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

will pray for you to have wisdom in the matter.

Noshi said,
That's why i don't judge anyone's eternal welfare. Not my job.
My concern is for the sheep who might be left badly burnt (something I've seen), or whose spiritual growth may be retarded by following error and superstition. And my concern is also for people in this part of the world (many unaware of denominational and doctrinal issues within Christianity) who mistake this for the true and complete picture of Christianity..and hence dismiss it without further investigation.

Mike says,
The Spirit of God has moved you to be concerned ... I can see that.
Now you need to discern .... with discernment comes judgment.

Clearly ... the ball is in your court to "earnestly contend for the faith".

I will pray for you, in India, to have the wisdom of God for it is His intention that

"the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord,"

Ephesians 3:10-11

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