|The eschatological bigotry of low expectations.|
Our Simple Affirmative Action President is batting zero again across the sea, this time with the desertion or destruction of a super-duper ISIS-fightin’ commando team that the US trained, equipped and then turned loose just weeks ago.While over the past 6 years we have witnessed plenty of Evangelical hyperventilation over whether El Presidente might be the Antichrist, all we have illustrated, in my opinion, is that we have not taken the idea of Antichrist seriously enough.
It’s like everything that man touches turns to feces.
I will miss him when he’s gone, I think.
This is going to be a different kind of post. In most posts where I reference the Bible, I am careful to stick with what the scripture says and try to expound and weigh honestly whatever varying (and sometimes contradictory) interpretations exist. When one is trying to teach the scriptures, that's probably a pretty safe approach. At least it allows me to sleep at night.
But in this one I'm going to give free reign to imagination, the theoretical, the wildly improbable*. And I'm going to do it because I believe that most people don't think things through when they start promoting the idea our president is mentioned in Revelation. When Michele Bachmann and others propose Obama will bring about "the Biblical end of days," I laugh as much as Obama's audience, but for a different reason: there is simply no way for Obama to accomplish what Antichrist will. He hasn't got it in him.
I'm going to provide a small quote from Jesus' larger discourse on those end of days, and it's one that I think illustrates how Christians looking for Antichrist are setting their sights way, way too low:
Then if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or 'There he is!' do not believe him. For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.Think about that for a minute. Is there anything that Obama has done that fits what Jesus said we ought to look for? Well, Obama appeared, so that is something. Has he performed any signs or wonders? Despite the left's hyperventilation about Obama's epically chocolate countenance, he has never done a single thing, either before or after election, that might legitimately qualify as a sign or wonder. He hasn't stopped the oceans' rise. He hasn't set us on a course toward a more peaceful world. He hasn't even balanced a budget.
-- Matt 24:23-4 (NET Bible)
But that's not even really the test. In order to be whom Jesus warned us about, he would need to perform signs and wonders that could deceive the elect, i.e. those most committed to Christ. Is there anything you can imagine Obama could do to convince dedicated Christians that he is to be obeyed and followed and even worshiped, to the exclusion of the Lord we presently claim? If not, then we need to think bigger.
In fact, we need to think about what kinds of things the Antichrist must be that could deceive the most dedicated of Christians. Think about some of the things Scripture says will happen around Antichrist:
[People] worshiped the beast too, saying: "Who is like the beast?" and "Who is able to make war against him?"Now, I'll be the first to admit that Revelation is filled with symbolism and that we oughtn't push it too far in a literal sense. But we can get a 'feel' from it, and that feel is that not only is the Antichrist someone whom most people will marvel at and follow, but someone to whom those with real worldly power will willingly turn their thrones over. He will also be able to openly kill those who oppose him without consequence. In fact, he will probably do it to cheers.**
-- Rev 13:4
The second beast was empowered to give life to the image of the first beast so that it could speak, and could cause all those who did not worship the image of the beast to be killed.
-- Rev 13:15
These [ten] kings have a single intent, and they will give their power and authority to the beast.
-- Rev 17:13
Is there any conceivable circumstance under which Obama (or any other world leader today) could command such loyalty? Can you imagine the presidents of Mexico, France, and Syria abdicating in favor of Obama? Can we imagine Putin stepping aside in his favor? If not, then we need to think bigger.
There actually are hypothetical circumstances under which such things might happen, under which Christians and atheists and ISIS might join together. They are admittedly outrageous. But it's my opinion that only under such outrageous circumstances could the earth possibly become united under one ruler. Despite the machinations of the Illuminati or the Freemasons or the UN, I suspect that in order to voluntarily join forces, the entire planet would need to face an undeniable, imminent, external, extinction-level threat.
Reagan said before the UN that one thing that might cause humanity to set aside our differences would be if we faced an alien invasion. We've all seen it in countless movies, where the whole world waits on the black smartass, the misunderstood Jew, and the drunk Boomer to save them. And they do, because Hollywood. We laugh and cheer and go home the same people we were hours before. But how would our collective outlook change if real spaceships, as large as Mount Shasta and as impenetrable as the basement of the New York Fed, appeared over every city in the world and started making demands of us? Would it even matter if they were hostile?***
Or what of the universally-derided Planet X/Nibiru? Imagine that a brown dwarf star, one that orbits our own sun on a ~3600-year cycle, came burning through the inner solar system, laying waste to everything from our weather to the makeup of our atmosphere itself, blocking out the sun, tossing our moon away, literally setting our sky on fire. For months it grows in the night sky, then the daytime sky - undeniable, unavoidable - while panic and disorder rise, across the globe, without ceasing.
I'm not saying either of these will happen, and certainly not on Sept 23rd of this year. I'm saying that when Jesus states in Luke 21:26 that
People will be fainting from fear and from the expectation of what is coming on the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shakenHe's not talking about lunar eclipses and he's not talking about secretive 7-state training exercises. He's not talking about "headline" diseases and he's not talking about an earthquake here or there. He's talking about events so epic, so universally terrifying, that they are able to unite most of humanity under one demonically ruthless and charismatic man. Events that the elect, his followers who are not deceived, will be literally sacrificed in order for the rest of humanity to avoid.
This is an important point, a critical point: whatever the crisis is, it will have an undeniably religious aspect. It will divide the elect from those under the power of the ruler of this world. It will separate those who gladly receive the mark of the beast from those who will not, even under pain of death. The threat may be real in an existential sense or it may be an enormous, diabolical deception. But it will look real enough to all that denying the consensus response will seem not merely insane, but dangerous and evil. Those who will not go along will be done away with. Everyone will have to consciously choose that day whom he will serve. Antichrist will attempt to conquer the world, yes, and for a while he will seem to do it with amazing ease. But more importantly he will attempt to mislead it, away from the truth, away from the risen Christ, away from the revealed words of God, to another system that will leave every adherent eternally condemned by the words of his own mouth.
Remember, I have told you ahead of time.Jesus says that the Antichrist will arise under circumstances so deceptive that even the elect could be deceived, leading to days so terrible that if God did not shorten them, not a single person would survive. He told us what to look for, and what would happen to us and to the world. He also told us that what's coming is much bigger than Obama or any other political opponent we might imagine. Most importantly, he told us how to escape these things and stand before him, as one of his own.
-- Matt 24:25
Be ready. No fear. And don't sweat the little stuff.
* so from this point forward you are invited to ignore everything I say. This is not what the Bible says, this is just Saturday night noise.
** On the D&D scale of 3-18, I suspect he's going to display INT 23 and CHR 25
*** For maximum deception, I suspect they would play a game of good cop / bad cop to get us to do something. Or they might claim to be Jesus' reapers, here to separate the wheat from the chaff (Matt 13:30), just in a different order. But remember, I'm just speculating.