by James R. Watkins
Most, if not all, of our contemporary leaders are political or social-justice warriors serving an ideology rooted in mortal gain. But where are our spiritual prophets? What of those generational personalities who arrive on the scene from time to time to inspire us to seek for spiritual gain?
Every generation, stretching back in time, has benefitted from its spiritual leaders. From Elijah to Abraham, from Samuel to Moses, on down to China’s Confucius and Tibet’s Gautama Siddhartha, who later became known as The Buddha, even Jesus and moving forward through time to the later appearances of Martin Luther and John Calvin in the West, to Mohammed and later, Gandhi in the Middle and Far East, these spiritual ‘prophets’ brought us a new revelation of God and what it means to be a faith son of the Almighty.
Conspicuously, and but with the exception of some Christian evangelists like Billy Graham, possibly Joyce Meyer or Joel Olsteen, there is nowhere to be found a truly galvanizing spiritual leader who inspires us to seek for spiritual gains, instead of material ones; someone who can literally change the course of history, as so many have done before.
People are spiritually hungry, and while the embracing of traditional religious teachings appear to be on the decline, people, now more than ever, are devoid of spiritual direction, as if we don’t even want one.
But being a spiritual prophet is more than someone saying just the right words, it is also about having a persuasive personality, someone who can be trusted, someone who is infectious in their teachings, someone who can “win the crowd.”
Is the 21st Century no longer capable of producing such stalwartl candidates? Is there no one alive today who can speak for God in such a way as to inspire the masses towards positive social and spiritual change en masse?
Even the Pope, loved by millions, has succumbed to putting the Church’s emphasis on repairing social ills, not necessarily spiritual ones. While these efforts are noble and praiseworthy, I have yet to hear or read anything from the pontiff (or the Catholic Church) that has filled me with spiritual hope, or has inspired me to want to ‘labor for the kingdom.’
Perhaps God has put a pause button on sending any new prophets, at least until mankind can decide if it wants one. Perhaps it is premature to judge too harshly on the seemingly vacuous times we live in when such spiritual prophets might be absent from humanity, after all, we are only 18 years into the new millennium.
Perhaps there will be a Jesus renaissance, or maybe the next prophet will carry further the message of Jesus, promoting a true spiritual kinship among the children of a loving Father. It was this message in ancient times that gave so much hope to so many who were lost in a myriad of pagan rituals, mystery cults and secular pessimism (sound familiar?). Where today is that message that can unite, rather than divide?