Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Harbinger criticism is totally absurd

June 24, 2013:   I'm rewriting this post because I let myself get carried away too far in the original version. 

The more I see of the attacks on Jonathan Cahn by David James and Jimmy DeYoung and T A McMahon, the more I see people straining hard to find something, anything, to pin on The Harbinger, no matter how ridiculous. While it's always right to give people the benefit of the doubt, especially when they are brothers in Christ, there is something about the absurdity of the attacks on this book that invites at least the suspicion of something less than complete sincerity going on here. It almost borders on the malicious. And this is coming from ministries that generally enjoy a good reputation and a good following among Christians.

Why? What on earth has provoked them to such extremes of denunciation of The Harbinger? It would be one thing if any of their objections made any sense, but unfortunately they seem to be largely reactions to certain words that they are unable to read in the context presented in the book and keep misreading in some preconceived context of their own.

Oh oh oh, he said that the first settlers of America made a covenant with God, yikes that means he thinks America has replaced Israel and God has given up on Israel completely! He said that Washington consecrated the nation to God in prayer, oh oh oh that means he believes America is God's nation now! Oh, and looky look, he even compared Washington's consecration of America with Solomon's consecration of the temple. Oh horror of horrors he thinks that a passage in the Old Testament applies to America today, oh that means he thinks the prophet Isaiah himself knew about America and was writing to us directly. Oh, and he doesn't even MENTION modern-day Israel, that's PROOF that America is the New Israel in his mind.

Jonathan Cahn is a Messianic Jewish rabbi/pastor you would think the ministries that enthusiastically embrace the reestablishment of israel would bend over backwards to appreciate and support. Instead of imagining a few words about America's having a covenant with God into a full-blown accusation of Replacement Theology, you'd think they'd just KNOW that the idea is absurd and try to understand the context in which it was meant.

That brief discussion between DeYoung and James that I posted at the bottom of yesterday's blog does have the flavor of a concerted attempt to destroy The Harbinger. The fact that they linked the book with the claim that it shares the perspective of a Mormon heresy in a new book called The Covenant, based only on a flimsy bit of hearsay that the author of The Covenant claimed that Rabbi Cahn agreed with his views, does not suggest charity toward a brother in Christ. At the very least they seem willing to jump to conclusions and let a terrible accusation stand against Cahn on the slightest excuse. Again, why? 

Every argument that is made against the book is false in every possible way. You'd think they might come up with ONE reasonable criticism, but I haven't seen it if so.
In the absence of any scriptural support, how can it be claimed with any certainty that 9/11 marked the removal of God’s hedge of protection? Furthermore, even if God ever has provided such a hedge of protection around America, is it not possible to also argue that it is still in place? There has not been another terrorist attack since 9/11—even though the motivation, intent and plotting to launch more attacks has continued to the present.
This just doesn't compute.  The "hedge of protection" is a metaphor based on the hedges built around vineyards to protect them from predators. Since up until 9/11 America had been blessed with unusual peace and security on our own soil for over a century -- not counting Pearl Harbor which is outside the main continent of America -- it's perfectly reasonable to attribute that to God's protection, for which the biblical metaphor is a hedge.

And once we have been attacked on our own soil, BY DEFINITION any such hedge of protection that had been in place has been removed. No, it's NOT "still in place" because it was removed or we couldn't have been attacked, and the nation has not made the first step toward the only thing that would bring God's protection back to us -- repentance, that is, acknowledgment and correction of the nation's rejection of Him and violations of His Law.
...in both the book and the documentary by World Net Daily, the author attempts to build the case that America’s leaders were proudly and arrogantly acting in defiance against God when they spoke of rebuilding (even though they didn’t realize it).24 This is very misleading because although standing in defiance of America’s enemies, they were demonstrably not standing in defiance of God.
This one grabs me every time I run across it and I just can't let it go. They WERE "proudly and arrogantly acting in defiance against God when they spoke of rebuilding" because that's what it means to speak of rebuilding and replanting in our own human strength, without acknowledging God's hand in judgment against the nation or calling for repentance for the nation's rejection of Him.

I may have a slightly different take on this than Jonathan Cahn does since he sharply distinguishes their own personalities and motives from the message of Isaiah 9:10. Of course they had no idea what they were doing and if they had they wouldn't have done it, but that fact in itself makes them guilty of defiance, since merely reading the verse as if it weren't an offense to God shows that their motives were defiant in spite of themselves, lacking any sense of God's judgment on the nation, any sense of a need for repentance, only the human will to rebuild.  That right there is the essence of the defiance in Isaiah 9:10 being played out in modern America.

Contrary to the objection of David James, their WANTING to reassure people or even WANTING to be in God's will not only not save them from ACTUALLY defying God in reality, their understanding the verse that way IS defiance. And really, it's a false idea of God they are appealing to, a God they assume would bless America's desire to rebuild and replant WITHOUT THE SLIGHTEST HINT OF REPENTANCE, just as a majority in America at the time apparently did. David James is also appealing to this same false idea of God since he actually tries to defend Daschle and Edwards on the ground that they weren't consciously defying God. I think you could say that about most idolators and it's TYPICAL of today's denatured "bless-me-bless-me" Christianity that we just go about our idolatrous materialistic sinful self-centered lives not expecting God to judge us and not imagining that we need to repent, assuming God is on our side. The God that James and Daschle and Edwards have in mind -- even if they might deny this -- is a God who would not judge America and would not require repentance but would be easily placated by rousing renditions of "God bless America" again, just as a majority in the nation did at the time. This is NOT the God of the Bible, in fact this is idolatry, an appeal to a false God, in defiance of the true God.

Sorry, I know I'm repeating myself on this point to an extreme by now, I just never quite feel I got it said.