30 December 2014

Pop-offecy versus preaching as from a full Canon

by Dan Phillips

It's so much fun to be a Charismatic these days. You can say anything you want, and not only will no one in your movement call you on it, they'll give you buckets of money and the opportunity to do it over and over and over again!

Take Pat Robertson, famous for The 700 Club and much besides. Every year, Pat literally goes up in the mountains to get a word from God. Now, in case you are not familiar with Charismaticism, this isn't a Bible study. This isn't a word like the word every last child of God has been given by Him for millennia. This is a special word, a private word, just from God to just Pat.

Then Pat tells us.

Of course, like all of the distinctive doctrines and practices of modern Charismaticism, this bears no resemblance to the Biblical phenomena. (That's why some solicitous enablers have fabricated the whole "analogy" camouflage.) Unlike Biblical revelatory phenomena, these are largely unverifiable, unfalsifiable, and unremarkable.

"Largely," I say, but not always. In Pat's case, he has made some specific predictions in God's name. In those instances, how's Pat's record as a prophet? In short, not so great. For instance, in 1996 "God" murmured to Pat that Clinton would lose in his bid for the White House. Yeah, if only. Also, a nuke was going to hit the US. Then in 2005, "God" hinted that Bush would pass Social Security reform and tax reform, and would load the Supreme Court with conservatives. Again, if only. Then in 2006, the US would be hit with tsunamis, and in 2007 a mass killing would possibly leave millions dead in the US.

So you see? If Pat were held to the standards of Biblical prophecy (Deuteronomy 18:20-22), he'd be thirty years dead.

More recently, then, how did Pat do for 2014? Well, the walking, talking unpaid Charismatic bill said he thinks maybe God kinda told him that the world is going to be in chaos; some kind of credit crisis. (Wow, now, that's going out on a limb, isn't it?) Also, Iranians will have a nuclear device by end of year. President Obama will be severely hampered and will take a lot of vacations, surfing and stuff — again, hardly Isaiah 40.

But Pat also said “There’s going to be a great move of God.” Like what? Oh, the usual Charismatic stuff — so, nothing. But also this:
“There will be a move of God, and it will be the greatest year in the history of the church. It’ll be unbelievable all around the world. And I think Islam is going to be on the retreat; instead of advancing, it’s going to be retreating, uh, and, you know, onward Christian soldiers”
Apparently God didn't tell Pat what impact it has on Islamists to hear a Christian saying "onward Christian soldiers."

At this writing, that promised revival of Christianity (which, ironically, would mean the end of Charismaticism), as well as the retreat of Islam, hasn't happened either.

So as I say, if this were Israel, Pat would be thirty years dead. As it is, he can't even get himself excommunicated, or disowned, or even effectively shushed.

For our church and as a sort of foretaste for the Sufficient Fire conference, I preached a sermon titled 2015 – Predictions and Prescriptions, from the perspective of hearty affirmation of a full Canon and a sufficient Scripture.

Compare and contrast, at your leisure.

Dan Phillips's signature


Terry Rayburn said...

To paraphrase Senator Lloyd Bentsen, "Dan, I served with Pat Robertson. I knew Pat Robertson. Pat Robertson was a friend of mine. Dan, you're no Pat Robertson."

Thank God for that.

Nice sermon.

DJP said...


Morris Brooks said...

Yes, and then there was the year that Pat decided to run for President because he prayed that the hurricane would not strike the US, and his prayers turned it away.

This type of arrogance reminds me of the time several years ago, when a charismatic came to my house uninvited and told me he would pray for my wife's healing. My prayers weren't effective enough because I did not have the special connection/word from God that he did that made his prayers so "effective."

My spirit overcame my flesh and I graciously told him his prayers were not anymore effective than mine, and told him his services were not needed as I moved him out the door. His parting words were something to the effect that it was my wife's loss for him not to pray for her.

Charlene said...

Let's not forget the time he predicted that the Lord would return and the world would end in 1982. IF ONLY. Then we could have been spared all his other shenanigans. I was raised on Pat Robertson and the 700 Club and boy, was this a flashback. Hubby and I are reading through Calvin's Institutes together and just read his statement that our depraved nature makes it necessary for everyone who would know God to have recourse to the Word. God must give testimony of Himself and we must hear it from Him as the words of God would otherwise be "corrupted by the presumptuous audacity of men". Amen and amen to the reliability of a full Canon!

Terry Rayburn said...

Morris, for the record, it's worse than Pat's claiming his prayer was responsible for halting the hurricane (after all, theoretically God could have answered prayer).

Though it's been often reported that it was PRAYER, Pat's own testimony is that it was a "word of command spoken in the power of the Spirit" that halted it. ("Miracles Can Be Yours Today" by Pat Robertson, p. 47).

Like other word-of-faith charismatics, he takes the God-complex view that he can "call the things that are not as though they were" (Ro 4:17), just like God.

He actually TOLD that hurricane what to do, and says the hurricane obeyed, through the hand of God!

(Unfortunately, though the hurricane spared Virginia Beach, it went on to other shores, causing almost a billion dollars of damage, and several deaths. Perhaps Pat should have been more specific in his command.)