Enlow, Locke, and Kerr are among dozens of Christian prophets in American religious leaders, followed by Pentecostal and charismatic Christians who claim the ability to predict the future based on dreams, visions, and other supernatural phenomena. Some prophets are church leaders, while others operate independently. There are no official requirements for prophet status, although followers generally expect prophets to get at least some prophecy correct.
But, in recent times, this standard has been under strain, especially with regard to Donald Trump.
In 2015, encouraged by the long prophecy of a 27-year-old prodigy named Jeremiah Johnson, many Pentecostals and charismatics embraced the idea that God had chosen Trump to restore the Christian moorings of the Americas. Trumps’ surprise victory in 2016 offered spectacular validation, and in 2020 dozens of prophets declared he would win the election again. This time they were wrong. Yet in the wake of Joe Bidens’ victory, instead of apologizing or going back, a number of prophets continue to assert that it is God’s will that Trump be in the White House and that ‘a miraculous reversal is near. Enlow, who did not respond to a request for comment for this article, said Trump’s victory would be clear by March.
With just two-thirds of voters and one-third of Republicans expressing confidence that Biden won a free and fair election, many observers fear these prophets may further confuse the prophets, blurring the line between disinformation and religious proclamation. . They are spreading their message to a large audience.Some preachers who amplify these prophecies have follow-ups in the millions that increasingly exist in an echo chamber of like-minded religious YouTube channels, Instagram feeds and websites such as ElijahList, host of the YouTube channel ElijahStreams, where video Enlows broadcast.
It is well known that Trump received strong support from white evangelicals in the 2020 election; estimates are around 80 percent. But the role that prophecy plays in this support might be underexplored. In a survey last year, two political scientists found that nearly half of white Protestants who attend church in the Americas believed Trump was anointed by God to be president of a section of the population than other scholars. nicknamed the voters of the prophecy. The share is probably higher among charismatic Christians, who are more politically and theologically conservative than evangelicals as a whole. And while that population is only a subset of American Christianity, it’s a large one: by some estimates, up to 65 million Americans could be counted as Pentecostals or Charismatics.
However, not all prophets have doubled their prophecies about Trump since the election. And as some moved away from Trump, a schism arose. At least six recognized prophets who initially predicted Trump’s re-election admitted these prophecies were false. They now say they are deeply troubled by the refusal of their peers to recognize the same and fear that allegiance to Trump threatens the prophetic tradition itself.
To every leader who prophesied that Trump would stay in the White House, it’s not about you now. This is the name of the Lord who was mocked and his people left in confusion and disappointment. I urge you to focus on this, not on your own ministry or your own reputation.
– Dr Michael L. Brown (@DrMichaelLBrown) January 23, 2021
In a December 15 article, Michael Brown, a longtime charismatic revivalist and scholar from Charlotte, North Carolina, had sharp words, warning fellow believers: there is no reality in which Trump has actually won but in fact did not win. To nurture such possibilities is to mock the integrity of prophecy and make charismatics of us fools. After apologizing on Jan. 7 for his own prophecy that Trump would be re-elected, Jeremiah Johnson called parts of the prophetic movement deeply ill. In early February, he released a new series on YouTube called I Was Wrong: Donald Trump and the Prophetic Controversy.
I believe this election cycle has revealed how desperately we are in need of reform in the prophetic movement, Johnson said in a Feb.8 video. I have serious concerns for the charismatic-prophetic world that if we don’t wake up, if we don’t humble ourselves, there will be a greater judgment to come.
The emerging rift mirrors that of the GOP, with one faction trying to quit Trump in the name of democratic principles, and the other redoubling its commitment to him, driven from below and in defiance of the facts. Johnson and other prophets on his side were staunchly rejected by their supporters. But Brown and his ilk believe the count is in order that false prophets must be held accountable and that reforms are needed if the prophecy movement is to maintain spiritual integrity. He began organizing monthly Zoom calls with prophetic leaders to discuss a way forward.
It opened the door to pure illusion, Brown said in an interview. As a pureblood charismatic, I will say that we have won the mockery of the world for our foolishness.
Although common in Biblical times, Christian prophecy largely fell into disuse for nearly two millennia. It has a scriptural tradition: in his first letter to the Corinthians, the apostle Paul describes prophecy as one of the gifts of the Holy Spirits for believers. The contemporary version was revived, with the best-known gifts of healing and speaking in tongues, at a Pentecostal prayer meeting in Topeka, Kansas, in 1901. Over time, the Pentecostal movement joined in the 1960s by like-minded followers in the great Protestants. and Catholic circles known as the charismatics have become the fastest growing form of Christianity in the world, with around half a billion believers worldwide.
Pentecostal worship tends to be more decentralized than the more formal main denominations, and many charismatic churches are completely independent. In the late 1980s, when the Kansas City Prophets, a group of charismatic Pentecostal leaders based in suburban Missouri, made controversial claims of supernatural visions and prophecies of future events as a billion people almost became Christians. overnight and the hospitals emptied of their power. There was no governing body to hold them back. Concerns about accountability led to the formation in 1999 of the Apostolic Council of Elder Prophetics, a group of about 32 people responsible for quality control.
But many of the prophetic voices that emerged after the creation of ACPE formed their own ministries and networks, and the council gradually lost its influence. The entire prophetic and prayer movement has grown with the digital age, said James Goll, a Nashville-based prophet who was part of the Kansas City group, in an interview. So, one might ask, is there a liability on these new platforms?
James Goll | Facebook
Political prophecies are a relatively recent phenomenon. Televangelist Pat Robertson, who ran for president as a Republican in 1988, has prophesied everything from wars to Earth-destroying asteroids at times, but it was Trump who gave the movement a political focal point. Trump is considered by some charismatic Christians to be chosen by God despite his faults. The prophets said as early as 2007 that the then real estate mogul would eventually land in the White House. In 2011, a retired Orlando firefighter-turned-prophet named Mark Taylor predicted Trump would be elected in 2012. (After Trump decided not to run, a few prophets mistakenly predicted that he was turned out, that Mitt Romney would win.)
After Trump announced his candidacy in 2015, other prophets, led by Johnson, predicted his victory. Posted in Charisma magazine, Johnsons July 2015, the prophecy that Trump would be a Latter-day Cyrus, modeled on the 6th century BC Persian king who allowed Babylonian Jews to return to their homeland has been heavily criticized by some leaders evangelicals, who pointed out that Trump had never been known to be a serious Christian and had a personal history of divorces and extramarital affairs. (Johnson himself wrote that Trump was like a bull in a china shop that would disrupt some peoples’ sense of peace and quiet.) Many Evangelicals still preferred other Republican candidates. Still, Trumps’ prophetic fan club has not budged. Taylor not only updated his original prophecy to say Trump would win in 2016, but also said Trump would appoint three Supreme Court justices, an outcome that seemed only a remote possibility at the time.
After Trumps’ unexpected victory over Hillary Clinton, the new president welcomed the Christian leaders who had been the first supporters into the halls of power. Kerr led a six-minute blessing on Trump at his inaugural prayer breakfast in 2017. (She later prophesied that not only would Trump have two consecutive terms, as would former Vice President Mike Pence.) Most notable was Paula White-Cain, spiritual advisor for Trump. over a decade that recruited several Pentecostal leaders for its Evangelical Advisory Board.
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