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Archive for June 7th, 2012

INTRODUCTION

I first wrote about Jaeson Ma’s failed prophecy back in July 2011 and since then the feedback I’ve gotten over the past year have been somewhat surprising.  I started to notice that some of the objections people had were being repeated again and again so I wrote A SPECIFIC ENTRY  addressing them because, as I stated earlier, it would provide

an easy way to offer a link for the frequently brought up objections defending Ma, so that I don’t have to keep on writing them again and again,

Under that entry, I recently received an usually long comment (21 paragraphs of 1,844 words) from someone using the handle “Brother” that objected to my claim of Jaeson Ma being a false prophet.  Realizing that it would take a while to respond, I decided to put that comment on hold and pending for approval so as to avoid perpetrating theological confusion left unanswered while I was busy.  That was on May 16th.  I admit, I have been slow in my response.  So on June 6th, I got this second comment from “Brother”:

Hey bud,

It looks like my post is missing. I think it would speak a lot to your integrity to post a reply soon. It would also say a lot if you didn’t.

Cheers

Again, I have to admit I should have responded earlier.  For that I am sorry.  With all the hub of activity in my personal/work life and the buzz on Veritas Domain the last few weeks (election, apologetics, questions, other objections on other issues), I’ve pretty much forgotten about the whole matter.  Seeing that “Brother” has made the whole affair a question of my integrity, the following is my response to the issues he’s raised.  I do think it is ironic that a slow response to “Brother” has become an issue of my integrity while someone uttering a false prophecy our “Brother” here believes should be granted immunity from their character and integrity being questioned.  I will be addressing “Brother” directly in my response (hence the “you” in the response, though I’m not necessarily talking about “you” the reader).

RESPONSES

1.) “I’d like to suggest that you’ve misunderstood the situation because your understanding of NT prophets is incorrect.”

Concerning a misunderstanding of NT prophecy, I honestly think the situation is really the other way around, but more on that later.

2.) “Due to this misunderstanding, you’ve mistakenly attributed this situation to someone’s poor character rather than what I believe it really is, a maturing and (perhaps at times overly)dramatic personality.”

First off, just so I know and to ensure that we are on the same page, I wonder what specifically are the “poor character” that I attribute to Jaeson Ma concerning his false prophecy.  I think the burden of proof is on you to document and cite what “poor character” that I have attributed to Jaeson Ma AS THE CAUSE of his fail prediction.  I’m afraid that your charge against me might be too general and one can easily read into this that you are accusing me of Ad Hominem fallacies.  Secondly, I don’t think my primary focus has been on Jaeson Ma’s poor character but rather it has been about the false prophecies Jaeson Ma made and the subsequent approach towards his ministry in light of it.  Thirdly, if it’s wrong to attribute Ma’s prophecy about the Tsunami hitting LA as an issue of “poor character” (to use your words), are you not doing the same thing when you stated that you ” believe it really is, a maturing and (perhaps at times overly)dramatic personality,” and later below say that it’s an issue for need of sanctification on Jaeson Ma’s part?  To say that the prediction is an issue of overly dramatic personality is to say something about someone’s character.  I think you are guilty of the same thing you are accusing me of if I understood your statements here correctly.

3.) “I’ve been a missionary in Asia for most of the last 8 years, the majority of which has been in a “Creative-Access-Nation” that is hostile to missionaries.”

Praise the Lord.

4.) “Although I’ve not met Jaeson, we have many of the same friends and run in similar circles (college students / 1040 missions / tentmaking / Asia / Asian-American / etc). I have only heard reports and seen evidence that he is a faithful brother, although like all of us he isn’t perfect and of course he is not above making potentially big mistakes one day (all the more reason to pray for him).”

I think I can imagine what those evidences are, which are probably the same ones that makes me want to believe that Jaeson Ma is still a saved brother in Christ.  However, where I disagree with you is that while you believe Ma has yet to make a big mistake one day (we all can I might add), I believe that he has already made a serious error already when he made the prediction that Los Angeles will be hit by a large Tsunami.  If Scripture is to inform us and shape our paradigm in understanding the nature of prophecies, surely Ma did not just make a small mistake, but have made a false prophecy that he attributes as coming from the LORD.  That’s not just some small “mistake.”

