Slaves don’t recruit slaves.
FEBRUARY 17, 2021
Slaves don’t recruit slaves. Let’s talk about it on Key Life.
Key Life is a radio program for struggling believers, sick of phony religion and pious cliches. Our host and teacher is seminary professor Steve Brown. He teaches that radical freedom leads to infectious joy and surprising faithfulness.
Thank you Matthew. If you have your Bible, open it to Galatians four, we’re looking at an allegory or an illustration that Paul uses to describe what it means to be free and what it means to be a slave. And it’s kind obtuse to modern ears, but it made a lot of sense to everybody who heard him when he first wrote it, because it was rabbinical, because it had a Jewish flavor to it, because it was in fact profound. And we’re talking about slavery and freedom in this text, because that’s what Paul is talking about. And we’ve seen that our freedom has to do with our roots. It has to do with discernment, with reflection and it has to do with reaction. Ugliness is always threatened by beauty and freedom is always threatened and criticized by slaves. And then there’s one other thing, if it’s no, I got one or two other things, it’s also declared in its growth. Look at Galatians 4:27.
For it is written, “Rejoice, O barren one who does not bear; break forth and shout, you who are not in travail! For the children of the desolate one are many more than the children of her that is married.”
Now what Paul is doing here is showing how God will multiply the children of promise, the free ones. He is showing how the promise of growth and many more children is fulfilled in the body of Christ, the children of promise. Let me tell you something that’s important. Slaves do not recruit slaves. The difference between someone who is free in Christ and one who is in bondage to the law and narrow religion, is that the former creates questions and provides answers. And the latter creates objections and has no answers. Some Christians say to the world, come and be a slave with me. And the world says back, what, you gotta be kidding. You’re miserable. And you’re asking me to be miserable. You’re in bondage and you want me to be in bondage. You’re guilty all the time, afraid of every step that you take. And you’re asking me to do that. Some Christians say to the world, come and be a slave with me and others say to the world, come and enjoy the freedom and the laughter that God has given me. Pastors sometimes say I was faithful and they kicked me out. Now we have over 4,000 pastors on our mailing list. And that means that if you, if you write to us, I might not see it. I mean, we just get so much, but if you’re a pastor, it goes right to my desk, if you make a phone call on you’re a pastor, they put it right through. If, if you’re a pastor, you’ve got Open Sesame here at Key Life to the old guy, that would be me. So I spent a lot of time, every week talking with and laughing with and praying with and crying with pastors. And I love pastors, the real ones, but a thing that I hear often is, I was faithful to God and I was kicked out. Now, sometimes that happens. And I can think of a lot of people where that is true, a lot of pastors, but a lot of times that’s not what’s going on. You were a pain, you were a slave and you tried to enslave the congregation. And they, because they’re the people of God said, I ain’t going there. That’s not Jesus. That’s not the voice of the master. That’s not what this thing is all about. Go into vinyl repair and don’t preach anymore. Slaves don’t recruit slaves, because people don’t willingly become slaves. And that’s why God has lifted up God’s people as a witness to the world of what it means to be free. I have a friend, who’s a pastor, his name’s John in Memphis where he served a number of years. And, he says that, what happens is that the Christians stay in the church and there’s smudge marks on the windows of the church where we’ve looked out. Our nose has hit the window and we’ve thought, they’re having so very much fun, I wish I could be there with them. And he says, it ought to be just the opposite. The smudge marks ought to be on the windows on the outside, as unbelievers look into the church and see our dancing, perceive our party, listen to our laughter and they should say, I, I wish I could be in there with them. We lose so much, don’t we? And listen, I sound like I’m just laying a guilt trip on you. I wish, I wish I could say I was pure in this area and I haven’t. I have been shocked. I have condemned. I have made pagans feel guilty. I have drawn a line and said the good people are on this side of the line and the bad people are on the other side of the line. And if you want to be like us, then join up with our bunch. And sometimes not only have I done that, the church has done that, and we got a repent. We got to say, I’m sorry. And if we have to, ask Jesus to tell us a good joke, so the world can hear the laughter. You think about that. Amen.
