Letter: Interpretations of ‘Old Prophet’ flawed

From: Joe Kinderman


On March 10 Harry McCawley wrote a column in The Republic’s Opinion section about the “Old Prophet,” where he unfolded Fred Allman’s life in Columbus in accomplishing what he perceived as his God-appointed mission.

I had several encounters with Fred since my move to Columbus in 1996. Some of Harry’s words in describing Fred and how he carried out his “God-mandated” duties were spot on, like overly aggressive, fanatic, tactless, coercing, public relations nightmare and nuisance. Other people used more descriptive words.

I read his tracts, recurring articles and letters. It didn’t take me long to see the errors in the theological principles he advocated. At least twice (once on Aug. 6, 2005) he published his 10 corrections that “must take place for true Christianity to have any validity,” addressing the topics of the Bible, Jesus’ deity, the trinity, atonement, rapture, eternal hell, heaven, the devil and free salvation. His interpretation of these topics did not align with recognized Christian theology.

I kept track of his many predictions. The first I remember not coming true was his prediction that George W. Bush had no chance of being elected. Fred was called out as a false prophet in a letter to the editor. From this time I did not refer to Fred as the “Old Prophet” but as the false prophet.

Ironically, his last prediction (prophecy) appeared in Fred’s ad, published on Dec. 19, 2015. Fred stated: “Here is what God has revealed to me. I have a little more than two years left to live on earth and finish my mission. Sometime around Jan. 25, 2018, an assassin will take my life.”

Surely this was not something God could have revealed to Fred. God is perfect, he is not wrong, but the self-proclaimed prophet was wrong again. Unfortunately, Fred passed away on Feb. 21, 2016, much sooner than his prophecy.

Scripture identifies and exemplifies true prophets and false prophets. Prophets were called by God to be channels of revelation. These men of God knew his mind and were enabled to declare it. The Holy Spirit spoke in and through them.

Prophecy involves prediction, usually in context of declaring God’s warnings and exhortations. Prophets were intercessors, praying fervently, talking to God about men and talking to men about God.

False prophets spoke their own dreams and opinions, rather than words of God.

Deuteronomy 18:22 says: “When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not happen or come to pass … the prophet has spoken it presumptuously.” Therefore, there are two ways of discerning God-appointed true prophets from false prophets:

     1. True prophets don’t teach error or lead people astray. (Deuteronomy 18:20)

     2. Prophetic predictions of the future by true prophets come true.

Fred was dedicated to the cause he saw as words from God. However, those who study the word should have easily seen through his error in his own interpretation of Scripture and the error of his self-appointed title.