“Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God…” -Rom. 1.1
We are inclined to read right over the richness of language that Paul uses in the introductions to his epistles. Modern man is unfortunately accustomed to casual greetings; formalities required to structure a letter rightly- verbiage given to make way for fleeting conversations. But Paul did nothing casually. Every thought and prayer was calculated through the wisdom of the cross and centered upon the eternal purpose of God. He was led by the Spirit for the penning out of the choicest statements, “like apples of gold in settings of silver.” Not a syllable was haphazardly given. Every thought was articulated with great care, “seasoned by grace.”
It is to our detriment that we glide indifferently over the surface of any Biblical text, rather than pausing before it with reverent expectation. The Word is “living and active,” and we need to wait upon it prayerfully, lest we miss out on the sustenance it provides.
In this opening verse of Romans Paul is giving to the saints a description of his position and office. It is not something to be relegated to either “title” or “function.” This is cosmic language. He is coming out of the gate as only apostles can, giving description of his consciousness as a “sent one.”
Paul had been fastened to a “heavenly vision”; bound to living message; chained to the Lion of Judah, and he had no desire to be freed from that glorious imprisonment. This is precisely the reason why apostolic servants are foundational to the faith of the Church. They have been formed at the hand of the Potter and thrust into the nations as ambassadors of His own character and wisdom. But we need to be cognizant of the fact that the apostolic call was not given to make Paul into an aloof figure in an ivory tower. His foundational role was meant to bring all who are “saints by calling” into the same kind of communion and inward abandonment that was his own portion.
“‘Slave of Christ Jesus’ is patterned on the familiar OT phrase ‘slave,’ or ‘servant,’ of Yahweh. The phrase connotes total devotion, suggesting that the servant is completely at the disposal of his or her Lord.” -Douglas Moo (NICOT, Eerdmans)
Seeing through an apostolic lens, Paul envisaged himself as being in chains for the Gospel (Eph. 6.20), for the “hope of Israel” (28.20), for Jesus Christ Himself (2 Tim. 2.8-9).
To be so “enslaved” was to be “free indeed,” and this produced in Paul a life of communion and intercession which fitted him to serve as one “set apart for the gospel of God.” If we would cling to a lesser kind of abandonment, we may find ourselves engaged in a plethora of ministerial activity, but we will not share in the glory that belongs to the bond-servants of Jesus Christ. We may be taken up with many labors, but we will not enjoy the light of the apostolic faith. There is a “ministry of the interior” that binds us to the altar of God, welds our hearts to a radical jealousy for His glory, and conjoins our souls with His own. We are not bond-servants merely because we suffer externally. We are bond-servants in the Pauline sense when our interior life is like unto Jesus’ own experience as the pattern Son. “I only do what I see My Father doing…”
Secret communion becomes for us a “joy unspeakable,” and intercessory engagement becomes our most cherished labor when we are inwardly abandoned to Jesus Christ. Paul was intimately acquainted with this reality, and if a display of the “manifold wisdom of God” would come through the Church in these last days, so also must we be.
“Am I fulfilling this ministry of the interior? There is no snare, or any danger of infatuation or pride in intercession, it is a hidden ministry that brings forth fruit whereby the Father is glorified. Am I allowing my spiritual life to be frittered away, or am I bringing it all to one centre- the Atonement of my Lord? Is Jesus Christ more and more dominating every interest in my life? If the one central point, the great exerting influence in my life, is the Atonement of the Lord, then every phase of my life will bear fruit for Him.
….What is the greatest factor of power in my life? Is it work, service, sacrifice for others, or trying to work for God? The thing that ought to exert the greatest power in my life is the Atonement of the Lord….Am I abiding? Am I taking time to abide?” -Oswald Chambers (My Utmost for His Highest, June 7th)
We are not to gauge our spirituality through endless cycles of human assessment. The examination of our faith which Paul encourages has only to do with discerning whether or not we are “living, moving, and having our being” on the ground of the Atonement. That is to ask, “What is the character of my interior life?” Am I abiding in His life? Am I weighed down with the cares of this world, or am I living inwardly as a “bond-servant” of Jesus Christ? Am I itching to find approval from men, or is the Lord Himself the one “before Whom I stand”? Am I frivolous and distracted by the synthetic lights of this age, or am I walking tenderly as one pierced by the life which is “the Light of men”?
Until my earthbound perspectives are leveled by the Cross, I cannot live as His bond-servant. But if I abide in the One Who bears the scars of that great Atoning work, I share in the very life of the age which is to come. If I am “crucified with Christ,” it is His own resurrection life that works “in me.” Am I conscious of that reality, or is my interior life congested and blurred by the “form of this world”? We need to “contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.”
The nations do not need a greater volume of sentimental religionists. The world is not perishing for want of novel methodologies. A million warm bodies with missiological opinions may fail entirely to set forth a true witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But a company of weak souls, gripped with a vision of the worth of Christ, living cruciformly, abiding in His Life- these will be His bond-servants,“set apart for the Gospel of God.” They shall fulfill “the ministry of the interior,” and by His “great grace,” a witness will be given, “even to the remotest part of the earth.”
“…God, whom I serve in my spirit in the preaching of the gospel of His Son…” (v. 9)
Posted in Featured Articles, Scripture
On July 25, Fred Butler, writing on behalf of Pastor John MacArthur, posted an article on the Grace to You website in response to my recent articles on CharismaNews. With a desire to be constructive rather than combative, I write this response, calling once again on Pastor MacArthur and his team to sit down face to face with me and other charismaticleaders, putting the scriptural and practical issues on the table together in reverence before God.
According to Mr. Butler, “For a month now people have been contacting our ministry insisting that we answer Dr. Brown’s criticisms. Those folks would say John MacArthur wrongfully equates that heretical nonsense saturating TBN with ‘sound’ charismatic continuationists. If John was truly honest about engaging and taking on genuine continuationists, he would stop going after the TBN health-N-wealth crowd who are easy to attack, and interact with Dr. Brown who represents those ‘sound’ charismatics.”
Mr. Butler’s guest article on Pastor MacArthur’s website, along with an article on his personal blog, provides a response to the concerns I raised.
While Mr. Butler is very appreciative of my Jewish apologetics work (specifically, my five-volume series on answering Jewish objections to Jesus), my stand on moral and cultural issues (articulated in the book A Queer Thing Happened to America), and my defense of the modern state of Israel, with regard to my view of fellow charismatics, he claims I am “completely off the rails.”
