Wednesday, August 07, 2013

New, improved prophecy!

Perhaps the greatest single measure of how far well-meaning folks are willing to sell out every last cell of their brains to run cover for false teachers is this argument that now, in the glorious days of fulfillment under the New Covenant, the greater and more glorious version of the thoroughly-documented gift of prophecy has turned into a pathetic hit-and-miss irrelevancy.

Put another way:
Then: types, shadows, anticipations of Christ...and 100%-inerrrant morally-binding prophecy about the realities that move men and nations.
Now: fulfillment, reality, Christ Himself... and errant, safely-ignored, muzzy holy hunches about the most inconsequential trivia imaginable.
In even a marginally healthy church, this chimera would have disappeared under gales of derisive laughter within seconds of its invention.

But that's supposing a marginally healthy church. And there's my crucial miscalculation.


Dave Ulrick said...

The folks at IHOP (that's International House of Prayer) have come up with a name for today's new-but-not-improved prophecy: "subjective prophecy":

We affirm that the Bible is the inerrant and sole objective source of direction and wisdom for the life of a believer. We believe in the operation of the prophetic ministry as a source of edification, exhortation, and comfort from the Lord (1 Cor. 14:3). We believe that the subjectivity of the prophetic ministry must be vigorously tested against the inspired and infallible Scriptures that God gave for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness (2 Tim. 3:16).

We deny that subjective prophetic experiences are equal to the inspired Word of God. In other words, all personal prophecy must uphold and honor the Scripture.

Explanation: Simple prophecy is limited to edification, exhortation, and comfort (1 Cor. 14:3). It is to enrich our spiritual life, rather than give direction in the domestic areas of our life. Edification speaks of spiritually building or edifying someone’s spirit by confirming their destiny or God’s purpose for their life. The most common way to edify a person through simple prophecy is to give a Scripture that has been previously important to them. Exhortation includes calling people to persevere and to not give up on their promises to God in hard times, and to not give in to sin. Comfort speaks of making known God’s perspective in a great disappointment or setback in a person’s life, by giving God’s perspective in telling them that God has a plan in their time of pressure.

We urge people to avoid giving others prophetic direction in the domestic areas of their life. This includes issues related to spousal designation, bearing children, changing jobs, moving, buying or selling (e.g. house), leaving one church for another, etc. We may give godly counsel to one another in domestic areas without presenting it as a prophecy. Personal prophecies should be given with others as witnesses (we request that prophecies be recorded when possible). Some people have an over-reliance on dreams for direction in their domestic lives. God never intended to direct people mostly by dreams. Yes, God does use dreams to give some direction; however, dreams are not to be a substitute for gaining wisdom from Scripture. Some people rely on dreams for decisions because it absolves them from responsibility and lacking wisdom if the decision turns out to be wrong (Eccl. 5:3, 7).

The qualifications in this quote make it appear as though IHOP has learned a thing or two since the Kansas City Prophets days, but yet they desperately cling to their fantasy that God is speaking non-authoritatively to His people (notwithstanding the utter lack of Scriptural support for anything remotely resembling "subjective prophecy") and that this is somehow a good thing.

DJP said...


Well, even more, here and here, I challenged that whole premise.

By which I mean the whole premise of "We're going to live our spiritual lives by A, of course testing the results of A against Scripture... though not actually testing A itself by Scripture..."

Robert said...

I bring this back to postmodernism and the efforts of people to live by synthesis instead of antithesis. Which is sad because most pre-K kids can all agree that when you change the definition of something, it ceases to be the same thing. I can't give a 6 year a picture of a toy and have him/her agree that it actually is a toy...they know better.

Unknown said...

Great post, Dan. I can't understand how one can view "subjective prophecy" - - prophecy allegedly from God but nonetheless prone to inaccurate receipt and transmission, could possibly be seen as the fulfillment of God’s promise to bless His people in the age of the Spirit, post-Pentecost. Why would anyone want or value an uncertain word from God, when we have the sure word of God to richly bless us?