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Expect Opposition

The Line of Fire / Dr. Michael Brown
The Truth Network Radio
May 23, 2023 4:30 pm

Expect Opposition

The Line of Fire / Dr. Michael Brown

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May 23, 2023 4:30 pm

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The following program is recorded content created by the Truth Network. As followers of Jesus, we should expect opposition. 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. Hey friends, this is Michael Brown, delighted as always to be with you.

I will not be taking phone calls today. So sit back, drink in everything I'm going to share with you. Welcome, welcome to all of our first time listeners, our new listeners. So glad to have you with us on the line of broadcast. So glad that you found us or that we found you because we're here friends to strengthen you, to encourage you so you can stand strong on the front lines of whatever God has called you to do. We're here to infuse you with faith and truth and courage.

Not empty words, not just optimism, but faith-based words because they are truth-based words because they flow from what is written in the Word of God. We should expect opposition as followers of Jesus. In fact, as I'll share with you later in the broadcast, lack of opposition is a bad sign. Lack of opposition for being followers of Jesus means that our light may not be shining bright enough, that it may not be a threat to the works of darkness.

Now, I want to be as clear as I can at the outset. I am not talking about being obnoxious. I'm not talking about some self-righteous clatter. I'm not talking about us just being nasty or mean-spirited. Listen, the Holy Spirit is blunt. The Holy Spirit is direct. The Holy Spirit speaks with clarity, but the Holy Spirit is not mean-spirited and we should not be mean-spirited as followers of Jesus who are filled with the Holy Spirit. So I'm not talking about getting people to hate us because we're jerks.

I'm not talking about getting quote resistance because we stir people up in the flesh. I'm talking about living lives that are pleasing and honorable to God and standing up for what is right and living for what is right you will experience opposition. Just think, in the very Beatitudes, so the first words of Jesus on the Sermon on the Mount, some of the best known verses in the Bible, some of the best known sayings of Jesus in the world, when he starts with blessed, which means truly happy, are those who are poor in spirit, for this is the kingdom of heaven.

How does he end that? Verse 10, blessed, truly happy are those who are persecuted for what? Righteousness sake. Persecuted for doing what's right. Persecuted for siding with God against a fallen and sinful world.

Persecuted because we determine we're going to honor the Lord and we're going to serve the Lord and no one and nothing is going to get in our way. That will bring opposition. That will bring hatred. That will bring the kingdom of Satan in conflict with us because we are moving forward. If you're shining the light in dark places, friends, by the way you live, by the way you homeschool your kids, by the messages you preach from your pulpit, by the ethics you live with in the business world, by the stance you take as a student in school, you will be getting opposition one way or another.

You can count on it. Look at what was said about Paul by his fellow Jews. Paul the Apostle, one of the godliest men who ever lived. Paul who could point to his conduct when dealing with the Thessalonians and could talk about the holiness of his life. Paul who could actually say in Philippians 4 and 9, whatever you've seen me do, whatever you've learned from me, whatever you've heard, put it into practice and God will bless you for it.

I mean think of living in such a way that you could tell someone as Paul does in 1 Corinthians 11.1, follow me, follow my example as I follow the example of the Messiah. That's a godly man speaking. Yet look at what was said about him by Jewish opposition, Acts chapter 24 verse 5. We have found this man to be a troublemaker.

In Greek it's literally a pestilence or pest, a plague. We found this man to be a troublemaker, stirring up riots among the Jews all over the world. He is a ringleader of the Nazarene sect and even tried to desecrate the temple.

So we seized him. By examining him of yourself, you will be able to learn the truth about all these charges we are bringing against him. Let me read some of the other charges in the book of Acts against Paul and his associates. In Acts the 16th chapter, what's Paul guilty of? Well he's preaching the gospel, people are coming to faith, but then he drives a demon out of a girl, a slave girl who made money for her masters by being a fortune teller, right? They're now outraged that the source of their income is gone because Paul has driven a demon out of a girl. And what do they say?

What do the owners say? They bring Paul in solace before the magistrates and say, these men are Jews and are throwing our city into an uproar by advocating customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice. That's a false accusation.

Well it is and it isn't. It's false in that they were not troublemakers. They simply were preaching the gospel, going about their own business, being harassed by this slave girl who was following around.

