Friday, April 06, 2018

The Prophetic Voice

I followed links to the pastorblog of a "twenty-year ministry veteran" who wrote that we need to shut up and listen to superheroes like the kids who are speaking in March For Our Lives. Its tag line was "Stuff That Needs To Be Said," and his current post is about how he is not so much angry at Donald Trump - though he spends a lot of time detailing how awful Trump is for a person who doesn't care so much - but at his supporters, who are ignoring all these terrible things about him. More than two years after the first primary, and seventeen months after the election, I'm thinking it's not quite current to be saying this.  I imagine he has been saying it pretty regularly for the last few years, but you jackasses still don't get it. Everything was easily answerable, of course, though with the long list of complaints he had, and it taking 30-90 seconds to refute each one, I'm thinking that could add up.  But entertaining reasonable reply is unlikely to be his goal.

The older post was a good example of the clown nose on, clown nose off method of arguing. The newer post was an excellent example of the arguing by social shaming rather than making a rational point. I checked all his posts for 2018, when he mentions Jesus, it is almost always to insist that evangelicals completely misunderstand him, because they do the list of liberal causes he mentions. Mostly gun control. He does also mention feeding people, which is fine.  Though he might be uncomfortable how much more of that is done by evangelicals. The other exceptions to mentioning Jesus are his Easter message that he doesn't believe in our physical resurrection - he doesn't say what he believes about Jesus's, but I think it's negative - but he does believe in the repairing of marriages, and people getting along, and all that.

I commented. It awaits moderation.  It was still not published today.  I'm not going back. No point.

I recall from my Jesus Freak days guys who believed they had the Gift of Prophecy.  It was always guys, I think.  Or if speaking about another, they might say he or she had the Prophetic Gift. If you listened to them long enough, you eventually learned that they just liked telling other people where to get off. I think that is largely true when our denominational publications talk about how important The Prophetic Voice has been in Christianity.  Which is true, but the modern application always seems to be that same thing: some one, or some group who just wants to tell other people where to get off.  I think the translations of "Stuff That Needs To Be Said" is really "People I'd Like To Tell Where To Get Off."


james said...

I've always had a bad allergy to those called prophets. One priest put it nicely: a real prophecy is short and sharp, and the longer you turn it over in your mind the sharper it gets. If the "prophet" has to blather on to make the prophecy sound powerful, discount it accordingly.

Isaiah tests that rule. Most of the time it seems a pretty good one, though.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

I have also noted that biblical prophets are usually trying to get out of the job if they can.

james said...

FWIW, there seem to be plenty of women prophets in african pentacostal and aladura groups.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Yes, thank you for reminding me. NH has lots of refugees from Africa, especially South Sudan and CAR, and I have noticed this in the African groups. Something different seems to be happening there, with phrases like "biblical office of the prophet," and a focus on revealed teaching - some of it quite heterodox and related to preserving home culture here - rather than revelation about a person or group. If you have more insight, I would be curious.

james said...

Not a lot, I fear. I wasn't much interested in the groups when I was in closer contact, and they aren't a major presence around here. I remember hearing about the "Never Die Church:" if you just had enough faith... When its founding prophetess up and died after all, they waited quite a while to see if she would resurrect--I gather it was a bit of a scandal and nuisance in the tropical heat.

They did come out with general prophecies about the country and such like things, but I've no idea what they said to individual members.