AlongTheWay

“God and Cancel Culture” - Steven Strang AlongTheWay 97

August 23, 2021 John Matarazzo / Steven Strang Season 1 Episode 97
AlongTheWay
“God and Cancel Culture” - Steven Strang AlongTheWay 97
Show Notes Transcript

Steven Strang is leading the fight against “Cancel Culture. 

He is the founder and owner of Charisma Media which includes Charisma Publishing, Charisma Magazine, and the Charisma Podcast Network.

His latest book “God and Cancel Culture,” will encourage you to stand strong for what you believe in… before it’s too late.  


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SteveStrangBooks.com


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Steven Strang:

God can use us in ways that we would have never thought of. But it It involves turning your life completely and totally over to Jesus being led by the Holy Spirit, overcoming the power of the enemy, which pulls us in the other direction, and hoping that our lives count for something.

John Matarazzo:

Welcome to along the way. I'm john Maeda. As your host and fellow traveler, thank you for joining me along my way as I try to become more like Jesus every day. Steven Strang is the founder and owner of charisma media, which includes charisma publishing, charisma magazine, and the charisma Podcast Network, of which along the way is a part of. He's authored five of his own books and has published more than 2000 titles. In his latest book God and canceled culture, Steven Strang strongly encourages us to stand strong for what we believe in before it's too late. Later in this episode, Steven Strang explains how you can receive a free subscription of charisma magazine. Make sure you listen closely so you don't miss this incredible opportunity for amazing spirit filled content delivered right to you. I'll get to our conversation in just a moment. But as always, I want to thank you for listening to along the way. I hope that you like what you hear, and you subscribe. Please rate and review along the way on Apple podcast or wherever you're listening. All of my socials and contact links are in my show notes. And you can check out all of my episodes and join my email list through my website along the way dot media, I would love to hear from you. I also have a Patreon page, if you want to help me to continue to put up these along the way episodes. If you'd like to become a supporter, simply go to patreon.com slash along the way and select the level. The link to become a supporter is also in my show notes. And now here's my along the way conversation with Stephen Strange. Well, Mr. Strang, it is a pleasure to have you on along the way. Thank you so much for giving me some time to share your story with this along the way audience and with me, I've really enjoyed getting to know you in a different way. You've been a guest on my TV program back whenever I was working in Pittsburgh on the cornerstone television network. And now I'm working with you at charisma media. And I really appreciate the fact that you have actually, you took me on a tour of the of where the history of charisma and I really appreciate the history of charisma and all that God has called you to do, and brought the people around you to do that. And we're going to talk about some pretty interesting things have in your life, but also this latest project that God has entrusted you with. And you're really at the forefront, with your book God and canceled culture. So thank you so much for joining me along the way. Well, thank

Steven Strang:

you for the invitation. And the way you put that guide and trusted me as an interesting way to put it. I was, you know, this is not about my opinion, or the fact I just wanted to write a book. It's the message I'm trying to get out. Exactly. And we are so glad to have you on our charisma media team. I remember meeting you several times in Pittsburgh and, you know, being impressed by you. I mean, I at the time, I have to confess I did not think through that you were somebody that we could recruit. But I'm glad that you did. And I remembered hearing about your podcast and being impressed with what a good job you do with it and finding out that the numbers have kind of taken off since you came on the charisma podcast. No, yeah. So you're contributing to the 71 million downloads that we now have.

John Matarazzo:

Yeah, it's it's an honor to be a part of the network and the fact that my podcast has now been distributed to 183 countries. As a former missionary, that's one of the things that really blesses me, because charisma has helped my podcast reach places that I could never go myself. And I've been a missionary to 15 different countries that my feet have been in. But my voice and the people that I've been able to have these amazing conversations with have now been to 183 countries. And so we're taking the gospel all over the world. And I love it.

Steven Strang:

Well, I've never, I've never even asked how many countries my podcast, I have to actually the Strang report, which is the bigger one better known. And I have a new one called God and cancer culture to go along with the book, right as my way to draw attention to the book. In fact, with your permission, I'm going to rerun your podcast or my podcast. I love it. I love it. So we'll get a little more attention out there. And it is pretty amazing what we can do with technology these days in ways that we couldn't do before.

John Matarazzo:

Yeah. Well, I want to I want to hear about your story because you haven't always been the Mr. Strang, the author. You've grown up you're a journalist and I I'd love to be able to share some of your story of how God has brought you to where you are today, with our with our audience here. So let's go back a little bit.

Steven Strang:

Well, both my father and grandfather were ministers, I grew up in the church, I'm almost certain I was in church, the first Sunday of my life. The only drug problem I ever had was my parents drugged me to church every time the doors were open. But of course, I had to come to an understanding of who Jesus is, and, you know, work through some of the adolescent things that we all have to work through. And last week, I was at a very moving service, and they, they had some wonderful song about, you know, I probably should have figured out it was some song I was familiar with. Jesus, how wonderful you better in my life, and I, and it was a very worshipful moment. And I found my mind doing kind of a slideshow of times where the Lord had really kind of touched me that were kind of pivotal times. And I don't experience that kind of thing very often I, in this case, I was kind of once it started, I think I was const. I was consciously thinking of pivotal points where my life could have gotten in a different way. You know, my friends are all suffering the consequences of being high school athletes. Well, guess what? I all my joints and stuff are fine. Because I was in the band. Okay, you know, how,

John Matarazzo:

what did you play in the band?

