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Fascinating Insights from the New Gallup Poll about Faith in America

The Line of Fire / Dr. Michael Brown
The Truth Network Radio
June 20, 2022 5:10 pm

Fascinating Insights from the New Gallup Poll about Faith in America

The Line of Fire / Dr. Michael Brown

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The Line of Fire
Dr. Michael Brown

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Very interesting data from a new Gallup poll about declining faith in God in America. 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. Welcome, welcome to The Line of Fire.

Michael Brown, delighted to be here with you. Here is the number to call 866-34-TRUTH, 866-34-87-884. We are going to have a fascinating educational informative show with a lot of practical takeaway as well. But I'm also going to open up the phone lines.

Any question you want to ask me, anything you want to talk about on any subject that relates in any way to The Line of Fire, by all means, give us a call. Also, also, what's your take on the January 6th hearings? Do you think that they are fair and impartial or that they are clearly biased?

I'm just curious for your take. I'm not going to focus on that. I have not been following the hearings in depth. Just curious to know, and if you're Democrat, Republican, if you vote either of those ways, what your take is on the January 6th hearings, whether they are fair, unbiased, people trying to get to the truth, or whether it's a predetermined witch hunt, curious to know your thoughts.

866-34-TRUTH. Okay, some big news a few days ago. Gallup released its latest poll with this headline, belief in God in US dips to 81% a new low.

Now, this is a striking headline for a number of reasons. One, that belief in God in America has slipped to a new low since they've been doing this polling, going all the way back to 1945. And while you can see, oh, let's just see, 1947 was at 94%, oh, it was 96%, and then staying steady 98%, 98%, 98%, right up until, going down little by little by little, to around 2010-11. And then suddenly just starts dropping. 2010-11 suddenly starts dropping. What, pray tell, happened? What caused this drop?

Now down to 81%. That is very interesting, and it's not surprising given the level of unbelief rising in the country and anti-God, anti-religion sentiment. At the same time, as I'll show you in a little while, compared to most of the rest of the world, America remains a very religious country, or very spiritually-minded country in the midst of, or God-believing country in the midst of all of our faults and carnality and sin. All right, G. K. Chesterton once said this, oh, let me get the exact quote, here we go. G. K. Chesterton once said this, when people stop believing in God, they don't believe in nothing, they believe in anything.

Let me say that again. When people stop believing in God, they don't believe in nothing, they believe in anything. So we've tracked this for some years now, that as American young people say they believe in God less, they're using horoscopes more.

They're going some other way of some kind of superstitious belief or practice. This is not surprising. So we're going to dig into that. You're going to find this really, really interesting. And then the way it breaks down with those who went to college versus not, those who are Democrats versus Republicans, very, very interesting. Now, let's get into some of the data. Okay. The vast majority of U.S. adults believe in God, but the 81 percent who do so is down six percentage points from 2017, and is the lowest in Gallup's trend between 1944 and 2011. More than 90 percent of Americans believed in God.

All right. So they've been asking regularly, 1944 and 1947, twice each in the 50s and 60s. So they've been doing these consistently.

And then, like I said, things just suddenly start to drop about 10, 11, 12 years ago. So look at this. Which group?

Now think for a minute. Which group in America? Young people, old people, liberal, conservative. Which group seems to believe in God the least?

Are you ready? Young liberal Americans least likely to believe in God. Hmm. What do you think is causing that? Young liberal Americans. Belief in God has fallen the most in recent years among young adults and people on the left of the political spectrum, liberals and democrats. These groups show drops of 10 or more percentage points compared to 2022 figures to an average of the 2013 to 2017 polls. The groups with the largest declines are also the groups that are currently least likely to believe in God, including liberals, 62 percent, young adults, 68 percent, and democrats, 72 percent. Belief in God is highest among political conservatives, 94 percent, and republicans, 92 percent, reflecting that religiosity is a major determinant of political divisions in the U.S. Now, speaking broadly, it's not to glorify the republicans or demonize the democrats. These are both political systems that are part of a fallen world, and our trust is not the political system, although we work within it as best as we can.

