Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Tuesday

January 21, 2014

Forum: We once again need a prophet

Is Phil Robertson of the television show “Duck Dynsaty” a prophet? The question might seem absurd, as Phil never claimed to hear from the Lord and never levied a warning. Yet if we take a closer look at prophets we might have to give pause.

What is a prophet? One dictionary says this: a person regarded as an inspired teacher or proclaimer of the will of God. And Old Testament prophets were just ordinary persons who received and delivered the word. Some were from a priestly tradition, but some were common folk and most were reluctant to deliver the messages they received. Why? Because they knew their contemporaries didn’t want to hear it. Furthermore, I don’t believe there any writings that spell out qualifications for being a prophet. So we haven’t eliminated Phil yet.

The second question goes to “hearing the word.” Again returning to the Old Testament prophets we find that some of them had visions, but others claimed they were delivering the word of the Lord. One thing for sure is that they did not look it up in the Bible. Theirs was an oral tradition and for most, the only way they could receive the word is if it was spoken, either directly or through a vision. We do have a Bible today and many other books on the subject, so we don’t need to hear the word when we can read it. Now, Phil claims to spend time with the word and some claim one can be inspired by it. So again, Phil fits the definition.

But another question surfaces. Was Phil delivering the will of God? Being a student of the Bible it seems clear to me that Phil was. I have heard the argument that Jesus never said anything about homosexuality, but I beg to differ. What Jesus did say was: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them” (Matthew 5:17).

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