Saturday, May 11, 2013

Jonathan Cahn's problematic charismatic associations versus the validity of his book The Harbinger

Update May 28:  I've been offline for a while because of computer problems.   More comments on this subject are posted in the Comments section below.

So now I got a Comment on the Email on the Harbinger post below, taking me to task because of my continuing defense of The Harbinger..  This is a tricky problem.  I continue to believe the main message of the book itself holds up against all the ridiculous criticisms levelled against it by the critics, but at the same time I also have a big problem with Cahn's affiliations with some very extreme charismatics, appearing on their programs to promote the book and so on.   I don't find it easy to resolve these problems. 

Am I wrong to defend the book if Cahn himself does things I can't support?  Should I accept his view of it that he's willing to appear wherever he's welcome in order to promote the book, which he likens to Paul's speaking at Mars Hill?  Well, actually I don't accept that view at all.  I think there is a big difference between what Paul did at Mars Hill and Cahn's appearances with charismatics I myself reject.  Charismatics present themselves as Christians for starters, whereas Mars Hill was clearly pagan.   Some charismatics Cahn has appeared with are so out of line they can't be considered Christian any more, although there are certainly true Christians within the charismatic movement nevertheless.  

I don't know how to resolve all this, but again I'm being attacked for Cahn's appearances on charismatic venues when my main focus has been on defending the book and not Cahn himself.  I continue to believe the critics' attacks on the book are way out of line and that the book's message holds up, AND that Cahn himself does not seem to share in the charismatic excesses of the people he's been associating with. 

But here's the Comment I got and my answer to it:

Anonymous said...
Your defense of Cahn is sickening, especially in your denial of him not being affiliated with the charismatic movement. All you gotta do is YouTube him on heretic Sid Roth's "It's Supernatural" and see he is affiliated with them. Just cause he doesn't "teach" charismania, doesn't make any less in error! Especially when the Bible clearly says we are not to associate with evil doers but rather expose them! I will qoute an excerpt from Elliott Nesch:

"My concerns go deeper than mere charges of “guilty by association.” For instance, on October 24, 2011, Cahn launched his book on the Jim Bakker show. On April 5-8, 2012, Cahn was included with a team of ministers to celebrate Passover with Chuck Pierce, Peter Wagner, Dutch Sheets, Barbara Yoder, David Demian, David Schneier, Judy Jacobs, Kyle Searcy, Paul Keith Davis and Robert Heidler. Dated June 18, 2012, The Jim Bakker show announced, “The prophets are coming – the word is going out! Rabbi Jonathan Cahn, Sid Roth, John Kilpatrick, Rick Joyner, John Shorey, Bobby Conner, Cindy Jacobs.” On September 27, 2012, Cahn appeared on This Is Your Day with Benny Hinn. In a personal e-mail correspondence, I was prompted to ask Cahn if he cautions his congregation against false teachers by name and what his criterion for false teachers is. He responded,
There is distinction between believers who may speak or teach some errors in fact or doctrine, a category that basically includes every believer – And the other category where someone teaches that which clearly contradicts a foundational and central core issue of faith – that would be place them outside the gospel and would justify the label of false teacher. If giving specific identification was warranted to protect believers from falling into error as touching the latter category, we would not be averse to doing so.

I also asked Cahn about his current affiliation and position on the New Apostolic Reformation. He responded:

I have no affiliation – There are those who assume that because one speaks from a specific platform, event, venue, conference, or media outlet, this means that one is in total or any agreement with the host or platform. This is not necessarily the case. By such a standard, they would judge Paul as a pagan for preaching at the pagan platform of Mars Hill. I will go and speak from virtually any platform I can that will allow me to give the warning of The Harbinger and the message of the Gospel unhindered – Whether I agree with that person on any issue or no issue – whether that platform be Christian, secular, Hindu, pagan – or a Mars Hill – as long as I am able to use that platform to preach unhindered, I will go.

I understand Cahn’s conviction about preaching at Mars Hill if need be as the Apostle Paul. But I would compare sharing the pulpit or being a guest in association with these false teachers as equivalent to early Christians sharing a venue with or speaking in a Gnostic congregation. I believe these teachers with which Cahn is affiliating and promoting his book are those which should be called out by name, exposed and avoided. Paul warned of those who would come in the last days with ”a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away” (2 Timothy 3:5). The Apostle John said, “If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds” (2 John 10,11). Paul said, “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them” (Romans 16:17). These verses considered, the associations to false teachers are too close for comfort for me."

I also find it quite sad that you seem to be detouring from defending the gospel and now defend a mere man. So sad!
Friday, May 10, 2013

Faith aka Connie said...
If you are going to address me in such a personal way, you should use a name instead of hiding behind "Anonymous." I find YOUR approach to me to be on the sickening side myself.

I'm aware of the problems with Cahn's affiliations, all those you mentioned, I've already commented on them, I have named names where I've been aware of them, and in fact I don't agree with him that appoearing on heavily charismatic venues is the same as Paul's speaking from Mars Hill.

His affiliations are a problem, no doubt at all, and he does believe the spiritual gifts are still in operation. There are true Christians who do believe that, you should know if you don't.

But from my own experience in charismatic circles I don't see any of that in Cahn's basic teachings, and The Harbinger, the book, does not teach any of that. SUPPOSEDLY IT'S THE BOOK THE CRITICS ARE CONCERNED WITH, but the critics are finding problems in the book that are simply not there, and this business about his connections with charismatics just confuses the whole picture. The absurdities of the criticism of the BOOK are what I mostly address. I think the message of the book holds up, and I wish he didn't have the charismatic affiliations.


Anonymous said...