5.) “My personality and approach in ministry is rather low-key (I guess you have to be that way to last in a creative-access-country), so I tend to be a bit uncomfortable with artists and high-profile ministry. I think artists are a puzzling group to work with and sometimes I feel they come across as a bit too extreme. But, then again, maybe that’s why they grab our attention and inspire us to a higher level of beauty and excellence.”

Again, going back to my response #2, are you not inconsistent to describe him as being high profile and “bit too extreme”?  I suspect how you defend yourself will be the same way I defend myself from your charges against me.

6.) “I also think that my experience of the prophetic (usually dreams, though maybe a vision here or there) is that these things happen more often when you are opening new beachheads to the gospel among people groups where there is generational demon worship, etc.”

First off, I’m always concern when people invoke their personal experiences and anecdotes as a defense concerning their view of God, His works and other theological matters.  Let’s stick to the Bible and what can be properly deduced from it.  Secondly, where does Scripture teaches that prophecy “happen more often when you are opening new beachheads to the gospel among people groups where there is generational demon worship, etc”?  I’m open to this view, but I don’t think it enjoy much Scriptural support that this is the norm.  But this is not the crux of the issue with Ma’s false prophecy.  Thirdly, if we assume for the argument that your statement here is true, that the prophetic does occur among “new beachheads to the gospel,” how is this an argument to vindicate Jaeson Ma’s prediction?  You would acknowledge my point here in light of the comment #7 that Ma’s setting is not a new beach head ministry for the gospel when he made his prophetic claims.  The situation that Jaeson Ma made his predictions is different than a setting for a new beach head for the gospel.  No matter the way you look at it, what you have stated here is irrelevant to the issue of whether or not Jaeson Ma made a false prophecy.

7.) “So, I really don’t expect most people in America to have much experience with this even though we all have the HS and 1 Corinthians 14 exhorts us to especially pursue developing our prophetic gifting. It’s understandable that this would be an area where the US Church has a lot of disagreements because the environment doesn’t often force one to make use of it. You definitely don’t have these discussions in the hills of Thailand and Burma!”

What you have to say here does not support Jaeson Ma’s defense since it does more to make the prophetic irrelevant in America.  Speaking of the United States and prophetic gifts, you said “the environment doesn’t often force one to make use of it,” though apparently according to your own words it probably does in Thailand and Burma.  Again, per #6, I’m cautious when people defend a theological position with stories.  Even if the prophetic does happen in South East Asia,  remember Jaeson Ma was not making these predictions in South East Asia to South East Asians but in a land where the enviornment does not compel the use of the prophetic gift (your own admission).

8.) “But another point is that, just like the other gifts, dreams/visions can be confusing at first and you have to pray a lot and share with accountability partners to get a clear understanding of what they probably mean. Even then, I don’t really know for sure what the dream/vision means until after the thing occurs. Often I will be accurate on some core points but they come about in a way that is kind of different from what I expected. For example, I had a dream in 2008 of a girl coming to Christ at a Chinese orphanage the night before I led a team there to share for a week. I wrote the dream down and it left me feeling a bit confused so I put it out of my mind and set my focus on our work there. The last night of the camp a girl came to know JC and I stumbled across my journal, in which the exact conditions of the dream were met with this person and how she came to faith. After the fact it all made sense, but beforehand I kind of put it out of my mind because I didn’t really know what to make of it. I feel like this kind of thing is pretty common, actually.”

Again, I’m not a fan of “he said..she said.”  Taking your words at face value, your account demonstrate more of the point that we are not able to fully understand prophecy entirely before it’s fulfillment but that’s a far cry with the issue at hand of whether a prophecy from the God of the Bible can fail.  It does not contribute anything really to this discussion about whether or not Jaeson Ma was or was not a false prophet.

