Here is a topic that I believe is often miss-quoted, so I thought that I would try and clear it up. I saw an article the other day, naming just about every Christian TV evangelist and Church founder as a false prophet, including John Wimber and Andrew Wommack. Really? It seems like everyone is a false prophet now days, so I will show you the scripture behind this ‘theory’, and then give you my ideas as to why this is going on.
Go and read 2 Peter 2. It is too long to post the whole thing here, but you will see something interesting. The first part is most quoted by people, where it talks about destructive heresies, denying the Lord and greed. As soon as a pastor preaches that God wants to bless us, he is labelled a ‘prosperity preacher’ and said to be a false prophet. People then say that these people preach a message which is all about us. This is in fact, nonsense. Read the rest of the chapter. It goes on to say that false prophets are not afraid to ‘heap abuse of celestial beings’, they have eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning, they seduce the unstable, they have left the straight way and they love sin. That is just some of the depravity that these false prophets are guilty of. This is not describing John Wimber or Andrew Wommack.
So why do people label these teachers as false prophets? Who knows, but I have my theory. It appears to me that it is nothing more that a difference of opinion when it comes to theology. That is all. It often occurs between ‘conservative’ and ‘charismatic’ Christians. I have been in both camps. I started of a ‘conservative’ Christian, scared of anything too spiritual, and I am now firmly in the ‘charismatic’ camp. I have heard both arguments. ‘Conservatives’ say that ‘charismatics’ are away with the fairies and doing dodgy practises, where as the ‘charismatics’ say that ‘conservatives’ wouldn’t recognise the Holy Spirit if He did pitch up at their church. Neither argument is true, or very helpful. Let me make it painfully clear. Just because someone’s theology is different to yours, doesn’t make them a false prophet. False prophets are deranged, deliberately leading someone astray, evil loving, greedy, lustful maniacs. Not necessarily Bible teachers who disagree with what you believe.
So are all Bible teachers right? No. Believe it or not, Bible teachers and evangelists are human, and they make mistakes. I don’t listen to anyone and believe 100% of what they say, and I don’t agree 100% with anyone’s theology. I don’t expect anyone to agree 100% with me either. My personal philosophy is to listen to anyone’s teaching, and ‘filter’ what they say through scripture. If it is true, then I take it on board, if not I let it go. There are times when I have heard a particular preacher get too many things wrong, so I decide not to listen to them anymore. Benny Hinn is an example of this, I don’t particularly agree with what he says, so I don’t listen to him anymore. Yet believe it or not, there is still some truth in what he says. There are others who I agree with 90% of what they say, but I still find things that I believe that they get wrong. I don’t call either of these people false prophets.
So what can we do to avoid false prophets and incorrect Biblical teaching? Read your Bible. Take responsibility for your own walk with God. If you study the Bible for yourself, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal God’s Word to you, and ask God for wisdom, then you won’t be lead astray. Whether you actually do come across a false prophet, or if you just end up listening to someone with dodgy theology, you will know that it is not the truth. If you latch onto someone and blindly believe what they tell you, you are running a huge risk. Even if they do get it right, it is still risky getting all of your teaching from one person, and not reading the Bible for yourself.
Keep reading the Word, meditating on it, and then putting it into action.