The Debrief Podcast with Matthew Stephen Brown

This weeks episode dives deep into questions and concerns faced by individuals navigating their faith journeys. From addressing the challenges of social anxiety hindering church attendance to exploring unconventional approaches to marriage in later life, we unravel the complexities of modern Christianity. We also delve into the pain of betrayal and judgment within church communities, the dilemma of choosing between an online and in-person church experience, the purpose of the church as a place for healing, and the significance of contextual knowledge versus isolated scripture verses. Plus, we examine the balance between small group dynamics and seeking community with people in similar life stages. Join us as we uncover the diverse and thought-provoking aspects of faith and community in this captivating podcast episode!

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.

Hey, everyone.

Welcome back to another episode of the Debrief podcast with Matthew Stephen Brown.



I am your host, Donna Martin, and I'm so excited to be here.

How are you doing?

Yeah, I'm great, man, you got some sun back from Hawaii.

I did.

I got a lot of sun.

I'm peeling.

This is my other side of my heritage coming out.

Well, I get really red and I peel a lot, and so I'm the one in the family that has to.

Lather up with a lot of I have gotten so burned in Hawaii, where I've literally had to go

to the I have blisters.

Oh, yeah.

See, I've never gotten that far, but I do peel and burn, so I have to be really careful.

But anyway, we're going to jump right in because we have some amazing questions today.

Thank you so much for sending in your questions.

To Move Forward slash Ask, or even some people have sent in questions through YouTube,

through Instagram, so keep doing that.

Yeah, thanks so much.

I mean, the show is really only as good as the questions, so we can only keep going as you

guys are courageous enough and brave enough to send in questions or concerns.

Yeah, and you can always send them anonymously, but we've got some names today, so we're


Okay, so this is our first one.

We're going to jump in Otilia from Rancho Cucamonga.


And she says, hello, Pastor Matt.

I have a question regarding the way my sister talks or witnesses to people.


Here is a conversation she had with her daughter's gay friend who is a man but dresses

like a woman.

Please correct me if I'm wrong or if she is.

Also, please give me advice on how to speak to her about this.

I feel she is pushing him away, but she says we have to be bold.

If I'm wrong, please correct me.

I don't mind.

Thank you.

And so now I'm going to read just a little bit of what I think is an instagram exchange

between the sister and the daughter's gay friend.


Mother to daughter's gay friend.

Boy, you need to stop.

Jesus is coming.

No time to play.

Just stop.

The friend says or the gay friend says respectfully, I appreciate your concern for my well


Mary and I know we have love for each other, but this is who I am.

There is no off button, and I'm not playing anything like it's a game.

This is my life, and I don't need anyone's approval but merely their acceptance.

Moving forward, I would appreciate it if you would not speak to me like this.

Just know that I accept Jesus into my life and in my heart, so that should be the only

thing that matters.

We're all entitled to our opinions, but I would appreciate if you would keep your opinions

to yourself when speaking the Lord's name to me.

And the mother or the sister says, no, respectfully, it should matter that God made you a

man with the parts to say you are man.

The devil has stolen your identity.

What God made you can't make a baby.

That's the first part you don't have.

He said, be fruitful and multiply.

So it would be a disservice to you to lie to you and tell you, yes, you can be who you

want to be.

It's who God did make you.

I love you.

And we'll continue to pray that the blinders get pulled off your eyes to see the truth of

the real you a man of God.

So this was the exchange that they had.


And so, I mean, there's multiple variables here that are challenging.

So I agree with her that we must be bold.

But let me give you two verses in context, and these two verses have really helped me to


How does God want me to be bold to those who are not of Christ?

And really, then how to speak to those who maybe like this guy, he's kind of saying he's a

Christian, right?

I would disagree, because the Bible says that when we invite Christ in our life that we

are no longer our own, but we have been bought with a price.

And so a Christian is submitting themselves and their body to Christ completely.

And so ultimately, that is what he wants for.

So I would just say this just in general, because I hear a lot of Christians saying we

need to be bold.

I hear a lot of pastors saying we need to be bold.

I get accused oftentimes of not being bold enough by uber conservatives on the right.

And so let me just give you some Scripture, Donna, for why I am different in terms of

addressing issues that are outside the church.

So actually it comes from One Corinthians 512.

And I got a great comment this week on my Instagram.

Are you going to go with culture or Scripture?

And my one word response was Scripture.

So let's go with what Scripture says.

And so I want everyone to listen to me very carefully.

All Scripture is inspired by God, so it's all authoritative.

When we are reading Scripture, we need to ask ourselves, is this an inclusive verse or is

this exclusive?

Is this an insider verse or is this a verse to be used towards outsiders?

And that confusion is why I think Christians don't handle the word of God in a great way.

So when you're reading a book of the Bible, it's almost always written to believers.

And then within those books, there are verses that tell us how to behave towards non


And so we need to be able to discern that.

So One Corinthians 512, it isn't my responsibility.

This is scripture.

It isn't my responsibility to judge outsiders.

This is the word of god, but it is certainly your responsibility to judge those inside the

church who are sinning.

So this is a little confusing because this person is claiming to be an insider, right?

But is he in your church?

And so if this young man was in our church, then I would sit down and talk with him.

Do you claim to be a Christian?

Then here's what my understanding of what God's word says.

So here's the issue.

There are other churches now that disagree.


And so what I would encourage this young man to do is to go to a church where his beliefs

are affirmed.

But if he's going to remain in Sandals, here is our understanding of biblical sexuality,

of biblical gender, of our calling to follow Christ.

And so what we need to hold to in this culture is these words, our calling, here's what we

understand our calling to be.

And so because that's really where we're safe in our culture.

When we start telling other people how to live and their understanding, that's where I

think we get on thin ice.

And so the Apostle Paul is writing a letter to the Church of Corinth and he's instructing

them in a very pagan know think of Corinth like a combination of New York City and Vegas.

And he's challenging them on how they should live as believers.

He's saying, hey, is this an inside issue or an outside issue?

And unfortunately, in this passage, it was an inside issue that they weren't dealing with.

And let me say this, this is why I think we're so fascinated with what everyone else is

doing outside of the church, because we don't want to look at our dirty laundry inside the


So is this young man, does he misunderstand God's call for his life if he is a believer?

Yes, absolutely.

So then how do we speak to him?

Colossians, chapter four, verses five through six.

This is a I'm going to say seminal, but nobody knows what that means.

This is a foundational verse for the birth of Sandals Church.

Why is sandals so different?

Why do so many of your friends who go to other more conservative, and by conservative, I

mean culturally conservative churches, why do they not understand sandals?

And it's because the Holy Spirit has not spoken to them for whatever reason, or they've

not listened to the Holy Spirit when it comes to colossians chapter four, verses five

through six.

When I read this verse, it was transformational in terms of how I wanted Sandals to behave

and act towards people who weren't believers.

And so here's the verse and I'm going to read it to you, Donna, in three different


Colossians four, five through six.

NLT live wisely among those who are not believers and make the most of every opportunity.

Let your conversations be gracious I love this.

And attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.

It's good.

So here's where I think this woman is missing it.

I think she's missing the right response to this young man.

I think she has the right intentions.

She has the wrong response.

You've heard me say all the time, I can be right in what I'm saying.

I can be wrong in how I'm saying it.

So timing is everything when we speak to people.

But so is know, there are so.

Many social media rarely has the right tone.

There are so many things know, former President Trump will say that I agree with.

His tone is like nails on a chalkboard.

And so in the name of boldness he will say the guy that's prosecuting him, I think in

know, I think you could say, I disagree with this guy.

I disagree with him constitutionally.

And then he goes on to just call this guy like eight names.

And I'm like, Bro, stop man, stop.

And I think a lot of us as Christians, we see Trump and we're just so glad that someone's

saying maybe something that we agree with.

