A pastor told his congregation to speak prophecy to one another. But his definition of prophecy included visions of sharks and pirate ships…
Matt Chandler: “‘Lord, what would you want me to encourage [this brother] with?’ And I’m quiet and trying to listen, and then automatically there’s a picture of a ship, a pirate ship. And there’s canons on the pirate ship, and there’s a shark chasing the pirate ship.”
Prophecy is not praying for people and then sharing whatever random stuff pops in your head. The Bible says if someone speaks in the name of the Lord and it doesn’t come true, they’ve spoken presumptuously and it isn’t from God (Deuteronomy 18:22).
Chandler: “What if we’re only talking to ourselves? What if we’re like, ‘Okay, Lord, will you show me somebody that I might encourage,’ and someone would pop in our head, and that’s just us. So what? Oh no, you’re going to encourage somebody. Why would that be this terrible thing? And then what if I’m wrong? Those are the two big things that just haunt. What if I get it wrong and they stone me to death? I already said, that’s not the kind of prophecy we’re making. So we hear, and by faith we approach, and if it sounds crazy, we’ve lost nothing.”
So it’s okay to lie to people and take the Lord’s name in vain, as long as it’s positive and encouraging? On the contrary, the Bible says to speak truth with your neighbor, and don’t grieve the Holy Spirit of God.
What the pastor is arguing, unintentionally, is that Scripture isn’t sufficient (2 Timothy 3:16). All the promises of God given in His word, through His Son Jesus, are not enough, and we need personal revelations of sharks and pirate ships in order to encourage someone. That’s not prophetic. That’s just pathetic. The Bible is the prophetic word fully confirmed (2 Peter 1:19), when we understand the text.
“And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts” (2 Peter 1:19).