Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Court Prophets in Jeremiah's Time and In Our's

In Jeremiah 14 we read what God thinks of court prophets . . . and it is not pretty.

The court prophets in the Old Testament were kept by the Kings as a way of attempting to defend themselves against real prophets through whom God spoke His Word of warning, judgment and condemnation on the unfaithfulness, idolatry and law-breaking of the Kings. The court prophets pretended to have "prophetic words" which they just made up on the basis of whatever they thought the king wanted to hear at any given time. They had a job to do and they did it.

Jeremiah 14:1-6 describes a drought that gripped the land and the word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah in the midst of it. When the prophet attempts to pray for the people, the Lord says "Do not pray for the well-being of this people." (v 11) Surely this is one of the most terrifying verses in Scripture. Don't even pray for them: it's too late for that now. The people of Israel teeter on the brink of judgment.

Then the Lord says to Jeremiah that the court prophets are prophesying lies in his name, such as "You will not see the sword or suffer famine." (v. 14) The Lord says that he has not sent these prophets or appointed them or spoken to them. They are false prophets and they themselves will perish by famine and sword (v. 15) They will perish in the streets of Jerusalem when calamity comes upon Israel. (v. 16)

This word from the Lord crushes Jeremiah and in vv. 17-22 he cries out to God, like Abraham and Moses before him, to mitigate His wrath and have mercy. But in chapter 15, verses 1-2, the Lord says that even if Moses and Samuel were to stand before Him and plead for Israel, He would not reverse His verdict.

The court prophets of today are those liberal theologians, bishops and pastors who have sold out to the spirit of the age and have adopted the perspective of the rulers of our society, whose mouthpieces they have become. They do not speak for the Lord and they do not defend the flock of God from the wolves that threaten to ravage the flock. Their message is not rooted in the Word of God and therefore it is merely words they they have made up.

They advocate "progress," "inclusion," and "tolerance" but they do not preach the biblical Gospel of sin and salvation through the blood of Christ. They call the Church to compromise with the world and to give up the distinctively Christian teachings that the contemporary world finds offensive. Their starting point is what the world will accept without conversion and that becomes the Procrustean bed upon which the message the Church declares must be made to fit.

The court prophets are dangerous to ordinary Christians and they must be opposed and refuted by true prophets who depend on the Word of God for their authority.

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