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Did Dr. Laurence Brown understand Christianity before he became a Muslim?

Dr. Laurence Brown was born in 1959 in San Francisco. He studied at three universities and worked for 8 years as a medical doctor. He is married and has three children. He had a life full of comfort and materialism. But after a deadly disease of one of his daughters, he prayed as an atheist for the first time. God did a supernatural miracle and he felt inside he missed the spiritual reality. He started to search for spiritual growth.

1. He did not believe in the truth of the Bible

Dr. Brown started religious studies to come closer to God. His family belonged to the protestant denomination of the Quakers. Quakers are taught that Jesus Christ comes to teach the people himself. Although he had been educated in Christianity, he first started to study Judaism. But it is very difficult to become a Jew. Then he studied for some years Christianity and became a church hopper. He went to several different churches, including: Seventh Day Adventists, Mormons, Quakers, Southern Baptists, Roman Catholics and Greek Orthodox. Pastors could not give answers to all the questions he asked. When a pastor of a church did not give him the answer he was satisfied with, he left that church and went to another one. He tried to find a church that was able to support his existing believe. Therefore he could not experience Christian freedom, depth and life of a trusted and safe spiritual community. He tried to follow guidelines to be become a true Christian: "I was trying very hard to be a Christian". Laurence tried to do this by Christian study. But Christian theology can be too complicated, while faith in Jesus Christ is very simple. The Bible is a book of the faith of believers: “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6). Faith in Jesus Christ asks to make a decision to give up personal comfort and trust on the power of the Savior, Jesus Christ. Dr. Brown came at a point in his mind that he concluded not to be a Christian. Doubts arrived in his mind about the truth of the Bible. This made him open for a new alternative. In the 1990’s, more and more immigrants from Muslim countries entered the United States. Most Muslim immigrants had a high level of education and responded to the strangeness of a new land by emphasizing familiar rituals and spending time at the mosque [1]. Therefore they were a good conversation partner to show Dr. Brown the simple rules of Muslim religion, who are focused on practical life on earth. The simple and easy to meet requirements of Islam were an eye-opener for him. Therefore he became a Muslim. After meeting Muslims and study of Islam, Dr. Brown’s last connections to the eternal truth of God in the Bible were destroyed. He had lost faith in the truth of the Bible.

2. He was not certain to go to heaven

Laurence had doubts that Jesus has the divine power to forgive his sins [2]. He only believed Jesus Christ is a human being and a prophet. He asked pastors to explain from the Bible that Jesus is God. They referred to John 10:30: “I and the Father are one”, John 14:9-11 and Matthew 28:19: “baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit”. Dr. Brown answered with unfounded Bible criticism. See Is the Trinity in the Bible? But faith is not acceptance of a logical and rational system, like medical science is. Faith requires a step in faith and trust. He admitted that the Bible is difficult to understand. He did not understand that Jesus Christ and the apostle Paul shared the same message of salvation. See 2 Corinthians 11:4: Did Paul preach another Savior than Jesus? Dr. Brown also did not believe in original sin and salvation by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and was not able to see the context of Bible verses on punishment and salvation. See Ezekiel 18:20: A denial that a son can bear punishment? He wanted to have an easy rational acceptable religion. Dr. Brown is a surgeon, who has a practical job. Finding methods and skills for medical issues. He has not a research job, who is searching for final answers. That is needed on the area of faith where all effort of the mind and heart is needed to find the answer. Because he was not born again, he became an easy listener to the message of another religion. Therefore Dr. Laurence Brown didn"t understand what the Christian woman meant with "she landed on the ship’s deck she threw her arms open to the heavens and yelled, “Thank you, Jesus” [3]. Dr. Brown found peace in the practical values of Muslim life, like kindness, generosity and not focused on materialism in Arab culture. In Islam has focus on life on earth, while faith in Jesus Christ is focused on life forever in heaven. He was not aware that Jesus Christ saves by his sacrifice on the cross to eternal life. For the woman the miracle that she was saved was a reference to eternal salvation. Dr. Laurence Brown did not understand the foundation of Christian faith.

3. Conclusion

Dr. Laurence Brown was searching for spiritual growth after the experience of a supernatural miracle as an atheist. The pastors in the churches he visited couldn’t convince him to show the way to Christian faith. Finally he lost hope to become a Christian and he became open for Islam. He never experienced the revelation of the Holy Spirit that he is saved by grace thanks to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Dr. Laurence Brown immigrated to Saudi Arabia, where he works as a medical doctor.

Notes

1. Khalid Durán and Daniel Pipes, Muslim Immigrants in the United States, Center for Immigration Studies, 2002, https://cis.org/Report/Muslim-Immigrants-United-States (Retrieved 10-07-2019)
2. The Deen Show, Top American Surgeon embraced Islam - "I was trying very hard to be a Christian", https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_J5_VETwfew (Retrieved 11-07-2019)
3. About Dr. Brown, Conversion Story, http://leveltruth.com/?page_id=2 (Retrieved 11-07-2019)