Author: Guest Post

If God Does Not Exist Then Injustice Does Not Exist

By Dr. Michael L. Brown I recently had a friendly online debate with a former Muslim known as Apostate Prophet (called AP for short). The subject was, “Does God Exist?” In my opening comments, I stated that I did not specialize in debating this issue and that I realized that arguments that seemed compelling to me would be mocked by many atheists. Conversely, I stated that I have listened to the best arguments of atheists and said to myself, “Are you kidding me? Is this the best you have to offer?” (For similar reflections from a Christian apologist on the weakness of atheistic arguments, see Tom Gilson’s recent article here.) So, I made clear from the start that my goal was not to convince the viewers that my view was right. Rather, it was to explain to them why I was 100 percent sure that God is real, especially since so much of my faith is based on my own life experiences rather than on abstract philosophical arguments . To make my case, I gave a …

 Do Not Budge From Your Post 

By Rick Renner Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season… — 2 Timothy 4:2 In the book of Second Timothy, the apostle Paul gave a long, detailed description of the things that would become more and more prevalent in the last of the last days. Later in that same letter, Paul gave this charge to the younger minister: “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season…” (2 Timothy 4:2). The word “instant” is from the Greek word ephistemi, and it means to stand at your post. The word ephistemi is a military term. That’s important because standing at your post entails engaging in spiritual warfare. I won’t delve into a deep study of the subject of spiritual warfare here, but I will say that declaring the Word of God in faith is the highest level of spiritual warfare there is. That’s why it’s especially important for a preacher, or any believer who has God’s Word planted deeply in his heart, to stand and to keep on standing at his post …

Analyzing the Election Results in California and Canada, and the Attitude of Faith vs Fear

by Dr. Michael L. Brown Americans are not happy. We do not like all the COVID restrictions. We resent the latest lockdowns. We plan to resist the mandate. We are beyond the breaking point. At least that’s the impression I get as I read reports on conservative websites and interact with friends and colleagues. But exit poll results from California tell a very different story, with confirmation from Canada as well. I’m talking about the rejection of the efforts to recall Gov. Newsom in California and the reelection of Prime Minister Trudeau in Canada, where the COVID restrictions have been much more comprehensive and oppressive. Yet in both cases, it appears that a majority of voters affirmed the way COVID was being handled in their state and nation, respectively. According to ABC News, “Just about 3 in 10 said Newsom’s pandemic control measures are too strict, countering a key argument in the recall drive against him. A broad 70% supported the state’s student mask mandate and 63% sided with the governor in seeing vaccination as …

Be wise as a serpent

By Rick Renner …be ye therefore wise as serpents. — Matthew 10:16 Over the years in our ministry, I have discovered timing to be extremely important. I have certainly found it to be true that we need to act when favor is obviously on our side. But let me also say that wonderful opportunities can also come packaged with difficult challenges. Knowing exactly which opportunities to take — and which ones to let pass us by — has been one of my personal challenges in the former Soviet Union. One day I was seeking the Lord about several opportunities that were presenting themselves. The Lord said to me, “If you’re going to survive and do what I’ve called you to do in this part of the world, you have to learn to think like a snake.” At first, these words caught me off guard. But immediately Matthew 10:16 came to my mind: “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” In …

Why Did God Leave the Words of David and Solomon in the Bible?

By Michael Brown Originally published on June 14, 2019 I was on the phone last week with Stream founder James Robison, when he broke down weeping as he shared God’s heart. His words have stayed with me every day since, leading to the article you’re now reading. “Why,” James sobbed, “is Solomon still in the Bible with all the sin he committed? Why is David still there?” If it were up to us, would we have preserved their words in the Scriptures? The Lives and Writings of David and Solomon David was a man after God’s own heart, writing most of the Book of Psalms. But he also committed grievous sin, committing adultery with a woman named Bathsheba. Then, when he found out she was pregnant, he had her husband killed. David the adulterer and the murderer, yet still commended for his godliness and devotion through the rest of the Scriptures. And those very Scriptures record the depth of David’s repentance after his terrible sins. (See 2 Samuel 11-12, then read Psalm 51.) If it were …

