Fascinating article by David French arguing that much of the political mess in America today springs from the misuse of prophecy. French says he believes in the possibility of prophecy in our time. But:
There is a difference between believing that God can provide a person with insight into the future and believing that God has spoken to any given self-proclaimed prophet. There is also a danger that people who are desperate for certainty in an uncertain world will fall under the sway of grifters and charlatans.Well, 2020 and 2021 have turned out to be a disaster for American prophecy. It was also a disaster for segments of the American Pentecostal church. Many, many prophets predicted Trump would win. He lost. And while virtually no prophets predicted the coronavirus catastrophe, many of them predicted a quick end to the pandemic. They were wrong.
That brings us to the present day. You wouldn’t know it from the Christian debates on Twitter or the dueling Christian op-eds in most of the media, but many millions of Americans spent the Trump era deeply loyal to Trump not because of policy arguments or political debate, but in large part because “prophets” told them he was specifically and specially anointed by God for this moment. These Americans were resistant to the election outcome because they were told—again and again—by voices they trusted that God promised Trump would win.
Put simply, when a person believed these prophecies, arguments over the election had little to do with the details of absentee ballots or the nuances of state law. They had everything to do with the (presumed) revealed will of God. . . .
And then, compounding the disaster, when a few honest voices presented sincere apologies for failed prophecies, they were subjected to an avalanche of hate and threats. . . .
Prophets who err must be willing to receive correction from peer leaders with whom they are in accountable relationship. Those refusing such accountability should not be welcomed for ministry. . . . It is our hope that this statement will both honor and encourage prophetic ministry while at the same time calling for greater accountability, since unaccountable prophecy has been a bane on the modern Pentecostal-charismatic movement for decades.
We also urge prophetic ministers posting unfiltered and untested words purportedly from the Lord to first submit those words to peer leaders for evaluation.