Christianists Demand Accountability From “Prophets”

Michael Brown writes for Charisma News:

The apostle Paul summed up the possibilities and the problems associated with prophecy in a few short verses, writing, “Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Examine all things. Firmly hold onto what is good” (1 Thess. 5:19-21).

So, on the one hand, prophetic ministry should be encouraged, not suppressed. On the other hand, it must be tested. Unfortunately, in church circles where prophetic ministry is still accepted, we tend to go to one extreme or the other, either welcoming prophecy with little or no discernment or virtually shutting it down with a hypercautious attitude.

Today, in light of the failed election prophecies, which received widespread media attention, and which followed on the heels of the failed end-of-COVID prophecies, prophetic ministry has a bad name. Not only so, but many believers have become spiritually disoriented, while many pastors are asking, “Who cleans up the mess now?”

Brown’s column directs readers to a just-issued “Prophetic Standards Statement,” a lengthy demand from “Pentecostal and Charismatic leaders” which, at its core, begs these self-proclaimed prophets to end their relentless batshittery or at least admit when their prophecies fail to come true.

In the past Brown has criticized these prophets, many of which have amused us here on JMG, as continually moving the goalposts, particularly with their claims that Trump will return to power any minute.

An excerpt from the statement:

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.

Any statement of apology and/or explanation/clarification should be delivered to the audience to whom the erroneous word was given. For example, if it was given to an individual, the apology should be delivered to the individual.

If the word was delivered publicly, then a public apology (and/or explanation/clarification) should be presented. This is not meant to be a punishment but rather a mature act of love to protect the honor of the Lord, the integrity of prophetic ministry, and the faith of those to whom the word was given.