They Will Still Be Wrong
To hear the song, click on the title (in green, just above). That will take you to a page with a music icon. Click there and the song will launch.
I can easily understand why Jeremiah tried to argue his way out of the job. It’s one that nobody in his right mind would ask for.
Being a prophet.
Your job, after all, at least in part, is to tell the world that it is wrong, gong in the wrong direction, believing the wrong things, bowing down to the wrong gods, making wrong use of good things. And all of this to a world and to people and to institutions that hate being told they are ever wrong. But the role – prophet – is one that some must fill if ones like us are ever to find our way to God, to home, to our true humanity.
I’ve been reading the Old Testament prophets lately and am struck by what must have been the challenges, the loneliness, the burdens of their existence.
They were in mind when I wrote this song, But I thought of others too (like my brother Gary, in the picture) who, if not prophets, speak and live prophetically, challenging and inspiring the culture by their words and examples, people who can and do stand alone because of their commitment to “thus saith the LORD.” I thought about missionaries in Afghanistan, of suffering churches in Sudan and Egypt, of those in the Episcopal church struggling these very weeks to stand for biblical truth and for love as Jesus taught it, of high school and college students trying to be uncompromising but caring witnesses for the Gospel at their various campuses, of pastors who preach the whole counsel of God to their people, and of any who might have become “weary in doing good.” It occurs to me that there has never been a time when people of the Kingdom did not need encouragement and affirmation. The world has never been a friend of grace after all.
It seems that our cultural commitment to open-mindedness and tolerance makes us timid of ever declaring definitively and confidently that somethings are right and others wrong, some good and some evil. But I am struck, whenever I read the prophets (and books like the Proverbs), at how blunt the Bible is in declaring particular conduct one or the other. The frequent comparison between the “wise” and the “foolish” is ongoing; of particular attitudes and conduct, the prophets and writers of scripture declare with no elaboration, that they are simply wrong … end of discussion.
As difficult as their messages can be, ones like myself need sometimes to hear the painfully honest truth of God in plain, unvarnished terms. Thankfully, there have been and are those who have had the courage and compassion to speak the truth even when it is unpopular, unaccepted, and costly. The prophets were some such people. This is for them, past and present.