Don’t worry about anything

By Rick Renner Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.— Philippians 4:6 Over many years and through many experiences, I have learned that I have to be proactive to keep my spiritual life strong and healthy. We can’t ignore our spiritual life and expect it to remain strong. Just as our bodies need regular care and attention, our spiritual lives need a maintenance schedule in order to remain healthy. I want to give you five principles that Denise and I have learned over the years to keep us strong and vibrant. These five principles have become essential elements in our daily lives — and they have resulted in our being continually strengthened to accomplish the tasks the Holy Spirit has entrusted to us. These five elements are very simple, but if you will do them faithfully, I am fully convinced that your life will be strengthened in every way. 1. Every day spend time with God in the morning. In …

What Makes This 91-Year-Old Man So Energetic and Full of Life?

By Dr. Michael L. Brown It’s hard to believe Don Finto is 91 years old. Very hard. In fact, unless you actually knew his age, you would have no way of knowing that he was that old. Not from his energy level. Not from the clarity of his thought and speech. Not from his appearance. Not from the firm backslap he greets you with. And certainly not from his overflowing enthusiasm. What is the key to his longevity? About Don Finto Don, who was born in April 1930, served as a missionary to Germany, returned to the States and earned a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University while also teaching as a college professor. He then took over Belmont Church in Nashville, Tennessee, which was in serious decline at that point. Under his leadership, the church began to thrive, also becoming the home to some of the best-known leaders in the contemporary Christian music industry. After retiring from Belmont in 1996, Don launched the Caleb Company, which serves “to equip God’s people” — especially young people — …

Why Do People Sometimes Collapse in the Presence of God?

By Rick Renner And when I [John] saw him [Christ], I fell at his feet as dead…— Revelation 1:17 Over my years of serving God, I have noticed that often when people have encounters with God, they physically fall. Sometimes they fall forward, and at other times they fall backward. Still at other times, they simply collapse onto the ground. I have seen this in many meetings — and I experienced it as a young man. I can tell you, the experience was real. My experience occurred the first time I ventured out from my Baptist church and attended a Pentecostal type of service. Just prior to that, I had been released from the hospital where I had been diagnosed with a kidney condition — one that I was born with — that was very serious. It was so serious that to try to correct it required surgery that was considered life-threatening. When the man praying for the sick in this Pentecostal meeting invited the sick to come forward, I went to the front to …

No Time for Passivity

By Dr. Michael L. Brown It is 11:45 PM Tuesday night as I sit here in front of my computer, having just responded to some emails and after finishing some editorial work on an academic project. But I’m a late night person, and there’s still plenty of time to work. So, as I often do, I take a moment to pray, asking the Lord, “Is there anything You want me to write?” Immediately I hear the words (in my thoughts, not audibly), “No time for passivity.” Now, to be perfectly clear, I am not claiming special inspiration for this article. I’m simply saying that, as often happens when I pray about what to write, a thought comes strongly to mind. If you find the theme of this article relevant or helpful, great. The simple truth is that we are in a war. An ideological war. A spiritual war. A moral and cultural war. A war that, in many ways, is even more real than a physical war. The soul of our nation is at stake. …

The Politicizing of COVID Has Become a Deadly Game

By Dr. Michael L. Brown I just lost another friend to COVID, this time, a 69-year-old father and grandfather, an elder in my home congregation, as faithful a Christian man as you will find. He joins the list of other friends and colleagues in the States who have died in the last year from COVID-related complications, along with an even longer list of loved ones and colleagues of some of my very close friends in India. At the same time, the extreme politicizing of COVID makes it difficult (if not almost impossible) to know who to trust when it comes to preventing the spread of the disease. This is a terrible shame. Personally, as much as I dislike wearing a mask, especially on long flights, I would wear one the rest of my life in public if I knew by doing so I was saving other people’s lives. With joy. When it comes to being vaccinated, if I was sure the vaccine had no long-term side-effects or dangers, I would get vaccinated every month if …

