Showing posts with label False Prophets. Show all posts
Showing posts with label False Prophets. Show all posts

Wednesday, 13 January 2021

Repentance before God or business as usual?

We thank God for bringing us into the New Year 2021. We come in, full of faith in what our God can do and full of hope in the pictures His promises paint to us. Many of us are seeking the Lord’s face to know what He will have us do. At the end of the day, it matters what we come out with as the word from the Lord. This brings us to the issue this discussion is focusing on today – the matter of false prophecies by Christians, especially when they come from respected Church leaders.

Some days ago, I watched with tears in my eyes, a video clip that contains the several prophecies made by many church leaders in December 2019 and January 2020 concerning what year 2020 would hold. Almost all of them were declaring like the Hananiah and other prophets in Jeremiah 28. In Jeremiah 28, while God was warning them through Prophet Jeremiah and intended them to repent from their sins and pass through the humiliation and burden of serving the King of Babylon, these prophets were declaring bogus peace and restoration and telling them that there was no reason to worry. God said that their prophecies only ended up sealing the people’s fate to be exiled from Judah (Jer.27:14-15). Year 2020 was one of the most difficult years the world has ever experienced, but none of these prophets saw it. They declared a year of peace and laughter when there was none. It wasn't.

Furthermore, many Christians for one reason or another, were very interested in what would be the outcome of the United States Presidential Election. The election has come and gone and President Trump lost. All his efforts to get the results overturned proved abortive. Going through the prophecies from some prominent Christian leaders, it shows that many of them got it all wrong. They said that God told them that Trump would win but he ended up losing. Then I ask, who actually spoke to them? This is because, one of the marks of God’s word is that it gets fulfilled against all odds. Many have tried giving reasons why what they prophesied did not come to pass. But none of their reasons suffices. Michael Brown shared a very insightful thought here. Yes, to all the prophets that normally give prophecies, you are either right or wrong. “There are no middle grounds”, he said. Either God speaks to you and it comes to pass or He does not speak to you and hence what you prophesy will not come to pass. He suggested that at the end, there will be need for “serious accountability, reflection and even repentance.” Already, there are two Pastors that have led the train of apologizing to their followers for giving false prophecies. Pastor Jeremiah Johnson had prophesied that President Trump would win a second term election and be returned back to the White House. It didn’t happen. He apologized to his followers and repented of his false prophecy, “I would like to repent for inaccurately prophesying that Donald Trump would win a second term as the President of the United States”. He took full responsibility. Some Christians are against his repentance but it is encouraging to read the comment of the New Testament Scholar, Craig Keener, “Thank you for your integrity. May many follow your model. And God help us with those who are being so hostile”. Kris Valloton issued his own apology and congratulated the President-elect Biden and promised to be praying for him. He said, “I take full responsibility for being wrong. There is no excuse for it. I think it doesn’t make me a false prophet but it does actually create a credibility gap. A lot of people trust me… I want to say I’m sorry”.

Personally, that is a Christian character. To be a Christian does not mean that you may not sin at any time along your journey, but it matters what you do next when you realize you have sinned.

I believe that we need to repent in Nigeria as a church and not carry on with business as usual. We have seen a lot of false prophecies; people gave their monies and sowed seeds without results; expectations were crashed as many waited for some prophecies that did not come to pass; bogus claims failed to yield results; the faith of many of our young people are shaken as they watch with questions in their minds. Unfortunately, even the questions of young people are not given adequate attention and answer. We have a generation of youths that do not believe in our God because there are credibility gaps here and there and all we do in most cases is to keep silence.

This January 2021 as we pray, I feel very strongly that instead of declaring things we did not hear from the throne of God, we should repent and present the Church before the Lord for His fresh visitation. Peradventure, He will remember us and show us mercy, especially to this our beloved country.

God bless you and Happy New Year.

Thursday, 12 November 2020

The argument: A false prophecy and a false prophet

A false prophecy is different from a false prophet as a false teaching is different from a false teacher.  A false prophet can give a true prophecy as a false teacher can teach  a biblical truth.  Someone who is not a false prophet can give a false prophecy as someone who is not a false teacher can also teach something wrong.