But is anyone surprised that with Democrats so pro-abortion, with Democrats saying, we are the party of the religious nuns, of those who have, N-O-N-E-S, those who have dropped out of religion, we are the party for them, with being so strong on radical LGBTQ plus extremism and other things like that, is anyone surprised that Democrats believing in God, the number is way, way down, right, in the 60s, compared to republicans in the 90s. Now, I understand there are blind spots in each party, and there are downright sinful things in each party, there's corruption among human beings, I understand all that. But, to me, when you're reading the Bible, you're going to see the importance of life beginning in the womb, and you're going to see the importance of marriage and family.

So many of the things that we stand for. I'm registered independent by conscience before God, so I don't identify with the party. But when it comes to vote, the issue is most important, just talking for me, not condemning you, the issue is most important for me, for example, pro-life, family, fundamental things like that, and then hopefully someone good with the economy, good with national security, and on and on, strong with Israel, the Middle East, etc. But I just feel, for my vote, that's what I'm focused on the most, and that's not because of a political view, but a biblical view.

You follow me? In other words, I am not an economic conservative or political conservative, I'm a biblically-based conservative, so that drives my moral values, therefore I vote a certain way because one party better represents those values. For me, again, recognizing that the parties are just part of a fallen world as well, and we put our trust in God and what he does through his people, as opposed to looking to a president or a party to transform the nation. All right, let's break this down some more. Men and women, pretty close. Men, on average, 83%, 2013 to 2017, now down to 80% in 2022. Women have a steeper drop, from 90% to 83. Non-Hispanic white people, from 85 to 79%, people of color, from 92 to 88%.

So that people of color have a higher rate of belief in God, on average, than non-Hispanic whites, 88% to 79%. And then, ages 18 to 29, look at this, it dropped from 78%, that average from 2013 to 2017 until now, from 78% to 68. And the older you get, the smaller the drop. 65 plus years old, it dropped from 90 to 87%.

Now here's something else that's really interesting. If you're a college graduate, you were 83% believing in God a few years back, now 78%. Non-college graduate, 89% to 84%. Now it's pretty marginal, the difference is here, pretty marginal between college grads and non-college grads. However, it's easy to think, oh, when you go to college, you get smarter, and the smart people don't believe in God. I mean, that would be kind of an arrogant and very wrong deduction. What it is, is that colleges are disproportionately liberal, progressive, anti-God. I document that in depth in The Silencing of the Lambs. If you haven't read it, just the chapter on what's happening on the campuses is worth the price of the book.

You'd be like, what? It's not a college campuses? So you go there, you get exposed, of course it's going to dampen faith in God. Married versus non-married, married remains higher, 88% now believing in God versus 77%. Again, very, very interesting data to look at, the ideological identification, breaking things down based on what part of the country you're in.

But what's also interesting is the rise of these other beliefs, the rise of these other interests, the rise of these superstitions and things like that. So let me go over to my book, Saving a Sick America. I want to read a few paragraphs from Saving a Sick America, and then I've got some really interesting clips I want to play for you.

It may be something you never heard of in your entire life. All right. But first, Saving a Sick America. Let me share a few paragraphs with you. So Rodney Stark in his book, The Triumph of Faith, pointed out that in European countries where church attendance is especially low, Christian faith has not been replaced by secularism. It has been replaced by superstition.

This is all too common, friends. For example, he writes in Sweden, which is almost always presented as exhibit A in the case for the triumph of secularization, more than 20% of Swedes say they believe in reincarnation, half believe in mental telepathy, and nearly one in five believes in the power of Lucky Charms. We don't believe in God so much, but we believe in Lucky Charms.

A third believe in New Age medicine such as healing crystals. 20% would consider purchasing their personal horoscope. 10% would consult a medium, and nearly two out of five believe in ghosts.

I'm not making this up, friends. This is well-researched data. In Russia, despite decades of the systematic teaching of atheism, only 6.6% of the population identifies as atheist. Your church attendance remains relatively low.