How else, he asks, could I endorse or work with people whom he calls “wackos” and “charlatans”? Obviously, I must be terribly lacking in discernment, and so he can no longer recommend my other writings without issuing a “clear warning” as well.
Perhaps Mr. Butler should look at this from a different angle. Specifically, if he believes I had the biblical scholarship and spiritual sensibility to produce those works—some of which he calls “stellar”—perhaps I know who these alleged “wackos” and “charlatans” really are and understand more accurately what they really believe. And perhaps it is because of careful study of the Word that I am more affirming of the Spirit’s work today.
Mr. Butler writes, “Though Dr. Brown has written so thoughtfully on important aspects of apologetics, he dismisses the serious theological errors prevalent within the charismatic movement as mere ‘excesses.’”
Actually, when I speak of “excesses,” I’m referring to emotionalism or hyperspirituality or silly practices; where there are “serious theological errors” among charismatics, they need to be rebuked sharply, just as the serious theological errors among non-charismatics need to be sharply rebuked.
But before I suggest a positive way forward, let me respond to two major points raised by Mr. Butler.
First, he questions whether I have truly addressed abuses and extremes in the charismatic movement.
Actually, I raised a number of relevant issues in my books The End of the American Gospel Enterprise,How Saved Are We? and It’s Time to Rock the Boat, all of which speak to primarily charismatic audiences, while one of my books is entitled Whatever Happened to the Power of God: Is the Charismatic Church “Slain in the Spirit” or Down for the Count? (These books date back as far as 1989; the title and subtitle of the last one speaks for itself.)
My forthcoming book, Hyper-Grace: Exposing the Dangers of the Modern Grace Message (due out January 2014), focuses on doctrinal abuses found primarily in the charismatic church, as do quite a number of my recent articles, including the widely read “Sex Symbols Who Speak in Tongues.”
So, the answer is a categorical yes. I have addressed abuses and extremes in the charismatic movement for decades, and I continue to address them. In fact, if Pastor MacArthur recognized the glorious things the Holy Spirit is doing around the world, I would gladly join him in exposing and rebuking the truly “strange fire.”
Second, Mr. Butler took exception to my charge that Pastor MacArthur was using a double standard by calling out charismatic abuses while failing to do the same with those who held to a cheap, once-saved-always-saved gospel, pointing out that, to the contrary, this has been the hallmark of his ministry for decades.
I certainly understand Mr. Butler’s indignation here, but my point was simply this: Since, in my opinion, easy-believism is far more pervasive than is the alleged “strange fire,” and since, I believe, it is even more deadly than a carnal prosperity message (though both must be renounced), why isn’t Pastor MacArthur holding an “Easy Believism” conference? And why is he putting the blame for the majority offalse doctrine and moral scandals at the feet of charismatics?
Mr. Butler urges me to “follow John’s example with regard to [Mike] Bickle, [Lou] Engle, and [Cindy] Jacobs”—some of those dubbed “wackos” by Mr. Butler—“rather than attack someone”—meaning John MacArthur—“who has spent his life as a caring, faithful shepherd of the sheep.”
To be clear, I am not attacking Pastor MacArthur, whom I commended in so many ways in my first article and whom I referred to as “my senior in the Lord” in my second article. Rather, I have respectfully taken issue with the way he has lambasted others, some of whom have also spent their lives as caring, faithful shepherds of the sheep.
In contrast, I am the one saying, “Let us sit together as servants of the same Lord, with humble hearts and Bibles open, and let us dialogue face to face.”
Perhaps in such a setting, Pastor MacArthur and his team would realize that some of those they have publicly scorned are actually devoted and sound men and women of God. (Mr. Butler brings a number of charges against leaders with whom I have ministered over the years, but this is not the place to respond to his guilt-by-association accusations. At the same time, to be perfectly clear, the fact that I post articles on CharismaNews certainly doesn’t mean I agree with every speaker who advertises on the website.)
Pastor MacArthur and his team slam the charismatic movement for being thoroughly unbiblical, but while some aspects of the movement are clearly in serious error, cessationism must also be challenged as unbiblical. This has been done by brilliant charismatic thinkers like Craig Keener, one of the world’s foremost New Testament scholars, and J.P. Moreland, one of the most respected Christian philosophers today, just to name two. This means that as Pastor MacArthur and his colleagues are speaking out against strange fire, they are also guilty of putting forth the false teaching of cessationism.
In the most constructive tone possible, I issue an invitation for Pastor MacArthur and his top theologians to spend a day with me and several other charismatic scholars, probing the Word together on this important subject. I’m sure all of us are extremely busy, but wouldn’t this glorify the Lord and send an example to others in the body? And perhaps we could actually learn from each other.
If a public debate-dialogue was preferred, I would welcome it in a heartbeat, also believing we could model a spirit of Christian unity and respect in the process, just as Dr. James White and I have sought to do with our debates on Calvinism. In fact, Dr. White and I actually prefer to debate on the same team, against others, than against one another.
And I would appeal once more to Pastor MacArthur and his colleagues to modify the rhetoric they are using, since “blasphemy of the Spirit,” as defined in Mark 3:22-31, is attributing the works of the Holy Spirit, performed by Jesus, to Satan, and it is an unforgivable sin. Yet Pastor MacArthur and his colleagues freely use this expression when critiquing many leaders in the charismatic movement. This is inaccurate, divisive and harmful.
And so I humbly appeal to Pastor MacArthur and his team to recognize what the Spirit is genuinely doing today—and it is not just among the “gullible,” as Mr. Butler claims—to reconsider their stance on cessationism, to be more careful with their rhetoric, and, at the least, to sit down together with me and others for frank, Christ-honoring discussion, prayer and interaction. Why not?
I could easily avoid this subject, but I feel it is right to pursue this in the spirit of Ephesians 4:1-7, where Paul exhorts us to make every effort to be united in the Spirit under the lordship of Jesus.
And if I did not respect and honor John MacArthur, I would not write this at all.
Michael Brown is author of The Real Kosher Jesus and host of the nationally syndicated talk radio show The Line of Fire on the Salem Radio Network. He is also president of FIRE School of Ministry and director of the Coalition of Conscience. Follow him at AskDrBrown on Facebook or @drmichaellbrown on Twitter.
