I need to apologize. I founded and direct an organization that
could be called a Christian discernment ministry. We contend for
the faith as we are instructed to do in the book of Jude. We’re
busy. Doctrine is askew today. False teachers are plentiful.
Wolves are slinking around the sheep and devouring them. We try
to discern the times, and we even name the names of those who,
in our perception, are in error.
Every such outfit tries to do these things in a balanced way.
Well, some do and, come to think of it, too many do not. We try
to remember that reputations are at stake. Criticisms can
quickly turn into character assassinations. Human nature seems
to love to tear down rather than build up, so discernment is a
balancing act. To be honest, if self-control isn’t exercised,
“discerning” can become a blood sport. Some who tear down seem
to build themselves up in their own eyes and the
whole process becomes addictive.
So why am I apologizing? Some in the discernment crowd are
having a field day over something that may be God’s final
warning to America. It may even be a final warning to
individuals to get right with God. It’s a wake-up call to the
church. I am referring to Jonathan Cahn’s book “The
the related film produced by Joseph Farah, “The
Isaiah 9:10 Judgment.”
If you haven’t read the book or viewed the DVD, Cahn takes nine
warnings to ancient Israel and uses them as a signal to America.
Israel was warned. America is being warned. Israel shook a fist
at God, and America may follow suit – but some, like Cahn, are
trying to stop the train wreck.
What is it about a warning that stirs controversy? Jonathan Cahn
is not marching up and down Main Street wearing a sandwich board
that says, “Repent, America.” He has connected some very
mysterious dots on a map that started on 9/11. Each dot is a
harbinger. They make perfect sense. The Ark door is going to be
slammed shut again. God wants none to perish. It says in the
book of Daniel that some mysteries would be sealed up until the
end and then they would be revealed. Could the “Harbinger”
message be one of them? I think so.
But to the hypercritical and some modern-day Pharisees, Cahn’s
hermeneutics aren’t quite right. He hasn’t fully dotted every
“I” and crossed every “T,” they claim. Additionally, the message
of “The Harbinger” is unique enough that it doesn’t fit into the
way God usually does things. Imagine that. God
outside of a box! To
be honest, I’d prefer God in a box, too, but I’ve had to come to
terms with the fact that He just doesn’t always work that way!
He is creative.
John the Revelator had to deal with this. Imagine the poor guy
stuck on an island trying to connect the dots of the vision he
was given. It was a classic case of “Lord, choose somebody
else!” But there was no Internet back then so that critics could
jump on board and accuse John of bad hermeneutics. Lucky for
him. They would have had a field day, because to this day they
are having a field day over the book of Revelation! For
centuries scholarly old men have laughed at the profound words
in the last book of the Bible and brushed aside its warnings.
Some have said through the ages that it is too complicated, too
mysterious. We must leave it alone. We
leave it alone at our own peril.
Jonathan Cahn, a Messianic Jew, is a 21st century John or
Jeremiah but in the right sense! He is not some out-of-order
“prophet.” He got stuck with unraveling a code given to him by
God. Cahn himself calls it, “mind-blowing.” Then Ishmael and
Isaac meet as Joseph Farah, of Arab heritage, who enters the
scene to produce one of the most brilliant films you will ever
see, giving the visual effect to further the “Harbinger”
message. Wait! This union just might be of God.
So I apologize for those “discerning ministries” who have
concluded that what just might be a somber final call for
individuals and America is out of bounds. They call Cahn’s book
and the companion DVD “inane,” “preposterous,” “fallacious,”
“blasphemy,” a “lying prophecy,” and much more! One critic
denigrates Cahn’s character with a derogatory reference to his
Jewish chutzpah. What I’m reading and hearing from these older
scholarly wonks is that they don’t get it that this is a Jewish
thing for such a time as this.
I have one more issue: Not one of these men who are criticizing
– and may I say even bashing – made the slightest effort to
contact Cahn and dialogue with him. And in that they run in a
discernment crowd, Matthew 18 just must be on their mind now and
then! How quickly we forget. Shoot
first – follow protocol second!
And that’s why what some discernment outfits do is blood sport.
For that I apologize. Profusely. I am ashamed. I don’t want to
be known more for what I attack than what I build up. This has
taught me a lesson for which I am deeply appreciative. As a
representative of the “discernment community,” I apologize to
Cahn and Farah for what is flying around right now. How,
when and why did repentance become controversial? It’s
such a simple theme. It’s the theme of the Bible from the
opening verse to the last verse.
Forgive us, guys. Some folks are entering
the Ark because of your work. Many will be eternally
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