What about the rest of the story? Stark writes, two-thirds of Russians believe in supernatural forces. So do many of those employed in the Soviet regime as instructors in atheism or in the Communist Party's inner circle. It was common for Soviet leaders to consult psychics and fortune-tellers, and most of them visited occult healers. Leonid Brezhnev, who ruled the USSR from 1964 to 1982, had a personal healer. A 2006 report from the Russian Academy of Sciences acknowledged that there were more occult healers than conventional medical doctors practicing in Russia.

According to one news account, Russian newspapers are full of ads for all manner of urban witches and wizards. So you get rid of God. What do you replace it with? No God? Secularization?

No. Wizards. Lucky charms.

Oh, and in Iceland, the elves, the hidden elves. I kid you not. Stay right here. Thanks for joining us on the air today. Be sure to visit, visit, visit, be sure to visit vitaminmission.com. Check out the great health supplements from my friend and personal doctor, Dr. Mark Stengler.

And when you do, there's a discount code when you order as a Line of Fire listener, and then Dr. Stengler in turn makes a donation to our ministry. So you'll be helped by these. They're great health supplements, wide ranging. I use them as well as supplement my healthy diet and lifestyle.

Vitaminmission.com. All right. If you have a question on any subject under the sun, like you would on a Friday, I will try to get to some calls later in the show, but now's a good time to call in. If you want to weigh in on the January 6th commission, some are saying the more hearings are going on that Donald Trump should be indicted and arrested and others are looking at this as a witch hunt. Wonder what your take is if you've been following this 866-34-TRUTH.

Okay. 2021. There was a poll done by Arizona Christian University in conjunction with George Barna. And look at some of this data here. They surveyed 2000 US adults and discovered that more millennials believe in guidance from horoscopes, 35% than those who believe that the universal purpose for all people is to know, love, and serve God with all their heart, mind, strength, and soul. It's 19%. So almost two to one, almost two to one said they're more inclined to believe horoscopes than to agree with the statement about God's purpose for us. More millennials believe in astrology than the idea that the universe was designed and created and it's sustained by God. It's 30% and that God is the all knowing, all powerful, just creator of the universe. 31%. So I, I, I sigh, it's a half laugh of, Oh my, but this is what we expect.

Why? Because God did create us. And you may be a real consistent atheist. My wife, Nancy was when we met at 19 before God came into her life and made himself real to her. And she is the ultimate realist. She does not like to believe something not true. She does not like to be deceived and she'll see right through it instantly. And for her as an atheist, that was just reality.

God did not exist. She came to that conclusion when she was no more than eight years old and that's that. And that was her mindset. And it was a strong position to have because you, you accepted reality. Whereas these other people were leaning on a crutch of a fantasy. So I'm not saying there are no consistent atheists.

I'm not arguing that. And not everyone has philosophically thought through their atheism. Maybe they went through a hard time and prayed and followed their religious practices and nothing happened. They concluded if the God that's described in this book is, is, is real, either he hates me or he's not real is one of the two.

So I'm not, I'm not here to mock or assault an atheist. I'm simply here to say that because God created us in his own image, because he, he put us here in this world, even though we're made to live eternally, this is a staging ground here on this earth that as we live in this world, there is a void and it's going to be filled with something. It's going to be filled with something. So it's not filled with God. It's not for the most part going to be filled with no God. It's going to be filled with superstition or all kinds of other beliefs. All right, so let's go over to Iceland.

I want to read a little bit more from Rodney Stark. He says this, so Iceland from a book considered by many sociologists of religion to be one of the most secularized nations in the world, a nation in which less than half claim there are religious and more than 40% of young Icelanders identify as atheist. So how, what kind of superstitions and beliefs do they have?

What, what are they into? 34% of Icelanders believe in reincarnation. Another 16% aren't sure about it. Moreover, a national survey found that 55% of Icelanders believe in the existence of hodlfolk or hidden people such as elves, trolls, gnomes, and fairies.

Shall I say it again, friends? I'm not making this up. You get rid of belief in God, you have belief in lucky charms and wizards and everything else. Elves, hidden gnomes and trolls, consequently Stark writes, Professor Rodney Stark, planned highways are sometimes rerouted so as to not, so as not to disturb various hills and large rocks wherein hodlfolk may dwell. And Icelanders plan to build a new house, often hire elf spotters to ensure that their site is not encroached on hodlfolk settlements. In addition, half of Icelanders have visited a fortune teller and spiritualism is very widely practiced. It is popular even among intellectuals and academics. According to a Reuters dispatch, 2015 rapidly growing group of Icelandic neo-pagans broke ground for a temple dedicated to worship of the old Norse gods.

