The Prophetic Voice of America in 2017

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I’m on social media. Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram. It’s part of today’s world. I don’t want it to rule my life, but I’m interested in engaging within these platforms of the 21st century.

Right across all of them – well, maybe not Google+ since it never became what Google hoped – there is constant political commentary. Actually, at times, it’s more like tirades. The right won’t stop until they’ve shamed the left; the left won’t stop until the President is impeached and dethroned.

I’ve said this not a few times, but it’s all about a political, power-hungry game.

That’s really what it is. People maneuvering for power. There is an insatiable desire to win.

It’s not centered in what is good “for the people.” Both sides are completely selfish, manipulative, coercive, and more. And it’s tiring.

I’ll go ahead and lay my cards out on the table. I have great concerns about Donald Trump’s presidency. I honestly believe that he is not fit to be the President of the U.S. I don’t agree with his perspectives on many things and I don’t agree with how he conducts himself on a daily basis. All one has to do is follow his Twitter account for confirmation.

So that’s where I find myself.

At the same time, I’m grieved in my spirit. I want this man, created in the image of God, to truly encounter Christ. But I also struggle to believe “something of God” will take place in his life.

Over the past few months, I will admit that I believe some folk in the more progressive camp have offered some significant challenges to Trump’s positions and practices. Some of those are Shane Claiborne, Brian Zahnd, Nathan Hamm, and others. Some of these voices have a prophetic flavor to them, speaking forth the truth of Christ and challenging the powers that be.

However, at times, I find that most people are simply engaging in political tirades. Not necessarily the aforementioned folk, but there are plenty others.

You know someone spends too much time on social media when they are tweeting or posting every 3-5 minutes. What do these folk do all day? The constant drip of posts is somewhat insane. You know what they say: insanity is trying the same thing over and over but expecting different results.

Insanity, at times.

As I start to reflect on what’s really going on here, I realize it’s not about being a prophetic voice in the wilderness. It’s simply a ploy to join in the power-hungry game of the one of which they speak out against.

You see, there are many who are convinced they are the prophets of today because they disdain the positions and practices of our current President. And that’s why they keep going on. They are self-appointed prophets – or pop culturally-appointed prophets – who love to hear their own voice and read their own words. They feel the need to feed Twitter and Facebook with their political rants on what’s wrong with Trump.

But it’s all about power, all about winning.

Yet it’s not prophetic by any means.

Here’s why I believe this.

I sense the current prophetic focus of today need not be on constantly speaking out against and protesting a political leader, but rather a speaking forth the word of life that we see in Jesus and then embodying that message ourselves.

Anyone – and I mean anyone on Twitter or Facebook – can practice the skills of the progressives and liberals who “publicly” slander Trump all day long (or the conservatives and alt-right who slam the left all day long). But very few seem to carry the Spirit-empowered measure of speaking forth that which is true, that which is good, and then actually drawing a people together to embody that message of truth and goodness.

That’s what folk like Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Martin Luther King, Jr were able to do.

That’s what folk like Paul and John were able to do.

They were not interested in manipulative tactics of power, nor winning the political game. Rather they spoke truth and ultimately gave of themselves in living out that truth.

It’s interesting that all four of these men were put to death for what they said and lived.

I have my doubts that most of these progressive folk today would give their lives, though they’d love us to believe they would in order to be seen as at least a willing martyr if never an actual martyr.

Most of this stuff is not prophetic. It’s old; it’s tiresome; it’s all a deep lust for power. They have become like the one they say they are challenging, Donald Trump. But it has nothing to do with Jesus, who ended up being put to death by the state.

The prophetic voice that will ring clear and faithful today will be the one that focuses not ultimately on disdaining a political leader – whether Pharaoh or Caesar or Trump – but rather on the message found on the lips of Jesus. And then, in the vein of all prophets over the centuries these folk will take up the challenge of embodying that message. Because that’s what Jesus did, the great embodied, prophetic voice into human history.

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