After doing some push-ups yesterday to prove to my children that I’m not dead yet, I feel dead today. 🙂 My stomach muscles hurt in places I did not know I had stomach muscles and my chest, sides, and arms are collecting signatures on a petition to secede from the union. However, I am still able to move, however slowly, and able to type, which is really all that matters, isn’t it?
Just a tiny thought today. (I really do have bigger thoughts, but they are currently being crowded out by bigger tasks, so I’m making this post brief.) There is a tiny group of people (as in two or three) who like to write me on occasion claiming that the Church’s compliance with 501(c)(3) nonprofit regulations is somehow blasphemously giving absolute control of the Church to the government. I’ve asked for the regulatory documentation proving this claim, and they’ve provided none. I’ve pointed out things akin to the recent Supreme Court case, which doesn’t dissuade them from their faithful belief. And, given the fondness of this little group for (their version of) Mr. Armstrong, I’ve even provided evidence that he, too, made the Church 501(c)(3) compliant up to the time of his death, but evidence — even seeing Mr. Armstrong’s signature — apparently means nothing.
But as I was on my walk this morning, I thought it worth mentioning that the Church is not only nonprofit, it is also non-prophet. There is not today, in any community claiming the name “Church of God,” anyone qualifying as a prophet. There are some who claim to be, certainly. There is even one who blasphemously claims to be “that Prophet” which is a title reserved for Christ in Scripture. But all such claimants to the title of “prophet” have repeatedly failed the tests given to us for prophets in places like Deuteronomy 13 and Deuteronomy 18. There simply is no prophet today in the Church of God, nor in the Living Church of God, that we know of.
This might bother some, but it shouldn’t. Mr. Armstrong (who adamantly stated that he, himself, was not a prophet) discussed the lack of prophets in the time since the New Testament was written, and his comments are very sensible. Admittedly, they’ve been erased from their copy of Mystery of the Ages by some who strive to capitalize on his legacy but who find his words inconvenient for their own claims, but if you get an original copy, they’re still in there. But there is nothing in the Bible requiring the presence of a prophet today (nor an apostle, regardless of the claims of certain other ones to be such — numerical deceptions notwithstanding), and it is apparent that there is none.
Now, might a prophet be inspired of God in the future? Absolutely — I would think so. The “two witnesses” seem to fit the bill in a number of ways, for instance. (And, no, no one claiming to be one of the “two witnesses” today satisfies those requirements, either.) And I do get occasional letters from people claiming to be prophet-ish; as a presenter on the telecast, you get lots of exciting mail, to be sure! But if any of those really have been prophets, they have a wonderful way of hiding the evidence. 🙂
So for now, it is clear that we are both nonprofit and non-prophet. Don’t let anyone fool you into thinking otherwise.