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Message 27 in our series, Heroes and Underdogs!
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Michael has the honor and privilege to join Dr. Steve Green on the Greenelines Podcast. Dr. Steve Greene is the Publisher and Executive Vice President of Charisma Media. Dr. Greene received his Ph.D. in marketing from Memphis State University. He has worked in television station management and worked directly with over 80 stations throughout the United States. He has worked in marketing capacities with McDonald’s, Jiffy Lube, and Stanley Steemer. He has owned restaurants, a national advertising agency and a syndicated marketing research firm. Dr. Greene has served as the Dean of the College of Business and professor of marketing at Oral Roberts University. He is also the author of Love Leads, which dispels the myths and misconceptions many have come to accept about leadership.
Transcript as posted by CPN (Charisma Podcast Network)
Michael Anthony is calling for a second American Revolution, for believers to stand up and speak out in today’s sit down and shut up world. That’s what prompted Anthony, the pastor of Grace Fellowship church in York, Pennsylvania, to write his first book, A Call for Courage: Living with Power, Truth and Love in an Age of Intoleranceand Fear.
Anthony says it is time for believers to “learn how to speak the truth, stop waiting for the Rapture as a divine bailout” and to “be salt and light in what has become a very distasteful, dark society.”
I remember a time in my life when I was on a quest to earn my first class rank in the Boy Scouts. I was really wanting to grow and get that badge. That meant I had to earn a merit badge for courage, and the list of things I had to do I remember it because it was cumbersome. It was a long list that’s what it was. I had to work through all those check marks and get sign offs for doing things that were pretty courageous. I remember when I was swimming a long way. I’m not sure I did that really well. I’m not sure I displayed courage. So, I guess I would say that I wasn’t exactly a courageous 12-year-old, but I got through it. I learned the hard way that we’re just not born with courage. It’s not something that someone can say to us, just go and be courageous. It takes a little practice. I think I learned my courage, if I have any, through fire and storms. That seems to be the way. I just wish I could have read a book on how to develop courage because I was big into self-help books, but I didn’t see any books on how to have courage. I watched a good story about developing courage, but I just wanted to be courageous. I think I still do today. I want to be thought of as somebody that’s not meek and mild and will fall back. I just didn’t know how to develop it. And that’s the problem with every merit badge. They don’t come with an instruction manual. So many victories in life come through the school of figure it out. My guest today is written a literal handbook for living with courage in a world of intolerance and fear. His goal is to teach us how to develop courage. So, Pastor Mike Anthony, where were you when I was growing up? I love the book A Call for Courage. I love the notion, and I know that the mode of your heart as a pastor is to help all of us develop courageous humility. That’s a really good place to start our interview, to compare those two words, courage and humility. How do they work together?
Pastor Michael Anthony: Actually, in my own journey, I spent a lot of time thinking about the kind of people that God has used consistently.Anybody can be a one off where you do some particular thing and it’s significant. But then that’s it. It’s not necessarily consistent. For me, I’m always looking at how can I consistently serve God and how can I consistently cooperate with God so that his momentum takes me forward. You know. That led me to a study a character study on biblical characters, and also people outside of the Bible who were consistent in their momentum in impacting culture. And that’s when I began to realize that there’s a direct correlation between courage and humility. That’s why I developed that term, courageous humility or humble courage, those two are inseparable.
What They’re Saying About A Call for Courage
Dr. Steve Greene: I want to explain that more. I know a lot of humble people that I wouldn’t necessarily see a trait of courage on them. Help me understand that.
Pastor Michael Anthony: You’re never more humble than when you’re courageous. You’re never more courageous than when you’re humble. I think people often mistake humility for humiliation. Humiliation is when something happens to us that is demeaning, belittling, and then it’s up to us to respond to it. Life is, I think, 90 percent of how we respond to the circumstances dealt to us. Just because someone has a humiliating circumstance occur in their life, it does not mean that they’re going to necessarily respond and be more humble. The humility is a result of a choice in our own lives where we decide to take what’s dealt to us and look for the nuggets of truth to become the best version of ourselves. I’m very big into that. God’s agenda in our lives is that we don’t stay the same, that we should be a different person today than last week, that we should be moving forward. So, humility and courage, neither of them are things that were born with. They both take intentionality to develop. They’re really the traits of Christlike maturity. That’s the aim of the Holy Spirit that that we would be like Jesus. There’s nobody as humble or courageous as Jesus.
Dr. Steve Greene: That’s a real good analogy. I just always have a picture of someone who has courage of going to take on a lion and jump in there, look at me being courageous. That seems to be the opposite of humility, where I want to do things to help you without you knowing about it. I’m splitting hairs with you. But the essence is that I’ve seen courageous guys that were very visible and wanted you to see them being courageous.
