Tuesday, February 01, 2005
A Prophetic Swarm?
But the LORD said to me, "Do not say, 'I am a youth,' because everywhere I send you, you shall go, and all that I command you, you shall speak. 8 "Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you," declares the LORD. 9 Then the LORD stretched out His hand and touched my mouth, and the LORD said to me, "Behold, I have put My words in your mouth."
I love this passage, it is when God is commissioning Jeremiah as His prophet. I love the prophets -- they were God's crumudgeons. Their job was to defy the conventional wisdom, and proclaim God's Word -- generally to those that did not really want to hear it. Usually they were defiant towards the governmental and the religious authorities of the day -- often those authorities were vested in the same people and institutions.
In his book Blog, Hugh Hewitt describes how "blog swarms" were used to defy the conventional wisdom of the mainstream press and the political landscape of the country is likely forever changed. In a real sense, the poliblogs played a prophetic role in the election race. They sounded a voice of reason in an otherwise partisan and often unreasonable cacophony.
In the world of Godbloggers, I wonder if we are not to be the church's prophetic voice? Scandals plague the church. From the sex scandals of the Catholics to the financial/sex scandals of the Bakers to the average scandals we never hear about - pastors embezzling or sleeping with parishioners.
Then there are the issues facing the church that do not qualify as scandal, but are certainly contentious--ordination of homosexuals, or compromising theology for the sake of the offering.
Maybe the best role for Godbloggers is to be the voice in the wilderness. Most of us are rebels by definition -- that's why we are out here in cyber space declaring ourselves.
Could we generate a "prophetic swarm?" I think so. I do not know the issue around which that swarm might form, but I am sure one will show up. In my own church, the PCUSA, the question of homosexual ordination is going to make its way to the front burner in the next 18 months, coming to a head at the 2006 General Assembly.
While only PCUSA members can vote on the issue, the entire church at large can voice an opinion. I have wondered if when the Episcopalians ordained their gay bishop a Godblog swarm had emerged, things might have been different.
One website/blog I know, Presbyblog, will stay on top of the issue in the PCUSA. That site contains a number of good links on the PCUSA and the homosexual ordination issue as well.
The actions by the Episcopalians are tearing that denomination apart, and doing so harms the greater Kingdom. I would hate to see that happen to another older mainline denomination. We all have a stake in it. We should all pay attention. We should all act. We should all use our prophetic voice.