Steven Strang:

Well, in marching band, I played the clarinet. And then, in concert band, I played the oboe. And those aren't very good at playing later in life. But I was in band for years. And I guess I enjoyed it. I learned about music. But, you know, I tend to be more academic. You know, as an adult, I learned to become physically fit and so forth. But as a kid, I really wasn't. In fact, I probably felt pretty insecure about myself. I was kind of awkward with girls, as I recall. And I gravitated toward school and learning and writing. So fairly early, I was on the little junior high, we had Junior High back then Junior High newspaper, okay. And then the yearbook. And then later, the high school, magazine and newspaper and so forth. So, and I rather enjoyed it. And so I kind of gravitated toward journalism.

John Matarazzo:

Do you remember some of the things that you wrote about back then? Yeah, I wrote about civil rights back then. Wow.

Steven Strang:

When I moved to Florida, there was segregation. I went to segregated schools for five years, not my choice, as you know how things were. And so they integrated the schools, year by year, and it hit my grade when I was in 10th. Grade. Or maybe 11th. But anyway, I was writing, I have a copy. framed in my office, I'll show you some time, I was writing little editorials in my high school paper, about racism. And we had high school fraternities, we call them service clubs, but they were really, you know, invitation only fraternities. And I personally lobbied to, you know, draft, I can't remember the word we use, but you know, to get a couple of the black football players to integrate. So, you know, in my own little way, at 17 and 18, I was doing that kind of thing. My first real journalism job was calling in to high school scores to the Tampa Tribune, on the telephone with a chord. So I had to find out what the scores were and then call him in as how we did things. And in university, it was during the Vietnam War era, I was covering the riots. I even wrote about one of my books, because I was there as a student journalist, but I was sort of a, how would you say a sympathetic journalist, which, you know, I like to think I was sort of in middle the road. But I mean, the newspaper was sympathetic, and I'm sure I was too. And we saw the foreshadowing of what's happened with the press all these years later. But I was in the administration building, not as a protester, but to journalists. In fact, I was calling in stories to the Associated Press, from the payphone, in Rolling hallway in the administration while they paid me $25 I thought that was pretty good back then. Wow. And I wrote about it in one of my books, and a man I met as a result of the book is actually a judge here in Florida. And he read that he said, I experienced the same tear gas. He said, I was in the fraternity across the street in a blue across the street. He said I knew exactly what it was. Well, it only happened one time that I could remember it was not a very fun experience. And but I was there As a student journalist, and and also by this time I was turned on Christian. Yeah. And when you

John Matarazzo:

say turned on Christian, what does that mean?

Steven Strang:

Well, it means I was in love with Jesus and talked about it and went to church and witnessed and fellowship with other Christians, as opposed to going to church on Christmas and Easter and, you know, just having enough of Jesus to be a fire insurance policy from hell. Which is, you know, I don't judge people. But you know, a lot of people live that kind of Christianity, right? This was the heyday of the charismatic movement, and also the Jesus people movement. And I was not initially affected by them. Because I grew up in a Pentecostal church, I gravitated toward these people formed friendships that I still have a few after all these years. And, you know, on the newspaper, I played it, I was not really an advocate, but I got to do guest editorials. In the newspaper every once in a while about something having to do with Christianity or religion. They allowed it now they allowed every other kind of weird topic to but they didn't allow it. However, I worked my way up the ranks. And when it came time for me to be editor, which was an appointed position from some kind of publishing committee, I was told later that I was passed over because I was unknown evangelical. So they weren't nasty about it. Nobody made a big deal. I didn't make a big deal. But in a way I was experiencing early, cancel cold. Yeah. But the Lord works all things together for good. Had I gotten that position, my life would have taken a different turn. And I might not have ended up in Orlando. Who knows? Yeah. I actually ended up getting married during the term that I would have been editor. So you know, I have to speculate that we would have postponed the wedding or not gotten married at all. So I believe that all things work together for good. Those are the kinds of things I wrote about when I was a cub reporter at the Orlando Sentinel, which was considered pretty conservative back then. You know, like, I covered murders, airplane crashes, the Sentinel loved crashes on Ifor especially if over 20 people were killed. Oh, my goodness. And I got to watch surgery. I covered more county commission and city council meetings and I ever want to remember, you know, zoning boards, all that kind of stuff. Man bites dog kind of stories. Yeah, just the kind of odd things that newspapers write. And, you know, but I also, even though the newspaper was fairly conservative because of the ownership and the publisher, the newsroom was pretty liberal. And I again, I was known. In fact, I sorted they made a big deal about it. I sort of refused to work on Sunday. And, you know, we talked about it, I kind of negotiated but otherwise I would have had to work many Sundays. And it was because I worked. My first job was four in the afternoon to one in the morning. Okay, I was on a night shift. I covered the police beat, and murders and fires and everything else that happened. So, you know, I go home, I work Saturday night, I'd go home Sunday morning and you know, get a few hours sleep and go to church with my wife. But I also began to feel that there was some kind of glass ceiling. And also there was kind of a groupthink, okay. And I didn't kind of want to go there. Journalism was not nearly as glamorous as I thought it was. And so I and also, they didn't pay very much. They I think they still don't pay very much. The only people who make any money are the people that are at the top of the journalism totem pole like Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity, people like that. And so I had an idea to start a little magazine on the side.

