In the Bible prophets were those who spoke a message from God to people. Most of the time these prophets and their messages were unpopular.
Today the voices of Pastors and Prophets have been diluted to the point that they have little power. It seems that many of God’s prophets have aligned themselves with politicians. When this happens their message becomes diluted and weak. The last couple of presidential cycles have exposed a lot of people that used to be my heroes. Many of the ‘men of God’ that I looked up have cashed in their prophetic voices for political points.
In America it’s sometimes tricky to know when and when not to be involved in the political process.
Pastors are called to be the voices of truth in the culture. When something is wrong we speak up no matter whom the politician who may be in office.
We pray for leaders.
We encourage leaders.
We also rebuke leaders when the need calls for it.
Mark Chapter 6 gives us a picture of one of God’s greatest prophets, John the Baptist. It’s a hard chapter to read because in the chapter a wicked King named Herod would behead John.
I think there are some particularly interesting things we learn about what John did.
His primary job was to prepare the way for Jesus to come. He did this with one message he preached that was essentially one word: “Repent.”
Repent is a Bible word that means to turn away from sin and turn toward God. He called the religious and political leaders of the day snakes and told them to repent.
No matter who was in front of him he preached the same message.
If you were rich, “repent.”
If you were poor, “repent.”
If you were old, “repent.”
If you were young, “repent,” and so the message went.
I think we can learn some things about the role of a prophet that have been lost on today’s preachers and prophets.
- Prophets have a clear message. Speaking the message is the most important job of the prophet. John was called, “a voice.” A prophets job is to tell the truth. They are truth tellers.
- Prophets stay on message. The prophet did not change the message based on the audience. John confronted King Herod not only with the message of repentance but the personal message of what Herod needed to repent of. Sexual sin with his sister-in-law. This very direct confrontation would land John in jail. Eventually he would lose his head. The pressure he faced being in front of a king would have swayed most ‘prophetic voices’ of our day. Maybe they would have said things like, “we are not electing a Pastor but a President.” Wrong is wrong and the prophet always says so. Voices from God should always say what God says.
- Prophets pay a price. Being true to the message is almost always costly and even deadly to the prophet. Do a little study of the Old Testament prophets and you will find that they were not glamorous people but usually men that had incredibly difficult lives calling people to do what they did not want to do. Most of them would die trying.
Pastor and Preachers are the prophets of our day. It would do most of us well to stay on the point of the message of the Gospel. We are kind when we can be kind but we always tell the truth even when it can damage us personally.
The mighty Twitter prophets clamor for follows and likes. They seem to be more interested in fighting with each other than standing on the promises.
We speak out against injustice, murder, sexual immorality, lies, slander and the like no matter who is in office. Our message is the same message of John and of Jesus….Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.