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September 16, 2021

Republican Operative Dr. Michael Brown Defending the Rich in the Name of Jesus

By Anthony Wade

Dr. Michael Brown for some reason weighs in on tax policy...ugh


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As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life. - 1Timothy 6:17-19 (ESV)

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New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) operatives routinely defend their masters, the Republican Party in America. One might even argue most do so unconsciously. The problem is that they spend so much time conferring righteousness to the GOP, which they never earned, that they convince themselves they simply must always be right. When dealing with political matters that have a moral tinge they can sound pious but when they stray into blatantly political arenas they just come off sounding as political whores. One such area that the Republicans are often defending is the very rich in this country. George W. Bush once quipped that the one percent was his "base." They are constantly trying to pass tax cuts the primarily benefit this one percent under the failed voodoo economic theory known as "trickle down economics." Decades of data have proven that rich people do not share their wealth with the poor and giving them more money does not result in any trickling down.

With that as the backdrop, the above linked article is interesting from both a carnal and Christian perspective. It is written by the primary gatekeeper for the NAR, Dr. Michael Brown. Dr. Brown does like to weigh in more on politics than the gospel but this topic seems to stray far away from anything remotely resembling a Christian discussion. Essentially, Brown's argument is that we should not be trying to always "tax the rich." This of course has precious little to do with Christianity or the gospel but Brown tries anyway to shoehorn it in. Let us reason once more together.

"There's no need to pile even more scorn on Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez's "Tax the Rich" dress worn to a $35,000 per head gala. Social critics like Piers Morgan have already done this, joined by a chorus of conservative commentators and others online, such as on Breitbart. Instead, I want to focus here on the whole "tax the rich" idea. When have we heard this before?" - Dr. Michael Brown

No, keep on piling on your scorn doc. That was entirely what Ocasio-Cortez was aiming for when she trolled you with that dress. The sad thing is you connected the irony of wearing a tax the rich dress while at a fundraiser attended by rich people without correctly divining intent. What is sad however is your constant use of discredited sources as your support. Piers Morgan? The guy who couldn't take the heat recently regarding a debate about Meghan Markle so he stormed off the set? Breitbart? Seriously? Some fact checking sources designate a separate page of their website for the lies and disinformation of Breitbart alone!

'Although the phrase is common enough, especially during political seasons (which, these days, seem to be constant), when I hear those words, my mind immediately races back to 1971. That's when the rock band Ten Years After, led by singer and guitarist Alvin Lee, released its hit song, "I'd Love to Change the World." The lyrics began with this opening stanza, followed by the refrain:

Everywhere is freaks and hairies

Dykes and fairies, tell me where is sanity

Tax the rich, feed the poor

'Til there are no rich no more?

I'd love to change the world

But I don't know what to do

So I'll leave it up to you

For those who remember that era (and I certainly do, having seen Ten Years After perform four times back then during my hippie, rock drummer days), that was the spirit of the age. America needs changing, we thought, and we will lead the way in bringing about that change. Materialism must go. The American dream must be abandoned. Military might must be renounced. In the words of John Lennon, we simply needed to declare peace: "Declare it," he said. "Just the same way we declare war. That is how we will have peace... we just need to declare it."' - Dr, Michael Brown

While Alvin Lee was an amazing guitarist, I prefer to not take my overall political advice from 1970's hippies as much as I would avoid taking it from 2021 NAR gatekeepers. That aside, is it so wrong to say materialism should go? Didn't Jesus Himself say to not store up your treasure on earth where it will rust and decay? Why is Brown conflating military might with the American dream? As for Lennon, who had his own issues with Jesus, I think the point he was making here was that peace should be as intentional as war. Maybe that is too wild-eyed idealistic but is it not a hopeful message?

'"The problem, of course, was that life is not so simple, capitalism is not all evil, and life on a hippie commune was not everything it was cracked up to be. As for the American dream, the truth be told, the hippies quickly learned to be just as greedy, carnal, and materialistic as their much-despised parents. Of course, there were wrong things that the hippie generation rejected, such as our increasingly pointless presence in Vietnam. And we were unsettled by the turmoil of the times, including the assassinations of JFK in 1963 and RFK and Dr. King in 1968. There was also a recognition that there was more to life than going to school, getting a job, and having a family so your kids could repeat the same process. To what end? It's just that, as Alvin Lee sang, "I'd love to change the world. But I don't know what to do." It's the exact same thing today. Not all the goals of social justice warriors are bad. Not all the ideas on the left are absurd. It's just that, the moment your goal becomes equality of outcome for all, you open the door to disappointment, pain, and even tyranny and death. And you end up with the Marxism of Animal Farm or the "equality" of N. Korea. It simply will not work, and "taxing the rich" is never the simple solution to society's problems (although it makes for a perennially good political slogan and helps to divide and conquer).' - Dr. Michael Brown

