In the Old Testament God would often raise up prophets in order to communicate God’s will to the people. Sometimes people think of prophets as people who tell the future. They did do that but more often than not prophets communicated two things: the people’s need to repent/change in various areas of their life and society & the positive alternative God had in mind for his people. Read Isaiah 1 for a good example of this (notice the turn in 1:16)
While I don’t think we have people today who are telling the future through direct means of inspiration like they had in the Old and New Testaments, I do believe we still have those prophetic voices among us. What troubles me though is it seems the prophetic voice that is present today is unidimensional. There are a ton of voices calling for change but are missing the rest of the message…communicating what the positive alternative God has for his people. In other words, we hear all kinds of sharp criticism of the church but few people are offering solutions.
Bottom line…if you are going to be a voice calling for change please come with some solutions in hand and don’t just shout angrily from the internet mountaintop at anyone who happens to be passing by. It just doesn’t fit very well with the M.O. of God’s prophets in scripture and can turn into something that is more unhealthy than the things they are railing against in the first place. There are too many guys who know how to poke holes and too few who know how to solve anything. Let’s have more of the second and fewer of the first.
From my comment to Christine below that lays out more of my train of thought on why complaining isn’t enough,
Here is my problem with it – we all know what the problems are. They have been discussed ad nauseum. It is no mystery. There have been hundreds of blog posts on it, books written laying out what the issues are. Fewer people have been pioneering on the front lines trying to turn the ship and then take part in the conversation of offering solutions. Too often even the solutions that are offered are by people who haven’t even tried them out in their own context. It is easier to snipe at problems from afar than it is to get in the trenches and bring about actual change. So I don’t really need more people pointing me toward the discussion that might or might not bring about solutions. If I hear criticism from someone I want that to be followed up with “and here is what we are doing about it.” If something is really that troublesome that someone would publicly write about it, isn’t it reasonable to think they would have been moved to action already?