Self-Appointed Prophet: "Anyone who reserves for himself the right to interpret scripture or prophecy through illumination while disregarding the Church's historic apostolic doctrines and dogmas."
I continue to be amazed, the further I step further away from Protestantism and closer toward the One, holy, catholic and apostolic church, at the faulty ideologies and mindsets that I once embraced. One was the idea that the way we understand scripture is by a personal revelation of truth, the idea that "we need no man to teach us." It has been a comfort and hope to discover that all truth has already been revealed, is kept within the Church, and although the Church must navigate through time and historic events, there is no hidden revelation just waiting to be discovered by some gifted prophetic person who will be the herald of the new truth.
What strikes me most obvious is the arrogance that accompanies such prophetic posturing. For several years now I have subscribed to an e-mail newsletter from the Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int'l led by Eddie Chumney. I found Eddie's website when I was studying the Judaic roots of Christianity some years ago. The Ministry supports Israel and its right to exist but does so from a dispensational providential viewpoint. Much of the Ministry's ideology comes from interpreting certain biblical prophetic passages and applying them to current events. This method of prophetic interpretation is foreign to the Church as a whole and is predominantly a modern, western, evangelical method of interpreting the signs of the times. Lest I seem too arrogant, I confess that I practiced this method for many years. It was all I knew. Little did I know that only a small segment of believers share this view. Most of the Church across the world deems such as peculiar and even bizarre. My closed mindset was slowly pierced as I read "Unmasking Pre-Trib Fallacies" by Larry Simmons, "Will Catholics Be 'Left Behind'"? by Carl E Olson, and "Israel and the Church" by Peter Guilquist. Now, having found the original Church of the Apostles, preserved by the Church Fathers for 2000 years, I find information, such as Eddie Chumney's Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int'l expounds, to be unorthodox and unnecessary to my theosis. Thus, I recently asked to be "unsubscribed" from the e-mail newsletter. It was Eddie's response that provoked the title for this article, "Self Appointed Prophets". Here is the exchange:
From: Nathan Lee Lewis
Sent: Wednesday, December 20, 2006 2:16 AM
Subject: Re: Ready for a PLO state?
Please Remove me from your mailing list.
----- Original Message ----
From: Eddie ChumneyTo: Nathan Lee Lewis
Sent: Wednesday, December 20, 2006 6:08:50 PM
Subject: RE: Unsubscribe
I hope that you don't regret not being informed regarding how close we are to the great tribulation.
Why do you assume I will not be informed? Are you suggesting that you are only source of revelation? Your reply to my request to be "unsubscribed" seems a bit arrogant. I have receive your e-mails for several years and have enjoyed them and benefited. I have, however, discovered a deeper source of truth than one man's personal interpretation.
"So we have confirmation of the words of the prophets; and you will be right to pay attention to it as to a lamp for lighting a way through the dark, until the dawn comes and the morning star rises in your minds. At the same time, we must recognize that the interpretation of scriptural prophecy is never a matter for the individual. For no prophecy ever came from human initiative. When people spoke for God it was the Holy Spirit who moved them."
2 Peter 2:20-21
Historical Criteria for Biblical Interpretation: "It is truth only if it was taught at all times, in all places, by the whole church."
"...the Church of the Living God, pillar and support of truth." 1 Timothy 3:15
Sincerely in Christ,
Nathan Lee Lewis
"Son of man I have appointed you as watchman for the House of Israel. When you hear a word from my mouth warn them from me."
According to the Ezekiel passage, Eddie is the Watchman who sounds his horn to warn the people of impending danger. Apparently I, by unsubscribing to his newsletter, am the one who hears the horn but pays no attention to it so I will die:
"the sword overtakes him and...he will be responsible for his own death."
Self-Appointed Prophets are arrogant.
The dichotomy here is the fact that I share Eddie's support for the nation of Israel and the Jewish people as a whole. The Church teaches that in some measure grace will be extended toward the Jewish people to accept Yeshua as Messiah. However, the Church, being true to the Apostolic teachings, teaches that the old covenant has passed, the temple is destroyed and the new Israel is the Church made up of Jews and Gentiles. The Church is Israel. The modern-day Nation of Israel is not that to which the scripture refers. (See Hebrews)
The issue here is not with Eddie's doctrinal belief in this matter. The issue is that Eddie is a Self-Appointed Prophet working outside of the unity of the Church, and his thinking has become tainted and self-absorbed to the extent that he would pluck out a scripture to prophecy death to one who would dare "unsubscribe" to his teachings.
All of the ecumenical councils were called to deal with Self-Appointed Prophets who used personal illumination to come to some unique doctrinal conclusions which were outside the apostolic teachings of the Church. The Church has always referred to them as "heretics". Heretic literally means: "One who holds an opinion." Eddie holds an opinion.