Pulpit & Pen has been in this business for a while now. We’re in the business of speaking freely and we speak freely as an exercise of our religion, while also speaking (or writing) under the protection of the First Amendment. Federal Courts have ruled that bloggers have the same rights as all journalists, and the rights afforded to all the press are afforded to those not writing for “institutional press outlets” (Obsidian Finance Group v. Crystal Cox, 2011, 2014). Occasionally, we get ominous-sounding Cease and Desist letters from megachurch pastors or religious charlatans who don’t understand that we can speak our religious opinion freely. We ignore those letters, and never have we suffered any legal consequence for responding with a formal letter that says, “LOL.”
In fact, other than the annoyance of bogus copyright claims to YouTube that don’t understand or respect “Fair Use” (Andy Stanley’s legal team is pretty proficient at this tactic), we’ve never been silenced or so much as greatly inconvenienced by the chest-thumping threats of heretics and scoundrels. Jonathan Cahn’s attempt to silent our criticism is no exception to this rule.
Pulpit & Pen received an email from “email@example.com.” I know what you’re thinking. Surely, with an email address like this, it’s got to be a high-powered law firm that was founded circa 1997. But it turns out, from the miracle that is Google, firstname.lastname@example.org is an email address belonging to Jonathan Cahn.
Nanuet is the high school in New York from which Cahn graduated in 1977, and Cahn has been using this email address since, as you can see above, at least 2005. The email, sent from Cahn’s personal address, was sent on an open Word.doc. An attorney, of course, wouldn’t be caught dead sending a Cease and Desist letter in an open Word document. The notion is laughable from its onset.
I know what you’re thinking – that’s impressive letterhead. Indeed.
Actually, the “B.I. Jerusalem Center” is the Beth Israel Jerusalem Center – IE, the church of Jonathan Cahn. It is not a law firm. It does not have a legal department. This was not sent by an attorney. This was sent by Jonathan Cahn. It was lame.
The letter from the “legal department” at Beth Israel Jerusalem Center claims that we have erred in accusing Cahn of false prophecies. It reads…
Jonathan Cahn has never made any prophecy or predicted any event concerning the future. Further, there is no prophecy of any specific event or timing contained in either The Harbinger or The Mystery of the Shemitah. No such “Mystery of the Shemitah prophecy” exists or has ever existed.
Well, let’s observe the facts and see if Cahn has never made any prophecies in his books, The Harbinger or Mystery of the Shemitah. Is that really an accurate assessment that Cahn has made no predictions?
On page 4 of The Harbinger, Cahn writes, “The Harbinger contains 14 major revelations or mysteries.” The Alliance for Biblical Integrity (ABI) points out Cahn’s status as a prophet, using his own words and the words used about him by those promoting him (while he is present):
Although Cahn says he does not claim to be a prophet, he does affirm that his message is prophetic. But, what else besides “prophet” would be an appropriate title for someone who believes he has discovered the hidden meaning of a biblical mystery and then proclaims this prophetic message as factual? He is doing more than simply relaying a message given by someone else. He is the originator of the message.
In the brief biography introducing the author, the back cover of The Harbinger has the following: “His teachings are seen on television and radio throughout the nation and are known for their prophetic significance and their revealing of deep mysteries of God’s Word.”
Others have also identified Cahn’s message as prophetic and him as a prophet. For example, in September, It’s Supernatural aired shows that were produced around interviews with Jonathan Cahn. Of these, host Sid Roth said, “This may be—no, this is the most important prophetic show you will ever see.”7
On Amazon.com, the book description includes the following:
Hidden in an ancient biblical prophecy from Isaiah, the mysteries revealed in The Harbinger are so precise that they foretold recent American events down to the exact days. The revelations are so specific that even the most hardened skeptics will find it hard to dismiss or put down. It sounds like the plot of a Hollywood thriller with one exception… IT’S REAL.
Why then, when Cahn’s own book description at Amazon claims that the mysteries revealed in The Harbinger are so precise that they foretold recent American events down to the exact days, does the Cease and Desist letter goes on to say, “Far beyond that, Jonathan Cahn, and completely to the contrary, whenever dealing with subject – as with the Shemitah, has always warned those discussing it or listening that nothing had to take place at any given time.”
Regarding, “The Mystery of the Shemitah,” the entire premise of the book is that Israel’s history was on a seven year cycle, and that the Shemitah year would likely bring economic (or other kinds of) collapse. It’s the thesis of the book, for crying out loud. But, how about just some video evidence. Here’s Jonathan Cahn on Jim Bakker’s survival food infomercial…
Now, like all false prophets, Cahn leaves a back door open. He will spend 99.99% of his time explaining what will happen in the near future, and then include a small-print disclaimer (literal or otherwise) that leaves a **wink wink** “I’m not saying it definitely will happen, God might change his mind, buuu-uuut…”
The fact is, not only has Jonathan Cahn sold several books premised upon false prophecy (and profited from it handily), but he has continued to write more books finding these bizarre and hermeneutically deficient connections between past and future events.
Now, notice the bullying, here…
We don’t know what Cahn is talking about, but we are not Newsweek. If Cahn wants to debate what constitutes false prophecy in court with a polemicist, he’s more than welcome to try that. Pulpit & Pen has the readership base necessary to raise the funds, provide stellar representation, and wipe the floor with Cahn – and the entire doomsday prophetic industry – in court. The fact that Cahn gives occasional disclaimers about his prophecies possibly being inaccurate, doesn’t undo the fact that his entire ministry is built on fear mongering with demonstrably false prophecies.
Again, “B.I.” is not the name of an attorney. It stands for “Beth Israel.” And the “Beth Israel [Judaizing] Center” doesn’t have a “legal department.” This is utter nonsense. Cahn’s Cease and Desist letter is as phony as his prophecy.