Prophets vs Priests : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

I was reading a commentary out of my New Life Study Bible on Old Testament Prophets. One entry I found especially fascinating.

"During most of Israel's history, priests and prophets invariably collided. God had intended them to work togither, but the priests tended to compromise by not standing against the corruption of God's people. (1) The priests were usually tied to the status quo, finding it difficult to worship God except through ceremonies and liturgy. Though morality had a formal place in their theology, it was not emphasized in their practice.

(2) The prophet, on the other hand, placed great emphasis on lifestyle, conduct, and moral issues. He constantly confronted those who depended on mere performance of religious duties. He irritated, prodded, denounced, stood alone in his righteous demands, and insisted on applying God's eternal principles to life. The prophet was an ethical teacher, a moral reformer, and a disturber of the human mind; he exposed sin and apostasy, always seeking to stir the people to holy living."

Is the leadership of your church more like the Old Testament prophet, or the priest? What about the laity? Too often we're more interested in remaining in a comfortable place we've carved out for ourselves over the years. Other times we're more interested in merely attracting crowds, and resist God's direction to call sin "sin", fearing man more than God.

-- Anonymous, August 11, 2002


The duality you describe is tantamount to the Parliamentary form of government used in Britain with a House of Lords and a House of Commons. The House of Lords is reserved for members with special royalty status. House of Commons is far more egalitarian in membership. The priest-prophet conflict, much like in the British Parliament, is a function of social class. Many prophets do pattern a somewhat spartan lifestyle, e.g. Elijah, Elisha, Amos even the woman Hulda. Since O.T. priests trace their geneaology to the tribe of Levi, their socio-economic status was met thru a special income redistribution program outlined in Mosaic Law. This I'm sure created a false sense of privilege and rationalized their theology of accomodation to the mases you mention. Samuel of course is a notable exception. Authentic ministry will always reject accomdationist theology. Service defined by a constituent of one (God) outweighs a constituency of thousands who can only promise unpredictable popularity. QED

-- Anonymous, August 11, 2002

Rob you present an interesting question and one that I feel every church should consider. When we look at the ministry of Jesus Christ it is one that is inclusive of all people. Jesus goes to the people. He did not open an office and wait for the people to come to him. Jesus was in the community, he went into the homes of the people. His love was available to everyone. I tell my congregation every sunday that we will not be a country club church, where you come on sunday hear the sermon, sing some songs, have some cookies and go home. God has called our church to be a "missional church" that is to go into the community and go to those that often are forgotten. Christianity is not about the "status quo" it is about changing the status quo. Our religion is radical for it asks that all people, come together to worship God and to spread the good news. If everyone of us had the attitude of Christ, which was to go to people and tell them that God loves them, all of our churches would grow.

-- Anonymous, August 11, 2002

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