Flights of fancy
What is the difference between astrology and astronomy? The answer is that astrology is categorically false because it is based on a geocentric universe. That is, the earth is at the center of the universe.
Astronomy, unlike astrology, makes no such assumption.
Foundational assertions matter. Understanding them allows us to distinguish whether or not something is true or false.
Such is the case of Jonathan Cahn’s writings. If one was able to place his books in a pot and boil them down to their essence, what would remain?
First, you would be able to determine that his works are highly speculative. At many points, he refers to circumstantial evidence which is highly suspect. This is fun when it comes to fiction, but is quite dangerous to the spiritual life of a Christian.
Secondly, numerology plays a significant role in the interpretation of present-day events. Many people are susceptible to arguments based on ‘bible codes’ because they love the unveiling of a mystery. They want to feel special because they ‘figured it out’. They are part of a select few who have discovered the truth. Therein lies the principle of gnosticism.
Thirdly, astrology plays a significant role in his assertions. The locations of planets, moon and other celestial objects are more the provenance of medieval doomsday predictions than 21st-century economic meltdown predictions in the United States.
This last point leads me to the fourth point. The United States is not Israel. Never has been. The only people asserting such garbage are Mormons (otherwise known as ‘Morons’). This group went as far as to adopt native Americans because they believed they were part of the lost tribes of Israel.
Jonathan Cahn is playing on ethno-centric prejudices. In fact, he’s better at it than Donald Trump. Cahn’s work is far more subtle and engaging (thus ends the positive portion of this analysis).
Back to the point: the United States is not the center of Christianity. It is not even the linguistic center of Christianity. Guess which continent has a negative growth rate of Christianity? While the other 6 Continents show grow (some of it very dramatic), North America is poised for a major retraction.
Finally, it plays into the conspiratorial scare tactics of the modern American evangelical dispensational theology. If you have ever heard something like, “You better repent and ask Jesus into your heart, because He’s coming soon”, you’ve experienced what I’m referring to.
All of this leads the readers into desperate acts of self-preservation out of fear of economic judgment. Screw your neighbor, save yourselves! Yell at them to get their house in order, then batten down the hatches!
But Scripture states “Love casts out fear” (1 Jn. 4:18). In Acts, we read of a gentile church donating to the Judean church in desperate need (Acts 11:19-30).
Finally, Jesus is an appendix to all of this hype. Speculation overruns Gospel. Christ is submerged beneath the waves of manic excitement and desperation generated by these works.
Yet Paul, living in prison, wrote the ‘Epistle of Joy’ – Philippians. Read it. How many times does he use the word ‘joy’? It is counter-intuitive in light of his circumstances. If I had the choice of being a self-preserving, paranoid with frayed nerves, jumping at the slightest downturn of the financial world, or being a person of such confident faith that not even living in prison could sink my spirit, I would take the latter every day and twice on Sunday.
Throw this book away. Then find your copies of ‘Left Behind’, ‘The Late, Great Planet Earth’ and any other literary work that employs fundamental horrible Biblical Exegesis, and promptly lay them on the bottom of you guinea pigs’ cage where they can serve the most glorious purpose they were designed for; the reception of excrement.
Your crotchety Lutheran