A Time To Chill:
Rev. Michael Bray's New Essay
A facebook friend asked me why I included this picture of the Bray family in this article. I replied the picture shows how easy it is for the cares of the world talked about by the Apostle Paul to poison the mind of an otherwise sincere Christian leader as it has done with Mike Bray.
(Christian Gallery News Service, Sept. 19, 2011) Popular entertainment in the USA and the world is often focused on the work of homicide detectives because homicide is a riveting, attention-commanding subject for obvious reasons. Programs like "CSI" and (fill-in-your-particular-favorite) have been the world's staple fare since television was invented.
Many of the entertainment vehicles focused on homicide are unrealistic and give little sense of the true lives of law enforcement officers who make their living chasing down those who kill other human beings. My personal favorite is "The First 48", a quintessential cop show that uses real dead human bodies and real live detectives and the real live citizens detectives work with as they seek people guilty of homicide. I will return to the subject of "The First 48" later in this article but this introduction is sufficient to set the stage for Rev. Michael Bray.
Rev. Bray is the author of the book A TIME TO KILL, which was the definitive explanation for why it is not only proper but sometimes necessary to take forceful defensive action in protecting the lives of unborn babies. I say "was" because it appears Rev. Bray's book is no longer in print. But the book was not the only point of impact created by Rev. Bray. He has made his point of view known in many other ways. In his latest essay Rev. Bray summarized his role as a national spokesman in the abortion debate: "Formerly, from the mid 1980s until the turn of the century, I answered questions in hundreds of interviews in all form: print, radio, and T.V."
"A defense for those who refrain from exercising the right to terminate an unwanted abortionist."
As his latest addition to the pro-life movement, Rev. Bray has just published a new essay with the subtitle: "A defense for those who refrain from exercising the right to terminate an unwanted abortionist." The essay can be found here .
Ironically Rev. Michael Bray chose as his publishing forum for the new essay a newsletter designed for, and distributed to, the people who are spending their lives in prison for trying to defend the lives of unborn babies (the link cited above goes directly to Michael Bray's website). To see the irony you must understand that this newsletter (administered by John Dunkle and entitled "Abortion Is Murder") regularly publishes the work of nationally famous aborters of abortionists like Eric Rudolph and Jim Kopp and Michael Griffin, and has also published at one time or another work from most of the people who are spending their lives in prison for resisting legalized abortion. Men like Clay Waagner and Peter Knight and women like Shelly Shannon.
So it has to be seen to be ironic that in a history of a pro life movement filled with ironic actions, Rev. Bray chose the particular forum where people are literally sacrificing their lives for attempting to defend unborn babies in imminent danger of death to explain why God not only does not require that Christians make the defense of the lives of unborn babies in imminent danger of death their first priority but does not in fact require any Christian to necessarily do anything at all in the defense of those babies.
Given the irony of his publication venue, and given the content of this new essay from Rev. Bray, and since he had not offered a title to it, and given that he had previously written a book entitled A TIME TO KILL, I could find no more appropriate title for his new essay than "A TIME TO CHILL."
Contents of A Time To Chill
Rev. Bray explained the reason for writing his new essay. Hear his words, "Having frequently and abundantly in public forum answered the fundamental ethical questions concerning the use of force to defend the innocent, and failing to have our arguments answered, it now seems appropriate, following the fourth highly publicized termination of an abortionist over a span of 16 years (George Tiller on Pentecost in 2009) to offer some additional ethical clarifications. If it is permissible to defend the lives of womb children because they are truly human beings, why is it not mandatory? Why is it only an ethical option rather than an obligation?"
According to Rev. Bray, there are three reasons why it is not mandatory, why Christians are not obligated to make the defense of people in imminent danger of certain death their first priority. All three of those reasons are certified by God Himself, according to Rev. Bray.
We will now examine Rev. Bray's first reason why God does not require His people to intervene to deter and arrest homicide:
"A) the sovereign judgments of God...As we are not bidden to follow an ex-communicant and implore him return, but would let the due judgment fall upon him and his children whom he has by his own choice taken away from the fellowship of the Church, denying them the Life of the Church; and as we would simply pray for his repentance and return to the Life found at the Table of our Lord where he and his children are nourished, so we must similarly look at these children. They have been taken to the slaughter by their own parents who, living in a Godless and Lawless nation, have been equipped and protected by the state to carry out such a deed. This very condition is a judgment of God upon a wicked people. It is the same situation found among the nations among whom Israel dwelled. They sacrificed their children to Moloch bringing judgment upon themselves in their own wicked idolatry, destroying the most precious gift from God, thinking that they were serving Him. And God did not command His people to rescue those who so sacrificed their children nor did he pronounce the failure to rescue such children to be sin."
