Elijah, Jezebel and the Bride:
Where Are We Now?
Conundrum Over the “Mothering Prophetic:” Is it Truly “Prophetic”?
We have entered the first phases of a new courtship between the apostolic/prophetic and pastoral natures in the body of Christ. Being delivered from jezebel’s effects more than ever before, each stream has had its eyes partially opened to the legitimacy of the other. The two have actually begun “checking one another out” just a bit, even if somewhat skeptically.
One major factor enabling this is the recent pastoral openness to the prophetic anointing. This is a key blessing that has allowed pastoral people to begin appreciating the validity of the apostolic/ prophetic nature.
But pastoral acceptance of prophetic ministry is restricted to suit the pastoral temperament. The pastoral is yet unable or unwilling to accept the governmental prophetic/apostolic nature for disciplinary and corrective purposes. This qualified spirit of pastoral openness has raised its own problems between the two natures as to what is acceptably prophetic, what is not, and what is the prophet’s true role in the church.
- The Mothering Prophetic
The prophetic impartation which the pastoral stream now accepts can best be described as “mothering prophetic.” It is the prophetic as strictly interpreted according to I Cor. 14:3 which is given [only] for “edification, exhortation and comfort.” Translated: “It is alright to prophesy, as long as what you have to say is perceived as encouraging, preserves the harmony of the church and in all cases, recognizes the final authority of the pastoral nature in the body of Christ.”
To the mothering prophetic, the thought that prophetic ministry could be exercised in a negative, corrective and overriding governmental way—either in the church or toward society—is not seriously entertainable, though admittedly scriptural and even exemplified by the Lord Himself.
This natural aversion to the corrective prophetic does not in and of itself invalidate the comforting prophetic. The comforting prophetic is a true ministry of the heart of God. Even Isaiah says, “Comfort ye, comfort ye my people!” To this degree, it is truly prophetic.
But the comforting prophetic is not the whole truth—and not by a long shot! And it is here, where the comforting prophetic anointing remains out of context of governmental prophetic truth that trouble arises for the pastoral stream. Through her inability to embrace the contextual authority of the apostolic/prophetic voice, the mothering prophetic is its own stumblingblock in a nature that, as the “weaker vessel,” is prone to deception, seduction and excess.
Because the stand-alone pastoral nature is easily led astray, much of what she deems prophetic and which otherwise truly reflects God’s heart of comfort becomes at best skewed, at worst outright false—and, in any case, little discernment is exercised to tell the difference.
Lacking eternal-visioned discernment, pastoral prophecy has been used to reinforce the church’s ties to the earth, to its own traditions and to offer sentimental portraits of God’s heart for the world that frankly are without basis or merit. It is used to “coddle” sinful mankind into the kingdom rather than convict men, and to “sanctify” the cultures and identities of lost mankind. (In earlier teachings, I have labeled this as “culture prophecy.” )
- Frustration in Courtship
The pastoral restriction on the prophetic together with its proneness for deception produces a significant obstacle to the fledgling prophetic/pastoral courtship.
The governmental “fathering prophetic” nature is deeply troubled with the pastoral belief that prophetic ministry is confined to the positive and ultimately subject to pastoral approval. They know that the author of I Cor. 14:3 also authored the prophetically stinging corrections and directives found throughout the rest of the book! So, although they now appreciate the role of the mothering prophetic, the mature open-hearted apostle/prophets remain secretly frustrated by the weaknesses of the pastoral-prophetic and her slowness to recognize her need for true apostle/prophetic-class corrective vision.
In their new openness to the pastoral stream, governmental prophets struggle to discern how much of the “mothering prophetic” is simply incomplete, and how much of it is seriously amiss and false. This is not an easy line to discern.
While quick-tongued outcast adolescent prophets have no trouble labeling all mothering prophecy as false, the more discerning prophets in from the desert are learning to fine tune their perception in this arena, and speak carefully about what they see. After all, they have realized they are entering a new uncharted revelational courtship! And in any true courtship, there is a give and take in understanding that must be worked out.
Nevertheless, the result of this remaining tension is that the governmental prophetic, though it has left the desert to approach the pastoral-prophetic stream, is unable to move immediately into a well-defined relationship that leads quickly to marriage. The pastoral church is just not ready to abandon centuries of practice as a “widow” to make that leap. In the next section, we’ll look at what God is doing through this tension and what this frustration means to the courtship.
Riverside, Rhode Island
First Love Ministry
- a ministry of Anglemar Fellowship
BACK TO TOP
Page created October 15, 2016