John Matarazzo:

So even though you were getting you weren't getting paid very well, you were put on this beat that you weren't that super excited about there was still something in you that God had deposited that needed to get out.

Steven Strang:

Right, I was curious, I knew even back then I knew a lot of people I attended a lot of conferences and different things and and I you know, the newspaper let me write a few stories. Now. I had to pitch them. This is what you did you pitch them to the editor. And if you could persuade them I did a story I haven't framed on my wall to on Katherine Coleman. Oh, cool and It was not a puff piece. It was written with sort of a journalistic detachment. But it was favorable. And they headline on the cover, they actually put it into Sunday magazine, the cover story was the incredible Katherine Coleman, or something like that. And it was probably one of the last secular articles ever written about her before she died. And so I was able to do that. But you know, my job was, you know, I was not a propagandist for the gospel. I just tried to use whatever experiences I had. But, you know, I was young, I wasn't really sure what I wanted to do with my life. At one point, I thought about going into law. But I started this little magazine. And it was from a church. It's here in Orlando, I don't mention the name of it anymore, but because it's kind of moved, but he grew. People like Jamie Buckingham, who is a, who was a big deal author back in the days, ministries, like Charles and Francis Hunter, who are long gone now. But back in the day, and and you know, over the years, I got to know everybody from David do Plessy to David Wilkerson to Kevin ran a hand in the Roman Catholic renewal, just a few names come to mind who your listeners probably don't know, because all of them I think, except Kevin in heaven now. But somehow, the magazine kind of caught on, and we got a national audience. But it was very difficult. It was a startup, I wasn't really trained as a businessman, I had a lot of uncertainty, you know, would this work? Would it not work, and I've shared some times that I was more motivated not to fail than I was motivated to. Yeah, you know, at some point, by God's grace, we kind of got our nose above water. Financially, it actually took us 10 years to break even 10 years. Now, we had good years in there, which made up for the bad years. But I mean, before it was exactly breakeven, a lot of people would quit a long time before then. And, you know, you have to just not quit. You know, if I had quit at year five, let's say just to pick a number. I would have never known about the doors, the Lord would open. Of course, I could remember thinking about the future and not being able to visualize it at all. I couldn't visualize it at all. First of all, Gerald Ford was President when we started in Jimmy Carter. But I could have never foreseen socialism in America, like we have the gay rights agenda, which is just being in fact I write about in my book, because during the time I was at the Sentinel, there was a gay rights ordinance of some kind in Miami Dade County. And I don't really remember what it was it was giving special rights or something. And Anita Bryant, who is a big singer, has a whole bunch of number one songs and also was the spokesman for the Florida citrus commission. She sang the little ditty about the Florida sunshine tree, okay, needed drink orange juice every day. And she, she did something, it was like defending our children or something like that. And actually, there was a vote and the vote won by like 60 some percent, but the gay community which was did not have a political account, they decided to take her to task. And they made her name synonymous with anti gay, if you look her up now, on Wikipedia, it says that she's an anti gay activist. Whereas actually, you know, she has all these other accolades, which they eventually mentioned. Yeah, I make the point in the book guide and cancer culture that the other side defined you on if you're for or against them. She was one of the early modern examples of counterculture, although really counterculture goes all the way back to one army wiping out the other or them burning people at the stake. Or, you know, Hitler, of course, was famous for a bit in our day in our generation, with our rights with our Constitution. You know, a lot of us never thought it would come to this, but they basically just totally destroyed her career. Her marriage, she lost her marriage somehow and all that mess. I don't know the details. But I can remember writing about it, and she just was persona non grata. And that's kind of what cancer culture is. It was just one of the few real examples and I mentioned it. In the book, Kenneth Copeland, who wrote a nice endorsement, he actually cited that example I really when I read it, I thought, well, that's kind of interesting that that was the thing that caught his eye. And now, I need to Brian would be on it been years, the last I heard she had a show in Branson, Missouri, which is a very conservative area. And you know, I think people have rallied around her like they rallied around Mike lyndale and others who've been attacked.

John Matarazzo:

So that article that you wrote, was that was that an early charisma article? Or was that still in the newspaper?

