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Why Does a Good God Allow So Much Pain and Sin?

The Line of Fire / Dr. Michael Brown
The Truth Network Radio
May 24, 2024 4:00 pm

Why Does a Good God Allow So Much Pain and Sin?

The Line of Fire / Dr. Michael Brown

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May 24, 2024 4:00 pm

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The following is a pre-recorded program. We're going to answer some of the toughest questions that people ask about the faith today. It's time for The Line of Fire with your host, biblical scholar and cultural commentator, Dr. Michael Brown.

Your voice for moral sanity and spiritual clarity. Call 866-34-TRUTH to get on The Line of Fire. And now here's your host, Dr. Michael Brown. Hey friends, welcome to The Line of Fire. Michael Brown, delighted to be with you. I'm not taking calls today.

Oh, I could feel the growth across the country, around the globe. Not taking calls today. I've got some really important questions I want to answer and I know in answering them that these are some of the questions you ask or you get asked. A reminder, if you're not getting our monthly frontline newsletter, we really pour into this to make the content rich, inspirational, informational, from the testimonies to the Hebrew word study to the main message, all free, all digital, all as part of our goal to infuse you with faith and truth and courage to help you stand strong on the front lines. So, go to TheLineOfFire.org.

TheLineOfFire.org. Click on subscribe to get our monthly frontline newsletter and we'll put you in our welcome tour, share about more of our own testimony and how we can serve you in the Lord. All right, a young man has asked these questions coming from a Christian perspective but struggling. So, I want to address his questions here. First, how is it that God could destroy a foreign people group in a war or some other miracle in the Old Testament and it be just?

Very important question. So, under what basis was it just for God to tell Israel to drive out the Canaanites? Now, in some cases that meant expel them, in other cases it meant kill them, drive them out, put them to the sword. They either flee or they die. Not just combatants but women and children. Under what possible scenario could that be right or fair? I did a whole video about this a little while ago where you can just search on TheLineOfFire.org, search the word genocide and you will see the video that I did where we get into this in a lot of depth about did Israel, did God command Israel to commit genocide against the Canaanites?

Let's start here. God tells Abram in Genesis 15 that he's going to give his descendants the Promised Land but first they're going to be enslaved in another nation because there's going to be a period of 400 years before God gives them the Promised Land until the iniquity of the people living there, the sin of the people living there, the Amorites reaches its full measure. In other words, Israel is going to have to dwell in Egypt as slaves until it is the right time for them to go into the Promised Land because the level of wickedness has to reach that point. So, just think if it was ISIS that was being wiped out or Hamas terrorists that were being wiped out and the population was complicit in this evil or that child sacrifice was being regularly practiced and the sexual immorality and violence was that great and that grotesque, God waited 400 years, right?

That's longer than America's been a nation by a long shot. Waited 400 years even with Israel in captivity suffering saying it's not right yet, it's not time yet, it's not time. So, the people that were being driven out were wicked and God waited that long to drive them out. There was sexual perversion, there was a sacrificing of children, there are other atrocities that were being committed from what we understand.

That's the first thing. The second thing is that there are many who would argue that these people were actually half-breeds. As strange as this sounds, the Bible does talk about fallen angels taking on human form.

Again, to someone who doesn't believe the Bible just sounds like a myth, but to those who believe the Bible that they took on human form, they made it with women and they had this offspring that's one of the reasons for the flood that the world got so wicked that God had to wipe it out and start afresh. Remember, this is his creation. To the young man who asked this question, the very reason you ask this question is because you're created in the image of God. The very reason you ask this question is because you have a sense of justice and rightness within you that says that innocent should not suffer.

Where'd you get that from? You got that from God. Any compassion you have for someone hurting and suffering, you got that from God.

It is God who put that in you to be merciful, to be caring. So the same God is the one who ordered these to be wiped out. So there are many who believe that the ones that were being wiped out were like a mixed breed and it was destructive, and that's why they all had to be killed, including children. Others who would argue that there is even DNA that is passed on, that the wickedness of one generation can be inherited by the next generation, and hence the decimation of the population had to take place. But bear in mind, God only acted when it was when it was perfectly righteous and perfectly right. And if we had stood there and watched, we would have said, yes, it's painful, but it has to happen. You know, just like if you had ISIS terrorists about to kill children and you had snipers could take them all out. It's tragic.