Posted in Lead Article, Scripture
The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This is from the Lord and is His doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. Psalm 118:22,23 (AMP)
The Book of Psalms, comprising lyrics that were set to music, and essentially poetry, provides some of the most beautiful passages in the sacred text.
Psalm 118’s many paragraphs, or perhaps we should say stanzas, speak of Israel’s history and even, interestingly, its present experience! This historic-and-current narrative regarding Israel is interspersed with liturgical supplication and praise.
We find here passages that speak of Israel’s being surrounded by enemies, of God’s strong protection; and others that generally reflect ancient Israel’s faith and thanksgiving toward God.
But in the midst of this setting of divergent themes and lyrical reprise, we find this powerful, prophetic jewel: “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.”
Ancient Israel, the primary arrow in God’s quiver in His earlier mission through humanity, and His first-chosen “builders” of His holy Temple — and people — on earth, would reject God’s own “chief cornerstone” for that “Temple”! David or another lyricist speaks unmistakably here — amid the historical narrative and broad-stroke supplication and praise — of Yeshua, of Jesus.
We remember His weeping over the Holy City shortly before the crucifixion — the city He had so long loved. His telling Jerusalem that her people would not see Him again until they welcomed Him in recognition.
God, who had long worked through Abraham’s descendants to lift humanity, was not surprised by Israel’s religious authorities’ rejection of her own long-desired — and longingly-desired — Messiah. This stiff-necked opinion is still heard in the streets of Jerusalem — and New York, for that matter — today — from orthodox leaders who follow in the footsteps of those misguided religious leaders two millennia ago.
Jesus wept over Jerusalem — as He who is the resurrection and the life had wept over the grief of Lazarus’ sisters four days after his death. Jesus/Yeshua/Yahweh/the Holy Spirit was not surprised by the developments in Jerusalem some 2,000 years ago. Psalm 118 even goes so far as to reveal that this appalling and well-known trajectory was “His doing.”
In Isaiah 49:6,7 we catch a glimpse of God’s plan:
He says, “It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant
To raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel;
I will also make You a light of the nations
So that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.” (NASB)
Moving our focus forward several centuries, we see Paul venturing out toward the “gentile” or non-Jewish world that surrounded Israel. The very-Jewish, self-described “Pharisee of Pharisees,” by way of his dramatic conversion experience on the heels of his having facilitated the martyrdom of Stephen, “saw the light” and became a stunningly effective tool in God’s hand — toward the enormous work that is not “too small a thing” for our unbounded God.
Abraham was told that through him all nations would be blessed. At one level we see the tiny, long-troubled nation of Israel — its many achievements that are noticeably disproportionate to its size, and their striking benefits to all humanity.
At another, much-higher level stands Yeshua — Abraham’s “seed” through Mary. We remember God’s revealing words to Satan in Genesis: “The seed of the woman shall crush your head.” Baruch haba b’shem Adonai. Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD.
Posted in Scripture
God’s love surpasses any love any of us have ever experienced at any time (Ephesians 3:19a). Yet, there are similarities between His love and ours and God calls us to love one another (like He loves us) as a supreme priority.
This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. (1 John 3:23)
It is amazing that we don’t prioritize loving one another according to the intensity of Jesus’ desire. Even those who are godly tend to take loving one another for granted. This commandment is given lip service and other godly things are more purposefully pursued. Here are some of the serious goals of many spiritual people:
Speaking to God out of one’s spirit.
Speaking God’s heart and mind to others.
Knowing God’s will and releasing God’s actions.
Adorning the testimony with a sincere otherworldly lifestyle.
Dedicated to the point of selfless action.
What more could a person ask for?
1 Corinthians 13:1-3 speaks to these ambitions. Take a look:
If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing. (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)
What more could a person want?
Perhaps one should desire to love in such a way as to be found blameless in the Day of Judgment.
And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. (Philippians 1:9-11)
and may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another, and for all people, just as we also do for you; so that He may establish your hearts without blame in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints. (1 Thessalonians 3:12-13)
What does the answer to Paul’s prayers look like? What is godly love? How can love be described within the context of relationships? Paul reached a pinnacle of inspired instruction when he presented this catechism of love to the divided Corinthian believers.
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails… (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a)
1 Corinthians 13 is not a prescription (do this and it is love); it is a description (love is like this). This is love described, not love prescribed.
This passage holistically details godly love’s attributes. It is not a manual on how-to-love others. It is often used as a means to take spiritual inventory, and it is a good checklist, but we find in the very beginning of the chapter that the goal is not to fulfill the characteristics of love. You can exhibit every trait and not have the essential heart. In fact, Scripture teaches that if you “give all (your) possessions to feed the poor, and if (you) surrender (your) body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits (you) nothing”.
If the goal is not to fulfill the characteristics of love, then what is the goal? The goal is to have a heart like our Messiah Jesus, a heart that actually loves others. Again, 1 Corinthians 13 is not a refined version of extrinsic demands. It is not a series of implicit commands (“Be patient, be kind, etc.”). It is a plea to examine one’s attitude, behavior and motivation within the context of “body ministry” (1 Corinthians12-14) which was going on within the framework of a highly dysfunctional divided church (Corinth).
Loving the believing community and the individual members of the Church has to do with “discerning the Body, rightly” (1 Corinthians 11:29b). When this is happening you perceive the holy value and lovable nature of the person or group with whom you are in relationship. When love is present the characteristics of love follow according to the strength and maturity of that love. If you love the brethren it will influence your attitude and behavior toward others.
Sometimes I lead responsive readings in Restoration Fellowship’s gatherings. Here is an example of an antiphonal reading that is implicit in most teachings on 1 Corinthians 13. I’m pretty sure you have never done this, but over the years you’ve probably heard the similar teaching so often as to “take these truths to be self evident”. The responsive reading will probably seem familiar. Take a look:
Leader: If you are patient,
Congregation: Then you’ll be loving.
Leader: If you are kind,
Congregation: Then you’ll be loving.
Leader: If you are self-effacing and humble,
Congregation: Then you’ll be loving.
Leader: If you are appropriate to the situation, flexible,
Congregation: Then you’ll be loving.
Leader: If you keep your cool, overlook offenses,
Congregation: Then you’ll be loving.
Leader: If you are glad when justice prevails and love the truth,
Congregation: Then you’ll be loving.
