Why I am Not the Antichrist

Tree of Life 4

In the two years since I left abusive fundamentalism I’ve been called some really interesting things – “son of the devil,” “deceitful teacher,” “enemy of all righteousness” etc.

And I took it in stride because I figure that’s the price you have to pay for speaking the truth.

But! Never until today has someone openly warned me that if I continue down my current path, I’ll be encouraging folks to get the mark of the Beast during the last days.

And I found this person’s reasoning fascinating and instructive. The reason he pegged me as a future worshiper of the Antichrist is because I believe in love, compassion, and helping the poor.

That’s not a cheeky re-contextualization. “This new world leader walks in love and cares for the poor and has made a peace treaty with Israel,” he imagines me saying. “Take the mark!”

The Antichrist, he adds, “will probably be a humanitarian type and people will love him.”

So I wanted to get this out on the table because this is exactly the kind of thing I’ve spent the last two years trying to warn people about.

If your eschatology teaches you that love, peace, and caring for the poor and needy are preparing the world for Satan, your eschatology is wrong.

If your eschatology leads you to cheer when there are wars and natural disasters, your eschatology is wrong.

If your eschatology inspires you to pray for violence and destruction rather than an end to armed conflicts, your eschatology is wrong.

And one more thing – to the extent that the Bible talks about a figure called “the Antichrist” appearing in the last days, it always, always refers to a deception that emerges within the Christian community. Not in Europe or liberal America or in some out-of-the-way place.

What is his deception? Simply this: that we can create a new and better world by taking up arms and cleansing the earth of unbelievers – meaning anyone who doesn’t embrace his twisted faith.

“The time will come when anyone who kills you,” said Jesus, “will think that he is doing God service” (John 16:2). The greatest threat, the greatest danger, the greatest deception in our world today, is not humanitarians wickedly pursuing an agenda of peace, love, and social justice, but zealous believers willing to commit bloodshed in the name of righteousness.

5 thoughts on “Why I am Not the Antichrist

  1. You are right. The deception is to do Satan’s will his way and call it good. I thank you for giving voice to this subject.

    Peace and Grace,
    Jim L.

  2. Pingback: Bloggerhood Etc. 3/31/14 | Fatherhood Etc.

  3. I agree with most of what you said, but could you elaborate on John 16:2? In context, he is talking about the coming of the Holy Spirit – I get the jump to us living in a post-resurrection, post-Pentecost world, but I’m not drawing the same correlation to your view of the Antichrist coming out of the church if Jesus is talking to his disciples about the Jews persecuting the Christians in the first century.

    • Yes. The point I was making is that Jesus is constructing an implicit rebuke of the idea of religiously motivated violence.

      I hear people quote this verse as a reference to Muslims, but I think it has a double-edged application, and Jesus would warn us against becoming the kind of people he was talking about.

      In Matthew 24, which may have some end-times applications, he warns about false teachers who will arise from within our midst, speaking great deceptions, to the point where even the elect are in danger of falling into apostasy.

    • This is from a two-volume commentary on the Gospel of Matthew written by a Trappist monk, Brother Simeon. He’s commenting on Matthew 24:24:

      “For Jesus, the greatest threat to the destiny of his beloved disciples is the possibility that his work of redemption, accomplished at so great a price, could be so utterly ruined by being undermined from within the Church. The particular danger involved is not the temptation to crude idolatry, but that some person, movement, or ideological trend could mimic Christian faith, worship, and way of life with a subtlety and skillfulness so great to deceive even the elect.

      “The triumph of this crafty, in-house subversion of the sacred mystery of Christ’s presence in his Church would constitute in his eyes ‘the desolating sacrilege.’ The apotheosis of the Antichrist will always occur from within the Church, through the infidelity and betrayal of her own children, and this is why such an ultimate threat bears, in negative inversion, the sacred name of the Savior himself.

      “Now the very essence of the Antichrist is the strategy of undermining the substance of the Christian faith while seeming to affirm it. For this reason, the Lord must warn us insistently about the danger of being deceived by the one who claims to be himself, the Christ.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s