The Humiliation of the Church and the Coming National Revival

By Dr. Michael L. Brown It has been a very difficult season for conservative Christians in America. There have been countless scandals, both minor and major, sexual and financial, rocking all different sectors of the church. There have been prominent leaders who have renounced their faith. There have been well-publicized, failed prophecies about Trump’s reelection. The list goes on and on, and we have egg on our face. Lots of it. And what about the extreme politicization of so many Christians in the last 5 years, to the point that some of us became better known for our support of a political leader than for our allegiance to Jesus? This is time of humiliation, of confusion, of dishonor, a time to get low before the Lord rather than a time to strut. Worst of all, we have brought reproach to the name of Jesus and disrepute to the reputation of the gospel. We have driven people away from the Lord more than drawn people to Him. Yet all is not lost. To the contrary, the …

The Ongoing Intersection of the Gospel with Culture

By Dr. Michael L. Brown Three years ago, I conducted a poll on Facebook asking, “Should pastors and Christian leaders just preach the gospel, or should they also comment on relevant social and political issues?” Three years later to the day, I posted the same poll on Twitter. How did the results compare? Obviously, there is nothing scientific about these polls. They simply indicate how my Facebook and Twitter communities feel about the question. As for these two social media communities, although they have much in common, in many ways they disparate in their viewpoints and beliefs. How did the results compare? In 2018 on Facebook, out of roughly 1,900, 84 percent said “Gospel & culture” with only 16 percent saying “Gospel only.” In 2021 on Twitter, out of 889 responses, 79.2 percent said “Gospel and culture too” with only 20.8 percent saying, “Gospel only.” The overall differences were fairly minor, especially given the fact that many Christians are still suffering burnout from the 2020 elections while many others have felt the need to draw back from both politics …

The Importance of Finding Your Calling

By Dr. Michael L. Brown Can you imagine walking everywhere standing on your hands? Or writing a book using your toes? Or typing out text messages with your forehead? The fact is that our body was designed by God with great beauty and precision, with each part of the body having an important and unique role. It’s exactly the same with the Body of Christ. Every believer has an important and unique role. And that means if you are a believer, you have a calling and a mission. Not only so, but rightly understood, every believer has an indispensable role, since the Body can only function at its full capacity if every member of the Body is functioning properly. Do you see yourself in this way – as someone called and graced by God – or do you consider yourself of no spiritual or practical value? “After all,” you might think to yourself, “I’m just a businessman.” Or, “I’m just a home-schooling mom.” Or, “I’m just a young person in college. What can I do?” …

When Mental Health Professionals Recognize the Healing Powers of Spirituality

By Dr. Michael L. Brown Critics of the COVID lockdowns often argued that, in the end, the lockdowns would do more harm than good, not just financially but also medically. One reason was that patients needing treatment would be less inclined to visit a doctor or hospital, increasing their health risks. Critics also pointed to the psychological aspects of the lockdowns, leading to increased loneliness, depression and even suicide. What about forbidding Christians (and other people of faith) from gathering together for worship, prayer, and ministry? What kind of impact did this have on the overall health and wellbeing of tens of millions of Americans (along with countless others worldwide)? Or, conversely, what positive role did faith play in the overall health and wellbeing of Americans during the lockdowns? A new article posted in the Scientific American, by David H. Rosmarin, and titled “Psychiatry Needs to Get Right with God,” addresses these very questions. The Cost of Not Gathering for Worship According to Rosmarin, “Spirituality has historically been dismissed by psychiatrists, but results from a …

No Time for Cowardice

By Dr. Michael L. Brown According to the book of Revelation, “the cowardly,” along with a host of other sinners, like murderers and the sexually immoral, will one day be cast into the lake of fire (see Revelation 21:8). But what is so bad about being cowardly? Why is it such a serious sin? The Greek word used for “cowardly” also means “fearful,” and it is found two other times in the New Testament.  As explained by the Greek scholar Celsas Spicq, “Jesus reproaches the apostles for this psychological fear when they are terrified by the storm (Matt 8:26; Mark 4:40), because it involves a moral deficiency: they no longer have faith, or they have but little faith in the presence of the Savior, who has to reassure them.” In contrast, “when one relies on God, there is nothing to fear.” (From his Theological Lexicon of the New Testament.) So, there is something morally deficient in being fearful when Jesus Himself is with you. And in the situation described in the Gospels, when the disciples …