Leader: If you put up with suffering, believe the best about others, hope all things, endure all things, and not betray or give up on them
Congregation: Then you’ll be loving.
Having just read that, open up, take a moment, and compare that responsive reading to this one:
Leader: To the degree you love,
Congregation: You will be patient.
Leader: To the degree you love,
Congregation: You will be kind.
Leader: To the degree you love,
Congregation: You will be self-effacing and humble.
Leader: To the degree you love,
Congregation: You will be appropriate to the situation, flexible.
Leader: To the degree you love,
Congregation: You will keep your cool and overlook offenses.
Leader: To the degree that you really love,
Congregation: You will be glad when justice prevails and love the truth.
Leader: To the degree you love,
Congregation: You will put up with suffering, believe the best about others, hope all things, endure all things and not betray or give up on them.
One of these responsive readings is right; one is wrong. What does the Scripture teach? It says, “Love is…” In 1 Corinthians 13 we discover the results of godly love. The degree that you love determines how the quality and quantity of your love’s attributes are expressed to the beloved.
Horses do not push carts. Horses pull carts.
“Pursue love” (1 Corinthians 14:1a).
May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God… (2 Thessalonians 3:5a)
David Harwood is a prophetic teacher and worship leader, and author of the book God’s True Love.
Posted in Featured Articles, Scripture
Should we be surprised when a gay activist famous for his bawdy sex column and known for his glorification of promiscuity attacks the Bible, ridicules Christian morality, and mocks the Pope in the lewdest of terms? Not at all.
Speaking to 3,000 high school students attending a journalism conference in mid-April, Dan Savage strayed from his appointed theme – anti-bullying – and launched into a tirade against the Bible, also castigating scores of Christian students who walked out during his presentation.
He said, “We can learn to ignore the ‘bull—’ in the Bible about gay people. The same way, the same way we have learned to ignore the ‘bull—’ in the Bible about shellfish, about slavery, about dinner, about farming, about menstruation, about virginity, about masturbation. We ignore ‘bull—’ in the Bible about all sorts of things. The Bible is a radically pro-slavery document. Slave owners waved Bibles over their heads during the Civil War and justified it.”
After the students walked out in protest, Savage said, “It’s funny, as someone who’s on the receiving end of beatings that are justified by the Bible, how pansy-a— some people react when you push back.”
Two weeks later, on April 29th, he issued a clear apology for using the term “pansy-a—” to describe the walkout of the students but emphatically denied that he was attacking Christianity: “I did not attack Christianity. I attacked hypocrisy. [His emphasis.] My remarks can only be read as an attack on all Christians if you believe that all Christians are hypocrites. Which I don’t believe.”
So, an attack on the Bible as a “radically pro-slavery document” which was also very wrong on human sexuality is not an attack on Christianity?
The same day Savage issued his apology, he launched into a similar tirade, this time while speaking in the chapel (!) of Elmhurst College in Illinois (once again, deviating from his anti-bullying topic). He also had some choice words for the Pope: “What the Pope is saying is that the only thing that stands between my [expletive deleted] and Brad Pitt’s mouth is a piece of paper….What the Pope is saying is that once we’re all gay-married we’re going to go extinct in a generation because once we’re all gay-married, we’re gonna forget which hole [expletive deleted] babies.” And I imagine that this was not an attack on Catholicism?
Savage posted another column on May 1st, further justifying his interpretation of Scripture: “There are untrue things in the Bible—and the Koran and the Book of Mormon and every other ‘sacred’ text—and you don’t have to take my word for it: just look at all the biblical ‘shoulds,’ ‘shall nots,’ and ‘abominations’ that religious conservatives already choose to ignore. They know that not everything in the Bible is true. All Christians read the Bible selectively. Some read it hypocritically—and the hypocrites react very angrily when anyone has the nerve to point that out.”
Perhaps there are actually principles of interpretation that help Christians (and Jews) understand and apply the Scriptures?
Let’s start here: Christians are quick to point to Leviticus 18:22 in their condemnation of homosexual practice: “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.”
Gay activists and their straight allies are quick to ask: “But what about all the other abominations listed in Leviticus?”
Actually, within Leviticus, only homosexual practice is singled out as an abomination, but elsewhere, the people of Israel are told that they should not eat shellfish (see Leviticus 11, although the word abomination is not used there) while in Leviticus 19, the text says, “You shall not let your cattle breed with a different kind. You shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed, nor shall you wear a garment of cloth made of two kinds of material” (Leviticus 19:19). Why don’t Christians pay attention to these other verses?
The answer is simple. Within the Torah (God’s Teaching and Law), there were many laws given to Israel to keep them separate from the nations (like Leviticus 19:19). That’s why the Torah said that certain foods, like shellfish, were unclean for the Israelites but not for all people (see Deuteronomy 14:7, 19). On the other hand, there were laws given to Israel that were universal in scope, like the command not to murder.
When it comes to homosexual practice, not only is it the only sinful action singled out in Leviticus as an abomination, but it is part of a list of universal moral prohibitions, including incest and other forbidden sexual acts. We know this because the chapter states that the Lord judged the pagan nations for these very acts, and if acts were wrong for idol-worshiping pagans, and they were wrong for the people of Israel (see Leviticus 18:24-30). And when we see that the prohibition against homosexual practice is reiterated in the New Testament, the case is settled for those who accept the Bible as God’s Word.
Dan, are you following? I’m not angry with you at all. I’m simply trying to help. We’ll tackle the issue of the Bible and slavery next.
If the Bible is “a radically pro-slavery document” (Dan Savage), how is it that Christians who successfully fought for the abolition of slavery in the 18th and 19th centuries based their opposition to slavery on that very same Bible? The answer is simple: The Bible is actually not “a radically pro-slavery document.”
According to Savage (following atheist Sam Harris), “the Bible got the easiest moral question that humanity has ever faced wrong. Slavery! What’re the odds that the Bible got something as complicated as human sexuality wrong? 100% percent.”
To be candid, it’s easy to see where Savage and Harris are coming from. After all, in the Old Testament, the Law of Moses didn’t outlaw slavery, it legislated slavery. As for the New Testament, instead of renouncing slavery as an unjust and cruel institution, the authors taught slaves to obey their masters. So, the argument goes, if the Bible got the issue of slavery so terribly wrong, how can it be trusted on the complex issue of human sexuality? And if Christians today are willing to ignore what the Bible says about slavery, what gives them the right to quote the Bible when it comes to the prohibition of homosexual practice?