Refutation of Rev. Bray's First Point
Rev. Bray said, "God did not command His people to rescue those who so sacrificed their children nor did he pronounce the failure to rescue such children to be sin..."
Actually, God did command His people responsible for enforcing His Law to rescue those being led to unjust death. Proverbs 24:11 "Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter" is only one of a litany of commandments and admonitions that God gives His people to show them how to react in the face of imminent homicide.
I was with Rev. Bray in the field outside the death house where Rev. Paul Hill was put to death for defending babies in danger of imminent death. Rev. Hill's words ring out in the face of Rev. Bray's lie that God did not command His people to rescue those who so sacrificed their children. Rev. Hill's war cry upon first facing the media after his execution of the abortionist and his body guard was, "It's time to treat the unborn as if they were slaves about to be murdered!" Yet today Rev. Michael Bray tells us it's time to chill because God did not command His people to rescue those being led to slaughter. Bullshit!
How Confusion Occurs
In missing this single point, Rev. Bray has totally confused not only himself but everyone who listens to him. But this confusion is compounded when Rev. Bray conflates two examples from history and attempts to use them to justify his false teaching.
Notice what Rev. Bray does: First, Rev. Bray tries to explain how we are to deal with babies being slaughtered in legalized abortion in the USA. To create this explantion Rev. Bray takes an example of Christians within a New Testament congregational setting that explains how Christians are to deal with other Christians overtaken in a sin that is not a sin unto death. Rev. Bray said, "As we are not bidden to follow an ex-communicant and implore him return, but would let the due judgment fall upon him and his children whom he has by his own choice taken away from the fellowship of the Church, denying them the Life of the Church; and as we would simply pray for his repentance and return to the Life found at the Table of our Lord where he and his children are nourished, so we must similarly look at these children."
The only way this statement makes sense is Rev. Bray must be saying that Christians must look at "these children" as if they were the children of people who had been ex-communicated from a Christian congregation, children who, because of the sin of their parents, were no longer to be understood to be worthy of having their lives protected by Christians. Why? Rev. Bray's "logic" is obvious: because of their parent's sin the lives of the children do not require Christians to have a duty to protect them from being murdered.
Now think for a moment what we all know about the way the world works. The first priority of law enforcement is dealing with the reality of homicide. Watch "The First 48" and you will hear the detectives state categorically that their work is the first priority of law enforcement. Because of this, the homicide detectives have the power, when required, to command the assistance of every other branch of law enforcement. And those detectives are always talking about how each victim deserves to have their case handled as if their lives really mattered, as if they deserve to have the same law enforcement no matter who they might have been in life. But Rev. Bray wants us to think that an example from the New Testament's teaching about sin that is not unto death in a congregation can be used as an example of how God wants homicide dealt with on earth. Were Rev. Bray to be correct, God Himself would have less concern for homicide victims than the people of the USA who pay their taxes to support full time homicide detectives.
Truly, it would take someone who was capable of twisting words in any conceivable fashion, no matter how bizarre such twisted words might sound, before such an obvious error could be foisted on the public. Either that, or it would take a teacher who was in denial himself and whose audience was equally in denial. Such a teacher of obvious error would have to be perfectly congnizant that his audience was willing to swallow any words, no matter how unreasonable or false or bizarre, as long as they were words that could be used to deny that Christians were sinning who refused to treat dealing with the homicides of unborn babies in exactly the way homicide detectives normally deal with homicide.
But that is what Rev. Bray is doing by creating truly bizarre logic, logic that would have every Christian in the nation see themselves as having no duty to either protect the lives of children who had parents either who were not Christians or belonged to Christians who were ex-communicants of a Christian congregation. Think about it and you will see there is no other reasonable explanation for the meaning of the point that Rev. Bray is trying to make with his examples.
But Rev. Bray does not stop there. Next he conflates the example of the Christians dealing with the children of "ex-communicants" with an example from the history of the nation of Israel. He said, "...It is the same situation found among the nations among whom Israel dwelled. They sacrificed their children to Moloch bringing judgment upon themselves in their own wicked idolatry, destroying the most precious gift from God, thinking that they were serving Him. And God did not command His people to rescue those who so sacrificed their children nor did he pronounce the failure to rescue such children to be sin," Rev. Bray declared.
