You counterfeit something when you can’t get yourself a real one and hope to pass off what you counterfeited as genuine to someone less intelligent than you. You figure there’s so little of the real floating around that if you put on a good enough show, your audience won’t even question the authenticity of your machinations.
Sure, you have to one-up the other guy, so if he’s throwing his sport coat at people, you punch them in the stomach, but you can’t make an omelet without eggs, and eggs are getting pricy. I’m still waiting for a guy to show up in a white robe with sandals, then start throwing his sandals at people. It may be something—a new twist to an old story and all that. I’m sure some intrepid healer of the multitudes - although no one’s been healed yet - will think of it sooner or later.
Fake it ‘till you make it is good in theory, but it presupposes an end to your faking it, as well as you having made it. When it comes to spiritual matters, if you start off faking it, you’ll continue to fake it until you’re back in the mud pushing up daisies because making it requires effort, sincerity, humility, and repentance, and that’s just too constricting for someone of your vision. Prophets to the nations don’t have time to walk humbly with their Lord.
People whom God spirits away to heaven because He needs their advice are exempt from having to pursue holiness and righteousness. I realize that none of what I just wrote is anywhere in the Bible, but that’s because you have the pauper’s Bible. They have the extra special princely Bible. Either you get angry at these people, or you mock them openly. I try not to get angry anymore. It makes my food taste funny.
The problem with faking it is that the devil isn’t. At the most inopportune time, in the most heinous of ways, the devil will expose you, and the fall will be Hindenburg-level traumatic. Don’t get me wrong, those who use the word of God and the power of God as a means of gain, those who practice usury and mercilessly fleece the sheep of God’s pasture deserve to be exposed and shamed. The problem is that there is always collateral damage when they go down. They never go down alone. Lives are shipwrecked, faith is shaken, people grow disillusioned, and the church gets another black eye.
The not-so-nice me, the me that’s been in ministry since the age of twelve and has seen the good, the bad, and the heretical, tries to withhold empathy for those who get caught in the blast radius of these charlatans because they should have known better, yes, even would have known better if they’d bothered to read their Bibles and believe it rather than fairy tales. To a certain extent, that’s true. That’s the reality of the situation. Because they did not familiarize themselves with the truth, they fell for a lie and now suffer the consequences.
But then I get to thinking about how elaborate the grift is, how they use each other to confirm their heresy, sort of like professors getting their papers peer-reviewed. You scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours. You come on my program and convince the little old ladies that watch me that it’s a good idea to sign over the titles to their homes so we can build the new billion-dollar prophecy center, and I’ll come on your program and do likewise. Surely two men of God couldn’t be wrong, I mean, out of the mouth of two or three. Granted, one’s a woman that has been married more times than I have fingers on one hand, but that was her journey and her truth, and four out of her five husbands didn’t see the mantle of prophetess to the nations that was on her life.
They don’t preach repentance because there’s no profit to be made from it. Repentance cuts them out of the deal. You don’t need a bishop, pastor, deaconess, or prophetess for repentance. You just need a closet, a sincere heart, and lots of Kleenex. If they started preaching repentance, they would no longer be indispensable and that they could not have.
They’ve made themselves defacto priests of evangelicalism, gatekeepers of the holy of holies, and you can’t get in to talk to God except through them. If you want God to listen, send in the biggest gift you can. If it’s big enough, we’ll usher you to the front of the line and put in a good word.
Jesus didn’t send His disciples out to start schools, teach people how to prophesy, have workshops on taking love offerings, or do a dozen other things the modern-day church seems to be pushing.
He sent them to preach repentance and remission of sins in His name to all the nations. The orders haven’t changed, but evidently, the servants have.
And before we get into the whole what about the school of the prophets in the Old Testament argument, I’m all for it if you hold to the standard of the Old Testament in everything else, from keeping the law to putting to death anyone who prophesies falsely, or attempts to lead astray through prophecy. Them’s the stakes! Still wanna play?
Even though Jesus never said to teach them to prophesy, but did say to preach repentance and remission of sins in His name, do a prophecy conference, and one on repentance, and see how many show up to one and how few show up to the other.
We started the conversation about the promise of power. We’ll get to it in due season. For now, there’s still more to unpack, and it’s worthwhile that we do. Who knows? We may yet learn something revelatory.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea, Jr.