People often ask me if I have a title. My normal reply is: “You can call me Lee. Or if you want to sound formal, you can say, ‘Brother Grady.’” But my reply doesn’t always satisfy everyone.
All kinds of labels have been pinned on me: Reverend, pastor, prophet, apostle … even bishop. Once I was introduced to a church as “Dr. Grady” and I almost crawled under my seat. I only have a college degree. There are no letters after my name.
Today it seems we’ve developed a title fetish. For a while everyone in charismatic circles was becoming a bishop (and some were installed into this office with rings, robes and strange hats). Then the same guys with the pointy hats started calling themselves apostles. Then the prophets got jealous and started calling themselves apostles too. And I knew one lady who required people to call her “Exalted Prophetess.”
Someone once said, “When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.” Change is a part of life. It’s also uncomfortable and can be scary. Here are a few facts about change:
It’s a process. And it’s often a lengthy one that requires long-term commitment.
It’s frightening. Even though we usually want change, we also like to be in control. But we have to be willing to let go of something to move toward something new—without knowing exactly what the new thing will be like.
It takes action. It comes when we confront our fears.
Few things rile Christians more than talk of God’s judgment in the wake of disaster. When mass tragedy hits it’s become routine for some prophet, preacher or politician to stir up controversy by pronouncing God’s role in the matter. The problem for believers, however, is discerning exactly what that role is.
After Haiti’s earthquake in 2010, multiple leaders in the prophetic movement declared God had judged the already poverty-stricken country for its spiritual ties with witchcraft. Japan’s quake and tsunami last year yielded similar “words from the Lord,” some of which harkened back to warnings issued decades earlier. Yet these prophetic responses also drew the ire of fellow leaders upset by those whom they felt were misrepresenting God’s heart as if He were gloating over the millions suffering through these tragedies.
Around the same time another judgment prophecy warned of a massive earthquake that would hit California and the West Coast. When catastrophe didn’t come as predicted, many local believers—particularly those who feel called to California—not only questioned the prophecy’s source, but also took issue with the implied theological ramifications.
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