The Debrief Podcast with Matthew Stephen Brown

Join Donna and Matt as they kick off Episode 209 of The Debrief Podcast with Matthew Stephen Brown. Together, they navigate the intriguing intersections of faith, identity, and culture. From examining the relationship between Taylor Swift’s public image, her personal beliefs, and if you should listen to her music, to controversial discussions about the Church's stance on divorce and women's roles, the conversation is both stimulating and thought-provoking.

By challenging traditional views and addressing difficult questions, this episode seeks to unravel how beliefs impact our identities. The goal is to promote discernment, empathy, and respect, helping listeners uncover a deeper understanding of their identities within the context of their Christian faith. Whether you're grappling with your faith or simply curious to learn more, this episode of The Debrief Podcast is a must-listen.

What is The Debrief Podcast with Matthew Stephen Brown?

The Debrief Podcast with Matthew Stephen Brown. Author and lead pastor of Sandals Church, Matt Brown debriefs current issues shaping our culture from a spiritual perspective.

Welcome to the Debrief Podcast with Matt Brown. The podcast where pastor and author Matt Brown debriefs your questions about Christianity and current issues shaping our culture. Thank you for listening and enjoy the show. Hello and welcome back to an all new season of the Debrief Podcast with Matthew Stephen Brown. It's good to be back. Yes, we have an all new set. And I want to talk, look, I want to direct attention to the Matthew Stephen Brown. Tell us about that, the sign that we have here. Yeah, so I'm gonna be Matthew Stephen Brown now. For forever. Formerly known as Matt Brown. And the reason for that is if you do a chat GPT search on Matt Brown, what it does is it merges me and another semi-famous Matt Brown who's a pastor and it can't tell the difference between us. And so if you notice on my book, a book called You, I'm Matthew Stephen Brown and the publisher was the first, HarperCollins Publishing was the first to tell me, hey there's another Matt Brown. And for those of you who are like, well be Matt Brown, my parents named me John Jacob Jingleheimer Smith. And if you're not, weren't in the 70s you don't know what that means but as long as that name is my name too. And so it's just to help clarify who I am. And so from now on, we're going to be using that name. And by the way, that is my name that my mom gave me. So my real name, my full name is Matthew Stephen Brown, and it will help hopefully to clarify. I'm also not an MMA fighter. So there's a Matt Brown MMA fighter who's been on a pretty severe losing streak. So whenever he loses, all my friends text me. Okay. So now I was thinking, okay, we can't call you PMB, but we don't want to call you PMSB. Yeah, yeah, yeah. No, no, I'm kidding. So just call me Pastor Matt. That's what we're going to do. Yeah. All right, awesome. Well, we have some amazing, amazing questions. Thank you guys for responding, turning in questions and being an awesome audience. Yeah, thank you. We're going to jump right in. Yeah. Yeah. All right. So this is Madison from Riverside. What are your thoughts on Taylor Swift? Specifically regarding listening to her music. I'm a huge fan of hers and went to her concert and never felt any convictions, but people have told me that she's in a witch coven and other spiritually related things, but she's also claimed she's Christian. I'm wondering if I should feel convicted or what are your thoughts about separating art from an artist? Is this even applicable? Yeah, so I mean, I don't know whether she's in a witch coven or not, but here's what I can tell you is most stuff that the press reports is outrageous and false. So I would be, I mean, she, she might be in a witch coven. I would be shocked if she is, because I think that the press gets bored with reality and so they create a false narrative to garner readers. And I'm just so frustrated with our press who has completely failed to actually report news. They create news, they create stories, they get us all upset. And you know, so I actually know this for a fact. Taylor Swift actually used to attend my friend's church. And I know this because he's my friend. He was in one of her music videos early on. I don't know where her faith is now. You know, what I know is she's an incredibly talented artist. She writes a lot of music. She has an incredible amount of influence and I think that, you know, if we apply this logic to every area of our life, all of us are hypocrites. And that's not to say that there aren't lines. You know, I don't like Taylor Swift's commentary on transgender. I don't care for her commentary on some LGBTQ issues, but she's an incredible artist and you know I think oftentimes you have to separate the artist from the art and I think it's important. Tammy and I went to see Michael Jackson musical in New York City when we were trapped there for six days. I saw that. People were like, oh you're trapped for six days. Look, it's not fun to be trapped anywhere. We had no luggage, but we were trapped there and so we went to see that and you know I thought they did a great job of alluding to some of the accusations of his behavior with children and they were certainly transparent about his drug addiction problem. You know Michael Jackson is like all celebrities who struggle immensely living up to the expectations that we have for them and those expectations crumble them because they're not a god and Taylor Swift is awesome as she is is is not a god and she's going to crumble underneath that so I think what we need to do is pray for her, listen to the music that you can, appreciate that music that you can. And you know, rap music is a big part of my childhood. You know, I was listening to, I saw Straight Outta Compton. There were a lot of things in that movie that I didn't like, but I have a nostalgic feeling because I remember being a little white kid going, oh, this is cool. My parents were going to say cool. And so, you know, I think that we have to, you know, have appropriate boundaries. And obviously there's a difference between being a child and what you listen to and what you participate in because it's influence on you and being an adult. And so I think you need to exercise wisdom. So what I would say is Romans 14 is the key passage for this. And so what Paul says is, look, if you're convicted about something, you need to follow your convictions So if you're convicted that Taylor Swift is not good for your spiritual walk that she pulled you away from God Listen to me. It is a sin for you to listen to Taylor Swift music But the point that Paul makes in Romans 14 is who are you to judge someone else's slave? Yeah, that's what he says and we are all slaves to God And I just probably blew away all of our young Christians like wait what? So the word doulos is the word slave and that's how the Apostle Paul talks to us. The Bible says we've been bought, we've been purchased with a price by the blood of Jesus and so we will all answer to our master Jesus. And so we don't get to run around putting my convictions on you. And you don't get to put my convictions, your convictions on me. But we have to do is we have to live out those convictions. Let me give you an example. I personally have been convicted recently to give up alcohol. 100%. I think it's not good for me. I think it's not what the Lord has for me. I do not believe everyone should do that. Yeah. I do not judge people. I do not look down on people who choose to occasionally have a drink. Now, drunkenness is a sin. For taking in some wine, a beer, not a sin. For me, I'm convicted that it's a sin. And I need to stop doing this. And so, you know, so if you grew up in witchcraft and you're concerned that maybe Taylor Swift is doing this and that would pull you back in, I would say you need to push that away. Not all of us are the same. We don't have the same strengths. We don't have the same weaknesses. We don't have the same sins. We don't have the same struggles. And so what we have to do is we have to operate as an individual believer. So when scripture is clear on something like drunkenness, we don't get to say, well, I don't sin when I'm drunk. Well, no, because you're actually sinning by being drunk. And you know, and so on staff at church, we allow staff to drink. You will not be fired for drinking. If I find out that you're drunk, and one offense, you can be fired for that, simply because as a leader in the church, you should know better. And so some of our staff are like, what? Yeah, what? I mean, it's unacceptable. Unacceptable behavior to do that. So that's what I would say is, I think we live in this culture where we want to establish this cult of righteousness and what a cult of righteousness is it's I'm gonna I'm gonna judge you for the things that you do and I'm gonna completely ignore my own life in my own spiritual life because remember it was self-righteousness that put Jesus on the cross it was not somebody eating the wrong dietary things or working on Shabbat or wearing clothes from two different fabrics. It was jealousy, envy, and self-righteousness that murdered Jesus. And so we have to understand that. So maybe you wouldn't go to that concert. And the same thing happens in politics. People say, well, I could never vote for a candidate who has this policy. And then I could just fire back because no politicians are perfect. They all have sins. So, you're just, we're all choosing to ignore some sins to magnify others because there's no perfect candidate or person or rock star or preacher. And you know, Romans 14 kind of helps us navigate this culture of self-righteousness where I see what you do. Remember Jesus said, why do you see the speck in your brother's eye but ignore the log in your own? That is the personal challenge. Now, for everybody listening, that doesn't mean that we just say there are no specks. Right. They're real, but we look at the speck in our brother's eye, making sure that we're paying attention to the log in our own. So I think people just love to hate. Yeah, and I think even, you know, we're in a series called The Essentials and you said either in the first one or the second, I don't remember, but you were saying so much of what Christians fight over are non-essentials. And whether or not Taylor is in a coven, we don't know. We'll never know. Jesus will only be able to convict her of that. But I think it's so good for us to go, hey, let's not push our brothers and sisters away over things that maybe we