When the prophetic voice mutes itself the stones will clatter and shake. The sound is cacophonic and confusing, but the core of truth the prophets refuse to speak will throb its way out on the thudding stones.
Rush Limbaugh proves it all.
Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown University law student and socio-political activist, lamented recently to a congressional panel the plight of sexually active co-eds and their need for contraceptive coverage, like that President Obama is seeking to mandate to religious as well as secular institutions.
Enter Rush Limbaugh. While the famed broadcaster was right in apologizing for labeling Fluke a "slut" and "prostitute," there's no need to apologize for slutty and prostitutional behaviors that want public subsidy to pay for controlling the outcomes.
There are no doubt better, more loving ways to say it than Rush did. However, the episode brings to mind the words of Jesus when Pharisees tried to get Him to muzzle His followers. "I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out!" Jesus said. (Luke 19:40)
Rush Limbaugh is a clattering stone because the voices that should be speaking are silent. Where are the Jesuits who run the school Fluke attends? Where is the Catholic hierarchy that oversees the institution? Why are they not grieving publicly over Fluke's disclosure that 40 percent of Georgetown Law's female students are having financial struggles in their attempt to prevent unwanted pregnancy? The godly sorrow should not be over the money concern, but over the fact that apparently 40 percent of the Catholic school's women are engaged in what the Bible calls fornication with, one must assume, at least that many males.
But it's not just the Catholics. Other schools that began as "Christian" – many still carrying the label – have tempered their belief and speech to accommodate the tyranny of cultural expectation. Much has been written about the origins of Ivy League schools, and their aim of equipping people who could take biblical truth into the wilderness of early America.
So Princeton University, graced with Jonathan Edwards as its third president, now embraces on its faculty Peter Singer, and his ethical system that decries valuing humans as of greater value than animals.
Baylor, which tags itself "the largest Baptist university in the world" ousted scientist William Dembski because he advocated intelligent design, and ordered another professor to shut down a website that questioned whether Darwinian evolution could actually propagate new information.
Sadly, such examples proliferate in our culture.
Rather than raising up prophets who can confront cultural toxicity, many of the institutions are producing accommodationists who encourage society to acclimate itself by taking in low doses of the "slutty" and "prostitutional" until it can stomach public funding for sexual addiction.
The Church and its institutions should provide the prophetic warning and guidance to society. The true Church can speak the hard words without harshness. She understands Isaiah's heart when he weeps out his prayer, "Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips." (Isaiah 6:5) Christ's real Church speaks truth with discernment, but not judgmentally because she is motivated by His love, and always brings the bowl of water and towel when she bathes the dirty feet of her society.
Rather than producing weeping prophets, many churches and their educational institutions are turning out wavering accommodationists.
In the prophetic void, the stones cry out. When they do, the communication is messy and clattering. But the hard truth must and will come out.
Rush Limbaugh proves it.