Musician and prophetic evangelist Simon Adahl once shared on Facebook how he had met a man who, after listening to Simon’s numerous miracle stories, exclaimed: “I had no idea that the church had something to do with the supernatural!” Simon was both surprised and sad when he heard this. Is the Western church so bad at representing God that people don’t realize He is a supernatural being?
I think we are. Even Pentecostal and Charismatic churches in the West often lack the abundance of signs and wonders we read about in the book of Acts. Other churches don’t even believe in it, or they are extremely careful, fearing that they would scare people away if they became “too” miraculous. They view signs and wonders as a danger and a temptation, and thus healers, prophets and wonder-workers are rare among them.
The New Age movement, on the other hand, loves miracles. And I believe that many turn to New Age because they are not satisfied with unmiraculous cultural Christendom that is being offered them in the church. Today, the Maya Calender has recieved massive attention around the world because it ends today, which according to some means that the world is doing the same. And this is not a marginal phenomenon. Around 10% of the global population thinks that there is a possibility that the world end this year because of the Mayan Calendar.
Why are all these people viewing the Mayans as a prophetic authority? Most of them do not worship Mayan gods. Most of them do not live according to Mayan culture. Still, for many the simple statement “the Mayans said so” is a sufficient argument for thinking that the apocalypse may come today, even though they have no plans about starting sacrificing animals to the serpent god Kukulkan. Thus, in order to debunk the theory, Mayan scholars have to argue why the Mayan calender did not predict the end of the world but just an epoch shift, rather than questioning why people view the calender as prophetic in the first place.
The 2012 phenomenon shows that the church needs to preach more about the true apocalypse when Jesus returns, the one that no one can predict which day or hour it will occour. But it also shows that we have to teach more about genuine and false prophecy, and that we need to prophesy! People want to hear what’s going to happen in the future, God has given such a gift to the church. What are we waiting for?
In his excellent book Growing in the Prophetic, Mike Bickle shares how in 1983, his prophetic friend Bob Jones once stood up in front of 500 people on a prayer meeting in Kansas City and proclaimed that it would be a drought in the city for three months with the exception of 23 August. This would be a prophetic sign in the heavens declaring that the rain of the Spirit would suddenly interrupt the spiritual drought in America. Between the end of June and end of September, there indeed was almost no rain. On 23 August however, skyfall poured down from the heavens. Bickle’s church had a new prayer meeting that day, and they rejoiced in the waters.
Isn’t this cool? Even though it just deals with weather and not the end of the world, unlike the Mayan Calendar it is a genuine prophecy. We need to pray for more prophecies and prophets. Then we’ll catch the interest of the 10% of the global population that will be disappointed tomorrow.