They probably had families of their own, but they're guilty. That's what happened. That's how God acts. So whenever he works, he knows the people involved. He knows the situations involved.

There's always more to the story. He doesn't do something that's unfair. How can a believer be devoted without simply a fear of hell and gratefulness for God's grace? So 1 John 4 says that the one who's been made perfect in God's love has no fear. There is no fear in love because fear has to do with punishment.

So think of it like this. Let's say that you're married and let's say you lived in a society in which the penalty for adultery was death, like ancient Israel or Saudi Arabia today. You commit adultery, you die. If you love your wife, you never think of it. You never think of adultery.

The thing that stops you from adultery is not the fear of punishment, but the love for your wife. So the same way when you know the depth of God's love for you, and that's the foundation of it all, knowing his love for you, that in our sin and rebellion, he sent his son to die. Why take the initiative? Why not just damn us? Why not just condemn us? He sent his son to die to demonstrate the greatness of his love.

While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. And when that love fills our hearts, there is no fear of punishment. There is no fear of, oh no, if I do one wrong thing, he's going to get, oh no, I fell asleep and I didn't confess every one of my, oh no, I thought a lustful thought and then I fell asleep and I didn't have a chance to, if I die in my sleep, I'm going to hell.

Those thoughts don't exist as far as the fear anymore because you're secure in the love of God. Let's say you're a kid growing up and your dad is a professional football player. He's a big, giant, powerful guy, but he's just your dad, right? When he says, when he tells you, I don't want you talking out of turn at the table. Wait, wait for your turn.

Yes, dad. It's not because you think he's going to kill you. It's just that's your dad and you respect him. Well, the same way we have a healthy respect for God and love for God, but the main reason that we don't sin is because we love God. The main reason we don't sin is not fear of hell. And if the main reason that you try not to sin is fear of hell, then that means you haven't come to know God's love. I'm not faulting you for that. I'm not saying that's bad. Look, there's something wrong with you. I'm saying that's the foundation that has to be built, that you know that you know that he loves you and you know he loves you because you look at Jesus.

And when you look at Jesus, that is God's expression towards you. The young man says, it feels like I'm cursed to live in sin. I didn't choose to live.

I didn't make the choice to sin in the first place. I'm a pretty good guy and I just want to love others and have a good life. So here's where I'd encourage you to recognize that in ourselves, we're pretty wretched. That compared to somebody else, we might be pretty good, but compared to God and hey, how about we go through your thought life in the last month?

Shall we reveal it for the whole world? Will you end up saying I'm pretty good? Or would you end up saying I've got some real corruption in me? So acknowledge that before God and then whatever the habit is, whether it's drinking or smoking or gambling or drugs or whatever else it is or some sex addiction and you feel bad about it, then go to God and say, look, I've blown it. I'm a sinner. I need your grace and mercy. And if you know you've received his forgiveness and say, Lord, I need help. If you will cry out to him, he will help you. And you may have to go and sit down with other leaders and say, okay, I hit this wall.

I cannot seem to get free. I'm telling you, there is freedom in Jesus. Sometimes you have to get to the end yourself.

You have to get to that point of have no hope. But out of that, there is freedom. Sin does not have to be the rule of your life. It doesn't mean you're gonna be perfect in this world, but sin does not have to be the rule. It should be the exception to the rule because you found the place of freedom and new life in Jesus.

Millions of others have. You're not an exception. Again, you may need to sit down with a church leader and say, hey, I've hit a wall here. You may need counseling. You may need deliverance. You may just need some discipleship. But you can live a changed life. You do not have to be a slave to sin. Also, why didn't God just make new creation without the possibility of sin?

Because he would not have then developed what he wanted, which was a family that had relationships. If I ask you, say, as a young man, if you could just zap some beautiful young woman, and she will now love you and be your best friend, but she's programmed. She has no will of her own, no choice of her own. She's just gonna be programmed. Would you want that?

No, you want a relationship. God wants a relationship with his people, in which case he had to put us in an environment where he had a choice. So here's a question. If you had the choice of not existing at all, or existing, what would you choose? Well, the vast majority of us choose existing, because we don't kill ourselves. That means we choose existing. The vast, vast, vast majority of human beings choose existing. Second thing, if you had a choice that from here on you could just have a wonderfully happy life, no suffering, no pain, but you make no choices of your own, you are programmed.

