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‘God is Raging in the Prophets’ Words.’ ~ Heschel

37059_10151660457550087_1944270355_nYesterday on twitter, I posted the

following question, which ended up

getting reposted on Facebook

Today I found this quote in Abraham Joshua Heschel’s Book, Insecurity of Freedom;

“Prophecy is the voice that God has lent to the silent agony, a voice to the plundered poor, to the profaned riches of the world. It is a form of living, a crossing point of God and man. God is raging in the prophets’ words.”

Because I dared to ask this question while the Cowboys were playing, the conversation soon went from a roar to silence.  Here are some of the responses:

- Very good question.

- Ask Jonah.

- Of course it can. It depends on the audience and the context. I don’t believe it’s prophecy in and of itself that divides, but who is listening and what God is saying.

- “No.” (Ok, I can’t give a short answer!) If the prophet’s task is to alert people to the discrepancy between where we are and where God wants us, then the DISCREPANCY ITSELF forms a divide. People will line up either to defend the status quo or to embark on a quest toward God’s preferred future (as best they understand it).

- Jesus was prophetic, John too, both the Baptist and Apostle, and they all have polarized people. Not to polarize them into fear, but abundant life, so that the kingdom would grow here on earth, as established in the seed of David, but the reality is, Christ is both David’s Father and son. Love your neighbor with His Love, and spread the good news. It is finished! The power of Christ in you. Now reach over and turn on the light, for anew day has dawned!

- Can the prophetic be practiced without polarizing the prophet?

- The prophetic gift can produce inner turmoil.

- Practicing the prophetic is a gifting I’m growing into, but not one I would describe as primary for me. However, when I do walk more consistently in the gifting, I feel the inner turmoil of wanting to communicate and be received in ways that are consistent with honest motives, a hopeful heart, and helpful for the body.

- Can the prophetic be practiced without polarizing people? If not, it’s not the prophetic you’re practicing. 

- The prophetic doesn’t exist in a vacuum anymore. When it functions alongside the other giftings, in the environment of the organic community, it will be welcomed. Still polarizing, but welcomed.

I wanted to create a more focused environment for this discussion to continue, and so I’ll ask again;

“Can the prophetic be practiced without polarizing people?” 

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    1. MorganBush October 14, 2013 at 9:56 am #

      To polarize is simply to reorient. The work of the prophet is to continuously confront those in the natural with the enduring reality of the spiritual, with the goal being “. . .on earth as it is in heaven.” Prophetic ministry is, therefore, in its essential nature, polarizing. It confronts and calls for change.

    2. Laurie Norris October 14, 2013 at 10:37 am #

      Prophets generally remind us who is in charge, or at least who ought to be.

    3. Tim Day October 14, 2013 at 11:39 am #

      1 Corinthians 14 begins with prophesy strengthening, encouraging, and comforting; moves through instructing; leads to convicting of sin and judging (of the enquirer by all members of the church), and finally culminates in the seeker’s falling down and worshiping God. All of these are toward the end result of building up of the church.

      I’m not sure where “polarizing” falls among those results of prophecy. But for sure, it’s not always what we consider “nice and sweet.”

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