The prophetic voice is important because every one of us are flawed, we all misstep, make mistakes and no-one is actually above the expectations of scripture.
King David relied on the voice of the prophet Nathan, especially at the moment of his greatest delusion. The King of a nation abuses his power and influence and calls a married woman to his bedroom chamber. What is amazing is that he knew who she was before sending for her, because he asked who she was –
2 Samuel 11:3 (NLT)
3 He sent someone to find out who she was, and he was told, “She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite.”
So okay, David sees a beautiful woman, asks who she is and finds out she is married to one of the men who is currently fighting for you in war, story over. Right?
The next verse says, “Then David sent messengers to get her” (2 Sam 11:4).
The rest is history, David has an affair with a married woman, gets her pregnant then tries to cover his tracks which fall through because Bathsheba’s husband evidently has more righteous standards that David. So David plots to kill Uriah, Bethshebas husband and succeeds.
Then comes the voice of Nathan who rebukes the most powerful man in the nation as recorded in 2 Samuel 12 with such precision that David is brought to his knees with pure contrition and humbled. Of course, there is hope in the rebuke for our God is able to redeem all things but here’s the point – David repented because God sent Nathan to speak.
What happens when Nathan doesn’t speak?
In recent months we here have heard of deplorable behaviour done by prominent Christian Leaders in our world. Willow Creek is in disarray because Bill Hybels sins accumulated over decades has finally come out and can no longer be swept aside, Franklin Graham is suggesting the unthinkable by downplaying the alleged sexual assault by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and we don’t even need to mention the sin that has damaged countless children at the hands of the Church.
Where is Nathan? Has he become silent? Has he been forced to close his mouth? I have no doubt that we have many Nathan’s who are sent by God to expose Christ-followers who have fallen into sin and let’s be clear we all sin. We need to uphold the corrective prophetic voice in our world, call a spade a spade and hold to a better, higher standard.
Can we one one hand say we believe Imago Dei, that every person, male, female, boy and girl is of immeasurable worth because they are made in the image of God and therefore should be loved, protected and HEARD and then on the other hand when sin is exposed we casually go about our ‘Christian’ lives as if nothing has happened – actions do speak louder than words.
What are the considerations? Well on the Perth landscape, Willow Creek’s Global Leadership Summit is still going ahead, I leave enough room to be wrong and am torn knowing that everything is currently being done to make things right, but I’m not sure it should have. Franklin Graham is coming to Perth in 2019, to endorse a ‘Nathan’ who refuses to speak out in a Gospel-centered way again I am torn.
I by no means am suggesting that my thoughts are absolutely right, I am definitely not as smart as most Christian thinkers in Perth today but as a Christian Leader trying to lead myself, my family and a congregation in Perth it would be helpful if prominent leaders lead their own lives well and when sin is exposed there is an appropriate path of restoration that tells them and the world that even when we as Christians fall we aspire to live rightly before our God.
If we have any hope of this Nathan must speak!