A false prophet is deliberate and leads people away from God while a true prophet can make a mistake. A false teacher is intentional and leads people away from God and right living while ANYBODY can make the mistake of teaching what is false. Many factors can be the cause: shear ignorance, level of theological education and exposure, environment, and personal or group interests. A deliberate and intentional person is consistent and will refuse all corrections, even when he is confronted with the truth while someone who makes a mistake repents once he receives enlightenment.

These are the reasons why we MUST all remain humble and hold ourselves accountable. We MUST all be watchful and take heed to ourselves and others as people who are accountable. It is very dangerous to walk alone in this pilgrimage. It is dangerous  to destroy structures of accountabilities God creates around you either in the form of old friends and significant relationships who can look you in the face and ask you difficult questions and confront you with the truth or established processes of checks and balances  that demands your compliance.  
Any man can fall. Anyone can fail. However, God wants all of us to win. God bless you.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

The choices we make in 2017

The point is that your choices matter; your daily decisions matter; your attitudes matter and your actions also matter. These will culminate into what becomes of your life this New Year.

I believe that people can seek God’s face for the New Year. I believe that those that want to fast can fast and present themselves to God for whatever He wants to use them to do, even though it is not a prerequisite. I believe that there are many things in the future that are not within our control; hence we need to pray and adjust our lives to God and what He is doing to ensure that we are on the right side of the future.

What I don’t agree with is where people make false declarations because they want the church members to feel good. Some Pastors have put themselves under pressure to declare what will happen within the year. In the course, they declare strange things and lies that have no bearing to what God is doing, because of the gullible membership they have raise over the years.

I don’t agree with some people who use the time of seeking God at the beginning of the year as a time of bargaining and fund raising. If you want to raise money for your annual budget, set your target and urge your members to pledge, so that you will have the money to fund the programmes you have for the year. Trust God together with your members for His provision. But don’t manipulate them into thinking that their security and blessings within the year are dependent on how much they fast or give within the month of January. Do not manipulate them into thinking that they can use their money to “redeem” the year meanwhile behind the scene you are calculating how much is raised. The covenant we have with God in Christ and the terms and conditions recorded in the New Testament are enough for that.

Every January, there are bogus declarations by some church leaders. People use swelling words to hype the moral and emotions of others. There is nothing wrong trying to encourage the people to be positive towards the New Year, what is wrong is using lies to do that. God’s word is enough to make God’s people to trust Him. If God’s word is not able to motivate your people, then no bogus prophecies can make a lasting impression that has eternal value. Some have even gone into blessing holy water, holy oil, articles and “mantles” as instruments of anointing for the year. These are not proper and are deceptive. What carries people through is their relationship and faith in God which influences their daily choices.

Note that even though we make ourselves feel different in this month of January, the truth is that nothing really has changed; the days of this month will not be different from the other days of February, March, April etc. What will bring about changes are the choices and decisions we make daily. If you continue to make the same choices you have been making in the previous days, do not expect different outcomes in the days ahead. Prayer and fasting do not change the outcome of your daily choices.

Hence, instead of declaring false things to the people just to make them feel good and to raise money, use the occasion to challenge them to change their choices; to set new goals; to make new decisions towards the way they want to go; to take actions that will lead them to their new goals; to trust God and be faithful to Him because He rewards a faithful life. Let those who have been making bad choices repent and replace their bad choices with good ones. That is when they will expect a different outcome this year. Those that should go back to school should decide and start taking actions. Those that intend to take certification courses should decide and start making inquiries. This is the time to decide on any personal development you may want to engage in this year. Stop procrastination. Is there a small job opportunity to take up? Is there a ministry skill to develop? How many books do you intend to read this year? This is the time to take those decisions. 

Declaring what God has not told you will only stir empty emotions but will not bring about tangible results. Leading your people to adjust their lives to what God wants to do in their lives this year is more important than whatever good words you want to tell them no matter what your intentions may be. It is good to bless your congregation, but it is important for you to note that God does not bless a sinful and disobedient life. So leading a faithful and obedient life is more important than any fasting and prayer that will not produce changes in people’s lives. When you are in good relationship with God, you will surely be found in the center of His will for your life.

These are the choices that will bring about changes in your life this year. If you are seeking God’s face, go ahead and pray but take note of the inevitable choices that you must make to accompany the prayer time. Do not be deceived. Refuse to be exploited. May God bless you in this year 2017!