Now Is the Time to Preach Endurance Not Escape

By Dr. Michael L. Brown Living in America, it is easy to develop a theology of escape, one that says, “When times really get hard, God will remove us from the scene. When real tribulation comes, we will be long gone.” But is that the attitude we should be encouraging? Is not the gospel made for hard times? I’m aware, of course, that there are divergent views of the end times among Christians, including the debate over a pre-tribulation or post-tribulation rapture (or a variation of those themes; for my own views, see here.) Fine Christians can disagree on this, and my goal here it not to debate eschatology. We can agree to disagree and work together just the same. Instead, my goal here is to focus on our attitude. What kind of mindset should we have in a difficult time like this? What should our mentality be? In the last decade, Christians in Syria suffered bombing, hunger, torture, exile, and death. They did not escape the hard times. To this moment, Christians in Nigeria …

Knowing God as a Forgiving Father

by Dr. Michael L. Brown As many of you know, before I came to faith in Jesus in late 1971 as a 16-year-old, Jewish, hippie rock drummer, I was a heavy drug user, even boasting about my drug use. I also broke into a couple of houses with my friends, as well as a doctor’s office. (The primary motivation was just to do something crazy.) Even more shamefully, I stole money from my father on several occasions when some of my friends needed a few bucks. This was the most despicable act of all. A few weeks after coming to the Lord, I was sitting in the kitchen one night talking with my dad, who was the senior lawyer in the New York Supreme Court. As we sat there alone, he asked me a direct question: “Michael, did you steal that money from me a few months back?” Not only had I stolen the money, but I had cut through the screen door in the back of the house to make it look as if …

If God Does Not Exist Then Injustice Does Not Exist

By Dr. Michael L. Brown I recently had a friendly online debate with a former Muslim known as Apostate Prophet (called AP for short). The subject was, “Does God Exist?” In my opening comments, I stated that I did not specialize in debating this issue and that I realized that arguments that seemed compelling to me would be mocked by many atheists. Conversely, I stated that I have listened to the best arguments of atheists and said to myself, “Are you kidding me? Is this the best you have to offer?” (For similar reflections from a Christian apologist on the weakness of atheistic arguments, see Tom Gilson’s recent article here.) So, I made clear from the start that my goal was not to convince the viewers that my view was right. Rather, it was to explain to them why I was 100 percent sure that God is real, especially since so much of my faith is based on my own life experiences rather than on abstract philosophical arguments . To make my case, I gave …

How an Extreme Optimist and an Absolute Realist Process Life Together

By Dr. Michael L. Brown Nancy and I have been married for 45 years. We are absolutely joined at the hip, totally united in our deepest faith convictions and our love for the Lord. But in other ways, we are radically different. How do we process life together? This past Friday night [ed. April 9, 2021], I had to rush to the emergency room with a kidney stone, with Nancy as my driver. Interestingly enough, this was my second kidney stone, about seven years after the first one.  (I’ve been told that I need to drink more water since, otherwise, by God’s grace, I’m in nearly perfect health.) In both cases, Nancy got her first and second kidney stone a couple of months before me. Talk about being in harmony! While we were sitting in the waiting room and I was quietly moaning in pain, I said to her, “Underneath this pain I have a real sense of excitement. Whatever the problem is, it’s about to be solved, and I’ll be feeling much better soon.” …

From the Peaceniks of the 1960s to the Social Justice Warriors of the 2020s: Some Cultural and Spiritual Insights

By Dr. Michael L. Brown Are there parallels between the anti-war, hippies of the 1960s and today’s social justice warriors? Are there valuable lessons we can learn from the past, both cultural and spiritual, that will give us insight for today? Growing up in the 60s (I was born in 1955), I lived through the anti-war movement. But for me, being a few years younger than the activists, that era was all about rock music and drugs. Giving the “peace” sign was just something we hippies did. “Peace, man,” we would say while holding up two fingers. Our mantra was, “Make love not war.” As for being anti-war, that was hardly a philosophical issue for me. It was simply pragmatic: I was getting high and playing drums in a rock band. Why on earth would I want to go to Vietnam to be killed in battle? But for others, there really were serious philosophical issues, and deep questions were being asked. Why are we here? What’s the meaning of life? Is the American dream our …