Would you want that? Would you want your freedom? Most would say the vast, vast, vast majority, I want my freedom. So, for God to create a world in which he gives us the right to exist, and gives us freedom, means there can be all these horrific consequences. It has to be. If there's gonna be freedom, there's gonna be bad choices, good choices. There are gonna be bad things that happen, good things that happen.

That is an inevitability. However, what can come out of it is infinitely better. In other words, think of the worst things you've ever been through and you came out the other way. It's like, man, I don't ever want to go through that again, but it's the best thing that ever happened to me. This bad thing I went through, this thing I lived through, it was terrible, but what I learned out of it, what I became out of it, was something I never could have known without going through. I hope I never have to go through something like that again, but it was far, I came out a far better person having gone through it than I would have otherwise. It's the same with us. What is going to come out of us in relationship with God forever and ever and ever is far better than if we had just all been in a perfect environment and we didn't go through it and we're given no choice, we only just do the right thing.

This way there's a relationship and there's depth and substance to it. Okay, I'm going to comment a little bit more in the break and then get to a bunch more questions right here on the Line of Fire. Thanks for joining us on the Line of Fire as we answer some of your toughest questions. These were submitted to me via email and then on X, formerly Twitter, so I won't be taking calls, but shout out of appreciation to our wellness co-sponsor Triveda, part of my daily diet of these healthy Triveda supplements. We commend them to you. You can find out more if you'd like to by calling 800-771-5584.

If you call off hours you'll get a call back or if you'd like you can go to triveda.com and use the code BROWN25. So one more related question, why do we have to suffer on earth with sin and then have heaven? So that ties in with the whole reason that we were created.

God chose to create us. That meant he knew there would be negative consequences. He foresaw everything that would happen, but knew in the light of eternity it would ultimately be worth it for him going through this with us, right, because he hurts over our pain. He hurts over our pain more than we do. Remember when your parents would spank you and say, this hurts you more than hurts me.

You're like, I don't think so. God hurts over our sin more than we hurt ourselves because he's love. Think of someone you really, really love. How do you feel when they're going through a hard time? It breaks your heart.

You carry their pain. So God in his love hurts for us, but he knew ultimately for those that would honor him forever and ever and ever it would be worth it. So here's the thing, we are in this fallen messed up world because of choices that we've made over the centuries, the choices that we make in ongoing level. However, through these we can now be tested. Through these we can grow.

Look, you know the saying, you work out no pain no gain. In many ways it's the same with life, that it's the hard times that make us who we are, that it's seeing the evil of sin, seeing the consequences of sin, growing ourselves through suffering and hardship, that we will come out of this with a better relationship with God than Adam and Eve ever had. And that's the hope you have to have, that God can bring something good and beautiful out of the pain, out of the suffering.

And we've all seen it in like microcosm, right? Some terrible tragedy leads to much more good. Something happens to a person that radically changes their lives, but now they're able to help so many others.

So they had a terrible loss, but as a result of it they've been able to relieve other people of their loss, or bring comfort in the midst of grief, or bring courage in the midst of challenge. God is going to make something beautiful out of us. This is the environment, the environment one in which he gives us freedom to exist, and two in which he gives us freedom of choice.

That is going to mean all kinds of hardship and suffering, but he is going to bring greater good out of it. It's a similar question posted by Jay on X. Why does God allow so much horrific suffering of innocent people?

It's probably the hardest question. It's such an understandably emotional issue that the answers aren't easy to accept. So I want to say two things regarding this. Number one, it's absolutely true that innocent people suffer because of choices that we make.

For example, here's a mom with her three kids driving to the store. Here's a drunk driver, gets drunk irresponsibly, gets in his car irresponsibly, plows into this family and kills them all. They suffered because of what this man did. There's nothing in that sense they did that's wrong.

As human beings, we all fall short, but they did nothing in that scenario wrong. God will write things in the world to come. So there are many things that will not be right in this world.

It's that simple. He'll write them in the world to come. If there is no world to come, that's when we panic. If there is no world to come, that's when we pull our hair out, because there can be no possible justice. There can be no possible righting of wrongs.

So that's the first thing. The second thing is, God is a redeemer, and even in this world, he can bring good out of evil. I mentioned already that he's going to do something in us where he makes us certain people that we couldn't have been, so that there's a richness of our relationship with God and of who we are as human beings beyond anything Adam and Eve ever could have known without sin, because he's a redeemer.

