Silence of the Prophets

I want to be very clear that this post - in the end - is not about Ted Haggard. That subject has been booted around a lot. Some have sugggested methods and steps (protections) that should have been present in his life. Others have written that none of us should be surprised because any of us could be Haggard. Whatever his church and oversight folks do, I'd like to see it permeated with grace and mercy, with an eye toward repentence, followed by full restoration.

How could we have prevented this is the question that many people are trying to answer. Among Pentecostals, perhaps a better question is, more honestly, “why didn’t you see it” – for all of these apostles and prophets that claim to hear directly from God - this is a question that I have not seen addressed.

What I have yet to see explored has been the silence (pre-scandal) of those who partnered with Haggard. This is not "guilt by association" - this is partnership.

This entire “Haggard tragedy” says as much about the Apostolic movement than it does about Ted Haggard.

A while ago I wrote a post called "Today's Prophets". I noted back in January that today's "prophets" seemed to specialize in telling people that which they want to hear...that everything is going to be good, that we’re going to lose weight, that we’re not going to be alone.

We don't hear from the "Nathans" - who looked at David and told him "YOU are the man."

I said, "It brings doubts to my mind when we only embrace the “prophet” that tells us the pretty things."

The question that I'll ask at the end of this post is, "why didn't they see?"


There is a "prophet": Haggard did not operate in a vacuum. Does the name C. Peter Wagner sound familiar? It should; Peter Wagner is the president of Global Harvest Ministries, which designed especially, but not exclusively, to meet the needs of leaders who have become a part of the New Apostolic Reformation.

Here are some of Wagner's words concerning "prophets".

As noted in these Scriptures [here is the article], prophets play a key role in the life of the local church. They are responsible to declare the word of the Lord. Their declarations bring direction and clarity of the purpose of establishing the body of Christ...

It is imperative that the authenticity of a given prophetic ministry be tested at its very outset in a local church...

A keen ear is necessary to discern the spiritual climate in a church and the issues currently being faced. Prayer and fasting causes prophets to be perceptive to the direction in which God would have the church to proceed. How can prophets declare a "word," unless they have heard a "word" from God?

His[Jesus'] consistent ability to discern a matter and then accurately address it was based upon His intimate relationship with the Father

There is a partnership: What does C. Peter Wagner have to do with Ted Haggard?

A lot.

Let's focus on the "World Prayer Center".  This is a public relationship that is documented by the Wagner.  On the World Prayer Center website, it says:

The World Prayer Center was birthed in a vision given to Pastor Ted Haggard on Pikes Peak while praying and fasting in 1984 [...]

In the 1990's C. Peter Wagner coordinated the launch of AD2000- the largest prayer movement in the history of the church- that linked over 40 million intercessors from 120 nations in united prayer. During that time, the Wagners relocated to Colorado Springs joining the vision and mission to build the World Prayer Center.

On Wagner's website:

Global Harvest Ministries was born in 1991. Doris and Peter Wagner were the parents and Luis Bush was the midwife. Those were the early days of the AD2000 Movement [...]

Through AD2000 we met Ted Haggard, pastor of New Life Church, and Ted challenged us to move our Global Harvest offices from California to Colorado Springs (where Luis Bush also had his AD2000 office), and partner with him in establishing the World Prayer Center.

This is NOT "guilt by association" -  this is an outright parnership.  Haggard and Wagner are not in mere association with each other, they are partners in ministry, on the same campus.  Haggard invited Wagner to come to Colorado Springs, with the express intent of partnership.

So, what's the issue?

As I said in January, we have self-proclaimed "prophets" running around, telling people only what they want to hear.  With these "apostles" and "prophets" in partnership with Ted Haggard - why didn't they see?

A prophet should be able to discern a matter and then accurately address it.  If these prophets are real, if they are able to hear a word from God and speak truth into a person's life...

Why didn't they see?

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6 thoughts on “Silence of the Prophets

  1. I knew nothing about any of this; had never even heard of Haggard until this came to the fore. You make a very interesting association, Mz. Ellen. And you ask a very important question.

    Perhaps those who were in partnership with Rev. Haggard should ask themselves the same question.

  2. Phil

    Well done, as usual, Ellen. As a recovering Pentecostal myself, this is one of the questions I was asking. In fact, the Assemblies of God should have been asking themselves the same questions after Jimmy Swaggart as well. I mean, here's a denomination (charismatic/Pentecostal, just like Ted Haggard) that believes in direct-from-God revelation -- sometimes through "tongues", sometimes not. Bear in mind that these are "holiness" denominations with both written and unwritten (read: biblical and un-Biblical) codes of conduct, just like the Jews. Yet in all of this promotion and boasting about holiness and morality, as you've well noted, there is not a single "Nathan" to be found among their millions of followers and thousands of pastors who claim to hear directly from God. They boast about having a "keen ear" and claim that it VALIDATES their ministry and theology! Because Pentecostalism elevates sensuality and emotion over rationality and doctrine, this kind of thing happens a fair amount (trust me, and it's one of the dirty little secrets and the charismatic world). In spite of their more-gifted-than-thou boasting, events like this continue unabated and they expect no questions to be asked.

    I hope you don't get pounced on and shredded by the Pentecostal watchbloggers. If you do, I'll be here.

  3. I had not heard of Haggard either, but I had sat in a congregation listening to a "prophet".

    Phil, the limited contact that I've had with Pentecostals - and even Charismatics - left me with this doubt about their "keen ear". 😉

  4. Interesting question. I'd imagine that many times people get caught up in what people's perception of the church is, that they cover up sin when they discover it so as not to subject the church to scandal. I'd imagine that many times they cover up more and more heinous sins that they are trapped in a web of deceit of their own weaving.

    We are very familiar in our Church of our fallen nature, our need for vigilance and our need for forgiveness when we sin. But some of us seek God's help too late to avoid embarassment (and possible lawsuits) if you know what I mean.

  5. I wonder if there WERE those who tried to approach him. Those with gifts of discernment tend to be humble people and easily ignored.

    I'd never heard of him before all of this either.

    But, it certainly did make me wonder...

    Why is one man given so much power? The early church didn't work this way. We have seen present day churches fall apart due to this very issue. When will we learn?

  6. Judy, a lot of people have that concern about "mega churches".

    As far as the gifts of discernment, I think that discernment is different than the gift of "prophecy".

    A person with discernment might say something like "I think there might be something going on in your life that you need to address with God"

    A prophet should be able to address the person (as Nathan addressed David) and be able to pinpoint what the problem is and to be ready to "out" him publicly.

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