“BEWARE OF false prophets! (Mt 7,15) That’s what Christ told his disciples. These days, this warning assumes a most urgent character, since we cannot deny that we are having many people who are presenting themselves as prophets and yet their messages can stir serious doubts in us.

There is indeed a crying need for discernment and prudence. And the first thing that we have to do is to pray, asking God for grace and light. And then we study thoroughly the messages or supposed prophecies articulated, always consulting the proper authorities, which in this case, is first of all the Magisterium of the Church before we go to some pertinent experts and professionals.

This is a delicate matter which should be handled very cautiously, and always in the context of intimate prayer. And that’s because even if some false prophets are involved, it does not entitle us to be uncharitable with them. Yes, we can seek to clarify, suggest and even correct, but we should refrain from being uncharitable.

Let’s remember that even a person who is openly against Christ can give some kind of a prophecy, as in the case of Caiaphas, the high priest during the time of Christ, who as the gospel narrated, “prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but also to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad.” (Jn 11,51-52)

Yes, we cannot deny that the world today is now awash with demagogues and false prophets. It even looks like we have an infestation. Whether we look at the fields of religion, politics, business, the sciences, sports and entertainment, culture, etc., we can readily find clever leaders who have great talents in persuading people to their questionable beliefs and doctrine.

It actually should be no surprise. Since time immemorial, and even during the time of Christ, demagogues and false prophets proliferated. Our human condition, if not grounded on God, is vulnerable to it. We can’t help it. Our world can easily produce the necessary elements and factors. And we can never run out of potential materials. 

These demagogues and false prophets have great capacity to read people’s mind, and know how to adapt their behavior and speech to what people want to see and hear. This, of course, regardless of whether their words and ideas conform to God’s laws or not. They do things quite independently of God, and often even hostile to God.

Of all these demagogues and false prophets, I am not worried so much by those who identify themselves as atheists, agnostics and free thinkers. We have freedom, and we just have to learn how to cope with some of its not-so-good consequences. If the lines of conflict are clearly drawn, then things are a lot easier to handle.

Just the same, these can already create a lot of mess. Consider a very rich billionaire. His investments and fund movements can spell prosperity or doom to a country and even to a region. His open support for abortion, euthanasia and same-sex union certainly causes severe headache to those who believe in following the moral law as taught by Christ and the Church.

The more dangerous ones are those who profess that they prophesy in the name of God but whose teachings slyly undermine the true teachings of Christ and of the Church, using highly manipulative tactics in their eloquence. By Fr. Roy Cimagala (EV Mail June 24-30, 2024 issue)