But you should be as concerned with how they're saying it as what they're saying.


And does America have a border?

You know, even the African American mayor in New York City now is going, this is a


And it is a problem, but we need to say it in such a way that takes into consideration the

racist past of America.

That is real and we need to be aware of that.

And so has the church sinned against the gay community in the way that we've communicated

towards them historically?

Yes, absolutely.


And so we've picked on them, we've isolated them, we've separated it from issues like

divorce, promiscuity, pornography and sexual immorality.

Is this umbrella term in the Bible for all of these categories of sin and yet we've picked

on them as a church and that's wrong.

And so what we need to do is we need to own that and say, okay, there's some wounding


And so we need to make sure that what we say, listen to these words is attractive so that

we will have the right response.

So here it is in the NIV.

Be wise in the way you act towards outsiders.

Make the most of every opportunity.

Let your conversation always be full of grace and seasoned with salt that you may know how

to answer everyone.

And so what I would say is don't just pray about what God's word says.

Pray about how God would have you speak his word.

And so here's the thing where as a communicator, here's where I've sinned as a

communicator, I've said the right things in the wrong way and I got into huge trouble

years ago.

You can still you know where I was talking know, gay marriage was on the ballot in

California and I made a joke that implied that I might be violent towards someone who

would perform a gay wedding.

It was egregious.

It was wrong.

I believe, and I stand firmly, that marriage is biblical.

Marriage is to be between a man and a woman.

And that's what the Bible says.

But what I said was so out of tone, so out of touch with what the gay community has

experienced, how they felt.

And I was wrong in how I said it, and I got to own that.

And so we have to learn to, when we speak on these issues, how am I making the gospel


Because she's right.

Jesus is coming, and we don't want to insult him into heaven.

We want to attract him into heaven.

And that's what's so important.

And so listen to is when I was in seminary, we were not allowed to use the NASB because

it's cheating.

So in Greek class, you're not allowed to use it because it's so word for word.

So people will say, well, that's the NLT.

So let me give it to you.

This is the closest translation we have in English from the Greek.

So here it is in a very, very word for word translations.

Conduct yourselves with wisdom towards outsiders.

Is this woman being wise?


I don't think so.

Making the most of every opportunity.

Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned, as it were, with salt.

What does salt do?

It makes things taste better.

Yeah, absolutely.

So that you may know how I love this, you should respond to each person.

I want to respond to my children as individuals.

I want to respond to each person as individuals.

And so last week on the Debrief, I was trying to respond to the gay community who a woman

was shot merely for flying the rainbow flag outside of her business, which I believe is

her right as an.

You know, this is just where I just think America is so grotesque on both sides.

And politically, I'm a libertarian at heart.

I believe I have the right as an American, to be left alone.

Leave me alone.

My friend of mine bought me a T shirt that says, libertarians trying to take over the

world one day at a time so we can leave you alone.

And that's just what I believe.

And so America should be the land of the free.

And so people get to live their own lives.

I hate how progressives are infiltrating every area of our life, managing our lives,

directing our lives, all in the name of their morality.

And we need to understand this.

Climate change is not just science.

It is a religion.


It is a religion.

And they have their prophet, Greta Thunberg, and she's the oracle, and we need to

understand that.

And I don't like them constantly invading my life.

Have you brought a new air conditioner yet?


They're horrible.

I haven't they don't work.

They freeze up.

It is terrible for everybody listening.

Wait till you have to replace your AC unit.

It's awful.

Oh, no, because it's the new environmental policies, and it's just terrible.

But what they're doing is they're invading my life in the name of their sense of morality.

Now, for every liberal out there, I want clean water, I want better air.

Just go chill, take a lap around the block.

Nobody wants to ruin the environment.

We have one planet to live on.

But I don't need to be religious and worship the Earth the way that you do.

And the climate change and all of this.

You know, we need to understand that that so much of what's broken in America is we've


You know, some of the criticism I received matt, what did I get called?

Mini woke.

Kind of woke.

A wee bit.

Woke a wee bit.

Yeah, a wee bit woke.

And I want everybody to understand this, that the Church thrived in Rome under liberal


When Nero went uber conservative, he started killing us.


So a lot of Christians think that just progressivism is the enemy.

Uber conservatism is the enemy.

So in India, I don't know if you knew this, but Sandals sponsored 1100 children.


We fed them, we clothed them, we educated them.

We were kicked out of India.

We're no longer allowed to feed them, clothe them, because they elected a conservative.

You know, so much of what's happening in China, it's conservatism.

And we need to understand that there are evils on both sides.

And so instead of saying, am I a conservative or am I a progressive?

And this is why I love Bill Maher, who was a wacko liberal right in the now he's accused

of being a right wing Trump supporter, which is just hilarious.

But Christianity thrives under liberalism when we are allowed to worship God as we see


And there's evil on both sides, uber conservatism or uber liberalism.

And we need to make sure that we have this right.

And again, that's why I'm convicted that the Church will thrive best when there's freedom

of speech, when there's freedom of ideas, when there's freedom of religion, when we don't

live under an oppressive, controlling government.

And these are just weird, weird political times.

I mean, everything that I've known is so weird.

So what I would say is part of, I think, the passion that's inappropriate here is

everything's political.

And so I think she's gotten some of her political rhetoric confused with her Christian


And so she's speaking against this young man.

And what I would say is I love you.

I hope that you know that I love you.

I believe that God has a different calling on your life.

And I'm so glad to hear that you've taken a step to profess Jesus as your Lord.

What I would love to do is sit down with you and talk about what that means.

Because he is the Lord of all your life or he is the Lord of none of your life.


And part of that.

And I would take him to one Corinthians, chapter six, chapter five, where the Apostle Paul

is explicitly clear that he is the Lord of our bodies and we must honor him with our


And in one Corinthians, it talks about so much of that as a woman's long hair is her

glory, and a man must not do that.

The apostle Paul is addressing transgenderism in Corinth.

I remember you said that.


And that's what a lot of people miss, is gender confusion is not something that's new.

It's been around for forever.

But what is new is we have this scientific ability now to alter human bodies in a way.

And not that they didn't do it then, because eunuchs oftentimes that was a big part of


They were altering men back then by cutting their testicles off to make them more


And many of the male prostitutes in the temples of the ancient world had had their

testicles cut off.

I think that was really good.

Thank you so much for that response.

And I love the scripture I kept hearing, make the most of every opportunity.

And so I don't know if we always know I have an opportunity here to speak to someone who

believes differently than me or is behaving in a way that I don't necessarily agree with.

And instead of using that opportunity to be a blessing to them, have our speech seasoned

with salt and draw them closer to the Holy Spirit.


It's his kindness that leads us to repentance.

It's not his anger, our anger.


It's his kindness.

And I just think, again, social media, we say things and you say this all the time to

people over social media.

We would never say to they would never come to your church and stand in your face and call

you a wee bit woke.

And so I think that we just have to be so careful, especially over social media, if

somebody doesn't say exactly all the things that we think they should say, we accuse them

of being.

Left or right or whatever.

And even in this podcast, it's a conversation.


And let me say to all of our listeners, I got so much concern over my interview.

You weren't here, but it was with Anissa and Cindy.

And I just want everybody to understand there's a difference between you and I sitting

down on this show and answering questions versus me interviewing believers.

You've got to be able to understand that that even in a sermon, I'm not saying everything

I believe about all theology in a point.


I'm trying to communicate something in a point, for one thing.

And you can't speak to everything for all time in every word.

And that's another thing that I hate about politics.

People are just lying in wait for you to trip up, for you to misspeak.

And it's why on this show, I don't make fun of Joe Biden's age or his stumbling.

I feel sad for him and for Christians to make fun of him and put down.

What does the Bible say about how we are to speak to an older man?

Is biden an older man.


You would not speak to your father that way, who's clearly dealing with some senility.

