Prophecy or Fortune-telling?

Noshic's picture

A friend of mine told me yesterday about how his church invited a 'Prophet' over from the US, and how this Prophet/preacher prophesized over each member - concerning their career/ business/ international travel/ relationships etc etc. My friend was mighty impressed...But somehow I felt very concerned - It sounds to me more like fortune-telling than genuine prophecy.

From my understanding, even if a person is given that gift, it is not something that is used lightly and at will to predict everyone's future. It has to be an inner, powerful moving by the Spirit for God's specific purpose.

And this is not even a one-off incident. Most of the Christians I've personally come across in this part of the world tend to be heavily into prophecy, speaking in tongues etc.. People like Benny Hinn and other tele-evangelists have a lot of appeal here. And I've known people who've been left really scarred and disillusioned when the superficiality of all this is exposed.

I can't help feeling that most of this phenomenon arises from a forced imitation of a faulty mental picture of the early church. Or worse, it is something that is deliberately done to exploit in-built cultural superstitions. Some people certainly are building highly-paying careers out of religion and taking the gullible for a ride.

Am I wrong to feel concerned? Is it just my scientific, skeptical temperament that makes me question things that seem overtly emotive or out of order?

I'd like to hear other people's views / experiences in this area. Is this a uniquely Indian phenomenon, or are you seeing more of this in the West too? Do others too feel concerned? How do you deal with it?

JeffLogan's picture

"If someone rejects a

"If someone rejects a 'misrepresentation' of the gospel (not knowing that it is a misrepresentation), then is he guilty of rejecting the gospel?"

No! There is no wrong done by rejecting falsehood. But at the same time, the Bible says God reveals Himself in many ways so men are without excuse. And it says that even the Gentiles, who did not have the written moral law that the Jews had, can be a law unto themselves by practicing those things which are good in God's eyes. So there are many ways God reveals himself to us.

I believe that everyone who seeks after God, regardless of the name they use to find Him, will be found of Him. God is not so particular about insignificant things as men are. He is interested in SAVING men, not condemning them. So if they are pursuing Him by living in the light they have He will not reject them.

But lack of knowledge can be dangerous. Every truth we learn fortifies the mind against the attacks of the enemy. We are more able to meet every temptation with the Word of God. So we must never comfort ourselves with these thoughts. They are for cases in which we cannot be agents for good.

(There is a scriptural case for this but it would be lengthy and time-consuming to present here. I only present a synopsis here so that your perspective might be influence allowing you to read it for yourself from Scripture.)

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“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you."