What? "God did not command His people to rescue those who so sacrificed their children nor did he pronounce the failure to rescue such children to be sin..."? What about Pro 24:11-12? "If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain; If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works?"
Really, what about the story of the Good Samaritan where Jesus Christ literally defines what it means to love our neighbor in terms of how willing we are to stop and deliver those who are "half-dead" from death?
Yet read his new essay and you will see that Rev. Bray is convinced, "God did not command His people to rescue those who so sacrificed their children nor did he pronounce the failure to rescue such children to be sin."
What? Read Psalms 106. The Bible says Israel was taken into captivity, Israel had their enemies rule over them, precisely because they allowed their children to be sacrificed unto idols:
Psa 106:34 They did not destroy the nations, concerning whom the LORD commanded them:
Psa 106:35 But were mingled among the heathen, and learned their works.
Psa 106:36 And they served their idols: which were a snare unto them.
Psa 106:37 Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils,
Psa 106:38 And shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan: and the land was polluted with blood.
Psa 106:39 Thus were they defiled with their own works, and went a whoring with their own inventions.
Psa 106:40 Therefore was the wrath of the LORD kindled against his people, insomuch that he abhorred his own inheritance.
Psa 106:41 And he gave them into the hand of the heathen; and they that hated them ruled over them.
Psa 106:42 Their enemies also oppressed them, and they were brought into subjection under their hand.
What is going on with Rev. Bray? What happened to the man who wrote the book on why there is sometimes A Time To Kill?
The answer is obvious to those who look. Rev. Bray has succumbed to the temptation to do what the people of God have always been tempted to do: Act like they had no duty to enforce God's Law if that duty might cost them more than they were willing to pay.
If you will read the story of the first king of Israel as told in 1 Samuel, you will see a case study designed by God to spotlight how easy the people of God are tempted to shirk the responsibility to enforce God's Law and put it on the shoulders of someone--anyone--else.
Now move from that Bible story to the essay written by Rev. Bray and you will see how the moral of that Bible story is played out by 21st Century Christians in the USA.
Refutation of Point Two
Rev. Bray said, "Our current legal/ethical status under our apostate government might well be viewed in terms of the biblical “ban,” by which a town or nation was “devoted” unto destruction. In that case, God sent judgment to that nation, slaughtering all - women, children, animals..."
What Rev. Bray fails to note is each and every citizen of the USA will be "devoted unto destruction" if any citizen is. In other words if God sends judgment to the nation called the USA and intends to slaughter all--women, children, animals--there will be no person exempt in the USA. Christian men, women and children will be devoted to destruction in this nation just like the most apostate "ex-communicant" or recalcitrant unbeliver. Yet Rev. Bray seems to imply that he and his fellow Christians will be like some non-existant Israelites who were not devoted to destruction but were to be preserved in the midst of the nations God was "devoting" to destruction.
I admit that Rev. Bray's statement is ambiguous when he says, "Our current legal/ethical status under our apostate government might well be viewed in terms of the biblical 'ban'..."
Perhaps he is admitting that as citizens of the USA all Christians are under the "ban" of God and will be devoted to destruction.
But I doubt that is what he is saying. If that is what he is saying it would mean that Michael Bray has accepted the fact that his own children will be destroyed by God because their "current legal/ethical status under our apostate government..." carries with it that fate. In other words, Michael Bray would be saying he thinks his own children are going to be destroyed because they live under an "apostate government."
This is a recent picture of the Brays. Do you think Rev. Bray thinks his family will be destroyed because they are citizens in "an apostate government?"
No. Rev. Bray has clearly drawn a distinction between his family and the families of those people murdering their children in legalized abortion. The murderous aborting families are under the "ban" of God, but not the Brays if you believe what Rev. Bray has written.
Refutation of Point Three
To buttress this conclusion, look at how Rev. Bray equates his family with those Christians in antebellum America who lived among Africans enslaved in America, "A similar laissez faire posture was taken by Christians regarding American slavery. Christian theologians argued that the enslavement of Africans was a particular divine judgment upon their idolatries. They could overlook the condition which Providence had placed these fellow human beings and entrust them to His benevolence and mercy. They could, therefore, be good overseers and citizens of a society where slaves were undergoing their own process of conversion and sanctification. They could be taught the Gospel, converted to the Faith, and given the hope of salvation even as they lived in less desirable conditions than their otherwise blessed white countrymen and fellow Christians."