wouldn't do, but are not clearly sinful. And creating divisions about things that literally do not matter. Yeah. And I think what it is again, it's just that you're completely, if you're dividing over issues like this, you have completely divorced yourself from your heart. Yeah. And you're just not hearing from God. And so what I would say is every believer needs to individually pray about it. And there have been many things that we've done as a family for entertainment where I've in the middle of it been convicted. Should we be here? We went to a stand-up comic in Australia and it was hilarious. Yeah. And 75% through he just started railing on the Bible, railing on Christians, going off on everything we believe. And I remember my kids looked at me like, Dad, should we walk out? Yeah. Because it was gross. And ultimately we didn't because, you know, I think it was a great learning experience for my kids to realize, look, some people really hate the Bible and really hate Christians and I think that we could learn, you know, how to respond to that as a family by sitting through it. But it was awful. Tammy and I have gone to movies where halfway through a movie we're like, we should not be here. Yeah, this is not right. And you know, so I just think that you have to really kind of avoid this, you know, especially with Instagram and social media like posting, oh my gosh I'm so righteous because I would never go to a, you know, a Taylor Swift concert. It's like, okay well a righteous person would never post that they're righteous because you don't go to this concert. So you're completely missing the point and, you know, like I love football but I don't love cheerleaders at the football game. That's not something that I love the Lakers. I don't enjoy the Lakers girls gyrating in front of me, right? You know right during timeouts right so all of us have to deal with this stuff I like going to the gym and working out. I don't like seeing the outfits that women wear yeah, I have to live in this world as a Christian and Let me say this. I think that Christians have confused the mission of the church So there's there's a lot of differences between Judaism and Christianity Judaism is a religion that separates. Christianity is a religion that penetrates. We go into the culture to change and to make a difference. Jews pull back, isolate, and build castles. The church has been its most unhealthy when we've isolated, when we've separated. Jesus penetrated the culture. Tammy and I, we just started watching The Chosen. I don't know, don't hate on me. We're just not, we're not TV people. We just started watching it. And we were kind of lost in episode one because it's all made up stuff. But they got to Mary of Magdalene. And I loved how Jesus met her in a bar while she was drinking and pursued her. We worship a God who penetrated culture, who came down in the midst of this filth and Was righteous in this but the people that were the most sinful was not who he cast away It was the self-righteous religious people and so we just need to be very very careful We all need personal discernment and we got we've got to watch that ugly slimy devil and he gets us with self Righteous. Yeah, I think that's so big And I know we're kind of like belaboring this question but I think on social media it is so easy for everybody. Everybody just has an opinion and a point and they're right and if you don't agree with me in this camp, then you're wrong and we don't like you anymore and we cancel you and all the things. But yeah, conviction, listening to the Holy Spirit, what is he saying to you? I think that's great. Awesome. And it's okay. Everyone, it's okay to have personal conviction. That's right. Yep, absolutely. Great question. Thanks Madison. Thanks Madison. Okay, Greg from Menifee says, recently you ended a podcast dating to parents that you hope they allow their kids to be friends with other kids that are gay. Can you clarify? Is that more of a statement directed towards parents with kids that are older and more developed in their faith? As a parent who disagrees with that lifestyle, I could never see myself allowing or encouraging my children to be friends with others who live a lifestyle we don't agree with or wanna raise our kids around. I've heard you say, show me your friends and I'll show you your future. I also grew up under the adage that you are who you associate with. I don't quite understand a culture where everyone is judging or directing how you should raise your children. Yeah, okay, so- That was a separate. Yeah, so I was- I feel like that was a separate. Yeah, I was tracking all the way until the end. And so I don't know exactly what I said. So when I saw this question coming this week, I thought, what did I say? So I think it was in response to Anissa, who just felt so judged and ostracized when she was struggling with her sexuality. And so what I would say is, as parents, your kids are going to have friends who struggle with sexuality. That is not something that you can prevent your children from experiencing. It is everywhere. It is all over the place. The amount of kids who are struggling with gender dysphoria and sexuality is mind-blowing. So we want to be a church that understands that and addresses that and loves those kids while they're struggling. Because the gay community is going to welcome them in with open arms. And so, look, there's a fork in the road. And so Anissa and Cindy, they understood that. Like we can only walk, the Bible says, how can two people walk together unless they be in agreement there's a point in the road where we must separate but but we're not just called to have these sexual standards we're also called to love our neighbor and we're gonna get into this in the essential series because right it's love God love people live on mission and what the Jews fundamentally misunderstood was who is my neighbor. And so, so my neighbor is is the kid who's struggling with drug addiction, who's struggling with depression, who's struggling with sexuality. Now, is it okay to develop healthy boundaries with your children? Yes. Specifically, what if that child is encouraging your friend, your child to experiment? Absolutely. Right. That's a boundary. Right. That's a boundary. It's okay for us to love you and to try to influence you if you feel as a parent that your child is now being influenced by a behavior that you believe is sinful. A boundary is appropriate. But to simply carte blanche say all kids who are struggling with gender identity are off limits is to say that we are a separatist religion. And that is not who God's called us to be. We must be a religion that engages culture and these ideas. And so I remember specifically when the kids were little I had two gay friends, Ed and Tom, and they had been together for over 30 years and they came to our church and I said, would you guys go out to dinner or lunch with my kids? And why was that? I wanted my kids to be exposed to gay men who were desperately trying to figure out what it meant to follow Jesus. I wanted my kids to have a category for not all gay people think one way, not all gay people live one way. And that's too much, you know, I mean, I know for you as a black person, there are things about the Black Lives Matter movement that you resonate with. And then there are things that you're like, no, that's right, you know, and so so much of society is trying to push us into these categories where we just have to agree with with everything and we don't allow nuance. Yeah, and then I think, I mean, you were specifically talking about kids being friends with kids that are gay, but I'm thinking, but what about all the other things that kids struggle with? And then so are we sheltering our kids from all the things? Because there's no way to know what other, besides being friends with that kid, all the things that other kids are still are dealing with, not just being gay or dysphoria or anything like that. I mean, there are huge issues like ultra competitiveness, anger in sports. I think cutting. Yeah, I had my daughter had a friend who was dealing at just 12 years old with anorexia and bulimia. And I'm like, what is going on? And so learning, teaching our kids to have healthy boundaries with these friends and to recognize, OK, that's what you're dealing with. I don't have to engage in that. And I think it's being honest about two things. Number one, the immense responsibility as a parent to teach your kid what's right. But here's the humbling thing to realize that your kids will make a choice. And so what I would do is the younger your child is, the more control and influence you have over the situation, you are going to have far more control over how your child views a person that's struggling with sexuality as a child or as a teenager than you are in college. So because college, man, they're completely swallowed by the world. So I would rather my kid be exposed to that when I play a heavier part in how they understand things. And so what we need to communicate as Christians is, look, God loves that child. God loves this girl. And their identity is not wrapped up in sexuality. Their identity is to be wrapped up in God. And Jesus shows this because he chose to live his life in celibacy. Because he was fully devoted to God. And so as Christians we can choose to be married in a heterosexual context. Or we can choose to be celibate if that's not where we feel most comfortable. And I'm not saying Jesus did it for that reason. But he showed us the ultimate example of what it means to be a person in a fallen, broken world. And again, that's why I go back to the Chosen. I love the fact that he entered into our filth. And again, but if you sense that your child is being influenced, I mean, some of our kids are super strong. Like, you're gonna have kids that go through high school and they're like, I'm not doing drugs. I'm not doing that. And that's just how your kid is wired. Well, praise God, that's gonna be a lot easier than saying a kid who was like me, who struggled, who wrestled, who sometimes participated in things that my parents raised me not to do. And so I tried to evaluate all three of my kids based upon their ability to manage peer pressure, to manage what their friends were saying versus what we're teaching at home. And you know, and so you have to again, goes back to Romans 14, as a parent, you are the authority over how your child is raised. I'm not. I am merely a voice in the church who's expressing an opinion. You are completely right to disagree and choose differently. I think, and I could be wrong, I think I merely was