The worst act committed by human beings was the crucifixion of the Son of God. It's like human beings saying, if we get our hands on God, this is what we'll do to him, and that becomes personified in the person of Jesus, and yet that's God's means for saving the world. Joseph being sold into slavery in Egypt and suffering everything he did is God's way of saving Jacob.

The very people that sold him into slavery are saved through his actions. So all that to say that the redemptive power of God is amazing, what he brings out of this is going to be spectacular, and much of it will not happen in this world. It will only happen in the world to come, and that's the biblical narrative. You can't say it's unjust because the biblical narrative is saying there is a world to come, and God will settle scores, and God will punish the wicked, and God will reward the righteous, and God will reward the innocent. He will do that in the world to come, and even in this world he can bring good out of evil, but he allows these things to happen because he gave us free will and free choice, and these are the consequences. That means that innocent people will suffer. Let's see, Suzanne asks, how do we know the Bible is true? I have trouble answering this one.

So Suzanne, I would suggest that you start with your own story. In other words, you've encountered the God of the Bible. It's not merely an intellectual process. You can say, well, there are reasons to believe the Bible is true. For example, fulfilled prophecy, when God lays out world history in advance, or lays out that the messianic redemption has to begin before the Second Temple is destroyed, and then the Messiah will come, be rejected by his own people, die, and rise from the dead before the Second Temple was destroyed, or that, having been rejected by his nation, he will now become a light to the nations and say, isn't that exactly what happened with Jesus? And he's just an obscure Jewish carpenter who dies a criminal's death, the worst death that was known to man back then, crucifixion, the most ignominious death, and from there is the human being who has divided history into BC and AD, and has brought hundreds of millions of people to the knowledge of God.

How does it just happen? Or God laying out Jewish history in advance, that we would be scattered, that we would be preserved, that we would be regathered, that that's absolutely momentous and laid out. Jerusalem is a city of conflict for the whole world. How did the Bible get that right? And you can also point to the essential harmony of the different themes and how this ancient book written in an ancient world is so applicable in so many ways today, but ultimately those are things that people say, well that's interesting, but what about this?

What about this? And they can say, I don't think that prophecy was really accurate, or I have an issue with this, or I find contradictions here and there. So these arguments are helpful, but ultimately the knowing comes when you encounter the God of the Bible. So what I would say is the God of the Bible gives us an invitation to know him through his Son, and when we take him at his word and respond to his terms, he will now act in accordance with what he said, and he will forgive our sins and change our lives and live in us in such a way that we know how real he is, and we'll see him in many ways over the decades, answer prayers that we pray that only he could answer, and we'll see his miraculous hand at work in different ways that has no logical rational explanation other than God did it, right? So by encountering the God of the Bible and then seeing that he brings about the changes in us that he promised, and that he does the things he promised, oh in this world we don't see things a hundred percent, in other words we don't have a hundred percent free cure over sin, but the Bible tells us there'll be struggles, and we don't see every prayer answered the way we'd like, but the Bible makes clear many times you have to pray and sometimes it seems there's disappointment, but when he does answer and what he does do is inexplicable except from a supernatural viewpoint.

There is no earthly human viewpoint that explains it or explanation that works. So that to me is the ultimate reason I know the Bible is true, and now these other things that's corollary evidence. Now some others came differently. They came through the evidence first. In other words, the evidence was presented, it can convince them intellectually, or evidence for the resurrection of Jesus convinced them intellectually, then they put their trust in God and then experienced it.

But for many, maybe most, it's going to be the reverse, that by experiencing him you come to know his word is true, and then we find out all this other corollary evidence, and you can just say, hey here's why I know it's true, I just want to give you my own testimony and my own story, and that's the most powerful thing you can say individually. Okay, we'll be right back. 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.

This is Michael Brown, and I am delighted as always to have this time with you. Shout out to all of our torchbearers, our monthly supporters, those who helped with one-time donations. We are so blessed. You know, as all ministries, we're non-profit, the money that comes in goes right back out. So as you give, know that that's sacred to us. That's your hard-earned money. That's a part of your life. You're giving some of yourself, and you're doing it to help us reach more people with the good news, to help us reach the lost sheep of the house of Israel, to help us push back against moral and cultural insanity, to help spark revival in the church, to help support our missions work around the world. You're part of that.

You get to share in the reward. Thank you. Those who want to pray about joining our support team, go to thelineoffire.org. We've been a blessing to you.

