Buenaventura. Colombia.



Why Do We Need a Modern Prophet?


One of the answers was, “We need modern prophets because they can give us directions on things that are necessary for us to grow spiritually.” Denise Humphrey.

Of course, we should “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them.” According to the New Testament, “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.”

So how are we supposed to tell the difference between true and false, now that wickedness has obviously surpassed itself, and love of most has definitely grown cold? And dim too. It’s lost its luster. People walk around entranced by the norms of Consumerism. The evil has already gone out into the world, so how can we recognize the spirit of God? The book says, “Every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus, that spirit is not from God.” So how were things BC (Before Christ)? Every spirit that did not acknowledge Moses, that spirit was not from God? Every spirit that did not acknowledge Abraham, that spirit was not from God? Every spirit that did not acknowledge Adam was not from God?

Imagine them all around a table, an open discussion, Sunday Night Live, all the prophets, All Saints. Would it turn into a Secret Supper, or another American Idol scouting a new Apprentice Prophet?

This morning I received an email from a good friend, very spiritual individual:
“Priests are well paid professionals that have a great authority in our society.” According to him, they also started mixing religion and science, which he disapproved of, asking, “What would our Prophet do today?”

I told him I had seen his post on Facebook, but I have recently deactivated my account a bit disgusted by how much it turned into a Vanity Fair. I did appreciate him sending me the article, and his simple question propelled me into imagining a round table of prophets and saints, confronting each other friendly like NBA broadcasters. I have also recently started writing a new short story called Fat Angels, inspired by the paintings of David Addison Small and the band I saw at the Area 52, the other night.

It all sort of fell into place, and I responded with:
People will always be people, the same odd story. I have discovered something new, though, it’s been a few years already. I have realized that one prophet is not enough. People always need a new one, I guess to nail him on a cross again and watch him suffer. In trying times, it seems the tried-and-true method to tell right from wrong, a means to receive His direction. In most cases, as if it were the tall poppy syndrome, people hold your success against you. It’s a social phenomenon in which individuals of authentic quality are resented and criticized as more talented and elevated above their peers, which then take off the tallest stalks. It was advised by Aristotle himself, in his Politics, referring that “it was necessary to make away with the eminent citizens.” Cutting the heads off tall poppies was considered as egalitarian policies.

So if a band of prophets sat around a table—would they be considered as tall poppies? Most of them were misunderstood, persecuted, kicked out, stoned, crucified, to begin with. I understand it was God’s way of sending them out to test how infidel certain areas were, but as most people had idolatry under their skin, they couldn’t help interpreting one God in different ways, from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs. Only one way was suggested as right, though, the Path of Truth. Accordingly, whoever was not on it, he could not become it, as Buddha had simply put it. That person could not be true, to himself, to his family, to his friends, to his country…

So if a Board of Prophets told us what to do, again, we’d expect to see miracles first, a stick turned into a snake, water into wine. Big words like truth, love, dignity, honesty, and justice would not suffice. Because people still live under the yoke of expectations. Most of them are sophisticated toilers, working for the man. In exchange, we’re told that we’ll know God through our suffering and that he’ll reward us for our fidelity in the next, eternal life. Some suffer worse than others, though, but everything passes and, sooner or later, Fido receives the crown of life, as opposed to an iced Corona in this one. Not funny, indeed. Only the truth sets us free. But as long as they feed us miracles, we’ll have another prophet, false or true. By the time we find out, it too shall pass.