He just is.

Would we laugh at our father or our grandmother when they tripped and fell walking up the



So why do Christians think this is okay behavior?

It's not okay.

Do I think he should be president?


But I am not going to give myself permission to put him down to make fun of him, to join

in the mob, because that's who killed Christ the mob.

And so I think that I can feel sad for him.

I think I can communicate that this is not what we need as a country.

Never, under any circumstances do I believe that God would call an 80 year old to replace

me as senior pastor, much less for president of the United States.

And so I think that's something that we need to address as a country.

So just know we need to have grace for each other.

Please give grace to me.

And if I've said something that didn't come out clearly, I mean you're mean with you and

Devo, is there ever some confusion on tone or things that were said?

And so much of Tammy and I, when we're disagreeing and arguing is working through how I've

said something.

We just had a fight last week where I meant to compliment her, and it didn't come out.

Oh, she did not receive it that way.

And so then I was offended because I was trying to compliment.

And then I had to back up and say, okay, I hear how she took what I was saying, and I had

to back that bus up, turn on the button, beep, beep, beep, and back it up and say, okay,

what I meant to do was compliment you.

And that's just a challenge of speaking.

So for anyone.

You were asking me know, why don't better people run for political office?

Because we need better leaders.

Donna was asking me that before the show started.

I said, can you imagine if I ran all the stupid things I've ever said that are recorded?

Your life is not recorded unless you're a fool who expresses their thoughts on social


And let me just say this to everyone.

I don't want to pick on this woman.

The hardest people for me to communicate the gospel to are my family.

I have family members who think they are Christians that I disagree with.

I have family members who are absolutely opposed to Christ.

Those people are the hardest for me to communicate with.

And I don't know what it is about family.

I mean, Jesus's own family didn't get him.


Mary, remember?

So the Holy Spirit.


The Holy Spirit put Jesus in her womb.

Think about that.

Angels spoke to her about who he was, and even she got confused, and with his brothers,

tried to come and get him because they thought he'd lost his mind.

And so our own families and that's why Jesus says, a prophet has no honor in his own


We need to remember that.

So when it comes to our family members, sometimes what we can do is just express love and

pray that someone else is going to speak to them.

So this young man is clearly off.

I believe, as a believer, you cannot mutilate your body, you cannot take drugs to alter

the gender that you are.

Now, let me say there's an asterisk because there are a certain small percentage I think

it's 5%, where children are born and there is some gender confusion.

That's a real thing.


And we need to remember that.

And we need to have an extraordinarily amount of grace for parents, for children, and for

doctors who are trying to figure out, okay, what do we do here?

That's part of living in a fallen world.

Our biology can be affected in an extraordinary small percentage.

That's not to say that this social pressure that's pressuring our children to question

their gender and in my experience, the vast majority of the young people who are

struggling with gender dysphoria have other issues.

Oh, absolutely.

These girls are cutting themselves, shaming themselves, hurting themselves.

And so transgender in our culture is this magic bullet that, oh, if I just change my

gender, all of these other issues are going to go away.

And they don't.

They're often magnified.

Like, I just went to the doctors, I'm 52 years old.

At 50 men's testosterone start dropping.

That's why we start crying as our old age getting more sensitive.

But I wanted to see, hey, is testosterone therapy something that I should do?

My doctor was like, oh, my gosh, there are so many dangers to testosterone therapy.

Now, just get this.

If I was a 52 year old woman who wanted to transition to be a man, kaiser Permanente would

pump me full of all the testosterone that I want.

And that's, to the transgender community, that's what breaks my heart.

You're not getting medical advice.


So if testosterone replacement, if Kaiser is concerned about its long term effects for me

as a man, why aren't they concerned for you?

Donna absolutely.

And what it would do to you as a woman.

I mean, there's so many people coming out now saying, this ruined my life.

I mean, it's heartbreaking to watch these videos and you're mean, there's a student that

comes to one of our clubs after school, and he's transgender.

As far as I know, he hasn't had any of the surgeries, but he dresses up like a girl.

He wears lipstick.

He comes and he's there every single day.

And he's very close to my husband.

Very close.

He's an african American student, and he just said, you are the first African American man

I have ever seen who is kind to me, I mean, in his experience, who has been kind to me,

who's respectful, who just loves me unconditionally.

And my husband could spend the whole time telling him how he shouldn't wear lipstick, and

maybe God will give an opportunity for him to be able to speak into his life in that way.

But there's so many other things that are going on in the hearts of these young people

where they cannot identify for this particular man.

He has never been able to identify with another African American man.

There hasn't been one in his life that was kind.

He told my husband, you're honest.

That's what he tells him all the time.

I just know you're an honest man.

And so I think in these situations especially, I don't even think that it's a family

friends kid.

Like, if there's no relationship there to even speak into this.

Just that bite.

There's no verse in Scripture where God's called you to be the referee.


And so, so many Christians feel like that's their job, just to cry foul.

Let me just say, I don't care what team you root for.

Nobody likes the ref.

So stop being the referee and understand that our job is to lovingly speak the truth with

grace and love.

And so I'm not asking you to compromise.


The Greek word in Colossians, chapter four, verses five and six, can be translated,

answer, or respond.

And so when you look at that in multiple translations, sometimes it says so that you may

know how to answer, but really what it means is to respond.

And so the assumption that Paul's making there is you've been asked.

Yeah, that's mean.

How many of us love unsolicited advice?

That's right.

Very few people.

I have some gay friends, and they're married, and one guy is seeking God.

He's attending church.

God's really working in his life, and his partner, mad dogs me, glares at me, is so rude

and so mean, and I cannot tell you how many times at a wedding or in some kind of social

gathering, I get daggers from the gay community.


The culture of love.

I mean, just daggers.

And so what I do is I don't respond that way.

I just respond with love and grace and kindness, and I smile and I shake hands, because in

the end, what's more important than me being offended and they're being rude?

Yeah, absolutely.

What's more important is their soul.

That's right.

And I'm glad that God cared more about me than my daggers that I was sending at Him, that

he sent his son to die for me on the cross.

And it's not always know.

Whenever Tammy and I get invited to a party, we literally have to talk about who's going

to be there, because people are awful to us.

I believe it.

Absolutely awful to mean.

I was talking with a pastor friend of mine.

I just said, being the pastor in my role has been the hardest of my wife and kids because

people are cruel.

People are absolutely cruel sometimes in the name of Jesus.

Cruel, of course, and it's been so hard for them.

But we have to talk about that because we have to prepare ourselves for people who are

just rude.

I've spoken at a funeral.

I spoke at a suicide funeral, and there was a guy in the front row while I preached over a


And he glared at me because his wife had worked for us, and we let her go at a funeral.

And he just daggers 3ft away from me the whole time.

And at the funeral, he said, I don't know if you could see me looking at you.

I said, yeah, I saw it the whole time.


And I said, I think it was inappropriate.


But I love you and I'm praying for you.

And he didn't care.

So it's just crazy how people will.


Grace christians.

Come on, Christians.

Grace and let me say, what did Jesus say?

Those who've been forgiven much, love much.

And I think, again, some of us have forgotten what Jesus did for us, and that's why we

can't extend it to others.


So good.

Thank you.

Thank you for that question, for sending it in.

That was really good.

Oh, my gosh.

Okay, here's another one.

Kelly from Minafee.

She says your sermon touched on those with social anxiety attending services.

My social anxiety controls so many aspects of my life and ultimately has me watching

sermons online more than attending my local campus.

What keeps me from going is being seen and approached by people.

If I could slip in and out unnoticed, I'd probably attend more.

Connection is difficult for me and activates my fight or flight and freeze terribly.

Any advice for prioritizing gathering with other Christians while juggling sorry, I'm

reading this too fast.

Juggling such a specific anxiety that makes gathering such a crippling experience.