feeling sad for Anissa that she felt so ostracized by the church as a teenager when she was struggling with her sexuality. And so, you know, and guys, this is a difficult issue that we face, but some of your own children may be struggling, and I would much rather they be able to talk with you about these things when they're in the home, versus announcing to you when they've been away at college, these feelings they've always had and felt like they couldn't share. And so, you know, it's just so important. So thank you so much for your question. What was the last, give me that last sentence. I don't quite understand a culture where everyone is judging or directing how you should raise your children. Well, okay. So I agree, but I mean, when I speak to parenting, I'm not telling you how I'm merely giving you my opinion and my advice. So I'm not forcing this person to do things. And I realized, I think that I think that we're all feeling forced. And so I resonate with that. So if I made him feel forced, I apologize. That was not my intent. My intent was, you know, not just to care for his children, but to care for their friends. Because, right, so there's three purposes of the church that are essentials. Love God, love people, live on mission. And we need to teach our children how the gospel and in love. I mean the filter is love and and that's not just saying my family believes that that gay sex is wrong. You know what we need to articulate is we believe we're all sinners and we've all fallen short of the glory of God and we all struggle with sin in different ways but we believe that our bodies were purchased by God with a price and so specifically 1st Corinthians says that how we behave with our body sexually matters to God. And a person who says I can do whatever I want with my body sexually is not a follower of Jesus. And that's the point Paul makes. Can Jesus be united with a prostitute? No. No. That is not so – so the messed up thinking of the Corinthian church was well, I can do whatever I want with my body because that's not my spirit. They had an unhealthy view of a separation between body and spirit. Paul's saying, look, man, whatever you do with your body, you're doing with your spirit. These two are not separated and so we need to make sure. So that's a great question. Please feel free to write, send in a follow-up question if we've not understood your question or your tone or whatever, we've missed something. But fundamentally, parents, you have the right to Lead your kids. However, you see fit. I'm merely giving advice. I'm not your kids parents So I'm not trying to tell you what to do. Yeah, awesome. Okay, this is an anonymous question Thank you any moss any moss? Hello. I've gone through divorce and started dating again However, I'm confused because since I'm the one who initiated the divorce with my ex the new guy I started dating who was also a Christian broke it off with me because he said we can't be together since I'm the one who initiated the divorce and there was no Cheating or abuse for my ex. It's an unlawful divorce He showed me some Bible verses one of them being Luke 16 18 Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery He then went on to explain that if we continue to date and I and it got to the point where he wanted to marry Me he'd be living in adultery. Therefore, we would both be living in sin, and that is not God's will for us to be together. Does this mean I can never marry again, and it's God's will for me to stay alone? Does this mean if I want a date, it can't be a Christian? I'm just so confused now. Yeah, so again, so let's back up to Romans 14. What this young man is doing is he's following his conviction. So he is completely right as he understands scripture and to follow what he believes God is calling him to do in terms of obedience. And so we need to be careful that we don't judge this guy. And let me say this to every select, every single person, be selective, be selective, be selective. Because the most important decision, more important than where you live, more important than where you work, is who you marry. And so that's really, really important. And so what I would do is I would just push back on you, the woman. So let's, let's, let's throw the future out before we move forward. Let's look at the past. So, so if I was single and I was dating this girl, so Tammy's dead because we didn't get divorced. So I would, I would feel insecure as to why you thought it was okay to divorce if there wasn't abuse and there wasn't adultery. That would automatically signal to me that I'm going to struggle being secure in a relationship with you. So I would say, okay, you need to go back and do the work. What did you miss? What mistake did you make? Rather than blaming him or thinking about your future, I think you really need to go backwards and say, okay Lord, what am I missing here? Because I think that this guy has some details other than just what she shared. I think we tend to over oversimplify things. So what are some things that he's sensing? What are some things that he's feeling? And then really look back and say, okay, what are the mistakes that I've made? And here's what I would say. She needs to be open handed to potentially the Holy Spirit convicting you, her that she needs to go back and marry her husband. And if that's off the table, then we're not interested in God's will. I'm not saying that's what God's going to say. I'm just saying we have to come to the Lord open-handed and say, okay, did I make a mistake? Did I flippantly get divorced? Now, let me speak to kind of my underwriting frustration. So many of the gay people in our church get so frustrated with stuff like this because heterosexuals jump in relationship and out of relationship. And then we so and I hear this all the time. Why is there a double standard? for homosexuals in the church versus heterosexuals in the church and Everyone needs to listen to me if you are a christian god hates divorce. Amen. It is the tearing apart Of souls it is the tearing apart of what god has joined together and we need to stand with that and understand as heterosexuals it's not fair to ask homosexuals in our in our midst right to live at a higher level of obedience than we are willing to live ourselves and so this is why I'm so sensitive to this issue is heterosexuals are just far too flippant I'll just get married again I'll just get married again I'll just get married again we need to have a conviction about what marriage is you know I'm not saying that you can't ever get married, but Jesus' teaching on this, you know, is very clear. And his teaching on divorce is more stringent, and this is hard for us to grapple with, than the Pharisees. So Jesus goes beyond the legalism. Because they're just divorcing for whatever, like she makes your tea too hot, we divorce. Yes, we're done. And so Jesus cares deeply about this. And so there are multiple reasons there for why he concerns what happens to the woman when there's divorce, what happens to the children when there's divorce, and then what happens to your soul when there's a divorce. And I know that we love to live in a world where, you know, well, I was fine and my parents divorce didn't affect me. It affects everyone. Oh, absolutely. Particularly boys. We don't know why, but again, genders are not the same. Boys are heavily impacted when the father leaves the home. It's devastating to boys. It's part of the reason our boys are struggling in our culture because there's a vacuum that's created and a great mom is a great mom, but a great woman is a terrible dad. Yeah, my kids, I just was out of town over the weekend and my daughter texted me and said, mom, dad's a great dad. He is a terrible mom. She just said that. Yeah, and he's not called to be a mom. Right. And that's the problem. He's going to do the best that he can. And so we need both. And so then whenever I say that, everyone who's a single parent or raised by someone, they get all defensive. Right. I said, look, I'm not saying your parent didn't rally. I'm not saying they weren't amazing. Here's what I'm saying. God's best is two parents who join together for the purpose of marriage to create a family and to... And here's the most important thing in a family that it is stable. Yeah. That there's stability in the family and that's the one thing that there isn't. So I would say go back, meet with a Christian counselor, really process some mistakes that you've made. There may be, you know, being open-handed, Lord, you know, should I get remarried? Was there some sin on my part? Did I sin? Confess that, you know, I would take a period of time, you know, to be single. Yeah, to heal. To heal and to grow rather than focusing on I want to jump into a new relationship Or is there no relationship for the future? Jesus said this whoever would come after me let him first and I himself pick up his cross Daily, and so I think there's a daily journey ahead for you to figure out your part in the divorce because You know if you just and I and again, I don't have all the details. I don't know why. I don't have her whole story. Divorce is a sin and that's hard for some people to accept. It just is. And so she may need to do some work backwards before she worries about the work forwards. And that's where I think a Christian counselor could really help her. But I think it's important that she doesn't gossip this young man. She doesn't slander this young man, but she allows him to follow his conscience as the Apostle Paul says in Romans 14 that he is entitled to do and he has some scriptural support. And again, I don't have all the details. I actually appreciate the fact that we have young men in our church who are trying to live out scripture. And so I want to just let this young man know thank you. That was a hard decision, a difficult decision, but I appreciate him trying to do the right thing even when clearly he liked this girl. Yeah, great question. That was a great answer and that made me a little emotional because I have a friend who's walking through a divorce right now. So, or is divorced but yeah, yeah, thank you. Thank you for your honesty. And for everyone, marriage is hard. Yeah, yeah. Thank you for holding the line in that. Yeah. The truth of that. Well, the church has folded the line on that. Yeah, so we've completely yeah, we've completely crumbled society Yeah, so true. Okay another animos. Yeah. Thank you. Annie. We love you. Thanks, Annie Okay, pastor Matt. My husband of 15 years has been I want to say pastor Matthew Stephen Brown Yeah, my husband of 15 years has been distant for