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Behold the Prophet! No One Escapes! A reflection on what prophets are really like (Baptist Alert!)
Archdiocese of Washington ^ | June 13, 2012 | Msgr. Charles Pope

Posted on 06/13/2012 2:23:42 PM PDT by NYer

Vernon Johns

We often like to read from and quote the prophets. But if you’ve ever met a real prophet you know that being in the presence of a real prophet can be very disturbing. Prophets love God’s people, but they love them too much to gainsay the truth.

Prophets were famous for goring every one’s ox. No one left the presence of a prophet untouched.

So troubling were the prophets of old, including Jesus, that most of them were persecuted, jailed, stoned, exiled and killed. Most of the Biblical prophets were beyond controversial, they were way over the top. Prophets denounced sin and injustice in the strongest language, announcing doom to a nation that refused to repent. Many Israelites thus considered them unpatriotic and downright dangerous. They justified throwing them into prison for their lack of patriotism and for the way their words questioned and upset the status quo and the judgements of those who held power.

To many, these were dangerous men who had to be stopped.

Jesus, though essentially our savior, also adopted the role of a prophet. Listen to these words as he denounces the people of his day for their rejection of his prophetic message. In this they are just like their fore-bearers who rejected the prophets:

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the memorials of the righteous, and you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have joined them in shedding the prophets’ blood.’ Thus you bear witness against yourselves that you are the children of those who murdered the prophets; now fill up what your ancestors measured out! You serpents, you brood of vipers, how can you avoid being sentenced to Hell?! (Matt 23:29ff)

Many of us today like to think that, had we lived in Jesus’ time we would surely be on his side. But, truth be told, prophets can be hard to endure and Jesus had “difficult” things to say for everyone.

Honestly, most of us struggle with the truth to some extent. And especially we moderns who prefer a more gentle discourse with large doses of honey, and very little vinegar. We probably would wince as we walked along with Jesus. Jesus was very disconcerting. Jesus was more “plain spoken” than we are usually comfortable with. If we are honest, when we read the prophets and Jesus, we will come away with much to repent of.

A picture is worth a thousand words. Consider this video clip. It is of a modern prophet named Vernon Johns (see photo – upper right). In the early 1950s he was Pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, in Montgomery Alabama. The Black Congregation that hired him was a rather sleepy congregation. In the face of rather awful racial discrimination, they preferred to remain silent and therefore safe. Vernon Johns tried to wake them from their sleep, but to no avail. They were too afraid (yet) to take a prophetic stand. Eventually Vernon Johns was arrested as a trouble maker, and the Board of Deacons fired him.

But Johns had laid a foundation for the next Pastor of Dexter Baptist, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Within a few years Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat and the Bus Boycott was on. The rest is history.

This clip is of Vernon Johns’ final sermon where, in finest prophetic tradition he denounces racism. But NO ONE escapes his vivid denunciations, even his own congregation. Watch this clip and behold what it must have been like with the prophets of old, even Jesus.

Behold the prophet! No one escapes! In the end of the clip, his daughter who had stood against her Father’s zeal sings “Go Down Moses.” The choir director who had also opposed him likewise stands to sing. The seed is planted even as the prophet is led away by the police.

Final Sermon of Vernon Johns - Watch the YouTube Clip.


TOPICS: Catholic; Evangelical Christian; History; Ministry/Outreach
KEYWORDS: baptist; baptistchurch; msgrcharlespope; prophets

1 posted on 06/13/2012 2:23:52 PM PDT by NYer
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To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; SumProVita; ...

Catholic ping!


2 posted on 06/13/2012 2:24:39 PM PDT by NYer (Without justice, what else is the State but a great band of robbers? - St. Augustine)
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To: NYer

Well as the OT says about false prophets. Interesting thought though, G-d sure did mellow out between the OT and the NT.


3 posted on 06/13/2012 2:44:56 PM PDT by SkyDancer ("Talent Without Ambition Is Sad - Ambition Without Talent Is Worse")
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To: NYer

Bishop Romney was granted permission in 2005 by the Prophet, to begin his presidential run for the White house.


4 posted on 06/13/2012 3:35:42 PM PDT by ansel12 (Massachusetts Governors, where the GOP now goes for it's Presidential candidates.)
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To: SkyDancer

“Well as the OT says about false prophets. Interesting thought though, G-d sure did mellow out between the OT and the NT.”

That’s more than a tad debatable.

What is a matter of history is that a division of Judaism revised some beliefs to become very much more acceptable to the masses. In particular, the claim that Jesus’s sacrifice was a de facto general forgiveness of the individual believer’s sins made the Judaism.s new division, Christianity, much more salable because of the waving of the previous requiring individual responsibility under Mosaic Law.

Not making good on the rustled cow was far easier than returning five cows. Having to be responsible for following the Commandments from age 13 on was harder than just accepting Jesus and getting a pass on all one’s sins.

After all, before Jesus, all believers had to first make restitution here before asking for G*d’s forgiveness on Yom Kippur. Christians have it much easier on the bad behavior forgiveness issue.

And, the rest is history.

Whether G*d mellowed out remains to be determined. Also debatable is whether said debate can be decided, short of a valid sample of those who have been judged.


5 posted on 06/13/2012 3:54:30 PM PDT by GladesGuru (In a society predicated upon freedom, it is necessary to examine principles."...the public interest)
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To: GladesGuru

Just trying to be a bit humorous. G-d does have a sense of humor. He created humans, didn’t He. Now how funny is that?


6 posted on 06/13/2012 3:57:14 PM PDT by SkyDancer ("Talent Without Ambition Is Sad - Ambition Without Talent Is Worse")
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To: NYer
Jesus, though essentially our savior

Nice to acknowledge that fact, but 'essentially' is not essential in the sentence.

7 posted on 06/13/2012 4:01:20 PM PDT by xone
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To: NYer

#1 Prophet of all time:
|
Revelation 19:10
Then I fell at his feet to worship him. But he *said to me,
“Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus; worship God. For
the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

#2 Prophet of all time, my belief:
|
David, who spoke more of Yahshua than any other and who like hime was after the fathers heart.

As for Him changing his _tune_, He came as lamb and left as a lion. First a humble servant, then a conquering king.

The roar of the prophet speaks from the past, to the present and into the future:
|
Jeremiah 35:15
Also I have sent to you all My servants the prophets, sending them again and again, saying: ‘Turn now every man from his evil way and amend your deeds, and do not go after other gods to worship them. Then you will dwell in the land which I have given to you and to your forefathers; but you have not inclined your ear or listened to Me.
|
Jeremiah 26:2
“Thus says the LORD, ‘ Stand in the court of the LORD’S house, and speak to all the cities of Judah who have come to worship in the LORD’S house all the words that I have commanded you to speak to them. Do not omit a word!
|
1 Kings 11:33
because they have forsaken Me, and have worshiped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, Chemosh the god of Moab, and Milcom the god of the sons of Ammon; and they have not walked in My ways, doing what is right in My sight and observing My statutes and My ordinances, as his father David did.

Most all the world knows what the main day of Ashtoreth is.


8 posted on 06/13/2012 5:56:23 PM PDT by veracious
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To: SkyDancer

I appreciated the humor in your first post, and attempted to add a bit more. I have indulged in a long term debate with a Protestant friend and a Mormon friend on the issue of forgiveness.

However, nothing is quite so amusing as the antics of Liberals confronted with facts. Perhaps we can thus conclude that Liberals are G*d’s straight persons, created for the amusement of all?


9 posted on 06/13/2012 9:28:29 PM PDT by GladesGuru (In a society predicated upon freedom, it is necessary to examine principles."...the public interest)
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