God Is Not Discouraged

By Dr. Michael L. Brown The Scriptures often speak of God being grieved or angry. But they never speak of Him being discouraged. That’s because discouragement is not an “emotion” that exists within the Godhead. How could it? Discouragement would imply despair. Or hopelessness. Or defeat. And all of these emotions – to speak of the Creator in human terms – are totally foreign to Him. Ultimately, in Jesus, they should be foreign to us as well. Of course, it is only natural that, as human beings, even human beings who have a close relationship with the Lord, we will pass through seasons of discouragement. The burdens of life overwhelm us. Or our hopes and expectations are not realized. Or our lofty dreams come crashing to the ground. Or things take much longer than expected. Or it seems that there’s just too much suffering and pain. Or we disappoint ourselves, convincing us that we will always be failures. Or . . . you can fill in the blank. There are countless reasons for discouragement, and, …

The Q Great Awakening vs. God’s Great Awakening

By Dr. Michael L. Brown There are many Christian leaders and believers in America who believe that another great awakening is our only hope. They (or, more accurately here, we) believe that only a sweeping revival movement, leading to national reformation, will turn the deadly tide in our country. As we have said repeatedly, it is literally “revival or we die.” Yet not everyone means the same thing when they speak of the coming “great awakening.” To some, it is a spiritual outpouring which will result in massive repentance in the Church and massive salvation in the world. To others, it is a political upheaval, with the military restoring Trump to power, a Democrat-run pedophile ring being exposed, and the American people waking up to this reality. Not all “great awakenings” are the same! As conveniently summarized by a secular news site (with reference to the larger Q conspiracy), “QAnon purports that America is run by a cabal of pedophiles and Satan-worshippers who run a global child sex-trafficking operation and that former President Trump is …

Has God failed you?

By Dr. Michael L. Brown If God of the Bible is who the Bible says He is, then, by His very nature, it’s impossible for Him to fail. Then why ask the question, “Has God failed you?” It’s because, for all too many people, it feels as if God failed them. Perhaps you are one of those people? Maybe you suffered a devastating loss, something that was almost impossible to bear. But what made things even worse was that you felt abandoned by God. With tears of anguish you cried out, “God, where are You!?” To this day, you still wonder, “Where was God when I was hurting? Why didn’t He let me feel His presence? Why didn’t He speak to me or send help my way when I needed Him the most? What kind of God is that – if He even exists? Or was there something wrong with me?” Some of you wonder why your prayers for healing or provision or deliverance were not answered. As a result, you concluded that the Bible …

Revival: When God Steps Down from Heaven

By Dr. Michael L. Brown In a certain sense, God’s presence fills the universe. Yet there are times in history when God manifests His presence in a particular place or in a particular way that is unique and distinct and powerful and transformative. We call those times “revival.” During such times in the past, children would say, “Did you hear that Jesus came to my village?” Preachers would say, “God stepped down from heaven.” Something had changed, and everyone knew it. As I explained in the definition I have used for revival for many years, “Revival is a season of unusual divine visitation resulting in deep repentance, supernatural renewal, and sweeping reformation in the Church, along with the radical conversion of sinners in the world, often producing moral, social, and even economic change in the local or national communities.” Note in particular those words “a season of unusual divine visitation.” That is the very essence of revival. There are passages in the Bible that describe God’s presence as being everywhere (see Psalm 139:7-12; Jeremiah 23:23-24). …

The Bad News in the Supreme Court’s Recent Ruling on Behalf of Religious Liberty

By Dr. Michael L. Brown It was good to see the Supreme Court rule yet again in favor of religious liberty in the latest California case to reach the nation’s highest court. Yet the fact that the ruling was only 5-4, not to mention some of the reasoning in the dissenting opinion, gives real cause for concern. This should not have been a close vote at all. Instead, it should have been a slam dunk for religious freedoms. As reported on Forbes, “The Supreme Court ruled by a 5-4 margin late Friday that California’s coronavirus-related restrictions on gathering in private homes violated constitutional rights on the free exercise of religion, the latest ruling from the high court that prohibits authorities from enforcing limits on religious services.” Chief Justice John Roberts joined with the three liberal justices, and the dissenting opinion was written by Justice Elana Kagan. As for the majority opinion, the reasoning was as follows. “First, California treats some comparable secular activities more favorably than at-home religious exercise, permitting hair salons, retail stores, personal care services, …

