Charismatics have been going to war with each other over all the false predictions made by so-called prophets. According to J. Gordon Melton, 78, the compiler of the Encyclopedia of American Religions and an American religious studies professor at Baylor University, “At least 40 charismatic Christian leaders predicted Trump’s reelection.” Melton points out that this prophetic failure was their second strike. At a major prophetic conference in November of 2019, with a gathering of the heavy-hitter prophets, not one so-called prophet received a word from God about the coronavirus pandemic.
In response to the failed Trump predictions, these so-called prophets turned to the fortune teller’s playbook of scams and either picked a new date for the prophecy to come true or reinterpreted the prophecy. For example, Jeff Jansen doubled down and declared that Trump had actually won and would return. Johnny Enlow claims that Trump is still anointed as President and is working behind the scenes.
Their followers are not so convinced. Many of the “prophets” are being held accountable for their false predictions. Christians have pointed out scriptures such as Deuteronomy 18:22. “If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed.” So far, only one self-styled prophet has admitted to speaking his own words and not the Lords. Jeremiah Johnson apologized and dismantled his ministry.
To create an appearance of accountability and look like they are working to weed out false prophets, Charismatic leadership has created a new set of “Prophetic Standards.” Although on the surface, it looks good, the language is so vague that it effectively does nothing to stem the tide of hucksters scamming the faithful by pumping out a flood of false predictions
The statement starts well. For example, it states, “We recognize that prophets do not serve as spiritual fortune tellers or prognosticators, nor is their role to satisfy our curiosity about the future or reveal abstract information. God’s purpose in prophecy is redemptive, calling for repentance, giving supernatural guidance, bringing comfort, deliverance, restoration, and glorifying Jesus as Lord.”
Excuse me, I have questions. If prophets aren’t supposed to be fortune-tellers, then why are so many prophecies about election results, dates for the rapture, or dire end-time warnings like “Blood Moons.” If they are supposed to be specific and not abstract, what do you call the blood moon predictions that forecasted something “significant” would happen? How does predicting an election glorify Jesus as Lord?
Where were the leaders, calling out these scamvangelists who have made millions of dollars peddling phony prophecies, last year? No one called out these prophets as long as they drew crowds and were filled the collection plate. Only now that infighting has broken out in the Charismatic camp has leadership decided to try and put up a façade of accountability.
Why do I say the statement is just a façade? The statement also says, “We understand that prophecies can be conditional and that many prophecies will take time to come to pass. We also recognize that prophetic language is often mysterious and symbolic, requiring interpretation and insight. This means that prophecies that do not contradict the Bible or that are not contrary to fact should be evaluated over time and not immediately rejected. On the other hand, if a prophetic word is delivered containing specific details and dates in which the stated prophetic word will come to pass and that prophecy contains no conditions to be met in order to be fulfilled, and that word does not come to pass as prophesied, then the one who delivered the word must be willing to take full responsibility, demonstrating genuine contrition before God and people.”
Here is the wrong prediction get out of jail free card. As long as you stay vague, make the prophecy sound mysterious, and aren’t foolish enough to give any specific details or dates, you can claim that you need more time for the prophecy to come true. In his support of Kim Clement’s incorrect prophecy about Trump serving two terms, Shane Vaughn invokes the “evaluate over time” clause as he points out that the prophecy didn’t say Trump would serve two terms consecutively. So, according to the Prophetic Standards, Clement wasn’t wrong; we have to wait and see.
The Prophetic Statement document is only going to divide the Charismatic movement even further. Although a few Charismatic leaders have signed the document, the list of notable Charismatic leaders who have not or refused to sign is significant. You won’t find Kenneth Copeland, Cindy Jacobs, Lance Wallnau, Dutch Sheets, Kat Kerr, Jeff Jansen, Johnny Enlow, or Steve Schultz. Let’s face it, where’s the money in being held accountable? The current situation of Charismatic leadership trying to reign in false prophets, and the popular false prophets refusing to be reigned in, means it’s bound to get ugly. The real victim is the Church, who once again will lose credibility while it tears itself apart.
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