What campus does she go to?

She says she's from Minafee.

I don't know if she attends Minafee.

So this is interesting.

So I'm going to play this video on my social media next week.

But one of our parking lot guys at the Minafee campus did you see the video, found a woman

sitting in the car outside the church.

And he went up to her and approached her.

And I actually addressed social anxiety this week.

And he told her, he said, you need to come inside because Pastor Matt's going to he said,

this sermon is for you.

And she actually came in.


Praise God.

And so what I want to say to everyone is greeters parking lot people.

Like, what you do is so important.

You are the first line of God's love defense.

When you check in somebody, when you deal with somebody, we have to be so loving and so

kind, and so what I would say is what she needs to do is call the church office, let us

know that she's coming.

We're going to have a specific plan in place to help her.

But here's the thing.

God doesn't just want you to come worship publicly so that you worship Him.

He wants you to come worship publicly so that you're with his family.

So the command is not just directed to Him.

So, again, what are the essentials?

Love God, love people live on mission, and this is where so many Christians so why can't I

just watch online from home?

Well, you can do the loving God part that way, but you can't do the loving others to love

your neighbor.

You actually have to embrace your neighbor.

And so we're going to get into that when we get into that message, that part in a couple

of weeks, we're going to do the Good Samaritan.

Who is my neighbor?

Well, if you're social anxiety, your neighbor is fellow believers.

And so there are just so many people at our church, just so you know.

I battle anxiety.

People are so hard, and people will just say whatever they want to me, and I am so

flabbergasted at what people will just say to me all over the place.

And Tammy and I drive when we go shopping, we drive about 50 miles to go to a mall where

we don't run into people because people comment on the car we drive, the clothes we wear,

where we eat.



So Tammy and I, we got delayed in Orlando, Florida, for weather, and one of the flight

attendants, she's like, oh, I go to Sandals.

She said, oh, I would have expected you'd be in coach.

She said that out loud.

I was sitting in business class now.

Yeah, united.

I fly with them all the time.

I'm a platinum level member.

We get upgraded all the time.

They upgraded me.

She's an employee of that company.

My flying actually pays her salary, but she's like, oh.

And she just flippantly said that.

But that's an insult.

Oh, Pastor Matt.

I would have thought you'd be in coach.

It's like, okay.

Isn't that funny?


I don't know if people just assume I donna know what people assume.

People just have all sorts of assumptions about what a pastor does or who they are or what

they should do.


That's frustrating.

So you just have to brace yourself for just the rudeness of people and so much of what's?

Racist, homophobe.

It's just people's brokenness, and they're just absolutely.

I know.

Did I answer that question?

I think you did.

I think we were talking specific anxiety.

Social anxiety.


You have to be with God's people.

It's so important.


So call the church, the body.


Make an appointment.

We'll have a strategic plan for you at any given campus.


Sit in the back.

Let's try to and like I said, and I addressed it in last week's message specifically, so

listen to it.

It's a process.


And even maybe I have to do this at time, I'm much more of an introvert.

I wouldn't say that I have social anxiety, but I always go thinking, who can I bless


So even if I'm going to smile at somebody, or I'm going to pay for somebody's coffee in

the lobby, or I'm going to pray for somebody at the altar, I'm not just going to be a


I'm going to say, okay, Lord, how can I be a blessing to someone today?

So even Kelly maybe think about that.

Baby steps, right?

Call the church office and think, okay, who can I bless today?

Who can I smile at today?

Who can I yeah, I'm glad you said that.

So Jordan Peterson says that anxiety is rooted in self focus.

It is.


And the way know, it's why people who battle debilitating anxiety, they get them to care

for animals.

So what the animal is doing, or what do they call a pet, when you emotional support pet.

What it does is you're focusing on the pet and it takes the attention off you.

So the solution to this is to take the attention off yourself and put it on other earth.

And a lot of the people in our church who battle social anxiety work on the production


So you don't have to talk to.

A lot of people.

Yeah, but they work behind the camera.

And I'm so grateful for them and what they do, and I check in with them from time to time.

Look, some of these things are going to be battles for life.

Sometimes the Lord does a miracle and takes it away.

That's right.

And sometimes he asks us to service in spite of the suffering.

That's right.


All right.

Here's Laurel from Redlands.


We found love and are getting married in our 60s.


We're both believers.

Our kids are grown and supportive.

We're financially secure you guys are awesome.


And planning a wedding.

I'm concerned about the business side of a marriage union.

I definitely want to marry because the Bible says this is the only right way to be a


But I want to protect myself financially from the government.

What would you say about seniors getting married but not registering it with a license?


And so I want every young person to hear what's his name?



So, Laurel, just press pause because this is going to feel like an insult, but then I'm

going to come back and try to put more grace and season this with salt.

I just want every young person to hear, this guy's in his sixty s and it's still a

struggle to do what he knows is right.

This never goes away.


This is always a struggle.

And so, Laurel, what I hear from you as young people?

Well, we're in love.

God blesses love.

It's okay for us to have a so let me just say this.

For single people, there is a marriage penalty according to our tax code, because what

they do is they take your money, put it together.

So Tammy and I could pay less taxes if we divorced and filed separately.

We don't do that because part of what the Bible teaches, we need to submit to the know as

long as they're not immoral laws and taxes, although they feel immoral are.

Yeah, yeah.

And I don't agree with a lot of the tax laws, but what we have to do, especially as senior

citizens, is we have to set an example for those who are young and say, look, even if this

decision costs me, I'm going to do it.

And so what I would say, Laurel, is what I would do is go see a tax consultant.

We have a great lawyer in Redlands.

Did he say he's from Redlands?

He did, yeah.

And so his last name is Shoemate.

I'm going to find out.

He has a law firm.

I forget the name of his law firm, but Tammy and I went there.

We started a trust to protect yourselves from unruly taxes in the event something happens.

You can also take out insurances to protect yourself as a couple, to see an accountant.

And what I would just say is, look, it's okay as a Christian to operate within the law.

It's not okay as a Christian to go around the law.

So I just want to encourage I think that you need to get married both in the church and

make it legal on paper.

And I think that's really important because you need to finish well, and you need to do

this right, build a trust, make sure that you protect each other financially.

And I do think it's okay to protect one another's families that you've raised right and to

look after them.

That is a real concern.

If I die, Tammy only gets 50% of my estate.

The rest of it goes to my children because I don't want her to marry some dude, and my

kids are not provided for or taken care of.

And so I want to make sure that and that's just a part of our trust that we set up,

because I don't have a moral obligation to whoever she marries and his children.

I just don't.

But I do have a moral obligation to my own children, and so I wanted to make sure that

Tammy's taken care of.

There's plenty of money there for her to live her life.

I love her, and her next husband doesn't have to be stressed about money like I have.

So I want him to enjoy his life and my wife on vacation, but I want to make sure that my

kids are taken care of, because I've experienced personally when a family member has

gotten remarried and they've forgotten their children with the new spouse.

And that does happen.

So I do understand that.

But listen, there are legal ways to protect yourself.

To protect yourself.

And it may cost you a little money.

You may have to set up a trust, but you need to do those things to protect yourself from

taxes or whatever.

And so, look, the government gets to set the game.

Christians should be really good at the game.

What we don't get to do is cheat.


If you're cheating, you're you know, we don't get to make the rules.

Play the game as best you can.

That's what you know, Tammy and I are tithers.

We would tithe even if the government didn't give us a write off.

But I get a write off for it, so I take it.

And I don't think that that's immoral.

Yeah, absolutely.

So we take advantage of so I just would encourage you I think it's wrong.

I think that you need to be both married in God's eyes and legally married.

I think it's a violation and a manipulation of what God is saying.

And so what people are going to say, well, government wasn't involved in the past.

True, but we don't live in the past.


We live in today.

