America is very “sick” indeed, says popular radio host and Messianic Jewish author Michael Brown, but followers of Jesus have no business being doomsday types because God still has a holy prescription to transform society.
“As someone on the front lines of the culture wars, I’m seeing increasing pessimism” in much of the Church, said Brown, host of The Line of Fire, in an interview last week with The Christian Post about his new book, Saving a Sick America: A Prescription for Moral and Cultural Transformation.
“People talk about throwing in the towel, going into retreat mode, and I was feeling the opposite in my own heart,” he said as he began to write the book.
One morning while in prayer he heard that still small voice to write something about the fall and rise of the United States. The books 14 chapters don’t attempt to hide how ill America has become. Between the years 1960 and 2000 the divorce rate doubled, teen suicides tripled, and the rate of reported violent crime quadrupled. The prison population quintupled, the percentage of babies born to unmarried parents sextupled, and cohabitation — a predictor of future divorce — increased sevenfold. But the author does not wallow in these sobering statistics and offers hope for healing and recovery.
Such is the heart of God, Brown explained, and He has given his people a battle plan to restore culture in the Word of God.
When Brown began writing Saving a Sick America, Rod Dreher’s much discussed book The Benedict Option had not yet released. Brown told CP that his work is a counterpoint of sorts to Dreher’s call for a “strategic withdrawal”— from certain areas of society. While Brown and Dreher have much in common, he advocates taking a different approach. Brown doesn’t believe that there’s a single area of culture that’s lost beyond recovery. However dire the circumstances, Christians can continue to show the world that a better way exists.
The author contends in chapter 7 that Americans need to adopt a “multi-generational mentality” and rebuild healthy marriages and families, and for marriages to thrive, long-term vision is required.
“We have two big problems in the West right now” regarding the family, Brown said.
“One is that we are very independent people and we don’t recognize the importance of the family, we are scattered, we live individually. But then, we also have a wrong theology in much of the Church — that is a theology of pessimism. Saying that Jesus is coming at any moment and that everything will get worse before He comes.”
With such an approach there is therefore no reason to resist the darkness, and the Church functions “like a cancer patient in the final stages.”
If one thinks that Jesus will return at any moment, long-term thinking goes away.
Brown, a Messianic Jew, who came to faith in Jesus in 1971 at age 16, noted that such thinking was prevalent when he was young. Brown’s granddaughter is now 16.
“If we will esteem family the way God does, if we will get excited about bringing children into the world and if we will live by God’s principles, as husbands and wives, as mothers and fathers, then we with a culture of life, a culture that celebrates children and families, we will be the dominant force on the planet in a generation or two.”
Just as Orthodox Jews do not intermarry and have many children, the same holds true for Christians who practice a culture that values life.
By both numbers and godly example “we could easily outlast the destructive culture in which we live, demonstrating that God’s ways are best,” Brown said.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Brandon Showalter