Steven Strang:

I don't remember, you know, I'd have to see dates, I could remember that it was in the news, when I was still at the Sentinel, I would have been more just observing what was going on in the news. But it seems to me that later on because this story was not just for one week, I think we probably did interview her, I'm almost certain she was never on the cover of charisma. And we do have an archives, I could pick it up. And I've had interaction with her a few times. And I remember she wanted us to publish a book, and I don't even remember it. But the fact is, she her platform at this point is so small, that it's hard to make a book like that work. This would have been years ago. But I remember being very friendly and life went on and, and she still loves Jesus. But she is an example, of counterculture. And you're just asked me about early in my career.

John Matarazzo:

Yeah, that's, I mean, that's an interesting thing that this is, this has been growing over time, and it's becoming more and more forefront, but it started. It didn't just happen overnight. And so we've seen kancil culture, really starting years and years ago, and you gave some examples of, you know, going back even further,

Steven Strang:

the book does even more, you know, it probably would have started more in academia, where you have people on the university campus didn't go with this liberal thing, they wouldn't get tenure. They were ridiculed in some ways. I mean, it was early, and in some ways, kind of innocent versions of what we're seeing today. And then it would have also happened with Hollywood movies and so forth, you know, probably during the 60s and 70s. If you didn't go along with the crowd, you're persona non grata. You know, the other mountains of influence that we talk about, it probably has been less, you know, even in the government, it isn't probably quite so bad, because there are laws that protect people in the church. There is wokeness in the church, there's no question, but it isn't the same kind of hostile, we're trying to get rid of Christianity, which is a point I'm making the book that, you know, this isn't about canceling somebody's Twitter feed. This is about getting rid of God and the influence of Christianity in our culture, period. Now, that's pretty extreme. But that is the direction it's going. And the goal of some I can't say everyone, I think that there are some very determined leftists let's call them who have an agenda, which is to fundamentally change America, to their agenda. And they are passionate to do it. And then a whole lot of other people kind of go along with it, maybe because they're well meaning or they're not really thinking it through or they're swept up with the crowd. And, you know, it used to be that these people were maybe 40% of the total. Now they're, like 51, or 52% of the total. That's why we're losing. Now I'm making up these statistics based on my understanding of what's going on. You know, it's hard to exactly know who falls in what camp and how do you how do you mention it? How do you measure it? How do you ask the right kind of questions to find out, but you know, it is very close. Now, I made this point on Jim Baker, when I was on the show that, you know, part of it is that the leftist have the attitude, we won, you lost, go away, and if you won't go away, voluntarily will make you go away. And so they, they, they can't come against everyone on the same day. So they do high profile people, or people that weren't high profile until they're in the news like this. Isn't it awful, that somebody won't bake a cake, even though they serve this gay couple over a period of years, and we're very friendly, but the fact that they wouldn't endorse a gay marriage, which until a few years ago was unthinkable, even in the gay community. It was it. Nobody talked like that people live together. But what it is, is their agenda is to get legitimacy to be on the same footing with with the heterosexual community, and the gay marriage thing and then making a big deal and a spectacle. And an example of this. Baker, you know, everyone's read about him. And there, there have actually been several cases like this. And what it does is it intimidates everyone else because they think I don't want to be there. And I said on Jim Baker, I think that the self cancellation is really the most serious part of cancer. culture where people will cancel themselves and be timid and not speak up and be afraid. And there and this book is my attempt to try to get people to wake up. And as I say, stand strong before it's too late. And at some point, it will be too late. We are not there yet for that. And, you know, maybe it'll take longer to happen, but it will happen. People have been saying for years, this doesn't affect me, it doesn't affect my family surely is not getting good that bad. But you know, things that we accept as fairly normal would have infuriated and our forefathers in the in the faith, and conservative Christians have been losing ever since prohibition. conservative Christians kind of push prohibition down everyone's throat got passed into law into the Constitution. It was enormously unpopular. And it was a tipping point in a way. And then of course, the teaching of evolution came along and they called us fundamentalists back the day. It was before my time, of course, but that was enormously unpopular. And then the got kind of like the roaring 20s, which would have also been during Prohibition with the speakeasies and everything else. And, and the movies and the movie stars and the glamour and I mean, early, conservative Christians opposed television, because it was so evil, I mean, is like, Child's Play compared to one right now. Right. And I definitely

John Matarazzo:

feel like that's something that, you know, we as Christians, we, we've, they canceled themselves from this, rather than being an influence at that point, they pulled back and let that influence in media really take over and do something. And also

