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?

Mike Kirby's picture

"Prophecy" the text of the first sermon ever preached in church


Acts 2:17-18
17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:

Mike says,
I guess if we were to get back to basics .... prophesy should be, at least, a doctrine of the church.

Part of the prophesy was this ...

Acts 2:21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

But yet ..... even that simple message is watered down to mean next to nothing in some circles!

Noshi asks,
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?

Mike says,
I am not overly concerned about the ability of Jesus to build His church and to preserve it!
I take some movements with a grain of salt, remembering that error can be more easily traced by an acceptance of the "establishment" than it can "out of the blue".

Thankfully, God has a "Witness" system that guides and directs His sheep.

Mike
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"Divine Grace is not opposed to effort ...
it is opposed to earning "
— Dallas Willard




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