months It finally came out that he's been going to strip clubs doing pornography spending money lavishly on restaurants designer clothes and spas, all on credit cards I don't have access to. I'm a stay-at-home mom to two young boys. The decision to be a stay-at-home mom is one we talked about on our first date, which he claimed he wished for his kids as well. He now says he can't stand the fact I don't bring in money into the home. He really wants me to make money and spend however he wants. He has alluded to leaving me if I press the issue of having access to the credit cards. What do I do as a woman of faith who came from a divorced family? My heart is breaking for my kids. Yeah. And so so now let me go completely the other way. Your husband, you are divorced. There's been so and this is and this is why adultery is so important to Jesus because you know, if I have sex with another woman other than Tammy or a man. I have divorced myself from her sexually. And that's what people don't understand is that sexual adultery is such a violation of the covenant that a man and a woman have made. And so your husband is not living as your husband now. If what she's saying is true, I don't have his side. I don't have his perspective but what I would say is of course he wants to change things because he's in sin and these things cloud his judgment and You know And let me just say this and every couple's different And Tammy and I don't have her money in my money. We have our money. I make more money than Tammy who cares, right? I mean, I just I don't care about that. We have one family. Ephesians says we are one flesh. So I think theologically she is married to a practical non-Christian. He is not living as a Christian regardless of what he said. And that's why you need to date for a period of time because people will say all kinds of things when they're super attracted to you. And that's the problem with attraction, right? It clouds, you know, who we normally are. And so that's why you need to date for a period of time. So what I would say is you need to really pray and get into some counseling. You may need to be preparing to take care of yourself financially because you cannot live under the threat of not being able to take care of your two small kids. What I would do is I'd get a group of Christians to start praying for him, praying for conviction, praying that the Holy Spirit would speak to him and bring him back. There needs to be repentance and not just repentance of words. I was just saying this to a guy in our church who's married and he said, my ex said this, I said we need to stop listening to what she says and we need to start looking at what she does. And so repentance is not just words, it's action. And so you know I would just say it sounds like she still loves him, I love you, but these things are not acceptable and I don't want to continue like this. It's not okay to threaten. I think pornography is a gross violation of my covenantal agreement with my wife. I think it is – it devalues women. It makes them sexually transactional. I cannot view pornography and look at women as my sisters in Christ. I cannot do it. And so, it's just so wrong on so many levels. Going to strip clubs, doing all of that stuff. And if you're a believer and you're doing those things, you need to repent. You are sinning against yourself, you're sinning against God, you're sinning against your marriage. You are a complete and utter hypocrite. Absolutely. In every sense of the word. And you need to stop this behavior. And so what this man needs to do is ultimately is repent and ask for forgiveness and get into some counseling. Because what I'm guessing is there's probably some pornography issues there in the past. Maybe there's some sexual abuse in the past. Maybe some promiscuity in the past. And you need to work through those things for healing. But let me just say this. I love you and I'm praying for you. And so unlike, right, our first question on divorce, Jesus gave an asterisk for divorce and it's marital infidelity. And so unfaithfulness is the word. Now traditionally that word has been interpreted as sexual infidelity, but it can mean abandonment. It can mean abuse. It can mean many, many things. And so divorce is wrong. Divorce is sinful, but sometimes it's necessary. And it's necessary for the sake of the kids. You don't want those things around your home, your house, and if they're boys, you don't want that modeled or set up. And so here's what I would say to her. Oftentimes women in this issue, I see them, they make an idol of staying home. Man, if you can stay at home, that's great. But what you have to do is you have to be able to provide for your children. It will take time for the courts to catch up and to get money. And typically men like this do not voluntarily surrender their money. I've just not seen that. So you need to be taking steps to take care of yourselves. You need to get, you know, you need to get a lawyer. You need to get your finances in your own name. Cause this guy, I see this all the time. Couples get divorced and one spouse racks up a hundred thousands of dollars and, but it's in both of your names. And so that's a problem. But again, come to him in love and say I love you this is not what we agreed upon you know and be willing for her to reconsider the work issue I mean you got to meet him somewhere I don't think he's right I think he made a commitment if what she's saying is true but people change yeah I said stupid things when I was young and I'm not saying I was stupid but she has to be willing to meet him somewhere it can't be all him because a marriage is right Tammy and I disagree on things all the time we have to be able to meet each other in the middle. You know, and so, you know, maybe you could say something like, well, if you if you do change, you stop going to strip clubs. What? How much money do you need me to make? What kind of jobs would you consider participating? And better yet, as a wife, are you feeling pressure? Yeah. Are you are you feel are you crumbling underneath the financial pressure that you carry as the man to support her family and try to minister him in that because typically you know in these situations he's coping with wounding yeah he doesn't know how to handle the pressure and for everybody listening oftentimes for men sex is a drug it's it's the drug that they go to when they can't face the pressure of life you know and so orgasm is a way of getting high you know like when you experience orgasm it's a natural biological high. And so oftentimes men in that feel an instant release of stress and for a moment, the pressure they face in life goes away. That's not the purpose of sex and marriage. The purpose of sex and marriage is to come together and to be one. But oftentimes men get addicted to that. Women can too, it's just not as often. Yeah, she said, he really wants me to make money and I'm just going by I know sometimes when we're typing Yeah, you know we're not saying so he really wants me to make money and spend however he wants yeah, and Alluded to leaving me if I don't if I bring up the credit card issue again, so there's a lot here He's just not interested in marriage No, I mean if what she's saying if what she's saying is true what he wants is a king and he wants a little servant Oh, that's what he wants. And that's, and again, a lot of Christian women say, well I've got to submit to my husband. Well let's go to what Paul says. He says, submit to one to another out of reverence for Christ. So who are we submitting to? Christ. So is he behaving in a way where they are one? Is he behaving in a way where he's loving her, making her pure like Christ of the church? Is he dying for her? He's doing none of those things. And so, yeah, so she's, you're in a real situation and it breaks my heart for you, and I'm hopeful because I've seen I've seen marriages come back from worse, but You need to be really real about your situation and one of the things that you need to do probably as a woman Unfortunately is is prepare yourself to take care of yourself at least temporarily yeah financially And I've seen so many women go through this. It's just it's just so Brutal so yeah, and also I've seen men go through this. I've seen women completely destroy them financially. So, I mean, women are sinners too. Absolutely. All right, thank you. Wow, these are heavy questions. These are really heavy. Yeah, this is, next one is Marie from Riverside. And this is in Lake Arrowhead. A shop owner was recently shot and killed for hanging a pride flag in support of the LGBTQ community. The killer had a previously proclaimed Christ. That's what it says. The killer had a previously proclaimed Christ all over his social media while also spewing hate. How does a true follower of Christ show love for his hurting community when the shop owner is the martyr, that's in quotes, who died for spreading a message of love, which is also in quotes, and the gunman is seemingly representative of Christ's followers. Right. Yeah, so let me just start off by saying I want to apologize to everyone in the Lake Arrowhead community. I should have spoken to this issue a couple weeks ago. It happened right around the same time as Hillary and we were rallying around all of our 14 campuses trying to make sure that they were okay property wise. And so this just kind of slipped through the cracks. Some of our listeners may not have heard about this. I don't speak to every hate crime that happens in America. There was a black person, a black people were killed by a white person in Florida a couple of weeks ago, hate heinous. There was two white guys in Tulsa, Oklahoma that were killed by a black guy shot in the head. These are racially motivated crimes. They're disgusting. And you and I would do nothing but speak to all of these because unfortunately they happen so often in our culture of hate. So let me say this to the Lake Arrowhead community. Hate is wrong. Murder is wrong. We stand with every neighbor. Every neighbor deserves the right to fly whatever flag they want, to promote whatever business they want, okay? And we love you. And we should have come out and said what happened was wrong, specifically because this person claimed to be a Christian. This is not Christian behavior. This is disgusting. This is abhorrent. This is wrong. I apologize to all the LGBTQ community in Lake Arrowhead and in Southern California who feel afraid of Christians or who feel wronged by Christians. That is absolutely wrong. Now let me speak to the other issue. So many of our Christian business owners up in Lake