Steven Strang:

the other side, I think, became more emboldened. They were mad, I mean, enough that they overcame. And you know, now in Christian circles, I mean, there, it's, it's only a fairly small percentage of Christians who will never take a drink. Even if it's just wine a century ago, that would have been horrendous. And then you get to things like pornography, who, which we don't talk about in polite society. And there was there's been pornography ever since the Egyptians, you know, wrote it on a wall, yes. And other examples through history. But in an earlier generation, it had to be a magazine or something. On the internet, it is any thing goes. And it's a whole lot worse than probably most Christians have any idea of, and no one speaks against it in lesser men's ministry, and they're trying to minister to men who, you know, addicted to. But other than that, I'm not really aware. Yeah, I suppose there are a few support groups and a handful of things. But you know, and our Christian forefathers, and what about gambling, Christians used to be dead set against gambling. And gambling is not just in Las Vegas anymore. It's all over the place all over the place in all different forms, even if it's just a state lottery. That is gambling. When I was at the golf course, recently, I could hear two people talking, they're going to play golf, and I asked what what it was about, they were betting $500 on the game $500. Oh, yeah. I said, I can't believe that. You know, I mean, that's just foreign to me, I didn't grow up around that. I don't even hardly know how you would decide. I guess maybe it's just a low score, I don't know. But apparently, in a certain group of people, it's fairly common even to gamble on stuff like that. Wow. In my little bubble, you know, that's not part of the mix. But you know, we're just talking in general, about how things have changed and migrated. And the movies have gotten worse and worse, and worse and worse. And now the really bad ones are applauded. And the really good ones are opposed. You know, a lot of the theaters won't even carry some of these. These are all examples of counter counter culture. But it's also that the whole church, including the church is moving toward the left, in some way, moving toward being more liberal, is compromised with the world. You know, the Bible says Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy, but Jesus has come to give us life and to give it more abundantly. Yeah. And you know, there's even Christians tried to help hold up a standard so much, that would even be things like how you dress. So there was considered modesty. And at one point, modesty met sleeves all the way down to the wrist. No shorts on the men that kind of thing. And people find it kind of ridiculous and I went to a conservative denomination annual meeting last week. And I was surprised by some of the things I saw that are considered just acceptable. And it's it because it's acceptable in the culture. And people don't like being told, you need to have your dress down to this lengthy need to, you know, cut your hair this way or the other. And so as a result, they reject a lot of the other things that go along with conservative Christianity, which are things like trying to follow the Bible, actually, the people with the dress, you know, there's a lot of scriptures on things like modesty. There's a lot of things in the Bible on sexual purity, we kind of pick and choose. There are a lot of people, ministries and ministers that are quite conservative, but they sort of pick and choose and preach sermons and all the messages that make you feel good about God's grace and the fact that you can have hope for tomorrow. And I think all that's important. All of us need to have hope no one is perfect. And but I have seen, I don't write about it a whole lot in this book. But even the pilgrims were just like mean, and they were kind of rejected fairly early. A lot of times, Christians, in their effort to be strict and upright, are almost cultish and are mean and shun people, which is cancer culture going in the other direction. But even that shining doesn't mean that people can't have a right to make a living, or do the kinds of things you have to do. And sometimes I've often wondered that now the other side is kind of in control if they're not just getting back at all the Christians who've driven them crazy. Oh, very interesting point. And also Christianity is the only thing keeping the culture from just going into total decadence. There's very, very, very few guardrails in our culture anymore. You know, the me tube movement I thought was good in a way because it Leisha, it shows that there's some limits to which people will put up certain behaviors and certainly protecting children. But there are I'll call them deviants. who bully that believe that it sex by age or it's too late. And I mean, that sounds terrible to us now. But the way things are going at some point, who would have thought that there would be some people thank god, it's not too many. But some who would encourage a boy at age six, if he felt like a girl that maybe he could kind of go in that direction. But yet, there are examples of where that's happening. And, you know, it's a lot more, of course, in my opinion, but I've lived long enough and studied enough and read enough to sort of see these trends and things are approved. Now, in our culture, that would have been unthinkable. And a couple things I just mentioned, are still pretty unthinkable. Thank God, something's unthinkable, right? But, you know, let's talk about the whole picture. It isn't about keeping a bunch of do's and don'ts that's works. It's faricy ism, that Jesus rejected the Pharisees, we've got to show the love of Jesus. And there's lots of ways you do that, and showing good works. But it's more than that. It's turning the other cheek. All these things come into it is being genuine and standing strong on your principles and not compromising just because everybody wants your compromise. And I say in the book that there is hope. One of the things I talk a lot about that we haven't talked on this podcast very much. And we I'm sure we're running out of time, but is that this may spark a real revival, which is really the only way that things ultimately change. There are some Christians who want to sit they want to huddled together in their little churches, not say anything in the public square and pray, pray, pray, pray that Jesus somehow sends revival and everyone will get saved. It takes more than that, right now we're losing our constitutional rights. There are people wanting to rewrite the Constitution. They have judges that don't care what the Constitution says it's they interpret it to mean whatever they want to, we need to stand up for those kinds of things, or it'll be too late, not just for conservative Christians, but for all Americans. And but I do think that is an effort to try to cancel God out of the culture. And because our country's on Judeo Christian ethics, because so many of our documents were based on the Bible and the beliefs of the ones who wrote them. They have to get rid of all that too. Yeah. And really, the goal is communism. I have a chapter in the book that says it's not COVID or it's not canceled culture. It's communism, and I haven't After on COVID. Two, but it is the goal is communism, we as Americans, especially those of us who lived through the Cold War, it's almost unthinkable, but that's where it's going. And communism is always atheistic, right, there is not one exception, there are merely some countries that weren't as brutal as others. And the goal was always to get rid of religion. So so that's what we're dealing with. Yeah, it's complicated. It's much more complex. And I could even deal with the book. The book, of course, goes into a whole lot more depth than I can do verbally like this. But we have to stand strong. And I hope that my book is a wake up call. Amen.