It's biblical. We've been a blessing to you to share with those who bless you, but not for me, not for my team, but for the others we want to reach. We want to help together.

So if you want to help us do that, go to thelineoffire.org, click on donate, and then monthly support. All right, getting back to questions, difficult questions that have been posted on X. Why would God create Satan knowing all the things he would cause? Why did God reveal himself to humanity 2,000 years ago, but now he seems to be less active with miracles than before? Why aren't resurrections happening today?

Let me answer the second question first. God is incredibly active in the world today. Millions of people are having dramatic encounters with him all over the world. Dramatic salvation, dramatic deliverance, dramatic divine intervention, dramatic. As I'm speaking, it's happening. I mean, God didn't tell me that.

I just know it numerically, right? As I'm speaking, it's happening. Someone is getting dramatically saved. Someone's getting set free from sin. Someone's getting delivered from a demon. Someone's getting healed. Someone's receiving some extraordinary word that's going to lead them to the next mission of what God's calling them to do. It's happening. As I'm speaking, someone's having a dream. Someone's having a vision.

It's happening around the world right now. Just get one book like Craig Keener's Miracles today. He's got a two-volume book called Miracles, and that's comprehensive and philosophical, but just get his book Miracles today. And at a certain point, you're like, okay, I've got enough. I've got enough here. I can't believe how much is actually happening.

I had no idea. Or Lee Strobel's The Case for Miracles, and he brings in The Case Against Miracles too, but he gives examples there. Or Randy Clark's book Eyewitness to Miracles. Or Randy's book Intimacy with God, where each chapter he interweaves testimonies from people that have been in his classes and things they've seen firsthand with their own eyes.

Absolutely. God's moving in incredible ways all around the world, and many would estimate more Muslims have been saved in the last, oh, 75 years than in the previous 1400 years, roughly, with the origins of Islam. God's moving in amazing ways around the world, and there even are occasional resurrections from the dead. You have to understand, that was not the norm in biblical times. Does it happen once with Elijah and once with Elisha in the Old Testament? And then, let's name the ones that Jesus raised from the dead. There was Lazarus and John 11. There is the son of the widow of Nain in Luke 7. But it's not like he went around raising everybody from the dead. In the New Testament, you have Peter with Tabitha, or Dorcas, in Acts 9. And Eutychus, it appears that, you know, he dies, falls in Acts 20, is raised.

But this is not happening every day. But there are resurrections taking place, and some have actually been documented. So, God is moving in powerful, glorious ways.

Glorious ways, amazing ways. And remember also, the Bible is giving you snapshots. We can get the impression that every single day of Paul's life, he was raised in the dead. Well, that wouldn't be accurate. Or every single day of Peter's life, his shadow was healed in the sick. That would not be accurate. But miracles are happening all over the earth, and God is moving, and there are angelic appearances. It's happening.

There's no question it's happening, and it's being documented. And I've been to many of the places and met many of the people who've had these life-transforming stories, and I've been to many of the people who have these stories, and they're glorious, and they're undeniable, and the fruit is beautiful. I'm talking about people who love Jesus, love the Word, live godly lives. You would love to have them as part of your leadership team, or pastoring your church, or friends, or neighbors, or co-workers, high-quality believers. And their stories are amazing, happening all over the world, all over the world. And when I've even posted on Facebook and said, hey, do you have a documented, miraculous healing testimony? I've been amazed at how many get posted. Or can you give me an example of hearing the voice of God?

Some amazing stories get posted. Why would God create Satan, knowing all the things he would cause, in the same way that he created human beings, knowing all that we would do? It's all part of his creating an environment in which there is freedom of choice, freedom of will, so that there would be a people ultimately who come through that, and would willingly look to the Lord as Savior, as Redeemer, as Father, as King, and Lord, and that would be part of his family forever and ever.

So the only way to do that was to give us an environment of freedom. I addressed that at greater length at the beginning of the show, but the same answer I gave about human beings would be the same answer about Satan. I appreciate every one of these questions. Let's see. Hear this all the time. People can't help being gay because they're born that way. May have tried being straight, but the urge is too strong. Let them be who they are so later they don't have to get a divorce trying to pretend they're straight. And I appreciate every single one of these questions.