These are serious questions, and they deserve serious answers. (Dan, remember that I’m here to help!) In short, it was through a misuse of the Bible that Christians justified slavery (along with segregation and the oppression of women) whereas it is by a proper use of the Bible that Christians oppose homosexual practice, while affirming gays and lesbians as people created in God’s image who are objects of Jesus’ love.
Read rightly, the Bible is actually a book of liberation for slaves, a book of equality for the races, and a book of emancipation for women. It celebrates the liberation of the Israelite slaves from Egypt, teaches that in God’s sight, people from every race are equal, and has many glowing things to say about women (did you ever read Proverbs 31:10-31?). Women also played a prominent role in the ministry of Jesus and in the early Church. (There are whole books written on these subjects, but this 2008 lecture provides lots of useful information.) In contrast, there is not a single positive reference to homosexual practice in the Bible, while every reference to homosexuality in the Scriptures is decidedly negative.
Dan Savage stated that, “The shortest book in the New Testament [called Philemon] is a letter from Paul to a Christian slave owner about owning his Christian slave. And Paul doesn’t say Christians don’t own people. Paul talks about how Christians own people.” To the contrary, Philemon was one of the key biblical texts used by the abolitionists in their argument against slavery.
The letter tells the story of a man named Onesimus who had been Philemon’s slave before escaping and then meeting the apostle Paul, who was at that time a prisoner of Rome. Paul led Onesimus to faith in Christ and then wrote to Philemon urging him to receive Onesimus back, “no longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brother” (Philemon 16).
What a concept! This man was your slave, he ran away and has now become a Christian, so receive him back as your brother and no longer as a slave. Savage really got this one wrong.
As for the larger question of slavery and the New Testament, the Church in its infancy could hardly challenge the entire economic and social structure of Greece and Rome, so it worked within the system, setting in motion principles of liberation and equality, encouraging masters not to threaten their slaves but to provide them “with what is right and fair, because you know that you also have a Master in heaven” (Colossians 4:1; Ephesians 6:9). And, to the shock of many readers, Paul taught that, in Jesus, there was neither slave nor free (Galatians 3:28; Colossians 3:11; 1 Corinthians 12:13), while Jesus himself declared that he came to set the captives free (Luke 4:18). And then there’s that letter to Philemon.
That’s why Christians like William Wilberforce, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and William Lloyd Garrison were at the forefront of the abolition movement.
As for the Old Testament, slavery was ubiquitous in the ancient Near East, but the biblical system was much more humane. It was primarily a system of voluntary, indentured servitude lasting for six years unless the slave wanted to serve his master for life. Even then, both master and slave would rest on the Sabbath, if the slave was mistreated he would go free, and there was even a periodic declaration of amnesty when lifetimes slaves would be liberated.
It is only a gross misuse of the Bible that could possibly justify the American slave trade, marked by kidnapping, the murderous and merciless transatlantic middle passage, and then the selling of chained human beings like chattel – just for starts. Each of these acts is strictly forbidden by Old Testament ethics.
Added to all this was the overarching biblical principle of “love your neighbor as yourself,” and to follow this principle means to put an end to slavery. But it does not mean affirming something (homosexual practice) that the Bible explicitly forbids.
What about Old Testament laws that called for the stoning of women who had premarital sex? There’s one more article to come.
How can we quote the Bible in support of our moral values when the Old Testament contains laws calling for the stoning of a woman who lost her virginity before marriage? Actually, based on biblical principles, both Judaism and Christianity teach that such laws are not for today. But could you imagine what America would look like if sex outside of wedlock was as shocking and scandalous in our day as it was in ancient biblical times?
In his talk to high school journalism students, Dan Savage mocked the fact that the Bible “says that if your daughter’s not a virgin on her wedding night – if a woman isn’t a virgin on her wedding night – she shall be dragged to her father’s doorstep and stoned to death.”
Was this law ever justifiable? In ancient Israel, which the Bible states was a theocracy instituted by God himself (according to the Torah, God delivered the children of Israel from Egypt and then spoke his laws to them from Mount Sinai) and which was part of a culture where it was almost unthinkable for a girl to lose her virginity to another man before marriage, a law like this was hardly exceptional.
That being said, by New Testament times, Jewish leaders had virtually abolished the death penalty for such offenses, while Jesus stopped a Jewish crowd from stoning a woman caught in adultery and Paul taught that there were spiritual consequences rather than corporal consequences for such offenses. In keeping with this mentality, in absolutely no shape, size, or form would I dream of advocating such laws today any more than I would dream of advocating the death penalty for adultery or homosexual practice.
But let’s ask ourselves some honest questions. While both Dan Savage and I categorically reject the idea of stoning a woman who lost her virginity before marriage, is our society today really in a position to make judgments on ancient Israel when it comes to sexual morality?
In America today, one in four teenage girls has been infected with an STD, and out of the hundreds of thousands of cases of gonorrhea every year, “teenage girls between 15 and 19 account for more cases than any other age group.” Some of the gonorrhea strains are developing into incurable “super bugs.” And we are the enlightened ones?
The CDC reports that one in 5 gay men have HIV, while gay and bisexual men account for half of the new HIV infections in the U.S., having AIDS at a rate over 50 times higher than other groups. (The rates are alarmingly high among gay teens.) Despite this, Dan Savage and his “husband” Terry Miller advocate being “monogamish,” admitting to at least 9 extramarital encounters since they have been together, even claiming that it has been a “stabilizing force” in their relationship. And Savage is criticizing biblical morality?
Let’s also consider the effects of the 1960’s sexual revolution on America. In 1960, 23% of black children were born out of wedlock; by 2008, the out of wedlock birth rate among black Americans was up to 72.3%. In white America, children born out of wedlock rose from 2.3% in 1960 to 28.1% in 2008 – an increase of more than 1000%. According to a Brookings Institution report published in 1996, “Every year about one million more children are born into fatherless families. If we have learned any policy lesson well over the past 25 years, it is that for children living in single-parent homes, the odds of living in poverty are great. The policy implications of the increase in out-of-wedlock births are staggering.”
