Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Blasphemy ripe in prophetic movements

By Pastor Mairos

Recently I was chatting with another pastor on the subject of prophecy when suddenly an acquaintance of his greeted him: “How are you, pastor?”

He quickly answered: “Point of correction. I used to be a pastor, but not anymore. Now address me as prophet, please.”

The passer-by then asked him a few questions for the sake of interest.

“By the way, pastor, oh sorry, prophet why have you changed your title? And who changed it?”

The pastor friend of mine gave a funny answer.

“Well, it is no longer fashionable, honourable and profitable to be called a pastor. The title of a pastor is now reserved for ministers of God’s word who have neither money nor power to work miracles and to give prophecies. I changed the title on my own so that I may have the honour and fame being attributed to prophets these days,” he replied.

Then my friend posed a question to that acquaintance of his.

“Honestly speaking, if you have a problem today where will you go for spiritual advice and guidance? To a pastor or a prophet?” he asked.

The man simply replied: “I will definitely go to a prophet to hear what God is saying to me.”

His answer confirmed the general tendency of most church members today.

People are frantically seeking for prophecy yet this prophetic movement is fraught with many delusions, blasphemies and questionable beliefs.

Undoubtedly, the prophetic ministry has hogged the limelight today. Prophets and apostles are the ruling titles among the men and women of cloth today. These two have almost successfully overshadowed other ministry gifts of evangelist, pastor and teacher.

According to the Scripture (Ephesians 4:11) Christ gave the church five different types of spiritual leaders. And these are prophet, apostle, evangelist, pastor and teacher. The prophet is mainly responsible for communicating God’s mind to the church through foretelling and forth-telling in order to give guidance and direction to believers as well as calling saints back to God’s standards of holiness. The apostle is sent by God to plant churches. He or she is especially equipped and anointed to work miracles that testify to the power of God so as to start the work of God even in very difficult places.

An evangelist is chiefly concerned with the numerical growth of the church through preaching salvation. And the pastor exists to care and shepherd the flock of God. Last, but not least, the teacher focuses mainly on deepening the saints’ spiritual knowledge of God.

It was, therefore, God’s intention that these five ministry gifts work together for the perfection or bringing to maturity of the saints. But people have managed to rank and order these ministry gifts resulting in the prophets being put on top of the list.

This ranking and further self-anointment exercise is unscriptural. On the top of the list should be Christ Himself, who is the head of the church. It is not that the prophetic ministry is undesirable, but that it should be put in its proper place. A prophet is not above God. It is an error for someone who claims to be a man or woman of God to be exalted or to exalt themselves above God. Christ Himself pointed out that it is enough for the servant to be like his master. He categorically said that no servant can be above his master.

In view of Christ’s teachings, ministers of God’s word must stand on guard to resist being given praises, honour and glory that are due to God. One of the glaring errors of the current prophetic movements is the deification of human beings. Christ is often given paltry reference and honour, while the servant of Christ is showered with an abundance of praises.

Most prophetic utterances today come in the first person singular

For instance: “I declare that you will prosper. I declare that you will have good health. I make a decree that your enemies will die this year.”

To which congregants unwittingly yell: “Amen.”

But a careful analysis of such prophetic utterances would reveal that Christ is left out completely. If the one, Christ, who has the power to do what is uttered, is left out then whose power is working? Such prophetic behaviour is unlike that of biblical prophets who were careful to use the messenger style of language: “Thus says the Lord.”

Many church leaders and believers argue that they are not necessarily against the prophetic movements. But it is the behaviour and style of most of the prophets today that attracts criticism and discontent.

When you hear someone called or calling himself a prophet saying publicly that God visited them and they served Him rice and chicken, you begin to wonder if there is still any reverence of God among the clergy. In the not too distant past a self-styled prophet claimed to be receiving messages from God on his mobile phone.

Of course, God is always up-to-date in terms of everything including technology as He is the creator of everything, but to say that He can send a message on a cell phone, if this is not blasphemy of the highest order, then I stand to be educated.

God normally operates in His fixed order of things. He has given his followers the Holy Bible as the instruction manual for living according to His will.

If there is a specific personal message He wants to deliver He would rather use the ministration of the Holy Spirit who dwells in the believers themselves. Let us not forget that God is not a person and accordingly His modus operandi is markedly different from that of man.

The prophetic movement is as much in the limelight as it is under fire because of blasphemy and the seeking of popularity and wealth using questionable ways.

The criticism stems from the fact that there are more warnings in the Bible concerning prophecy than any other ministry gift. And the warnings presuppose that prophecy is likely to bring more harm than good. Financial Gazette