Unfortunately, too many preachers are using “prophecy” as a vehicle for their personal agendas. False prophecy is one of the most dangerous weapons of mass destruction employed in the Church today. Pulpits and altars should never be used as platforms for establishing and executing one’s personal agenda. Although people, even those who have no religious affiliations, are aware of false prophecies about the apocalypse and money, significantly less critical attention has been devoted to preachers who use false prophecy as a medium to make personal statements to one person or a small group of individuals.
Bishop Noel Jones posits that the pulpit shouldn’t be used to address one person out of all the people in the congregation simply because you’re angry with the person. Jones contends that what you say will only be understood by you and possibly the person you’re referring to, but the time of the rest of the congregation will be wasted. Bishop Jones also asserts that preachers should never try to interpret Scripture in a way that speaks solely to the particular person he or she is angry with, considering no one will even understand how he or she arrived at the interpretation and all will be confused about the meaning of the discussed Scripture. He’s correct—prophecy, pulpits and altars are not weapons for achieving one’s personal agenda.
“Prophlying” is serious issue church leaders need to confront. What do I mean by “prophlying”? Prophlying is intentionally disguising prophecy or divine revelation as authentic words from God, or an unhealthy and unscriptural focus on someone and/or something to the point of where one’s mind becomes so consumed by the person and/or phenomenon that he or she is unable to distinguish between one’s personal thoughts and divine revelation. Colossians 3:2 instructs Believers to “set their mind” on what is important to God. Believers, therefore, have to make an intentional effort to “set their mind” on matters of the Kingdom of Heaven. Failing to set one’s mind on what’s valuable to God makes Believers vulnerable to receiving the thoughts of Satan.
When you’re constantly beholding and contemplating people and phenomena you credit your anger to, you give your thought-life to Satan. Your thought-life should be Jesus-centered.
It doesn’t matter that you speak in tongues and close your eyes when you engage in prophlying—you’re still giving false prophecy. Authentic prophecy isn’t about what you want to say and what you see but what God sees and desires to communicate through you. II Peter 1:21 states, “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” This aforementioned verse makes it clear that genuine prophecy comes from God—not from one’s own observations and desires, and this verse informs you to be “moved by the Holy Ghost” and not your emotions. When preachers become dominated by their emotions and not the Holy Spirit, people begin to lose trust in them—no matter how effective men and women of God they’ve been in the past.
Preachers, share what God has told you to reveal and sit down. Don’t use your position as a platform and weapon to attack those you’re angry with and with whom you disagree.
Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels
University of Wisconsin-Madison