Arrowhead feel pressure to fly a flag on their business in solidarity with this woman who lost her life in this heinous terrible hate-filled crime. Let me explain why I think that's wrong. Why did this young man kill this woman? She's seven years old. Because he believes she didn't have the right to fly whatever flag she wanted to in her place of business. This is what's wrong with America. America should be the place where you fly whatever flag you want to fly. You live whatever life you want to live. Here's where America's gone wrong. I want to make you fly my flag. I want you to make you live my life. And so what this young man said is you can't do this or I'm going to threaten physical violence and he actually killed her. Seven year old woman. I think he was 26. So that's wrong. That's gross. But now look what's happening to Christian businesses in Lake Arrowhead. They're not being threatened with a gun but they're being threatened with their business, their livelihood. If you don't now fly the flag, you are the enemy. You are a person of hate. Listen, you're like him. That's gross. All you're doing if you're a part of the LGBT, the gay community, sorry, listen, you are now sinning against your fellow neighbors in the same way he did. Now I'm not saying you're pulling a gun, but threatening to shut down somebody's business because they won't fly the flag you want, that's evil. It's the same evil that ran through his veins. It's the same – and I don't just believe that he had mental illness. I believe that he was demonically manipulated. Yeah, absolutely. And he was wrong. So there was mental illness there, but there was demonic manipulation. And so what we can't do is pressure our neighbors to be like us. As Christians, we're called to love our neighbors, whether or not they're like us. And so as Christians, I think we need to stand with the gay community up there because this is gross, this is wrong, this is evil. But as Christians, we need to stand fast with... we fly the flags that we believe in. And let me just say this, this isn't just some project, okay? I grew up in a Southern Baptist Church. You want to know what we had in our church? We had the American flag. You've never seen an American flag at Samuels. And that's not because I don't love America or I don't appreciate America, but I believe that God is the God of all nations. The Great Commission, the essentials. Remember the essentials? Love God, love people, live on mission. For all authority in heaven and earth has been given to me. Go ye therefore and make disciples disciples of all nations. America is not God's nation. The world is God's earth. And we need to know that. And so I made the decision early on, we're not gonna do that. We're not gonna fly that flag because that's not what our mission is. Our mission isn't to be America or to make America great. Now do I want America to be great? Of course! But I'm not gonna fly that flag or any flag that violates my mission. And no Christian business owner should fly a flag that violates their mission. And that flag communicates not only that you hate the crime, but that you honor the lifestyle. And so that's where as Christians we're in a tough, tough place. And so I hope that our gay friends on the mountain can understand that we stand with you against hate. But we don't want to be the recipients of hate either because we have a difference of opinion on how to live out our lives sexually. And there's no hope for America if we can't figure this out. If we can't figure out how to stop beating each other up because you don't look like me or you don't act like me, there's no hope for our country. And I believe as a Christian that's wrong. You know Christians didn't make Rome change. We invited Romans to change. And so we need to remember that as Christians that we don't we don't get to tell our neighbor how to live. We are called to love our neighbor in spite of how they live. So I hope that helps and I hope that brings clarity and I wish I would have addressed this issue sooner, but I just, like I said, I got caught up in Hurricane Hillary and I missed it. And that's going to happen. From time to time, I'm going to miss things. And my tendency, Donna, is, and I'm not saying this is right, my tendency is to push back against people who want to make me post. That's just me. I'm not saying that's right, but when everybody's posting because this somehow means that I'm woke or I'm with it or you know I care about black people or gay people or what I just I just go ah you know I watch all the people and you know the communities that were involved in a church and I see all these people posting, I'm like, I've never seen you at the teen center. You know what, I've never seen you donate to our food shelter. I've never seen you actually give money to the church that's in that community that's primarily black. Oh, but you made a post. So now we're the same. And now I'm supposed to be shamed because I didn't post it. And it drives me crazy. Well, people equate posting to action. Yeah, so that's my own sin issue. And I'm like 15 minutes from Arrowhead and I didn't even hear about the issue. So I'm praying for you guys. I'm sorry that that community is walking through something so horrific. Evil. Yeah, absolutely. Awesome. That was great. Thank you. Next is another animos. We've got so many animos, which we're talking about anonymous. So feel free if you really want to ask something you don't want anybody to know who you are, please post, send anonymous questions. Okay, in our small group, some members have attended John MacArthur's church. He says women should not be pastors and bases it on 2 Timothy 2.12, says women should not preach. They say we go with the Bible clearly sets. How should we respond? Yeah, so thank you so much for this question. We went through a kind of a transition in our church, like moving specifically, and we've had women speak before, you know, throughout, you know, Sandals Church history, just not often. Most of our communicators are men. That's just, that's who we've been, but we've come out and said, okay, look, we're going to allow women to teach, and there's some huge pushback by older conservative Christians like John MacArthur, and so, you know, John MacArthur and I want to be respectful to him. You know, I don't want to put down somebody that, you know, that I appreciate, somebody that I want to honor, just how he has tried to be a steward of God's Word. And I'm thankful for so many of the things that he teaches. I actually have the John MacArthur commentary set in my office. I oftentimes find myself going to see what he thinks about a specific text. So I hold John MacArthur in high regard. Having said that, let's take a look at what the Bible clearly says. And so how is it that John MacArthur, a man of God, a student of scripture, and myself can have different opinions on this one issue? Here's the truth and here's what John MacArthur knows and here's what every honest Christian knows. We're not just talking about what the Bible clearly says. Everyone, everyone, every teacher, every scholar, every pastor, every Christian is interpreting Scripture. They're interpreting it. So there are two passages of Scripture that clearly state, John says, Pastor John MacArthur, that women should not preach and teach. They are found in 1st Corinthians chapter 14 verses 33-34 and 1st Timothy chapter 2 verse 12, 2. They clearly teach that women should not teach. So have I gone heretical? What's happened to me? Well, here's what John knows. There are 20 other passages in Scripture. 20. 10 times as many passages of Scripture that indicate that women do speak in church, that women do teach in church, that women do prophesy in church. So what happened? We are interpreting the Bible differently. Dr. John MacArthur is a cessationist. What does that mean? He has decided in his church that the spiritual gifts, tongues, prophecy, miracles no longer exist. He's made that decision. So, okay, that's how he just completely wipes away so many of the passages that I'm talking about. I am NOT a cessationist. I believe the same Holy Spirit that was in the church in Acts chapter 1 and chapter 2 is the same Holy Spirit is here today. I believe that the gifts of the church that were given in the scriptures are the same gifts that are here today. I love John MacArthur. Some of the stuff that he believes I think is silly. Let me give an example. When Jesus turned the water into wine, do you think it was real wine? Yes. John MacArthur thinks it's not. Purple water. He thinks it's purple water. And why is that? Because John MacArthur believes that alcohol is bad and Christians should not drink. So therefore, Jesus would not have turned water into real wine because that would be a sin. That is John MacArthur's own interpretive structure. John MacArthur is also a Calvinist. John MacArthur does not believe that people can be saved. He believes that before the foundations of the earth, God predetermined those who would be saved and go to heaven and those who would not. I disagree with this. I believe that when I preach the gospel, that God has sovereignly said, all those who call upon the name of the Lord will be saved. That God has said that. That that is God's plan. I love John MacArthur. I've learned so many things from him. There are areas where we disagree. So let me just give you some of the highlights as to why when I look at the passage in 1 Corinthians 14, verse 33, and why when I look at the passage in 1 Timothy 2, verse 12, I disagree with John. I'm not going to dismiss him because he is a force to be reckoned with and he's someone I think that I should reason with. I don't throw out people who disagree with me. I actually welcome them. As should you. So why do I disagree with John on the issue of women preaching? Are there any examples in the Bible of Jesus telling women to preach? Absolutely. Yes, in all four Gospels. So as Christians, as Christians, who supersedes everyone? It precedes everyone. Yeah. It's Jesus. Jesus tells the women to let go. Let go is the same word that is translated preach. So Jesus tells women to preach. Yeah. Okay. In Acts chapter 2 when the Holy Spirit falls, was it just men in the group of 120? No. No. Women were present. The Bible is explicit. And all of the, everyone, the Holy Spirit fell on every believer, and every believer preached and prophesied in languages that were not their own. It's the first worldwide evangelism crusade. Men and women are preaching and proclaiming the gospel. And we know this because Peter steps up and says, hey guys, this isn't