Where has the prophetic voice of the Church gone? Why has it grown so eerily silent? Has God nothing to say?
These are important questions that must be answered. The body of Christ—the Church—was created to be a prophetic voice to world. In her divine design, she was to express his heart of encouragement, strength, and comfort. For many who are outside or even inside the Church, she has become known for all the stuff she is against rather than the things she represents. Tragically, many people view the Church as condemning and judgmental rather than loving.
Why? The answer rests in the absence of her prophetic voice. Many seem to believe that if one stands in the pulpit and delivers a sermon that word is prophetic, which means it is from God. Sadly, that is not always true. God is often blamed for things he did not say. Too often the greatest love story of history is degraded into condemning diatribes of shame, manipulation, and guilt. This is the ditch on the right side of the road. Jesus never resorted to those techniques in drawing people to himself. He expressed the heart of the Father and people flocked to him in droves.
There is also the opposite extreme of standing for nothing—that is, anything goes. Don’t ask—don’t tell. It’s the idea that what’s right for me may not be for you—so let me do my own thing. This is certainly not biblical Christianity either. Instead it is the ditch on the left side of the road. Jesus never condoned sin nor did he disobey the Mosaic Law. Love does not look the other way—it steps up and confronts, but it does so in love.
The Church is drawn to extremes. We preach grace but demand lives lived to the letter of the law. Or, we disregard the principals of the law fulfilled by grace and refuse to step up or stand up for what’s right and against what’s biblically wrong. We have no prophetic voice.
What does God have to say about things? Well, most certainly God has not stopped speaking. He is still talking to those who are listening—the problem is very few of his people are listening. In fact most have no clue he even wants to talk with them. God is looking for men and women who will listen for his present-tense voice and speak what he is saying—in the workplace, at the market, in school, in the halls of government, and in the church. God is looking for people who will prophesy—who will stand and declare what he is saying to this generation.
But to do that, we must reclaim our prophetic voice, which means we must come to the place where we can once again hear God speak clearly and be willing to speak what he has said. Our future of our culture and our world hang in the balance.