And again, as long as what the government is asking you to do is not evil, we need to do




Thank you.

I hear this so much.

For young people that are listening, oh.

It might not be a man, might be a woman.



So, Laurel, if you're a woman, we apologize.

Yeah, sorry about that.


Well, Laurel is an older person.

Guys, it is.

So they found love.

Yes, I think it is.


Laurel, we apologize.

Laurel, you're awesome.


I hear this all the yeah.

Like even dealing with my husband's dad know him maybe starting to date.

Oh, that's right.

Because Devo lost his mom.

He lost his mom.


A year ago.

There are ways to protect yourself.

There's prenuptial agreements, and those are fine.

Laurel, there's a ton of things that you could do to protect your family financially.

I just don't think that it's honoring to God to not legally be married.




Amanda from redlands.

Another one from Redlands.

I've been going to Sandals Church for over ten years and have recently betrayed and

shunned by people in the church.

Apparently there have been rumors spread about me that are causing this.

I understand we're all sinners, but I'm experiencing pain and hurt from strong Christians

passing judgment on me.

How do we get past that and be in community with those in the church?

What's her name?



I don't know, but as soon as you figure it out, let me know.

Yeah, I think I mean kind of weaved through this whole conversation have been some of

those things that you have experienced.


We got to remember, Amanda.

It was religious people that put Christ on the cross.

It was a pagan secularist named Pilate who washed his hands and said, I'm not doing it.

He said, I find this man not to be guilty.

And it was religious people who literally accused him of blaspheming.

So we got to remember, Christ was put on the cross for gossip from, you know,

unfortunately, as know, we talk so much know transgenderism homosexuality, and we don't

talk about gossip or slander that are mentioned in those same paragraphs.

Like, just do a study where sexual immorality is mentioned.

Gossip and slander will always be mentioned right alongside of it.

And I heard a story from a rabbi once who told this story, and it was a Jewish man in his

synagogue who had gossip and slandered.

The rabbi and then came and asked for forgiveness.

And so the rabbi said, of course I will.

There's just one thing that I ask.

And he took him outside.

It was in a coastal community, and the wind was blowing, and he took a feather pillow, and

he cut the feather pillow, and he released all the feathers.

He said, You Or and I are good when all of those feathers are returned.


And the man said, I don't understand.

He said, you don't just have to make it right with me.

Your gossip are the feathers of evil that you have spread all around this church.

And I cannot tell you how someone like I get accused of lying.

We let a youth minister go a couple of years ago, and there was a lot of ugliness

surrounded by it.

To this day, I get publicly accused for lying because of how he was let go.

And I've reconciled with this youth pastor I'm praying for.

This youth pastor is serving God.

I pray for blessings upon this youth.

I still receive the daggers and the wounds for the lies and the slander and the lies that

I'm accused of is lying.

And what I would say is this youth pastor, God bless him, no longer believed that I was


I would say that's a true statement.

That doesn't mean I lied.


It means he believed that what I was saying was not truthful.

What I would say, it was an extraordinarily difficult situation.

It was extraordinarily personal, and I tried to handle it in a private way.

He chose to handle it in a public way, and I chose not to speak back, but he did.

And to this day, this is ten years ago, I still hear people say, you're a liar.


And it's very painful to me.

It's very hurtful to me.

I made a tough decision.

Leadership decisions are often very tough.

And rather than simply telling people, pastor Matt made a decision that I disagree with,

it turns into a character assassination war.

And he attacked me personally, and this is somebody that I love.

Discipled, prayed for, blessed and came after me, and it hurts.

And it still hurts, Amanda, to this day, it hurts.

And what's so sad is this youth pastor went off on their mission, following God, and I get

to live in the soup of gossip and slander, and I have to walk around in a community where

people truly believe that I mishandled this situation.

Now, could I have handled it better?



Did I intentionally sin or lie?

Absolutely not.

I was trying to handle a very difficult situation that was personal, and hindsight is


I wish I would have handled things in different ways, Amanda.

This is what it means.

And part of what I would say is, it okay for me to leave Sandals Church because I've been

wounded and gossiped about and slandered?


So, Amanda, is it okay for you?


So here's the thing where I'm really concerned about you, Amanda.

It's affecting your relationship with God.

That's where the enemy gets in, because what we say is, when God allows people to hurt us,

what we do is we start questioning God.

And that's what the enemy did to Eve in the garden.

Did God really say, is God really good?


And that's where the enemy slips in and then ultimately affects your faith.

And so what I would do is I would encourage you.

And my wife and I have had passionate disagreements about this.

We choose to take the high road.

I've held my wife with tears.

She says, why do we always have to take the high road?

And I just say, because we answer to God.

And I'm not saying that I've always handled it perfectly.

I've had moments where I have responded in anger.

I have been tempted to slander back.

And the Bible says we never repay evil for evil, even when it's done to us.

And so what we have to do is hold our heads high and just understand that gossip and

slander is the major sin of the church.

Yeah, absolutely is.


And it's what we do.

And Jesus was slandered against.

Jesus was gossiped against.

I've been slandered.

I have had things told to me were my jaw drops.

People that I've loved, cared for, ministered to, walked alongside in their pain.

I have literally been a rescuer of marriages.

And those people hate me and go to another church today because something happened.

And I'm human.

I make mistakes.

And when I sin, I try to admit it, and that doesn't always work.

I've said to people, I've sinned against you.

Please forgive me.

And it emboldens them.

They don't go, oh, thank they double down, and they come after me.

And so here's the thing, Amanda.

If what Amanda's saying is true and I don't know it's wrong.

Listen to me, Amanda.

It's evil.


You have to choose.

The bible says, do not repay evil with evil, but bless those who persecute you.

That's what our lord and savior's called us to do.

And so we have to bless them.

And so what I do is I smile, I shake hands, I go to events where I went to a party where

it was a bunch of people that have all left Sandals Church because they don't like some of

the decisions that I've made.

And we were just being glared at.

Gosh, some of these people I've led to Christ, I've ministered to.

I've come alongside these people and my wife just was like, she's like, I'm going to throw


They were so evil and it's so hard to hold your head high, to maintain your composure and

to try to work through know, I'm an alumni of California Baptist University.

There are professors there who mock me, who make fun of me and who put me donna my kids

have been in classes with professors.

It's my alma mater and I get ridiculed and it's so awful.

And this Christians, I get more ridicule from CBU than I did from UCR.

And it's just like, oh my gosh.

And UCR is the University of California, Riverside.

That's our local university.

And that's the thing that's so hard.

I mean, if I've made errors, it's because I've tried to operate with Colossians, chapter

four, verse five and six.

I've tried to be intentional about treating outsiders differently from insiders.

I've tried to season what I'm saying with salt.

And my fellow believers have considered that compromise.

They consider me was it little woke, wee bit woke?

And they come at me just in my commentary, the video that we posted about Lake error,

look, both sides are offended.

Like, I'm a wee bit woke and I'm a conservative wacko and they're listening to the same


And that's the thing.

And so Amanda, what I would say is, here's what I do when I'm gossiped or slandered about

jesus says to love your enemies.

Why do we do that?

Because sometimes these people that have gossiped and slandered about me, some of what

they're saying is true.

And so as a leader, I need to own it sometimes.

We need to love our enemies not just because Christ has commanded us to, but because

they're the only person that's willing to say the truth.

And so, okay, have I been arrogant?

Have I been prideful?

Was I too political?

Was I dodging an issue?

And all of those are true because I'm a sinner saved by grace.

And so I have to own that and I have to listen to those things.

And then I have to say, okay, God, how can I learn?

How can I do better?

And at the end of the day, I don't model my behavior after people who aren't changing, who

won't listen, who don't grow.

I'm modeling my life after Christ and I have to listen to him.

And Amanda.

That's so hard.

But what did he say?

Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.

And the devil is always in the midst of gossip.