weird. Joel said this would happen. In the last days, your sons and your daughters will prophesy. Amen. Prophesying is a form of preaching. It is a form of declaration. In 1 Corinthians chapter 11, the Apostle Paul tells us that when we gather together for the purpose of worship, everyone should have a word, a tongue, a teaching. Everyone should have this. So in Colossians chapter 1, 27-28, I'm not looking at Scripture. I'm just rattling these things off the Apostle Paul tells the church in colossi That when they come together everyone should have a him everyone should have a word everyone should have encouragement so what do we do with first Corinthians chapter 14 that seems to indicate that women shouldn't teach and What do we do with first Timothy chapter 2 verse 12 that seems to indicate clearly that women shouldn't teach I? I have to take those verses into consideration with the other 20 verses that indicate they do, should, can, and did. So, when I interpret this I have to ask questions. It's not what does the Bible clearly teach. When we talked about reading scripture, the devil when he tempted Jesus, what did he quote? Scripture. Scripture. Jesus didn't argue. Right. He said the scripture also says So as a student of the Bible when someone says what do we do with this verse where it clearly? States that women should be silent and submissive and quiet in the church. We have to ask ourselves What does scripture also say? Mm-hmm? So we cannot create a theology based upon bizarre obscure passages I've just told you there's ten times as many passages that communicate that women did speak versus didn't. So here's what I think when you look at 1st Corinthians chapter 14 and you look at 1st Timothy chapter 1 or chapter 2 verse 12 the Apostle Paul is dealing with problems. Problems in the church. Yeah. Here's one of the things I want you to do when you sit down with your small group and you read 1st Timothy chapter 2 verse 12. Why doesn't the Apostle Paul say to Timothy as I've always told you women should be silent in the church. Why doesn't he say this, as I've repeatedly instructed to you, as we've talked about many times, women should be silent in the church. Here's what I think you need to understand. Women were speaking in the church because they thought they could. The same thing is true in 1 Corinthians chapter 14. We have two churches, Ephesus and Corinthians, where they thought women could speak in the public gathering what happened in both situations. It got out of control It got out of control and you say well, this is what the text means Clearly states. It's what it says in English in 1st Corinthians chapter 13 through 34. It's a moving text People will go crazy but when a text moves when it floats that usually means it's an insertion. And it could be that a scholar was trying to make sense of what Paul was saying in 1 Corinthians 14 with what he said in 1 Timothy 2.12. Now, conservative scholars will lose their minds at that because they believe that that verse is ordained by God. I'm just saying it's a verse that wiggles, and I wouldn't build a theology over a wiggling verse if it moves around. So scholars 1,600 years ago had issues with that. Now it's in every single manuscript that we have, but it moves. Sometimes it's verse 33. Sometimes it's at the end of verse 40. So what that means is historically scholars have not known what to do with that verse. And everyone needs to accept that. When we look at what he's saying to Timothy, I believe that it's a pastoral epistle and it's a personal letter to a friend who's struggling in his local congregation. It's not an issue for everyone for all time. And I can't prove this, but I think that this should be weighty. The Apostle Paul writes a letter to another young pastor. He's not pastoring Ephesus as Timothy is. He's on the island of Crete. His name is Titus. Why, when Paul tells Titus about elders, why doesn't he prohibit women from speaking? Same letter. He said, well, they would have... No, there's no connecting. They might as well live on different planets. If Timothy needed to know that women must be silent, then Titus needed to know that women must be silent. But that's not what he said. And then when we look in Titus chapter 2, you know what he says? He says, women must teach. And the word there, the word for elder is presbuteros. The word there is presbditas. Female elders must teach. That's the word. So what John MacArthur knows is that we have historically translated the Bible in such a way that makes us believe that women should not teach. And I actually watched the sermon that this small group sent to me, and here's what John says, and I actually appreciate his authenticity. He began to talk about the amount of churches and seminaries that are allowing women to teach and to become pastors. 60% I believe is what he said of current churches allow women to teach. And I would just say why is that? Could it be that John MacArthur is holding on to an understanding that is outdated and incorrect? I think it is. That's my opinion. And here's the thing is it's not a salvation issue. That passage in first timothy chapter two verse twelve is bizarre women will be saved through child rearing that is not the gospel women are saved in the same way that men are saved by confessing their sins and believing upon the name of the lord jesus christ the apostle paul is directing this issue at a specific problem in ephesus where in the temple of artemis women are pastors yeah and they remain virgins and didn't have sex with men and now they're coming into the church and these these Artemis cultist women are are are dominating the man and taking over the church. And what Paul is re-establishing I think somewhat heavy-handed but he's trying to re-establish no no that's not the way it works in the Bible and let me say this as a church I'm not an egalitarian I believe in the headship of men. I believe that men are supposed to lead. Everything about us, okay? Everything about us, men are supposed to lead. Even in the sex act. In heterosexual sex, the woman receives, the man initiates. Men are supposed to lead. So I believe that. But we're not supposed to... We're supposed to lead like Jesus did. We're supposed to be servants. And we're supposed to honor the fact that as men and women, we're different. But here's the thing. We all need each other's wisdom. So when we go back to 1 Corinthians 14, and let's say that that passage is inspired, and those words were in there, that a woman should be silent. What it probably means is, let's say you and Devo both have the spiritual gift of prophecy, which John MacArthur says isn't a real gift anymore. I disagree. I disagree. I believe that prophecy still happens. I believe his whole argument on why that went away is just charismatic make cares make cares mania makes him uncomfortable. Well, it makes me uncomfortable too. But just because somebody's being weird doesn't mean that that's what everyone you know, that doesn't mean that that's tongues for all time are gone. It just means that church is handling that inappropriately. Correct. So here's what I think it means. Let's say you and default both have a word of prophecy. And it's different. Mm hmm. Here's what I think it means. You must be silent because we don't want you to embarrass the headship of Devo. We don't want him to feel bad or embarrassed because now we have women prophesying. And what do we do in a culture where a man has the authority? The elders gather together who are men and we must decide. We decide whether your prophecy was correct or Devo's was correct. And then you two must submit to whatever the decision was. And we might say, Devo, we agree with your wife on this issue. The Lord has spoken clearly through her. But we have to do it in such a way that we don't shame him, we don't emasculate him, we don't rob him of the dignity of who he's been created with, you know, in the image of God. And I think that's what it means. It's a difficult passage to understand. Both of them are extraordinarily difficult. What's easier passages, Jesus told the women at the tomb to preach. That's easy. Acts chapter 2, the Holy Spirit fell upon women. They proclaim the gospel. That's easy. That's easy. The book of Romans, the most important theological book of all time was delivered by a woman named Phoebe. Yep. Who was who? And let me give it to you. She was a minister in the church of Kinkrea. That's who she is. That's what the Bible says. She's a minister of the church in Kinkrea. Well, can women be ministers? She was a minister of the church in Kinkrea. And this is the problem is guys like John have to do this whole theological, you know, turn themselves into a pretzel to work and create these structures and systems to just say, look, the Apostle Paul must have been dealing with some really, really difficult things and specifically in Ephesus. And we've all we've all encountered a couple where a woman is domineering and emasculates her husband. I've seen it. I can't stand it. It's not just men who are abusive, right? It's not just masculinity that's toxic. In this specific issue in Ephesus, Peter's young, excuse me, Timothy's young. He also says don't be intimidated because of your youth, but lead. Timothy's afraid to lead in that passage. You gotta lead. You gotta be an example. And the way you gotta do this, you gotta tell these women to back off. They're domineering their husbands. And the word that's translated to the authority in English is only found one time in the scripture. I think it's only found five times in all of Greek history that we know of. It's an extraordinarily rare word and it's not the word that's used anywhere else in scripture for authority. It's authentio and that doesn't mean authenticity. We don't really know what it means but it probably means domineering. Yeah. And sometimes it's used for murder. That's the word. So women do not murder, do not domineer, do not negatively oppress the men in the church. And so then he goes on to say, for man was created first, and who was deceived? It was Eve. But we also know in Romans 5, Adam was deceived. Paul is saying, ladies, you're off track. And how did you get off track? Well, according to our story, a woman listened to the snake, and that's what you're doing. You're listening to the snake and you are being misled. Men, elders of the church, get a hold of the reins and stop this insanity because this is out of control. Now that's my humble opinion. I could be wrong, but everyone's interpreting this passage. God could solve this right now. He could say, John's right, Matt's