by Robert Earl Houston
I love the Lord with all my heart. And I am a sports enthusiast (not a fan, which is the abbreviated form of the word “fanatic”). Every Sunday I worship the Lord, pay my tithes and daily I pray and read the Word of God. Football, Basketball, Baseball, Hockey, Soccer are sports that I follow, honestly, from afar. I’m not one of those people who can ring out the starting 5 or 11 or 9 for a team. But I do enjoy the drama of sports.
I thought that this year’s game would be epic. The all-defense Seattle Seahawks versus the all-offense Denver Broncos. Unfortunately it was a blow-out and Seattle ran over the Broncos 43 to 8.
But was disturbing were the emails and Facebook posting where men of God prophesied about the game. Not predicted. Prophesied. There is a difference from making an educated guess (prediction) against the backdrop of a God-uttered or God-breathed prophesy (concerning the future).
I am afraid that in our pursuit of “going to the next level” that we have misguided ministers who are seeming to marry personal prediction and God’s authoritative will. It’s a disastrous train-wreck.
God is not tipping the scales of a sporting event. I don’t believe that God is “for” or “against” a football team. He has His disciples on both sides of the ball. I’m sure that Peyton Manning and Russell Wilson both prayed before the game. I’m sure that the chaplains for the Broncos and the Seahawks prayed the success and safety of their teams. I just don’t think God put His finger on the scale and heavily tip it against the Broncos.
It is incredible to think that a few days before the game any minister would film or broadcast a “lock” on the game. To use the words, “you can take this to the bank” or “God told me to tell you” is insidious and it makes you not a “smarter” or “bigger” or “greater prophet” it transform you into a wolf in sheep’s clothing pouncing upon the minds and spirits of the Sheep of God’s Pasture.
We’re gone into a church age of recognizing gifts TO THE BODY of Christ. I have no problem with the gifts, but when they are used to say what God has not said or to prophesy what God has not uttered is an affront to the Word of God and is an embarrassment to the church community at large.
In the Old Testament and New Testament ages, when a prophet delivered a false prophecy he was stoned. However, I suspect that these false prophets will add an addendum to their prophecies to protect their ungodly behavior.
I’m becoming more convinced that people who use “The Lord told me to tell you” has to be on some kind of self-producing “word.” When I was single, there were those who heard voices too. I’ve seen pastoral candidates who said “The Lord told me” only to blame biased pulpit committees for their losing to another (in some cases) less qualified candidates.
Why do we have the Holy Spirit if we need a third-party intervention? A few years ago I watched a “prophet” minister in a stadium full of black people and said “The Spirit of the Lord has told me that there are those in this cloud that have diabetes.” You don’t need a spiritual gift to figure out that if you’re in a room of 20,000 black people that somebody has diabetes. Duh . . .
I have yet to find a passage where God promised a victory to a sports team. Individuals – yes. Groups of people – yes. Jesus – absolutely yes. But to go out on a limb and say that God has ordained that the Broncos will win and it’s a lock – you become prophets who need to seriously consider retirement or the Body of Christ needs to issue you a layoff notice.
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