Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Sept 28 Christchurch Prophecy
One of the most maligned spiritual gifts is prophecy. It is either dismissed as being obsolete or it is approached so casually that it is not surprising many people have convinced themselves that it is obsolete.
An example of how little REAL respect is given to prophecy is being demonstrated as I write. A prediction has been made of yet another catastrophe in Christchurch New Zealand. That city seems to draw attention from a sector of the “church” which delights in the idea of God pouring out His wrath on other people. Christchurch seems to be a favourite target for a few reasons. It has already been the victim of disaster and its name makes it a handy metaphor for those critical of the state of the church. Put the two together and we have God showing His displeasure with Christ’s church.
The current prediction has been very specific – giving today as the day when terrible things will happen again to the city. It has had a polarising effect within the Christian community. Some reject it out of hand because they reject the validity of all present day prophecy. Others have embraced it without question, appearing to take delight in the idea of God’s judgement being demonstrated against others.
I take a different view. I am totally accepting of the validity of prophecy today but I strongly reject this particular prediction. I find nothing in it to indicate it is a true prophetic word.
Yesterday, 27th September, I resigned from my role as the moderator of a Christian forum because of the way this prediction was being addressed. As a result I have been asked not to contribute to that forum for three months.
It is clear that the forum owner accepts the validity of the prophecy in part. The only aspect that troubles him is the dating of the predicted disaster. A few other members have been more supportive, accepting all of it as a true message from God. They expect disaster to strike Christchurch today. Maybe even more disturbing than this expectation is the impression that they won’t even have their certainty shaken when the predicted event fails to happen. They will merely latch onto the next “word of prophecy” and run with that one until it also fails.
These people are more than willing to see Christchurch take the brunt of God’s wrath because of the state of the church (as they see it) and yet they are blind to the fact that THEY are no less disobedient, wilful and misled. They are no less guilty of error and stubbornness –all demonstrated by their refusal to test the “prophecy” according to God given, scriptural principals.
Prophecy is something that we can not afford to take lightly. We can not be casual with it. In the Old Testament false prophets were given no leeway. According to God’s instructions, they got it right – or they lost their lives.
Today false prophets are not faced with stoning. Some may see this as God’s mercy at work. I see it slightly differently. Maybe the Old Testament way was more merciful – it made people more aware of the seriousness of saying “God said” when God had said nothing of the kind. Maybe the freedom for “prophets” to speak without immediate consequences is itself a judgement on the church, separating the wheat from the chaff, separating those with a love and desire for the the truth from those who prefer baseless sensation.
There are still several more hours of the 28th (NZ time) to go. As yet I’ve heard no news of destruction in Christchurch. I’ll stick my neck out a little right now and say the rest of the day will pass with a similar absence of news, and then tomorrow the excuses, self-justification and back tracking will begin: anything to avoid accountability for the lies that have been promoted and supported.