You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. - Matthew 5:14-16 (ESV)
One of the most consistent false roles in the apostate church today is within the false prophet paradigm. Have you ever felt like it seems everyone is claiming to be a prophet now? I have seen contradictory prophecies posted on the same day by Charisma News. Before we get into the meat of this discussion let us refresh our memories about what the bible says. Prophecy is a way God speaks to His people. In the Old Testament it was the primary vehicle for this because the people did not have a "bible" or written down copies of the word of God. We of course live in an age where the final revealed word of God is readily available to us. God is omniscient and omnipresent, so it is not plausible that He "forgot" to tell us something that He now is revealing through someone like Kris Vallotton or Shawn Bolz. It is important to also remember that God does not stutter or speak in hushed tones. Thus, it was simply not possible to believe that He spoke to someone and they in turn would mishear it. If you prophesied falsely, you were stoned to death for daring to speak on behalf of God when you know full well you had not heard from Him. While the punishment may have lessened as time grew on the standard has never changed. If you are a prophet, you must be proven right by what you say coming true. I say these things because the modern version of prophecy is so mangled by the false prophets that we can forget. They believe you can be wrong 35% of the time and that makes you a solid prophet, which is patently absurd. Why would I believe you about what God said if you are wrong that often? This past election we saw the entire Industrial Prophetic Complex get wrong the fact that their idol, Mr. Trump, was going to be reelected. As we head into the mid-term elections Dr. Michael Brown is now asking whether the church can regain its prophetic voice in the above linked article. It is the wrong question, asked for selfish motives, that reveals so many flaws in how prophecy is presented today. Let us reason once more:
'"You are the salt of the earth." Most of us are familiar with these words. They were spoken by Jesus to His disciples in the Sermon on the Mount, pointing to our calling to be a moral conscience as well as a holy preservative to a society in decay. But are we as familiar with the Lord's warning that followed? Jesus continued, "but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet." (Matthew 5:13) This is exactly what has happened to the Church of America in recent years. Because we have lost our saltiness, we have been scorned, discarded, and ridiculed, almost literally "trampled under people's feet."' - Dr. Michael Brown
Dr. Brown is a dominionist so it is no wonder that he would interpret the role of the church to be a moral conscience to a society in decay. Salt had many uses in the days of Jesus and preserving morality was not one of them. If Brown had just gone a little further into the context, as we see in the key verses today, Jesus is not teaching about morality. Why? Because the world is going to be immoral. It is walking in darkness and the things of God are utter foolishness to them. Behavior modification is not going to save them either. We do have a role however as the church. In the next analogy we see that we are to be a light in this dark world. Why? So, they can see how morally righteous we are? Nope. It is so they can see our good works! When we clothe the homeless and feed the hungry. When we do not hold wrongs against people but rather forgive them, as Jesus forgave us. Brown is right that we have lost our saltiness. We have lost our light in this world of darkness because the church has been just as dark. Instead of being oppositional light we have actively pursued becoming a relevant darkness to the world.
"We who were called to be shining lights in the darkness failed to shine. We who were called to be prophetic voices to the world failed to preach to ourselves. We who were supposed to be different proved to be just as corrupt and carnal and compromised as the rest. We who were supposed to bring heaven's values down to earth became as earthly as everyone else. We were rocked by one major scandal after another. We got caught up in partisan politics. We were known better for our acrimony than for our love, for our division rather than our unity, for our hypocrisy rather than our holiness." - Dr. Michael Brown
Most modern prophets failed because they are not prophets. They seek profits, but do not know God, let alone hear from Him. I have seen Charisma News prophets predict the winner of Super Bowls (which they were wrong on) or warn us of silly things like sneaky squid spirits. I have seen prophecy tied to book releases where they promised everyone greed beyond their dreams of avarice. It is not that they failed to show their light. It is that they have no light to show. That is what Dr. Brown always gets wrong. He actively covers for charlatans like Benny Hinn and Joseph Prince. The sneaky squid lady he had on his radio show to justify her nonsense. That is the low hanging fruit, however. The deeper rot is found in the reference to politics, which Brown tries to cast as just one of a list of issues. The truth is that politics is at the heart of the reproach held against the church today. Instead of being light and showing God's light, people like Dr. Brown consistently point to other people, unsaved, and claim they are the light based on what political party they are in. Suddenly God needs our help to vote in the "right" unbelievers into office. If you refuse? Well according to popular preacher/prophets like Mario Murillo or Greg Locke you are going to hell. Did you get that? If you do not vote for a man married and divorced three times, unfaithful to all three wives, who brags about grabbing women by their genitals then you cannot be saved! That is not being "caught up" in partisan politics Michael. That is idolizing it and Brown does nothing to rebuke what he should rebuke.