A scholar of the Independent Network Charismatic movement explains its role in the Trump presidency

Last week I wrote a post on the Independence Network Charismatic movement (INC). The piece relied heavily on what I wrote in Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump which, in turn, relied heavily on the work of Richard Floury and Brad Christerson in The Rise of Network Christianity: How Independent Leaders Are Changing the Religious Landscape.

Last night I came across a Christerson op-ed explaining the links between INC prophets and the January 6, 2021 insurrection on the U.S. Capitol. Here is a taste of the piece from The Conversation published at the Pennsylvania Capital Star:

A key part of the Jericho March events has been a group of INC Christians who claim to be modern-day “prophets,” including Lance WallnauCindy Jacobs and Jonathan Cahn. Charismatic Christianity, similar to Pentecostal Christianity, emphasizes the “gifts of the Holy Spirit,” which include healing, exorcism, speaking in spiritual languages, and prophecy – defined as hearing direct words from God that reveal his plans for the future and directions for his people to follow.

Scholars use the term Charismatic to describe Christians in mainline or independent churches that emphasize the gifts of the spirit as opposed to Pentecostal Christians, who are affiliated with official Pentecostal denominations. Independent Charismatic Christians tend to be more unorthodox in their practices, as they are less tied to formal organizations.

In our research, we found that in most Charismatic churches, those who receive visions or direct words from God that make predictions that later correspond to events or have uncanny insights into people’s lives are seen to have the “gift of prophecy.” Some particularly gifted “prophets” are seen as being able to predict world events and get directions from God regarding entire nations.

While most Charismatic churches do not engage in this world-event predicting type of prophecy, some independent, high-profile leaders that do have become increasingly important in INC Christianity.

Read the entire piece here.