Debating an evangelical turned atheist, Muslim apologist, and more

By Dr. Michael L. Brown Earlier on Tuesday (April 6), I had the distinct joy and privilege of recording four TV shows for a new series I’m hosting called “That’s Debatable with Dr. Brown.” It will air on the new AWKNG TV network, hopefully starting sometime next month. The debates we recorded covered four different subjects: 1) Has the Church Replaced Israel? 2) Are There Valid Reasons to Leave Christianity? 3) Does the God of the Bible Exist? 4) The Quran or the Bible: Which Is the Word of God? The guests included an Anglican vicar, a former Charismatic Christian turned agnostic, a former evangelical turned atheist, and a Muslim apologist. On Wednesday (April 7), I’m scheduled to do four more debates, one with a gay pastor on Jesus and LGBTQ+ people, one with a transgender pastor on affirming trans identities, one with a progressive Christian on abortion, and one with a questioning Christian on divine healing. This means that, aside from one or two of the shows, none of the other guests share my …

How the Death of a 20th-Century Rabbi Helps Demonstrate the Reality of the Resurrection of Jesus

By Dr. Michael L. Brown For many years, scholars and skeptics and psychologists and sociologists have told us that the disciples experienced a form of cognitive dissonance after Jesus died. It so rocked their world and crushed their expectations that they went into deep denial to the point of believing that Jesus really rose from the dead. To be sure, other scholars have attacked this theory from a number of powerful and persuasive angles, but my book Resurrection tackles it from a different angle. Specifically, I focus on a modern-day, parallel test case that completely demolishes this argument. To give the relevant background, in 1994, a leading rabbi, one of the most influential Jews of the 20th century, died at the age of 92. His name was Menachem Mendel Schneerson, and he was known as the Lubavitcher Rebbe. But this rabbi had become so influential that, before his death, his followers began to proclaim that he was the long-awaited Messiah. Redemption had come for Israel! Toward the end of his life, however, he suffered two …

Have the Seven Seals of the Book of Revelation Been Opened?

By Dr. Michael L. BrownOriginally posted May 13, 2020 The same, unusual subject came up three times on the same day, this past Monday, May 11. Was God sending a message to me about the end of the world, taken straight from the pages of the Book of Revelation? First, a caller to my radio show asked if we might be in the first phase of the breaking of the seven seals in the Book of Revelation and therefore in the beginning of “the tribulation.” Then, a friend left a message on my cell phone asking what he should make of a respected Christian leader in another country telling him that the first of the seven seals was being opened? Then, I spotted this headline featured on Drudge Report: “‘Four Horsemen are ACTIVE’ Bible scholars claim Book of Revelation seals broken…” As the article explained, “Bible scholars have sensationally claimed the end of the world could be upon us as they believe the Four Horsemen, who bring about death, war, famine and disease before the …

Sorting Out the Israeli Elections

By Dr. Michael L. Brown Do you have your scorecards ready? We’re going to do our best to sort out the results of this week’s elections in Israel, the fourth in a period of just two years (can you imagine that?). But first, a disclaimer: by the time you read this article, the outcome may have changed. That’s how inconclusive the final voting turned out to be. A shift in affiliation by one of the many parties receiving votes could change things overnight. Plus, on Friday, 450,000 double-sealed votes will be counted (including military votes, votes from abroad, and votes sent in because of COVID). That could shift things as well. Let’s start with an overview of how a government is formed in Israel. The Knesset (Parliament) has 120 seats, and so, to form a government, you need 61 seats. The problem is that there are many parties in Israel, quite the opposite of our two party system in America, in which smaller parties are virtually meaningless. And in Israel, although the parties are led …

The Difference Between the Political Spirit and the Christian Spirit

By Dr. Michael L. Brown Writing for The Atlantic on March 10, Shadi Hamid opined that in America today, “As Christianity’s hold, in particular, has weakened, ideological intensity and fragmentation have risen. American faith, it turns out, is as fervent as ever; it’s just that what was once religious belief has now been channeled into political belief” (his emphasis). While this is certainly true, it is also true that religious belief has been merged with political belief. Yet, in many ways, the Christian spirit is very different than the political spirit. The two often make a very bad mix. But before I explain what I mean, allow me to add the standard caveats. I do believe that followers of Jesus should vote and be politically informed. I do believe we should have a positive impact, as salt and light, on every aspect of American life, including politics. I do believe there are godly and ethical politicians. I do believe that some Christians are called to be heavily involved in politics or even run for office. I do believe that …

