Thursday, September 17, 2009

Prophetic Privilege

We must be careful about building a theology of prophetic privilege. God has not promised to protect his prophets, but he will protect his word. Jesus warned that prophets would be persecuted. He did not say they should be protected.

Prophets are often mistreated and mistrusted by the church. That has to change. But the solution is not for prophets to be put on a pedestal immune from challenge. What we want is an environment where prophets are welcomed and prophecy is respected, but where prophetic ministries are rigorously assessed and prophecies are vigorously tested.

The idea that there are ministries, whether pastor or prophet, to whom we must blindly submit is wrong and dangerous. Far too many Christians have been lead off the right path, because they have followed their pastor without questioning his decisions. We do not want Christians to start doing the same with prophets.

The common idea that prophets are subject only prophets is wrong and dangerous. Prophets do have a special role in testing judging prophecy (1 Cor 14), but that does not mean that others do not. Anyone who is prophesied to has responsibility to test the prophecy and assess the prophet. The problem with prophets is that they can stir each other up into error. This happened in 1Kings 22. Jehoshaphat was not a prophet, but he tested the court prophets word and rejected their ministry.

On the other hand, Christians should be very careful about attacking a prophet (or any other Christian) in the wrong spirit. These attacks are usually a way of rejecting the words the prophet has spoken. If the word is true, they are putting themselves in a dangerous position. Rejecting God’s word, whether prophetic or scriptural is risky, because it weakens our spiritual protection.

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