Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Wise Warning to the Prophetic Movement

I believe in the continuance of both prophetic gifts and the prophetic office in the church. However, that belief has been somewhat theoretical at times, because I have seen such poor example and lack of good modelling of prophetic ministry within the current self-described prophetic movement. The general exaltation of gifting over character and integrity, combined with a downplaying sound Scriptural teaching as a limitation and protection for prophetic ministry (and some general "flakiness" in practice) have concerned and offended me.

Therefore, I was pleasantly surprised this week to see the following material in a newsletter from Matt Sorger republished by Charisma Magazine and entitled Just Show Me the 'Stuff'!
It became apparent that what this church wanted was a charismatic show—the "signs following" with no preaching of the Word. I'm sorry, but I am a Word preacher.

I believe their outlook reflects an alarming trend in the prophetic movement. It seems that we are unintentionally cultivating the idea that the truth of the gospel, which emphasizes the power of the cross and blood of Christ, is no longer good enough. We need signs, signs and more signs. A life transformed by the power of God's amazing Word is not enough.

I want you to hear my heart in this. I am all for supernatural encounters. I have had many myself, and I know of others in ministry who have had some beautiful, real, life-changing supernatural encounters with God. But I am not into charismatic hype or manipulation. Just say it like it is. Don't exaggerate, add to or blow something up just to make a good story or to sell a bunch of CDs.

....I am not being negative. I am seeking to bring balance into a movement I am proud to be a part of—a movement that at one time didn't want to hear just empty words but words backed up with real substance, power and glory.I want the real thing! I want the real manifest presence of God. I want the real miracles, the real signs and wonders, the real angelic encounters (as God chooses to give them to me). I don't want a hyped-up version.

And I don't want to hear something new and different just for the sake of hearing something I have never heard before. I want my everyday life encountered in a real way by God's Word and anointing. I want to hear something that I can apply to my life. I want the fullness of God's Word to renew my mind, change me from the inside out and fill my life with real power and glory.

People who want to hear only something they have never heard before are in serious danger of opening themselves up to a gospel that is different from the one we find in Scripture. If you are running around looking for a new revelation without first putting into practice the hundreds of revelations given to us in God's Word, you are looking in the wrong direction. God has not called us to be flakey. He has called us to be solidly grounded in Him, to preach the gospel in season and out, and to impact the world around us as salt and light.

Please follow the link and red the whole thing. Sorger is right on! I think one of the most healthy things that could happen in the prophetic movement is for prophets to either learn how to balance their ministries with sound Gospel preaching and Bible exposition, or to travel with gifted teachers who can provide that balance. And both the prophets and teachers need to listen to and learn from each other. Churches should be led by prophets and teachers (Acts 13:1-3) working together in unity.

I believe that if leaders and followers of the prophetic movement will heed this warning the movement will be much more healthy and useful to the church as a whole and the purposes of God.