Thank you for posting them. So, number one, are we saying that if someone is born a particular way, or let's say they're not born that way, but as far as they can remember, this is always who they've been, and they can't stop being that way, that whatever actions they have are moral and should be accepted? Are we saying that? In other words, if you say, hey look, I'm left-handed, you're right-handed, and that's just the way you are. And if a left-handed person tries to be right-handed, they'll never be fully right-handed because that's not natural for them. So, if you want a gay person to be straight, it's not going to be natural for them, so just let them be who they are.

Now, in the case of left-hand versus right-hand, there's no moral issue involved. But gay-straight, the relational issues are there, who they relate to, how they have those relationships, etc. Those issues now come up. So, if you say no, if that's the way you've always been, then you're not responsible.

Okay, so what do we say? Totally different subject now. We're not talking about gay.

Totally different subject. What do we tell the pedophile? That this person would say, this is always who I've been. I didn't ask for this.

I didn't try to be this. This is all, I have always been attracted to children. What do you tell that person? You can't act on it. It's wrong. It's sinful. What do you mean I'm going to have to just be by myself the rest of my life? Yes. Yes. If it's either that or having romantic and sexual relations with children, yes. You're gonna have to be by yourself the rest of your life.

Correct. However, in the Gospel there's hope, because Jesus can change you. And, even when you're alone, He can be more than enough in your own life. So, even though that's a totally separate category, pedophile category, separate category, it's the same issue when it comes to someone who says, look, I'm same-sex attracted. Okay, if you've tried to change and prayed to change and have not been able to change and got counseling and tried to get to the root of things or deliverance, whatever, nothing has worked, well then it's better not to marry. In other words, don't then try to just put up a facade and marry a straight person, because yes, everyone will get hurt. You'll get hurt, your spouse will get hurt, and it'll probably end in divorce. If you're able to have children somehow, it'll hurt the children ultimately. See, it's better not to marry. But in that case, God will be sufficient for you. Now, I'm not saying this for myself, because I'm happily married over 48 years as a heterosexual man.

It's easy for me to say, right? I'm married. But I think of people who are ex-gay, meaning they no longer practice homosexuality, but they're single, and they have not changed. They have prayed, they have sought counseling, and they have not changed. And this is what they say. Number one, Jesus requires everything from all of us. Does not he say, you must deny yourself and take up the cross and follow me? To the very fundamental core of our being, you must deny yourself and take up your cross and follow me? So, Jesus requires everything from all of us.

This is what they will say. I mean, this is almost a verbatim quote from one pastor who has not experienced the change he wants to, but he says no to same-sex desires. He doesn't act on them, he doesn't indulge them, he recognizes they're wrong and sinful, and renounces them, and yields his life fully to the Lord.

He also says this, that Jesus is enough for all of us. So, he's saying then, if your only recourse is being single, he will be with you. I have heterosexual friends. They're fine people, but they're single. They want to be married, but they've not met the right person, or whoever they're interested in is not interested in them. So, they have no power to marry because there's no one that wants to marry them, or they haven't been compatible with the ones that, you know, were interested in them, etc. They want to be married.

I know one, I can take their 20s, and their 30s, and their 40s, and their 70s, and they've never been married. So, what do you say to them? God is more than enough. I'm praying for a spouse for you, I'm praying for you to be ready for that spouse, but God is more than enough. I also want to point you, though, to many who have changed, and that will attest to the power of the Gospel to change the glory of your being. Go to, for example, changed movement, changed with a D, changedmovement.org, or restoredhopenetwork.org, restoredhopenetwork.org. Read the testimonies of those who've been changed, or watch the documentary in his image that I hosted for American Family Studios. You can just watch it on YouTube.

In his image, about an hour and 40 minutes long, so when you look for the right video, that's it. In his image, you can watch it free there on YouTube, and you'll hear the stories of two ex-trans individuals, both of whom had surgery, sex-changing surgery, two ex-trans individuals, and an ex-gay. So, these stories are very, very powerful, but for those who say, I tried to change, and I couldn't, I did everything in my power, well then, present yourself to God as a single individual, and say, here I am to serve you. But the fact that you cannot change does not mean that the behavior is ever justified.

You simply have to say no to it, and you say, does that mean I'm going to be lonely for life? Hey, that's a very intense question, and I do not want to make light of it in any way. I can only say that if you do not experience change from same-sex, romantic attraction, sexual attraction, then you have to be celibate, and God will give you the grace to. But I want to encourage you that change is possible. However, don't focus on trying to go from homosexual to heterosexual. Focus on growing in holiness, and relationship with God, and intimacy.

