Christian Prophets Are on the Rise. What Happens When They’re Wrong?

10,444
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Joined Dec 13, 2018
Jeremiah Johnson, a 33-year-old self-described prophet, was one of the few evangelical Christians who took Donald J. Trump’s political future seriously back in 2015.
This track record created a loyal audience of hundreds of thousands of people who follow him on social media and hang on his predictions about such topics as the coronavirus pandemic, the makeup of the Supreme Court, and the possibility of spiritual revival in America. And they took comfort ahead of the presidential election last fall when Mr. Johnson shared a prophetic dream of Mr. Trump stumbling while running the Boston Marathon, until two frail older women emerged from the crowd to help him over the finish line.
So when Joseph R. Biden Jr. was certified as the winner of the election, Mr. Johnson had to admit he had let his followers down.


“I was wrong, I am deeply sorry, and I ask for your forgiveness,” he wrote in a detailed letter he posted online. “I would like to repent for inaccurately prophesying that Donald Trump would win a second term as the President of the United States.”


The desire to divine the future is a venerable one, fueling faith in figures from ancient Greek oracles to modern astrologists. Christianity in particular is a religion whose foundational text is filled with prophecies proven true by the end of the book. Whether the gift of prophecy continues into the present day has long been the subject of intense theological debate. But in recent years, self-described prophets have proliferated across the country, accelerating in stature over the course of the Trump era. They are stars within what is now one of the fastest-growing corners of Christianity: a loose but fervent movement led by hundreds of people who believe they can channel supernatural powers — and have special spiritual insights into world events.

Many are independent evangelists who do not lead churches or other institutions. They operate primarily online and through appearances at conferences or as guest speakers in churches, making money through book sales, donations and speaking fees. And they are part of the rising appeal of conspiracy theories in Christian settings, echoed by the popularity of QAnon among many evangelicals and a resistance to mainstream sources of information.


The prophetic imagination roams far beyond national politics. It follows the Super Bowl and the weather; it analyzes events in pop culture, like Kanye West’s recent turn toward evangelism, and global events, including a particular fascination with Israel. Many prophets caution followers against trusting what they read in the news, but in its place they offer a kind of alternative news cycle, refracting and interpreting events in the real world through a supernatural lens.

“In my lifetime — 49 years as a follower of Jesus — I’ve never seen this level of interest in prophecy,” said Michael Brown, an evangelical radio host and commentator, who believes in prophecy but has called for greater accountability when prophecies prove false. “And it’s unfortunate, because it’s an embarrassment to the movement.”

 
10,444
19,378
Joined Dec 13, 2018
There is indeed something going on in the world with a shift, a move away from so called traditional beliefs as well.


Middle East: Are people losing their religion?


Few topics are as delicate as religion — especially in the Middle East.

Officially, Arab states have major Muslim populations, varying from around 60% in Lebanon to almost 100% in Jordan or Saudi Arabia. Since the countries' religious establishments also serve as governmental bodies, governments play a significant role in religious life, as they often control prayers, media or school curriculums.

However, several recently conducted and very comprehensive surveys in the Middle East and Iran, have come to similar conclusions: They all show an increase in secularization and growing calls for reforms in religious political institutions.

Lebanon losing the religion
The conclusion after 25,000 interviews in Lebanon, by one of the largest pollsters in the region, the Arab Barometer, a research network at Princeton University and the University of Michigan, is "Personal piety has declined some 43% over the past decade, indicating less than a quarter of the population now define themselves as religious."


One Lebanese woman told DW of her experience growing up in a conservative household. "I come from a very religious family, my parents forced me to wear the veil when I was only 12 years old," said the 27-year-old, who does not want her name published out of fear of reprisal. "They constantly threatened me that if I remove my veil, I will burn in hell."

Only years later, at university, she met a group of friends who were atheists. "I gradually became convinced of their beliefs, so one day before going to uni, I decided to remove my veil and leave the house," she said.

"The hardest part was facing my family, deep down, I was ashamed that I put my parents down."

However, in Lebanon, it is almost impossible to not be officially linked to religion, as the civil registry includes the sectarian identity of every Lebanese citizen. Among the 18 options, "non-religious" is not listed.



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BaltimoreLove

formerly peterjamesthe3rd
1,973
363
Joined May 17, 2006
as i've gotten older i drifted further and further away from organized religion.... honestly its terrible for the mind body and soul...

 

stuntman mike

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there are schools "teaching" prophecy popping up all over. my in-laws are starting their own christian prophetic church. healing. prophecy. my BIL kept saying that trump was going to win, he is the winner, just wait for the supreme court, just wait for mike pence, and then biden was certified and there was no more talk about the election lol - he just moved onto something else. i don't really care what they preach, i just don't want them inflicting it on my kids. my FIL has been super cordial with my son when my boy talks about stuff like climate change. i know my FIL wants to talk about how he thinks it's a hoax but he respects our family boundary and just replies stuff like wow? you're going to be a great scientist. for that, i respect him.
 
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stuntman mike

Supporter
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Joined Aug 5, 2007
when my in-laws first started talking to my wife about the miracles of healing, i told her to ask them why we still have doctors and hospitals - how are they still in business? the reply was one big round and round and then crickets. i'm not saying that i don't believe in the power of prayer because i believe my recovery from addiction is firmly rooted in spiritual healing, i just think that the world is ripe for charlatans to pick pockets and that's a sad thing. a good place to start is tax all churches and then file lawsuits for misrepresentation.
 
11,873
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Joined Mar 14, 2010
Social media and celebrity worship is basically becoming the new religion. Seeing that IG page dedicated to preacher sneakers is all I had to see.
 

Air Money

formerly sneekaz
14,171
19,197
Joined Mar 30, 2006
The lost hope in world, people depending upon much needed help, and if the help doesnt happen, is one reason people give up on religion and God. Its really testing. Difficult. Some people are blessed, and others think they're cursed. Some do quite well, others not so much. A great imbalance. The successful ones thank God, the ones who fail curse God. Haves and have nots.

As far as these "prophets", I was and still am interested in end times type of prophecy. So I am believing in some of the signs, something like towards the end there will be prophets claiming they are sent from God and stuff like that. It makes it obvious to some people that they are basically false prophets. It would be a miraculous or great event to actually see the so called coming of the messiah. It seems the messiah returns when the entire world is in big chaos. Are we heading towards that time now? Many people keep predicting the end times are here, past and future. No one really knows.
 
39,766
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Joined Oct 10, 2013
Being a prophet is so easy. I can hop online and reach a couple million people with a YouTube vid. I can throw out that today you’ll do something that will make you happy and then you’ll feel god with that happiness and when you do donate to me and I’ll do it again. The majority will have nothing while a couple hundred thousands will. Rinse and repeat. I didn’t do a damn thing.

next I’ll say the next time you bump your head that’s god telling you to tell someone you love them. Again, same thing will happen.

E Z MON E
 
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