Apr. 26, 2016

Nuts and Bolts

You know what most churches are missing? A good prophet. People with the gift of prophecy usually get ran out of town so to speak. Even Christ “was not accepted in His hometown.” The most wise and most mature pastors understand that prophecy still exists and every pastor needs input from someone who truly has the spiritual gift of prophecy.

Many will try to tell you that prophecy disappeared after the Early Church, which is really sad since it doesn’t say that anywhere in the Bible.

Any solid prophet among us will attempt to address the following occurrences in a church:

Milk toast preaching – A milk toast preacher is going to steer clear of anything that might upset anyone in their congregation; most especially leadership and the tithers. While the world falls apart, the milk toast preacher focuses on everything their church is doing right instead of motivating the church to get out of their building and BE the church. A milk toast preacher will tell everyone that the prophet placed in their congregation is crazy.  Jesus was called crazy, too. These churches have a tendency to go nowhere.

Mediator mentality – These pastors and denominations search for common ground.  Mediators don’t always call a sin a sin, but then again, they typically know they have their own sins. They try to work on their own issues. You know, those “plank in my eye” moments? Also, a mediator preacher will often ask, “Does this issue really matter or are we getting sidetracked?” Mediators typically don’t focus on the letter of the Law. They focus on the act of love provided by God in the sacrifice and grace of the person Jesus. Yet, they have a tendency to swing into milk toast preaching. So the prophet in their midst will challenge them to discern, based on the Bible, when to take a stand (as Christ did with the Pharisees) and when to use an experience as a teachable moment (as Christ did with the women caught in adultery). Mediator pastors do not run the prophet off because they always look for common ground and value everyone.

Mad man rants – The mad man preacher is angry at everyone. You disagree with them – you’re going to hell. You don’t preach like them – you’re going to hell. You don’t act like them or dress like them or think like them – you’re going to hell. They aren’t afraid to tell you to your face that you are going to hell.  These preachers want their congregation to get angry, too. We have a lot of angry Christians walking around. I guess the verse, “Do not allow the sun to go down on your wrath,” doesn’t carry much weight with them. The prophet in their midst might say, “God is love. He that loveth not knoweth not God.” At that moment, the prophet is excommunicated from the church body for taking a stand against the pastor. If the prophet in this church says, “Preach on, Preacher!” they are typically not a true prophet. They are a church member formed in the image of their pastor.

Master design – Everyone who preaches or teaches God’s word can grow to the point of being a master-designed pastor. This person reveals balance, priorities, speaking the truth in love, confronting false teachings, and deflating inflated egos. They teach us to love like Jesus; not hate like the Pharisees. A master-designed pastor walks like Jesus; talks like Jesus; acts like Jesus; and cares about the things Jesus cares about – the lost, the afflicted, the oppressed, the poor, women, children, the mistreated, etc. It’s a Master design because God came up with the idea. This pastor’s prophet will walk along beside the pastor and will pray for their pastor daily.

When we quench the Spirit in others, we only hurt ourselves.  Well, and God.  We hurt God along with ourselves. We hurt our churches. We hurt our communities. We hurt the Truth revealed in the Bible. Let me rephrase: when we quench the Spirit in others, everyone suffers.

Both Joel 2:28 and Acts 2:17 teach that prophecy will increase during the end times; not disappear. I am afraid that we, as Christians, fear the “nuts” so much that we oppress today’s real prophets. We throw the baby out with the bathwater. Know this: Godly prophets are not nuts. They are actually the bolts that helps keep our pastors together.

“The prophecy of the New Testament churches is lost only when it is neglected.” Ernest B. Gentile