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Jesus in a Cashmere Sweater

"You should try our cashmere sweaters. They'll lift you up. I know that Jesus is supposed to lift you up, but cashmere sweaters are the next best thing." —A retailer on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving

You can't make up quotes like that. I responded, "I'm blogging that."

I don't need to stand on a soap box and tell you everything wrong with Black Friday. You already know. (And that's a big list.) I also don't need to tell you all the good things about Black Friday. (That's a big list too.) Instead, let's imagine Jesus and his prophet friends in cashmere sweaters.

We've been discussing the spiritual offices listed in 1 Corinthians 12:27–31. So far, I've asked: Are spiritual gifts really gifts, or are they more like curses? I've also said: We don't compare ourselves to Elijah, but should. And I've noted that we treat pastors like restaurant managers. Now I have another question: Do we treat prophets like retail clerks?

Prophets have the gift of not fitting in. They tell us what's wrong with our lives. They also tell us the future consequences of our current actions. In doing so, they give us an opportunity to change.

Today, we ignore the prophetic office in favor of elders and deacons. (Given, some of these folks may have the gift of prophecy, but just a board isn't enough.) Our churches are set up more like corporations than first-century churches. (That's a problem.) And many companies run better than our churches. CEOs have VPs and trusted advisors. Church pastors rarely do.

If pastors are really meant to be like apostles, then they need prophets. Prophets keep people in check. They aren't necessarily liked. They're also not necessarily on your side, but they do have a keen ability to make God's priorities and frustrations known. Isn't that what our churches' need?

Instead of embracing the prophetic office, we've forced our prophets to fit in. We've told them to wear cashmere sweaters and serve in the same way as everyone else. We've made prophets retail clerks who tell us what we want to hear: Buy the sweater, you will love it; Jesus would wear it. Buy the building instead of helping the poor; Jesus would. There's only one word for maddening ideas like those: absurd.

Jesus was a rebel who thought outside the box. Like Jesus, prophets are meant to be God's voice of reason. Yet, we've told prophets to be quiet and shut up—to put on their cashmere sweaters and make us feel warm and fuzzy.

What would happen if we unleashed prophets, and asked them to keep us in check? What if we made people called to the office of prophecy trusted advisors again? Drop me a comment and let me know.

Comments

I know men and I tell you that Jesus Christ is no mere man. Between Him and every other person in the world there is no possible term of comparison. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and I have founded empires. But on what did we rest the creation of our genius? Upon force. Jesus Christ founded His empire upon love; and at this hour millions of men would die for Him. –Essay Samples

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The Infinite God is everywhere, are you looking? I am dedicated to finding God in all aspects of life – the Bible, the news, and the arts. Because I find that the most fulfilling journey of all is searching for heaven here on earth.