wrong. He could say, Matt's right, John's wrong. The church has to struggle with these issues and we have to interpret. And so how do I want to interpret scripture? Like Jesus, the scripture also says. Yeah, I think of Timothy too. I mean, this could not be relevant at all, but Paul praises Timothy's grandma and his mother about how they taught him the scriptures from the time that he was super little. And now look, this incredible leader was led by his mother and his grandmother to do these incredible things. And so, yeah, mostly what we see is people pulling out what I've seen, people pulling out one scripture, like you said, creating a whole theology around this one piece of scripture and not really taking into context anything else that the Word has said about this. Yeah, and so it's two versus twenty. Yeah. It's two versus twenty. And if you go back and you listen to this series, She Her, and you go back and listen to all the podcasts from the debrief where we discuss those things, I try to talk about that. But even when the Bible says that man is first, right? Man is the head of all things, like Christ is the head of the church. In Hebrew, the word first means head, Rosh. We go first, we die first, we serve first. That's what Jesus did. It isn't domineering. It isn't overbearing. It isn't my way or the highway. I'm the man. You're subservient. That is nothing – that has nothing to do with Christ. That has to do with a chauvinistic, male-dominated society that is just as abhorrent to the church and Scripture as a feministic society that says we don't need men. We can just have all of us women and we'll run the world just right. Look, both of those are wrong, and we must be able to discern through both of that. And so I realized, and let me just say this, some of you are in small groups where people are just gonna say, I just disagree with Pastor Matt. And okay, you need to pray about, go back to Romans 14, is this the church for you? I've wrestled through this, I've prayed about this. I think I know more than you. Now, I'm not saying I know more than John, but I know more than most of the people in our church. I've wrestled with this. I've prayed through this. I'm taking a great deal of risk for this. Yeah. Because I believe it's the right thing to do. And not because it's popular, but because I've had to really look at how I was trained in Scripture. And I was trained and discipled like John MacArthur. I went to conservative Southern Baptist Seminary. That's what they taught me. But then I started to discover all these other things. I went, wait a minute. And so what am I going to do? Am I going to go with how I was trained in my own denomination or am I going to go with scripture? Dr. John MacArthur and I just disagree on scripture and it's primarily because of how we interpret it. He is a cessationist. And so oftentimes many of these people who believe this, they're not telling you that they've made a predetermined decision, you know, that says, I hold this value and so therefore I interpret all of these verses based upon this understanding. And we have to say, look, you know, and so, you know, I'm not, you know me, I mean, you speak in tongues, I don't. Why do I allow speaking in tongues in the church? Because Paul said, do not prohibit speaking in tongues. That's the Word of God. Right. And that's the only verse we have on that. About, literally, without 1 Corinthians chapter 12 through 14, we don't know how to use the gift of tongues in the church. And so, but someone like John says, well no, Paul was wrong because it ended. I'm like, what? So when, yeah. And there's no verse to support that. It doesn't exist in the Bible. So, yeah, and so we just have to know. I don't say in any way, you know, because what does Paul say in Timothy and Titus? Don't rebuke an older man, but treat him as a father. I hope that I've spoken about John MacArthur as a father. I want to honor him. Some of the best sermons I've ever heard in my life. His sermon on the headship of Christ brought me to tears. You know, just phenomenal, phenomenal communicator. I'm concerned, you know, just like I don't think we should have presidents who are 80. I don't know that we should have leading theologians who are in their 80s and their 90s because cognitive decline begins in your 50s. I mean, that's me. So it's just a truth. That's not an insult to age. It's a reality of being fallen creatures, and you know, he may not be at a position in his life where he's able to reevaluate. The older we get, the harder it is to change. He may not be able to reevaluate. And here's the other scary thing. Let's say he did reevaluate, his church would fire him. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I'm blessed that I have a church that allows me to listen to the Spirit and be able to say, OK, I still believe that the elders of the church should be male, that the final decision-making body of what is theologically truth should be a male headship. But that does not mean that we don't allow women to speak or to prophesy or to preach or to teach because Jesus said, Mary Magdalene, you guys must do this. The Holy Spirit said these believers can do this. Paul says repeatedly that every believer is to have a word, a word of teaching. And so we have to just understand that sometimes there are some difficulties and some challenges with passages that are going to be difficult for our position no matter what we take. But I think I've looked at it as a whole and it's pretty clear to me that women did speak, did teach, did have authority, were used of God as ministers, and particularly in the case of Titus, they even served as elders. So I wish I could call the Apostle Paul on the phone and say, hey. Why didn't you say this more clear? Yeah. Awesome. That was great. Thank you. Thank you so much. And again, I hope I didn't split your small group. No. Oh, no. But churches split over stuff like this. They do. And ultimately, let me say this. This is a secondary issue for me. So it's important, it's not essential. And so, you know, could I be friends with the pastors? Like, yeah, no, I'm, I'm, you know, completely believe that women shouldn't, yeah, sure. I mean, I wouldn't go to that church, but I would consider them fellow believers. I would pray for their church. I would pray for their success. Just like churches that are Calvinist. I mean, I don't agree with them, but I appreciate them. I pray for them, I think that they're an important part of the community and I celebrate that. But I disagree theologically on determinism. I just, I believe our choices matter. They're real choices. That's why there's rewards for what you do for good and evil. Not because they were predetermined before the foundations of the earth but because you had a choice. So Calvinists don't all agree. Okay. So yeah, so traditional Calvinists are determinists. They don't like that word. Right. But they're determinists. So everything is is orchestrated according to God's plan. And so here's the thing is, do I believe that God intervenes in human history and makes things happen? Yes! Right. Because God is sovereign and he can do as he chooses. So I believe that God has intervened throughout history to bring about the salvation of the elect. What I disagree is who the elect is. They believe the elect were chosen before the foundation of the earth. I believe the elect are all those who are in Christ. I believe there's one elect, elect, elect, what's the word? Eclektos, and that is Jesus. Yeah. So, and the Jews say that when he's dying on the cross. Let's see if in fact he is the Eclektos. I think I wouldn't agree with Calvinism only because I feel like the Holy Spirit is 100% active convicting hearts Yeah, bringing people to Christ, right? So anyway, I was well, no, I mean, yeah, and they and that's a whole nother talk But they will say they would say that the Holy Spirit is active, but you can't resist him Okay, so that's like okay. It's like zombie time. Yeah Yes, it's the doctrine of irresistible grace. So you cannot resist God and I would say I do that every day. Yeah, yeah, that's good. Great question small group. Thank you so much. That was awesome. Thank you, Pastor. Okay, here's our last one. We got one more. Page from La Mirada says, you've said on Tammy's podcast that social media is not real life. And while I completely agree with that, how do you make community outside of a church or a school setting. What is your opinion about people who have social anxiety and are socially isolated, disconnected from others? I have completely no friends. Yeah, so what I would say is you have to push through that. I mean, social media does not make social anxiety go away, it makes it worse. And so what we have to do is, and so what that means is you gotta start off slowly, interacting with people. And so maybe that means you interact for five minutes and you give yourself five day break and then you do seven minutes and you give yourself seven day break, but you just keep pressing in and pushing in. The key to dealing with social anxiety is to engage socially. Um, and let me say this is I think that I think that we just need to be honest. We keep calling it social media and I got my whole production team in here, so I don't know if they're going to agree with this. I think that Facebook started to be a social connective device. Absolutely. Now it's social networking. Yes. Correct. It's not, oh, I wonder what Donna's doing. It's, I've got to project my life. I'm selling myself to seem cool, to be awesome. And so what social media turns me into is a salesman for myself. And so what is real relationship? We went out to lunch with some friends I'd surfed yesterday on Labor Day. And I don't know if you've ever seen people's hair after you surf. But I was with my good friends, the Sallys, and Nancy was looking at my face with a rather funny look. And I just said, does my hair just look awful? And she said, yeah. And I was like, I don't care. And I don't care because I love them and they know the real me and I don't need to comb my hair or be beautified in order to be. So I think true relationships are when people see the real us and if there's one thing that social media is, it's not real. Even like when I hear these people's confessions, I'm like, this is not real. And you might have recorded that three times before you put it out there. Yeah. Well, I do. When you guys see my posts, I mean, I shoot it like, you know, did I have a booger in my nose? Retake. I mean, it's just not authentic because authenticity is messy and that's real life. And so what I would say is