Friday, May 14, 2010

Is Neil Young a Prophet?

I love Neil Young.  Great music, great insight.  Always challenging.  But is he a prophet in the biblical sense?  That is a good question?

I had sent to me a video of a sermon by a pastor from Calgary, Canada named John Van Sloten.  I don't know anything about him or the church he pastors, but I find it interesting that he sees in Neil Young a person of integrity and insight that speaks to the spiritual needs of the hour.    Here is a clip of the sermon, which includes quotations and reflections on Walter Brueggemann.   Unfortunately Neil doesn't make an appearance, but still, watch and respond.

8 comments:

David Mc said...

Should a prophet, profit? It's art.
He is awesome. I've followed and enjoyed his art since I was a kid. Seems to be a little cantankerous in his old age, but he's earned it.

John said...

I think folk singers in general play the role of prophet. Though Neil is just a guy, he has for so many years wrote and sung powerful songs with themes and lyrics that could not be ignored, themes which demanded that we pay attention, and that we respond.

Kinda like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGrgcoR0dkc

John

Anonymous said...

http://www.thrasherswheat.org/fot/ohio.htm

Alien Ramone said...

Neil Young is very talented and I appreciated his song "Let's Impeach the President" and many others, but he's not a prophet or even a visionary. Many signs were there that Obama would continue Bush's assault on civil liberties, but Neil Young didn't seem to see it and was in support of Obama. In an interview of him he mentioned being in support of the President after 9/11, but if he was really a prophet he would have seen that the crisis would be used for the government to gain more power over the people, and he would have been warning about it. As for integrity, I'll believe that he has it, if he judges the current President by the same standards as the previous President as Naomi Wolf has and continues protesting the wars and the governments' assaults on civil liberties.

John said...

Can someone be prophetic sometimes and just human other times? Can prophets be clear and certain sometimes and yet ambivalent and uncertain others?

Wouldn't the uncertain moments be more expected in a prophet who was not yet a believer in God?

I cannot understand your point, whether you are saying that a prophet has to have the right political ideology or that they are not permitted to express political hopes or preferences at all. I think Nathan loved and supported David, even though he called him out on the Bathsheba/Uriah injustice.

Alien Ramone said...

In response to John I'm saying that from my perspective I don't think Neil Young really sees what's gong on, so I would have a hard time viewing him as a prophet. Also his songs and some of what I've heard him talk about in interviews haven't been about what is going to happen in the future, so I don't really see where the idea of him being a profit comes in. If he had written "Ohio" before that incident happened I could understand labeling him as a profit. I mentioned integrity, because it was mentioned in the video. I see people from both major parties supporting their leaders in taking away rights. I think that people that have been rightfully in my opinion protesting the wars and intrusions on civil liberties for one Administration as Neil Young has, are a little lacking in the integrity department if they remain silent while another Administration expands on those policies.

John said...

Alien,

I think the work of the prophet is not to predict the future but to accurately read the present. Prophets discern and expose injustice when they see it. They speak truth to abusive power, and they give voice to voiceless when they are being oppressed.

I think concern for civil liberties is a serious political concern, especially in a nation built on the core value of personal freedom. However, I don't think protection of civil liberties claims a high place on God's list of priorities. Important, yes, but not so important as issues of violence, poverty, social, political, and religious marginalization, and environmental irresponsibility (that is, the proper stewardship God's very own CREATION).

God doesn't care who the president is, nor whether I pay higher taxes, nor whether I can carry my very own weapon.

God cares about whether I am feeding the poor, giving them clothing and shelter; whether I and caring for the alien, whether I am speaking out for the oppressed, forgotten, unloved, and the marginalized. God cares about whether I am being gracious.

When I am not doing that, when my country is not doing that, then God calls forth prophets to call us to task. And sometimes the prophetic voice is Canadian.

John

Alien Ramone said...

John,
Neil Young does a great job expressing ideas and reaching people. What happened in "Ohio" is expressed in a very simple but powerful way that helps keep what happened there alive in people's minds. I liked "Lets Impeach the President" which addressed a lot of what was going on and was hoping that finally music artists would join in and there would be support for ending the wars like there was during the Vietnam War. Many seem to have compromised their principles on that and other issues, because they seem to believe that the current Administration really cares about saving the environment, having a world where no one dies of starvation or goes without basic needs, and everyone has access to health care. The same system of control that was going on during the Bush Administration is continuing. Citizens on both sides are manipulated based on what issues they support, by a Corporatocracy that is forwarding a global governance agenda. The energy bill is not about saving the environment, but is about getting individuals under more control and getting a global carbon tax which starts putting nations under global governance. The health care bill is again about more government control. The U.N.s' Millenium Development Goals are about global taxing and power, not about helping poor nations. Codex Alimentarius is about control through the food supply, not safe standards. God may not care that much about many of these things, but they will have a direct effect on many of the things that you listed that God does care about. I would like to see a world where no one dies of starvation or goes without basic needs, everyone has access to health care, and everyone decides what they want to do to help, but it isn't going to happen by giving a centralized government more power to help the people. History has shown, that ends in oppression. In my opinion a national or world government that provides basic needs would need to be completely restricted from the local level as to what it receives and provides for it not to end in oppression. While others may view a lot of what I said as crazy conspiracy ideas, that is the way I view the reality of what is happening, and I see many of the so called conspiracy theorists as the the true visionaries, especially the ones that saw where things were heading decades ago. Prophets often are viewed as crazy anyway. I still appreciate Neil Young, but wish he would see what is going on now and express it as author Naomi Wolf has. Even though she endorsed Obama during the Presidential race, she has come out and warned that he is continuing many of the same policies that Bush was advancing to close down our open society.