the legacy of Donald Trump, I will see a lot of positive things that he did, which is why I voted for him. Positive stands that he took, appointees to our courts, federal and Supreme Court, ultimately. Standing with Israel in many important ways, pushing back against radical Islamic extremism, standing up to communist China with its very wrong worldwide agenda. Good decisions made on behalf of many Americans, prison reform, lots of good things that he did that I really appreciate and for which I voted for again.

That's why I voted for him in 2016 and 2020. I also see a tremendously negative effect on the church. We have really become haters. We have really become like Donald Trump in many ways, nasty, mean-spirited, attacking our enemies. In fact, many of us as Christians would cheer him on as he would deride this one and call this one a dog and lock this one up and this one's an enemy of the state and dangerous stuff so that people can't even go to their homes for fear of being attacked and they're just trying to do their jobs conscientiously and honestly. We may have brought out evangelicals around Donald Trump, especially the men of God that were close to him and spoken to his life. I believe that helped bring out some of the best qualities in Donald Trump and best policies decisions for which I am grateful.

At the same time, I think he brought out the worst in us when us bring out the worst in him. And it's on us. It's on us. We're the responsible ones. We're the children of God. We're the ones supposed to be children of the light. We're the ones who have the Holy Spirit. We're the ones who should be different.

Should be different. So that's the sad reality. And now we justify it. And when I speak like this, I'm considered weak. I'm branded a traitor, a communist, a flaming liberal, a baby killer.

Oh yeah, this is all the crazy stuff I get called by professing Christians. There was a Trump attorney a few months back, and he makes the comment about a Republican leader who was oversight for Internet security and things like that and made the made the comment. Chris Krebs made the comment that this was the best conducted election we've had, the most fairly contested, conducted, overseen, etc. He made that public statement on an official government website verifying that the election was fairly contested, not stolen, not fraudulent. He got fired and Trump attorney, a New York guy, says that guy should be drawn and quartered.

He should be brought out shot. You know, just OK. New York rhetoric, New York rhetoric. But the type of stuff that is so infested us, I don't care that Hollywood celebrities talk like that. I don't care that some left wing pundit talks like that. That's immaterial to me or that our right wing guys talk like that from their side. That's immaterial to me.

We're not we're not called to emulate. I don't know. Take the most extreme. Keith Olbermann or Bill Maher on the left. Extremes there. Or, you know, people we might respect on the right. Mark Levin or Rush Limbaugh.

May God be merciful to rush and bring a miraculous healing. When I call to emulate them either, we're called to emulate Jesus. So what what happens is this this attitude comes in where we respond the way the world responds and it becomes justified. So I drew attention to the comments of this attorney and I said, can we all denounce those comments? Absolutely. OK, fine. It's rhetoric. Can we denounce them? I had Christians furious with it. No, he's committed treason. He should die.

Shooting is not bad enough. What in the world would it come from? It was Nancy's birthday. I happened to remember the date because of that.

November 30th of last year is Nancy's birthday. And it was kind of it was in the evening. And I said to Nancy, I said, I got to get online right now. I got to talk about this.

I got my eyes red with with tears. And so what has become of us? Have we lost our minds? Look at the anger in it. And there was no there was not even a factual accusation. In fact, there was no accusation of any kind against Krebs in terms of any type of legal accusation or any credible accusation that the man was not to be trusted, let alone an actual accusation that was now being filed or being being being followed.

And Christian Christians, he should die. What happened to us? Many years ago, Nancy and I were in Israel. And Israel is a tough place to live in many ways.

Amazing place to go on a tour with us, tour of a lifetime. But it's it's it's tough place. And the Israelis and native born Israeli is called the Sabra, which is a type of cactus which is hard on the outside, but soft on the inside. So the same Israelis who were screaming at each other in the midst of a traffic jam will die for each other. It's just that's the society.

But it's kind of doggy dog in certain ways. You've got to be tough. You've got to push.

You've got to otherwise you get rolled over. So we're in in in the car with a friend of ours for America. Nancy and I friend of ours for America. Godly Christian woman. I mean, a real sweetheart of a gal, just a gentle, gracious Christian woman. And we're driving with her and somebody I forget what happened. Somebody cuts her off. She rolls down the window, starts yelling and screaming at the guy.

I mean, angry. And Nancy said, what happened to you? And she just put her head in her hands and began to sob.

She became like the rest of the society. And it's one thing to say, OK, I realize I have to hold my ground. I have to be strong. And that's just Israeli society. It's another thing when when you become as angry and mean as the society around you. That's what's happened to us, friends, especially in the political scene on all sides, whether you're for Trump against Trump, caught up in the anger. We've lost our bearings.

We've lost our bearings. Think about it. Rather than getting mad at me. Think about it.

All right. If you think I'm wrong, look at them. Pray for Mike Brown. He's so wrong. He is so deluded here.