Prophecies Are Not Simply Newspaper Headlines in Advance

By Dr. Michael L. Brown Now that the New York Times, Politico, and other, major secular outlets have covered the failed presidential prophecies, why don’t we make this a teachable moment and ask a basic question about prophecy? Specifically, when prophecy is predictive (and therefore foretelling rather than forthtelling), is it equivalent to headline news in advance? The reason I ask this question is because the recent presidential prophecies were presented like news headlines in advance, informing us of specific dates and details, none of which came to pass. Yet millions of Christians were urged to believe these specific words and were rebuked when they saw fit to question them. But is prophecy normally that specific, especially in terms of dates? Is this the biblical pattern? To be sure, many events are predicted in the Bible with specificity, and on rare occasion, there are specific times and dates put on the prophecies. But that is certainly not the norm. Instead, future prophecies are frequently spoken in such a way that there is some level of …

Now Is the Time to Let Your Light Shine

By Dr. Michael L. Brown For many years now, I’ve said that I’m not as much concerned with the presence of darkness in America as I am with the absence of light. Darkness will always be present, but light can drive it out. That’s why our greatest need is to get our light shining brightly again. Otherwise, darkness will prevail. As Jesus said in a different context, “If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matthew 6:23b) We all know the saying that you can’t put the horse before the cart. But before you can hitch the cart to the horse, the horse needs to be healthy. Without that, no one is going anywhere. And that’s where we stand today in America: the greatest need is a healthy Church. Then, with a healthy Church, the “cart” of cultural and moral and political change will follow as a natural consequence. But it’s not a matter of either-or, as if we must focus either on spiritual life or on cultural life. Instead, …

Are You a Fool According to the Bible?

By Dr. Michael L. Brown As defined by the Scriptures, a fool is not someone who is uneducated or a person with a low IQ. Rather, a fool is someone who is deeply deficient spiritually and morally. As summed up in Proverbs 1:7, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Are you a fool according to the Bible? Am I? Let’s look at just a few of the characteristics of the fool as laid out in Proverbs. 1) “The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice” (Proverbs 12:15). The fool is always right in his (or her eyes), never willing to take correction, never willing to listen to sound advice, never willing to acknowledge error or wrong. Perhaps we are not this extreme in our stubbornness, but is this our general tendency? Can people approach us easily, without fear? Do we receive correction with humility and even appreciation? That’s why Proverbs 9:8 says, “Do not rebuke mockers or they will …

And They Will Know We Are Christians By Our Hate

By Dr. Michael L. Brown Did you ever hear the song that begins with the words, “We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord”? The lyrics are very simple, with the repeated refrain, “And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love, Yeah they’ll know we are Christians by our love.” Today, we might want to change that refrain to “they’ll know we are Christians by our hate, by our hate.” We have become terribly disfigured in recent years, in many ways, the opposite of God’s intent. How on earth did this happen? If you don’t believe me, visit some of our personal, Bible-affirming, Jesus-believing, social media pages, where we savage each other and attack each other and spread hearsay and even lies about one another with reckless abandon. They are hate-filled pages, pages filled with venom and poison, yet pages that ultimately reflect what is in our own hearts. I ask again: how on earth did this happen? To give one recent, case in point, when my …

Do Not Despise Prophecy

By Dr. Michael L. Brown Did you ever wonder why Paul wrote, “Do not despise prophecies,” or as the New International Version translates, “Do not treat prophecies with contempt” (1 Thess. 5:20)? Why would any Christian be tempted to despise prophetic words? The answer is that prophecy can be obscure. Or confusing. Or complex. Or it can appear to be inaccurate, only to come to pass differently than we expected or have a different application than we understood. Or it can make us uncomfortable, revealing areas we would rather leave covered over. And in the case of New Testament prophecy, when every believer can potentially prophesy, it often needs correction and guidance. It is sometimes flatly wrong, with people claiming inspiration without really having it. That’s why Paul’s full exhortation included these injunctions: “Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good” (1 Thess. 5:19-21). Today, when the failed Trump prophecies have gained much notoriety and when prophecy itself is getting a bad …