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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Self -Appointed Prophets

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
To: elc@hebroots.org
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 Chumney
To: Nathan Lee Lewis
Sent: Wednesday, December 20, 2006 6:08:50 PM

Subject: RE: Unsubscribe


You are removed.

I hope that you don't regret not being informed regarding how close we are to the great tribulation.

Ezekiel 33:1-7

Eddie



My Response:


Eddie,

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


Please join me at my BLOG http://www.journeytoorthodoxy.blogspot.com/ to discover what the whole Church has always believed about the issues you raise.

Sincerely in Christ,
Nathan Lee Lewis


Delving a little deeper into Eddie's motive's for such a response I read the Ezekiel 33:1-7 he referenced. It was revelatory as to his Self-Appointed status. Apparently Eddie shares the same self-deceived platform as does Tim Lahaye, Hal Lindsey and the like. He lifts a scripture written in about 593 B.C about the siege of Jerusalem to validate his prophetic mantle.

"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.

6 comments:

  1. This comment from Eddie Chumney was recieved by email. Jouney To Orthodoxy has invited him to have furhter discorse via the Comment section on this BLOG:


    The words of the prophets are truth.

    Hopefully, you will take heed to them.

    It doesn't seem to me that you are interested in doing so.

    Otherwise, you would 'blow the trumpet in Zion' (Joel 2:1)

    Eddie Chumney

    ReplyDelete
  2. Here is futher discourse with Eddie via Email. Journey To Orthodoxy is not certain of the connection of some of Eddies remarks to the subject of Self-Appointed Prophets. He has yet to address that issue:

    ----- Original Message ----
    From: Eddie Chumney
    To: Nathan Lee Lewis
    Sent: Thursday, December 21, 2006 4:20:53 PM
    Subject: Re: Journey To Orthodoxy: Self -Appointed Prophets

    The 'church' (Kahal / Ekklesia) was born at Mount Sinai (Deut 9:10, 10:4, 18:16)

    It was founded by Jesus Christ who was the 'rock' that led the children of Israel out
    of Egypt (I Corinthians 10:1-4) who defeated the Egyptians with his 'right hand' (Exodus 15:6) who is the lawgiver (James 4:12).

    This 'church' (house of Jacob) whom Jesus rules and reigns over (Luke 1:33) is about 3,500 years old.

    The 'orignal" church is 3,500 years old. Are you a member?

    Eddie Chumney

    Response by JTO:
    Yes Eddie,
    In the beginning was the Word... But to suggest that the Church was founded before the Incarnation of Christ and before the New Covenant was established and the Old Covenant was absorbed into it is to redefine the meaning of "Church". This doctrine you propose is so far outside the mainstream of Christian thought or historic or biblical evidence that it is proof of what independent interpretation outside of the Body of Christ produces. Once again, you speak as one who "holds an opinion."

    May God continue to bless you on your journey. I hope you and your family have a blessed Christmas.
    Nathan Lee Lewis

    PS. I would be happy to have further conversation with you on my BLOG if you desire. You may use the comment section under any given topic.

    ----- Original Message ----
    From: Eddie Chumney
    To: Nathan Lee Lewis
    Sent: Thursday, December 21, 2006 1:25:20 AM
    Subject: Re: Journey To Orthodoxy: Self -Appointed Prophets

    Jesus and Peter were Jewish not Catholics.

    Eddie

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Nathan Lee Lewis
    To: Eddie Chumney Sent: Thursday, December 21, 2006 10:57 AM
    Subject: Re: Journey To Orthodoxy: Self -Appointed Prophets

    Eddie,
    Your statement is true as stated although I'm not certain of the point you are trying to make. More accurately Jesus was (is) the Christ and Peter was a Christ-ian. The word catholic simply means "universal" in reference to the Church worldwide. Like Peter, I am a Christian with Jewish heritage. I am also a part of the original Church Peter founded in Antioch (Damascus, Syria) where "they were first called Christians". I am not Catholic in the sense of being part of the Roman Catholic Church under the Pope of Rome (Although Peter founded that Church as well and is entombed there to this day.) I am Eastern Orthodox and worship in the Antiochian diocese in America.

    May God bless you on your continued journey.
    Nathan Lee Lewis
    www.journeytoorthodoxy.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. A final discourse with Eddie Chumney:

    ----- Original Message ----
    From: Eddie Chumney
    To: Nathan Lee Lewis
    Sent: Friday, December 22, 2006 4:06:45 PM
    Subject: Re: Journey To Orthodoxy: Self -Appointed Prophets

    I don't celebrate Christmas. It comes from Mithraism. Jesus wasn't born on December 25.

