Live hard, die young
Imitation of rock idols was messed up idea, Michael admits
“I dreaded the long night hours as a teen,” Dr Michael Brown recalls
I’m, burning in hell! I’m, burning in hell!” sixteen year old Michael Brown shouted at the top of his lungs at 1am one morning after taking a mega-dose of mescaline, a hallucinogenic drug, enough for thirty people.
Nicknamed “Drug Bear” and “Iron Man” because he took greater quantities of drugs than any of his friends, he decided to stop the mental torment by running in front of the next car, but it stopped in time because it was his parents looking for him.
“How did a nice Jewish boy like me get so messed up?” asks Dr Michael Brown, who earned his Ph. D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University.
He explains that at age eight, he began playing drums and was attracted to rock music. After his Bar Mitzvah, he formed a band, and began idolizing rock stars known for their heavy drug use and rebellious behaviour.
At age 14, he wanted to experiment and began smoking pot and hash, but nothing happened. He turned to harder drugs like LSD and was soon shooting speed, even though he never thought he would use a needle. By age 15, he was using heroin and his band was recording their first studio album.
“For fun, my friends broke into homes and a doctor’s office, experimented with drugs, including adrenalin, and almost killed ourselves,” he says. “We were cool and we believed that one day we would be famous rock stars!”
Michael is glad that his race to oblivion was diverted when his two best friends and band members began attending a church. They went only because the two girls they were dating had been invited there by their uncle, the pastor.
This church was different because the pastor spoke about angels, demons, and end-time prophecy.
“They’d say, man, we just learned there’s going to be this bottomless pit,” Michael recalls. “And this beast is going to come out of it, like a dragon and he’s got seven heads and ten horns.
“We were enthralled with this because this is what we would see when we were hallucinating.”
Months later, Michael went too, because, he recalls: “I wanted to pull my friends out. They weren’t partying the way they used to.
“You can guess that I lost the fight! The love of the people began to break down my stubborn pride.”
Michael says he also began to feel guilty about things he had previously felt no remorse for such as stealing money from his father, double-crossing his friends, and viciously cutting down people with his sharp, cruel tongue.
“I thought I was basically a good person but as Jeremiah chapter 17, and verse 9 says; ‘The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.’
“When I couldn’t sleep at night after taking Methedrine or amphetamine-laced LSD, I started to see myself as more of a jerk than a cool teenager. I began to dread those long night hours, feeling unclean and alone with my sin.”
Three months later, Michael went back to church again, where something unexpected happened.
“I believed that Jesus died for me (in other words, He paid the penalty that I deserved, He died in my place) and that He rose from the dead.”
However, as a non-religious Jewish boy, Michael had always thought that Jesus was only for non-Jewish people.
“I didn’t realize that Jesus’ Hebrew name is Yeshua meaning Saviour, his mother’s Hebrew name was Miriam, that ‘Christ’ meant ‘Messiah’, or that He lived and died as a faithful Jew.”
But there was a much bigger problem, Michael recalls, in that he loved his selfish lifestyle.
“I was too proud to admit I could be wrong — some people would rather die than admit they are wrong!”
After attending church for several months, Michael remembers that “God’s goodness and patience overcame my stubbornness and pride.”
Less than a year after breaking into the doctor’s office, Michael says, “I was living for God and telling people about Jesus, the Messiah and Lord of both Gentile and Jew.”
Now an author, international speaker and host of an US syndicated talk show, Michael has spoken on university campuses including Harvard and Yale, debated and dialogued with many rabbis and served as president of two Bible colleges, but he spends most of his time sharing about Jesus.
“The Creator of the universe is now my Father and Jesus the Messiah is my best and closest Friend,” Michael says. “I live my life free of anxiety and fear, and the peace and joy of God renew me every day.
“The Bible says that He loves this world so much — and that means He loved you — that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life (see John chapter 3:verse 16).
“Instead of you and I having to suffer the death penalty, Jesus suffered it for us. … But if you refuse Him, you will die in your guilt, without excuse. Almighty God will say to you, ‘Depart from Me into eternal fire!’ (See Matthew 25:45.) Then it will be too late!
“You can experience the greatest love the world has even seen. Through Jesus, you can know the God who made you.”
More about Dr. Brown at askdrbrown.org