"Trump speaking at the Republican National Convention in 2016" by Voice of America is licensed under Public Domain

#MAGA Church: The Doomsday Prophet Who Says the Bible Predicted Trump

Mar 18, 2019

By Sam Kestenbaum

On a Sunday morning at Beth Israel Worship Center in Wayne, N.J., a bearded pastor named Jonathan Cahn stood on an elevated platform, gazing over a full house. Stage lights shifted from blue to white as the backing band played a drifting melody. Two men hoisted curled rams’ horns and let out long blasts.

“Some of you have been saying you want to live in biblical times,” Mr. Cahn said, pacing behind a lectern. Then he spread his hands wide. “Well, you are.”

Sitting at the end of a sleepy drive an hour from Manhattan, Beth Israel may look like any common suburban church. But the center has a highly unusual draw. Every weekend, some 1,000 congregants gather for the idiosyncratic teachings of the church’s celebrity pastor, an entrepreneurial doomsday prophet who claims that President Trump’s rise to power was foretold in the Bible.

Mr. Cahn is tapping into a belief more popular than may appear.

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4 comments on “#MAGA Church: The Doomsday Prophet Who Says the Bible Predicted Trump

  • Another huckster.

    What’s alarming is that a good percentage – I didn’t count, but I’d say over half – of the NYT commenters had drunk the Kool-Aid:  yes we’re living in biblical times, Trump is the prophet draining the swamp (and HRC is Jezebel), 9/11 and the GFC were both predicted in the bible etc. etc.

    I suppose it’s a self-selecting sample that makes it to the comments page. The crazies are more likely to comment in the first place.  Perhaps the editors let in the more entertaining comments, while trimming more sceptical comments as duplicates of each other, since there’s only so many ways to say “what a load of BS”.  Surely half of NYT entire readership isn’t this gullible?

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  • 3
    Michael 100 says:

    I agree that this is a disturbing, as you say “alarming,” article. Just as I thought we could relax a bit in the knowledge that we are well into the age of the Enlightenment, that secularization is growing, — this!!  What next?
    I have to wonder if it’s true that 1 in 4 Americans believe god wants Trump to be president. Consider the source — a Fox News poll.  I’m an American, and I know a few people who still, to one degree or another, believe in god, but I don’t think I know any who go that far.  

    Also, if it’s true that Cahn attracts a thousand people to his show every weekend, in a place like New York, is that number statistically significant?  I suppose it is if you’re the one passing the collection plate. 

    Even taking the article cum grano salis, it’s scary that such people exist at all.  It’s very clear that Trump is gearing up his 2020 campaign, and these folks are important to him. Remember what he said last time:  “we love the poorly educated!”  Nevertheless, you would think that, at some point, Elmer Gantry would loose his appeal — apparently not today.

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  • 4
    Michael 100 says:

    I should have said lose rather than loose.  As long as I’m making corrections, in my second paragraph, I could also have said I also know a few people, not many, who, truth be told, probably voted for Trump. But, I don’t think they would argue that the outcome of the election was the will of god — my Zeus, I hope they’re not that stupid!

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