Whenever prophetic voices rise to explain world events from a non-secular perspective, those voices often are minimized as "fringe" and "lunatic."
But that is simply an occupational hazard of offering a prophetic voice. They will be beaten to a pulp by competing godless voices until they give in or give up.
For example, consider today's voices in the wilderness that connect this country's moral collapse to the twin scourges of terrorism and financial indebtedness. Anyone who connects our current struggles to our own spiritual and moral vacuum will be labeled a "nut." I mean, who wants to hear about such things, right?
But even a cursory look at biblical prophets during times of crisis will quickly reveal how the godless voices of their day attacked them.
Immediately prior to God sending His people into Babylonian exile, the prophet Jeremiah tried to remind the people, again and again, that their abandonment of biblical morality was the reason for the impending disaster.
Their rejection of God's law then is the equivalent of today's attack on Christianity in our court system and the "loosening" of sexual ideals across our country.
Prior to the exile, Judah's priests rationalized their own moral failure, and worse, legitimized the power of kings to legalize immorality and uphold it as a virtue. In modern times, too many of our pastors and priests have sought to go along with our pagan culture and have in essence told the typical pew sitter to go ahead and "live it up." Certainly, God does not do anything so medieval as to punish disobedience, they believe. Surely, He would never allow disaster to come upon us.
Today's religious leaders have preached fun, entertainment and sports. We should grab all we can from this life and expect nothing but indefinite happiness. After all, they say, God just wants us to be happy and free to pursue our pleasures.
Meanwhile those leaders act to silence any voice that warns of the impending consequences to unbridled heathenism.
They label prophetic voices as "bigots." Such voices are "narrow-minded" and full of all sorts of "phobias."
In ancient times, such rejection of the prophets was well-and-good until disaster struck and the king of Babylon conquered Jerusalem, taking its inhabitants into exile.
For many people today, that's just a sad story. But it will be an all-too-real story when history repeats itself.
What will be the equivalent of exile in our time? Devastating terrorism that ends our way of life? Complete financial collapse from unrecoverable debt?
Ancient nations always lived with the threat of war and conquest. But we naively refuse to believe that anything really devastating could ever happen to us. In the tradition of the ostrich, we believe that our way of life will continue on forever.
But whatever we may face in the coming years, we can be sure that our response will be just like Jerusalem's. We will never say: "We brought this on ourselves." We will never declare: "We should have listened to the prophetic voices"; nor will we ask: "How can we find our way back to God?"
Instead, we will blame the prophetic voices. And we will throw in a good measure of blaming God, too.
May we as a nation, and a church, wake up in time to turn to the only truth that is worthy.
Michael Youssef, Ph.D., is the founder and president of Leading the Way with Dr. Michael Youssef, a worldwide ministry that leads the way for people living in spiritual darkness to discover the light of Christ through the creative use of media and on-the-ground ministry teams. Youssef was born in Egypt.
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