absolutely you need to be in community group and you need to be in relationship with some people. And so maybe you don't start with community group, maybe you start with a counselor and you go to the counselor and you send and then you start getting homework assignments. Yeah. And you go to the mall, you go to the park and you start doing these exercises. So I had this huge fear of flying and it was absolutely out of control. After 9-11, it just it just went off the rails and the only cure for that was flying. Yeah. It was only cure. And what I've noticed is the longer it's been since I've been on a plane, the greater my anxiety is. The more often I'm on a plane, the less my anxiety is. And so I think our instincts, and this is why we can't trust our, oftentimes our instincts are wrong. So my instinct is telling me to run from these relationships when what I really need to do is be running too. And let me say this, it's okay to be rejected. It's okay for people to not like you or not accept you. You have to push through until you find your group that loves you and cares for you. So here's why I love Christians. We have to like you. Yeah. Like I have a command. I'm commanded to like her, to love her, to care about her. And then what you need is community that are honest with you about some of the things that you're doing socially that are off-putting. Yeah. You know, because I think we all need this, like, what am I doing that's offensive or insulting and like I was with my friend, Eric, yesterday and he just said, he made this comment, he's going to hate that I said this, but he made this comment. He said, your ability to talk nonstop is shocking no matter how many times I'm around you. And I said, and I was poking fun at him and I said, hey, I said, if I'm offending you or hurting you, I said, listen, I really want you as my friend. And I know that I can overwhelm people with my words. So if that's what's happening, please speak into that because I don't want to lose you as a friend. That's good. And he's like, I'm just teasing you. I'm like, OK, but but my mouth has brought the end to many relationships. And so that's not what I want. And so then the other thing I would say is I, so I talk too much and I'm a close talker. So yeah, it was, uh, it was, it was actually an African American, um, psychologist. And she told me, she said, honey, you talk way too close. And then she said, has anyone told you you're a close talker? And I was like, never. Wow. And so I've had to read people. Yeah. I just get excited. And if I'm not looking right at you people always tell me staring at my soul. If I don't stare in your soul I am distracted by everything that's going on and so it's a it's a way that I've developed to focus but it makes people uncomfortable. And so and so here's the world. Well this is just me like it or don't. Well no I actually want relationships. And so relationships are not just about what I need they're about what So if you need me to take a step back, you know, then I need to take a step back. If you're uncomfortable with touching, then I don't touch you. If you're uncomfortable with, you know, like I want to be aware so that I can be in relationship because what happens when I'm unaware is I'm isolated. Yeah, absolutely. And social media, and so then when you're on social media, you're seeing all these people do all these things and have all this fun. Right, and then you feel bad because you're not out there. Yes. Right. And you feel like you miss out and then you just feel terrible about yourself and I'm no good and nobody's ever gonna love me. And so, you know, I'm just. You know, she said two things that stand out to me. She says, how do you make community outside of a church or a school setting? And so I would say to Paige, that seems like the best place to have community in your church and in a school setting. Sounds like that's the season of life that you're in, you have to make yourself be in community with them. Not that you don't wanna, you don't love people, it's just I get a little bit of anxiety when I'm around people for way too long. So you just have to do it. And you have to ask Holy Spirit to help you people. Yeah, and I'm gonna use a word that's offensive. And I don't mean this at all in reference to people with Down syndrome. The word retard means to not work. When yes, so that's what that's what it means. So so like if you damage your shoulder and it doesn't operate quickly, it is as a retardation, it doesn't work. There's a relational retardation that happens when we separate ourselves from relationships. And it magnifies it makes us work makes us feel worse and we become we don't function as we should and the Bible says it is not good for man to be alone that's why you know as soon as he created one what did he say yeah we need to yeah so this this was in a perfect environment yeah perfect communion with God yeah yeah and so you know I just think that it's so important that we say this in video games, social media, you know, my wife and I'll sit there on TikTok right next to each other for an hour, not talking, not connecting. And, you know, this last week's sermon was on prayer. And, you know, the first point was, was prayer was about love. And I thought that was a little too vague. I'm going to talk to the teaching team about that. But, but here's the thing. So Jordan Peterson says this about marriage. The only way to have a marriage that you want is you must have 45 minutes a week of connecting with each other about each other. Not school, not work, not stuff. And if you don't have that, you're going to grow apart. Prayer is that relational connection with God. So, and I'm not a clinical psychologist, so let's just imagine that 45 minutes is the number for a couple. I'm guessing that number for God is going to be right near that, for me to feel connected with God and close to God. So if the total amount of time per week that I'm spending praying with God is not close to that number, and it could be Bible reading, you could include church sermons, maybe some worship music in that, I'm going to feel disconnected and alone from God. And so, prayer is something I do because God has loved me, and I love him, and we're connecting in that way. And so, we need to press into this. And so, does she give her name or is it Annie Moss? Paige. Paige. Christianity is a with others religion. Yeah, you're the first pastor I've ever heard say that. And I was like, duh. Yeah. And so with others' religion. So when we pray, Jesus teaches us to pray our Father. Yeah, absolutely. Who's in heaven. And let me say this, Paige. And I tell this to my kids all the time, because when you raise kids, you know, they fight. They don't get along. There are two relationships that are going to last in your lifetime. Your biological family, assuming things are healthy and non-abusive, and your church family. Absolutely. And let me tell you, almost everything else is fake, and it will not last. Absolutely. And so the reason family tends to stick is blood and the reason church family tends to stick is his blood. That's right. And that's why we last. And I know you're willing to compromise for all these friends to feel cool, to feel loved, whatever. In the end, it's about those two things. Absolutely. You know, the blood that made you and the blood that saved you. Those are the two things and so that bring us together and it's just so so important and I'm grateful for the church and I'm grateful for the friends that I have in the church. But again, just like divorce is so terrible for marriage, what makes friendships last? When we have this commandment to love each other, to think of one another more highly than you think of yourself. Absolutely. You know, there are 23 one another passages in scripture. 23. And we cannot live these alone. And so you can have a personal relationship with Jesus, you cannot have an isolated relationship with Jesus. And so you need to come together. And so Paige, I'll be praying for you. And so let me say this, social anxiety is a real thing. But medication and isolation will not improve it. You have to press in, find some safe people, you know, in a small group where you can just say, I have social anxiety. And that's a real deal. And we need to, you know, think about if Paige was in our small group. You know, I would be in small group each week, but Paige, thank you for making the courageous decision to be here. To be here, yeah. To be here. And we have to think of others. Drives me crazy when, like, you have somebody in a small group trying to lose weight and their blood pressure is off and you're serving donuts and ice cream and all. You are not. You're not one another. Like you're just not doing that. You know if somebody's a recovering alcoholic you don't serve alcohol. Right. You don't. Yeah. Do that to them because you care about one another and you always Paul says in Romans 14 podcast, the weaker brother. That's right. We remember the weaker brother. And we have to think about them in that. So Paige, I'll be praying for you. I love you and I appreciate the braveness and the courage for you to send in this question. Yeah, thank you so much, Paige. Thanks for this episode. This is awesome. Thank you. Happy first episode back after the season break, all the things. We drop episodes every other week. So make sure that you tune in and send in your questions. And even if we don't get to your questions, send it again. I mean, there may be an opportunity that we get to it in the future. You can submit questions from by – man, I've been talking – I haven't even been talking that long, but you can submit questions by going to forward slash ask and we'll get them. Thank you so much. Love you guys. Bye. Thanks for listening to the Debrief podcast with Matt Brown. If you enjoyed this episode, consider liking, subscribing, and sharing it with a friend. If you would like to submit a question to Pastor Matt, you can do so at And if you would like to support the work we are doing, consider donating at Thank you again and have a blessed day. We hope your summer holds a lot of restful opportunities and room for a nice break from the norm. We at Sandals Church want you to know that you can be a part of us from wherever you go and however your rhythms look different in this season. We'll continue releasing weekly sermons and content on all podcast platforms, as well as on YouTube. You can also give to Sandals Church at any time by going to by going to Thanks for being a part of this place. We hope you have a great summer.

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