As I’ve been reading different responses to the presidential elections in the US, I’ve been deeply saddened by the reactions and behaviour that is being espoused by some of those who claim to be leaders in the church. This writing is therefore not so much meant as a political statement, but as my concern about the blatant attempts to hijack people’s personal conscience via “pseudo-prophetic manipulation”. Also, I love and believe in the practice of the gifts of the Holy Spirit – including prophecy – and have been helping people to tune into our Abba’s voice for many years myself. Hence, this is not a dismissal of the prophetic in itself, but a critique of certain practices that have led to the increasing corruption of a gift and ministry that was meant to build up the body of Christ. The Backstory
During the 2016 presidential election in the USA, several young people I mentored in the prophetic approached me in distress because they had been sent video’s by ministers that claimed that not supporting Donald J. Trump in his way to the White House would remove the blessing of God from their life – none of these kids had ever experienced anything like this before, and most weren’t even American, so that they could not even have voted in that election anyway. It took a significant amount of pastoral care to help some of them through this, as they often were not even able to admit their confusion for fear of being ridiculed by their peers for even considering such a narrative. These kids had just started to trust in their own ability to listen to Abba’s heart for themselves, just to be confused by these strange voices, and I am sorry to say, these are not isolated incidents. Now from what I gather, numerous popular voices in the “apostolic/prophetic movement” in the US have stated that they clearly “have heard from God” that Donald J. Trump will “triumph” in the 2020 election – even “in a landslide”. As we all know by now, these predictions have been proven false. Even in the unlikely event, that the supreme courts turn the win over to the Trump administration, the claims still don’t match up. As a result, several of the followers of these predictions are beginning to confess their disillusionment on social media, as the cognitive dissonance is being on full display and alleged visions and positive confessions spiral down into desperate attempts to somehow explain away the obvious, namely that the emperor has no clothes – all the while attempting to keep the religious machinery going by telling everyone to stay calm, pray harder, believe more, and fast longer for the desired outcome. “The prophets have spoken, stay the course” has become the mantra for many who have put their trust in these predictions. “Pseudo-prophetic Manipulation”
To be clear, “the prophets" didn't predict anything concerning the outcome of the American election. In fact, as in every other election, there have been voices that made opposing predictions as well, not to mention the numerous faithful ones that refuse to engage in political roulette. What did happen though, is that a group of spokesmen for a certain movement, with a certain theological outlook - mostly from the US, and mostly loosely connected to each other - made aforementioned predictions, and several people jumped on board. In fact, everyone who has followed these movements for a longer period of time will recognize this as a pattern. It is usually either a more experienced player in the game or an over-zealous newcomer that will step out and make the first prediction concerning a certain outcome, and if it appears that his proclamation contains some factual truth, other’s will quickly follow and thus create the illusion of consensus via confirmation bias, no matter if the details match or not. Everyone who has studied the history of prophetic movements can testify to this, and to claim that "the prophets have spoken” - in the attempt to prevent followers to jump ship - when the predictions don’t match reality reveals the subtle elitism that has crept into these circles, that have all too often have become echo chambers for ideologies that have nothing to do with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, no matter how much they are clothed in “Christian” terminology. CLICK HERE to download the full PDF of The Prophets Have Spoken?  This phrase was originally coined by my dear friend Mercy Aiken in a post on social media. It perfectly describes the dynamics I seek to address.  E. g. Ron Cantor, a Messianic leader in Israel, claims he “twice heard from God” that Joe Biden would win because of the church’s idolization of Donald J. Trump. Apparently, he himself would have hoped for another term of the Trump administration. Ron Cantor, “What I felt God told me about the election in September,” Messiah’s Mandate, (accessed November 2020) https://messiahsmandate.org/what-i-felt-god-told-me-about-the-election-in-september/.