Nothing surprises me any more.
On Sunday, Chuck Pierce–an influential prophet in the New Apostolic Reformation–presented a “new mantle for the future” to television and radio host Glenn Beck, a Mormon. The mantle was presented to Beck at Pierce’s Global Spheres Center in Corinth, Texas, during a church service Beck attended with his family.
Some of Pierce’s followers expressed concern that Pierce would present a mantle to a Mormon. Pierce responded Sunday by posting a brief comment on Facebook defending his action. In short, Pierce distanced himself from the mantle by claiming that “Glenn Beck is devoted to Israel. The mantle was given from Israel.” It appears–from the other comments posted on Pierce’s Facebook page–many of his followers are buying his explanation. But I’m not. Here’s why.
What’s a “mantle”?
Anyone who is deeply involved in the NARunderstands what it means when a prophet presents a “mantle” to someone. This practice is an allusion to a story in 1 Kings 19:19, when the prophet Elijah gives to the prophet Elisha his cloak–or “mantle,” as the word is rendered in the King James Version. This biblical story is interpreted by people in the NARas a symbolic action, showing that the prophet Elijah was naming the prophet Elisha as his prophetic successor.
So when Pierce presented a mantle to Beck, people in the audience–who regard Pierce as a prophet–understood that their prophet was conferring some type of prophetic status on Beck. This should trouble Christians. Why? Because a leading prophet in the NAR is recognizing a member of the Mormon church–a cult of Christianity, which rejects essential doctrines of the Christian faith– as a true messenger of God. A true prophet of God would do no such thing.
Pierce apparently felt the need to offer a further justification for his action. Yesterday he posted a lengthier comment in which he acknowledged that Beck is a Mormon–though he also hinted that Beck may be on the path to becoming fully Christian. (And take notice that he referred to Beck as a specific individual’s “son in the Lord”–language that is typically used by Christians to describe a true Christian believer.) Certainly, many of Pierce’s followers have interpreted Pierce’s action to mean that he recognizes Beck as a fellow Christian.
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