Wallace B. Henley on The 2020 Election and Untethered Prophets: What Does Healthy Prophetic ‘Reflection’ Look Like? (Part 2)

Woe to the prophetless nation!

“Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint but blessed is he who keeps the law.” (Proverbs 29:18 ESV)

Charles (Chuck) Colson spoke prophetically to nations. Chuck arose from the ashes of the Watergate-sparked collapse of the Nixon presidency when he gave his life to Christ.

In 1973, after three years as a junior aide in the Nixon White House I had become a pastor near Mobile, Alabama. A Washington friend phoned and told me Colson, whom I had known at a distance in the White House, had turned to Christ. Like Jesus’s disciples when they heard of the resurrection, I “disbelieved for joy.”  (Luke 24:41)

In other words, it was just too good to be true. I had assumed tough, cynical Colson was an agnostic, or maybe even an atheist.

Wallace Henley, former Senior Associate Pastor of 2nd Baptist Church in Houston, Texas. | Photo by Scott Belin

My Washington friend confirmed Chuck’s conversion as genuine. But I could see for myself. Chuck had been sentenced for Watergate-related infractions to a federal prison at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama — three hours from my home.

Two days later, I was on my way. I had been at the bottom rung of the White House staff and Chuck had been in Nixon’s inner circle, so I did not know how he would receive me — or if he would. Pecking order is a big deal in the White House.

I was amazed when Chuck greeted me with a powerful bear hug. Almost immediately I asked: “Chuck, how did the Watergate scandal happen?”

“We didn’t take time to reflect,” he replied.

Now, amid the chaos of the 2020 election, America is in a period calling for deep reflection. Allied soldiers marching into Germany in the aftermath of the Second World War called the bombed ruins the “rubble world.” Spiritually, ethically, politically, culturally, socially, we now gaze on a “rubble world” because so many of our key institutions — church, family, education, governance, businesses — lie in smoldering ruin.

“Prophetic vision” is essential for deep reflection that takes in the “heights” as well as the “depths.” When John is about to receive the Revelation visions he sees “a door standing open in heaven,” and hears a voice: “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place…”

One gets the most comprehensive view of the whole landscape from “up here” — God’s perspective. And the higher the position the more profound the view — like the stunning “Earthrise” photo of the “blue marble” Earth taken by the 1968 Apollo 8 crew 175,000 miles away.   That photographic vision inspired Archibald MacLeish to write:

To see the Earth as it truly is

small and blue and beautiful

in that eternal silence where it floats

is to see ourselves as riders

on the Earth together,

brothers on that bright loveliness

in the eternal cold.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Wallace B. Henley