June 11, 2003
Michael Brown: "by life or by death"

From our archive of media and transcripts, this is a partial transcript of Michael Brown's appearance at The Call DC, a mass event held on the Mall in Washington, DC, September 2, 2000.

This is what some people, who are clearly identifiable as church-going Christians, and who go around claiming that they're not troublemakers, actually sound like when they talk about what they plan to do in front of their own sympathetic audiences. Looks to me like he's looking to eventually make as much trouble for a lot of people as he possibly can.

This sermon is also a short summary of what can be found in Brown's book, "Revolution: The Call to Holy War."


Not a revolution of hatred, not a revolution of violence,
or intimidation and terror, or bullets and bombs, not a
revelation, a revolution that beats up gays or bombs
abortion clinics, not a revolution that hoards arms for
some end-time clash with the Federal government. We do
not believe in that, we renounce that. But let the White
House know, let the media know, let Hollywood know, let
the churches know, let the world know we are here to
start a Jesus revolution.

We are here to turn things right side up for the glory of
God, we are here to make disciples, we are here to
overthrow the status quo. We're here to overthrow the
status quo of DNA tests to find out who the father is.
The status quo of one abortion every 24 seconds. The
status quo of legalized same-sex civil unions. The
status quo of massacres in our houses of worship, in our

We are here to overthrow the status quo that legalizes
sucking out the brains of third trimester babies, the
status quo that legalizes the selling of the baby parts
that have been aborted. We are here to overthrow the
status quo that allows sodomy to be taught in our schools
but not the scriptures.

Oh yes, revolution is costly, so be it. Following Jesus
is costly and it's time that we lay our lives on the line
for the gospel. Jesus has never changed, he said if
anyone wants to follow me he must deny himself, take up
his cross, and follow me. We say, here we are Lord, at
any cost, at any consequence, by life or by death, we're
going to shake this generation.

You read the gospels, and you find out Jesus was more of
a revolutionary than he was a religious leader. You
don't find him talking about church steeples and hymn
books and choir robes and Easter cantatas and
denominations. All those have their place. You find him
talking about the kingdom of God coming in power. You
find him talking about going against the grain of the
establishment. You find him talking about changing the
world and that is revolutionary.

You need to know it, you need to understand it, it's
going to be costly. When you swim against the tide, when
you go against the grain, it's costly. Paul wrote from
prison, he said "I eagerly expect and hope that I will in
no way be ashamed but will have sufficent courage so that
now as always Christ will be exulted in my body whether
by life or by death for me to live is Christ and to die
is gain." Here we are Jesus, use us for this
revolutionary hour.

(Philippians 1:20)

Many of you young people, some from my generation, know
the song by Keith Green, I pledge my head to heaven for
the gospel. You may not know where he got the words
from. He was reading Leonard Ravenhill's classic book
"Why Revival Tarries." And he came across a quote from
Joseph Parker. Parker was a contemporary of Spurgeon.
And Parker said this: "The man whose little sermon is
'repent' sets himself against his age, and he will for
the time being be mercilessly battered by the age whose
moral tone he challenges." He said, "there is but one
end for such a man, off with his head." He said, "you
better not try to preach repentance until you pledge your
head to heaven."

Let it be known today we are pledging our head, our body,
our soul, our life, for revolution. We're pledging
ourselves to heaven.

You read through the book of Acts, the first believers
were mistaken for revolutionaries. They accused Paul and
Silas in Acts 16 of throwing the city into an uproar. In
Acts 17 they said "the men who turned the world upside
down have now come here." Acts 21, Paul was mistaken for
an Egyptian who incited a revolt. Acts 24, he was
accused of being a troublemaker and seditious. You
understand that not many of us and not many of our
Christian leaders are mistaken for revolutionaries these
days? Watch gospel TV and travel from church to church,
thank God for the good that's out there, but so many of
our leaders could be mistaken for comedians, so many of
us could be mistaken for entertainers, so many of us
could be mistaken for successful CEO's. It's time out of
allegiance to Jesus that we're mistaken for being