He is so off base here. Pray for me. Don't get angry with me. But maybe what I'm saying is right and true. All right.

Phone lines are jammed. OK, let's see. All right. Tell you what, I've just got 45 seconds before the next break. So as soon as we come back, I'm going immediately to the phone.

So get your thoughts in order, because I'm going to be getting to as many of you as I can as soon as we come back. If we're a blessing to you, if we're help to you, if you find strength in what we're doing, consider standing with us. If you're watching on Facebook, there's a donate button. YouTube.

There's a dollar sign beneath the chat box. Click on those or go to our Web site. Ask Dr. Brown dot org. Click donate. And while you're at Ask Dr. Brown dot org, I have a long piece. Nancy gave me some great thoughts.

I spent time with the Lord and then wrote a lot on Sunday, over 4000 words. But how we respond to the Robbie Zacharias scandal, people have been writing left and right, really helped by the article. So it's on our Web site. Ask Dr. Brown dot org. Read it.

Share it with a friend. Right. We'll be right back. It's the line of fire with your host, activist, author, international speaker and theologian, Dr. Michael Brown.

Your voice of moral, cultural and spiritual revolution. Get into the line of fire now by calling 866-34-TRUTH. Here again is Dr. Michael Brown. Let's go straight to the phones.

We start with Jordan in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Welcome to the line of fire. Hey, Dr. Brown, how's it going? Doing well. Thank you.

Hey, I'm listening. And, you know, I agree with everything that you're saying, and I'm definitely guilty in my own walk. And it had me reminded of the Church of Ephesus in Revelation 2, where they had been, you know, I want to get your thoughts of the parallel. They've been fighting the heresy of the Nicolations, and, you know, they were so doctrinally grounded and solid that they had forgotten their first love.

Jesus spoke to them and warned them. You know, their love of Christ, their love of their brothers, their sisters in Christ. And I feel even the Church today, and I see myself, you know, I'm so quick when there's even, within the Church, when there's a doctrinal difference of what I believe, you know, to point out error.

And I constantly am, you know, having to repent for this. And I think this is so important in our witness to people outside the Church. You know, because I know Paul writes that, you know, we're God's fellow workers. You know, one plants, one waters, and God gets the harvest. You know, so a slow drip of love and prayer for people in our character is so much more effective than, you know, screaming at another person and telling them that they're wrong.

And then, you know, it just doesn't work, you know, and I just wanted to get your thoughts on that. Yeah, in fact, I'm looking for a quote as you're speaking about that very subject about the Church in Ephesus in Revelation 2 because it's quite striking. It's quite striking because Jesus says that you've persevered, you haven't denied my name, you've tested those who claim to be apostles and were not.

It's an excellent Church, right? I mean, they're doing things right, they've suffered, and yet, he says, I have this against you, you've left your first love. And let me read what Vance Havner said, Baptist evangelist Vance Havner. This is in my Revival Answer book. One may be as straight as a gun barrel theologically and as empty as a gun barrel spiritually. In fact, it may be that in their very opposition to evil men and false teachers, these Ephesian saints had left their first love, which is exactly what you're saying. And Havner says this, so often it turns out that fundamental and orthodox Christians become so severe in condemning false doctrine, gnashing their teeth at every sniff of heresy, that they end up without love.

Havner said, one may do a right thing in a wrong way. The same Paul who wrote, though we are an angel from heaven preaching any other gospel than to be accursed, also wrote the love chapter to the Corinthians. Unless we can get that combination, we shall be theological hawshocks and doctrinal detectives, religious bloodhounds looking for heretics, but with hot heads and cold hearts. Moreover, Ephesus in Revelation 2 proves that religious activity without love calls for repentance. I have wondered what would be left nowadays if we eliminated from our church work all that is not the spontaneous expression of our heart's love for Christ.

I mean, that nails it, doesn't it, sir? Yeah, no, absolutely, and it's like you said, I always try to witness the work, and I find myself, that's so powerful because I'm very quick, and God forgive me, you know, I'm very quick to lack that love. You know, instead of looking somebody who disagrees with me, trying to, you know, I guess fix them or show them the correct way, these people were lost, just like you mentioned that you were, and I was at one point, an enemy of God, you know, children of wrath. And Jordan, what I'd encourage you to do, yeah, pray daily, you know, keep spending time with the Lord because it's being with him where these things come. We get that slow drip as well, I love the way you put that, but we get that slow drip too, being in his presence, worshipping him, praying, meditating on his word, taking it in, and then praying daily like I did for years for those qualities of love, for the fruit of the Spirit, praying over myself, Lord, give me, help me to walk in that.

