Reflections on the Pope’s Recent Comments and the Role of the Church in Society

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Dr. Brown weighs in on the Pope’s recent controversial comments and discusses to what extent the preaching of the gospel should intersect with social issues — and much more. Listen live here 2-4 pm EST, and call into the show at (866) 348 7884 with your questions and comments.

 

Hour 1:

Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: On the one hand it is very positive that the Pope’s comments are drawing so much discussion, but if they do not lead sinners to new faith and new life in Jesus they will all be in vain.

 

Hour 2:

Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: I find it fascinating, in a world which supposedly hates religion and hates God, that so many people are paying attention to what the Pope has to say.  Let him preach Jesus and call people to repentance and we’ll see if the world still listens.

 

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Other Resources:

Revival and Social Change

The Word of God and Social Justice

Sobering Lessons from the Sex Scandals

11 Comments
  1. Three comments for today’s show:

    1) I appreciate Dr. Brown’s “wait and see” attitude towards the new pope. While we should extended the benefit-of-the-doubt to everybody, I think it’s all the more important for church leaders.

    2) I didn’t hear Dr. Brown mention the church bombing in Pakistan but I’ll guess he did.

    As a person with a connection with Pakistan, I strongly encourage you to pray for these Christians and help them financially as you are able.

    The Muslim radicals are punishing Pakistani Christians for our U.S. drone policy. This is not the first time Pakistani Christians have been bombed and killed for US policies.

    When this happens, the Pakistani church naturally looks to the US church for solidarity and help but, in my experience, most Americans don’t even understand the connection (or are even aware it happened) let alone help these suffering brothers and sisters.

    3) Dr.Brown said that our sexual orientation does not define us. I disagree. I think it profoundly defines us.

    (but not solely! There are many other ways we are defined. )

    I think those of us in the sexual mainstream really have no idea how much being “typical” defines our role in society, church, family, work, etc. It affects us on all kinds of levels in all kinds of ways. But, people who find themselves outside the mainstream are well aware of it.

    For example being a hetersexual parent puts you on a life-journey that is very different than if you are married but childless. If you are single and unmarried, that is yet another very different role in the world.

    Of course, if you are gay, this is a very, very different life journey — even if you are celibate.

    Irregardless of where you come down on the morality of sexual orientation, it’s not helpful to deny that it defines who we are.

  2. (I cross posted this from a previous show, in case Ty only comes here today. Please excuse.)

    Ty,

    Weren’t you the one who offered to buy Dr. Brown’s book for me?

    You might be happy to know that I am seriously considering reading it.

    Do you think all “heck” would break lose here if I responded to it chapter-by-chapter as I read it?

    I changed my mind about homosexuality years ago and it might be a good exercise for me to be challenged by Dr. Brown’s book and to re-visit my beliefs on the subject.

    But I honestly worry that I stir up too much strife on this site already! I am a little surprised that Dr. Brown has tolerated me this long.

    PS: Despite your generous offer, I think I can get my own copy.

  3. Hey Greg,

    that was not me… but i remember the offer… i think it was by peter… or someone… but i am glad u acn get your own book…i know they get expensive sometimes.

    and i am happy u will consider reading it. I have it, but havent racked it open yet. Readign varius sermons from ancient theologians, so no time currently.

    God Bless Greg.

  4. Greg, That book offer was mine- i sent a 25.00 donation to hold the book for you, and i ordered the book on my kindle- i am working my way through the kindle book and was waiting for your comments.
    just send in your address to askdrbrown.org reference book donation along with your address. They will send you this book, it is yours!

  5. Though church leadership go to join the world, it doesn’t mean congregants must also, but
    it will discourage many from entering the kingdom of heaven.

    It seems that people groups all over the world are reaping the evils that have been sown, and it’s troubling.

  6. Here’s something to think about: Did Jesus have any openly gay leadership among his chosen 12?

    No, but he did have a thief.

  7. Jon,

    Sorry, I forgot it was you. Thanks for the offer.

    What I would like to do is post my comments as I read each chapter. I’d like to hear what you guys think.

    I will try to read the book with an open mind and heart.

    Even so, I seriously doubt that I will change my mind on this topic.

    I did not change my mind about homosexuality casually or emotionally. I literally spent about a decade reading opposing opinions, praying, researching ancient history and reading my bible.

    Dr. Brown dismissed Christians like me as compromising with worldly values. We are moral weaklings, basically.

    But, in my Evangelical world, I have paid a pretty high personal and professional price for being pro-gay.

    In my world, the easy moral choice would have been to be anti-gay.

  8. Greg,
    History has taught us that Christians always come out on the wrong side of every social issue at first. Then after public support grows for the issue Christians always change their tune and have to engage in apologetics, a form of religious propaganda that attempts to explain away Christianity’s social and scientific blunders. Public opinion on the gay marriage issue has shifted more rapidly than on any other issue I can recall. Your view on gay marriage is now the majority view among Christians, even evangelicals. Those who continue to argue against gay rights have already marginalized themselves to the point where no one is paying any attention to them anymore. Once again we have Protestant Christians starting a war they cannot ever win, essentially committing political suicide.

  9. Hey Greg,

    Tell me when u start reading. I will start around that time too.

    I know this isnt a book club, so we cant jus dominate the post board…but I would like to her your views on certain things. If u have a twitter my name is @Daventchi

  10. Dear Dr Brown

    As a former Catholic who finds Pope Francis very appealing, I appreciate your balanced comments on his remarks that the media have seized upon. My interpretation is that he is an approachable and compassionate man; only time will tell if he will compromise scriptural principles and the church’s strong moral absolutes: I feel that he won’t. You rightly pointed out that there isn’t really moral equivalence between homosexuality and abortion, and I would add that there is no moral equivalence between contraception and abortion either. It is a great pity that the Catholic Church has taught such a severe line on contraception that, for many, they might as well be hanged for a sheep as for a lamb and have used abortion as a form of contraception. I hope and pray that openly proclaiming Jesus and the transforming power of the gospel will be something that characterises Pope Francis’s papacy.

  11. For an interesting discussion discussion/debate on the significance and potential repercussions of Pope Francis’ comments have a look at the latest episode of the World Over from EWTN: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nabtkx8RoCU&feature=c4-overview&list=UUijDos-LUTh9RQvSCMQqN6Q

    The relevant segment begins at 18:30. All three interlocutors are conservative Catholics (one is a Jesuit priest). They all agree that Francis’ words do not signal any change in church doctrine and dogma (I completely agree – the pope made strong, unambiguous pro-life statements the following day, and just a couple of days ago excommunicated a retired priest for supporting gay marriage and women’s ordination) but have some passionate disagreement on the prudence of the pope’s choice of words.

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