John Matarazzo:

Amen. I hope so too. And I pray that people do go out and get that, because there's a lot of really good information and hope in there too. Because sometimes it was we're looking at this, that our culture, it seems like there is no hope I hear, you know, I'm following people on social media that there's they're always saying, the end is near the end is near. And it's like, well, until Jesus comes back, we're supposed to do what he's called us to do occupy tele Exactly. And I loved what you said that, you know, people are looking for this next revival, we're believing that there is revival coming. And I find it interesting that charisma magazine really kind of started during the the Jesus people revival. And you've really stayed the course and reported on what God is doing throughout these 4546 years of God's faithfulness. And, you know, now that I'm working here, I'm, you know, I'm part of it. But I want to thank you for reporting on what God is doing and what has been doing,

Steven Strang:

it's really more of the Charismatic Renewal, I would consider that a bigger and longer lasting movement than the Jesus bleep, which really part of the cares, charismatic movement. Maybe with a few exceptions, it was Roman Catholics, who gave us the term charismatic care, charismatic means gifts. And it's the renewal of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. And that happened in 1967, the word didn't probably come in vogue until 68, or 69. We started in 75. So what is that six, seven years later. And we picked the term charisma, because, you know, with what you said, and I've always seen that because I put approaches the journalist with charisma magazine alone. And then we later started other magazines and

John Matarazzo:

the publishing division,

Steven Strang:

right, the publishing and so forth. But there, there were a number of magazines and ministries, two of which we later stormed, and who are doing sort of the same things. But you know, the publishing industry, the media, landscape, technology is really changing. And by God's grace, we've survived. And I tell people sometimes that why you have to do is just survive, just keep doing it, even if it's tough, because it may get better. And if you stop, you'll, as I referred to earlier, you'll never know what would have happened,

John Matarazzo:

what advice would you give to somebody that is just feeling like, I want to give up, but I mean, you've, you're, you're a tenacious guy, and God has given given you that gift to stick to it. Whenever God says to do something, you don't let go. And you continue to move forward in that. What is some advice that you can give somebody that feels like they're about to give up? Well, first of all, don't

Steven Strang:

do it. I mean, why would you give up? I mean, it's kind of over. And don't go based on your feelings. Feelings change. You know, you can go from feeling very good and very high to feeling depressed at the same day, depending on what's happening. And, in fact, yesterday, I was talking, or the day before, I was talking to somebody that was in a ministry that was having a really difficult time. And some of the people were talking about just calling it quits, and, and I happened to have a conversation and say, You can't do it, you've been called to this, you need to stand up, you need to lead. You know, there are people that will be affected. And this person came to me and said, Boy, that was the right word. You know, this was some time ago, and he said that was really the right word. But, you know, a lot of us feel like, I certainly know what this feels like, like you're out at the, at the end of your rope. You're hanging out there all by herself. Really, it's not that bad. You know, if you remember that story of Elijah. He was, you know, God did miracles. And then he felt so discouraged that he was the only one that had not bowed his need to bail and he found out that there were 5000 who had not, you know, he wasn't alone at all. So well, first of all, you have to have determination not to quit. Yeah, yeah. In the same way you have a determination To live, you know, if you're in a canoe and the canoe tips over, suddenly, the most important thing in your life is getting oxygen. And you go go for the surface and try to breathe without really thinking it through, you know, like, well, maybe it's better that I just drowned. I mean, no human, no sane human would feel that way. And I think it's that way about quitting, you have to, with your marriage, you need to go into marriage and think, no matter how, how bad it gets, we're not going to quit, and it may get better. And there are a lot of things. I mean, even work now, I suppose work is, is a little bit different than marriage, you know, sometimes maybe people need to quit. I say that facetiously. But you know, even if you don't have any talent, even if you don't have any money, if you keep going, sooner or later, something good will happen. I mean, that's just common sense. And of course, sometimes you have a lot of really bad days before you ever get to the thing that is good, but it also makes it more rewarding.

John Matarazzo:

Well, I always like to ask this question in this podcast. You know, we've, I mean, charisma has been around for 46 years, and has grown and from the magazine to publishing to the podcast network, and God's opening up new things and our charisma plus, plus app that yes, we'll definitely put provide links for all of those things in the

Steven Strang:

books like guide and cancer culture, which by the way, you can get on my own website, Steve Strang. books.com. Just had a kind of, you can get a bunch of free stuff if you go there. And yeah, by that's good. I'm awkward. People have probably, we're doing this before the book launches. The hardcover copies not off the press yet, but people be listened to this for a long time. Yeah. Hopefully, the book will be around for a long time. Now. Hopefully, things will get somewhat better. Yeah. But I hope it's still an interesting read. Yeah.

