By Elizabeth Prata
On April 4 I posted a blog reacting to Jackie Hill Perry’s (JHP) coming out as a prophet. In a multi-tweet thread she announced that God deals with her in dreams, speaks to her, gives her information about other people for JHP’s intercession. My examination of her statements is here.
I am not all that familiar with JHP. I don’t follow her on social media nor have I listened to her raps, songs, or sermons (Yes, she is a preacher too). But I know a false teacher when I see one. Or when I hear one… preach to men or claim direct revelation from God. These are easy. You don’t need a nuanced or advanced discernment radar to know the bells are going off when a so-called Christian says that.
Her following is huge. She has 688,000 on Instagram and 211,000 on Twitter and I’m sure more on TikTok. Let’s say north of a million followers. So what she says and does matters, because numerous impressionable and undiscerning women are being impacted by her consistently unbiblical example.
When I posted about her admission that she is a prophet, that blog got a lot of views. See chart below. You can guess which hits are the days when my JHP essay dropped. People are influenced by influencers, and JHP is an influencer. My job is to praise the ones the Lord has raised up and warn people about the others. My job is to tell the truth using the gift of discernment for y local church and the wider body, to warn, admonish in love. And I mean it in love. No one is happy to see someone drift away from Jesus.
Jackie Hill Perry does not like “discernment bloggers” (I purposely used scare quotes). She certainly didn’t like that many have called her false. So, she posted an Instagram video pushing back. She did not address the scriptural issues raised by me or other discerners. Of course. She cannot: there is no scriptural basis for denying the spiritual gift of discerning of spirits, no basis for receiving direct revelation nor of scriptures allowing females to preach to men. So, JHP’s push-back was against discernment as an activity.
She raised the usual canards about discernment: It’s unloving. It’s unwarranted. It’s unbiblical. Well, I’ll just let you take a listen yourself. It is 52 seconds.
I’ll go through her points one by one.
JHP: “If you follow somebody or something and literally all the content they produce is talking about other people, you don’t need these people to teach you how to spot false teaching or error.”
EP: I agree with this. When authors, bloggers, preachers, teachers etc get ‘stuck’ on one topic and that is ALL they ever “literally” produce, speak of, write about, their perspective becomes skewed. We must focus on Christ and employ the spiritual gifts for His glory and the good of the body. A skewed or myopic perspective won’t accomplish that. We should be balanced.
But while I agree with her general point, her comment is a straw man, because only a few discernment bloggers produce ONLY content that is “talking about other people.” She deliberately focused on only the fringe bloggers and lumped the bad ones in with the good ones and denied the total use of the gift of discernment. JHP says people who focus too much are not to be followed. So, opponents will find a reason to try and dismiss your warning or admonitions and then just focus on the emotional.
JHP: “You need the Spirit, you need the church, and you need your Bible.”
EP: I agree with this. However, her list is not complete. You also need the gifts of the Spirit. The Spirit dispensed gifts to believers. One of them is discerning of Spirits. All gifts that are in use today are for the edification of the body, which is the church. (1 Corinthians 12:7-10).
Now this is interesting. JHP maintains that she is a charismatic (not in those terms, but yes). She believes the gift of prophecy is in use today, and tongues, and hearing from God etc. So does she not believe that the gift of discerning of spirits is also in use? Did it go away? We don’t need believers with that gift anymore? But miracles and tongues and the rest we do need?
Or does she believe that NONE of the gifts are in use today, all we need is the Bible and the Spirit and the church?. And what does she mean by needing “the church” to discern? Are not believers with gifts the ones who make up the church?
You see when Peter in 2 Peter 3:16 wrote that the untaught and unstable distort scripture, this is one way they do it. JHP is giving us an example here. They move your eyes from scripture to emotion. They use church-y verbiage like Bible and Spirit and church. They use verses but omit the parts they dislike. There’s another example of twisting coming up in a second.
JHP: “You don’t need a constant diet of someone tearing down the body to teach you how to contend for the faith”
EP: Contending for the faith is messy. It involves a fight. Not that we are pugnacious. Not that we look for it. But if you contend for anything, it gets painful. Paul contended and in almost every city he went to there were riots. All the apostles contended, and they were killed, or exiled.
I already addressed the ‘constant diet’, but now here is a common phrase, ‘you’re tearing people down.’ Well yes and no. We love people and pray for the ones like JHP. But we also tear down. We are commanded to tear down philosophies that oppose Christ.
We tear down arguments and every presumption set up against the knowledge of God; and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5 Berean Study Bible)
We are destroying arguments and all arrogance raised against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, (2 Corinthians 10:5 NASB).
We’re supposed to tear down anything that opposes Jesus, any teaching that is abhorrent to Him. Wolves always agree in principle that false teaching should be rejected. But wolves always say, “It’s not me. I’m not false. You’re so unloving”.
JHP: “That’s not what Jude offered he offered the old testament to them to give them some context for how to discern false teaching in their presence.“
EP: That is exactly what Jude offered. He was soooo upset about false teaching he abandoned his original point of his letter about salvation so that he could teach them to discern.
Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith that was once for all time handed down to the saints (Jude 1:3).
Jude is the only New Testament book whose entire focus is devoted to confronting apostasy, meaning people who have defected from the true, biblical faith. Jude gave some examples from the Old Testament about their judgment, not about ‘how to discern’. He also described in detail the immoral and unconscionable character of these false ones who were infiltrating the church. He contended, and bluntly.
JHP: guard your heart and guard your mind from those who would tempt you and disciple you into lovelessness.
EP: Jude is the only book in the Bible written by Jude. His only focus is discernment. But JHP’s standard of discernment bloggers, of which Jude is one, we should avoid Jude since “literally all the content they produce is talking about other people.”
Was Jude loveless? Did the Holy Spirit include Jude’s book in the canon as a “temptation to lovelessness”? Of course not. You see the holes in Jackie Hill Perry’s talk by now, I’m sure.
Jude continued in his book describing in detail the immoral and unconscionable character of these false ones who were infiltrating the church. He ‘talked about other people’. (And so did Paul – and by name). Jude said the false ones were:
hidden reefs (which kill ships)
bound for hell
By JHP’s standard, isn’t that “loveless” talk?
Yes, do guard your heart and mind saturate it with truth. That way you won’t be twisted by the unstable who distort it.
Sinners never allow you to point to them. The lawyer tried to justify himself. The woman at the well tried to distract Jesus from talking of her sins by switching the conversation to worship. The Rich Young Ruler tried flattery (“Good teacher“) and arrogant knowledge (“I have kept the commandments”). A false teacher will never say, “Let me take a look at what they’re saying against me to see if there is any merit to it”. A Christian will do that. A wolf won’t. A wolf will use the Bible to justify herself, distract you from her sin, and pretend to be humble and kind. But inwardly they are ravenous. Don’t feed them.