Like a thorn in your side is the prophet in the midst. It refuses to budge, like the splinter under your skin. A persistent irritation at least but, more likely, acute inflammation is the dreaded effect of this dis-ease.

No wonder religion has not been good to, let alone understanding of, the prophet in the midst. "He was too far ahead of his time" or "She just couldn't accept the way things are" is the historical/hysterical explanation for the impending backlash. And the unarmed prophet, as opposed to the militant revolutionary, is condemned as an enemy combatant.

Moral advancement has led to disownment, rather than death, for today's prophet in the midst. For you will not long tolerate the thorn, splinter or abrasion in the Meeting that has settled itself into worship by the like-minded. You can not include, as an affiliate or even a preparative meeting to someday be, in your midst those who harken to a Prophet, as well as a Presence.

Your corporate sense of unity, as conformity, assures you that homosexuality and same-sex unions are what need to change, not the Meeting. Your "Presence in the Midst" gives you the authority to condone personal rejection and ostracism in a Religious Society of Friends. Yet, for those who find it necessary to wait upon the Inward Teacher for guidance in handling matters of disunity, you prefer a "gospel", not "Good News", ordering of your Meeting.

Still, the prophets have always been the ones who witness for, not against, the sake of the beloved community. They witness to a day of visitation that encourages transformation, even from good to better. It is, however, their presence that is vanishing from the misty picture of Quakerism.  

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Comment by James C Schultz on 7th mo. 28, 2014 at 9:05am

The problem with most prophets is they take themselves too seriously.  If Nineveh listens, you did your job.  If Nineveh doesn't list, you did your job.  Relax for a while under the Palm tree while you can.  There's always a new message for a faithful messenger and unfortunately they come just when you are most comfortable.  But it's just a job - a ministry - a gift or a curse.  In the end the prophet, as we learn from the old testament, has his own failings, weaknesses and lack of faith.  So do the job and move on if God lets you.  Not everyone gets stuck like Moses with the same tribe for 40 years.

Comment by Paul Klinkman on 8th mo. 1, 2014 at 5:30pm

An anonymous comment from laquaker.blogspot.com / prophesy and Social Discernment.

The true prophet speaks to hearts, not issues; and asks the person to change as the only real way for situations to change.

- - -

I'm pushing the pile on climate by trying to speak to hearts.  My queries are open-ended.

How do you feel about your personal use of fossil fuels? Do you find yourself avoiding them as much as possible?

Should Friends work together to allow each other to get further away from fossil fuels?

Should Friends help to resolve climate change?

Comment by Clem Gerdelmann on 8th mo. 2, 2014 at 8:06am

If you can find the Seed in that pile, I would answer with George Fox(Epistle #227): Sing and Rejoice(with the birds) ye Children... for the Lord is at work in this thick Night of Darkness that may be felt(as queries?)....And never heed the Tempests nor the Storms, Floods nor Rains, for the Seed-Christ is over all and doth reign....And fear not the loss of the Fleece, for it will grow again....

If Friends rejoiced in the work to get to the Seed, as we do to heeding and fearing what was prophesied by Isaac Asimov and has now been exposed as an imminent transformation for the earth(without a corresponding transformation in the person), we could create a climate of avoidance, instead of annoyance. 

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