A recent article in Charisma (November 1998) magazine had an article about a New York City pastor who has been “charging $365 for personal prophecies.” The article says, “Self-proclaimed prophet E. Bernard Jordan says he has a word from God for those who are struggling to find direction in life. But unlike biblical prophets who offered their counsel for free, Jordan’s messages sometimes come with a $365 price tag.”

This is obviously outrageous in many respects, but the amount of money is probably a lot less than many biblical counselors receive from a single client for their ministry. Our position has always been that while a “laborer is worthy of his hire” (Luke 10:7), the laborer should not charge for personal ministry.

This practice of charging for prophesies or biblical counseling smacks of simony. As many writers throughout the centuries have said, Simon the sorcerer no doubt wished to sell what he offered to buy from the disciples (Acts 8:18). Isn’t this what too many so-called biblical counselors do?

When will the various biblical counseling organizations, such as NANC (National Association of Nouthetic Counselors), BCF (Biblical Counseling Foundation), and IABC (International Association of Biblical Counselors), make an issue of charging to the extent of condemning the practice and identifying those individuals and churches involved in such a gross breach of Scripture? Which of the organizations will be biblical enough to expose this biblically fraudulent practice and to name names?

(From PAL V7N2)