These men are servants of the Most High God who show us the way of salvation. Yeah, it was saying something truthful but obviously in a way that was disruptive to the meetings and disruptive to what Paul was doing so he drives the spirit out of her. So he did that, but he didn't throw the city into an uproar. And yeah, but technically by Roman law, by preaching this new religion, he was violating Roman law. But obviously the way the charges are being brought against him, they are false. But they are false because he was making a difference. They're false because he was not guilty of what they say, but they were true. They were true in that he was disrupting the system. Then what's the accusation brought against Paul and other believers in Acts 17?

You know these words well. Acts the 17th chapter, some of the Jewish troublemakers that were there, rounded up some bad characters from the marketplace, formed a mob, started a riot in the city, and they rushed to Jason's house in search of Paul and Silas in order to bring them out to the crowd. Verse 6 of Acts 17. But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some other believers before the city officials shouting, these men who have caused trouble all over the world have now come here. And Jason has welcomed them into his house. They're all defying Caesar's decree, saying that there is another king, one called Jesus.

Whoa, hang on. On the one hand, they were preaching Jesus and ultimate allegiance to him, but they were not preaching disloyalty to Caesar. And it was the Jewish troublemakers there that stirred up the crowds. There are other Jews that were listening, but there were troublemakers that stirred up the crowds.

So it was the crowd, it was the troublemakers who formed a mob and started a riot. Yet, yet there was truth to the charge. These men have caused trouble all over the world or literally overturned the world, overturned the inhabited world.

These men have turned the world upside down. There was truth to it because the gospel is revolutionary and brings about revolutionary change. Now remember, Paul writes to the Thessalonians urging them to work hard, to go about their business. Peter writes in 1 Peter 4 to his audience that if we're persecuted for being associated with Jesus for being called Christians, that's wonderful. And Christian was an ugly name. It was a negative name, like a mocking name.

It would be like calling people that listen to the broadcast Brownites or Brownies. It was derogatory from what we understand, and it's only mentioned anyway three times in the New Testament, Acts 11, Acts 26, and 1 Peter 4. But what we need to understand, friends, is that Peter says, look, it's one thing to suffer as a Christian. Rejoice, because the Spirit of God and of glory is on you. You're sharing in Christ's suffering.

You will share in his glory. But don't suffer as a busybody. Don't suffer as a meddler or a thief or something else.

So we are not to be getting in trouble because we're bad workers on the job. We're not to be getting in trouble because we are obnoxious, self-righteous people. We're going to be getting in trouble because we're following Jesus and the Gospel itself is disruptive.

The Gospel itself is a threat to the work of Satan. Friends, as I go to Israel, trust me, there are people that don't want me here. There are people, religious Jews, that will accuse me of doing missionary activity in Israel and because of the work we do, outreach to the Jewish people worldwide through our ministry.

So my materials in Hebrew and other things, of course, are out in Israel and in Russian and English as well. So those things are out. So I'm well known on the intranet. There's a big target in that regard. Plenty of people don't want me here. Many, many years ago, I'm going back to, oh, this is in the 90s. One Orthodox rabbi branded me public enemy number one because of the work that we were doing even then in Jewish outreach and by God's grace, it's multiplied massively, exponentially in every way since then. But trust me, there's opposition. There are places where I've gone and literally people turn their backs on me. Literally. Yeah, I'm not saying this is, oh, Tara, poor me, poor me. I've been spat in the face for sharing the gospel.

But that's normal, right? So I got my head on my shoulders. I haven't been beheaded. I haven't spent days or weeks in prison.

I was arrested based on false accusations in Israel years back for a few hours and finally interviewed by the police. I said, you didn't do anything wrong. They said, do you want a lawyer? I said, do I need one? They said, you didn't do anything wrong.

Twice we had that conversation. Do you want a lawyer? Do I need one? You didn't do anything wrong. And then just sent on my way.

Do I need paperwork? Anything reference case? No, no, you didn't do anything wrong.

Sent on my way. Right. But why were there false accusations? Because I am a follower of the Lord.

Because I am a Jewish person who wants Jewish people to believe in Jesus the Messiah. Yes, of course. And therefore, there is opposition. And there is pushback.

