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God's Not Mad at You
Politics in the church? But of course.

Politics in the church? But of course.

OCTOBER 13, 2021

/ Programs / Key Life / Politics in the church? But of course.

Steve Brown:
Politics in the church? But of course. Let’s talk on Key Life.

Matthew Porter:
If you’re sick of guilt and manipulation. And if you’re looking for an honest and thoughtful presentation of Biblical truth, you’ve come to the right place. This is Key Life with the founder of Key Life Network, Steve Brown. Keep listening for teaching that will make you free.

Steve Brown:
Thank you Matthew. We’re looking at the first few verses of the sixth chapter of Acts, in a very long study in the book of Acts. And we’re looking at division in the church. And when you say I’d like to go back to the early church, you don’t know what you’re talking about. They fought the way we fight. They made mistakes, the way we make mistakes. They did the wrong thing, the way we do the wrong thing. And God used them anyway. And he can use the church today. That means you. And that means me. We’ve looked at a number of things that happened when the first division took place in the church, diversification, repentance, listening to the congregation. God speaks through the leaders, but he speaks through followers too. And a wise will know what a follower is saying. When I resigned, as a pastor of a church, my mentor at the time, whom I miss more than I can know, the wisest man I’ve ever known. And by the way, do go to BreakfastwithFred.com and check it out, to make sure that I didn’t make Fred up, just to say things that he said. Fred was very wise and I didn’t tell him I was going to resign, I didn’t tell anybody, except my wife, that I was going to resign. Jesus came to me at midnight and I was in tears and he released the burden and I wanted to dance and speak in tongues and Presbyterians don’t do either one. It was a good and sad experience. And Fred was angry. And he said, I’m the chairman of your board and you didn’t even tell me. And, we talked about it a long time. He said, Steve, let me tell you what worries me. I’m afraid when you have a microphone, instead of people you’ll become a talking head and you will no longer be in touch with the people to whom God has sent you. And he was very wise and I’ve been very careful. I read a bunch of letters. I’m on the phone all the time. I travel. I listen. I think. And sometimes I get it right, because I listened to the people. God speaks through his people and he speaks through his leaders because his leaders listen to his people, but there’s a, there’s something else. There’s common sense. You know, if we had been in the first century and this division had taken place because certain people weren’t being treated fairly. You know what we would have said when we read or understood how they worked it out, we would say, you’re compromising. You don’t have any convictions. You’re picking people because of their ethnicity rather than being because of their wisdom and their godliness. And, the apostles would say, be quiet, we’re doing the right thing because it’s common sense. And it is the right thing. You say, Steve, where are you going with this? Well, if you’ll read, you know, the Greeks were the ones that were not, the Hellenists were the ones that weren’t getting what they were supposed to get in the church. Read the list of the people who were appointed to be the first deacons of the church. Every single one of them is a Greek. Do you think that was an accident? No, it wasn’t an accident. These apostles understood, they understood that common sense was a part of the proper care and feeding of a congregation. You know, you find that all the time, you’ll find a pastor coming to a church that had been traditional with an organ and traditional music. And the first thing he does is put a drum in the pulpit and an electric guitar and the people are jarred because nobody told them they were going to do this and then the pastor gets fired. And then he comes to me. We have 4,000 pastors on our mailing list and they say to me, I was fired because I was faithful. And I often say, and always think, no, you were fired, cause you don’t have the common sense of an amoeba. You know, if you’re going to, and I believe worship forms have to change. The producer of this broadcast, Jeremy is among other things, like being an incredible technical guy and producer of this broadcast, is also an incredible musician. And he says, that one of the things you need to remember in a church is that if you’re older and you want the music to be the way you like the music, then face the fact that you’re not going to worship with your grandkids. Now that’s wise. And I agree with that, by the way, but you don’t do that in one fell sweep. That’s dumb. You take the time to be wise, to think it through, to prepare, to teach, to talk about what it means to be the family, what it means to go through change together. Even if you don’t like the change. And that was going on in the first century. I’ll tell you something, these apostles are incredibly wise. They looked at the congregation and they saw a problem and they said, what can we do to fix this. Godliness? Yes. Prayer? Yes. Kindness? Yes. Valuing people because they are in the image of God? Of course. But don’t forget the common sense. You think that. Amen.

