Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Modern-day Prophets

A couple of weeks ago at our Sunday morning Bible study at North Seattle Friends, the topic of prophets came up. We discussed that the primary message of the Old Testament prophets to their people and leaders was about God's desire for "social justice"--caring for the poor, seeking fairness for the marginalized, living lives of integrity, etc.

Someone asked, "Are their any prophets like that nowadays?" The one who immediately sprang to mind was Martin Luther King, Jr. He was a prophet, very much cut from the same cloth as the OT prophets. He confronted a nation about it's sins and injustices. Everyone in the study agreed. Then I mentioned Gandhi. I believe Gandhi was also a prophet, used by God. Gandhi confronted a "Christian" nation about the egregious sins and injustices it was committing against the Indian people. Gandhi's message still challenges us today. No one at the study had a problem with the idea of Gandhi as prophet. This is just one more reason why I love Quakers.

"But," I can hear someone out there saying, "Gandhi wasn't even a Christian!" True, in the sense that he didn't profess Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior. Then again, neither did Isaiah, or Amos, or Jeremiah or any other of the Old Testament prophets. And perhaps Gandhi was a follower of Jesus to a much greater degree than many nowadays who do profess to be Christian, including some who have a national stage.

What was the core message of Gandhi, King and the OT prophets? Micah summed it up nicely: "He has shown you what is good and what the Lord require of you: To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." (Micah 6:8)

“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”


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