So what if I use anonymous? I do not have a google account, nor a wordpress, or facebook or whatever other account option is needed to identify ones self on here. Is that OK with you Mr. Faith/Connie? For the record my name is Stephen. And yes I know allll about the spuritual gifts. This is not an issue if one upholds the gifts or not. The fact remains, Cahn, no matter what "truth" is allegedly in his book, is irrelevant for the simple fact that the man keeps company with false teachers who are leading people away from the Biblical truths of The Lord. So in essense, you ARE supporting a man who supports false teachers. That whole Mars Hill comparison is a big joke! Its no different than Rick Warren excusing himself for hanging out with Muslims and "being all things to all people" -as you know another of Paul's words. I don't buy it. And furthermore, your perpetual postings of private emails and comments of anyone who disagrees with you is not only strange but almost a ploy to have your readers jump to your defence in light of painting yourself as the victim and anyone who challenges you as the attacker. Fact remains Ms. Faith/Connie you are in big huge denial on Cahn, period. These "discernment" ministries can't all be wrong. Put it plainly, denial is not a river in Egypt. Good luck.

Faith aka Connie said...

Unfortunately they can all be wrong because they are all wrong as I believe I've shown many times in many specifics. Their main attack is on the basis of "Replacement Theology" which is a bogus argument.

If I'd actually defended Cahn FOR his charismatic associations you'd have a point, but I've never done that ever.

And there are just as many if not more discernment and other ministries on the book's side.

Interesting that you say absolutely nothing about the book itself, but I suppose you feel no need, as all the critics have done that for you?

I find your analysis of why I post private messages to be strange in the extreme, but oh well.

You sound like you're about seventeen, is that a fair guess? And you don't sound much like a Christian either.

Faith aka Connie said...

Ya know what? Being boss of my own blog means I don't have to put up with rude comments if I don't want to. Further comments from "Stephen" contribute nothing to the issues under discussion so I'm not promoting them.

The Pepster said...

Dear Faith, and the person who identifies himself as Anonymous. When Christ walked the earth, He did not discriminate in the manner you discriminate other Christians - Pentecostal/Charismatic/None Pentecostal/Cessationist, etc. What's more, He went out of His way to associate with people whom religious people shunned. He was seen with them, He ate at their dinner tables, He visited them, and He listened to them, and most importantly of all; He taught them and brought them to faith.
What do you think Jonathan Cahn is doing? Do you really suppose that because he is seen with some of these "extremists" and "heretics" as you call them (they're your brethren in Christ), that he agrees with what they teach?
What's more, he is not there to discuss what they teach, but to sound the clarion call and the alarm to this nation that it must heed the message of the Harbinger; the clear warnings of God's written Word in Bible, to repent, to call upon the name of the Lord and be saved. He's not there to make friends or to promote anyone's ministry, but to warn God's people, because the hour is late. Let's not lose sight of why Rabbi Cahn is there.
What's more, listen to yourselves! you sound like the Pharisees, who wouldn't be seen in a Roman home for fear they'd be defiled! To what extent have you considered - all of us - so much greater than our brethren that we look down upon them because we believe ourselvs and our theologies so much greater than theirs. How have the mighty fallen!
I address myself to the one who calls himself Anonymous primarily, but Faith; you know we've discussed this many times, and you know that Jonathan Cahn does not support many of the so-called teachings of many of the more extreme expressions of Charismatic brethren, just as you and I don't.
But have we become so superior in our own minds that we look askance at people whom we deem inferior to ourselves in their faith!? Have we come this far to think in this manner!?
I hope not, because if we have, then it would do us good to take heed the warning of the Apostle Paul, who writing in the Holy Spirit of God, says: Be careful he who thinks he stands lest he fall. Be careful then, and take heed to yourselves, because God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
And if you have trouble accepting this strong admonition, then I suggest you take it up with the Lord. Thank you.
The Pepster

Faith aka Connie said...

Hi Pepster. Sorry it took so long to get this up, had computer problems, now fixed I hope.

I'm not suggesting that Jonathan Cahn agrees with any of those whose programs he's been on, although from what I saw of his appearance on Jim Bakker's show I'd have to say he gave the strong impression of endorsing Bakker. But that's not my argument: The problem is that by appearing on them he lends credence to them in the eyes of viewers and associates his own work with theirs.

It's not a matter of regarding them as "inferior," but a question of whether their doctrine seriously departs from standard Christian doctrine, in some cases to the point of raising serious questions as to whether they really ARE our Christian brethren as you say they are. Even if they are we are to challenge errors, not give them any support.

Certainly Glenn Beck is NOT our brother in Christ. The question is whether a Christian can appear on his show without challenging his beliefs and not somehow lend credibility to him.

Benny Hinn has gone so far over the edge I can't call him a Christian at all myself.

Rick Joyner's church promotes out and out paganism and yet he is supported by some of the shows Cahn has been on. Some of those shows also support Todd Bentley's demonic "revival." Please, surely this is obvious to anyone who is a Christian.

If it were only one or two and the majority were more standard evangelical venues I don't think this would be the issue it has become, but The Harbinger was published by a charismatic publishing house and he has mostly been on charismatic shows to promote it.

And again, I do not think his argument holds water that it is important to get the word out about his book in whatever way possible. Some ways simply send the wrong message. I still support the book itself, but I have to object to the company it has been keeping.

Pepster, you're wrong: We are told in scripture to SHUN those who bring false doctrine. This is not the same thing as associating with SINNERS.

NEVERTHELESS I may be the only one who continues to support the message of the book itself while objecting to Cahn's associations, which is the point of my post. I continue to argue that the critics of the book are wrong.