Matthew Porter:
Thank you Steve. Politics in the church. Yeah, it’s always been there. And guess what? God isn’t surprised or caught off guard by it. We’ll have more great insights from Acts 6 tomorrow. Do make sure you join us. So, here’s a question. Have you ever considered the fact that Jesus is actually alive right here and active right now? Well, Steve gave a sermon a while back called When Jesus Leaves the Building. In that talk, he teaches from Luke 4 on what happens when Jesus is in the building. Take a listen to part of that sermon. Then I’ll be back to tell you about a special free offer. Here’s Steve.

Steve Brown:
A number of years ago, I was invited to a church in Louisville, Kentucky. It was a Baptist church and the pastor said, Steve, we haven’t had a Presbyterian in this pulpit since 1830, when the church was founded. You’re the first. So don’t screw it up. I said, why would you invite me? I mean, I don’t want to be here either. You Baptists are like weeds, you’re everywhere. You can’t get rid of you. Why, why would you invite me? And he said, cause I’ve been listening to what you teach. You only ride one horse, but you ride it well. There was a time when that would have offended me. It doesn’t so much anymore, things change. I’m a cynical preacher now, and I know the truth, about me and about you and about the church. When I was young, I did premarital counseling as a pastor. There were three sessions and they were old required for those who would have me officiate at their service. One of the sessions was on sex. Another of the sessions was on money. And one of them was on Jesus and his relationship to marriage. After a year and a half, I gave up the one on sex. They knew more about sex than I did. And then I looked at my bank account and how I’d messed that up. And I decided I have no business talking to young people about money. Money and sex are the two areas that caused serious problems, but they could get that from somebody else, but I clung to Jesus. And I knew a lot about him. So, I kept that lecture. So I said, I’m old. When I was young, I thought I’d be a lot better than I am. Frankly, I thought you would be too, but we’re not. Ray Cortese, is a friend of mine at Seven Rivers Presbyterian Church in Florida. He’s in a little tiny community. And I asked him why he went there and he said, I went there because I couldn’t make a difference. It was a sewer and I was going to clean up the sewer. And his church almost died. And then he said, I recognize that there was a sewer, but the sewer was in me. When I saw that, when I began to teach it and be honest and authentic, then God began to do things in the church where he sent me. When I was young, I thought I would study the Scriptures. And I have, I thought I would find profound new insights and I would offer them to the family of God. Now I’m more confused than I was when I started. When I was young, I thought I would win the world to Christ. When I was young, I thought I was going to make a major difference and an impact for Christ in the world. And now I’m old and none of those things have happened. Now I’m old and the dreams that I had, have been shattered. Now, I’m old. And I look at myself and I know the truth. It’s not about me. It’s about Jesus. And so, I’ve reduced and reduced and reduced the message. Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.

Matthew Porter:
Listen, if you like that clip, you are going to love the full sermon. Would it be okay if we mailed it to you on a CD, for free. If so, then let us know by calling 1-800-KEY-LIFE, that’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail Steve@keylife.org and ask for that CD. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to

Key Life Network
P.O. Box 5000
Maitland, Florida 32794

If you’re in Canada, send your request to

Key Life Canada
P.O. Box 28060
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 6J8

Just ask for your copy of the CD called When Jesus Leaves the Building. Finally, if you value what we do here at Key Life, would you perfectly consider giving to support that work? Giving is easy. Just charge a gift on your credit card or include a gift in your envelope. Or listen, just pick up your phone right now and text Key Life to 28950. That’s Key Life, one word, two words, doesn’t matter. Text that to 28950. Key Life is a member of ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada. And as always, we are a listener supported production of Key Life Network.

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