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Listen to me! For I have important things to tell you. Everything I say is right,for I speak the truth and detest every kind of deception. -- Proverbs 8: 6-7 (NLT)
The truth has become malleable in these last days. The world prefers to see everything in terms of shades of grey, where we can more easily disguise our sin and not have to deal with it. While we expect this from the world, what is most disheartening is the compromised church has gone right along for the ride. The advent of social media has only fueled this mad scramble for anything that verifies our biased world view as opposed to actually caring about what is true. To the world truth is a matter of perspective but as Christians we know there is only one perspective that truly matters. There is a great verse in the Book of Job that asks, "Will you be able to lie to God as you do to man?" The answer beloved is no, we will not. Our wickedly deceitful hearts will not confuse God. Lest we forget how seriously He views this turn to the key verse from Proverbs and see that God hates every kind of deception. He hates it! Why? Because God has important things to say to us and everything He says is true and right. Lies always distort and lead people astray. Perhaps the greatest lie that God hates is when people lie on His behalf. When people claim to have heard from Him when they most assuredly have not. We refer to this as false prophecy or false teaching. False teaching is when someone lies about what the Bible says and false prophecy is when they claim a direct revelation they have not received. Please keep in mind that intent is irrelevant. It does not matter if a false prophet believes they are hearing from God. All that matters is the truth. I say this as a backdrop to a recent article from Ed Stetzer at Charisma News (linked above) entitled, "Sept. 23 'Prophecy' Is an 'Embarrassment to Christians." Let us reason together beloved and see why this false prophecy should really be embarrassing for the body of Christ.
"Again, we must deal with fake news. I've written on this numerous times before here and here and, undoubtedly, this won't be the last time. In this case, it's making Christians look silly. Again. But there it is on the front page of Fox News, "Christian doomsdayers claim world will end next week." It's under the heading "Science." When you click on it, the article headline proclaims, "Biblical prophecy claims the world will end on Sept. 23, Christian numerologists claim." No, the world won't end on Sept. 23 and, Fox News, believe it or not, there is no such thing as a "Christian numerologist."(And who are the other Christian numerologists in the headline, beyond the one quoted?). Every time end-of-the-world predictions resurface in the media, it is important that we ask ourselves, "Is this helpful? Is peddling these falsehoods a good way to contribute to meaningful, helpful discussions about the end times?" Of course, the answer to this is no, they most definitely do not. Every time." -- Ed Stetzer
To be honest, this is all I need to reprint. The article follows this flawed line of thinking throughout. Let me start by saying that the prophecy is indeed ridiculous. Just as the two made by Harold Camping were a few years ago. The Bible makes it abundantly clear that no one knows the time. Thus we can actually be assured that the world will not end on September 23, 2018. I just want to speak to two aspects Stetzer raises and the first is his decrying of "fake news." The truth is that this rallying cry of fake news has been used to dismiss perfectly correct news since this past election cycle. It has been wielded like a cudgel against news that we do not like or wish was not reported instead of dealing with actual untruths. Even in this case Stetzer gets it wrong. It is true that there is someone out there claiming to be a Christian numerologist that is prophesying that the world will end on September 23, 2018. Thus the reporting on that fact is not fake. It is wholly accurate. I understand that Ed Stetzer wishes this loon did not exist and had kept his silly false prophecy to himself but that does not make the existence of it fake. What Stetzer really is upset about is that Fox chose to report it. While he whines about peddling falsehoods does he honestly expect unsaved executives at Fox News to discern what most in the church cannot?
This brings us to sunny point number two. If Ed Stetzer wants to find someone culpable he need only look in a mirror. He writes for the largest cesspool of false prophecy on the planet today. Can you honestly expect unsaved news executives to discern which are silly prophecies when they have to sift through Charisma News? Is this September 23 prophecy and less credible than some of these Charisma Headlines:
Prophetic Word -- Glory Storms are Fast Approaching!
True and False Angelic Encounters Arising
Prophecy -- Activate my Heavenly Host
Angels On Assignment -- Warrior Angels Activating Now
Mega Faith Plus Mega Grace Equals a Mega Movement
When the Sneaky Squid Spirit Starts Stalking You
A Gold Rush of God's Glory is Coming to the Nations
Prophecy -- The Lord is Shifting Cultural Mountains
Prophecy -- God is opening the heavens Over Moscow
This is just the tip of one large absurd iceberg. You cannot sneeze without seeing another ridiculous prophecy on Charisma. This nonsense is what Ed Stetzer supports every single day. The current president is not the spirit of Elijah or being used like Cyrus. There are not swaths of angels that we can somehow magically "activate." And sorry Jennifer but there actually is no sneaky squid spirit. Quite frankly, the reporting on someone claiming the world will end strikes me as far more reasonable than reporting on any of these. I do agree however that it is embarrassing for the church. It is embarrassing that yet another doomsday prophecy will fall by the wayside. No more embarrassing however than prophesying a mega movement or a gold rush. Either way, reporting on the existence of the false prophecy is not fake news. As the Internet's leading purveyor of fake news, Charisma should have realized that.