Above, Dr. Michael Brown
March 2018 – By age 15, Michael was saturated in the hippie rock culture, shooting heroin and using every other drug he could find. When he wasn’t playing drums in a rock band, he was carousing or breaking into houses.
He was proud of the decadent lifestyle he and his friends had chosen. But then, two fellow band members began going to church services. Although Michael was Jewish and grew up practicing Jewish social customs, he decided to go to church one night, expressly for the purpose of dragging his friends out of the place. He couldn’t risk the band breaking up.
Curiosity, though, kept him going back. And when the prayers of the church went to work, he began to feel miserable about himself. In November 1971, after months of their continued prayers, Michael responded to an altar call to receive Jesus as Lord of his life.
“Honestly, God was working on my heart,” he told AFA Journal. “But in that moment, I was just going to put on an outward show. I thought, These people think I’m this big sinner. I thought they would get a kick out of it. As I prayed the words with the pastor, I thought, I actually believe this. I actually believe Jesus died for me and rose from the dead. But I’m not willing to change.”
For six weeks, he teetered back and forth between drugs and church. Then one night during a church service, he became completely overjoyed while singing an old gospel hymn.
“And suddenly, I had an internal vision,” he explained. “I saw myself filthy from head to toe. And the blood of Jesus – I saw it in my mind’s eye, washing me clean and putting these beautiful white robes on me. And I was going back outside and playing in the mud. That was it. I never put a needle in my arm again. I was free from that night on.”
From haze to blaze
It took some time for the haze to clear from his brain, but by age 17, Michael Brown was spending at least six hours alone with God every day, praying, reading, and memorizing Scripture. That was when he began to sense a calling.
“Everything for me boils down to one revolutionary burden,” he explained. “Jesus changes us. And we go change the world.”
Now considered by many as a leading voice articulating moral, cultural, and spiritual issues of the day, Brown’s reach seems to be void of boundaries – through columns published via numerous online outlets, including AFA’s The Stand, his Line of Fire radio show, and his role as president of FIRE* International in Concord, North Carolina, and its international missions-focused school. He travels extensively preaching, and, on his website, he often debates fellow Jews concerning Jesus as the Messiah.
Brown has authored many books, most recently Saving a Sick America: A Prescription for Moral and Cultural Transformation. In it, Brown addresses the moral confusion in America and the need for the church to put forth a clear message.
“Here’s the great thing,” he explained. “Everybody has some influence. For example, you’re not going to shape anyone’s life more than as a parent. Single people, you’re not totally alone in this world. You have friends. Ask yourself, how you can be an influence for righteousness, how you can draw people to God. Almost everybody has some social media – why not post relevant articles?
“Ultimately, if there’s a little spark here, and a little spark there, it could catch things on fire. The Prayer Revival of 1857-1858 that shook and changed America was started by one guy. He was a retired businessman who handed out tracts on the street corners of New York City. He started having a prayer meeting with a handful of people. And God breathed on it, and it literally spread across the nation so that people everywhere were praying. You never know what can happen with your life.”
Heart of compassion, backbone of steel
In 2004, Brown became tremendously burdened about gay activism in the culture. Before that, he had preached solely on sexual purity from the perspective of heterosexual behaviors.
“Naturally speaking, I saw 14 years ago that it was already too late,” said Brown. “In other words, things had already gotten so deep into the culture, especially among younger people in America. We had lost the generation unless God intervened.”
Brown began to sit with gay activists who were celebrating homosexuality loudly and proudly. He read gay liberation books and others written by self-proclaimed gay pastors. He immersed himself in the goal of understanding until his heart broke for those caught in homosexuality. He believed God wanted him to reach out to people living the homosexual lifestyle with care while resisting the agenda with courage – to have a heart of compassion and a backbone of steel.
Homosexuality or liberty
While Brown believes persecution in America doesn’t begin to compare to what fellow believers are experiencing in other countries, Christian liberties are, without question, under attack.
“No one is trying to chop our heads off or burn us alive, but there is a price to pay right now for being a believer in America,” said Brown. “You could lose your job. Some have even gone to jail for standing for righteousness. So certainly there is an attack on our freedoms that is unprecedented in American history.”
He believes that gay activism will eventually overstep itself.
“It will go too far,” he said. “Those who came out of the closet want to put us in the closet. And Americans ultimately are people of freedom and liberty. I believe there will be a push-back. I don’t mean we’ll hate gays and lesbians and demonize them. We will have a better understanding of issues they experience, and we’ll have more sympathy for those who have gender confusion.
“There are gender distinctions, and there’s beauty to male and female distinctions. And there’s something precious about marriage. So when we can show America there’s a better way, I think the despised Christians and conservatives, the demonized ones, will begin to shine at a certain point.”
Persecution or revival
While some believe we are on the cusp of persecution and others think we are on the edge of revival, Brown believes we may face both.
“It’s part of what is needed to wake us up,” he explained. “When we stand, we’ll be hated even more. And look, revival never comes without some degree of shaking. Revival never comes without hungering and thirsting. And right now, I’m afraid that even after natural disasters, shootings like the one in Las Vegas [in August 2017], and great racial divisions, many Christians remain complacent.
“My hope is that we’ll get to a place of brokenness instead of boasting in church numbers, budgets, or influence. We need to say, ‘God, we need You. What we’ve been doing has failed. We need Your help and grace.’
“If we’re going to see revival, it’s going to take a greater desperation than we currently have.”
*Fellowship for International Revival and Evangelism
▶ Saving a Sick America
Available at afastore.net or 877-927-4917
▶ AFA’s Freedom of Sexual Purity (See here.)
▶ FIRE International School of Ministry
P.O. Box 5108
Concord, NC 28027