And I do get lied about all the time, pretty much 24-7 online. But what else should I expect? When our brothers and sisters in other parts of the world literally are being beheaded for the gospel, literally are losing their jobs for the gospel, literally are being thrown in prison for the gospel, literally are having their children taken away from them forcibly for the gospel, literally are having spouses walk out on them for the gospel, why should we expect to just kind of float our way through life with a nice smile and everybody liking us? On the one hand, on a personal level, we should have a great reputation with outsiders, especially as leaders. And if people didn't know we were in the ministry, and they find out we're in the ministry as leaders in the body, they should be, oh, wow, I know that guy.

I know that lady. Yeah, really nice people, really caring people. Or if someone at your job didn't know that you're a believer, and then they find out you're a believer, they should say, okay, that makes sense because you got a nice way about you. And you're kind to other people.

You know, you're respectful, you're hard working. We should have a good reputation with outsiders. We should be known for godly conduct. We should be known for loving people. And it should all be genuine and not put on.

Absolutely 100% at the same time, you better believe we should expect opposition. Friends, my heart is overflowing. I've got a whole lot to share with you today.

We're going to do that. Take a listen to this ad from our sponsor TriVita. I believe that you will be blessed by these wellness products as I have, and always a reminder that a generous portion of your order goes to support the line of fire.

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Use promo code BROWN25 and receive a 25% discount on the products of your choice. That number again is 1-800-771-5584, 800-771-5584. 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. Welcome back, friends, to the Line of Fire broadcast.

Michael Brown, so blessed to have this time with you. Do you get my weekly emails where we send you links? Here are the latest articles that I wrote. It could be as many as five in a week. Here are the latest videos we've put out. It could be several new videos each week.

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And then every week, we'll let you know about new articles, new videos, special resource offers, opportunities to say go to Israel with us, different things like that. So make sure you sign up and you will be richly blessed. Okay, as I continue to talk to you today about opposition, and how we should expect opposition for the gospel, not because of our bad conduct, but because of our godly conduct, not because of our scandals, but because of the holy way that we live, not because we're loud mouth, hypocritical bigots, but because we shine the light because we stand for righteousness, because we do not compromise the standards of God.

We should expect opposition. I want to read a quote to you from Sermons on Aggressive Christianity by Catherine Booth. She and her husband William co-founded the Salvation Army and in its heyday, it was a radical soul winning organization.

It was a gospel preaching, bold standing organization, serving the poorest to the poor and the hurting and winning people to the Lord from every imaginable background. Yeah, just just an extraordinary story. So when I became close with Leonard Ravenhill, God miraculously brought us together in 1989. He was 82.

I was 34. And he and his wife Martha embraced me and Nancy. And when I early on getting to know them, Lynn and Martha gave Nancy and me six volumes of sermons by Catherine Booth, beautiful little hardcover edition published by the Salvation Army over the years, hard to come by. And we had these books in a little counter in our kitchen. So it was separated from the other books and bookcases in our home. And I remember envisioning as I walked by these books as if smoke was coming out of them.

They were that fiery. And Catherine Booth said this. So this is what probably over 130 years ago at this point, she said, opposition, it is a bad sign for the Christianity of this day, that it provokes so little opposition. If there were no other evidence of it being wrong, I should know from that, when the church and the world can jog together comfortably, you may be sure there is something wrong. The world has not altered.

Its spirit is exactly the same as it ever was. And if Christians were equally faithful and devoted to the Lord and separated from the world, living so that their lives were reproofed to all ungodliness, the world would hate them as much as it ever did. It is the church that is altered, not the world. How can we argue with this? Those final words remind, how can we argue with this?

But Catherine Booth lays it out. Look, why is it that believers in other parts of the world are suffering intensely just for being followers of Jesus, but we think somehow in the West that everybody is just going to like us, that it could never happen to us? You say, well, we have a good constitution in America. Are you saying America is not part of the world system? Are you saying that America is not ungodly in many, many ways?

Are you saying that America is not filled with darkness and pollution and corruption and compromise? Then how is it that our light could shine in a place like America and there would not be resistance? Of course there's going to be resistance. Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 3 12, after talking about his own persecution and suffering, he said, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.

Count on it. As surely as the sun rises, if you live for Jesus, if you seek to reach the lost, if you live a godly life, if you stand for righteousness, you'll be persecuted on some level. It's going to happen because the world is still the world and the devil is still the devil and darkness is still darkness. Look at what Jesus said.

John 15 verses 18 to 20. If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I've chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.

Remember the words I spoke to you. No servant is greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. So are we going to say that Jesus is not accurate? That Paul is not accurate?