I'm not the least bit surprised, friends. That's why we point everyone to the one true God who created us and made the rules. So listen to a couple of clips, very secular Iceland, almost none of the population doesn't even register as 1% believe in divine creation as we would teach it.

And as I remember the stats for that. So let's listen a little bit more about hodlfolk. Many Icelanders are not yet ready to part with the existence of the hodlfolk, best described as hidden elves who are mainly unseen by the people around them, except for those lucky enough to catch a glimpse of these mysterious beings. There are countless stories of roads and building projects being stopped by elves when they intersect with their territory. According to Icelanders, machines mysteriously stop working or some workers may get hurt, take a leg, or sprain an ankle.

Luckily, there are supposed mediums who could speak with the hidden people, helping them come to an agreement with locals and keep everyone happy. The elves dislike electricity, churches, and crosses. They love to dance and be merry. There are many tales of hidden people invading farmhouses during Christmas to hold wild parties. It is custom for Icelanders to clean their homes before Christmas and leave out the food for the hodlfolk on Christmas. It's a tradition to leave candles out on New Year's Eve to help the elves find their way at night, because it's believed this is how they move to new locations for the year.

On Midsummer Night, a powerful Icelandic holiday celebrated on June 24th, many strange things can happen. Seals can become human, cows may speak, and if you sit in an intersection where all four roads lead to separate churches, elves will attempt to seduce you with food and gifts. If you can resist their seduction, you will receive a great reward.

But if you let temptation get the best of you, there are grave consequences. You have no viable explanation for the origin of life. You have no viable explanation based on the human brain for the existence of human consciousness. You have no viable explanation even for the origin and development of a cell with a human being.

You have no viable explanation for the DNA patterns and the incredibly fine-tuned coding that's in our bodies. But you don't believe in elves! And, oh, you put the food out at night and amazingly it's gone in the morning. It couldn't have been a wild animal. It must have been one of the elves. Now, I'm saying this, yes, in a mocking way. And the thing itself should be mocked. For the people of Iceland, that's a sad thing for me and I want them to know the truth about God and the truth about the gospel.

But this is what happens. Push God out, you believe in elves, lucky charms and wizards. Okay, a little bit more about the Huldufolk. There are two stories that are widely accepted by Icelanders of how the Huldufolk came to exist. Both legends combine pagan stories that have been passed down for centuries with Christianity that was spread among the Icelanders at the end of the 10th century. The first legend is set in the Garden of Eden. One day, God came to visit Adam and Eve and requested to meet their children. At the time, Eve was bathing them, but wasn't able to finish cleaning them all. Embarrassed to show God the dirty ones, she only showed Him the children who were clean. God knew she was hiding some of her children, but He still gave her a chance to tell Him the truth. Again, she lied to Him and said all of her children were standing in front of them. To punish her disobedience, God declared that the children she hid from Him would be hidden from all of mankind.

These hidden children became the first Huldufolk. So now you're going to weave it in with some biblical stuff, these syncretistic meaning you're joining together these different faiths and religions, pagan superstition. And perhaps we can add this in. You get rid of the light, the darkness comes in. I don't mean that everything in Iceland is darker, that the people are all incredibly evil. You know, I'm not saying that. I'm sure there are many positive qualities about Iceland and about the people there. But it could also be you're bringing in demons, that the stories about the elves go back to real demonic appearances and demonic beings, and that they may experience those things for real. In other words, it's not all just a myth. It's not all just a hallucination. It's empty. Perhaps it's demons as well.

But would anybody be surprised? What does Jesus say about when the unclean spirit leaves a person, goes about in dry places looking for rest when it doesn't find any, he goes back to find the initial home. It's all clean. Everything cleaned out, but nothing in it.

