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October 9, 2018 10:20 am
Best-selling author, speaker and advocate for Christian apologetics Dr. Alex McFarland, best-selling author and apologist Dylan Burroughs together bringing you truths for a new generation. This is TMG radio in 1908 UK Chesterton famously said as much, as we need to win the lost to Christianity. More and more. Increasingly, we need to win the Christians to Christianity without thought, I welcome you to do this vision of TMG radio Alex McFarland here with Dylan Burroughs and Dylan when I read the book by Chesterton that we need to win the Christians to Christianity.
If he were to see the church landscape of 2018. I think he would dump probably be even more concerned than he was in 1908, wouldn't you agree will certainly his words of Ben prosthetic and some of talked about the number of believers or so-called believers in the pews or church each Sunday that need the gospel just as much of those outside the walls of the church. This is a very timely message and were glad to be here today with Dr. Luther focus on.
You do not want to miss the next few minutes of this radio program because we have on the line. Truly one of the great Christian leaders of our lifetime. Dr. Erwin lutes are of course famously pastored Moody church for more than three decades in his radio show running to win has touched countless millions of lives, but I first learned of him. Oh, I don't know two decades plus ago as an author and his books have touched so many lives and he is the scholar, a pastor and evangelist, but I would say also a very very astute observer of trends and Dr. Luther's brand-new book out called the church in Babylon heeding the call to be light in the darkness it's published by Moody.
It is a brand-new book that I would urge everybody listening to read and what an honor to have them on the line right now and Dr. Luther thank you for carving out some time to be with us on TMG radio. To my delight to be able to do that and to interact with the two of you and especially as we think about helping our people to navigate the darkness.
You know I wrote this book to try to help us see what does faithfulness look like in a nation that has forgotten God, you know, we are not called to success. Jeremiah wasn't but he was called to faithfulness and that's what we are called to and you know while I matter that I might say that if I can put it in a single sentence I wrote this book to try to help us to see what faithfulness looks like in a nation that believes our light is darkness, that's our challenge to lose it. When you began to pastor Moody Church in Chicago and you know really I guess it was probably you know in the mid 80s that you will put on the national stage. Would you have ever thought the culture, especially the. The evangelical culture would be where it is today in America and I want your response to kind of the trajectory. We've been on and if if you had one prayer for the future of the church in America. What would that be. While those are really two separate questions Alex, but I'll try to answer them. Question number one I would never dream of when I became the pastor in 1980. Actually, that someday we would see our White House arrayed in rainbow colors just celebrated him.
The Supreme Court decision regarding same-sex marriage. That was just totally off the radar way back them.
A lot of other things were also off the radar and the whole idea of the seeker sensitive church was just coming into its own. So you have. Since that time the sexual revolution, and the bitter fruit of that to which we must ministers or church.
You also have the technological revolution. So in answer to your second question this. This trajectory has been fueled by the media. First of all, of course, television. But now cell phones and the addiction that there is to technology is just overwhelming is very difficult to get the attention of people anymore. You know you can just see it in airports and everywhere else for bumping into each other because they're not watching where they're going. They are on their cell phones doing technology. The other thing that has really changed is the attitude toward Christians in Israel and Babylon the belief was that Marmaduke the Babylonian God one. After all, he came and took the city of Jerusalem took 10,000 Jews with them to Babylon took the vessels of the temple and that's where we are.
The society tells us that our God is lost and Christians are embarrassed to be identified with the Christian God.
So I pray that my book will invigorate the church and help it to be revitalized. You know, you mentioned technology and in that really is just as helpful as it can be. It really has turned masses of people into almost zombies is everybody's looking at a screen or playing with the mobile device. We know the Holy Spirit is powerful. God has all power, the Dr. Luther you have of gutter I just gotta ask.
Did you still think it's possible to have a sweeping spiritual awakening in in a culture where everybody is so informed by the Internet tied to their devices and God still break through a culture that is absolutely addicted to technology well yes of course God can break through. But you know Alex, the simple fact is that it's not going to happen because we have a great evangelist like Billy Graham.
Even Billy lived at a time when this nation still had a Christ consciousness what is going to take is all of the people listening today, wherever God has planted them to become a solid witness for Christ to lay aside the noise to live for Jesus and not be ashamed of the things you know this all Rebecca and I have two grandsons that are entering college. I'm not so much afraid that they'll be talked out of their faith. I'm much more afraid that they'll be marked out of their faith that they will change it because of their beliefs.
