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.