Is This Guy A Modern Day Prophet Or What?

Browsing through McKay Used Bookstore in Nashville recently, I found a book full of powerful prophetic statements by a present day United Methodist minister, Carlyle Fielding Stewart III.  The book was published by Abingdon Press in 2001.  It is called:  The EmPOWERment Church. 

This guy sounds like an Old Testament prophet.  What do you think?  Here are some quotations from the book:

“Needed today is a church that is unafraid to invoke the presence of the Holy Ghost, reference the name of Jesus ostensibly and unapologetically in open air, and cultivate a climate of holiness.”

“The church, believe it or not, needs to be converted to Christ.  We presuppose that the church is participating in the teachings, presence, and mind of Christ, but this is not always the case.  In many instances, what is often practiced are organized forms of institutional ecclesiology.”

“Many people in church have an opinon of God, but not a saving relationship with God.”

“Every institution claiming to be a church is not practicing the teachings of Jesus or inviting the presence of the Holy Spirit into its daily affairs.”

“What flourishes in numerous churches is not the reality of Christ whose life and teachings constitute the foundation of the church’s mission, but a cult of the preacher.”

“Much of Christianity has lapsed into a diligent practice of organized religion rather than true Christian spirituality.”

“Often people with great potential are discouraged from serving the church because selfish pastors or spiritually insecure leaders impede their progress and stifle their participation in the Body of Christ.”

“The great scandal of our modern times is the number of people who are leading congregations, but not spiritually qualified to do so.”

“Too frequently church service becomes an exercise in power politics where flexing our ecclesiastical muscles becomes more important than humbly submitting ourselves to God’s authority and will for the church.’

“The ministry of the church appears to be run more like a business or government because the underlying principles of Christian spirituality are often absent.”

“Many mainline Protestant denominations in general, and United Methodism in particular, have forsaken their evangelical heritage in order to accommodate modern secular culture, and the perilous result has been a steady decline of those churches over the past twenty-five years.”

“In many churches there is a spiritual lethargy, a ho-hum, mater-of-fact, business-as-usual approach to the gospel and Christian faith that gives it little power or distinction.”

“Churches will continue to decline, rot, and die if a change in outlook and spirit does not occur.”

“We have stopped doing God’s business God’s way.  We have failed to teach and retain those basic biblical, spiritual, and evangelical practices that bring favor from God and win souls to Christ.”

“We have become so secular in our approach to church life that we have lost our spiritual vitality.

“The great tragedy is that we did not begin this way.  The United Methodist Church, as well as other mainline denominations, began as a spirit-filled movement.  If we are to regain our vitality, we must go back to those principles and practices that enabled the church to grow and prosper in its witness for Christ.’

About Steve Simms

I like to look and think outside the box. In college I encountered Jesus Christ and I have been passionate about trying to get to know Him better ever since. My wife and I co-lead a non-traditional expression of the body of Christ in Nashville based on open participation and Spirit-led sharing. We long to see the power and passion of the first Christ-followers come to life in our time. I have written a book about our experiences called, "Beyond Church: An Invitation To Experience The Lost Word Of The Bible--Ekklesia" that is available in Kindle & paperback @
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11 Responses to Is This Guy A Modern Day Prophet Or What?

  1. Bruce Dickey says:

    Thanks Steve for sharing this. I’d like to meet this C. F. Stewart.

  2. New on Amazon for $6 including shipping. I’ll definitely have to snag a copy. Looking forward to reading this. It will be interesting to see his perspective as a UMC pastor.

    • Steve Simms says:

      Thanks for that info, Chuck. I think you will like Stewart’s book. (P.S. I got it for 75 cents at the used book store. But it is still a bargain for 6 dollars.)

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  4. David Harper says:

    holy cow- wow!! very interesting steve…

  5. Sounds like this guy has not been to the right churches. But he is speaking truth. Many churches are spiritually dead.There are some churches that are still on fire for Christ and have the Holy Spirit moving throughout there congregations. I honestly haven’t seen any of these churches in the United Methodist denomination though. I grew up most of my life in the United Methodist church. As far as modern day prophesy goes. There are many modern day prophets. I have met some myself. I wholeheartedly believe that we are in the last days. Joel 2:28 “And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. and Acts 2:17 “‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Bethel Church in Redding, CA is filled with prophets. Especially the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry. Want to see some prophets locally. Check out Prophetic Activation hosted by Sandy Powell’s Powerhouse Ministries at Belmont Church. Jesus says that we can prophesy and do miraculous things with the Holy Spirit who strengthens us and we can also do greater things than he did. John 14:12 “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” WANT TO SEE SOMETHING POWERFUL?…WANNA SEE SOME REAL CHURCHES ON FIRE FOR CHRIST?…..Check this out:

  6. Jeff says:

    I haven’t been a part of a United Methodist congregation, but these words speak to Christians in all denominations. My wife & I haven’t attended church for a while. We long to return to the days of the vibrant worship & relationships we had at a church a while back, but more than once we’ve been jaded by subsequent church experiences. Even where there has been great preaching and friendly greetings, the lack of deep love in the churches makes us wonder “Where is the love for (and of) Christ here, which if present would be shown in people truly loving people, both current congregants and new members?”

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