Not sure why the man claiming to be the Christian source seems enamored with the American dream of greed, carnality and materialism, as he describes it. As we will now see, Brown presents this as a counterpoint to what his real point has been. How sad that Brown seemingly dismisses the notion of equality of outcome for all. This is the cold harsh view of true capitalism. That some will succeed and be rich beyond their dreams of avarice while others will wallow in poverty and die as miserably as they lived. Not exactly a Christian message. The theocracy God set up for His people included always taking care of the least in society and even the erasure of debts every 50 years. I can only imagine how much Brown would be against such an idea in America today. When you believe that the only achievable equality is the false equality found in North Korea, it becomes obvious you are shilling for a political ideology and not for Christ. Brown regurgitates the stale GOP taking point about how people who dare to question the rich are dividing. The reality is the poor are already divided from the rich throughout society. That is not an anti-capitalism sentiment - just a fair observation.

"The reality is that "the rich" are already paying their share of taxes - and more. As reported by the Heritage Foundation, "The latest government data show that in 2018, the top 1% of income earnersthose who earned more than $540,000earned 21% of all U.S. income while paying 40% of all federal income taxes. The top 10% earned 48% of the income and paid 71% of federal income taxes." As for those earning lower incomes (under $43,600 annually), they make up 50 percent of the population, account for 12 percent of all income, and pay 3 percent of all taxes. The rich, then, are already being taxed, quite substantially at that. And it's a really bad idea to tax the rich even more to feed the poor - going back to the Ten Years After song - "'til there are rich no more." In the end, if you get rid of these large money makers, you'll end up with even more poor people." - Dr. Michael Brown

Wow. Why on earth is someone claiming to be a minster for Jesus Christ defending the notion of wealthy people retaining their wealth? This is what happens when you have completely compromised yourself with NAR dominionism. You confuse what your role and responsibilities are. As for the statistics, Brown of course uses the ultra-conservative Heritage Foundation. Heritage is run by the wealthy elite for the sole purpose of keeping them elite. The great thing about statistics is you can make anything sound like it supports your argument. In the 1950's, a time often viewed by conservatives with yearning and nostalgia, the top tax bracket rate was 91% and yet no one had any issues with taxing the rich back then. The notion that the rich are taxed enough is a position only held by the rich. The more compelling and disturbing point here is that Dr. Michael Brown is not an economist. He is a Christian author and radio show host and he has now staked a position that you should not consider taxing the rich anymore even if it would help feed the poor. Not exactly the gospel message is it?

"For good reason Alvin Lee confessed that he didn't know what to do. Would that more of our politicians would make a similar confession. The Heritage article cites economist William McBride, who "found that 'nearly every empirical study of taxes and economic growth published in a peer-reviewed academic journal finds that tax increases harm economic growth.'" And a bad economy is bad for everyone. To be sure, the biblical prophets railed on the sinfully rich, meaning, those who got rich at the expense of the poor. They also rebuked the greedily rich, meaning, those who lived in splendor but failed to help the needy. That message is always relevant, which is why Paul gave these instructions to Timothy regarding rich Christians: "Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life" (1 Timothy 6:17-19). As for the "tax the rich" slogan, it is as useless as it was out of place on AOC's dress. If we really want to change the world, this is not the way." - Dr. Michael Brown

Of course, the Heritage Foundation would seek out quotes that agree with their predisposed position. Economic growth is irrelevant to people who cannot access or benefit from it. I understand why the rich would hold the position that tax increases hurt the economy but that does not make their position right. A bad economy might indeed be bad for everyone but a great economy that is only great for the few is not better in the eyes of those left behind. Dr. Brown is correct about the key verses today. God is very specific when it comes to dealing with the rich. He instructs them to not be haughty because they naturally are arrogant. Beloved this devotional is not a commentary on economic policy or practice. It is a sad commentary on the state of the NAR taking over the church of Jesus Christ because most church attenders would probably agree with Michael Brown. The poor are looked down upon with a certain level of disdain and derision by the church. That is because the modern apostate church is like the church at Laodicea, who Jesus rebuked as being poor but believing they were rich. Dr. Michael Brown knows better. He knows that the riches of this world with rust and fade away with time. He knows the riches of the kingdom far outweigh in value and importance the carnality of this world. Yet despite knowing these facts, he stands for the forces of the world who value the baubles and trinkets of this earth over anything eternal. Like or dislike AOC and her politics but her position is vastly close to scripture than Michael Browns. Taxing the rich? Who cares? Feeding the poor? Jesus certainly cares about that. The reason why Alvin Lee did not know what to do is because this world cannot be changed. It is passing away and Jesus will be coming back for His bride and to establish a new earth. Until then we would be wise as Christians to be about the Father's work and stop defending any of the systems or sickness of this dying world.

Reverend Anthony Wade - September 16, 2021

Authors Bio:
Credentialed Minister of the Gospel for the Assemblies of God. Owner and founder of 828 ministries. Vice President for Goodwill Industries. Always remember that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.