Where are the Prophets? – Truncating the Prophetic Message

I am currently reading the important work by Marvin McMickle entitled Where Have all the Prophets Gone? In the book McMickle looks at 4 trends that have caused the prophetic voice of the prophets to be blunted in the Christian church.

The first trend that has served to minimize the prophetic witness in the Christian pulpit is the truncation of the message of Justice. Here the demands of Justice are limited to 1 or 2 issues. McMickle notes that among some mainline and liberal Christian groups the great tradition of activism for justice has been reduced to activism for homosexual and for abortion rights.

Both Conservative and Progressive Limits Justice


Certainly the demands of justice includes more than the rights of homosexuals and the rights of women. However, much of the demands for full justice which would include advocacy for the poor and those who’s backs are against the wall is set aside while these two subjects dominate the discussion.

Like the progressives, many conservatives limit the issue of justice to these two issues although they take the other side of the equation by engaging in activism against homosexuality and abortion rights. Here both sides are in a mindset that limits justice to these two issues. We spend much effort and activism on these subjects. They are important subjects, but we cannot forget the poor, the unemployed, and even the prisoner. We cannot forget those who are being held without charges because they are suspected of being terrorists. We cannot forget even the guilty prisoners who all to often are subjected to rape because we do not care to make the prisons safe for inmates. The demands of Justice includes much more than just these two issues and we have great problems when we do not recognize that.

What is Jesus Agenda?


McMickle questions why the agenda of both sides has been reduced to these two issues when the Agenda of Jesus Christ is much broader (Matthew 25:41-44). Certainly there are exceptions. There are progressive and conservative groups who advocate for prisoners rights. There are groups who are fighting against military escalation and even seeking help for the poor, but all to often both sides of the abortion and homosexual rights agenda act as if advocacy for or against these two issues fully answers the Prophets call for justice. McMcickle reminds us that they do not…

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Sherman Haywood Cox II is the director of Soul Preaching. He holds the M.Div with an emphasis in Homiletics and a M.S. in Computer Science.

Posted in blog, Planning, Preaching, Preaching Methods

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Revised Common Lectionary
Proper 14 (February 26, 2017)
  • OT: Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28
  • Psalm: Psalm 105: 1-6, 16-22, 45b
  • Epistle: Romans 10:5-15
  • Gospel: Matthew 14:22-33
Af Am Heritage Lectionary
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