Yesterday I saw an ad on Facebook for an online discussion about if the prophetic is still for today. It had several well-known leaders in the prophetic movement listed to speak. I thought to myself; you’re missing the point; charismatics aren’t questioning if prophecy is for today; they’re asking about the accuracy and legitimacy of individual prophets.
Many of us who have grown up in and around the Word of Faith, prophetic and Bethel movements have gone through a challenging last few years. For some, it started with the Todd Bentley fiasco in the spring of 2008, with leaders proving they had zero discernment in that situation. The situation resurfaced in 2019 with more issues surrounding Bentley, leading to a panel disqualifying him from ministry and prominent charismatic leaders still defending him. Enter 2020 and all that went wrong in the prophetic.
I went to the conferences, read the books, loved the worship (for the most part), and was sold out to see a move of God; however, there were things my Biblical grounding would not let me buy into. As I look at how prophetic leaders are trying to gloss over significant failures in the last couple of years, it breaks my heart for those they claim to serve. More so for the fact, there seems to be no fear of God among leadership to take responsibility for words spoken in the name of God that did not come to pass. Instead, many are still doubling down on certain things and continue to move the goalposts.
Here is my plea and prayer for people and leaders in the charismatic movement; go back to the Bible, reexamine your theology. Return to the holiness foundations of the movement. So many charismatic revivals have fallen apart due to a lack of holiness in leadership. Read Donald W. Dayton’s book, Theological Roots of Pentecostalism. It’s time for the Charismatic Movement to take a long hard look at what their theology is producing. I’m not asking people to question healing, but their understanding of healing according to Scripture.
I believe God heals, but everyone doesn’t get healed all the time; Paul even left Trophimus sick and told Timothy to take a little wine for his frequent infirmities. You don’t have to question prophecy, but we must hold prophets accountable who missed it and have not repented but have made and continue to make excuses. One minister said there is a major wave of attack on the prophets; with all due respect, legitimate questions over words that did not come to pass are not an attack.
One of the things I was taught when I was a kid was to put The Word first place and make it final authority. It’s time for the charismatic movement to do just that. It’s time for a theological autopsy on the doctrines of healing and prophecy. Study the Scriptures in-depth, consult Hebrew and Greek dictionaries, look at the whole of Scripture and be open to correction, be willing to repent, lay aside the grandiose for the godly, lay aside power for purity.
Judgment begins in the house of God, and I believe these last two years have been a judgment on the charismatic movement for unholiness in leadership, a devaluing of Scripture, and a hyper-emphasis on signs and wonders. I’m not asking for you to throw the baby out with the bathwater, just recognize the bathwater is murky, and it’s time to drain the water and refill the tub.
The Charismatic movement has been a great blessing in my walk with the Lord. Still, as it stands right now, most of the movement is very unhealthy. We need a physician, and that physician is the Scripture and a return to our first love, which according to our history, is strong biblical preaching and an emphasis on holiness. Look back at the sermons of the healing revivals; the messages were not on healing primarily but biblical doctrine. It’s time to return to the Bible, to theology, and to trust the sovereignty of God. That is my prayer for the charismatic movement.