I am packing my bags and leaving the prophetic movement. I am not completely rejecting everything that the movement stands for but there is enough that I disagree with that I can’t say I am at ease with it anymore. So there I am packing my bags.
I want to take some time and reflect on what I am taking with me as I leave this niche of the Charismatic movement and return to the classic Pentecostal churches. The important thing to remember is that we are all sinners saved by grace through faith and in Christ alone. None of us are perfect and none of us have perfect theology. Not even Jimmy Swaggart!
Is the people at IHOPKC and Bethel Church (among others) deceived? Not knowingly but they have violated a few scriptural commands that need to be addressed. They have tolerated false teaching in their quest for spiritual renewal. Some of it is quite clear like Partial Perterism but other is not as easy to discern such as extra-biblical anointings.
I do not question the heart of the leaders such as Mike Bickle and Bill Johnson. I question their willingness to directly confront heretical teachings and put down false prophets. (There is a difference between a false prophet and someone just getting a prophecy wrong)
What am I packing my bags to take from the Prophetic movement?
The first thing that will go with me is the deep conviction that God wants to speak through all believers. Prophecy is not just for a few super believers that we call prophets. God can give anyone details about anyone at any time for His purposes. I deeply believe in the power of the prophetic word in the lives of the believer.
The second thing that I am taking with me is the passion for intercession. One thing that Mike Bickle modeled with his life before me as a young man was to be in the prayer room and to lead the prayer meeting. He did not just talk about prayer; he actually did it.
The third thing that I want to bring with me is the worship music. One thing I always look forward to was some amazing songs that would be made on the fly in the house of prayer and in the meetings around the country. I will never grow old of hearing Misty Edwards bring some new into the worship times. It is amazing how developed the worship in the prophetic movement has really become.
The fourth thing that I want to keep as I move on is the relationships. Many of the friendships I made in these meetings are important to me and I value them. I do not want to lose them because I feel it is time to move on in life and in ministry. I will never forget some of the time we wept together and we laugh together as well. We truly lived in community. It was not just we did a service on Sundays but we did life together.
Stadium Christianity is still my battle cry
I came from the Brownsville Revival with a deeply rooted burden for what we call stadium Christianity. I believe without a doubt that God is going to make sure that we see a billion souls come to Christ in a short window of time.
This is not just a prophetic movement thing. This is a Pentecostal thing but it is also a biblical thing. In fact, the prophetic movement got it from the Pentecostals. One of their reasons for this deep conviction is a prophetic word given by Smith Wigglesworth, one of the most influential early Pentecostals.
God is going to send revival but we do not need to destroy the integrity of scriptural interpretation to make it doctrinal sound to justify it. I still hold that we are about to see the great end time harvest and I do not think that I am not in a prayer room will make miss it. Revival is coming and it is rest on the shoulders of the evangelists (people in the prophetic call them Forerunners)
One of the challenges that many of the prophecies that did come out of the prophetic movement is that some of them were seriously flawed with bad theology. One prophet would speak of something that looked like Wesleyan amillienialism and the next guy in the same meetings would be speaking about the Pre-trib rapture. Which prophet was right and which one was wrong? No one would know.
Importance of having a life
One of the challenges in places like IHOPKC and Bethel Church, among other places, is that they do not value people having life outside of church. Many people just don’t have time to do the normal things of life like play in the church softball league.
Many people in Kansas City would struggle to have discussions that did not relate to theology or the house of prayer. They could not just talk about how the NFL was going and who they wanted to win the following Sunday.
They would try and find some deep prophetic interpretation of the game. If the New Orleans Saints won a game by twelve points against New York Giants; the saints are overtake the giants of the land and twelve is the number of completeness. It might sound crazy but this is the type of stuff I became use to hearing.
They did not have time for spending time with friends. They had to figure out how to nitpick between the Kingdom of Heaven and the Kingdom of God. I hear more pointless theological debates among people in these places known for the prophetic than I did when I was in seminary.
It is very spiritual to have community, to have breakfast with friends and to even play on the softball team for the church. There is nothing wrong with doing things that are outwardly spiritual. If you think everything you do has to have religious value; you are dangerous close to the profile on the Pharisees of the time of Jesus. Just saying.