Given the outcome of the American Civil War, it is literally impossible for me to imagine how a Christian could parse American slavery and arrive at the conclusion that Christians who tolerated it were good examples. But that seems to be what Rev. Bray is implying.
In fact American Christians who tolerated legalized slavery paid an awesome and horrible price in blood and treasure for the error of allowing legalized chattel slavery to exist for a season in the USA.
Then Rev. Bray again conflates the example of American slavery with an example from the history of Israel when Rev. Bray said, "It is the same situation found among the nations among whom Israel dwelled. They sacrificed their children to Moloch bringing judgment upon themselves in their own wicked idolatry, destroying the most precious gift from God, thinking that they were serving Him. And God did not command His people to rescue those who so sacrificed their children nor did he pronounce the failure to rescue such children to be sin," Rev. Bray concluded.
As I have shown, Rev. Bray's conclusion is false, preposterous even.
Christians Shirk Duty To Enforce God's Law
Rev. Bray has done what God's people have always tended to do: refuse to take responsibility for enforcing God's law. That's what God's people were doing when they clamored in 1 Samuel 8 for God because they wanted "...a king over us."
Most Christians have always tended to refuse to take responsibility for enforcing God's Laws. As with the first kings, the people of God have always tended to try to shift that responsibility to certain designated people who, once the shift occurred, allowed the vast majority of people to pretend the enforcement of God's law was the job of the selected ones and had nothing to do with the remainder of the people who had clamored for God to shift responsibility for enforcing His Law from their shoulders to someone else's shoulders. If you will read the story of God and Samuel, you will see that it was the people who literally refused to accept responsibility themselves and required God to give them a king.
Rev. Bray talks about the way a Christian congregation is to deal with a member of that congregation caught in sin and then confuses that example with a different example of a person--whether or not claiming to be a Christian--who breaks God's law by murdering other people in that nation.
Listen again to what Rev. Bray said. Notice how he confuses people who claim to be Christians caught in sin with murderers actively murdering other people in a nation. Rev. Bray said, "...as we would simply pray for his [the sinning Christian's] repentance and return to the Life found at the Table of our Lord where he and his children are nourished, so we must similarly look at these children [the one's being legally aborted in the USA]. They have been taken to the slaughter by their own parents who, living in a Godless and Lawless nation, have been equipped and protected by the state to carry out such a deed."
In that one sentence Rev. Bray conflates two separate things: the Church of Jesus Christ and the government of a nation.
Anyone who reads the New Testament understands that the Church of Jesus Christ is not obligated to be the government of a nation until Jesus Christ Himself returns to sit as King over that nation. But that is not to say that Christians have no duty to participate in the government of every nation they are born in on earth.
Yet, if you think about the meaning of Rev. Bray's words, he now literally writes as if Christians have no duty to participate in the enforcement of God's laws in the nation they live in and that that activity is left to people other than Christians. That is the logical meaning when he says that people "living in a Godless and Lawless nation have been equipped and protected by the state to carry out such a deed." The inference is clear: Christians living in a "Godless and Lawless nation" have no duty to work to enforce God's Laws in that "Godless and Lawless nation."
And this from the same man who once wrote a book entitled A Time To Kill.
Such a conclusion is preposterous, especially in the USA where the government derives its just authority from the "consent of the governed."
Christians have no problem paying the salary of the homicide detectives in "The First 48" because were those detectives not being paid, Christians themselves might have to become the only homicide detectives available to help protect their own families.
A Paradigm Shift
Michael Bray is a a perfect embodiment of the Biblical truth that "There is a way which seemeth right to a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." Proverbs 14:12
In a nation that pays people to make it their first priority to search out, arrest and punish people who commit homicide, Rev. Michael Bray has now gone on record as teaching why unborn babies in imminent danger of death do not deserve the same protection as born children from Christian citizens in that nation. He is a living paradigm shift because whereas he was once one way, now he is another. Is there any wonder why we cannot pass the laws that protect the lives of unborn babies, laws that give us the power to effectively terminate every unwanted abortionist in the USA, when Christian leaders like Rev. Bray are our teachers?
Rev. Bray justifies perpetuation of the status quo even though that status quo involves the legalization of murder and the legalization of sexual outlaws by teaching Christians that they have no duty to immediately make the things illegal that God says must be illegal.
1 Timothy 1:8-11 provides the final refutation for Rev. Brays "A Time to Chill." Will you be a law enforcement officer or an outlaw? The choice is yours.