9.) “I’m just saying that clear prophetic interpretations aren’t immediately obvious and interpretations are influenced by the person’s other faculties, especially with dreams/visions.”

See again #8.  Again, to  say that  a prophecy from God might not be immediately obvious is not addressing the same subject matter as a failed prediction.

10.) “I think Wayne Grudem (author of Systematic Theology) writes well on the Biblical basis for this understanding of NT prophecy and I encourage you to check it out.”

THank you for the reference to Grudem, though this is an area I disagree with him on.  I don’t want to go on a rabbit trail, so I’ll leave it at that unless you want to pursue this a little more.

11.) “To your points: I’d like to raise issue with Objection 1 and Objection 2. Objection 1- False prophets are defined, according to Matthew 7, as those who engage in lots of evil behavior and we are exhorted to watch their lives closely.”

First off, while Matthew 7 does gives us characteristics of false prophets we must not look at Matthew 7 in a vacuum and divorce it from the context of biblical theology (and by that I mean taking into account chronologically prior Scriptural truths that Matthew 7 builds upon in light of progressive revelation).  In terms of what false prophets are, we must take into account antecedent theology, that is, what does previous revelation informs and shape our understanding of what a prophet and the subset, a false prophet, is.  One must not engage Matthew 7 without consideration of other previous revelation from God’s Word.  We must synthesize the Biblical data rather than become reductionistic.  Otherwise, we would think a false prophet is someone who does a lot of bad behavior, something your comments seem to be leaning towards.  Secondly, Matthew 7 does not define false prophets “as those who engage in lots of evil behavior,” with my contention that “lots” or other similar terms such as “many” are not in the text of Matthew 7:15-23 (the portion discussing false prophets).

12.) “If we watch closely, we will be able to identify them because they will only be able to bear evil behavior/fruit. In Jaeson’s case, the only evil behavior you have brought against him is that this vision hasn’t yet come about in the way you expected it to come about.”

Again, per #11, there is a complex fallacy here in which your presuppositions are off in that you expect a false prophet will have “lots” of bad behavior in order to be a false prophet.  To reiterate again for emphasis, I think you have a reductionistic tendency of failing to account for other passages that talks about prophecy.  In addition, I think your statement is inaccurate that the charge I “brought against him is that this vision hasn’t yet come about in the way you expected it to come about.”  My charge that Jaeson Ma made a false prophecy is not about “the way I expected it coming about,” as it is more about the way Jaeson Ma himself, his followers and his associates understood the way the prophecy is supposed to come about (see my original post, in which I discussed about how his circle according to Jaeson Ma himself understood it literally, and explain why they stock things up and sold their homes, etc).  I’m noting a failed prediction according to how they understood the predictions, not my wrangling with their words to fit my expectations brother!

13.) “Remember, verse 18 says that a bad tree CANNOT bear good fruit and verse 20 says by your fruits you will recognize them. If this accusation is to hold water then the passage says he CANNOT bear good fruit. Instead, you’ve conceded the testimony of others that he has borne a lot of truly good fruit and this one questionable thing.”