Read through the New Testament and you will find
virtually every book of the New Testament talks about
suffering, persecution, for the gospel. Why? Why was it
that all of the original apostles save one or two were
either crucified or beheaded or drowned? Why? Why were
they put to death? Why were they considered such a

It's written in 2 Timothy 3:12, Paul writes, "Everyone
who leads a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer
persecution." Now please understand something. I'm not
looking for persecution. I have no ambition to be boiled
in oil. I don't have a longing to be gradually tortured
to death. I'm happy to live a long life. We've got two
wonderful daughters, my wife and I, we're now expecting
our first grandchild. I've got an awesome bunch of
students in our school. I'm happy to live a long time.
However, if following Jesus costs me my blood, so be it.
If standing up for what's right costs me my life so be
it. It's better to live and die with a purpose [and] go
home at the age of thirty than to live to the age of 110
and waste your whole life.

I want to ask you a question. Why is it that Jesus said,
"if they persecuted me they'll persecute you also." And
our brothers and sisters around the world are being
persecuted. More Christians were killed in the last
century than all previous centuries combined. Right now
in Islamic countries, in Buddhist countries, and Hindu
countries, atheistic countries our brothers and sisters
are suffering severe persecution. How come we're not?
Is it because America is such a wonderful Christian
nation? I want you to hear me. More than thirty six
percent of Americans claim to be Bible-believing
Christians, would even call themselves, many of them,
born-again. That's a hundred million people. You can go
throughout the industrialized world and you will find in
many of the countries in Europe less than one percent of
the people are Bible-believing Christians. And yet hear
this, in spite of all of our numbers, our gospel radio,
our gospel tv, our conventions, our gatherings, our
books, our tapes, all the things we do, America leads the
industrialized world in single-parent families, leads the
industrialized world in the highest abortion rate, leads
the industrialized world in sexually transmitted
diseases, has the highest teenage birthrate in the
industrialized world, the highest rate of teenage drug

In fifteen of our nations largest cities, more than
ninety percent of the children born to teenagers are born
out of wedlock. We spend nine billion dollars a year on
pornography. We spend 638 billion dollars a year on
legalized gambling. And so much of the current state of
America can be traced to the counter-culture revolution
of the sixties. We've heard some of the stats earlier
today but hear it again. From the sixties until today
the divorce rate has doubled, teen suicide has tripled.
I wonder where the church was during the counterculture

>From 1960 until today prison population has gone up five
times, children born out of wedlock has gone up six
times, people living together out of wedlock has gone up
seven times. I say we need a new counter-culture

In 1972 less than one in twenty fifteen year old girls
had lost their virginity. Today it's about four in ten.
What's happened? Listen friends, we have not changed the
world, the world has changed us.

This is not to condemn those who've been through divorce,
but this is the sad fact that the divorce rate in the
church today than the divorce rate among atheists. We
need a revolution.

Super Bowl Sunday comes, and our churches cancel their
Sunday night services. Preachers are careful on Sunday
morning to end at 12 o'clock sharp so everyone can go
home for the games. Friends, we're a nation of idol
worshipers, our hearts are divided. We need a

About 10 years ago a movie came out, called The Last
Temptation of Christ. Understandably a lot of believers
were grieved over it, scandalized by it. But something
worse than the movie happened. Christians all over
America said to movie theatres, "We will no longer go to
your theater, we will boycott your theater if you show
The Last Temptation of Christ." And I wonder, with all
of the sleze and filth and violence and junk that's in
the movie theaters, how did we have power to threaten
them with a boycott? How is it we were living in those
theaters so much they're afraid to lose our business?
That would be like the church having power to boycott the
local bar during happy hour. We don't like your
bartender so we won't go there anymore unless you get rid
of him. Friends, something is wrong with that picture.
We need a revolution, we need our eyes opened.

