Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Prophetic Witnesses as Watchmen (Ezekiel 33:1-9)

Jesus Christ invites every person to become a Christian and every Christian, every day, to share Christ's truth, freedom, love, and vitality with others. We serve Jesus as witnesses when we do so.

This invitation to share his truth, however, carries significant responsibility. This is how Ezekiel put it:

The word of [Yahweh] came to me: “Son of man, speak to your countrymen and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword against a land, and the people of the land choose one of their men and make him their watchman, and he sees the sword coming against the land and blows the trumpet to warn the people, then if anyone hears the trumpet but does not take warning and the sword comes and takes his life, his blood will be on his own head. If he had taken warning, he would have saved himself. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes the life of one of them, that man will be taken away because of his sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for his blood.’

“Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak out to dissuade him from his ways, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. But if you do warn the wicked man to turn from his ways and he does not do so, he will die for his sin, but you will have saved yourself” (Ezekiel 33:1-9, New International Version).

Today, the sword isn't coming. It's already here. Today, Jesus is calling some of us Christians to serve him as prophetic witnesses, as watchmen, and to speak up!

We all live in the Global Technological System (GTS). It is the most thorough embodiment ever of the six Olympian gods of power. The problem? Like the gods it feeds, this GTS is parasitic. Each day, it requires the systematic exploitation of billions of human beings and the systematic destruction of God’s good creation.

Not approving of this situation, Jesus speaks to us today. Through his words of truth, he frees us to discern and affirm this truth about the GTS. He frees us from our slavery to the gods who would have us ignore, deny, or justify this systematic exploitation and destruction. Finally, he frees us as his watchmen to point out to others that the GTS has no viable future.

Once we discern and affirm that, then we can muddle with others toward organizing ourselves in ways that lead toward greater rather than lesser vitality.

This role of watchman is something which the whole Church should be fulfilling in relation to our broader society and culture. We as Christians and churches should be seeing the trouble which is certainly coming and warning our non-Christian neighbors about it. Because we aren't, Jesus is calling you, me, and other Christians to serve him as prophetic witnesses by warning our fellow Christians and congregations about the trouble ahead.

Copyright © 2012 by Steven Farsaci.
All rights reserved. Fair use encouraged.