When we hear Prophet, we tend to think future-telling. While that is sometimes an element of the role of a prophet, the foundation of the call to be a prophet is to speak truth to power. Put simply, prophets are usually not popular people. When they become popular, it’s usually because they stopped doing their job. This is what’s at play in the ministry of Amos. He says that he’s not a prophet or the son of a prophet (Amos 7:14). But…he is a prophet. So what’s that about? He’s saying he’s not on the payroll. Here’s how I imagined it would have sounded.
Guys…I’m a redneck farmer. I tend trees. I’m not an elite. I don’t have a formal education. I don’t belong here. But the Lord has called me here to deliver a message, and I reckon I should listen to him and not to you.
As you might imagine, this did not go over well. When a prophet does his job, it rarely does. But all too often, prophets get in bed with those that they are meant to confront. They align themselves with wicked men and lend their platforms to sin. At this point, the prophets deliver comforting messages that people want to hear. The only people they care about are their constituents. They don’t mind offending everyone else. They don’t mind pointing out the sin everywhere else in the world, just not in their tribe. They won’t confront power because they don’t want to lose influence. So they circle the wagons, and point out how wrong everyone else is.
This is not how the body of Christ is meant to operate.
Read the gospels. Christ rebukes sin within the religious community and extends grace to those on the fringe. If the body of Christ ever, EVER, EVER reverses that…we’re false prophets. We’ve negated our call in life, and have exchanged our voice for comfort. Take this for example:
The crude comments made by Donald J. Trump more than 11 years ago cannot be defended. But the godless progressive agenda of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton likewise cannot be defended.
And just like that, we’ve skated over not just crude comments, but the actions to which those comments refer. Make no mistake…this is not just about what Trump said. His words referenced events that he claims actually took place. Those actions cannot be idly dismissed for political expediency. No, the church needs a prophet to stand up to those comments and those actions and say, “This is inexcusable. This is abhorrent sin.” But instead, Christians are all but ignoring it, acting as though it isn’t really an issue. To be clear, I’m not saying you can’t vote for Trump as a Christian. I’m not making that call.
But you have to stand up against his comments. You have to call them what they are. It is your duty as a Christian to stand against such horrible behavior. Why? Because sexual assault is a real thing. There are women among us that have suffered horrible things at the hands of men like Trump. And if we hear these comments and say, “Oh it’s just locker talk,” it’s the equivalent of telling these women that their pain doesn’t really matter. One friend of mine told me this was like being told, “you had it coming.”
If sexual assault is just what boys do, then women are not safe. Period. If sexual assault is normal, then its victims should just deal with this regular part of life. That’s not the world in which I’d like to raise my daughter. It’s not the world in which I’d like to leave my wife home alone, or allow her to go out in public alone. I don’t want to live in that world. I don’t want to live in a world where an ivy league swimmer is given three months for rape because he has so much potential and the judge doesn’t want to ruin his life. I don’t want to live in a world where our president feels like he can assault women sexually with impunity.
Whether you decide to vote for Trump or not…if you are a Christian, you must condemn his statements. You must condemn them openly and honestly and in no uncertain terms. You never know which of your friends or your family members have experience sexual assault. They may never speak of it. The chances of that happen plummet as we brush aside comments and actions like those of Donald Trump. The leader quoted earlier missed his opportunity. He shirked his responsibility. He should have called Trump to repentance. He should have said, The crude comments made by Donald J. Trump more than 11 years ago cannot be defended. Full stop. No defense. No misdirection. But instead, he moved on to focus on the perceived enemy. He moved on to those outside his camp. He negated his prophetic call to speak truth to power. We can’t tolerate that any longer. We need a prophet.