It's one thing to take issue with Catherine Booth, although I absolutely 100% affirm the words of hers that were spoken. But that's not the Bible. This is the Bible that I just quoted to you. The world is going to hate us because it hated Jesus. The world is going to hate us and reject us because it hates and rejects the light.

That is simple reality. And here, I'm going to read to you some more of the words of Jesus. Matthew chapter 5 beginning in verse 10. Blessed, meaning truly happy, are those who are persecuted because of what?

Righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Then he says this, blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. I said in the first segment, being in Israel, there are plenty of people who don't want me in Israel.

Well, that's fully understandable. Why? Because I'm an open follower of Yeshua and I'm active around the world in winning Jewish people to the Messiah and I'm known for that. While I'm in Israel, I abide by the laws of the land and my Israel trip this year being here is just leading a Torah group, period.

That's it. That's why I'm here with my Torah group. I'm not doing quote missionary work. But the fact is I am a Jewish follower of Jesus who shares the gospel freely around the world and who has all kinds of materials to help people witness and share the gospel with Jews. So of course there are religious Jews that oppose me.

Naturally, there are. And look, I'm just looking at comments posted in the last few hours on YouTube. Some guy is furious for me with my video about Richard Dreyfus, cultural capitulation and cultural sensitivity saying, while we absolutely should be sensitive to culture, we should not capitulate to the culture. And this fellow says, God blanket, could you just lose the word altogether?

I guess it made reference to Woke along the way. How in the living blank did this Christian fascist, all quotes, Christian fascist program get into my profile? Lose me with this blank, multiple exclamation points.

So I'm a Christian fascist for saying we should not capitulate to the culture. Okay, here's another one. This is posted to my response to an Orthodox rabbi. It's easy to see past doctor in quotes, Dr. Brown. First thing is I noticed the guy can't stop blinking his eyes for even two seconds.

And that right there shows a liar or someone who has no confidence whatsoever in the words coming out of their mouth. Another major red flag with Mr. Brown here is he has a background in this video full of Torah rabbinic books as if he believes in them and he doesn't, as most of these books are anti-Jesus and have nothing to do with Christianity. Brown is acting like a wolf in sheep's clothes, trying to grab Jewish attention while being openly deceptive. Nothing new here, just your typical priest looking to fool a fool. Here's another, just recent hours on YouTube. Liar Protestantism, of which Dr. Brown is a member of, abuses scripture for personal gain.

Oh, and how about this? This is for opposing the idea that Christians can go to nudist camps. Once again, we see Michael Brown totally off base as he very often is. A fair reading of the scriptures will show that God never commanded us to be closed. So here I'm getting blasted for saying Christians can't go to nudist camps and on and on. Warning, Brown is clearly a Jew and not a Christian.

A Jew, meaning a Jew. This is posted because of my debate with Muslim apologist Saqir Hussain. So friends, this is what I get. From folks writing in, Dr. Brown, I used to be a practicing homosexual. I listened to, I heard grace and truth together.

I was changed. We hear from pastors who say, thank you for speaking with compassion, but giving us backbone and courage. And we know across America, so many believers are getting healthy and strong through listening to the broadcast, through listening to these messages as we tackle the controversies, the most difficult issues of the day. We even hear from former Muslims who've come to faith, from Jewish people who now believe in Jesus, Yeshua, the Messiah through this broadcast and our resources. So join our support team.

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Click on Donate Monthly Support. 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. Welcome back to The Line of Fire, your voice for moral sanity and spiritual clarity. As always, my personal guarantee, we will not get your blood boiling unless we also get your faith rising. Another personal guarantee, by God's grace, I will not back down. I will not back up. I will not shut down.

I will not shut up. I will continue to speak on your behalf. I will continue to serve as your voice. I will continue to shout out to the world the things that burden and concern you.

I will continue to swim against the tide and go against the grain. And by God's grace, do it with grace and truth together. Do it with word and spirit together. Do it here on the front lines to encourage each of you to stand wherever God has called you to stand.

Sometimes the toughest stands are those that moms and dads have to take right within the home. You don't want to seem fanatical. You don't want to seem extreme. But you know what's right.

You know what's good. I'm not talking about dead legalism. I'm not talking about some dead religion that we just impose standards on our kids.