Let that be your focus. And then, perhaps through Godly counsel, you can get to the root of some of the same-sex attractions, as like many others have, countless thousands, have experienced lasting change. Either way, the fact that something seems to be part of who we are does not give us the right to change. It does not give us the right to act on it.

Many of those things are sinful and destructive, and we have to say, Lord, I will obey rather than indulge. 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. Make sure you're on our email list, because every week I'm writing new articles on the latest developments in the world.

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TheLineOfFire.org, click subscribe. Alright, Curious By Nature asks, the previous question that was Cathy, or catchy, sorry. Curious by nature, there's a shocking amount of abuse in the church, yet the church turns against abuse victims and seems to support abusers. Why would someone want to go to a place that seems so unsafe?

Yeah, another important question. Number one, the amount of abuse in churches, I would say, is exaggerated the way it would look to the general public. I'm not speaking of Catholicism and cases there. I can't speak to it, except to say it's been terribly problematic and unbelievable numbers of lives have been damaged, often for life, by clergy abuse in the Catholic Church. I'm just speaking in the larger world in which I live, the larger Protestant, evangelical, messianic world, etc., that the amount of people I've worked with over the decades that have had scandals involving some type of abuse within the church. So I don't even mean, say, a man in his 50s commits adultery with a woman in her 50s, a co-worker, so that's adultery and he has to step down from ministry.

I don't even mean that. I mean where someone was taken advantage of, where a youth pastor slept with a kid in the youth group, where the pastor groomed someone he was counseling and took her to bed. Horrific things like that.

The scandals that arose, for example, with Mike Bickel, with Ravi Zacharias. According to everything I know, those are the rare exceptions to the rule. That in the vast, vast, vast majority of churches, with the vast, vast, vast majority of pastors leaders, that is not happening. If it was, our buildings would be empty. There would not be multiplied tens of billions of believers in America. The stench would be too great. The ministries would just collapse.

People would run for their lives. So the first thing is, generally speaking, our congregations are safe places. Generally speaking, our congregations are safe places.

That's the first thing. And we don't want to exaggerate the level of abuse that's been out there. Secondly, tragically, in cases where things have been brought up, some of the scandalous and Southern Baptists, the leaders have sided with the victimizer rather than the victim, the abuser rather than abused, that that person becomes the one bringing the charges who's been sinned against becomes the bad one. Pastor MacArthur's been accused of that as well. That when there are people that were guilty of abuse, a father abusing his own children, that the church stood with the abuser.

Well, we know him, we trust him. That is inexcusable. And God knows the details with all those involved, John MacArthur, Southern Baptists, et cetera.

God knows all those details. But that is absolutely horrific when it happens. And that compounds it. I don't know which is worse, the abuse or now siding with the abuser.

They're both evil in God's sight. And by the way, for those who say, well, why did you immediately come to the defense of Mike Bickel? I never did. Some of the people that I've talked to, they did. Someone wrote this lengthy thing the other day and it's accusing me of it.

I never did. I said, opening words, everything must come to life. Everything must come to life. The Mike I know could not have done these things, but maybe he's guilty. The ones bringing the charges, I know to be good people.

Don't demonize them. Everything must come to life. And there must be a third party investigation that is thorough, that brings everything to life.

And then when it got delayed, when it didn't happen, when it didn't happen, when it didn't happen, then with others, I said he cannot be in public ministry again based on the credible accusations that have come against him from numerous witnesses. But that's the scarier part, not just that the thing happened, but that people side it with, well, we know him and we don't know you and we think maybe you just seduced him or something. That's so evil and wrong. And I could understand why someone would be afraid.

Why would I want to go to a place like that? I can only say again, it's the exception. It's not the rule. Just look at the reaction as the charges came against Mike Bickel. The universal outrage. Leaders around the world stunned, but then saying, okay, if this is the case, we have to distance ourselves, that the first tendency is not going to be to cover up. When you can deal with something righteously in a private way, when righteously, before God, according to biblical ethics, you can deal with something in a private way, or just among a small group of witnesses, that's always better than public, but some things have to go public because of the nature of them.

But when they go public, now you get to feel like that's everywhere. So, God help us where we have sinned against those that we're sinned against in the first place. What a horror.