First off, it’s a tricky thing to understand what constitute “fruit” and in my opinion I believe your understanding of it does not take into account the fuller context of Matthew 7:15-23.  Will you say casting out demons, performing many miracles and prophesying, if it’s done under Jesus’ name are indications of “fruits”?  I suspect you would say yes, yet Jesus goes on within Matthew 7 in the immediate context of verse 22 these frightening words of Jesus, ” Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many [n]miracles?’”  Note the consequences in verse 23, and Jesus’ own pronouncement in that verse to those who supposedly had “fruit”:  “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’”  Jesus Himself as the righteous Judge declare indicatively that they practice lawlessness which we would probably agree are bad fruits.  What the Lord of Truth Himself omitted in verse 23 is also telling: He never denied them having done those positive deeds, so we have no grounds to say that they did not have any positive deeds.  I think the reason why Jesus said what He said in verses 21-23 is to avoid His hearers from assuming a simplistic understanding of good fruit as just any good old deeds will do, and that if a false prophet comes and do and say some positive things, then therefore everything must be okay.  The reason why I say knowing the fruit is tricky is because the motives for why people do good things can also be further complicated by bad motives, and we all know that people can have good behavior fueled by bad motives.  It is true that verse 20 says by your fruits you will recognize them, I would admit that.  This seems to be important enough that the concept has been repeated twice, with the first instance in verse 16: “You will [k] know them by their fruits.”  If this concept of “you will know them by their fruit” is repeated twice, then there is something with this literary device of repetition that Matthew is employing for emphasis.  But note that this doublet of “You will know them by their fruits” is embedded in the context of talking about false prophets (cf. v. 15).  I know that in this age of political correctness and sensitivity of being negative it might sound wrong, but the way we are to identify false prophets is not by looking for good fruits, but of any hints and indication of bad fruits being present in the prophet’s life and ministry.  Why?  The first reason to me is that in the very beginning of this periscope, Jesus makes it real clear that false prophets will be deceptive so that Jesus even had to command ““Beware of the false prophets,” while describing them in the second clause as one “who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.”  If false prophets could come deceptively with some positive signs of being in the fold, the implication here is that the evidential weigh of bad fruits outweigh the contrary, since false prophets could be faking it outwardly.  The second reason why I believe it is appropriate to interpret this “watching for the fruits” as referring to keeping an eye out for negative fruits is because even false heathen prophets can do good deed here and there, and prophetic cult leaders as well, so surely it’s not just positive deed that we are looking for.  If you would deny this point, would you be consistent in saying that those class of prophets are not false prophets on the basis of some positive deeds?  I will think more highly of you brother, and believe you will say “May it never be!”  Yet, the very same arguments you give in your observation of Matthew 7 can also be applied in defense of established false prophets.  Thirdly, the gist of Matthew 7 is not to be comfortable with a few evidences of good deeds here and there and be comfortable while there’s an obvious sin; rather the text’s main idea is to err on the side of caution and I think we must do the same with the Ma situation.  To say that I admit Jaeson Ma have done some positive things for the Lord is not the type of concession that gets Jaeson Ma off the hook in light of my explanation of the text here.

14.) ‘I don’t think NT prophesy and OT prophesy are identical as I explain later, so I don’t think this one point qualifies as evil behavior.”

Will deal with that below then when it comes up =)

15.) “Maybe Jaeson doesn’t agree with my understanding of NT prophesy and believes his pronouncement to be infallible, literal and bound to happen before, say 2011. In that case I imagine he would feel pretty conflicted right now.”

All the rhetorics and argument aside, I’ve just prayed for him right now, since I still want to think better of him as a believer, and can’t imagine how he feels.  More importantly, I think it’s important that he repents and publicly confess this public sin of saying the Lord spoke something that He did not.

16.) “But, because Jesus says a good tree’s fruit is all good and a bad tree’s fruit is all bad, then I would still attribute that to incomplete doctrine on this one point, rather than a sweeping character problem.”

I think I’ve preemptively responded to this point in #13 brother.  I don’t think I’ve ever made a “sweeping character problem” charge against Jaeson Ma.    You have to stop putting words in my mouth.  At the same time, I can see how in light of Matthew 7, one might be and probably should be cautious with Ma’s character overall in light of this situation.

17.) “As a side note, alternative interpretations abound: if all the LA believers were to have sold their houses in 2006 (as some did when they took these prophesies seriously) they would have fared quite well amidst the financial tsunami of 08-09 that wiped out huge stores of wealth, devastated the livelihood of tens of thousands, and swept away entire branches of the entertainment industry that defines the city.”

How would L.A. believers selling their homes in 2006 would have made them fared well in the financial crisis that followed?  It does not necessarily follow.  For instance, you can sell your homes and made a profit in 2006 but still be out of a job later in 2008-2009.  More importantly, this was not the interpretation Jaeson Ma understood of it so it’s irrelevant.

18.) “If we look closer at the passage, I believe Jesus was speaking into a context of a religious authority that used shows of devotion as a way to perpetrate injustice in the name of God.”