So what we have to do. Alex is what you are doing the whole apologetics task. That's one thing. The other thing is, our churches have to have a whole new standard of holiness they need to recognize what is happening. One of the things here at Moody churches, I did not pretend that the problems were in the world without recognizing that there were also within the church. I think this is so critical for pastors, but at the same time you know what will it take it's going to take something that's widespread something that takes personal sacrifice and the awakening of the average believer to be willing to share their faith and live with the consequences of those agree were stacked elixir and we are here with Dr. Melissa talking about the church and Babylon stick with this would be right back after the spring game. The way in the church and Babylon heeding the company light in the darkness by author Luther. He is our guest today entry for new generation radio Alex McFarland here with Dylan Burroughs and folks.stay tuned because this is such a powerful show because it's based on a powerful book, Dr. Luther has covered questions like this. How do we love lead and serve with Christ's heart and mind in today's Babylon. What are the five false gospels in our churches and how do we stay true to our Christian witness. How we respond to transgender is him and Muslim immigration with biblical truths and compassion. Dr. Luther, I want to thank you again for making time to be with us and let me ask you this, as we continue the conversation. The church and Babylon will what you mean by the title the church in Babylon. Well when I look back at the Old Testament. I don't really see any good parallels between Israel and the church because we're in a different era. God work directly and you know Elijah was able to kill the false prophets will we don't do that today. We just see them on television, and by themů The best example of the church in the Old Testament is when Israel was in Babylon and they had to meet God on enemy territory.
They had to learn to live faithfully as a minority in the midst of the majority pagan culture and that's where we are at so you begin to think about God's instruction to them how they should do that. You also think of a man like Daniel and Shadrach me shack and a Bendigo who were willing to compromise.
Surprisingly, I mean they just think about this for a moment they were giving advice to a king Nebuchadnezzar's whose armies were so evil that they were throwing judo Jewish babies against rocks when they capture Jerusalem, and now they wanted to make Nebuchadnezzar a success, so he put them through three years of training.
They have been indoctrinated in Babylonian culture, and God is in ways and yet they did draw a line in the sand. They said this much we can do that when you put up that image. We will not bow even if it's the fiery furnace, and this is so exciting because this is the best expression of faith. I think anywhere in the Bible the King. We believe that our God is able to deliver us, but he doesn't we will not swerve in our allegiance to the living God and everyone listening today needs to say this is our lying in the sand and you have to draw that line you have to stay there. One quick example here in Chicago, a schoolteacher told me that he was told it is not enough for you to simply tolerate same-sex marriage. If you don't celebrate it, you might lose your job for him is a line in the sand is willing to lose his job because he cannot celebrate what God has condemned you know in Daniel chapter 6 the story of Daniel in the lion's den. When Daniel prayed. It said that he opened his windows and he was willing to really maintain a public witness, even knowing there would be repercussions. You know, nowadays, for Christians to stand for traditional marriage objective morality.
The exclusivity of salvation through Jesus alone to meet virtually any of the core truths of biblical Christianity is going to put you at odds with the prevailing mind of the culture nowadays. How do we get that courage Dr. Luther how to get that conviction and that bravery that will embolden us to stand strong. Knowing there will be repercussions inviting Jesus back into our churches and we think we're doing well. Like the church at Laodicea did. Jesus said you're doing very poorly and until we get Christ's perspective. We are too easily satisfied and so I believe very deeply, you know that I just say this about the booklet were talking about. I struggled you know with it. Over a period of years actually writing bits and pieces and then I had a bright idea. I gave it to Jesus. And I said Jesus every morning when I woke up.
What would you like to say to your church. That's why I believe so deeply in this book the church in Babylon. That's why I identified Paul's Gospels for example within the church that covers a lot of territory regarding the issues that the church faces today. I might say this if people were interested, they might be interested in getting the book I'm going to give them a website they can go to. It's very simple.
It's M. C. M.
Author.com. MCM stands for Moody church media so that's all one word. Of course MCM offer.com and there they can be given information as to how the book can be theirs because I have a burden to get this book into the hands of as many people as possible what we wanted to get into the hands of his many people as possible for those just tuning in, were talking with her would looser the author of the church in Babylon heeding the call to be light in the darkness and folks, let me just say this book covers so much ground there is so much rich material brand-new research in here that I've not seen anywhere else inductively trying to commend you for such a great work and I want to keep talking about this for a moment let's sum talk about desperation because you talked about the church, not being desperate yet. I mean 9/11 Supreme Court decisions, just the unraveling of our culture. If it were not desperate yet, pray tell, what might make us desperate. Well, you know, I asked the pastor of the mega church, whether or not they had a prayer meeting in their church yet and he said no but there are women, men and others you know who do have small prayer groups and I pray in various contexts and so forth. So I said with a smile on my face. What would have to happen if your church got desperate enough to actually sincerely pour out their hearts to God and pray together and he really didn't give me an answer but your question is so spot on.
In other words, what is it going to take how much lower do we have to go before people realize that we are in dire situations.
And the thing that the church in Laodicea didn't realize you know it says we are increased with goods, and have need of nothing, and you do not know that your wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked.
So what we need to do. Alex, among many other things is to pray that God will reveal to pastors and churches what they are really like. As far as Jesus Christ evaluation and not simply our own evaluation of ourselves with you so obviously wrong here talking to Dr. Irwin Lisa about his new book the church in Babylon sick with us and when we return will be talking about the issue of immigration. What is the Bible say about that right after the break.
This is Dylan Burroughs with Alex McFarlane here talking with Dr. Irwin Luther about the church in Babylon.