Did you know that in the Islamic world, a legalistic
religion that does not bring people to know God
personally, in spite of its zeal, in the Islamic world
the leaders do not consider the gospel to be the greatest
threat. They consider Western worldliness to be the
greatest threat. Listen to one of their leaders, it says
"Islam was defeated by its own rulers who ignored the
divine law in the name of Western style secularism." This
is a Muslim leader. "We have lost large sections of our
youth to Western ideology, dress, music and food."

You know that some years ago some educators from
Communist Russia when it was Communist came to America
and they wanted to meet Christian teenagers and find out
about Christian schools and see what was being worked in
their lives. And one Christian leader brought these
educators to meet with the finest he had, you know what
they said afterwards, they were so disappointed. One of
them said this: "I was somewhat disappointed in your
children, since they are Christians I expected there
would be concern more about spiritual things. Instead
they're more materialistic than the Marxist youth in my
country. They seem to be devoid of any lofty idealistic

In the 1920s there was a leading Socialist, he said, "We
socialists would have nothing to do if you Christians had
continued the revolution begun by Jesus." Let it be
known we are here to continue that revolution.

So many of us, as believing parents, we fall right into
the same trap, we don't realize, listen to me. We tell
our kids, you've got to do well in school, why, so you
can get into the best university, why, so you can get the
best job, why, so you can take the best care of your
family, why, so your kids can go to the best university,
why, so they can get the best job, why, so they can take
care of their kids the best.

Friends, we are not here for the preservation of the
human race, we're here for the transformation of the
human race. Survival is not our goal, revival is our

I was just in an Oriental country ministering recently
and I was shocked by the godlessness, something unusual
in an Oriental country. Divorce rate was up to twenty
three percent, worldliness was everywhere. I said to a
man there from Teen Challenge, a Christian leader, I
said, "how much did America have to do with the moral
decline of your country?" He said, "Once MTV came in it
was all over."

Let me tell you a little story. Richard Wurmbrand,
Jewish Christian, pastor, Romania, suffered terrible
torture, unbelievable suffering, for fourteen years.
Three years in solitary confinement, daily brutal
torture, carved up, broken up, pierced through, burned,
frozen. He came out of prison, he was speaking at a
bible study in America, he was sharing about the horrors
of Communist persecution. One of the men at the bible
study said, "Pastor Wurmbrand, how come is it that we
don't have to deal with Communism here in America?"
Pastor Wurmbrand said, "Oh, you have something far worse.
You have materialism."

The love of this world has put us to sleep. We're not
willing to lay down our lives for a cause because we're
in love with this world. We're addicted to entertainment
like the unsaved are, we're obsessed with sports like the
unsaved are, our sensual fashions, our bikini parties,
just like the unsaved. Well let me make a proclaimation
today. The counterculture revolution of the 1960s was
marked by people taking their clothes off, the Jesus
revolution of the new millenium will be marked by people
putting their clothes back on.

The Jesus revolution will be marked by purity and dignity
and honor and morality and sanity. I want you to
understand something. See, revolution comes when people
say "enough is enough." Revolution comes when they get
to the breaking point. Like Patrick Henry, "give me
liberty or give me death." Revolution comes when people
are backed against the wall.

I want you to realize something today. I want you to
understand how far we have fallen as a nation, knowing
that America was never a perfect Christian nation.
America has been marred by slavery and racism and
injustice and other sins through our history. I
understand that. But I want to give you a glimpse of
something. Listen, here's what kids would learn the
alphabet by in 1777, here's the alphabet, beginning with
A: "A in Adam's fall we sinned all." C: "Christ
crucified for sinners die." T: "Young Timothy learned sin
to flee." This is what they cut their teeth on.

Here's a book from 1880 that a friend gave, she got it
from her great-great grandmother. Noah Webster's
elemental spelling book, called the best-selling book on
spelling in its day. Here's some of the lessons that
kids would read. Listen to this. "Do not attempt to
deceive God." See it didn't dawn on them that they were
supposed to keep God out of the schools, it didn't dawn
on them that it was unconsitutional. Even our chief
Justice, William Reinquist, fifteen years ago said that
the founding fathers, the authors of the Bill of Rights
would be shocked to find out that it was unconstitutional
for a state to endorse prayer.