And in light of the fact that false religious authorities would no doubt fake good deeds as “shows of devotion,” your admission here does further reinforce my point in #13.

19.) Jesus was effectively distinguishing himself from the false prophets that filled the various religious orders of his day and inviting others to closely examine his own life to become convinced that His teaching was from God, not the enemy.”

First off, don’t forget that this examination was largely for bad fruits in light of my case made in #13.  Secondly, the passage itself in Matthew 7 never made such an invitation to people to compare Him with other false prophets since His claims in Matthew 7 was more than that of a prophet but the One who will SINGLEHANDEDLY judge all other false prophets (cf. 7:23); though I suppose I’ll let that point go since this text on testing a false prophet would still apply to Jesus and one we as believers know that He passes.  Which leads to my third point: Would it have been okay for Jesus to have made false predictions as a prophet, as one who is the first Prophet of the NEW TESTAMENT (seeing you believe NT prophets can be fallible)?  How convincing of a proof of a prophet would you think Jesus made if Christianity says one can err in prophetic utterances?  And how does it fare against your view that there’s a radical difference between OT and NT prophets, with the fact that Jesus as the epitome of an NT prophet Himself prophetically declares and reinforces the continuity of the OT to the NT in Matthew 5:17, ““Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18 For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not [h]the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished”?

20.) “The reason his listeners were to be so careful in paying attention to all the fruit in a person’s life was that the wolves Jesus was distinguishing himself from populated most of the religious order of the day and were therefore steeped in seemingly good works, which, upon closer examination, were ALL entirely corrupt.  None of those leaders bore any truly good fruit and Jesus told the audience that if they looked closely then they would be able to clearly see that fact.”

Of course, at the heart of their good fruits so called were wrong motives.  As I stated earlier, do not commit the reductionistic fallacy of assuming that a false prophet only means they one who does corrupt deeds: don’t forget that a false prophet, among other things, is in essence, one who makes false prophecies.

21.) “The sanctification process means that we will be more conformed to the image of Christ over time but that will be mixed with deeper awareness of the sinfulness of our flesh and the limits of our finite faculties (among which is my mental capacity and the natural blind spots of my personality).”

Amen.  But the process of sanctification does not excuse the making of a false predictions as “ok.”  I find it painfully ironic that you keep on making a big deal that I have something negative to say about Jaeson Ma’s moral character, yet you also see this failed prediction as the result of a moral flaw when you bring up the issue of Jaeson Ma’s sanctificaton as the deficiency behind the false prophecy.

22.) “Given the larger context of a faithful ministry, isn’t it less presumptuous for us to interpret miscommunication in these visions to an area of this brother that is still maturing in knowledge and sanctification, rather than suggest his entire life and ministry is corrupt?”

First off, a false prophecy is not just a “miscommunication.”  It’s not just a random thing that happens.  Apparently God took it seriously enough and at one time invoke a death penalty for it.  Secondly, cite and hyperlink where I said that Jaeson Ma’s entire life and ministry is corrupt.  I would like to think that it’s your own misreading of what I wrote that makes you think this, but it’s getting kind of harder and harder for me to think this seeing how you make these large assertions again and again.  It’s not true.  I think it would speak a lot to your integrity to retract that. It would also say a lot if you didn’t.

23.) “Matthew 7 says it’s either one or the other when it comes to false prophets, so you have to go all in to advocate for one of those explanations. Remember, though, this is our brother we’re talking about!”

See response #13.  Responding to your comments thus far, I’m surprise that the issue at hand is altogether missing: If Jaeson Ma did make a false prophecy, what does that make him?  A false prophet.  I do think there’s sloppy reasoning going on here, that if you someone claims to be a brother, therefore that person can not be a false prophet.

24.) “Be careful, because we are exhorted by Paul in 1 Corinthians 4 not to judge a fellow servant of God since God alone will bring to light the hidden secrets of the heart during the final judgement.”

