The Harbinger: Really?

Why is the Harbinger such a hit? And what does it say about how we know our Bibles?

the-harbinger-book Recently I was checking out some books at under “Christianity” and I saw that The Harbinger from Jonathan Cahn is selling extremely well. Having seen an advert from somewhere on it before, I thought I’d check out what the fuss was all about. It’s getting great reviews on Amazon as well.

After reading the blurb of the book I was left dumbfounded. All I could say was, “Really?” Here’s what it’s about:

“Before its end as a nation, there appeared in ancient Israel nine specific warnings and omens of national destruction – These same nine Harbingers are now manifesting in America with profound ramifications for America’s future and end-time prophecy.

“Hidden in an ancient biblical prophecy from Isaiah, the mysteries revealed in The Harbinger are so precise that they foretell recent American events down to the exact days… the 3,000-year-old mystery that revealed the exact date of the stock market collapse of 2008… the ancient prophecy that was proclaimed from the floor of the US Senate and then came true…and more. The revelations are so specific that even the most hardened skeptic will find it hard to put down. Though it sounds like the plot of a Hollywood thriller – IT’S REAL.”

I wondered – is this actually fiction and listed in the wrong area? No, it’s not fiction. It’s even got a study guide.

Now I’ve been around and I’m quite aware that many Christians believe that America is some chosen nation of God.  This dates back to some of the Puritan founders. I’m also aware that this sort of thing is nothing new. But what strikes me as dumbfounding is the sheer “mainstreaminess” of it all. Are there really so many Christians out there who have no clue about the Bible that they’ll believe this sort of thing? Why on earth is a book that’s so blatantly non-Biblical so popular and why are so many people in the review section praising it and calling it a good interpretation of scripture?

Here’s what one reviewer said:

“The word of God is faultless,as this book proves… who other than our Father could bring it to pass. Out of the mouths of mere men… amazing download direct from the Spirit.”

That shows me that way too many Christians have lost their way and, rather than really reading the Bible, they’re just going with whatever is popular and whatever is being marketed well. I have no doubt that local publishers will market this book as well and local magazines will give it coverage. I’ve no doubt that many South African Christians will believe it, too. I think that the rest of us, however, can’t ignore this sort of thing – we have to at least make sure that we’re open about why we think this is nonsense and we need to educate our people in our churches about why they shouldn’t believe this sort of thing. Because otherwise the media will educate them and all the media are really about, and I mean the Christian media here too, is making some bucks out of this kind of thing. Truth is unfortunately not on the forefront of why they publish anything.

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