Opinions or Oracles?
I don’t recall a time in my life when I’ve seen more opinions, theories, and speculations swirling around throughout the population with such intensity. It is essential now, of all times, to remember that our assignment is to preach oracles, not opinions.
“If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God” (1 Peter 4:11).
“Oracles” here simply means to speak the very words that God is saying and to declare what God has revealed. We have a high and holy office, and the world does not need our opinions—the Word of God is what must be proclaimed.
I remember hearing Brother Hagin share that at one time he had bought into different “antichrist” theories. Consider what he said in a message from Winter Bible Seminar in 1987:
I used to be a prophecy preacher, way back in 1939 and 1940, the war started over in Europe. I even knew who the antichrist was. But you see they killed my antichrist. Just ruined all my prophecy preaching. So I had to come up with another antichrist. I got me another one real quick like, but then they hung him. See, I had Adolph Hitler first, I had Mussolini, and then finally I got Stalin and he died and none of them rose from the dead! So I come to find out that much of my prophecy preaching was no prophecy at all—just wishful thinking. Now that doesn’t mean that you quit preaching on prophecy if God calls you to do it. But that means you go back and examine your position. And I went back and got to examining my position and I found out that I was wrong and everybody else that I was listening to was wrong.
If I remember correctly, he decided from that point on he wasn’t going to pick any more antichrists, but was just going to preach the Word.
It makes me wonder how many of the current opinions and theories (conspiracy theories, in particular) are going to be debunked in a matter of time. I think we would be tremendously wise to keep our focus on “the more sure word of prophecy” (2 Peter 1:19) and the Word of God that is forever settled in heaven (Psalm 119:89).
These are intense times, and people are trying to make sense of things; they are trying to wrap their heads around uncertainty. Many are in great fear, and the imaginations of some are running wild. Many of these bizarre imaginations are flooding social media platforms and I am concerned that they are unsettling immature believers and causing them to take their eyes off of Jesus.
May we never be guilty of what God warned Jeremiah about:
Thus says the LORD of hosts,
Do not listen to the words of the prophets who are prophesying to you.
They are leading you into futility;
They speak a vision of their own imagination,
Not from the mouth of the LORD.
I’m not saying that we don’t have opinions or that we don’t have our own thoughts about things. Nor am I condemning people who express themselves. I am simply saying that our job as ministers is to “proclaim the Message with intensity; keep on your watch. Challenge, warn, and urge your people. Don’t ever quit. Just keep it simple” (2 Timothy 4:2 MSG).
Thank you for staying steady and focused. You have built great foundations of faith into your people, and together, all of us will stand.
Here are a few great quotes about theories and opinions.
“The moment a person forms a theory, his imagination sees in every object only the traits which favor that theory.” —Thomas Jefferson
“There is no sadder sight in all the world than to see a beautiful theory killed by a brutal fact.” —Thomas H. Huxley
“Popular opinion is the greatest lie in the world.” —Thomas Carlyle
“All theory, dear friend, is gray, but the golden tree of life springs ever green.” —Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
“Opinions are the cheapest commodities on earth.” —Napoleon Hill
“The fewer the facts, the stronger the opinion.” —Arnold H. Glasow
“An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Theory helps us bear our ignorance of facts.” —George Santayana
“A young man is a theory, an old man is a fact.” —E. W. Howe
“Christianity is not a theory or speculation, but a life; not a philosophy of life, but a life and a living process.” —Samuel Taylor Coleridge