I'm talking about because we know the Lord, we know what's right and we know certain things are destructive and we make quality decisions to raise our kids a certain way. There could be opposition for that. You could suffer opposition being in the business world and it's cutthroat.

And the only way that you know that you can make it in your industry is by being dishonest, is by cheating somehow or is by currying favor, by doing things that are a little unethical. And you cannot do that as a follower of Jesus. There'll be opposition. There'll be pressure that'll be put on you. Whatever it is that God has called you to do, there will be pressure from the world. There'll be pressure from other people, from Satan to compromise, to cave in. You're a kid at school right now and you're asked to start the day with your preferred gender pronouns at the beginning of a semester and you said, sorry that's against my religious beliefs because I don't believe we can just manufacture pronouns or that we can just be male one day and female the next or that gender is a matter of what we perceive.

You may not say all that but that's what underlines your beliefs, underscores your beliefs. You may suffer for that. You may have to see the principal. You may suffer just rejection from your peers.

Your teacher may find ways to grade you badly and that may hurt your overall grade in the school you're trying to get into. These things really do happen. Look, we had a good outcome and I'm talking today in case you're just tuning in, I'm talking about we should expect opposition and I've got some very strong words of encouragement and exhortation for fellow leaders, for Christian pastors and leaders. I want to share with you bluntly, honestly, in a little while and read some of C.T.

Studd's great little book, Chocolate Soldier, The Chocolate Soldier or Heroism, The Last Chord of Christianity. I'm going to share more with you as we go on but we had a good outcome recently with something that happened with our granddaughter Riley who is 16 years old and I share these things openly with her permission. I even wrote about it with her permission. So we were outside of Lynchburg, Virginia with our immediate family to gather together for the graduation of our oldest granddaughter Eliana from Liberty University. So getting her four year degree, her bachelor's degree there. We were so proud of her and so thrilled to be there. So we were there, Nancy and I, our daughter Megan and her husband Ryan, so they're Eliana's mom and dad and then her brother Andrew who's also in college now and then our other daughter Jen and her husband Jimmy and their son Connor a fireman was not there but their 16 year old daughter Riley was there. So we're all staying together at the same big house on a farm and Roddy comes in one day and she said, I just got demoted.

My grades went from an A to a C, a high C in this health class and what happened? Well, she was asked to do an assignment and the assignment was a vocabulary assignment where she had to go through 16 years old, right? Kids should master this in every term from cisgender to genderqueer and she wasn't going to do that. Look 16 year olds, this is normal in their world.

You know what I'm saying? I've got books for toddlers, toddlers where they're teaching you how you could be a boy one day and a girl the next and have this infinite number of preferred gender pronouns and on and on. So anyway, because we're away and she was supposed to do this online, she simply didn't turn it in. So we said to her, hey, you should reach out to the teacher and explain things. She said, yeah, the teacher's normally accommodating and had a great relationship with her older brother Connor who was known for his outspoken conservative views. And she wrote to her and said, I'm sorry, I couldn't do this assignment because of my personal beliefs. And the teacher wrote back immediately and said, oh, I never require anyone to do something that makes them uncomfortable. And she just either gave her another assignment or exempted her from that. That was a good outcome.

Many times you don't get that good outcome. There are kids who've been put out of school programs. There have been kids who've been canceled.

It goes on and on. And some of you are nodding because that's the world that you live in. When I asked Riley about what's being taught in the school, just spontaneously she said, you know, they don't talk about the birds and the bees anymore, but the birds and the birds and the bees and the bees and the bees used to be birds and the birds used to be bees. She just said that spontaneously. So I quoted her on it in the article in Common Sense Wisdom from a 16 year old girl. And I asked her, you know, do you have boys in your school who identify as girls using the bathroom?

And she said, yes. Well, she doesn't know. One kid just called it. She doesn't know if it's male or female. And the kid comes in wearing really short shirts and then short sleeve shirts that expose the arms with really hairy legs and hairy armpits. And if I remember, if I am not conflating this with the story about another student with a dog collar with spikes, using the girl's bathroom and identifying as a girl.

And Riley said, I don't even know if it's a boy or a girl. So these things happen in the school. But in her case, she opted out of an assignment, of course, with her parents backing and was not penalized for it.

But plenty other times you'll be penalized for it. What are you going to do? Are you going to capitulate to save a grade?