And then as you have opportunity, you live it out, when you fall short, you're quick to repent. I remember once witnessing to an Orthodox Jewish man that met at the train station on Long Island, and he sat next to me on the train, and he was so upset with me for what I believed, and it actually spat in my face at one point, and took the Hebrew Bible, I hadn't hurled it in the train car. And when he spat in my face, something supernatural happened, and I said, I can tell how much you love me, because I realized, I realized, now he did threaten to choke me if he ever saw me witness to another Jew, but I realized what got him so upset was that I was a Jew, and he thought I was turning my back on our God and our people, and that I was willfully doing what our ancestors refused to do at the point of death, and that as much as he was angry and hateful, it was really love that motivated him, and that's what I felt in the midst of his anger, God's love for him. So Jordan, when you open your heart to the Lord in that way, that releases that grace, so may you be a shining example, and one other thing, I was on Facebook the other day, and our Ask Dr. Brown page reaches several million people a week by God's grace, literally, and we have, I don't know, 590,000 followers there, something like that, so it's a good-sized page, so obviously I don't read most of the comments, it's just a constant flood of things, but I happened to notice one day I posted some scripture or some edifying comment, and it got very little response, whereas if I posted something political, it would get massive response, and especially if it was pro-Trump, it would get massive response, and this person posted, said, I'm an atheist, but I follow your page out of interest, and you know, Dr. Brown, you try to be gracious, but I don't see a lot of that on this page. I thought, here's an atheist watching us!

What's that atheist seeing? Hey, thank you for the call. I appreciate it.

Let's go to Carl in Greensboro, North Carolina. Thanks for calling the line of fire. How are you, Dr. Brown?

Doing well, thank you. Yes, sir. What I've noticed, even in myself, and I watch Christian apologists, you know, and I'll see them debate, because of one of those attitudes, the one that may be saying what I agree with has a terrible attitude, and I'm trying to feel more for the guy who's going against what I believe in, because of his attitude. And how do you think the other people are feeling? The people who are neutral, or maybe on the other person's side, they're having more sympathy for the person who's wrong, because the person who's wrong is getting beat up and savaged by the Christian who's so right. You're exactly right, sir. And people are going to walk away with that more than the intellectual argument. In my own life, since the COVID virus, like in our church, we're social distancing, and staying at some of these important stuff, and when people don't obey that, I'm staring and looking at them and judging them instead of listening to the sermon, you know? I'm just waiting to be right about something. Yeah, Carl, you just realize it.

We all do it. A lot of times we don't even realize it. May God show us that.

That's the whole thing. That's why I'm not just going to point a finger at all the evil people out there, because we all have areas in our lives, man, where we got to get low. I know how much God forgives me and how patient He is with me. I want to at least demonstrate some of that patience towards others. How merciful do you want others to be towards you? That's the mercy you should show to them. How merciful has God been to you?

That's the mercy to show to them. Hey, Carl, thanks for being so honest, man. All right, let's go to Francisco in Decatur, Texas. Francisco is holding the whole show and we just didn't get to him.

Do I have time? Yeah. All right, let's real quick go to Samuel in England. Thanks for calling the line of fire. Hello.

Hello, Dr. Brown. Thank you for taking my call. You're welcome. Yeah, just in James, it says very quickly before I get to my question, for where envy and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. May God help us all to echo that in our own lives.

Yes. My question quickly is about baptism. And as an infant, I was baptized and I'm really sort of been struggling with believers baptism and I want to honor the Lord. And I know that you believe in believers baptism.

So I just want to hear your best arguments for it. Yes, that baptism is always in conjunction with us responding to something. There is no command for a parent to baptize children. There is a command for us to be baptized in response to a message. Not only so, the only time where it mentions a family being baptized is when the whole family heard the word of God.

So the jailer and his children, they could have all been older children, but it's in Acts 16. Paul preaches to the jailer and his household and the jailer and his household are saved. But otherwise, the only times baptism is mentioned specifically in Scripture in terms of what do I do with it? What do I do with baptism?

How do I respond? Let's repent and be baptized or believe and be baptized. Or now that you believe, be baptized. So just read through Acts, read through Acts and ask yourself, is baptism always a response? Is baptism always a response to the message? Repent and be baptized. Believe and be baptized. Now that you believed, be baptized.

Now that you've been filled with the Spirit and obviously believe, be baptized. Is that always the pattern in Acts? Yes. It's certainly what immersion was in the Gospels, ritual immersion for cleansing as an act of repentance. Yes. Then say, OK, now let's go through the letters. Does the Bible ever command believers to baptize children?

No. So you just realize that's something that came in later. By all means, sir, go and be baptized as an adult. And thank you for reading the end of James.

Jacob chapter three to start in verse 13, go to verse 18. Hearing it with a British accent made it all the more powerful. We'll be back with you tomorrow, friends. Chew on what I'm saying, all right? I only mean to help, not to hurt.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-09 07:29:16 / 2023-12-09 07:48:23 / 19

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