Stephen Carter, a law professor at Yale University, said
the separation of the church and state was to protect the
church from the state, not the state from the church.
It's been turned upside down.

"Do not attempt to deceive God," this is a children's
reader, "nor to mock him with solemn words. Lost, your
heart is set to do evil. A holy life will disarm death
of its sting." Children reading had more sense than some
of our educated folk today. Listen to this. "It is the
duty of every good man to inspect the moral conduct of
the man who is offered as a legislator at our yearly
elections. If the people wish for good laws, they may
have them by electing good men."

Now here are some of today's books. "Heather Had Two
Mommies." How 'bout this one? Endorsed by the School
Library Journal, useful for elementary level classes in
sexuality or family life. This is a great book for
elemental education. It's been used in schools. I can't
read what's in here. Here, I'll start, I'll have to
stop. This is for children, with pictures, learning how
to read. "One way to get sexually aroused or to enjoy
sexy feelings is to touch or rub or play with your own
body." Then with nine diagrams telling you how. Or how
'bout this? "When grownups choose someone to be one of
their sexual partners, they sometimes choose a person of
the same sex, and they sometimes choose a person of the
other sex." I say, we need a revolution.

Do you think the founding fathers envisioned that
America, where our tax dollars pay for condom
demonstrations but you couldn't give out bibles, you
think our founding fathers envisioned that America, where
there'd be massacres in our schools and when people go to
put crosses up they're pulled down in the name of the
founding fathers?

Do you think our founding fathers envisioned curriculum
being taught about people urinating on each other for
sexual pleasure? But if that same class went to pray,
they would be called unconstitutional? I say we need a

We need to overthrow the status quo. You say, but
brother, that might cost me something. That may cost me
my job, that may cost me my livelihood. You know in
America we're so used to the great blessings. We tell
people come to Jesus, if you're having problems in your
marriage he'll bless your marriage, having family
problems he'll bless your family, problems on your job
he'll prosper you, and he does all those things. But you
go to other countries and you tell the people, if you're
married and you follow Jesus you may lose your wife, or
your husband. If you have a family they may disown you,
if you have a job you may lose it.

In 1965 the civil rights movement was nonviolent, led by
Dr. Martin Luther King. But people were getting beaten
on, we are nonviolent but there may be violence done
against us. Revolution may cost blood, our blood, we
don't take life, we give life. We don't hurt, we heal.
The one who's crucified doesn't crucify anybody else.
But people are getting afraid. Busses were coming
together. We show this video to our students at the
school of ministry. Busses were coming and people riding
the busses for civil rights, people were getting beat and
the busses were getting burned. So Dr. King addressed
this. He addressed it, "in our nonviolent creed there
are some things worth dying for."

Listen to what he said. "If a man happens to be
thirty-six years old, as I happen to be, and some great
truth stands before the door of his life, some great
opportunity to stand up for that which is right, he's
afraid his home will get bombed, or he's afraid to lose
his job, or he's afraid he will get shot or beat down by
state troopers. He may go on and live until he's eighty,
but he's just as dead at thirty-six as he would be at
eighty. And the cessation of breathing in his life is
merely the belated announcement of an earlier death of
the spirit."

Listen to what Dr. King said. "A man dies when he
refuses to stand up for that which is right. A man dies
when he refuses to stand up for justice. A man dies when
he refuses to take a stand for that which is true. Jesus
said, 'if you save your life, you'll lose it. But if you
lose your life for my sake and the gospel, you'll find

Jesus said don't fear those who can kill you, because
that's all they can do to you. We look death in the face
and we say ha, we are more than conquerors. If we live,
we enjoy life, we live with vigor and with gusto and we
do the will of God, and we use wisdom and caution. But
hear me, if following Jesus costs us our lives that's
just a promotion to glory.