You're going to capitulate to save a raise? You're going to capitulate to save a friendship? It's one thing if you have a non-believing friend or family member you're honoring, respectful to them and say, hey, we have a difference here and I don't expect you to agree with me, but I still want to be your friend or I'm still your mother or your sister or your brother or whatever the case would be. It's another thing where we cave in on our convictions for the sake of our companions. Friends, that's sin.

That's violating what Jesus says. If you save your life, you lose it. If you lose your life for my sake and the gospel, you find it. That's a way to try to save our lives. So I want to talk bluntly, plainly with love, with honor, with respect, but I want to talk bluntly, plainly to other pastors and leaders.

Do you really think you can win the world by becoming like the world? Do you really think by looking hip or cool or sounding politically correct that you're going to advance the gospel? I'm all for cultural sensitivity, a hundred percent. I'm all for what Paul said, becoming a Jew to the Jews, meaning if I have to live in a more religious way to serve a religious community, I'll do that. Hudson Taylor being in China, dressing like a Chinese person, that was new and he got a lot of opposition from the church.

What are you doing? But he wanted to fit in with the culture while now sharing a message that does not fit. So cultural sensitivity is one thing. Cultural capitulation is another thing. Listen, I have listened.

I want to speak bluntly and plainly. I have listened to some pastors and Christian leaders and I can't figure out where they stand on the issue. When it's all said and done, I've got no idea what they even believe.

They've answered in such a way that they, it sounds like a politician. Do you support or do you oppose immigration reform? Let me tell you, I have a long record of working for what is best for America for immigration and my policies are second to none and I will always do what's right.

Why? I still don't know where you stand. You didn't answer the question. Will you raise taxes or lower taxes?

My policies are the finest economic policies and under my leadership, the per capita in our county has gone up by X and O. You still didn't answer the question. You still didn't answer the question. Nancy urged me years ago when I'm sitting in a hot seat on TV or radio and being challenged or being grilled, when I'm asked a question, a yes or no, a black or white question, that rather than answer it in a lengthy way, okay, let me explain where I stand on this because I want to make sure that I don't get cut off. I want to make sure I get to give the explanation. She said, still, it's just best to say yes or no up front and say, hey, I need to explain this but my answer is yes. Now here's the explanation.

Put it up front. I'd love to explain this but my answer is no for the following reasons. So if I'm going to get cut off, at least they still know where I stand. I've mentioned this before but one pastor who now has changed his views, believes that this is the Christian thing to do to affirm same sex quote marriage and he's modified his views of the gospel. Pastor Brian McLaren, author Brian McLaren, he was asked years ago about the subject of gay quote marriage and he said, you know, however I answer this, what hurts me is however I answer this, I'm going to offend someone and that was his answer. He gave an outrightly offensive answer because he didn't want to offend anyone.

Well, he certainly offended the truth and he certainly offended the Lord by not standing as a spokesman there. And when he gave that answer, I thought, why on earth would you answer like that? As one nationally leading pastor said to me and I've quoted this often since, sometimes ministry preempts clarity because he refused to ask me for eight years. I've been asking him, will you simply affirm that homosexual practice is always sinful in God's sight and that under no circumstances would he bless the same sex relationship? He would not answer that. I've asked him for eight years. He would not answer that. And his response to me in writing was sometimes ministry preempts clarity.

No, ministry requires clarity. So I want to encourage you to speak in a way that people understand. It doesn't mean being hateful. It doesn't mean being bigoted. It doesn't mean being mean spirited.

It means that we're going to speak the truth in love. We might say it with tears. We might say, I know that when I say this, you feel that I'm rejecting you as a human being. I let's say I'm at abortion. I know when I say this, that some of you who made very difficult decisions to abort your baby, you wrestled with it for years and you made these very difficult decisions. I know what I'm saying here sounds harsh to you and I know what I'm saying here sounds like I'm intruding in your own life and judging you as a person.

That hurts me that you feel that way. But I still must say that abortion is unacceptable. That abortion is taking the life of an innocent human being in the womb and that therefore there was no justification for doing that and it is sin in God's sight. And then offering mercy and then offering forgiveness and then offering compassion and then offering everything we have. But people will still hate you for saying that. Friends, I have been as gracious and kind as I know how from a heart of love from sat with people with tears streaming down my cheeks as I've talked to them and just said, I just want you to know the love of the Father. You know, oppose who they are, oppose what they're doing, but tell them how I want them to know the love of God.

