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PROBLEMS WITH PERSONAL PROPHECY
There are several problems with STF’s practice of
personal prophecy from both the practical and theological perspective.
The root of its bad practice is bad theology.
CES’s practice of personal prophecy teaches or assumes several problematic things:
First, it assumes that personal prophecy amounts to
divine inspiration of the prophets, and that this inspiration is
practiced by every believer who wants to. In practice, they assume that
every person is or can be a prophet, and every impression or dream a
prophecy. Second, it assumes that demonic spirits are rampant in the
lives of believers, and that personal prophecy identifies both the
demons and those who are afflicted with them.
Third, personal prophecy assumes that believers must
submit to the prophets on personal, spiritual and relationship matters.
In practice, if not in teaching, the prophet is the intermediary
between the believers and God. Submitting to the words of the prophet
is submitting to the word of the Lord. There is no clear distinction,
as least in the eyes of the prophet. Like a Roman Catholic Priest, the
STF prophet stands in the place of God speaking for him and
acknowledging the believers’ submission. This is in stark contrast to
the book of Hebrews, which states that Christ himself is the mediator,
not a human prophet.
Fourth, STF frequently uses personal prophecy as a
means of exposing sin in individuals and inducing them to submit to
leadership. The practice is conspicuously absent from the New Testament.
The church at Corinth would have been the ideal
setting for personal prophecy to be used to censure erring Christians.
Yet, personal prophecy is glaringly absent from Paul’s epistles to
Corinth, even though Paul himself received revelations from God, and
some of his traveling companions such as Silas are called prophets.
Paul mentioned factions among the Corinthians (some
follow Paul, some Cephas, etc), yet he never once mentioned a prophecy
directed at anyone in the factions, telling them to stop. Paul spoke
against incest, promiscuity and use of prostitutes, but never
described visions of individuals with spiders in their home, fungus
under their nails, seductions, skirts hiked above their waists or their
faces turning into faces of demons– all of which were used by CES’s
Prophetic Council to describe Elizabeth Lynn, even though she was never
accused of incest or adultery.
Paul’s letter never evoked personal prophecy to
advocate removal of certain elders from office, to defend some
embattled elders who stood for the truth, (as CES prophecies did for
the CES president and CEO) or to warn any that they would be “taken
out” if they continued on their present course. Paul didn’t single out
any drunks at the Lord’s Supper or use prophecy to persuade any
individual to undergo a deliverance session, as Elizabeth Lynn had been.
Paul said that “there must be heresies among you” (1
Cor 11:19) but doesn’t identify any individuals by prophecy.
Paul did not cite hundreds of personal prophecies
from churches around the Mediterranean which were directed at
individuals or the situation at Corinth, as the Prophetical Council did
regarding Elizabeth Lynn and the Board of Directors.
CES letters and reports are literally stuffed with
personal prophecies, yet Acts and the epistles scarcely mention any,
and never include the critical, threatening and demonic imagery
prevalent in CES prophecies (even though the NT covers a 20 year span).
CES has taken an almost unknown practice in the NT and expanded and
given it purposes and prevalence never found in the New Testament..
Fifth, personal prophecy is a jackpot for people who
love to boss other people around. We all know such people (and maybe
you are such people?). Personal prophecy gives busybodies and
opinionated people ammunition, because they present it not as advice or
as meddling, but as revelation straight from the Lord. When you team
“revelation” with the model of confrontation and manipulation seen in
Momentus and the supposedly sanctified desire to transform other
people, you have a volatile and often very harmful mix.
Sixth, personal prophecy fosters a bad relationship
between leaders and the people they are supposed to serve. The book
states that personal prophecy is given to build relationships (chapter,
“Some Basics of Prophecy”), yet for several years now they have
destroyed hundreds of relationships in CES. “Prophets” can easily puff
up with pride because they are getting revelation from God. This is
increased even more by the awe of their followers who put prophets on a
pedestal because they speak the words of the Lord, not their own words.
In practice (though not on paper) it becomes almost impossible to
correct an erring prophet. To disagree with or disobey them is to
contend with God himself.