So don't join the devil in that gossip, but try to rise above.

It's hard.

And I get it, Amanda.

It's so hard.

And my heart goes out to you.

So what I would do is I would just say, look, Santos has 14 campuses.

Find another campus, build another friend network.

And I'm so sorry.

And I would pray for those people, absolutely pray for them, because gossip is evil.

And don't let how the enemy spoil their heart.

Don't let the enemy spoil your heart, because at the end of the day, man, if you're not

careful, bitterness can get in.

Anger can get in.

And what does Paul say in Romans?

It gives the devil a foothold on your life.

And it's okay.

It's okay to be upset.

It's OK to be angry, but, man, you got to give that to the Lord.

And it's so hard and no, Amanda.

That if you've been in church for any length of time, you have experienced people who are

just rude and angry and mean and gossipy and slandery.

And I love that you said I love that you said sometimes part of it could be true, that we

really need to look at our heart and go, okay, is there something that's going on inside?

Or have I been arrogant?

And sometimes when it's just a straight lie, I have watched God tear those lies down.

I have watched him fight for me.


And, Amanda, understand this.

God never blesses sin.

Never, ever.

And so you just need to understand.

So when people part with gossip, when people part with slander that's right.

They have invited the devil into their life.

And so what you need to do is say, do I want the blessing?

So one of the most important passages of scripture says, I give to you today life and


I pray that you may choose life, and we must choose life.

Gossip and slander is death because it kills people.

It destroys people.

And just like that rabbi said, I mean, that rabbi is not a Christian, right?

So Jesus says we must forgive no matter what.

But that rabbi, I loved what he said, man.

It's not just what you said.

It's the feathers that you and these feathers go out, and they infect others.

And that's why we need to be so careful not to share gossip, because I tell this all the

time to my wife when she hears something, there's whatever was said, there's how it was

heard, there was how it was shared to you, there's how you heard it, and now it's how

you're telling me.

Remember telephone when we were kids?

I was just thinking it's like, oh, my gosh, we have no idea.

And actually, I have been confronted I'm looking at my staff in the room.

I've been confronted by people over something I've said.

And I'm like, you weren't in the room.

I was in the room.

Yeah, you weren't in the room.


But it's now coming to you through these multiple channels, and you're judging me, and you

weren't even in the room.

Yeah, you don't know what was said, man.

And we just got to be so careful because the devil loves gossip.

The devil loves god hates it.

Yeah, god hates it.

And, I mean, so much of the commentary, like the feedback, pastor Matt's gone woke, or

Pastor Matt's gone fascist.

It's like, man, I haven't you know, I haven't you know, I'm still the same guy.

Now hopefully, I got a little wiser.

Wow, this is the longest debrief ever.

This is awesome.

Thanks, Amanda.

Appreciate it.

Great question, man.

I'm praying for you.

We have another one.

This is RJ from Arizona.

I've been attending Sandals Church since I was in 6th grade, and now I'm 21.

My family and I recently moved to Arizona.

I want to find a church out here, but I love Sandals so much.

I try to read my Bible every day and do Bible study classes online.

I just want to be as close as possible to God.

And I loved going to Sandals in person, but now I only do online.

My question is, should I find a church in the area or keep doing Sandals online?


So, RJ, you need to do one of two things.

And so thank you so much for watching online.

I think it's okay for people who are a part of another church to listen online.

I think that's fabulous.

Listen to as many speakers preachers as you possibly can.

I listen to Maverick City worship.

They're not worship leaders here, right, but I love it.

But I'm not a part of their community.

So, RJ, here's what I would say is you need to make a decision, as God called you, to be a

part of Sandals.

If he has, then what you need to do is start a Sandals Anywhere location, and you need to

start inviting your friends to watch with you and then immediately go into a small group


But your group must be open to neighbors, friends, people who disagree with you.

But you need to be taking the next step of saying, okay, I'm going to gather with and you

need to be tithing to Sandals Church.

If Sandals Church or what you could do is find another local church plug in there and then

watch Sandals on the side because we all have people that speak to us.

And so if God RJ is his name, so if God has chosen me to speak to you, RJ, then it's okay

for me to be a part of your life for the rest of your life.

I still listen to pastors who are dead, and they're no longer with us because God uses

them to speak to me.

But I'm not a part of their church.

I'm a part of Sandals Church.

So I would just go.

Before the Lord.

And I would say, Lord, do you want me to continue in fellowship with Sandals Church?

If so, then I've got to figure out how to invite my friends.

And just to be honest with your friends, hey, guys, I watch Santa's Church.

It's in California.

It's a challenge.

It's not local.

Would you guys be a part of me?

Let's watch on Sundays or Saturdays.

Let's make this our church, and then let's immediately go in to small group discussions

and we're going to reach our community where we are.

We're going to Tithe.

To Sandals church.

We're going to figure out a way to be connected to Sandals Church.

This is my church.

I don't think you should double date.

I think you should pick a church and plug in.

And I love all the churches in Riverside.

Harvest, the Grove, the Rock church in San Bernardino.

Love all those churches.

The rocks in Redlands.

San Bernardino.


Oh, San Bernardino.

But Sandals is my home, right?

So this is my home church, and I'm loyal to Sandals, but I care for those other churches

because I want to be a big C Christian.

So RJ just go before the Lord and just literally ask the Holy Spirit and say, and maybe

you need to pray about it.

Maybe you need to fast about it, because choosing your church is a big decision.


And be open RJ to the Holy Spirit saying Saddle is your church.

You need to move back.


That's awesome, because when Tammy and I started Saddles Church, we had to move.

We were in Huntington Beach.

We had to move.

So, so many people want God to move where they are.

Sometimes God wants you to move where he is.

And let me say know, so many Christians have fled California.

You might be listening right now from Texas, tennessee.


What if the Holy Spirit's calling you to move to California?


We need you.

Yeah, we need you.

This is the front lines, guys, and we're losing.

So we need you.

Maybe the Holy Spirit would lead you to move here and to be a part of what we're doing

rather than running from progressivism.

Maybe God's calling you to run to it to help us in this battle.

Because so many of the know are in Texas, in Tennessee, like my friends churches that are

in, like, their budgets, I'm just know they're going to open a park in the name of Jesus.

I'm just trying to we're trying to upgrade our lighting system, their budgets.

I'm not kidding you.

A church in Texas of Santoside's budget would be five times oh, I believe it five times

smack dab of a.

Couple of years ago Bible Belt we.

Were trying to raise, was it 15 million for Reach?

Was it 15 million?

It was 10 million was our goal.

My friend was in Dallas, Texas, half the size of Sandals.

Their goal was 160,000,000 half house I was like, Lord, I know you love us all equally,

but this feels very unfair what you did for these they were raising $160,000,000.

And I'm not saying they didn't have.

Sure good goal, right?

I'm just saying, God, we're trying to can I get ten can I get 10 million?

And then there are other churches that can't imagine 10 million, right?

But Saddles has 14 campuses.

All of our campuses need help.

I've been praying for a long time for a campus in Corona.

We're trying to buy a campus there.

These things are millions of dollars.

Help us out.

Send us a bomb.

Maybe you're listening in from Texas.

And the Lord would lead you to.

Write a check for Cover million California.

We could use you.

We need you.


We need the body here.

And please don't leave.


Unless the Lord tells you to go.

We need us here.

We need to hold the line.


Okay, all right.

I know that was a side note.

It was a side note, and we're still here.


Alyssa from Minafee.

Another Minafee.

Love y'all in Minafee.

In your message on Sunday, you talked about how churches and about people and their needs

and quotes.

What about Christians who refer to the church as a hospital for the broken people in need

of healing?

Is it wrong or a sin to attend church with a need for yourself?

Of course not.

Yeah, no, of course not.

So that's the problem.

Whenever I'm trying to make a point, it's not all inclusive.