And what about the modern plague of pornography? Recent surveys indicate that 40 million Americans regularly visit porn sites, that 12% of all internet sites are pornographic, that 25% of search engine requests are pornography related, and that the average age at which a child first sees online pornography is 11. And we are the ones standing on the higher moral ground? (This recent headline from the UK says it all: “Generation XXX: 13-year-old boy sexually abuses 5-year-old sister thanks to porn, says therapist.”)
Perhaps rather than focusing on the issue of the death penalty for premarital sex in ancient Israel – which, to repeat, we categorically reject – we should take a hard look at the massive and destructive sexual promiscuity of our day. Perhaps rather than gloating about our “progressive” attitudes towards premarital, extramarital, and homosexual sex, we should rue the fact that in 1969, 21 percent of Americans believed that “Premarital sex is not wrong” while in 2009, 60 percent stated it was not wrong.
Let the naked truth be told: America today is the land of Ashley Madison ads encouraging adultery, celebrity sex tapes ad nauseam, staggering rates of STD’s, and reality TV shows like “16 and Pregnant.”
All of which leads to a simple conclusion: Putting aside the harsh nature of the penalties involved in some Torah laws (which made sense in an ancient Near Eastern theocracy but not in our world today), I’ll take biblical morality over the Dan Savage version any day of the week. In fact, I have staked my life on it.
Dr. Michael Brown is the author of A Queer Thing Happened to America and the host of the nationally syndicated talk radio show The Line of Fire on the Salem Radio Network.
Posted in Featured Articles, Scripture
One of the fastest growing segments of medical science is the increasingly popular trend of cosmetic surgery. Tens of thousands of women, as well as men, are flocking to these gifted surgeons every year to undergo some form of plastic surgery.
What began as a means of helping those disfigured by war, fire, or accident, has now broadened to the removal or correction of something that these people feel hinders their overall appearance or well being.
Listed under the heading of cosmetic surgery you will find the following: liposuction, breast augmentation, eyelid surgery, face lift, tummy tuck, forehead lift, collagen injections etc. The list is almost endless. Ask anyone who has had this type of surgery and they will tell you how much better they feel about themselves. Surgery had removed for them their ‘problem’ and given them the appearance and acceptance they always wanted.
While I don’t begrudge these people this luxury, I’m more concerned with the spiritual counterpart that I see happening in the Body of Christ. I’m referring to what I call ‘cosmetic theology’.
There is a new generation of believers who seem to think that God is too old and decrepit, and therefore greatly in need of a ‘facelift’ to enhance His image. They reason that in order to ‘sell’ God to the masses He needs to shed a few pounds, remove a few wrinkles, and adopt a more positive image.
One of the blemishes that these ‘plastic theologians’ have tried to remove is the occasional scowl they see on God’s face. Nobody likes to be around someone who gets angry, jealous, or revengeful. After all, everybody knows that a smile will win you , but a frown will put people off. A ‘god’ that would send someone to hell is just not marketable. Neither is a ‘god’ of absolutes. Who wants a ‘god’ that doesn’t compromise or bend a little? If we can do away with the moral Law, and substitute it with ‘grace’ instead, perhaps then ‘god’ will be a little more appealing. Have you noticed the recent ‘Botox’ injection? God is increasingly being referred to these days as ‘Papa’. Now I don’t have a problem with God as our Father, but He is also the Judge of all the earth, as well as the King of Kings. Papas are loving, playful, and fun to hang around. Kings and Judges on the other hand are not so endearing. You get my point.
This type of cosmetic theology has been taking place for some time now without us even being aware of what has been happening. We tend to focus on all the so called positive attributes of God, and avoid anything that we deem negative. I remember as a child people having promise boxes, from which they would draw a promise from the Scriptures. Like fortune cookies, they always had something good to say to the reader. This is like Moses reading only the blessings of God to His people, but never the curses that resulted from their disobedience.
Yes, I too love verses like Jeremiah 29:11 ‘For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for calamity, to give you a future and hope’ But God also warns His people what will happen to them if they disobey Him – ‘For thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, “As my anger and my wrath have been poured out on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so my wrath will be poured out on you when you enter Egypt. And you will become a curse, an object of horror…” Jeremiah 42:18.
The leader of the nation’s largest ‘church’ openly admits he is not called to preach against sin but rather to encourage people. We all love ice cream, but a good preacher, like a good parent, will make us eat our spinach too.
Well, you get my point. God isn’t in need of our help. He’s not looking for a new PR firm to help Him bolster His image. He is perfect in all His ways, and therefore, has no need for plastic surgery!
David Ravenhill is a guest writer for VOR and has served the Body of Christ as a Pastor and Teacher for more than four decades. Find out more about him here: http://www.davidravenhill.com/
Posted in Culture, Lead Article, Scripture
Concerning a division between the living Word as Christ and the written Word
Concerning the division between the living word as Christ and the written word of scripture, I know there is no real basis to present an argument from the scriptures. For the scriptures are not the sole basis in your mind, but a ground to a greater phenomenon, namely, an individual speaking likened unto the hearing of the saints of old (Hebrews 1:1).
It is impossible to explain this point. As the trinity is impossible to explain, it must simply be believed.
The scriptures are simply the things written or recorded that have been spoken by a living God. As you know, they can never be placed in the same category as thoughts coming from a man’s mind, no matter how extravagant (Isaiah 55:8)? God is living and His speaking lives just the same. For His speaking is not only an extension of His own heart but a revelation of His unchanging character, for as He wrought, He wrote and this for the sake of the end of the ages (1 Cor. 6:11). These “writings” He holds in esteem as high as His own reputation and name (Psalm 138:2). For instance, if He holds all things together by the power of his word (Heb. 1:3) than the same “Let there be light…” causes the light to rise every morning. This is the power of His word, placing the recording of the same in a category all by itself, being the only thing that is living/creative (Heb. 4:12). These things written are the breath of God, recorded, having the same life giving effects as it always has. God breathed into man to make him alive (Genesis 2:7). He spoke to the dry bones in the valley in order to bring life into them (Ezekiel 37:5). In the same way, nothing has been made apart from God’s speaking (Genesis 1; John 1:3; Psalm 33:9). The same is Christ. He is the very intent of God’s heart, revealing the actual character of God (Hebrews 1:3). Having always been with God (John 1:1,2), He is wisdom, understanding and knowledge (1 Cor. 1:30;Proverbs 2:6;8:22-32). He is the spoken word of God in human flesh (John 1:14). This is why the Scriptures are perfect, even after He has been revealed and penned out (Psalm 12:6,7;139:140;Proverbs 30:5).