First off, I think your point is an improper extrapolation from 1 Corinthians 4.  Just because God will ultimate judge the hidden secrets of the heart during the final judgment of His servants does not mean Christians can not practice discernment and test/examine those who prophecy.  Apparently, after the previous verse talked about prophecies, 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 states, “ But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; 22 abstain from every form of evil.”  Note that in the Greek, the verb “examine” is an imperative, showing that believers have such an obligation.  The Greek root of this verb, δοκιμαζω, has the idea of testing and examination with care (see Hiebert’s classic commentary on this, page 247), and it turns out that it’s a favorite verb of Paul, where 17 of the 23 times it appears in the New Testament occurs in Pauline epistles.  The tense of the verb in 1 Thess. 5:21 makes it clear that this command is for the believers to continuously and habitually put this in practice.  After testing a prophet and their prophetic utterances, it’s not unbiblical to rule things as either good (which presupposes it’s true, since the adjective good here in verse 21 is καλον, and means what is intrinstically good rather than just pragmatically beneficial) or evil (this word in verse 22 is in juxtaposition with “good” of verse 21, and one can assume that it’s would include what’s false on this basis and for the second reason that lexically, the word “evil” here has to do with that which is destructive, injurious and evil in its effects, and one can see the bad undesirable effects of false prophecy on people’s trust in God, etc).  Secondly,  since we are “not to judge a fellow servant of God since God alone will bring to light the hidden secrets of the heart during the final judgement,” what are you doing here then?  It seems rather inconsistent.  Thirdly, if God is the one who truly judges the secrets of our hearts, can we be so conclusive as to say that everything is alright with Jaeson Ma in light of his false prediction and the paradigm of Matthew 7 as I outlined in #13?

25.) “Objection 2 – I was interested by your use of 2 Peter 1 because I think that it actually advances the opposite of what you’ve taken it to mean.
2 Peter 1:18-21–Which you understood to mean:“to say that a true prophet of God can misinterpret the true prophecy God has given Him is impossible”  But actually in this passage Peter’s point is that his personal revelation of seeing Christ baptized and hearing the Father’s approval, as well of his revelation of those words again on the mount of transfiguration, are both less reliable than the prophecies we find in Scripture.”

First off, do you agree that a true prophet of God cannot misinterpret the prophecy that God has given Him?  If not, I would like a chapter and verse from Scripture for how you justify that.  Secondly, if one were to extrapolate from 2 Peter 1:18-21 that there exists a hierarchy of certainty and reliability of the Scripture over extra-biblical prophecies/revelation, it does not follow that just becausethere is room for something to be less certain that a false prediction is now permitted.  We need to be careful not to confuse epistemological certainty with whether something is true or false.  To do so is to commit a categorical fallacy.

26.) “Peter spends the first half of this chapter making an important point. He is emphasizing the centrality of Scripture’s promises as the key to understanding a true knowledge of Him unlocking power in the Christian life to be transformed into a state of godliness, thereby escaping the corruption of the world by lust.  He then cites the excellence of his own visions/experiences and says that they are still open to interpretation and relatively unreliable when contrasted with Scripture, which did not come about through man’s interpretation.”

First off, in 2 Peter 1, Peter did not say “his own visions/experiences and says that they are still open to interpretation.”  The only time he mentioned “interpretation” in chapter 1, was in verse 20 and that was to say that the prophecy of Scripture was not a matter of subjective interpretation.  You have no basis to assert that.  Secondly, I don’t see support for your langauge that Peter’s revelatory experiences from God was “relatively unreliable when contrasted with Scripture.”  What I see is that in Peter’s description of his instance of NT revelatory experiences was one of strong certainty: note Peter’s description that “did not follow cleverly devised tales” in verse 16, his invocation of legal testimony language in verse 17 when he said, “we were eyewitness.”  Granting that there exists hierarchy of certainty, one cannot deduce from this to say that this passage teach Peter’s extrabiblical revelation was “relatively unreliable.”  There is no room here to support your view of NT prophecies.

