Tom's Thoughts

Location: Granite Falls, North Carolina, United States

I'm an ordained United Methodist minister no longer pastoring churches, a former media producer with skills ten years out of date, a writer trying to sell my first novel, and a sales associate keeping body and soul together working for the People's Republic of Corporate America. I'm married to the most wonderful woman in the world, who was my best friend for 17 years before we married.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Where are our Nathans?

When King David saw Bathsheba taking a bath, he lusted for her, and since he was king, he sent for her and took her. This is what happens when men get too much power. No one is there to tell them, "No, you must not." Thus Bill Clinton took the available intern, thus George W. Bush manipulated intelligence into propaganda to lead us into the war in Iraq.

But David had Nathan, if not before, then afterward. Nathan the prophet came to David and told him, "Thou are the man!" The man who sinned before God by taking another man's wife and having that man killed. The man who would pay for his sin by losing the life of his baby son.

Where, now are the Nathans in our age? Who could have been the Nathan that told President Kennedy he was wrong in is philandering ways. Who could have been the Nathan that told President Johnson he was wrong for escalating the war in Vietnam? Who could have been the Nathan to President Nixon telling him to come clean about Watergate? Who could have been the Nathan who told President Reagan that taxing the poor while giving tax breaks to the rich was in violation of everything Jesus said in the Gospels? I have already mentioned Clinton and Bush II.

Only one clergyman has had the ear of all these presidents, but his only concern was winning souls to Christ. He was a pastor, not a prophet. Billy Graham has had a long, distinguished career, and he has done more good than almost anyone in history. I have the utmost respect for Dr. Graham and wish his ministry much success even after he lays down his Bible for the last time. He witnessed to inclusiveness by refusing to speak to segregated audiences in the '50s, and has taken moral stands on public issues ever since. He retires into a well-deserved rest, and I pray the good work will continue.

But. There is always a But. We still need a Nathan. Needed one in previous decades, and need one now. Who will be our Nathan?

Are you called to be the next Nathan? Am I?