First, let’s remember Paul in the Bible referred to himself as an “Apostle”. Jesus never gave him a title. Paul claimed super natural encounters with Jesus and assigned himself the title.
Now, a replay of Paul is going on. Individuals are calling themselves prophets and apostles, claiming divine experiences and making money holding conferences and lectures.
I’ve mentioned one example of making a living with lectures and conferences, Rob Bell. He, however, would be call the Christian left. Bigger money is being made by on the right.
Recently on a rainy day, 50,000 people bought tickets in Los Angles to learn of divine powers granted to presenters. Few in the general public know these personalities. The event was not covered by the press.
These operators are not part of the Prosperity Gospel like Joel Osteen. They are not flamboyant preachers. They claim divine experiences. Like Apostle Paul, they report to no board or denomination but to themselves.
Their crowds come from social media. There, they can find an audience without billboards or expensive advertising.
The young people who attend think they are part of something important, a cosmic spiritual battle to transform the world. The phenomenon is called by scholars the Independent Network Charismatic.
Because presenters are not bogged down by seminary professors, boards of directors or even the media, they can change as audiences change. They claim to hear directly from God and do not need Paul’s translations from Greek.
Innovation in the faith has been the key its success since the beginning.