Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets, and it was your fathers who killed them… For this reason also the wisdom of God said, ‘I will send to them prophets and apostles, and some of them they will kill and some they will persecute. (Luke 11:47-49)
Today the resistance toward the apostolic and prophetic from the religious institution is not any less. Instead of making martyrs of these people and then having to raise statues in their name, the religious leaders of our day have found it far easier to theologically define these gifts out of existence. Instead of killing them in public, they have aborted them in the wombs of their theological textbooks, classrooms, boardrooms and pulpits. They removed them before they can even become a problem. This is another way of killing them, without getting blood on their hands. They simply deny their existence and do not allow any place for them in the church. This they do with their Bibles open but without a syllable of Biblical support.
My good friend Alan Hirsch points out how we all agree that the later results of Ephesians 4:11-16 is universal and for today. He also notes that scholars all agree that the first part of Ephesians 4:1-10 also has universal application today. Why then would we say that two (or three) of the gifts in the center of that passage are not for today? Nothing in the text would indicate that. In fact, there is a verse in that passage that seems to indicate that the work of all five gifts is still incomplete and currently essential (Ephesians 4:13).
Not only should we allow for their existence, but we should not be content without them. To suppose otherwise is detrimental to the church, to those who are meant to fulfill such roles and even to the world itself that needs to see Jesus as He truly is. We must end this abortion of the apostolic and prophetic in our churches.