Steve Brown there, teaching us from Galatians 4 verses 21 through 31. More from Steve and our guided tour of Galatians tomorrow. We’ll save a seat for you. Well, if we’re all being honest, I think we would agree that there’s no feeling quite like being right. Unfortunately, that can often lead to a mindset of us against them. Well, recently in our talk radio show, Steve Brown Etc, we spoke about this with pastor and author, Scott Sauls. Take a listen to this excerpt from that conversation. Then I’ll be right back to tell you about a special free offer.
On Saturday night live, Pete Davidson went overboard with a politician named Dan Crenshaw whose views he doesn’t respect who was injured at war, lost an eye, whereas an eyepatch,made a remark in his commentary about Crenshaw’s disability, in sort of a snarky way. And then the internet did what the internet does and started piling on Pete Davidson for saying the things that he said that was wrong, etc. And then Pete Davidson started posting things on his social media accounts, essentially expressing his regret, even maybe intimated that he might hurt himself, you know, that he wanted to leave this world, etc. And then. Dan Crenshaw whom he had insulted on the show, reached out to him privately and talked about how, you know, everybody’s got a purpose, you’ve got a platform, you’ve got plenty of opportunity. Please don’t let this get you down. You know, basically a gesture of kindness, a gesture of the gentleness of Christ, for lack of a better term. I don’t know if there is a better term. It culminated in Crenshaw coming on Saturday Night Live and, you know, they did a little bit together kind of making light of a very serious thing that had happened. And then as the cameras go to commercial Davidson, you know, leans in to Crenshaw and says, you’re a good man, which was really beautiful. Unfortunately, since that time Davidson has backed off of what he said and has essentially started to say negative things again, but in the moment, it was a beautiful expression, especially from Crenshaw of, you know, a gentle answer turning away wrath, as Proverbs 15:1 tells us.
It’s really interesting, over and over again, people have tried the gentleness thing and then social media goes after them and they repent of their gentleness. That’s very troubling.
Yeah, there’s a healthy form of wokeness and there’s a toxic form of wokeness, you know, being woke, so to speak, in a healthy way, is recognizing the very real injustices that happen in our world with the anger of Christ, which is a sanctified anger, or wanting to do something about it, right? Like C.S. Lewis said,
Christianity is a fighting religion.
If we see a hurting people group, an injured people group, whether it’s, you know, the vulnerable unborn, or whether it’s people in a certain socioeconomic group or ethnic group, we want to act, but then there’s a form of wokeness that goes overboard, when it becomes about attacking people, instead of attacking problems, And declaring an enemy and piling on as sort of a way to medicate, quite honestly, our own insecurity and our own shame. I mean, that was classic, what the Pharisees did. I mean, they trusted in themselves that they’re righteous and they look down on and treat other people with contempt. We always want to deflect our own shame on other people. And I think that’s what hyper wokeness is, especially if, if you’re kind of a Johnny come lately to the race conversation, for example. I mean, there are a lot of young, sort of activist types, on social media who are white, have no black friends. And yet, all of a sudden they are woke activists who are piling on with a cause it’s so much more complicated than they realize and becoming profits for a cause that has cost them nothing. I think that that’s the problem with social media, is there’s this dynamic where you can just yell about anything you want in all caps, you can shame, you can scold, you can cancel, you can do all these things in a woke way, that doesn’t cost you a dime. Whereas if you look at people like King, C. Everett Koop, when he, when he fought, you know, against the AIDS virus, you know, Wilberforce, as he fought abolition, these are people whose activism really cost them something. But now we live in an age where anybody can yell and everybody’s under encouraged and everybody’s insecure. And so it creates this climate where everybody feels crushed by somebody because we’re under encouraged and we’re insecure and disconnected from the gospel. And it’s just the storm of, of pile on, I don’t know what the solution is outside of grace and outside of Jesus.
Man, do we ever need to revisit the wisdom of a gentle answer right now. You have to hear that full interview, so why not give us a call right now at 1-800-KEY-LIFE. We put that whole episode on CD and we would be happy to send it out to you today for free. Again, just call 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail Steve@keylife.org and ask for the CD. If you’d like to mail your request, just send it to
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