27.) “You see, the point is that even Peter’s spectacular visions WERE STILL a matter of interpretation, yet the prophecies *of Scripture* are in no way a matter of interpretation.”

Again, Peter did not say his interpretation were still a matter of interpretation.  And 1 Peter 1:18-21 certainly does not say it’s okay for it to be a matter of wrong interpretation to such an extent that it’s even okay if it failed from being fulfilled.

28.) “It is into this context of prophetic gifting that Paul exhorts his church in 1 Thessalonians 5:20-21, “do not despise prophetic utterances, but test every one and hold onto the good ones”. Scripture is the infallible sieve through which we sift the messy prophecies of a growing, fallible Church.”

I’ve offered my exegetical comment earlier concerning 1 Thess. 5.   Scripture is indeed the “infallible sieve through which we sift ” prophecies.  Don’t forget 2 Timothy 3:16-17, ” All Scripture is [a]inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for [b]training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”  We use Scripture for teaching, reproof and correction.  Note how 2 Timothy 3:16 states that all Scriptures is useful in that regards, so I think it’s appropriate to bring Deuteronomy 18 to bear as well, something that you omitted, and should not have given that I believe your case for the discontinuity between OT and NT prophecies have been weak and not compelling.

29.) “My charge to you: If, as you say, a modern prophet is one who simply interprets Scripture, then the equivalent of a modern false prophet would actually be one who misinterprets Scripture, and in effect misattributes the authority of God’s Scripture to the opinions of the speaker. If we are to deal with this kind of person according to the OT protocol, then he or she should be taken outside the camp (whatever that is now) and stoned to death.”

Why do you keep putting words into my mouth?  I have never said that “a modern prophet is one who simply interprets Scripture” (if you disagree, please quote me by cutting and pasting, and hyperlink where did I ever say this).  Since I’ve never said such a thing about modern prophets, everything else that follows in your comment being upon this premise commits a straw man fallacy.

30.) “Are you willing to advocate this sort of treatment for those who misquote Scripture, or do you cede that your understanding of prophecy in the modern context is incomplete? If it is the former, then let’s evaluate the Matthew 7 and 2 Peter 1:20-21 passages to determine which one of us should die. If it’s the latter, then I believe we can give our brother Jaeson the benefit of the doubt and redouble our prayers for him.”

Again, straw man fallacy, see comment #29.  Furthermore, there’s a false dilemma fallacy embedded in your comment here: I reject advocating that sort of treatment towards those who misquote the Bible, but that does not necessarily mean that I have to cede my understanding of prophecy as being incomplete!  I think I have given Jaeson Ma as much charity as I can here, and I only wish that Christians can do the same here.

31.) “I really appreciate your call to hold Scripture in high regard and encourage the Church to “test every prophetic utterance, holding onto the good” as well as to “search the Scriptures daily” like the Bereans.”

Great.

32.) “Let’s also be careful that we don’t let what was true of Paul become true of our brother: “At my first defense no one supported me, but all deserted me; may it not be counted against them.” 2Tim4:16”

I think this is yet again another (and hopefully final) verse abuse and cannot be use to compare Jaeson Ma with the Apostle Paul here.  First off, if I’m not mistaken I counted 13 unique I.P address that have commented here on Veritas Domain over the past year either defending Ma, or saying still something positive about him.  The martyrdom complex and the victim’s card is inappropriate here!  Secondly, even outside of the comments here, Jaeson Ma has a lot of fans and supporters so I don’t know how this passage is applicable to our situation in the greater context of Ma’s larger ministry.  Thirdly,if this is the Apostle Paul we are talking about, he’s also the same man who wrote Galatians 2, that when Peter was wrong and hypocritical, Paul opposed him and even wrote a letter about him.  Thus, the issue is whether or not Jaeson Ma has made a serious offense with a false prophecy.  Paul was in need of defense not because of something wrong, whereas I would say otherwise in the case of Ma.  Fourthly, I presume you cite this passage with the assumption that I have wronged Ma.  I don’t think anyone can get a verse to show that documenting a failed prediction is a sin, do you?

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