I am not God's policeman.
I do not see myself (nor do I believe the Father sees me) as the Lord's doctrinal detective, the heaven-appointed moral enforcer, the God-ordained heresy hunter.
Every day of the week, sermons are being preached and articles are being written and broadcasts are being aired and books are being published on biblically-related subjects, and I do not go searching for the latest example of false teaching or doctrinal error.
The very thought of it is ridiculous, leading to the obvious question: Who gives anyone the right to correct the whole body? What ministry, let alone individual, can claim the complete corner on biblical truth?
I always find it amusing (and sad) when a heresy hunting ministry comes after me or some other leader, attacking us for some alleged doctrinal deviation, while they themselves hold to some clearly unbiblical position of their own. How ironic!
And although I have strong convictions about the things I believe, I work with charismatics and non-charismatics, with folks who are pre-trib, post-trib, premil, amil, and postmil, with Calvinists and Arminians, with believers from every stripe and background—as long as they love the Lord and hold to the fundamentals of the faith.
Although I believe that God has helped equip me as a teacher in the body (this is not my only role, but it is one role), I can learn from everyone and I'm quite sure that many believers with no background in Hebrew or Greek have wonderful insights into the Word that I have never seen or discovered.
We all need each other; no ministry or individual is indispensable, and there are no superstars in the body. Only Jesus is worthy of reverence and awe and adoration.
Then why do I write books and articles addressing concerns with the beliefs or practices or statements of other leaders and ministries?
It is for the same reason that Paul wrote his letters (although his were uniquely inspired and are now part of Scripture) and that Christian leaders through the centuries have written books and letters and articles: We have a burden that we believe is from the Lord to correct error, to instruct the flock, and to warn the church and the world.
It is not the role of a policeman, but it is the role of a watchman, and there are many watchmen in the body today, each with a specific assignment and commission.
If we fail to watch and we fail to warn, innocent believers will be hurt, confusion will deepen, and deception will seduce and destroy.
You say, "What makes you right?"
That's a perfectly fair question. What makes anyone right? Ultimately, what we say and how we live must be tested by the truth of God's Word, and He alone is the final Judge.
But when well-known leaders like Jim Wallis and Rob Bell and Vicky Beeching and Tony Campolo come out in favor of homosexual relationships, do we remain silent or do we sound the alarm? Do we allow confusion to reign or do we seek to bring clarity, speaking the truth in love?
When pastor after pastor across America and around the world share with me the damage being done by the hyper-grace message, when I encounter it day and night on social media, and when hyper-grace teachers launch an attack on those who differ with their teaching, do we look the other way, or do we address the error of hyper-grace and seek to exalt biblical grace instead?
When Pastor John MacArthur declares that the vast majority of charismatic Christians worldwide are not saved, accusing some highly respected leaders of blaspheming the Spirit and worshipping at the altar of a golden calf, do we ignore the stream of requests from believers to address these statements, or do we reach out privately, raise questions publicly, and through it all, speak with honor and a heart for unity?
In recent days, it seems that everywhere I turn, I'm confronted with posts, tweets, emails and texts, asking me, "Can you explain where Hillsong stands on homosexuality? Did you see this video by Bishop Jakes?"
And whenever we have any kind of access, we reach out to ministries and leaders privately, asking for clarification and comment, since many are being confused and hurt by unclear or erroneous statements.
In some cases, we've had great interaction behind the scenes. In other cases, we've received no response to our inquiries. But in either case, it is right and righteous to address public statements publicly, meaning, if I said on national radio or TV that I now believe that Elvis Presley is the Savior, if you're a pastor, you don't need to contact me privately before saying to your congregation, "Mike Brown is wrong about Elvis."
And when it comes to Christian leaders appearing before the secular media, I'm cheering them on, wanting them to shine, praying for their success, knowing that we're a team and that ultimately, the reputation of Jesus is at stake. That's why I'm so grieved when the interviews fall short.
On my radio show on Monday, a 34-year-old caller thanked me for speaking into some of these recent controversies, saying that it helps him immensely and, as someone who works with youth, he knows that they are crying out for clarity and that the public statements of prominent leaders have really confused them.
Do we turn a deaf ear to these needs and play along with the latest politically correct trend, or do we call on leaders to speak what is right and do what is right?
It is one thing to function as Christian gossip columnists (an oxymoron if there ever was one), digging up dirt and mucking up mire with a view towards making a name for yourself by making others look bad (the thought is utterly repulsive).
It's another thing to speak redemptively into public doctrinal and moral issues, and I would be remiss in the sight of God if I failed to do so, just as others would be remiss if they failed to do the same for me should I fall into error.
May the Lord keep us on strong, may the Lord keep us on track, may the Lord's mercy be upon us, and may we walk worthy of our high calling in Him.
Michael Brown is the host of the nationally syndicated talk radio show "The Line of Fire" and is the president of FIRE School of Ministry. His newest book is Outlasting the Gay Revolution: Where Homosexual Activism Is Really Going and How to Turn the Tide. Connect with him on Facebook at AskDrBrown or on Twitter @drmichaellbrown
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