Yeah, it's not all inclusive thing.

Her name's Alyssa.



Here's the problem.

Most Christians stay in the hospital.

They never get well.

Yeah, that's good.

So what I would say is you need to come to church as a hospital, but you need to heal.

You need to invite God into your brokenness.

And then when you heal, you need to become a nurse.

You need to become a doctor.

You need to start serving.


Hospitals have toilets that need to be cleaned.

Hospitals have patients that need to be fed and cared for.

And on the fundraising thing is, it drives me crazy that I have to constantly hire people

to do ministry.

God's called us all to do ministry, and we need to do that and take that work seriously.

If I won the lottery tomorrow, I'm going to work at Senate's Church for free, because

that's what the Lord's called me to do.

I am a servant of the king, and I want to serve him.

And so we need to do so.

So what I would say is come for your healing, come for what you need.

Even if you are a doctor or a nurse, there are going to be weeks at the church where you

need to be fed.

You need to come forward for prayer.

What we need to do is and here's the key, it's care for one another.

And so sometimes what that means, like, for you when you're flying or when you had

surgery, I'm praying for, you know, Donna gets to be a patient in the church, and that's

totally appropriate.

Even though you're a leader, you needed prayer, you needed concern, and that's


And likewise for me, if I need prayer from you, I can ask that absolutely from you.

And so sometimes we're patients, and sometimes we're caretakers, and sometimes we're both.

So what we need to do is understand that the hospital is a place where we're sick, but we

all need to be working at getting well.

My book that's coming out in March, I just found out it comes out the weekend of my wife's

50th birthday and our anniversary.

So I'm going to try to see if I can change that date.

But Jesus came to Soto.

That word soto in Greek means to save and to heal.

He doesn't just want to save you.

He wants to heal you.

And so how do we work towards healing?

And so, like, back to Amanda.

Tammy and I went out to dinner with some friends of ours, the Millers, and they're

therapists, which they're always awesome.

Oh, you know them.

It's always helpful to go out to dinner with a therapist, right?

You just try to sneak in some free questions.

But Tammy, not my Tammy, but Tammy Miller, the therapist, she said I was talking know when

people hurt you.

And this is back for Amanda.

This is what Tammy said.

She said, you just bumped into somebody's brokenness.

And so ultimately, Amanda, these girls or guys that are gossiping about you, it's exposing

their brokenness, their insecurity, their weakness, and you're bumping into their


And we all experience this and that's, know, we just need to have grace for each other.

It doesn't mean we allow abuse.

That's right.

We don't look the other way, but it's just brokenness.

And going back to that young man that I discipled and mentored, who was a youth pastor

when ultimately our relationship was broken, I bumped into his brokenness, his brokenness

bumped into mine and revealed some deep wounds and insecurities that had not been yet

healed by the Lord.

And that's ultimately what was exposed to me.

I think I was acutely aware of how this youth pastor had sinned against me.

I was not aware of where maybe I had sinned and I needed to grow.

And the Lord really revealed that to me.

But that doesn't end the gossip, that doesn't end the slander.

And so I still have to live in that cesspool, but I have to grow, and I have to heal.

So man, these are some great questions.

These are awesome.

Yeah, I love that.

Okay, I think we're going to do one more.

Yes, we could do both.




Can I say this?

I just have this real pray for your pastors.

Like, pray for your pastors.

I told you I have a friend she has a ministry called Pray for Your Pastor.

And that's all she does.

Tell her to put my name.

I actually will, because she's amazing.

But pray for your pastors.

They need your prayers and the body.

Pray for your brothers and sisters in Christ.

We're all dealing with something at some point that need to be prayed for and healed and

lifted up.


So there's a pastor in Texas, and he's a dear friend and a mentor.

He says that the average person goes through seven relational hardships in a lifetime.

A pastor goes through seven A.

So I just I want you to think of all your trauma.

And by trauma, I mean gossip, slander, brokenness.


The average person goes through seven, like, divorces maybe it's not divorces, but a

divorce in a relationship, a divorce in a friendship, divorce from a family member.

The average person has to endure seven of those in a lifetime.

A pastor has to go through seven of those A.


And I would say that's the greatest wounding.

And our Lord knows that.

Yeah, he does, because he sat across from the table from Judas and he said, go and do what

you must do.


But he loved Judas so much so that the disciples had no idea what he meant when he said,

you know, and so that always blows me away when I've been hurt by somebody or betrayed by


Our Lord knew that.

He knew.



Colin from Canyon Link.

This is a really good one.

They're all really good, you guys.

Thank you so much for sending these.

In our community group, we were discussing the idea of contextual knowledge and

memorization of Scripture versus the memorization of singular verses that may bring great

comfort and encouragement in a particular season, but they're taken out of context.

Is that harmful or wrong or is there value in both?

Yeah, so I know Colin.

I know who this is.

He's a very bright guy, educator.

Colin, I think that we need to know both.

We need to know Scripture, and most verses are taken out of context.

One of the most famous verses, I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me.

That verse is not a verse that you wear as an MMA fighter, so you can break somebody's.

So what is the context there?

The context is actually being able to endure hardship and years of plenty.

And that verse is so important because if you're in the mortgage industry, you've had a

good run, and now it's tough, so that verse is okay.

You could do all things when the Lord bless you.

But now, right now, we're going through a transition, a real estate transition.

You can get through this, too.

And that's what it means.

Sandals had a great run from 2015 to 2019.

Just incredible run.

2020 to 2023.

Brutal, brutal.

Hardest three years of my life.

Lost lifelong friends.

Just think about the 2020s we had the Pandemic, we had the elections, we had George Floyd.

Aliens, like, aliens people don't even consider.

Yeah, people didn't even bat an eye at the aliens because.

It'S just been insane.

This has been the hardest years.

The 2020s have become the politicization of everything.

Absolutely everything is political, and it's been a nightmare.


And so we just we yeah, there's.

A value in both.


So we need to know.

We need to know both.

I can do all things.

So colin I think that we need to know scripture, but you got to be careful with that

because there are some scriptures in the Old Testament where I've heard people say, well,

that's just to the Hebrews.

Well, Paul says that we're a part of Israel.

We've been grafted in, and so God can speak to that.

And so one of the passages that speaks specifically to me is Jeremiah, chapter one, where

before I was formed in the womb, you knew me well, you could say contextually that was

about Jeremiah.

That's just about jeremiah.

Well, okay, but I think that is true of all of us.

Before all of us were in the womb, god knew us and has called us to be a voice for you.

So how do you get there?

Colin you read Jeremiah, chapter one, and then I go to member of the Essentials.

Does anybody remember the Essentials?


Love God, love people live on mission.

So go ye therefore and baptize teaching them everything that I've commanded you.

So the great commission says everyone is Jeremiah.

Yeah, we're all jeremiah.

We've all been known before we were formed to the moon, and we've all been called to

preach and to proclaim the gospel.

And unlike Jeremiah, he got to proclaim bad news.

We get to proclaim good news.

Like Jeremiah was like the horrible gospel.

You're all going to die.

I just underlined this passage.

The other day, I was reading through Jeremiah.

Jeremiah prophesied this.

The Lord will take your women and give them to other men.

I am so grateful I've never had to preach.

Can you imagine if I told Devo, the Lord is going to take Donna and give her to another

man because of your sin?

Jeremiah jeremiah has the worst sermons ever to, you know, and then people react.

Colin well, wait a minute.

I can't believe that a good God would do that.

All throughout Jeremiah's message, it says, it doesn't have to be this way.

If you would just turn and then 29.

Yeah, I know the plans I have for you.

So let's speak about that verse in context.

I know the plans I have for you.

Plans for good, plans for prosper you, plans to give you a future and a hope.

Jeremiah is prophesying those words as Jerusalem burns, as all the men are dead, as all

the women are being literally pretty girls, you're now somebody else's husband.

