First as usual we encounter the Dispensationalist framework which is what is making an ungodly and unbiblical confusion out of the whole discussion, when Douma objects to Cahn's applying the concept of the Shemitah to America at all, since according to that system of Bible-mangling it was
meant only for Israel.He condemns Cahn for applying it to America, quoting page 159 of The Harbinger:
The sign of the Shemitah, given to a nation that has driven God out of its lifeInteresting that he doesn't quote the earlier part of that dialogue:
Yes, but what does it have to do with America. Ameica has never had a Sabbath Year.
That's correct. It was only commanded for one nation. But the issue here isn't the literal observance of the Shemitah or any requirement to keep it.... The issue here... is its dynamic, its effect and its consequence.... The issue is The Shemitah as a sign.Cahn, in other words, is clearly not applying the Shemitah to America in the same sense it was given to Israel. I don't want to get into that here except to say that I think he observed -- emphasis on OBSERVED -- somethng interesting about a pattern of seven years that actually OCCURRED in America that led to the connection with the biblical concept of the Shemitah. That is, it isn't something he took from the Bible to make it fit America, it was the other way around.
Be that as it may, for another discussion another time, Douma, having found Cahn at fault for applying the Shemitah to America at all, says
Are you and I bound to sabbatical rest laws? Isn't he saying as Peter did that we Gentiles have to start living like Jews? [41:59] How is that not a distortion of the goepsl? Where is the criticism of that? How is Cahn not trying to build up a wall that was taken down by Christ in Ephesians 2, the wall of separation, the Mosaic law that separated Jews and Gentiles. Is not Cahn rebuilding that wall once again? Of course he is. So this is a gospel issue. He's resstablishing the Mosaic Law and now it applies to you and I [sic]. [42:28]Here can be seen one major confusion that needs to be untangled. Douma fails to distinguish between the inheritance of freedom in Christ that we have AS BELIEVERS and the condition of the unbeliever, but also between individuals and nations. The Harbinger is about the nation of America. It is the NATION that is coming under judgment by God. That will certainly affect individuals, both believers and unbelievers, but the judgment as such is about the nation and not the individuals.
No, I'm free from that in Christ.
God deals with individuals individually. That is a different thing altogether from His judgment of nations as nations.
9/11 should have been recognized as judgment on America by anyone with any biblical sense at all, and I have to say most of the nation has no biblical sense so it's no wonder it was missed. America as a nation is corporately in defiance of God, only too well described in Isaiah 9:10 but also given a special confirmation and emphasis by the existence of the harbingers as described in Cahn's book, and it all relates specifically to 9/11.
But this does not in any way imply anything about the individuals who were killed on that day. We have no way of knowing how God dealt with them and it's none of our business. Some were no doubt believers, some weren't. We can say that God showed a great deal of mercy in the midst of that judgment, in that relatively so few were killed when so many thousands more could have been killed. There are miracle stories galore about that day.
Judgment on a nation is NOT at all the same thing as judgment on individuals.
So when we think about elements of the Old Testament coming to apply to America today we have to keep the nation separate in our thinking from individuals, either believers or unbelievers.
Yes, we BELIEVERS are free from the Law in Christ, but unbelievers are not but "abide under the wrath of God" as scripture says, and nations are still corporately dealt with by the Law in the fashion laid down in scripture for Israel. The Mosaic law is really a revelation of The Law that runs this universe. It's no arbitrary thing. It inexorably rules, it inexorably judges. That is why we NEED the gospel to rescue us from it as individuals, and we can ONLY be rescued AS individuals.
But outside the gospel The Law goes right on ruling and judging. The Mosaic Law was the basis for Blackstone's Commentaries on the law that used to be the foundation for English and American law. No more of course since the Bible as any kind of authority in our world has been brought down by the powers of evil. But once upon a time The Mosaic Law was taken to be the foundation for all civilized laws in this fallen world.
THAT IS AN ENTIRELY SEPARATE THING FROM THE GOSPEL.
Cahn is NOT reestablishing the wall of separation, he is simply doing what sane intelligent Christians, unhampered by idiotic Dispensationalist presuppositions, have ALWAYS done, apply the Law to NATIONS.
The confusion in the critical attacks on The Harbinger is truly dangerous -- again, far beyond The Harbinger. Maybe it's because of this truly unbiblical system of theology that so many pastors in this nation had no clue that 9/11 was God's judgment in the first place. These critics, even when they think the nation deserves judgment for all the sins they can enumerate that all conservative Christians agree about, seem to be strangely unable to be SURE of it. Well, we MAY be coming under judgment they say, or maybe we're GOING TO BE some time in the near future. This is a terrible blindness and it's sad to think it might be theologically induced blindness.