As Hurricane Irma approached Florida in September 2017, Latin America awoke to hear a number of its anointed prophets and apostles shouting at her to go away.
This is a manifestation of the doctrine known as the Prosperity Gospel, the Rhema Doctrine, the Word of Faith, and more recently, “Decreeing” = I decree such and such to be so, and it will come to pass.
Decreeing a thing and asking God to intervene in a thing sometimes sound alike, but they couldn’t be more opposite.
- The prayer of faith is humbly asking God for protection. It is based on God’s power and grace.
- The decree is telling nature (or money or property or heath) that you yourself have the authority over them. Sure, the name of Christ is tossed in for good measure, likewise some prayers to God, but by definition it is not prayer. It is Prayer’s Evil Twin.
I have seen videos of a half dozen of these “apostles” commanding Irma to go away, but perhaps Miami pastor Guillermo Maldonado is the best example, and it’s in both Spanish and English. He ordered Irma not to cross the shores of Florida and told it: “as an apostle with authority over this territory…I command to the winds of the east, I command the hurricane Irma…I command you disintegrate, dissolve.”
- If God answers your prayers? Thank him, show him gratitude!
- If Maldonado makes the hurricane go away? Thank him, whip out your credit card.
Let’s add one thing: I have seen people posting these videos, after Irma hit, in the forlorn hope that at long last God’s people will see through this charade and stop giving these fakes the attention they crave. Or maybe these leaders will repent, go on TV, admit to being stymied, and give back your money.
I think I know human nature enough to guess that that will not happen.
What will the false prophets claim? Well, here’s my prediction, based on seeing it again and again. I would put even money on these options, all of which are ways of saying “I the prophet was right all along!”
- “Hurricane Irma would have been a lot worse, but I weakened it.”
- “Hurricane Irma was in fact stopped, but, you know, on the spiritual plane, not on the meteorological one.”
- “I think the Christian attitude would be to help the victims, not assign blame to a godly leader. So, if you question why Hurricane Irma hit despite my decree, you are a bad, bad person.”
- “God told me afterward that Hurricane Irma was punishment on us for some thing or another, and so it couldn’t be stopped.” (Probably the sin will be a lack of faith. Which you can now rectify by whipping out your credit card, our operators are standing by.)
Of course, some people will combine many or all of the above.
When a hurricane hits, it does a lot of erosion. But nothing can wear away the arrogance of the human heart.
“False Apostles are Smacked Down by Hurricane Irma!” by Gary S. Shogren, Professor of New Testament, Seminario ESEPA, San José, Costa Rica
Tagged: Bible, Christian, evangelical, false prophet, Harvey, Irma, Katrina