It's empty. He takes seven other spirits more wicked than him. And the worst state of that man is worse than the first. So here we have this lived out in front of our eyes, and we're watching it in America. Abortion has become a sacred right, R-I-T-E. It's never been a moral right. It's become almost the pseudo-religious sacred right.

And now people are having their idol tampered with. All right, I want to look at the rest of the world in a moment, take some of your calls and share a really gracious letter that was sent to us. Thanks. It's the line of fire with your host, Dr. Michael Brown. Get on the line of fire by calling 866-34-TRUTH.

Here again is Dr. Michael Brown. So the story is told about a big shoe company that decided to open up business in an impoverished part of the world, researched it for some years, located the city where they wanted to store it, sent their number one salesman, had warehouses ready filled with shoes. He got there within seconds, texted them, get me out of here. The people here don't wear shoes. So they bring the guy home. They meet, reevaluate, decide they like their strategy, send out their number two guy, gets off the plane, gets out into the city, text immediately, I need thousands and thousands more boxes of shoes.

Nobody here has any shoes. That's the situation now in America with decreasing belief in God, that it is a reason for concern. And of course, much of this was not genuine faith, really knowing God, living from just kind of a casual, yeah, I believe in God, but it's also harvest time.

It also means there are more people that can be reached with the truth of the gospel. 866-34-TRUTH. I'm going to go to the phones shortly, but check this out. I want to give you a perspective. Let's see here. Wait, hang on. Did I, did I move away from the page?

No, here we go. This was from 2012, 2012. So it's going back a bit, but it'll give you a perspective.

I found something more recently. I probably thought it said 2022 when I pulled it up. So percent of residents who said they were certain of God's existence. This is around the world. Are you ready for this? This is going to surprise you because in America, belief in God in general down to 81% certainty that God exists would be even lower.

But I think you're going to be surprised when you hear this. Japan, 4.3%. 4.3%. You can be in a room with 25 people and on average one of them would say they're certain of God's existence. And of course it's very secular and religiously Buddhist.

And Buddhist does not have a belief in a personal God. East Germany, which suffered so much under communism, 7.8%. Sweden, 10.2%. Czech Republic, 11.1%. Denmark, 13%. Norway, 14.8%. France, 15.5%. Great Britain, 16.8% of the people.

This is the land of Wesley and Whitfield and Spurgeon and William Booth and so on and so forth. The homeland of the Puritans and 16.8% say they're certain of God. Netherlands, 21.2%.

And it goes on and on. Let's look at Russia, 30.5%. Italy, home of the Vatican, 41%.

United States, 60.6%. Compare that to some of these other countries. America still is in many ways a very religious country. Very lost, very compromised, very hypocritical.

Other great qualities, wonderful qualities. But compared to much of the rest of the world, religious beliefs play a much bigger role in our world for better or worse depending on what we do with them here in America. Poland, 62%. Israel, 65.5%. Chile, 79.4%. And the Philippines, 83.6%.

Lot of Catholic tradition and with that people devoted to it and saying they're certain of God's existence. When it comes to percentage indicating atheism, East Germany, 52.1%. Czech Republic, 39.9%.

And France, 23.3%. Just unreal numbers. So there's a lot to unpack here and a lot to think about worldwide and missions and so on. But some of these countries, it's been really hard plowing, bringing the gospel there and really making progress.

And here's what's interesting. You've had extraordinary growth of the church in South Korea, especially the last generation. It's declined, but especially the last generation. Unprecedented, massive growth. You've had in China, underground, but massive, explosive, unprecedented growth in church history. Boom in China. Japan, very little has happened. Very little. We have Japanese grads from a ministry school faithfully laboring serving. We have other grads from a ministry school, Americans serving in Japan.

It's very slow going. Churches are commonly 30, 40 people. If you have a church of a hundred people, that's a lot. There are these real spiritual strongholds, friends. And I remember preaching in one country and when I was with the believers, God was working and stirring. When I went to do an open air meeting, I felt like, whoa, what an unbelieving, hostile environment. It was really interesting.

These are mindsets and strongholds and spiritual realities, but the gospel can penetrate and the gospel will penetrate. All right. Enough with all the polling data. I hope you found that interesting, insightful. I was delaying announcing today's subject in case the Roe v. Wade announcement was made today by the courts. It didn't happen.