I've done it from the heart. I'm still hated. I'm still reviled. I'm still mocked. I'm still excluded. It's going to happen.

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Here again is Dr. Michael Brown. Alright, we have one last segment coming your way today on the line of fire. Just an encouragement, friends, as you get these wellness supplements from our sponsor, Trivita, our co-sponsor. You are supporters along with Trivita to help us be on the air five days a week, one hour a day. It's not cheap to do it, but boy, what a great way to reach large, large numbers of people. So thanks for your participation. But when you do order, make sure you use the code BROWN25 to get your 25% discount at and then know that 100% of your first order and more than a tithe of all subsequent orders are donated to the line of fire. Alright, as I speak to you about opposition, let me just, opposition for the gospel, let me take one more moment and give you a perspective from a pastor's viewpoint as to why he may not want to address certain culturally and politically controversial issues. Then I want to read some of C.T.

Studd's The Chocolate Soldier to you. So a pastor would say, look, I'm teaching through the Bible. I'm not avoiding passages, but I'm teaching through the Bible. I'm teaching about healthy marriage and family. I'm teaching about living as followers of Jesus in this world, how to develop our prayer lives, how to spend quality time in the word of God, how to share the gospel with our neighbor.

I'm doing all those things. And that alone is enough. And if I focus on that, I don't need to talk about abortion. I don't need to talk about homosexuality.

I don't need to talk about the latest political controversy. Just if I teach people to love the Lord, love their neighbor, that's more than enough. Everything kind of works itself out.

And then look, just understand this. We run a soup kitchen in the city. We've been there for years. People know that we serve the hurting and the poor. We have an addiction program.

People struggling with drug addiction, sex addiction, pornography, things like that. They come through our program. We're well known in the community for that. And we've got a really, really tight budget. We give sacrificially to support some orphanages in Africa and India that we've worked with over the years. We've got an extensive children's ministry, so we've hired extra children's pastoral staff. The budget's tight already. I can't risk losing the reputation of the church in our community and hurting our gospel witness and even hurting our funding, which in turn is going to trickle down to not helping the poor in our community and not funding this addiction program or not caring for orphans in India or Africa or cutting back on our children's outreach. It's just not worth it. Why should I engage in an unnecessary controversy?

I get it. And that would make a lot of sense if it was optional, but it's not optional because as a pastor, this is the world your people are living in. This is the environment the kids there are growing up in. I was speaking at a church in California, probably about 8,000 members. It seemed to be a healthy church, a church that had a high priority in outreach and making disciples. I was preaching on holiness when I was there on this particular trip, so it was not one of these churches that asked me to water down the message. And afterwards I was talking to, I believe it was the executive pastor, a solid man, seemed to love the Lord and have a good marriage, and he said to me not one of his adult children agree with him on the subject of homosexuality. And all of his children at that point were older teens or young in their 20s. Not one of his kids agrees with him. But they were raised in the faith.

They were raised in church, yes, but the impact of society was greater than that. You may want to avoid talking about certain controversial subjects, but it's what your people are living with and what they're struggling with. And somebody's got to talk to the parents of the 14-year-old girl who's suddenly out of the blue after having some emotional ups and downs in the past, suddenly out of the blue.

She's identifying as transgender and wants to immediately get on hormones and then plan on having her breasts removed as soon as it can be scheduled. You've got to deal with that. You've got to deal with the fact that your college-aged kids are in schools where they're asked to start the day with their preferred gender pronouns and what's the right thing to do and how should they respond to that.

That's the world that we live in. And to not talk about abortion in that sense is criminal because you've got women in your churches that are hurting. They're sitting in the congregation and they're in pain because of the abortions they've had in the past and we can't talk about it, nor can we counsel the young women and help them to understand why life in the womb is precious. And the early church spoke out plainly about the very moral issues that we're talking about today. The early church, the church leaders, some of the earliest documents address these things head on as sin. And Paul certainly laid things out plainly. Let's just say your teaching through 1 Corinthians.

You're going to have to deal with some of these issues. You're going to have to deal with why those practicing homosexuality will not inherit the kingdom of God just like those practicing adultery. And you're going to have to deal with the possibility of change because Paul says that's what some of you were.

