Why Don’t We Hold False Prophets Accountable?

How should we treat those who claim to be prophecy experts? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

You get the news one day and you hear a story about a pastor having an affair at a church. The usual cry is that the pastor should step down. Absolutely. Sexual sin should be taken extremely seriously.

You read something about the pastor stealing from the offering plate. The pastor needs to step down. Absolutely. Theft is something very serious and should be taken that way.

You read about a pastor who claimed that the Bible says that the world will come to an end on such and such a date and we need to be ready for the rapture. The date never comes. The pastor is asked to step down immediately because false prophecy should be taken seriously.

Whoa. Wait. Hold on. That last one doesn’t really happen. Too many prophecy experts have written books about who the antichrist is and when the rapture will take place and they’re not held to account for it.

I thought of this looking at my Facebook memories last day when I asked if anyone saw when John Hagee had repented for his Four Blood Moons nonsense. Of course, I made the post in jest pointing out that I wanted to make sure I hand’t missed anything. Nope. Hagee never repented. He never recanted. I know of no record of him giving back money from the book sales. He was still teaching and still broadcasting.

So let’s get this straight.

We deal with sexual sin and we deal with theft and other such sins. If a pastor had a problem with a harmful addiction, we would at least demand he get help. However, a pastor makes very public statements about prophecy that real people respond to and suffer real losses from and bring real shame on the body of Christ and we do nothing?

Keep in mind, in the Old Testament, when you had adultery, that was grounds for death. It was the safe for false prophecy. However, we treat false prophecy like it’s just a matter of missed interpretation and that’s it. It’s not. Many people can give up on going to college or getting married or sell retirement accounts or anything like that. Are they being gullible and naive? Yes. Does that justify what the prophecy experts do? No.

Not only that, but we embarrass Christianity to outsiders. Those on the outside looking in decide that if the faith tolerates that kind of thing and believes foolish things like that, they want nothing of it. We already believe enough things that we have a hard time convincing outsiders of. I understand a proper skepticism. Let’s not add to it with demonstrable things. A skeptic has to research the resurrection of Christ to really be able to argue against it effectively. For a false prediction, he just has to wait for the day to come and he has all he needs. Many will sadly, and wrongly, take the false prophecy as a grounds for rejecting the resurrection.

Instead, hold them accountable. If a book by a prophecy expert makes a prediction and gets it wrong, don’t buy them again. Don’t listen to them anymore. Someone like John Hagee should have lost his platform immediately after making a national deal about blood moons and then having nothing come of it. If we disregard it, we tell the world truthfulness really doesn’t matter to us and if it doesn’t, then why should they listen to us on any other such matter?

Also, prophecy is different from many other areas because someone can be demonstrably shown to be wrong. We all believe some wrong things about Scripture, but with prophecy, we are making predictions and claiming that this is what God is saying. That’s dangerous grounds indeed. Those who make such claims need to be held to the highest standards.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Olivet Discourse Matthew 24:36

Should you make a prediction? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I have a contention that the Olivet Discourse has switched from a this to a that. I think it’s likely Jesus is talking about a return someday. At this verse, verse 36, I want mainly to put a call out to those who disagree with me. Let’s look at the verse.

“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.”

A lot of you will remain futurists and/or dispensationalists. That’s fine. I can’t convince everyone and there are good Christians on all sides. However, I beg you that if you want to remain in that camp, please do not be one of the people that either sets up a prediction on when Jesus is going to come or supports those who do. The moment you hear someone tell you when Jesus will return, disavow them immediately.

We have too many people that are waking up everyday and trying to interpret the Bible with the help of a newspaper. Please don’t do this. Every time someone has made a prediction so far, it has been wrong and it has just given more fodder to skeptics of Christianity. Jesus said no one would know and that should rule out any attempt to guess.

I have seen some people say “Well, we can’t know the day, but maybe we can know the year.” This is just being ridiculous frankly. The main thing Jesus tells us throughout this is to be prepared. Time spent trying to guess the date could better be spent in preparation.

It’s also pretty arrogant of you to think that everyone else in history who has done this has got it wrong, but you are the one who will get it right. Please do not try. If anything, I think many dispensationalists should be concerned about how past events were read as modern fulfillment only to be shown to be false later on. How many people have said XYZ was the antichrist only to have that person die?

And yes, this includes national figures. Personally, until we get some sort of public apology from John Hagee on his idea of the four blood moons, then we should not listen to him whatsoever. (Actually, that would be good practice in general) It would be interesting to take note in a Christian bookstore of all the books on prophecy and see how many of them are irrelevant just ten years later.

So yeah, no one knows. Please don’t even try. Be a dispensationalist or a futurist if you wish, but please do not go this route.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

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