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Pointers along the way #154

The blame experts
- Jacob Ninan

God warns about people who preach nice and comforting messages to everyone even when what is needed is some strong medicine or surgery, because that is what would make them popular (Ez.13:10). On the other side, there are also many self appointed prophets who go around placing the blame on poor suffering people when something bad happens to them. They don't realise that they are heaping additional burdens on people who are already bending under the load of their pain, sorrow, perplexity, guilt, etc.

These prophets proclaim, "There must be some sin in your life." If they were real prophets like Nathan, they would have told these people what specific sin they had to set right, instead of throwing a general blame in their face. Do they think that bad things happen only to bad people? As a result of these mindless accusations even sincere people harass themselves, examining themselves from every angle for sin that is eluding their notice, ending up with confusion, hopelessness and guilt.

"You don't have any faith. That's why God is not answering your prayers," say these prophets, with an air of having revealed some great mystery. If they didn't have faith, would they have gone to God in prayer? Didn't Jesus say that even a little faith was enough to move mountains? (Mt.17:20). It is not the quantity of faith that matters but who we have faith in and if our faith is based on God's word (Ro.10:17).

"There must be a curse on you!" This itself is like cursing, placing them in an extremely difficult position, because they can tie themselves into more and more knots trying to remove the noose that is choking them. Few people know that no curse can bind them unless they really deserve it (Pr.26:2). Even if we deserve it, the good news is that Jesus has already taken our curse on Him so that we can be free, freely (Ga.3:13). God has also declared that we don't have to bear punishment for the sins of our ancestors (Ez.18:2,3,20).

"It's because you have left the church." For some people the ultimate sin is to leave a church group, because they believe theirs is the Body of Christ and you lose your relationship with God if you leave it. Many 'prophets' constantly warn their congregation about the frightful things that have happened to those who left their church earlier. Quite apart from the wrong doctrine, what a sad way this is to hold on to people in a church!

"You haven't been making a positive confession." O what a terrible God these prophets worship, who sends calamities on people when they slip up with words! They forget Job, David, Jeremiah, etc., who expressed their anguish to God sincerely and were honoured for it!

The list goes on. All these experts of blame and accusation are callous and heartless, not willing to lift the burdens of people with one of their fingers (Mt.23:4). They turn their knives in the wounds, hurting and causing more damage. When will we learn? If we can't help, at least let's not do harm.