John Matarazzo:

Well, one of the questions that I always like to ask, kind of the theme question for this podcast is, you know, just like the road doing a a story that his disciples were walking with Jesus, and they didn't realize it was him until they sit down at the table, Jesus bless the food and breaks the bread, and then poof, he's gone, and their eyes are opened, and they realize that that was Jesus. And they turn to each other and Luke 2432, and say, weren't our hearts burning within us along the way, as he was revealing the scriptures to us? Now, whenever God showed me the theme for this podcast, I want to learn from those moments were in people's lives where it seems like God's not there, or we're just out alone, where we want to give up, but really, Jesus is there, we're just not aware of it. What is this? What's the moment of your life where you look back? Now, when you realize that Jesus really was there that you can you can share? We can learn from that? Well, that's

Steven Strang:

a good question. You know, I could probably cite a couple times, but probably the most important was when I was at the University of Florida, was considered, at least at the time is the best university in Florida. And, you know, I went to get an education, of course, but I went to secular school, partly to get up from my rather conservative background. And I joined a fraternity and tell a joke in the way that bill clinton did. You know, he said, he smoked marijuana, but he never Well, my joke is I drank beer, but I never swallowed. And, but during this whole time, I continued to go to church, probably not every single Sunday. And, but I also was kind of rebellious and was being lowered by, you know, all the stuff that goes on in the, you know, secular environment like that. And I finally came to a point it was probably right around New Years. I was 19 years old. And I would walk around the plaza of the Americas that it was kind of the library was on it, and, you know, some of the important buildings and it was where they'd have sit ins and, you know, where they would have all kinds of things going on free speech, and you know, all that stuff, but it was late at night. And there were a sidewalks that criss crossed it, and their you know, their lights, you know, street lights. And I walked around and I said, Lord, this has got to work because I, I grew up with, you know, went to the altar many, many times because I had done something that week that I was sure was going to send me straight to hell. And I needed to repent for it. And it was kind of up and down and all around in a manner of speaking, and I just said, Lord, nobody talked to me. Specifically, nobody confronted me. And I just said, Lord is got to work. And I, as I recall, it was over a period of several days. And that was the turning point in my life between becoming sort of more and more secular, and less and less Christian. And, you know, where I even describe myself as a turned on Christian, you know, wasn't perfect, of course, but I would have certainly been a light in that darkness. And in that era started a student group, charismatic student group, there were none. And you know, it, you know, we had maybe 40 kids in the group, it was huge. And, you know, it went away, of course, when we all graduated, but I couldn't see until later that the Lord was getting me to start stuff, you know, just out of, I mean, we started like, with no money, of course, we did everything with no money. But, you know, we, I don't know, you know, there was a little bit organization we had to find a place to meet, we brought in speakers a few times. But it's just interesting how the Lord uses that kind of thing. And also, during that era, we'd go to these charismatic conferences, on weekends, we'd all pile in a car, we take our sleeping bags, and I remember we, a couple times, you talked the church into letting us sleep in some Sunday school rooms, at random hotel, because we couldn't afford the cost. And so I was hearing speakers, you know, like Bob Mumford, and, you know, different ones that are either all, Derek Prince, I think back in the day. And so the Lord was, was preparing me I didn't even know it. This was not some grand vision or scheme. But, and, you know, everyone's life is different. And, you know, of course, my life is different from everybody else. But if people can learn anything from me, it's like, you know, if Steve can do it, I can do it. And God can use us in ways that we would have never thought of. But it involves turning your life completely and totally over to Jesus, being led by the Holy Spirit, overcoming the power of the enemy, which pulls us in the other direction, and hoping that our lives count for something. I've lived long enough now to have lost, you know, quite a few friends. You know, people, I would consider peers, they had no idea that they would die young. I also see how quickly people are forgotten and how life moves on. And that's probably how it should be. But the reason I mentioned it is it makes us think, okay, if all that happens, and the Bible says life is better vapor, and it's a vapor, if you live 18 years, or if you live 90 years, it's still a vapor, in the light of eternity, even in the light of human history. And so what do we do to make it count? And what's counting? Yeah, what's counting?

John Matarazzo:

If you with the, with the wisdom that you've gained over your, over your years now, being in ministry, and starting charisma, and writing books, and just walking with the Lord, if you could go back in time, and visit a young version of yourself? You just mentioned about that moment where over a period of days that you were like, God, this has to work, this has to work, you know, what advice would you give to a younger version of yourself with what you have right now?

Steven Strang:

You know, my whole life. Nobody's ever asked me that, you know, I probably took some side trips, in life in business and some other ways that, that if I'd known I would have had, you know, I would have handled differently. But then, of course, you never know what would happen. You know, I tried to be a good father. But when I, when my boys were like three and four, I could not have imagined could not have imagined them as adults, or the lives they lead or whatever. And I wish that I could have maybe parented them better. I thought I was a good father, but my sons remember me as being gone a lot. So, you know, and I could probably list about 60 other things. But that's an interesting question.

