At a church that I was once a member we were regularly hearing prophecy from folks who claimed the Gift of the prophetic. There were even "classes" to train others in this Gift (as if one can earn that Gift.) I have always had a problem with modern day prophets. My questions have always been these:
- Does the gift of prophecy, as given in the Bible, even exist today?
- If someone were a true prophet, how would we know it? Some prophecies in the Bible took decades and some are not yet even fulfilled. And even the blind squirrel finds a nut on occaision.
- How can we tell if what we are hearing is truly from the Lord? We are told to judge the prophetic utterance. But does the Bible give any clue about what criteria we are to use?.
- How much weight should a church give to a prophetic utterance? My former church's elders still, I understand, study the prophetic utterances of congregants with a zeal that I wish that they had applied to the Bible. They give equal weight to those prophecies and the Bible. Is this correct?
- Is there a theology of the prophetic utterance? Are there hard and fast rules of what a proper phophecy should contain?
I always found it interesting that none of these "prophets" in my former church ever attached "Thus sayeth The Lord" to their utterances.