So it's either going to be Wednesday or Monday, as far as I know. It's odd that it's been held out this long by Chief Justice Roberts. You'd think with all the controversy, just get it out. But in any case, in any case, that's going to be major news when it happens. And you can't expect the violence to continue. You know, there are over 50 pregnancy crisis centers and churches, many Catholic churches that were known for pro-life that have been attacked.

Yeah. Since the ruling was leaked, the majority ruling to overturn Roe, there have been these constant attacks. And others are saying, if our lives are not safe, your lives are not safe. So it's going to get ugly. Let us not overcome evil with evil. Let us not get caught up in hatred and anger. Let us overcome evil with good.

All right. We are totally shifting subjects now. Totally shifting subjects.

And we will start with John in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. So have you been following the January 6 committee hearings? I haven't been following them that much. And the reason I'm not spending more time or effort on it is because I have, before they started doing those meetings, I had found places online where they had all these hours and hours of videos showing that there were two different sides of the Capitol. And on one side of the Capitol, they actually had people with bullhorns that have been already identified by name who were encouraging people to come in. They identified them by name.

They never prosecuted them. And they also showed that the police and other law enforcement officers were actually letting people in. That plus the fact that they decided to not have a 50-50 representation of the committee. They've got two full Republicans.

And those are the only two that are there are those who have been always anti-Trump. Now, I'm unaffiliated. I'm not registered Republican or Democrat in North Carolina.

I'm unaffiliated. Right. So that's no, I understand that. I guess, John, the obvious question is, if impartiality is the goal, if you want to produce a judgment that people will say, OK, that was fair, that the hearings were fair, the the people on the panel were fair in terms of just 50-50 representation and people that would have various viewpoints going in, then you can look at it.

You'd have much more of an appearance that it's not predetermined. Now, I don't mean everything they're concluding is wrong. I certainly mean what they're concluding is right.

But I'm saying if you want to give the impression that you're looking for fairness, why not set things up differently? Right. If if I if I want to do we're going to do an impartial survey of whether people like our ministry and we ask our top 10 givers over the last 10 years, if you like the ministry, I'd tell you what the answer is going to be. That doesn't really tell you everything. It really tells you what some people very loyal to us and love us believe.

So, I mean, this is this happened. Thank you, John. I appreciate that.

I appreciate you weighing in. So. Some years back, you know, before I wrote A Queer Thing Happened to America, before that was finished because this isn't a queer thing happened to America, the American Psychiatric Association appointed a task force to study the subject of this, quote, conversion therapy cause harm. That's their word for it. They call it conversion therapy, whatever terms were used then. Others call them sexual orientation change efforts. But this is people that have unwanted same sex attraction go for counseling.

Do these help? Do they do harm? Well, it was released as all the negative, all the harm. When you dug deep, you found they didn't really find a lot of data to support that it was harmful. And there's a whole lot of data to raise questions on the other side. But everybody on the committee was either openly, boldly gay activist or an open, bold ally. It would be like Al Gore from Vice President Al Gore and Greenpeace conducting a survey on whether global warming is real. It would be like PETA coming up with a study as to whether it was good to kill and eat animals. I mean, you get the point of it. So I don't understand unless people are just saying route to get somebody, route to prove a point. We've got the majority now.

We're going to exercise it. Maybe the Republicans would have done the same thing on the other side if they had the majority. Could be that stuff happens in politics. But my concern, just watching from the outside, is what kind of impartiality is there going to be when you get everything stacked in one direction? That's why under a constitution, you're supposed to be able to have a jury of your peers. No? That's the goal.

It doesn't always work out like that, but that is the goal. All right, let's go back to the phones. Seth in Athens, Georgia, welcome to the line of fire. Hey, Dr. Brown.

Thanks for taking my call. I have just a sort of general theological question. As I read through Acts and other parts of the epistles, they refer to Jesus hanging on a tree and not a cross. And I just wonder, is there any kind of insight in this deeper to look at? Or is it just synonymous with the cross? Because I see both, especially in Acts. Peter talks about, you know, who you hanged on a tree.

