I just finished updating my PIF (Personal Information Form) for the church. This is basically the form that tells the world about me and what I believe, what I've done, and so on. I really liked one of the questions and thought I would include it here...

What are the key theological issues currently facing the church and society, and how do they shape your ministry?

I believe the key issue that the church faces today is: what does it mean to be prophetic? As the people of God, we are called into community to help bring about the kingdom of God on earth; and therefore, we are concurrently called to be both separate from and a part of the world.

Prophecy, in its truest form, is about reminding and acting out changes God wishes for this world. In the Hebrew Bible, prophets spoke out against injustice and called the people of God to a better way of living. Prophets railed against those who perpetuated oppression and broke the backs of the powerless. Prophets spoke out against corrupt rulers and called for compassion towards the weak and the helpless.

In our society, prophecy has been co-opted by those who wish to spread fear. Prophecy has been used as a tool to condemn differences rather than condemn injustices. The greatest challenge the church faces is to redefine what it means to be prophetic. The church has the obligation to reclaim this important voice and use it in the manner in which it was intended, such as was done when the General Assembly chose to divest from companies that do business with Israel’s government.

Being prophetic means that we are not always popular. It means that people will be upset at some of the positions that are voiced. However, it also means that we are being true to the call of God on our lives. My ministry, preaching, and teaching are all attempts at listening and sharing this prophetic adventure.

I am allowed 1500 characters to answer this question, so an economy of words is necessary. However, I am not sure that more words are needed...


    On 1/13/2005 11:32 AM Anonymous said...

    From Real Live Preacher,

    I think of prophecy much the same way that I think of television programming. Ultimately we get what we want as a culture. Hollywood serves up what we ask for.

    By and large we don't want prophetic words from God because they will hurt. Badly. We want answers to life, a way to find happiness, many things that sound good.

    But they are ultimately idols if they are all that you seek. I don't think we can fix this either. It is the way of the world.

    Nice work. God bless you in your upcoming studies.



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