John Matarazzo:

I just find it always interesting because I know that we can't go back and our experiences have led us to where we are today and who you know God is using today. But there are times that I'm like, Man, I wish I would have known then what I know now, and I just thank you for sharing about that, and, you know, I just got a couple minutes here left, I just want to make sure that people know that they can get your book, God and kancil culture at Steve Strang books.com what is the most important chapter in this book that you say you got to start with that?

Steven Strang:

Well, all the chapters are written like magazine articles. That's the style, I know, which means that you can kind of start anywhere, you know, it probably does build a little bit, but I tell people just jump in. And you know, where you want to, you kind of read it in any order you want to, because they're all on different topics and kind of self contained. I'm gonna say chapter nine, which is being the church in the face of cancer culture, you know, I do write about politics. I write about communism and COVID. And, you know, all those kinds of things. I tell stories about people from Michael Sandel, who did the foreword of the book, and President Trump and different high profile people who've been canceled on social media.

John Matarazzo:

And this is this is not just another Trump book, because you've done previous books like God and Donald Trump got in the 2020. election. And while there for more of the but this is not just about Donald Trump, there's,

Steven Strang:

and I start the book by saying this book is not about Donald Trump, I remember, you might have assumed it was as I've written four books with his name in the title. The two most important of the four were the first one, the miracle of the 216 election, it was strong enough, that the other it kind of spawned the god Trump of the 2020 election, which I wish I would have called God, Trump and America, because that's really what it was about, was also pretty successful. It was the most recent one COVID came out. And you know, the stores, everything was shut down. I wrote an inci book, originally just on digital and later in print called guide Trump and COVID-19. But it was really Part B, if it had happened before I finished the book, it would have been in the regular book, Trump after shock, was the longest, most academic and the lowest seller of the three big ones. It was really about his first two years. And I wrote it partly in response to the success of God, Trump, or God and Donald Trump, brother, I, I did not set out to write four books on Donald Trump. I'm a publisher, as you well know, I've published over 2000 books, about 1000 of them are still in print. So really, people should go to our charisma house.com and buy all of our books, not just mine. But you know, at this stage of my life, the Lord opened the door to right God and Donald Trump, which is a very good experience, it was the first major book I'd written, it was always easier to let somebody else write it. And so the doors kind of opened a new door for me, even though I'm in media and have, you know, with the Lord's help created a media platform, it's interesting being on all, and I've been on TV shows before, but it was like, Oh, look at this young guy who started a Christian magazine that was, you know, let's interview him, you know, I wasn't on because I was pounding the drum for something. Although I try to make everything we do have anything to do with living in the power of the Holy Spirit, and which is a wonderful way to live. But there is also kind of a theology that if you're baptized in the Holy Spirit, you get healed of all your diseases delivered of all your afflictions, and the Lord is going to look out for you and provide for you. And I believe those things, but it it's hard to understand why it doesn't always work. And, and it's easy to live in a little Christian bubble. And how in the world do these things work when you go out into the highways and byways. But God has plans and purposes bigger than Amen. Amen. A lot bigger than charisma magazine bigger than my life. I don't understand sometimes why certain things happen.

John Matarazzo:

Yeah, I just want to thank you so much for just allowing me to have this conversation with you. And I would encourage the people that are listening to make sure you get your copy of God and kancil culture because not only is it going to bring light to the situation that's happening in our world right now. But it's also going to bring hope as well because that's something that we really need. And whether you're afraid of getting canceled on Facebook or Instagram or whatever it is. This book was going to help you to stand firm on the Word of God, no matter what is coming up against you. Mr. Strang, thank you so much for allowing me to join you along your way

Steven Strang:

and let if somebody listened this long, they deserve something. So if if they will write to us, I will give them Have a free one year subscription to Chris I love it. And, and you have take a pencil write it down or like I say sometimes on my podcast, you can always stop and back it up and listen but write it to info at charisma media.com just say I listened to John's podcast on the way and decided that I would like a subscription to charisma, you have to say something like that effect. And you know, of course, give us your name, address and zip code. And we will add you to get a subscription. And it'll be also an interesting little way to test the responsiveness of your audience because your subscription I think the regular price now is about $30 a year.

John Matarazzo:

That's very generous of you to offer that. Thank you. First time I ever did that. Thank you very much and thank you for allowing us to join you along your way. I hope you enjoyed my conversation with Steven Strang to get gotten canceled culture and learn more about Steven, go to Steve Strang books.com. Make sure to email info at charisma media calm like he said to get your own subscription of charisma magazine. I'll be providing all of his info in the show notes. Thank you for listening to along the way. If you've enjoyed joining me along my way, please share this with a friend who you think will be encouraged by this podcast. Also, please rate and review along the way on iTunes. That helps more people discover along the way. And subscribe to this podcast wherever you're listening. You can follow me on Facebook, Instagram and through my website along the way dot media. I hope that you've enjoyed this part of my journey. And may you realize when Jesus is walking with you along your way. Along the way is honored to be part of the charisma Podcast Network. You can find tons of spirit filled content from their vast catalogue of podcasts, including my Monday through Friday news stories for the charisma news podcast. Go to CPN shows calm to see the full list and latest episodes.