And I know Paul talks about in Galatians, the verse where he's quoting from the Old Testament, cursed is everyone who's hung on a tree. So when they're saying that, do you think they're thinking back to the Torah and that particular verse? I just want to get your insight on it, thoughts.

Is it simple, or is there some more depth to it? And I'll hang up and just listen. Okay, sounds good. Yep. So the question is, when they say that Jesus was hung on a tree, are they making explicit reference to Deuteronomy, cursed is everyone who's hung on a tree?

Or is it just synonymous with the cross? So looking at the clock here, we'll come back on the other side of the break, answer this question. And then again, I want to read something to you that has blessed me. I want to share it with you. It's The Line of Fire with your host, Dr. Michael Brown. Get on The Line of Fire by calling 866-34-TRUTH. Here again is Dr. Michael Brown. Just got a note from my friend, Joel Rosenberg, announcing that the coalition government in Israel is basically bringing down itself and that there will be new elections in October.

We'll look to get into that more as the days go on. 866-34-TRUTH. So Seth, there are two answers to your question. When Paul references what he does, he's obviously thinking in an explicit way. And that reference to the tree could certainly be there in the Jewish mind from Deuteronomy. And it's talking about someone that's impaled, it's a public judgment or they're hung on the tree.

But it's not talking about death by crucifixion. And we know the Gospels very explicitly talk about Jesus carrying the cross beam. So he is nailed to a cross as opposed to hung on a tree, as we all know. So in other cases, it's more imagery. It's a parallel imagery, the cross being made of wood from a tree.

And Jesus hung on that to die for us. So how much the Jewish idea was there is hard to say. It could well be there, especially in sermons preached to Jewish people. But you just don't know for sure, because you can preach it today.

He was hung on a tree. You know, we say that in our churches and people realize that it is not a physical, literal tree. So in some cases, for sure, the Jewish imagery is there.

In others, it may just be more generic. All right. Thanks for the question.

It's a good question to ask. So we get a constant flood of words of encouragement from you, words that bless us many times with financial gifts, many times with notes that you're praying for us, many times with just, hey, keep doing it. So we really, really thank you for that and appreciate it. And it blesses our team as well.

Good to know that by God's grace, we're making a difference. And of course, we get the hate stuff day and night, but that comes with the turf. You know, that's just, you're going to be a target.

You're going to get hit. That's fine. But in the midst of it, thank God for the good that's going on. So I was given this letter. The vast majority of what comes in, I don't see directly, but we do respond to everyone with appreciation. And there are times I'm able to respond personally, but this one bless me from a gentleman named Clifford. I am a Christian.

I'm also African American. I've been challenged, blessed, encouraged, and taught by your ministry. You are indeed on the front lines as you skillfully handle hot topics such as race relationships, gender confusion, and other culturally sensitive topics. I gain much wisdom and insight as I prayerfully review your articles, comparing them with God's Word. You have given me courage to get off the sidelines and into the fray. Thank you for inspiring me to be courageous. Since it is one of our foundational values to infuse you with faith, truth, and courage as you listen to this broadcast, to hear my dear brother say, you have given me courage to get off the sidelines and into the fray. Boy, that's a major reason why we're here, a major reason we do what we do. So thank you, Clifford, for sharing that. And we do appreciate it very much. And for those that say, hey, you've helped us too.

Thank you for allowing us to be part of your lives. Please do pray for us. We're often stretched, and there's much vision God's given us that cannot be accomplished by all of our best means. So pray with us. Believe God with us.

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Click on Donate and whether you want to give a one-time gift or monthly support. All right, we go back to the phones. Phillip in Thomasville, North Carolina, welcome to the line of fire. Thanks for having me.

You're welcome. I have a question. And I believe it's Isaiah chapter 9, verse 6. The Scripture gives us four titles, kind of descriptions of the coming Messiah Jesus. You know, it gives us the Wonderful Counselor and Prince of Peace. One of the titles that it gives him, and I'm hoping you can give me some on it, is it refers to Jesus as the Everlasting Father.

