Dr. Michael Brown on How Christians Should Pray for the Presidential Election

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(Photo: Kelsey Schwenk)Dr. Laurel Shaler and her husband Nick are in the midst of their adoption process (Photo: Kelsey Schwenk)

With a sharp perspective honed by decades teaching students and speaking daily on live radio, now Dr. Michael Brown shares his expert take on why our words matter, the election of Trump vs. Clinton, and how to best engage in conflicts over social issues.

Brown has a joy about him that comes through even when talking about weighty matters. Maybe it's because of his own personal testimony of being saved from drug addiction, his love of family (he and his wife Nancy have two daughters and four grandchildren), or his unique experience as a Messianic Jew.

Whatever the reasons, Dr. Michael Brown — host of The Line of Fire radio show and founder of the FIRE School of Ministry — has a message worth hearing.

Bound4LIFE: Dr. Brown, as one of the leading Christian voices consistently speaking on current events, you're often analyzing the messages of our culture and what they mean. Do words still impact people in our fast-paced society?

Dr. Michael Brown: Absolutely. We can see that words matter because every day words are being exchanged on social media, being debated online, being broadcast in news media — and those words are influencing people for better or worse. Our voice is important. We need to clarify it and we need to raise it.

In fact, it's our lack of addressing issues that's put us in our position today. It's our failure to address from pulpits and from the spheres of influence that we have. Jesus called us to be salt and light. We become irrelevant when we're really not salty or shining. My greatest concern in America — I've said this for many years — is not so much the presence of darkness but the absence of light.

It's up to us, empowered by the Holy Spirit, to live lives according to the Word in a way that is pleasing to the Lord and then to speak truth to the culture. We can reclaim the moral conscience of society.

Bound4LIFE: How can our voices be heard above all of the noise that's going on — for example, you mentioned social media?

Dr. Michael Brown: We have to determine we have a message to get out, look for the right opportunities to do it, and be consistent in it. Often the people who are opposing us are just going through their talking points, and once we challenge them our messages can be heard better.

Someone will make a pro-life or pro-justice point, and someone will come back with a response — it's either a nasty response or it's bringing other information in. Many times we don't know what to say next, the right approach to speak truth in love. We need to have accurate information; ministries like Bound4LIFE help by providing up-to-date statistics on abortion, as well as perspective on current events and testimonies of lives changed.

I'll give an example. We've all celebrated in recent weeks the amazing gymnastics feats of Simone Biles, the Olympic gold medalist. As a news event, this is an opportunity to draw attention to the value of every life — because her birth mother would have been a prime target for Planned Parenthood and abortion. Beautiful lives whom our world would discard can have a great future, including through adoption.

So I shared a meme about Simone Biles on my Facebook page, it received some hostile comments, and we engaged about it at some length. We can't shy away when we face conflict. All of us have voices. All of us have spheres of influence. Whether it's in our household, community, local church or social media. What we have to do is not be obnoxious, but on a regular basis make a point.

Bound4LIFE: You've criticized both leading presidential candidates for their statements in support of abortion. How should pro-life advocates be praying about this election — and considering their own part in it?

Dr. Michael Brown: It's a very difficult election right now because we don't have a strong pro-life candidate. We know Hillary Clinton is the most radical pro-abortion candidate in our nation's history. We know she is a close friend of Planned Parenthood, the nation's dominant abortion provider that actively supports her. She is absolutely an anti-life candidate and could do damage to the pro-life movement in many ways if elected.

For many ready to vote against Clinton, the default is to vote for Donald Trump. Now he would likely appoint conservative Supreme Course Justices, which would be massive, and he does want to be a champion for religious freedom. I believe he's sincere in desiring these outcomes.

The problem is, there are many troubling issues with his personal character and moral depth. We don't know if he'll completely flip-flop once elected; he's volatile. What would happen if he's elected President — particularly in terms of international relations? Would we get into wars we don't need to get into? So it's a very difficult election. There were quite a few Republican candidates who had strong pro-life records proven over many years, leaders who could have easily defeated Hillary Clinton it appears.

So, is God going to use Trump in a positive way as some say? Or is there divine judgment on the church for sleeping, and hence we'll get a Hillary Clinton? This is one of those elections where the only prayer I can pray is: "Lord, have mercy on America, and use this election for your divine purposes. God, be gracious to us and give us another opportunity."

I wonder if we need a very, very bad candidate to further attack our religious freedoms and to further come against our values to awaken the church. That's possible. It's a dreadful possibility, but it's possible. Others would say pray fervently for Trump because he has godly counsel around him. I know some very godly men who are speaking into his life, and therefore I'm hopeful he'll listen.

Right now, it's difficult and we need to pray: "God, have mercy on America and have mercy on us in this election."

Bound4LIFE: How would you encourage pastors and Christian leaders, who desire to speak up for life but are not sure how to do that?

Dr. Michael Brown: Give people a vision for how Christians can make a difference. What does it means to be salt and light? I would encourage a pastor, if he's never addressed these things from the pulpit, to do a series on life issues.

Take one week and unpack what the Scriptures say about life beginning in the womb and the pro-life case from the womb. The next week, talk about the church and social justice. Look at how the church has changed society in the past — how the spread of the gospel in the 1700s in England had a profound effect on the nation. Consider the Christian leaders in the late 1700s and early 1800s who worked to abolish slavery in America and end the slave trade in Great Britain. Tell of Corrie Ten Boom and her family, who rescued Jews during World War II.

Dr. Laurel Shaler is a Chair at Liberty University in the Department of Counselor Education and Family Studies. She is a former social worker for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Laurel writes on the intersection of faith, culture and emotional well-being at DrLaurelShaler.com. She and her husband, Nick, are in the adoption process; follow along with their journey via Facebook. They live in Lynchburg, Virginia.

Reprinted with permission from Bound4LIFE.