Senior Pastor, Bel Air Presbyterian Church, a congregation of nearly 6,000 members
Adjunct professor at Fuller Theological Seminary
Launched the nationally syndicated radio news show “A New Day in America” which seeks to build relationships between urban & suburban churches
Received undergraduate degree in Social Sciences from Colorado State University
Earned masters and doctoral degrees from Fuller Theological Seminary
Married to Carolyn; Adult children are Vanessa, Paul, and Rachel
Dr. Mark Brewer: Knowing Your SQ
By Christy Biswell
The 700 Club
SPIRITUAL COTTON CANDY
With over 80 million Americans in the pews of churches each Sunday, why is the church making such a minimal impact on our society? Mark says the reason Christians are “stuck in a state of spiritual infancy” is because they are used to a diet of “spiritual cotton candy” that is stunting their growth.
“If candy is our main diet, then as the Apostle Paul admonished the Corinthians, we’re dooming ourselves to live lives of spiritual infants,” shares Mark. Americans have stuck to “feel good, easy to digest teachings” instead of addressing tough or controversial matters that are more challenging for their spiritual growth. In order for Christians to address the tough issues of our culture today they have to develop a spiritual high protein diet. A protein diet is necessary in order to develop spiritual intelligence that the Bible calls “wisdom.” Wisdom can help people handle the choices of everyday life and give them the ability to take on tougher issues.
FOUR SENTINELS OF SPIRITUAL WISDOM
As a pastor for over 25 years, Mark has noticed that people with spiritual intelligence (SQ) are simply smarter in knowing how to live their lives. These individuals know how to make spiritually intelligent choices in situations such as:
- Should I unplug a loved one from life support?
- How far can a Christian express sexuality outside of marriage?
- Is it wrong to use stem cells from fertilized human eggs in order to heal the sick?
History reveals that intelligent people have used four powerful “sentinels” of wisdom through the years to guide them in making decisions everyday. Mark shares how to raise your spiritual intelligence (SQ) by examining the Four Sentinels of Spiritual Wisdom:
- Scripture – Train yourself to ask, “What does God’s Word say about this?” when you are trying to seek the correct response to a problem or issue. Mark cautions against relying on “holy guesses” about what the Lord would want you to do in a particular situation. “The Bible is our infallible Guide. When we use it along with the other three sentinels of spiritual intelligence to direct our life, it simply cannot lead us down the wrong path or incite us to do wrong,” says Mark.
- Reason – A person cannot be reasonable or logical if they lack reliable information to work with. True spiritual intelligence uses not only our reasoning mind, but also Scriptures to guide and lead our thinking.
- Wise Counsel – Biblical spirituality is a relational skill. Sharing your life with “true” friends who know who you are, want the best for you, and are wise will increase your spiritual intelligence.
- Inner Leading of the Holy Spirit – The more you spend time with the Lord, the more you will recognize His voice. And, the other sentinels will harmonize with the inner leading of the Holy Spirit. God will give you peace when you are walking in His will.
When you build your life on these cornerstones you will become spiritually intelligent. As a result, you will be more equipped to make proper decisions and healthy choices.
Just one of the many tough issues that Mark addresses is homosexuality, a hot topic both inside and outside the church. He admits that when he preaches on the subject of homosexuality he receives books, articles, and plenty of angry emails from his congregation. Mark is the pastor of Bel Air Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles, California, where over half of the members work in the entertainment industry. There are hundreds of gay and lesbian individuals who attend his church every week.
So how does Mark want homosexuals to feel who attend his church:
“Well, I want them to feel love, first of all. I don’t want them to feel judged. If they’re Christians, I want them to feel like brothers and sisters in Christ. And I want them to feel holy, which means living according to God’s standards. And according to God’s standards, there are to be no sexual relationships outside of a man and a woman in marriage.”
According to the sentinel of Scripture, homosexuality was not a part of God’s creative purposes, it was not His design for relationships, and it was not part of his redemptive purposes. As a pastor, Mark says he preaches what he does for two reasons: because it is God’s Word; and because he cares about the people with whom he talks and wants them to know that God’s Word is the best way for them and His Word says that homosexuality is wrong.
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