Young men, you're now a slave right?

Unless you're too strong, then you're killed, right?

And then old ladies, you're left.

So the old people are left with no children.

Think about that.

And the city is burning.

And in that verse, Jeremiah turns.

He could have said, I told you that's.

The Matt Brown would have said, I told you, idiots.

But what he says is, the Lord says, I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper.

And so then out of that, what happens?

Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, Nehemiah, Ezra.

Some of the greatest men of God come out of the Babylonian captivity.

Yeah, absolutely.

And the Jewish alphabet is solidified in that time.

Think about this.

They're enslaved and forced to speak Aramaic.

This is the beauty of God.

The book of Daniel takes their enslaved language and turns it into the word of God.

So some people don't know this, but the Old Testament is all Hebrew except for Daniel.

Daniel's Aramaic.

And so Aramaic is the Babylonian language.

So, I mean, think about your own story.

Which side of your family slaves?

My mom's.

So your mom's side, she's enslaved, taken from Africa, brought to America.

And out of that, right, think of the cultural spiritual revival of blacks who are saved

and redeemed out of this horrific thing called American slavery.

Same thing happens to the Israelites.

And out of that comes Daniel.

Well, we got a Daniel Martin Luther King, Jr.

We got these people out of this movement that reminded America what the calling was.

And it's just so beautiful.

And God does that.

And some of us are like, I talk about this in my book, the chapter on Why God instead of

asking why, the better question is how?

How are you going to use this?

So Colin, fantastic question.

And so what I would say both are important.

I think scripture is important, but we want to contextualize it.

What did God mean in this?

And then how do I interpret that?

And I try Colin, I try to get this right in my sermon prep, but we all take things out of



And even the Apostle Paul, when he quotes Old Testament scripture sometimes, I'm like,

okay, that was close.

And that's where my Jewish friends criticize Paul, because they're like, well, that was

taken out of know.

But I have to assume, right, that the Holy Spirit spoke through Paul.

And so it's good because it's, you know, the Apostle Paul is accused of by Jews of doing

the same thing.

And we all tend to do know.

But the know that I use this week, and I wonder if Colin's talking about know, he who is

not with me is against me, he who does not gather.

Scatters so is that in the context of the church specifically?

No, but it's linked to the purpose of gathering.

Why did Jesus come?

To gather?

To gather whom?


And so we need to understand contextually that gathering is something that is essential to

Jesus even as he goes to Jerusalem.

I didn't use this verse.

He says, Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how long I have wanted to gather your children to me to

protect them even as know the Church is going to be scattered and all the terrible things

that happen to believers in know first couple of years as the Church.

Even then his heart is still to gather together to so that's why I use that verse.

And I think that it's so important to understand that gathering is essential to Jesus.

It's part of what he does.

The devil scatters, Jesus gathers and so many Christians are scatterers in the name of


And so that's why I use that verse.

And so that was a great question.

That's good.

And I love Colin.



Colin tried to die on his wedding.

Oh, no.

Yeah, his wedding day.

He almost didn't make it.

He had appendicitis.

Oh, no.


Well, glad you made it.


He was like almost passed out the whole wedding vows.

Oh, no.

He's probably super embarrassed.

I love you Colin and I'm glad you didn't die.


All right, here's our last one.

It's Zach from Oklahoma City.


I've been in a small group for about a year and a half and it's been pretty unfruitful for

my fiance and I.

We've been waiting, praying in hopes that it gets better, but it hasn't.

We've been thinking of getting into a community with a couple or two that are in the same

stage of life that we're in.

Is it necessary to have the small group and the couples or should we leave the small group

to pursue community with other couples?

Yeah, I mean, I don't know.

I just don't have enough information here.

I too have been in unfruitful small groups.

I've been in small groups where the Holy Spirit has radically changed my life.

And I've been in small groups where I'm like, God, why do you have me here?

Here's what I've discovered is the Lord is in both.

And so what I would really go and seek is why is it unfruitful?

And maybe it's because go back to and I misquoted this verse in the last I said Colossians


Did you guys correct that?

It was Colossians 316 from last week.

Or maybe I misquoted it, but it's Colossians 316 and it says let each person when you

gather together, have a word or him or something.

And so what I would say what's this guy's name?



What I would say is before you leave your small group, are you resisting the Holy Spirit

to what the Holy Spirit is saying?

Because maybe what the Holy Spirit's saying is, hey guys, I feel like this group is



And so make sure you don't say it in a condescending way, in a self righteous way, but

just say, like, hey, I feel like we should be doing more.

And before you leave the group, let the Holy Spirit speak through you to the then, you

know, if that doesn't go well and hopefully you weren't a jerk in the way that you said

it, then, yeah, maybe go to another thing.

And I think the same stage of life is great.

The problem is, so many times what you need to hear is from people who are at a different

stage in your life.

And like, if you're all young singles, you just multiply your collective stupidity and


If you're all young married, you multiply your collectivity stupidness and ignorance.

What you need is an older couple that's like, hey, I've been there.

I understand what that's like.

And here's what we did.

Here's how we handled that.

Because when you get in a group with people at the same stage at life, you eliminate

wisdom and perspective.

You literally say, no, I just want people who have the same perspective as me.

And I think you're missing out.

I think this is huge.

Think about all the racial tensions that we have in America.

And I was talking to a black friend of mine, and he literally made this comment.

He said, black people all know what white people expect.

And I was like, I said, you know, a white person me.

So why don't you ask me if I've ever thought that or believed that?

And I said, because I haven't.

And so it'd be silly for a bunch of white people to get together and talk about what black

people need.

I'm like, Maybe we shouldn't do that.

But we do the same thing with marrieds, we do the same thing with singles, we do the same

thing with youth.

We all get together and we eliminate.

See, the beauty of the church is the wisdom of different races, different genders,

different cultures, different age groups, and we're eliminating that wisdom, and we need

it together.

But you should have seen my friends looking at his face.

He goes, like, I never considered that.

I was like, man, I said, Black people have a lot of wisdom about black people, but I don't

know that they necessarily know what I'm thinking or feeling, right?

And I told them.

I said, I love you.

I said, I'm a little offended, but I was like, Why don't you just ask me?

Because I said, I don't think that's true.

And I'm not saying there wasn't a white person that never thought that or felt that, but I

don't think that's like a collective right at my white people meetings.

I don't think that I've heard that.

By the way, I don't go to white people meetings.

Yes, sorry.

Pastor Matt goes to white people meetings.

But it's very true.

We just don't.

And I think that we need to be generally inquisitive to what other people are feeling or


I just would say this pray to the Holy Spirit.

I would speak to my group first yeah, that's good.

And there's going to be hurt feelings, because I've broken up through small groups, and

there's been hurt feelings every time.

And let me say this small groups do run their course.


It just kind of becomes mundane, and then maybe that might be the time for you to break


I just don't like the should we go to if God's calling you to minister to people of the

same age, then I would say, okay, I think that's good.

But I think just simply saying, well, I want to be with people who are like me, that's

usually not the Holy Spirit.


I mean, maybe they're trying to build friendship with couples, and so then there's a place

for that.

But then I think it's really important to keep the wisdom piece in there.

Their fiance, they're engaged, so find some people that have been married for ten years,

1520 years, so that you have those people around you as well.


And let me just say I'm doing the best I can.

I appreciate with what you've given me, with what you've given me, and so I'm trying to

read between the lines and making assumptions.


Thanks, Zach.

We appreciate it.

That was really good.


Your laugh was hilarious.

That was so funny.


We don't do white people meetings.

We don't have black people meetings either.

Yeah, okay.

Well, no, there's not.

Yeah, I love it.

Thanks for listening, everyone.

You can submit your questions to Ask Anytime or go to the Sandals Church app, and we'll

see you next time.

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