We discussed many topics already, but as we begin this last segment with you. Dr. Luther wanted to talk about this controversial issue of immigration in America. It's interesting how much of the controversy. This is become even among Christians, tells a little bit about what your book says on this topic well you know I wrote this chapter with great deal of conviction for two reasons. First of all, I isolate and explain to people what immigration means to Muslims. Now most Muslims of course live under our Constitution, and so forth. But those who are really committed to Islam.
See immigration as a form of G hard.
In fact, the Muslim calendar does not go back to the death of Mohammed or the birth of Mohammed. It goes to when he migrated from Medina to Mecca, and the migration becomes a very important part of spreading Islam, but that being said, the real thrust of the chapter is to help Christians to understand this so often I hear well-meaning pastors and others say what, in my opinion is very foolish. They want to take the morality by which the church operates and they want to use it as a template for national policy and those two things are entirely different. I heard a pastor say will. The gospel says whosoever will may come and so you know, America should open its borders. Whosoever will make him from my hundred.
I say this, the gospel says whosoever will may come the church says that the state does not and in the Bible, the symbol of the state is the sword and the symbol of the church is the cross and that's why, given my book several examples of churches who work with emigrants and and anyone you know it's the story of the good Samaritan. You don't ask you know now where you are you here legally hate.
He has a need and you need it. But when it comes to the state. It's the state's responsibility to keep order. You cannot run a state based on compassion whenever you can be compassionate, fine, but Can't be a national policy and any other evangelicals who say things like, while Jesus was an immigrant know he and his parents. They went down to Egypt. Are you telling me that that's supposed to be a picture of the nations immigration policy based on something like that or even the Old Testament where people were invited into Israel and they were expected to convert by the way, to accept Israel's God that was an entirely different era that somehow all of that is applicable unless we keep these two things distinct. We are going to be saying some very foolish things.
There is nothing in the New Testament that would make us say that a nation does not have the right to control who comes into its borders. Of course it does in America. I point this out is always at a high bar yet silent them and I discussed their ramifications and how there were people who came to this country and because they were unhealthy and believe that disease they turned around and went to Europe and sometimes left part of their family here so there's so much oftentimes because of media hype will it is and I want to say.delete six I love your illustration about Ellis Island in the sacks that you document the 29 questions that were asked and how as you say America at one time had had quote a high bar for entry. It does isn't it amazing and how so many evangelicals when it comes to the notion of open borders and supposedly Christian compassion mandates that we don't have any protocols there just not really thinking are they they aren't and you know they say to themselves that they are more compassionate. Yes, when people break rules, they often are separated from their children. Obviously, our hearts hurt for the people at the border with the children who are separated from their parents, but I've been in Cook County jail and I noticed that children are separated from their parents. In other words, we cannot believe we put it this way.
Those of us who believe in strong borders. We are often vilified as racists and haters and all those other things. And I say no is just that Europe is teaching us and we should all know that it may seem to be compassionate to have open borders but the long-term effects in so many different areas can be disastrous.
So the point is that in my opinion. Let's not take the mandate for the church and apply it to the state. The sword is different than the cross. Well said Dr. Luther were talking with Dr. Irwin Lisa about his new book the church in Babylon.
You could pick up a copy right now. MCM offer.com that's MCM offer.com as we wrap up our last event together.
Dr. Lisa want to talk a little bit about the hope that you share in this book your final chapter mentions the church that will survive Babylon prevailing in a hostile culture that many of us would agree with you Dr. Lisa that we are in difficult times.
Our culture is upside down. What are some of the hopeful things that you share in this final chapter of your book. Well, there are certain Seminole elements that will survive Babylon one is where there is an emphasis on people and not just building. I give illustrations of that where there is an emphasis on the preaching of the word of God where there is indeed strong community. We not only teach pastors and teach our young people, but actually train them in a way so that they can stand against the culture and that's a whole different thing and where we are committed to prayer were committed to a godly lifestyle, but it godly lifestyle that engages culture. We tentatively and walks the line that on one side. Yes, we love, but we don't use the word love and inclusion and so forth to be defined in ways that are on biblical Dylan. That's why that chapter entitled the five false gospels in the evangelical church is so important because there I show how we capitulate and we think were doing one another favor and actually we are leaving the truth behind Dr. Luther, I want to thank you so much for your great service to the kingdom. Thank you for being on the show today and hope to talk with you again very soon. Thanks for listening to TNG radio being with you next time truth for a new generation in association with Alex McFarland evangelistic ministries exists to equip Christians with the biblical worldview through conferences and camps for information about upcoming events visit for a new generation.com or give us a call at 877 yes God one that's 877 yes, God in the number one TNG radio is made possible by the friends of Alex McFarland evangelistic ministries PO Box 102310 NC 27404.
That's PO Box 10231, North Carolina 27404. Give firstname.lastname@example.org or truth for a new generation.com. Thanks for listening and join us again next time. As we bring you more true for a new generation on TNG radio