Some years ago we were at a meeting with Richard
Wurmbrand in Maryland. He was well into his eighties.
This man had at times been stood up in an upright coffin
with sharp razor blades coming out of it, locked in
there, if he moved an inch he'd be sliced alive. Listen,
he suffered because he knew if he preached Jesus he'd go
to jail. He knew if he stood for righteousness he'd go
to jail. Jesus said blessed are all those who are
persecuted for righteousness. But he preached and he
obeyed and he went to prison once, twice, three times.
And he sat with a bunch of believers in Maryland a few
years ago and he said, "When the Supreme Court outlawed
mandatory prayer in the schools in 1962," he said, "why
did you obey?"

We are not troublemakers, we are submitted people. We
are peacemakers. We are not rebels, but when we have to
make a choice we obey God rather than man.

Let me just take another minute. Here me. Young people
you may not realize how far things have fallen. In 1960
parents were scandalized by Elvis shaking his hips.
Today a rap artist whose name you know, at times was
selling more than one million CDs and tapes a week, and
his lyrics were talking about sodomizing his mother and
gang-raping his sister. We need a revolution.

We've gone from Ozzie and Harriet to Melrose Place.
We've gone from family cartoon shows like the Flintstones
to South Park and the Simpsons. We've gone from a
recognition that homosexuality was a sinful lifestyle to
the point now where if you call it sinful you're the
sinner, and bills are being legislated to bring before
Congress that would brand it hate speech if you said
adultery is sin, alcohol drinking is sin, drunkenness
sin, drug use is sin, homosexuality is sin, the moment
you say those words that would be hate speech.

Leonard Ravenhill said if we don't learn to concentrate
in prayer we'll have to learn to pray in concentration
camps. We wake up now or forever we pay the price.

Listen to me. There were nice talk shows on TV talking
about all kinds of different subjects, they didn't have
shows where they're interviewing some young lady and she
said "well I left my husband because he was having
affairs with his homosexual brother and I ran off with my
girlfriend who used to be a guy and had a sex change
operation." Friends nobody was even talking about
that. Now it's common on television. We need a

The first 246 colleges in America from our beginning
until 1860, more than two hundred twenty of them were
started by Christian denominations. And the model of
Harvard was for the glory of Christ. We need a

Let me ask you something. What are you here for anyway?
What are you here for anyway? Nate Saint who was martyred
by the Auca Indians in 1956 said this: "People who do not
know the Lord ask why in the world we waste our lives as
missionaries." He said, "they forget they too are
expending their lives and when the bubble has burst they
will have nothing of eternal significance to show for
it." A revolutionary, even an atheist, with no hope in
the world to come, will lay his life down for a cause
because he realizes there's more to life than eating and
drinking, and having a nice life.

Jim Elliott who was martyred also in 1956 prayed while he
was in college, "Lord I don't ask you for a long life but
for a full one like yours, Lord Jesus."

It's time for us to return to the spirit of the New
Testament, it's time for us to take up our cross, it's
time for us to say by life or by death, it's time for a
revolution, a Jesus revolution to shake this land.


Right now, if you are absolutely serious about enlisting
in the army, if you are absolutely serious about giving
your life for a Jesus revolution, if you're absolutely
serious about putting your life on the line, whatever the
cost, whatever the consequence, if you say God I'm
serious, use me, I want to stand to your feet right
now. If that's you stand up. Raise your hands. Raise your
hands. If you mean it. Begin to lift your voices.

Cry out / Cry out / Cry out / Here I am / Send me / Here
I am

Posted by Mike Doughney at June 11, 2003 04:02 AM

I hope that the Church really gets a hold of this and stops living like everyone else. WE HAVE SO MUCH MORE!!! More to live for, more to give, and more to receive. The ones who live in the way in which Dr. Brown has indicated are the ones who will have nothing to be ashamed of when standing before Jesus.
The only trouble that this causes is for people who do not care about what God says, but are consumed with what THEY think.
I pray that this revolution would beginnow and that the grace of God would fall on everyone who names Christ to live for Him with this intense zeal.
Powerful article....I hope that it causes some of you who do not believe in the God who made you to reconsider such foolish thinking....Jesus loves you, but with out Him you will face the wrath of God on your own.

Posted by: joshua on July 10, 2003 05:37 PM
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