The Prophets And Apostles Are Back

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.


18 Responses

  1. Catcher

    Interesting to note in the attachment the comparison of pre and post millennialism. Nothing is mentioned of a- millennialism. (No 1000 year reign of Christ on earth) Not surprising. Most of the millennialists, (hyper literalism application of the number 1000). think they represent everyone, which they don’t. In fact, they are a small part, which started in the mid 1800’s., and expanded into the political scene since the late 1950’s, via Darby, most recently popularized by Hal Lindsey, “Left Behind” series, etc. Also Tangents with Adventists, and JW’s. with a variation in the LDS. It does attract crowds, money and politicos.

    1. Catcher

      Just for fits and giggles, about ten years ago, I mailed him and said I was interested. I was inundated at least twice a week with solicitations, including magic water, prayer mats mini bags of salt, ribbons, etc. It never ended. After a while he got intimidating and threatening. He called himself a prophet, This went on for over a year. All together, it almost filled an entire filing drawer. I eventually threw it away.

      1. entech

        Catcher @ 9:19 Maybe more than ten years, but a couple of friends wrote to an American Internet University ??? Based on existing qualifications, life experience and reading a ten page pamphlet and answering a few questions (not to forget sending money) I could be awarded a doctorate in science.
        I am sure a Doctor of Divinity might have been just as easy, perhaps needing an extra couple of cornflakes box tops.

      1. Jinx II

        Glad to provide such good entertainment! Thanks Catcher and Entech, you provided me with some entertainment!! Now if that crap only worked……..

    2. Catcher

      @ 9;00 After seeing his material, it is targeted to the desperate, vulnerable, and slow of thought. He would take their last dollar, and not bat an eye. I get the sense that his presentations are more like feeding off something similar to a gambling addiction.. (Just one more hit and all will be well. You can’t quit now, you’re so close. You have so much invested, it’s bound to happen soon.) Then next week, along comes another letter loaded with more intimidation / threats.

      1. Catcher 7:30 After seeing his material, it is targeted to the desperate, vulnerable, and slow of thought.

        I like the authors analysis toward the end. If you look at it as a business deal it not necessarily people “slow of thought.” He gives presentations carefully planned out and works constantly to promote his product. He takes their money. The customers got something, a tiny bit of hope, or an hour or two of forgetting their troubles and living like blessed people. Every business deal has to have something for both parties and it appears this one is no different.

        1. Catcher

          @ 8;27; And yet, the vulnerable and desperate are targeted. Especially the elderly. Perhaps living alone, no supervision, borderline dementia, depression, etc. I have seen this material on end tables. pissing away their dead husband’s savings. Not a “business deal”, Fraud.

          1. Juan Ruiz

            ” And yet, the vulnerable and desperate are targeted. Especially the elderly.”

            Can say the same for shopping channels and infomercials.

          2. Catcher 8:56 Yes, I agree that part of it, taking money by phone and mail, is not a business deal. It’s a form of crime. The healing show at an auditorium, however, seems something like an entertainment venue. When I pay $40 to go to a concert I usually feel like it was a good deal for me and I’m always watching for entertainers coming to town. When I toss $20 in the plate at the local church I never come away feeling I enjoyed it. Don’t go very often.

  2. Catcher

    Re. the undated topic on secularism is not atheism. One should note in the attachment, the name of the theologian next to John Locke that did not consider secularism the same as atheism. The seperation of sacred and secular, ie. church and state.

    1. entech

      If I remember, on the other side was a president that wanted to build a wall between the church and the state. You now seem to have a President who wants to pull down all of those protective walls that have been built slowly and painstakingly since independence.

      1. Catcher

        @ 10;34; I have the sense that it is more for votes than conviction. The co-mingling of church and state seems to be popular among his supporters. They are evidently ignorant of the negative results in history of this. The law of unintended consequences may bite them if government intrudes into their churches. This may explain why they already are so concerned with religious freedom. If they get what they want, they may not want what they get.

  3. entech

    I am guessing that even non-believers can find a suitable and appropriate and even acceptable Biblical quote:
    Ecclesiastes 1:9 comes to mind.

    Catcher your 9:27 was probably me, I really should not be so slack about identifying things properly, sometimes I assume a simple indent does the trick but then a dozen posts intervene.

  4. entech

    It is not surprising than Lazarus is such a popular fable, religion is probably the only job where you cock up completely be proven frauds and liars and still come back as good as new.
    Ted Haggard anyone?
    Seems all you have to do is repent and declare yourself forgiven. Popoff is among the most egregious, he is an out and out con man and knows it after he was exposed over his mind reading tricks (with the help his wife a an earphone and transmitter he returned with the same act and the same cheats.
    It is not only the obvious that do the repent and be forgiven trick, confess and promise not to do it again and you ca start all over, at last according to one religious sect.

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