And I was just wondering how exactly we kind of make sense of that, because I've never, never really heard Jesus described as the Everlasting Father. Yep. And I'll take the answer off the air if that's cool.

Okay, sure thing. Thank you, Phillip. Yes, you are reading the Bible with your eyes open, which is why you've asked the question that many others have asked. So the words can be divided differently, but most commonly what you'll see, his name is called Telioitz Elgibor Aviad Sar Shalom. So Pele could just stand by itself as Wonder, and then Yoitz Counselor, or Pelioitz, a Wonder of a Counselor, Wonderful Counselor. Elgibor, Mighty God, those clearly going together there. Aviad, that's the one normally translated Everlasting Father, and then Sar Shalom, Prince of Peace. So there are two different ways to understand Aviad. So Aviad is father of, and Ad is eternity. So one is father forever. In other words, it's the king of the nation. He is the father of the nation on the earth. David would have been the father of the nation as a king. So he is father forever as the king over his people on the earth and over the entire earth as he rules and reigns in his kingdom in the future.

All right, that's one way. The other way is possible but less likely, and that would be Aviad means possessor of eternity, father of in the sense of the one who originates it, the one who possesses it. You could have early in the Bible, this is the father of this trade.

In other words, the one who started it, the one who invented it. So there are some that would translate it that way. Of course, Everlasting Father is also a viable translation, but I believe it's better in context as it's a messianic prophecy, initially spoken with reference to an earthly king born and obviously not fulfilled in that earthly king, 26, 2700 years ago, fulfilled instead in the Messiah himself, that father forever is a very valid way to translate it. No, Jesus is not the Heavenly Father, but he's the father of his people. Even Pharaoh said to Joseph, you're going to be a father to the people, and he was not even the head guy.

So it's either that or father forever. I just want to check very quickly here and look at a couple of different modern translations and just grab my accordance Bible software there. And let me get to the right screen. And here we are. So it's 9-6 in Hebrew.

Actually, I went to the wrong screen. It's 9-5 in Hebrew, 9-6 in English. But here we go, Isaiah 9-6, and then I click on that. So a couple of different translations of the complete Jewish Bible.

Okay, it's got verse 5 and 6. ESV, Everlasting Father. So this is very common in major Christian translations. HCSB, Eternal Father. ISV, Everlasting Father. Let's see, the NASB, Eternal Father.

Same kind of thing. NET, Mighty God, Everlasting Father. So it is commonly translated in these ways.

Most of our English versions would do that. But here, NLV, Father Who Lives Forever. Yeah, so Aviad, Possessor of Eternity. This is an Orthodox Jewish translation. That's how it translates Aviad, Possessor of Eternity. So I would read it again, my own way, Father Forever. So is the Father of Forever, thus Father Forever or Possessor of Eternity.

But the second one is possible but less likely. All right, friends, I want to encourage you in the short time we have left to make your life count, I want to encourage you not to live your lives with deep regret, not to come to the end of a year and think, man, I wasted a year, I haven't grown in God, or what fruit do I have for the way that I lived. I want to encourage you not to live like that, which means seize the day, which means when you wake up in the morning, regardless of what you're doing, it may seem insignificant to you, but if that's where God has you right now, then that's how you please Him, by honoring Him right there. So I'm sure this is important for many listening right now, not necessarily because I have a prophetic word that it is, but it is common sense that many feel your lives are insignificant, trivial, what I'm doing doesn't really matter, I'm just wasting my time. Honor the Lord, get up in the morning, Lord, this is your day, I'm going to rejoice in you, I'm going to live this day to the full, and if it's a matter of prayerful communion during the day, if it's a matter of sharing the gospel with a lost person, if it's a matter of being encouraging to your friends at work, if it's a matter of focusing on your kids that you're homeschooling, if it's a matter of preparing for your Sunday sermon, whatever's going on, Lord, here I am to serve you, glorify you, let my life count in light of eternity. He'll show you the way, He'll help you do the right thing, He will turn you away from the wrong, guide you deeper into what honors Him, and at the end of the day, you go to sleep and say, all right, a day spent well with the Lord. Back with you tomorrow. See you next time.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-30 21:46:09 / 2023-03-30 22:03:45 / 18

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