    It won't be celebrated when Jesus rules and reigns during the Messianic Era. Jesus will never celebrate Christmas. It is a "golden calf" system of worship.

    To bad you don't believe that Jesus had a family prior to 2,000 years ago when he said that the Torah, Prophets and Psalms speak of Him (Luke 24:44) and that you don't believe the New Testament which says that He reigns over the HOUSE OF JACOB (Luke 1:33) forever.

    "Church" in Greek is Ekklesia. The corresponding word in Hebrew is Kahal. It means a "called out assembly". According to the Bible, the Kahal was at Mount Sinai (Deut 9:10, 10:4, 18:16)which Jesus established when He brought His covenant family (Galatians 3:16, 29) out of Mount Sinai.

    "Mainstream" Christians thought is far from what Jesus taught. I would rather "walk like Jesus walked" (I John 2:6)

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Nathan Lee Lewis
    To: Eddie Chumney
    Sent: Saturday, December 23, 2006 12:00 AM
    Subject: Re: Journey To Orthodoxy: Self -Appointed Prophets

    Eddie,
    I am familiar with your teaching. There is no need to reiterate it here. I can read it on your website. The issue you revealed by your less than gracious reaction to my very simple request to be "unsubscribed" from your newsletter is the fact that you deem yourself to be not only "a" prophet but "the" prophet with truth so unique that not even the "Mainstream" church has it. You have set yourself above the very Church Christ established and the Martyrs bled to preserve. In doing so, you relegate the likes of Ignatius of Antioch, Justin Martyr, Clement of Rome, and Irenaeus of Lyons to the ranks of the deceived. You fit the classic definition of a heretic. You are anything but unique. You are one of the many voices outside the Church sounding your own trumpet thinking it to be God's. I will pray for your soul and that God will reveal to you the truth that the Old Covenant has been swallowed up in the New.

    By the way, if you have never attended an Orthodox Liturgy, you might be surprised to discover it is closer to the shapes, forms and historic Judaic culture than any modern-day Messianic gathering. It is in effect the perpetual Synagogue service of the en-grafted New Covenant people of Yeshua Hamashia - the Church.

    While the rest of the Church on the planet uses this season to worship the Christ. I hope you and your family will be blessed in whatever it is you do during this time. Regardless, let's all pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

    Nathan Lee Lewis

    Eddie's Final response:

    No, I am following Jesus and His great commission which is to teach Torah and the Gospel of the Messiah to the house of Jacob in exile just like Paul.

    I am a servant of Messiah.

    Rather than except the truth (since you have no scriptural argument for it), you criticize.

    I have done what I have been commanded to do (Ezekiel 33:1-7) so I have nothing more to say.


    Journey To Orthodoxy's final response:

    Yes, Eddie.
    I have critisized your teaching and the Self-appointed and elevated position from which you teach. What I have not done is condemn you to death as you have me.

    Unlike you I do have more to say. The difference here is that I will say only what the Church has already established to be true and not what I have determined to be truth through individual interpretation and self-discovery.

    I invite you to continue to visit my BLOG. You are welcomed.

    Nathan Lee Lewis

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Nathan,
    Thank you for posting these in totality, not cutting off things you deemed as unflattering to yourself.

    I am attracted to the Heb Roots movement as I believe the Nation of Israel have much to teach us as Gentile Believers.

    I however have realized most men who try to follow Torah as a Non-Israelite (I'm speaking of the Twelve Tribes, not just the Tribe of Judah), seem to become conceited and then appoint themselves as something higher than they are.

    I think History is replete with examples of men who hold to their own truth and forsake the reason they studied deeper to begin with, which usually was because they were following a man who set himself up as "The Truth" if I can use that tongue in cheek phrase.

    What I have found is those of us who follow Jesus, Yeshua, Yeshu, or Yahashua, or however people want to call the Messiah are One because of the Holy Spirit sent us by the Christ. To deny that we are one is to get off track I believe.

    Thank you for your blog and your journey into Orthodoxy, but please be careful yourself or you will uphold Orthodoxy like Mr. Chumney upholds his own teachings. Then we are cut off from the whole and lack so much. It is better to be connected to all believers, providing you can be.

    Thank you again for posting these,
    Tim

    ReplyDelete
  5. Tim, Orthodoxy is not found in individual interpretation but, rather, is determined by adhering to what the whole church has believed at all times in all places. Truth is verifiable. There was only one church for the first 1000 years. Since I do not adhere to my own "own teachings" as Eddie does, your exhortation, though well received, is not necessary. May I suggest you read The Early Church Fathers to find the true doctrines of the church?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous9:32 PM

    Jeremiah 16:19

    ReplyDelete

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