I know what your thinking, how can Jesus be the story of Ruth, Ester or the Lamentations of Jeremiah?
They are words/stories/counsel/correction/psalms/letters (Luke 24:25-27;1 Cor. 10:6,11;Romans 15:4, God perfectly (Psalm 18:30) knit together to reveal the facets of Himself having breathed by His Spirit (1 Peter 1:20-21; 2 Timothy 3:16), Christ (The Word), the only revealer of God (John 14:9). The only thing able to bring us unto maturity (James 1:21;2 Timothy 3:16; 1Cor 3:2; Hebrews 5:12). He has preserved His words as promised (Matt. 5:18;Psalm 12:7;Mark 13:31;Matt. 24:35). This He has done without special effort because, the words written are Christ and Christ is unquenchable and indestructible (Isaiah 40:8). It is imperative that a man’s faith is based upon that which God has spoken, His word, for anything else would be a pseudo faith. Faith comes no other way (Romana10:17). Special phenomenon have no weight next to the words of God, for it believed alone can produce faith to please God (Heb 4:2; 11:6;Luke 16:31).
You have got to see this! His word alone is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path (Psalm 119:105). His word alone is water for washing (Ephesians 5:26). Only if a man sees this can he truly say, “your word is like honey to my lips” (Psalm 119:103). His word is none other than He Himself. The intent of God’s heart, spoken by His Spirit, revealed through letters forming words, sentences, paragraphs, books, God’s complete revelation to man, JESUS (John 6:63). How can the Christ be words? Simple, He just is. There is nothing else that God has set His seal on. Not personal interpretations, or holy speakings…nothing else has God backed (2 Peter 1:20-21;Ephesians 2:20;3:5;2 Peter 3:2).
I know another point you are going to bring up…”Ye search the scriptures…” (John 5:39).
The Pharisees motives were called out by Christ several times (Matt 23). And just as a hunter can search for deer all day and come back empty handed, so were they in their selfish pursuit of the letter alone and not the Spirit (2 Cor 3:6). They simply would not believe that which would have transformed them, just as the Children of Israel mixed not the word of God with faith and fell in the desert. They, as a whole, hated Him (Luke 20:15). Just as Jesus is no use to you unless you apply Him, the blood in Exodus 12 was no use unless you applied it, the word of God is powerless to transform and quicken unto life if it is not mixed with faith.
Eric Gilmour is an Associate Editor for Voice of Revolution, overseeing Revival & Evangelism. Visit his website at agonypress.podbean.com
Posted in Lead Article, Scripture Tagged with: bible, breath of god, evangelism, Hebrew, Jesus, living word
On March 9th, I contacted Harold Camping’s ministry, Family Radio, about getting someone from their organization to come onto the Line of Fire with Dr. Michael Brown to discuss the May 21, 2011 apocalypse prophecy they were putting forth. I received a cordial phone call from Tom Evans, Family Radio’s PR Rep, and he said it would be great to have Mr. Camping himself on the program. Below is our correspondence from that point on. Note how they end the last email: “To speak specifically for Mr. Camping and Family Radio, it is our belief May 21st, 2011 ‘is no longer opinion, but a matter of fact. Each person must come to entrust their lives to what God has written in His Word the Bible and plead to him for mercy. Otherwise God will come upon them with unmerciful vengeance on May 21, 2011.'” It is May 21st, 12:24 PM ET at the time of this writing.
Also fascinating is their biblical interpretation methods. Evans states “the typical historical-grammatical method of interpretation used by theologians today is not Biblical. Rather, the only Biblical method of interpretation is ‘comparing spiritual with spiritual'” How does this ‘comparing spiritual to spiritual’ play out in their May 21st rapture prediction? Below is the cliffs-notes version of their prediction I put together based on literature from the Family Radio website:
– Flood happened in 4990 BC
– God told Noah in 7 days the flood would begin, and 1 Day = 1,000 years according to peter, therefore “mankind has seven days or 7,000 years to escape destruction.”
– 4990 BC + 7,000 = 2011
– Therefore judgment day will happen in 2011
Proof 2 (aka “ANOTHER INFALLIBLE PROOF THAT GOD GIVES THAT ASSURES THE RAPTURE WILL OCCUR MAY 21, 2011”):
– “The number 5 signifies the atonement or redemption (that is, Christ died to pay for the sins of those who become saved). This is seen, for example, by the ½ (.5) shekel atonement money which pointed to the atonement in Exodus 30:15. It is seen by the 5 shekels being a picture of redemption, as demonstrated in Numbers 3:47-48”
– “The number 10 or 100 or 1,000 signifies completeness. For example, the Bible speaks of 10 coins or 100 sheep or 1,000 years. God speaks of Satan being bound 1,000 years in Revelation 20:2-3”
– “The number 17 frequently signifies “Heaven.” For example, in Jeremiah God describes the destruction of Judah and Jerusalem by the king of Babylon. This was typifying the end of the church age, at which time Satan, typified by the king of Babylon destroying Jerusalem and Judah, would rule in the churches”
– Jesus was crucified on April 1, 33 A.D.
– May 21, 2011 is 722,500.07 days from April 1, 33 A.D.
– 5 x 10 x 17 x 5 x 10 x 17 = 722,500
– So therefore “The atonement or redemption demonstrated by Christ’s suffering and death on April 1, 33 A.D. (the number 5) is 100% completed on May 21, 2011 (the number 10) when all the true believers are raptured into Heaven (the number 17). ”
– And regarding the two sets of numbers: “Remarkably this number sequence is doubled, to indicate it has been established by God and will shortly come to pass (Genesis 41:32)”
And these, of course, are the ‘infallible proofs’ that the May 21st prediction ‘is no longer opinion, but a matter of fact.’
Below is my correspondence with Family Radio, I think you’ll find it interesting, to say the least! We ended up doing a Line of Fire show without anyone from Family Radio represented, where the email thread, and prophecy, was discussed. Click here to listen to it: 3/22: Why Jesus Is Not Returning On May 21 (And Keys For Avoiding Deception).
———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Tom Evans
Date: Fri, Mar 11, 2011 at 5:07 PM
Subject: Re: Outline of LOF
To: Marcus French <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Not knowing Dr. Brown’s view of Scripture I could not say.
