It’s one of the hardest things to perceive and then harder still to communicate: that almost any church using the term “Christian” will have a statement of faith or a verbal bow to the Biblical truths of the Christian faith, but what a body of people actually practices is what truly defines their beliefs.
In the churches I have left behind which would describe themselves as into the ‘prophetic’ ‘spiritual gifts’ ‘signs and wonders’ ‘third wave’ ‘new apostolic,’ etc., it would never be stated that there is any kind of inequality among the believers, but what was actually practiced told a different story.
For instance, an idolizing of ‘the prophetic’ as an elite group of people who hear God better than others. This might show itself in:
- asking the ‘prophetic’ people to ‘get a word’ about major decisions the leaders need to make
- asking the ‘prophetic’ people to ‘hear God’ (get a read) on specific new comers to the congregation. What are their motives? Are they the ‘real deal’?
- asking the prophetic people to ‘hear God’ or ‘get a Word’ about why members are struggling with such and such (lack of finance, marital problems, infirmity)
This sort of practice sends a clear message that the so called prophetic folk hear God better than the average believer. This is not Biblical prophecy. This is much closer to getting readings on people. If this is practiced, an unspoken hierarchy will result with those seen as prophetic living in a higher realm than those not deemed ‘prophetic.’
The secondary result is a people striving to be seen as prophetic (and the prophetic folk trying to hold onto their title) by looking to every crazy thought that goes through their head, every insignificant dream dreamed, and every coincidental happening as proof of their prophetic anointing.
I know this can look like nit-picking or being critical, but my desire is to speak to those of you who are in these ‘movements’** and are starting to wonder why things seem off or see your congregation moving off the centrality of the Lord Jesus.
You may be wondering if you are just reading the writings of sour grapes, but I was one of ‘the prophetic’ folks of which I speak. I had a lot to “lose” by leaving this movement in terms of title, position, esteem (in a dangling-carrot-man-centered sort of fashion).
My real motivation is that the believers in Christ not be taken in by a flashy, glittery substitute of Biblical prophecy or the authentic brotherhood which life in Jesus provides.