Pastor Michael Anthony: I think part of it is that when we are humble and we are exalting Christ, it’s not really possible to not have some kind of a platform. It comes with the territory. But then the question is, what do we do with that platform? When people look at us and exalt us, do we cause them to look beyond us to the one who’s really the embodiment of humility, which is, which is Jesus. You see that again and again in the Bible, people whom God raised up, people who took a stand for God. These are the heroes and the underdogs that we read about in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, all those famous stories of Gideon and David and Abraham and the apostles. So, it’s possible. I think, that people have kept this wrong understanding that if I become well-known, that therefore I’m not humble. Moses was the most humble man on the face of the earth. The Book of Numbers says that. But people have said how could they write that if he was humble? That brings us to the whole understanding of truth is central to a humble life. If God told Moses to write that, then who is Moses to limit God in what God wanted him to write. Nobody is agreeing with God about the truth.
Dr. Steve Greene: You made it real clear to me as soon as you said you really can’t help someone with courage unless they have a platform. That’s where you’re going to be heard. And the kind of courage that I know you’re going to speak about is the willingness to stand up for the right side to speak what’s right and speak factually. And that definitely does require courage.
Pastor Michael Anthony: Especially today because reverse intolerance is all the rage these days. And what I mean by reverse intolerance is tolerance is all the buzz these days, that’s the buzzword, right? It’s politically correct, unless you’re a person of faith. If you’re a person of faith, then we don’t want to be tolerant for you. Tolerance taken to its natural conclusion is impossible. It devours itself. You cannot be equally tolerant toward everybody and everything because that will require you to embrace views that would destroy any view or culture that’s dear to you. So, tolerance is actually an antithetical concept. So, that’s the reason why I wrote A Call for Courage. That’s the book that I wrote. I wrote it to help people understand that this pushback against people of faith, people who love the Bible people who love the biblical Jesus, people who love Judeo-Christian values … we’re the ones being targeted today and being labeled as the haters. That’s completely intolerant; it’s reverse intolerance. What tolerance is, is political gobbledygook to justify intolerance toward people who do not embrace relativism, and anything goes and everything that goes with the breakdown of moral absolutes. So, I wrote A Call for Courage as a manual to show people how to stand up and speak out in what has become a sit down, shut up world for people of faith.
Dr. Steve Greene: I want to make sure that our audience, here’s your book title again. The author is Michael Anthony, I don’t want you to miss this in case you happen to run away from this podcast to make sure you hear that the title of the book is A Call for Courage, Living with Power, Truth and Love in an Age of Intolerance and Fear. Again, the author is Michael Anthony. You can find it anywhere books are sold. You’ve got something interesting in your book, you call for a second revolution. I really want to hear more about that.
Pastor Michael Anthony: I think it is time for a second American Revolution in our country. In fact, I think it’s already under way. It’s not one that’s being fought with conventional weaponry. I’m not advocating physical violence. I’m advocating the truth that the pen is mightier than the sword … that people need to learn how to speak the truth in love, stop waiting for the rapture as a divine bailout and we need to be salt and light in what has become a very distasteful, dark society. Unfortunately, many of the listener audience can identify with this and I fall back on it myself and I have to wake myself up. We think, look at how bad things are getting, it’s just the way the Bible said it was going to happen. Jesus’ return might be near, but I want to remind everybody as a pastor and a theologian as well that the apostle Paul believed that Jesus’ return most likely was going to be in his day. He felt it was very near. It seems to be indicated by his writings, and that was 2,000 years ago. We might be on the eve of Jesus’ return, but it might be quite a long time. As far as I’m concerned, it’s irrelevant. I believe that Jesus is coming back. I believe that He’ll come back in his timing, when the father wants him to come back, right on schedule. In the meantime, we need to be salt and light and salt needs to come out of the salt shaker. We are supposed to not occupy until He returns, but to saturate and permeate every aspect of society. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven, so that we are ready for the Lord’s return but not sitting with our hands in our pockets. We’re supposed to be God’s catalysts for change. That’s what it’s about.
Dr. Steve Greene: I want to dig deeper into that thought, but I also want to know … I’ve been buying planners for myself and others for a lot of my life. I think this past January, I saw maybe 20 different Facebook ads for planners. Now I find out that you’re about to release a motivational planner. How will help us build our courage?
Pastor Michael Anthony: I appreciate you asking. It’s the Courageous Life Motivational Planner. It goes along with the whole idea that I realized from my own life that courage is not something anyone is born with. It’s something that we develop and you have to be intentional. So, not many of us have gotten off to a great start, highly motivated. We make New Year’s resolutions, for example. And then 30-60 days later, we’re not following through. So, what I did was I created a motivational planner and coupled it with the courage matters app, which is our free app, so that people can get inspirational one minute, two-minute videos throughout the course of the week; a little notification to a teaching module to encourage them on what they can do to speak with power, truth and love, to live with power, truth and love, and to live and to set into and live your long-term goals so that you’re focused on a legacy that is characterized by truth and love. I think when you have truth and love traveling together, that’s when you have courageous humility. The whole planner is designed with inspirational quotes, inspirational information to help you think about the long-term legacy of your life. Live it each and every day and to live with courage and to develop that courage each and every day. It’s really a unique blend of the ancient in regard to the paper, and the modern in regard to the app, the courage matters app, so that it’s like having a personal motivational coach along with you 24/7. So, I’m super excited about the courageous life motivational planner. It’s really unlike any other planner that has been created.
For the rest of Dr. Greene’s interview with Pastor Michael Anthony, visit cpnshows.com.