Mr. Camping, and I, believe each letter, word and sentence, in the original autographs, were dictated by God.
The persons God used to record Scripture simply wrote as God’s Spirit dictated to them.
No personal commentary was included in the original documents.
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God…” II Timothy 3:16
Secondly, the typical historical-grammatical method of interpretation used by theologians today is not Biblical.
Rather, the only Biblical method of interpretation is “comparing spiritual with spiritual”
Meaning the Bible is the Bible’s commentary and the Holy Spirit the teacher who must illumine ones spiritual eyes to understand.
We must be given the “mind of Christ” in order to understand Christ’s Word, the Bible.
Jesus said: “…Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
See also I Corinthians 2: 1-16
Dr. Brown appears to aggressively defend his beliefs and feels it is his life’s mission is to defend the traditional Christian faith.
He appears to believe the visible Church is worth defending and it is the visible Church for whom God says the “gates of hell shall not prevail”
Mr. Camping believes, as do I, the actual Church of which Jesus was speaking is not a visible institution found in this world. It is rather all those for whom Christ died.
Jesus said “my kingdom is not of this world”
I think of the institutional church as merely an empty shell that once contained something alive, but that something was extinguished by God. The light in the institutional Churches which did exist was removed, just as the candlestick was removed by God from the Church of Ephesus.
Christ’s true people, the “wheat” see that God ‘s spirit has left the “midst” of the temple, the visible Church institution, so they “flee”.
Satan was hired by God to silently infiltrate the visible Church and seduce its members, the “tares” who remain.(Daniel 8: 23&24)
Now all that is left in the visible Church are those who presume they are one of Christ’s sheep.
Jesus, sadly will say to them who say “…Lord, Lord have we not prophesied in thy name?…”
“…I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
Jesus said: “If ye love me keep my commandments”
To remain in a institutional church of any kind is disobedience to Christ’s command to “come out of her my people” See Daniel 8:23-25, Matthew 24: 15&16 and Revelation 18: 2-7
God often refers to Jerusalem as Babylon and Babylon as Jerusalem interchangeably . See Jeremiah chapter 9 verse 11 and chapter 51: 37
To speak specifically for Mr. Camping and Family Radio, it is our belief May 21st, 2011 “is no longer opinion, but a matter of fact”
“Each person must come to entrust their lives to what God has written in His Word the Bible and plead to him for mercy. Otherwise God will come upon them with unmerciful vengeance on May 21, 2011”
May God have mercy on each of us,
Family Stations, Inc.
To: Tom Evans
Sent: Thu, March 10, 2011 1:28:40 PM
Subject: Re: Outline of LOF
Got it. We’ve had participants in the program that have denied even the most basic elements of orthodox faith (see for instance Dr. Brown’s interview with “Jesus was a liberal” author Scotty McLennan here: http://lineoffireradio.askdrbrown.org/2011/02/16/was-jesus-a-liberal/ ), so I don’t think having different viewpoints is a negative, but if that’s what your ministry wants, we will certainly go forth with a program explaining our view of Mr. Camping’s approach without someone from your ministry to represent his position. Out of curiosity, how does Dr. Brown’s view of Scripture as God’s authoritative, infallible Word differ from Mr. Camping’s (as mentioned in your email)?
—– Original Message —–
From: “Tom Evans”
To: “Marcus French” <email@example.com>
Sent: Thursday, March 10, 2011 4:14:29 PM
Subject: Re: Outline of LOF
I presented your interview invitation to Mr. Camping and he has declined to be a guest on Dr. Brown’s program.
His past experience with this kind of interview led him to conclude it would be of no value.
Dr. Brown has his position and Mr. Camping has his.
Undoubtedly, this kind of interview would eventually lead to argument, and that would not fruitful for anyone, including your listeners.
It would be one thing if both parties were in agreement, but it is obvious they are not, even upon the most basic beliefs of Scripture and Eschatology.
Please tell Dr. Brown thank you for his invitation.
From: Marcus French <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Tom Evans
Sent: Wed, March 9, 2011 4:57:09 PM
Subject: Re: Outline of LOF
Just talked to Dr. Brown, he’d love to have Harold on. Will 2-3pm Eastern 3/22, 3/23, or 3/24 work for yourself and Mr. Camping?
—– Original Message —–
From: “Marcus French” < email@example.com >
To: Tom Evans
Sent: Wednesday, March 9, 2011 7:26:44 PM
Subject: Outline of LOF
Marcus French is Editor of Voice of Revolution, and also helps produce the daily radio show, The Line of Fire. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted in Featured Articles, News, Scripture Tagged with: apocalypse, biblical interpretation, family radio, harold camping, interpretation methods, judgment day, line of fire, line of fire radio, may 21, tom evans
In addition to the critique of Jennifer Knust’s CNN “Mixed Messages” article put forth by Dr. Michael Brown on his program, the Line of Fire (click here to listen), Dr. Robert Gagnon penned a critique of the article and published it on CNN as “The Bible really does condemn homosexuality” (note that it was originally titled “The Bible’s surprisingly consistent message on sexuality,” but was changed by the CNN Religion Editor). Gagnon has also written an addendum to the CNN article located here. Gagnon ends his CNN article with the following reflection, which sums it up well:
It is disturbing to read what passes nowadays for expert “liberal” reflections on what the Bible says about homosexual practice.
To gain proper perspective on the issues at hand, watch the lecture below from Dr. Brown entitled “Are We Using the Bible to Sanction Anti-Homosexual Prejudice?”:
[Link to Video]
Posted in News, Scripture Tagged with: cnn, homosexuality, jennifer knust, robert gagnon, sexuality, the bible
In response to a CNN article from Jennifer Knust entitled My Take: The Bible’s surprisingly mixed messages on sexuality, Dr. Michael Brown gave a critique of her points on his radio broadcast, The Line of Fire, on February 14th. He then did a follow-up show regarding the question “Are We Using the Bible to Sanction Anti-Homosexual Prejudice?” on February 15th. Listen to the broadcasts below:
Does the Bible Send a Mixed Message on Sexuality?
Are We Using the Bible to Sanction Anti-Homosexual Prejudice?
Posted in News, Scripture Tagged with: bible, Dr. Michael Brown, homosexuality, jennifer knust, line of fire