The Minor Prophets Speak to Today
A Prophet Faces Hostility Even In The House of God
The paths of the Lord are true and right
and righteous people live by walking in them,
but in those paths sinners stumble and fall.
In one of my pastorates, a group of young adults prepared to start a study on marriage. A great idea! When I asked to see the curriculum, they became defensive.
One of the programs they considered had no reference to God at all. The authors were popular feel good teachers. Suspicious, I expressed my concern and met with hostility. No one bothered to tell me that the authors also had a Christian based parallel curriculum.
The Board of Elders also took offense that I wanted to 'approve' material used by the church.
Our American independence causes us to bristle at the idea of a watchman, as addressed in Hosea 9:9. Like these people, we bristle at the idea of even a shepherd (pastor) fulfilling the tasks of a shepherd among us. This hostility is built into our cultural DNA.
But one of the roles of the prophet and of the leadership gifts or offices in the church is to protect the gathered believers from false and misleading teachings. Another role is to call us continually to the primacy and lordship of Christ in all aspects of living and being.
In today's America, with so many popular preachers, teachers, and authors leading Christians astray using half-truths, twisted gospels, and council that will not stand the test of the whole counsel of God, these roles are very important
Our allergy to watchmen and accountability, our American simmering anti-authority, anti-leadership DNA has made God's people weak, ineffective, a laughing stock, and despised. We have gone after inpure lovers and prostituted our faith and our churches.
My former church bristled at the prophetic role. The young adult group fizzled in less than three or four sessions. Following their elders' examples, personal study and family were substituted for gathering together on any day or time other than Sunday morning. Only two of the elders ever attended a study group, prayer service, or other Body of Christ leadership led function other than one on Sunday Morning.
The pastor was dismissed with one of America's most prolific false teachers used as justification and another, albeit not a false teacher, author's out of context teaching used also used as a substitute for divine guidance.
After I left, between pastors, they took up a study that taught legalism and thinly disguised paganism.
Woe to the people of God who reject God's ministries among them!
The irony? Those who would not come to Spirit led study, prayer, and worship, faithfully attended the prostitute study.
What Does God Say About His Appointed Watchmen?
1. Traps are laid for him wherever he goes.
2. He faces hostility even in the house of God.
527 N. Vine by Wayne Anson