Confession of Prophetic Doubts

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R. Loren Sandford

In December 2010 I sent out a Prophetic Moments I am now questioning. I prophesied the following: “We, the United States of America, are headed toward an intense crisis at the presidential level, the outcome of which will determine the direction of this country for a number of years to come. I sense this crisis coming at or before the beginning of President Obama’s fourth year in office.

“I am therefore issuing an intense call to prayer because the prayers of God’s people, together with the spirit in which we offer them, will shape the aftermath of this crisis for either good or ill. It can be a wonderful and historic turning point for the nation or it can be the beginning of the shattering of our country with depths of division beyond any we have seen since the Civil War.”

Because I highly value prophetic accuracy I have been questioning this word. I feel it only right in the interest of integrity to share this questioning with you. Did I hear accurately? I see that the president’s health-care law is being challenged in the Supreme Court and that 46 Catholic agencies are suing the administration over the administration’s birth control requirement as an unconstitutional violation of freedom of religion.

This has deepened the divisions we see in our nation over basic values. Obama has been accused of misappropriation of funds in the Solyndra and other scandals. His attorney general is about to face contempt of Congress charges over the Fast and Furious gun scandal. His Secret Service agents are embroiled in scandal over prostitution. In several states, unknown candidates are winning 40 percent of the Democratic primary vote against him when he is supposed to be running unopposed. His open approval of gay marriage has deepened the divisions between factions across the nation.

As I watch the news, I see a man taking increasingly desperate measures to bolster and defend a sagging presidency. And that’s just some of what has unfolded since approximately the first of the year and before.

Does this constitute a budding crisis? I don’t understand how such a mounting set of scandals, ethical lapses and constitutional violations fail to stick. Some say that these things have nothing to do witih the president, but I remember President Harry Truman saying, “The buck stops here.”

The president ultimately bears responsibility for what goes on in his administration. I’m beginning to think of Obama as the teflon president. Not everyone agrees with my assessment of recent events vis a vis the president, and therein lies the problem with evaluating the accuracy of my words.

It should not be surprising, therefore, that I have been questioned concerned whether any of this actually qualifies as fulfillment of my words. To be honest, I question myself. Some deny that these issues constitute a crisis at all. I openly confess that I expected a more focused single event to emerge rather than a series of events unfolding over a period of time.

I take some comfort from the fact that Agabus in the book of Acts prophesied that if Paul went to Jerusalem the Jews would bind him. In point of fact, the Romans arrested and bound him. It wasn’t quite what Agabus prophesied but it fell within the pale of what he predicted.

Does what I expected, as opposed to what has actually happened, fall into the Agabus category of being accurate in substance if not in detail? Some of you will say “yes.” Some of you will say “no.” For my part, I think it does, but I’m still questioning and waiting to see what develops. I don’t believe that we, the public, are privy to the extent of what is actually going on but I obviously have no means of substantiating that claim.

In short, because I don’t believe in what I call “rubber prophecy” (stretch-to-fit), I’m not ready to say either that I was absolutely right in what I heard or that I was actually wrong, although I lean toward saying that I was right in the Agabus sense. That is to say, “right in substance, off in detail.”

I submit this in the interest of integrity in the prophetic, sharing my own doubts and questions with all of you. I have promised to openly admit when I have been wrong prophetically. I choose to go a step further and confess when I’m not certain rather than mount a defense of my position or simply quietly hope it all goes away.

As they say, time will tell. What is clear and indisputable is that the nation is certainly in crisis and that the presidency is a big part of it. In that word from December 2010, I called for prayer for this season of crisis and its outcome. That call stands, no matter how these events play out.

About the author: R. Loren Sandford is the founder and senior pastor of New Song Church and Ministries in Denver. He is a songwriter, recording artist and worship leader, as well as the author of several books, including Understanding Prophetic People, The Prophetic Church, Renewal for the Wounded Warrior and his latest, Visions of the Coming Days, which are available with other resources at the church’s website.

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