What a horror. But to answer your question honestly, it's the exception to the rule. Have you been guilty of that yourself?

You say, no. Well, the folks you know in your church really said they've been guilty of that. Okay, well then, let's believe the best, because that is the case in most circumstances. And then, just build relationship, little by little, little by little, until people feel comfortable realizing human beings are human beings, but there are many who are trustworthy, ethical people. Let's see, Septon, if God is good, why can't he let love be love? Why all the rules are on sexuality and transphobia? Again, these are questions that people would ask because he knows what's best.

That's the whole thing. Because he's good, he knows what's best. He knows what's best for human thriving. He biologically created men to be with women and women to be with men. So, we know, for example, that if not for that, there'd be no human race, right? That the old thing, you know, it was Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. But just in all seriousness, if it was Adam and Steve, that's the end of the human race. Or Eve and Yvette is the end of the human race, because there's no ability to procreate. He made us to procreate. So, biologically, if you've got a room full of people, right, and you're trying to figure out who matches with who, well, the men match with the women, and the women match with the men. Only they can procreate, only they have the ability to bring a child into the world. Only the man has the seed for the baby, and the woman has the egg, and the ability to carry it with the uterus, and the ability to nurse the baby, made for each other, biologically.

And not just that, emotionally and in other ways. When we deviate from the norm, it creates various problems. Why is it there are more sexually transmitted diseases associated with homosexuality than heterosexuality?

Because it violates the intended order of God. Why is it that even after transgender surgery, the most recent study said that people are 12 times higher, on average, to be suicidal than someone who never had sex change surgery, just someone that never struggled with gender identity questions? When you see the way things are going in society, just look at the trajectory. Is it a good trajectory that 13-year-old girls are having full mastectomies because they went through a time of emotional uncertainty, only at the age of 17 or 18 to say, what in the world did I do? Is it a good thing that 10-year-old boys are getting sterilized for life because they're going through a time of uncertainty about their gender identity, only to be 20 and realize they can't have kids now? Is that a good, healthy thing? Is it a good thing that boys are sharing locker rooms and bathrooms with girls or competing against them athletically? Is that a good thing, or is that cultural madness? Well, it's the trajectory.

It's where it goes. And ultimately, these things are not what is in the best interest of human thriving. And then, hey, what about the minor attracted persons, previously known as pedophiles or pederasts? What about those or intergenerational intimacy?

In my book, A Queer Thing Happened to America, I have a whole chapter called Speaking About the Unspeakable, where I say, look, this is a separate category. Pedophiles, I'm not saying gays are, all gays are pedophiles, all pedophiles are gays. I'm not saying that. I'm not saying that.

I'm not saying that. But I'm saying that the very same arguments, love is love, and I was born this way, and so on, can't change, and this is actually good and healthy, and down the list, the very same arguments used by gay activists for years have also been used by pedophile activists. And this is natural, and, and ultimately, we find that it's good for the children, and there's a history to it, and, and it's innate, it's immutable, etc., and it's just the stigma of society saying, no, that's absolutely wrong. Okay, what about two men, 25-year-old man and his 27-year-old brother, same-sex attracted, in love with each other? Love is love, right? Or father, grown dad, with his daughter. Love is love. Well, no, but that's, they could be incestuous with the father and daughter, and they could be kids that were, oh, so there are negative consequences.

Well, how about the two brothers? Love is love. Love is love. Everyone draws on certain places. God drew the lines where he did based on his goodness. It's because he is good. He knows that a man cannot be a woman, and a woman cannot be a man. He made us certain ways.

Because he's good, he knows that the best environment for human thriving is not two men together, two women together, and the best environment for children to grow up on is with a mom and dad, not with two dads, or with two moms. And biologically, the best way for us to function is in a heterosexual environment. Now, you say, what about those who are same-sex attracted? Oh, we talked about that a little bit before. I'm not saying that they're not happy, I'm not saying that they're not happy together. I'm not saying that at all.

They may be very happy. But ultimately, for human thriving and for the best for the planet, we follow God's laws and ways. If everybody, if the whole world lived by the Ten Commandments, the world would be an infinitely better place. If you don't have my book, Can You Be Gay and Christian?, you might want to check that out. Can You Be Gay and Christian? Hey, thank you for the great questions. I pray these will be a help to you and to those that you know.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-24 18:37:33 / 2024-05-24 18:56:43 / 19

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