You're not anymore. 1 Corinthians 6-11. So I'm just talking about going through the Bible and just being good pastors as I urge this one pastor that would just not give me a clear answer. I said, man, this is not politics nor political.

This is the gospel. And even when it comes to politics, we should be involved, right? We should be informed voters. If not, we're being negligent with the incredible opportunity and privilege that God has given us. So we should be informed voters.

But that means that we've got to tell our people what key issues are. If we lived in the days of slavery, should we not have been voting for pro-life candidates or anti-slavery, pro-abolition candidates? If we live in a time of abortion, should we not be voting for pro-life candidates?

Not only on the abortion issue, but holistically pro-life? Do we just stick our heads in the sand? How do you look at that? Do we admire the Lutherans who caved in to Nazism and said, yeah, we'll take an oath to the Fuhrer?

Sure. And we'll show our submission to earthly authorities. And when it looks like the Jews are being mistreated, well, I mean, look, they're the Jews anyway. That's what comes their way. Do we admire them?

No, we deplore what they did. We admire the Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Ultimately cost them their lives, people like Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

All right, here is what C.T. Studd had to say in his epic little book, The Chocolate Soldier. Now remember, Studd was from an aristocratic rich family in England and was a premier cricket player in college. I think it was at Cambridge and could have had a very prosperous life as a Christian in England. And there wouldn't have been sin. There are those that God calls to be rich and influential in society and they are followers of Jesus, they are godly, they are generous, but they're blessed with riches.

Nothing sinful about that. But God called Studd to leave all that and serve on the missions field. And Studd wrote this, every true soldier is a hero. A soldier without heroism is a chocolate soldier who has not been stirred to scorn and mirth at the very thought of a chocolate soldier. In peace, true soldiers are captive lions, fretting in their cages. War gives them their liberty and sends them like boys bounding out of school to obtain their heart's desire or perish in the attempt. Battle is the soldier's vital breath. Peace turns him into a stooping asthmatic.

We make him a whole man again and give him the heart, strength, and vigor of a hero. And then Studd said this, every true Christian is a soldier of Christ, a hero par excellence, braver than the bravest, scorning the soft seductions of peace and her oft repeated warnings against hardship, disease, danger, and death whom he counts among his bosom friends. The otherwise Christian is a chocolate Christian, dissolving in water and melting at the smell of fire. Sweeties they are, bonbons, lollipops, living their lives on a glass dish or in a cardboard box, each clad in his soft clothing, a little frilled white paper to preserve his dear little delicate constitution. I'm reading from C.T. Studd, The Chocolate Soldier.

Here are some portraits of chocolate soldiers taken by the Lord Jesus Christ himself. He said, I go, sir, and went not. He said he would go to the heathen, but stuck fast to Christendom instead. They say and do not.

They tell others to go and yet do not go themselves. Never, said General Gordon to a corporal, as he himself jumped upon the parapet of a trench before a Sebastopol to fix a gabion which the corporal had ordered a private to fix and wouldn't fix himself. Never tell another man to do what you are afraid to do yourself. Well, let me just pause for a moment and say that is a quote from a general. Never tell another man to do what you are afraid to do yourself.

Wow. Studd said to the chocolate Christian, the very thought of war brings a violent attack of ague while the call to battle always finds him with the palsy. I really cannot move, he says. I only wish I could, but I can sing. And here are some of my favorite lines. I must go to, I must be carried to the skies on a flowery bed of ease. Let others fight to win the prize or sail through bloody seas.

Mark time, Christian heroes, never go to war. Stop and mind the babies playing on the floor. Wash and dress and feed them 40 times a week. Till they're roly-poly.

Puttings, so to speak, and the chorus. Round and round the nursery, let us ambulate. Sugar and spice and all that's nice must be on our sleeve. Thank the good Lord, said a very fragile white-haired lady. God never meant us to be jellyfish.

She wasn't. Studd said God never was a chocolate manufacturer and never will be. God's men are always heroes in scripture.

You can trace their giant foot tracks down the sands of time. My brother, my sister, I'm here on the line of fire to say, be a hero. Take a stand. Do what's right. Do it with love. Do it with compassion.

Do it with kindness. Do it humility. But you be one that stands up to a godless school board. You be one that stands up to a tyrannical church system. You be one that says no to the favorite people so you can be the favorite God. My friend, you will never regret it if you do. God be with you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-23 18:23:49 / 2023-05-23 18:44:20 / 21

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