Fostering Spiritual Discernment in the Social Media Age

by | Dec 18, 2020 | Spiritual Growth

In recent weeks I have fielded more questions about failed predictive prophecies than the last 15 years of ministry combined. Believers consistently point to three public prophecies concerning 2020 that garnered widespread consensus among many popular prophets:

  1. 2020 will be a year of stadiums and revival/”Stadium Christianity.”
  2. The COVID-19 “plague” will end by Passover.
  3. President Trump will win reelection.

One clear reason for the unusual spike in these conversations is our social media culture. The very nature of our dynamically connected age means that these predictive words are shared far and wide, leaving many with an unavoidable sense that these are “thus saith the Lord” situations. There was also no indication in these predictions of the various ways prophetic pronouncements function in Scripture. This left the public to conclude these words must be decrees from God that guaranteed the outcomes the prophecies specified. Yet this is actually one of the least frequent functions of prophecy in Scripture.

As the epic narrative of 2020 comes to a close, we are confronted by the hard fact that these predictions have not yet been fulfilled. Not only have stadiums been closed throughout this year but churches have, too, forcing Christian gatherings online or into much smaller groups than many North American churchgoers are accustomed. Stadium gatherings have not remotely been part of the 2020 Christian landscape. As for the COVID-19 prediction, Passover passed us by eight months ago, and now a second wave has hit much of the Western world, bringing the death count from the virus to over 300,000 in the United States alone. Lastly, we need to see supernatural intervention for President Trump to be elected to a second term.

This about-face moment is causing many who follow prophetic ministries to appropriately question the overall health of the prophetic movement—especially in light of our dynamically connected context.

Are the prophets providing follow-up to predictions?

Who is holding these influencers accountable for their words?

What is the testimony we are giving the world in all of this?

These are some of the questions that I have fielded in this season.

On a positive note, I see two distinct benefits of the popularity of these 2020 prophecies. First, it has given us a unique opportunity to corporately test predictions with a simple question: did the words come to pass? I noted this in March when the Passover prediction widely circulated. Secondly, many are now eager to think more critically about how we can develop healthier prophetic culture in a social media age.

It is in this spirit that I write this article.

In what follows, I provide five steps that we who follow prophetic ministries can take to foster greater accuracy and integrity in the prophetic in our social media age.

Read the rest of the article here, and listen to the Jesus Movement Now podcast on the Charisma Podcast Network. {eoa}

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

How to Operate in the Power Gifts of the Holy Spirit

How to Operate in the Power Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Before Jesus ascended to heaven, He told the apostles in Acts 1:8 (NLT), “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.” Jesus promises a gift that would give them comfort, power, strength and encouragement. That gift is the Holy Spirit, and that...

Messianic Rabbi: Make the Choice to Be an Outsider

Messianic Rabbi: Make the Choice to Be an Outsider

One of the wonderful things about reading through the Bible is that the more you read it, the more things you find within its pages. No matter how many times you read a verse or a series of verses, because the Bible is a living document, there will always be more to...

Kingdom Economics: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

Kingdom Economics: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress unanimously voted to pass a declaration of independence from Britain. Each signatory was facing death by hanging if the bold experiment failed. The Declaration of Independence declared that all men were created equal and that...

Consider This Unsung Hero of the Bible

Consider This Unsung Hero of the Bible

Sometimes, I think Martha in the Bible gets a bad rap! I am not saying that Jesus labeled Martha at all. Please hear me out. But I think we would be wise to avoid picking up and holding onto some of the dynamics in this potential sibling rivalry between Martha and...

Prophetic Word: We Are Entering the Books of Acts

Prophetic Word: We Are Entering the Books of Acts

On the morning of June 5, 2022, I was praying in preparation for the Arise Women’s Summit I was hosting near Knoxville, Tennessee, when the Lord took me into an encounter. I found myself in the library of heaven standing before a giant staircase made of extremely...

The Church Revived: 3 Keys to the Emerging Move of God

The Church Revived: 3 Keys to the Emerging Move of God

During the past two years, I believe the church at large has been in a season of returning to God. Repentance is crucial when it comes to revival. Scripture shows a clear pattern that repentance precedes the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (see Joel 2:12-28 and Acts...

RECENT ARTICLES

How Divine Wrestling Changes Our Identity

All of us at some point will hit a place of getting the wind knocked out of us. We all experience unexpected detours and times when there seems to be no way out. But there is One who lives in us,...
Spirit-Filled Pastor: How Does God Lead Us Today?

Spirit-Filled Pastor: How Does God Lead Us Today?

Whether it is the Spirit leading or forbidding in the book of Acts, or the Spirit leading throughout Christian history, it’s clear that the leading of the Spirit is important. In the Old Testament, it appears that the Spirit of God could be withdrawn completely from...

Joyce Meyer: Keys to Winning Your Race in Life

Joyce Meyer: Keys to Winning Your Race in Life

Everyone has a race to run. That just means we all have a life to live. The apostle Paul says in Hebrews 12:1 (NIV), “Therefore...let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for...

What Is ‘The One Thing’ God Wants From You?

What Is ‘The One Thing’ God Wants From You?

In 1971, I was invited to spend one month in Singapore at a new institute that had been started by John Haggai. It was still in the formative stages then—a place where Asian church leaders would be trained and challenged to witness for Christ. Today, more than 40...

37 Prayers for the Suffering Persecuted Church

37 Prayers for the Suffering Persecuted Church

It was a Pentecost bloodbath and most Christians never heard about it. More than 50 Christians were killed in one of the deadliest terror attacks on Nigerians this year. Scores of gunmen rushed in to kill Christians in the midst of worship. All told, over 360 million...

Pin It on Pinterest