Friday, April 08, 2005

Do we welcome the prophet?

Here's Paul Littleton at Caught in the Middle:
I've come to the conclusion that the church really doesn't like the prophet. I don't know why I'm just now coming to that conclusion. It seems pretty clear in the Bible. Prophets were never very popular. Some were censured. Others were beaten and killed. Church history is repleat with examples of prophetic voices being silenced (Martin Luther, anyone? anyone?). Well, I take that back. We like the prophet who calls out "those" people. You know. We rather enjoy hearing someone take abortionists and homosexuals out to the woodshed. Moral relativists? Secular humanists? Fair game. Amen, brother. AMEN! We like the prophet to those outside of the church. But we won't put up with one who speaks to the church herself.
Good points. Paul's words remind me of the prophet Amos, who prophesied in Israel. He began with oracles against surrounding nations and tightened the noose, closer and closer, before prophesying against the sins of Israel herself. I've got a feeling the people of Israel weren't too pleased with the man. What about today? Is the church any more receptive to preaching that calls out against our own sins? Certainly not by inclination. What can open our hearts to hear and receive the Word? God's Holy Spirit, and our own cooperation through prayer.


Blogger Catez said...

I'm actually undecided on this. I guess I've experienced too many "prophets" who seemed to make it their mission to judge others. I also think we can have both - we can speak on certain issues e.g. abortion and be mindful of keeping the house clean ourselves. Just some quick thoughts.

4:39 AM, April 10, 2005  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

Thanks for visiting, Catez, and sharing your thoughts. You're right; we certainly need to do both. I guess I took Paul here as saying we don't need to look at the faults of others at the cost of ignoring our own. I think the psychologists call it transference or projection when we gleefully find fault with others rather than see our own shortcomings. Jesus talked about it, too, in terms of lumber.

7:08 AM, April 10, 2005  
Blogger Paul said...


I agree with you, and that was, in fact, a significant part of my point. We don't mind being prophetic (i.e. judging others) to those on the outside, but we sure don't like pointing the finger at ourselves. I simply believe it is our duty to begin looking at ourselves before we can credibly speak to those outside the church. And from where I sit we've got a lot of work to do before we get to that point.

2:43 PM, April 11, 2005  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

Thanks for visiting, Paul, and for continuing the discussion. Peace.

3:23 PM, April 11, 2005  

Post a Comment

<< Home