Facing Antichrist Today
First, what this is not. I do not speculate here about the identity of the Antichrist. As you may have seen, those that do are always wrong – 100% of the time. In particular, I don’t claim that the United States of America or anyone else is the Antichrist – in fact, from a biblical standpoint today’s imperial America cannot qualify.
John the apostle wrote some sound guidance: “Just as you have heard that Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have arisen.” As Jesus did after his ascension when his disciples asked if he would now restore the kingdom to Israel, John answers that the one Antichrist who is coming some day is not our problem. Our business is to avoid being seduced by the many that are with us right now. How we deal with those we meet today – including ourselves sometimes! – is how we are responding even today to the one who is to come.
I have written this for at least two audiences, and they should probably read it differently.
I intend it first for my fellow American Christians. We need to clearly understand the basic Bible teaching on the doctrine and spirit of antichrist and how to avoid it in the world today – and specifically in the United States of America, the land in which God has placed us, whose particular “rulers, powers, world forces of this darkness, and spirits of wickedness in the heavenly places” are therefore the most immediate and deadly enemies of our faith.
We hear lots of nonsense about this. As Paul wrote, the goal of the apostles was to “secure undivided devotion to the Lord.” What exactly is that? Not being excited about Jesus, and shouting, “Lord, Lord,” louder than anyone else, with our hearts and deeds divided from our sentimental feelings and our lips - but as Jesus said, doing the things that he says because, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”
Love your enemies, and do not return evil for evil, but overcome evil with good. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Whoever lives by the sword shall die by the sword. In short, as Jesus summed it up: “Whatever you want people to do to you, do so to them, because this is the Law and the Prophets.” Learning to do that is the Christian’s whole business, just as it’s the business of Tiger Woods to learn better all the time how to win golf tournaments.
Any supposedly Christian teaching on antichrist or anything else, if it does not bring about such obedience to the teaching of Jesus, is indeed nonsense. You the reader should hold this work, like any other, to that standard.
I also mean to serve non-Christians faced with Christians that use the Christian faith to justify oppression and cruelty in the name of God. Moses called that “taking the name of the Lord in vain.” If such a “believer” wants you “to believe in Jesus,” you can give him this to read and say, “Show me why this fundamentalist Christian is wrong about your kind of Christianity and the Jesus that you preach, and then I will listen to you about your Jesus.”
You may be able to reach them by making them earn your ear through facing and answering hard questions. That’s more likely to work than accepting their viewpoint concerning the Bible as true and then insulting them for holding to it, which is commonly how “progressives” try to handle the problem. It's not working.
But the job needs to be done, because if we do not confront this kind of religiosity in biblical terms, then the United States of America, being the product of a religious movement, will remain what it is and keep doing as it does – whatever people in San Francisco and Cambridge, Massachusetts may wish. Debacles in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other playgrounds may momentarily shake some sobriety into them as Vietnam did, especially as these drag us over the falls into national bankruptcy. But if the root of the problem is not treated, the dog will return to its vomit, just as the lesson of Vietnam failed to stick. The United States intentionally led the Soviet Union to bleed out in Afghanistan, with great success. But did even that example keep the United States from then jumping, with both eyes open, into the very pit that it had dug for the Soviet Union? As long as millions of people believe that the Bible justifies and even commands their violence, such delusion is invincible. If you just agree with them that the Bible teaches such things, you’re not helping!
If you have little or no biblical background, you might not want to read this from start to finish. After Chapter 1, you might find Chapters 8, 9 and 12 more accessible to you to start, and useful in understanding the American mind produced by its “Christian” heritage, especially the need of Americans in general and American Christians in particular to murder and dispossess, to enslave, and to inflict torture.
Americans and others concerned about what is happening to the United States today must realize that our job is not mere politics. America needs to be regarded as a mental patient, and we need to learn to be its therapists. Like any competent therapist, we need to understand the patient's obsessions and their origins. Being Americans ourselves, we need to discern the same delusion in ourselves, even if it wears a different coat of paint – as Jesus put it, “First take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” For instance, much anti-Americanism arises from disappointment in America not living up to its professed ideals – but what caused us to we expect that in the first place? In short, we need to face our fears and wise up about own beloved delusions just like that pseudo-Christian in Texas with a POWER OF PRIDE sticker on his truck . We evangelical Christians must sign up for the same total upheaval in our lives that we have lightly called people to by telling them to walk away from their relationships in the homosexual life.
This nation is the principal purveyor of violent pornography in the world; the principal pusher of tobacco, which kills more people than any other drug of addiction; the biggest customer of cocaine and opium and therefore the main financial support of violent drug cartels all over the world; and the world’s chief arms merchant. It is the world’s greatest industrial polluter, although China is quickly catching up. Through its wanton luxury it is doing the most to change the climate in ways that seem likely in coming years to kill hundreds of millions of people around the world. Its indifference to such things is so extreme that no one seems to care about the devastation of one of its own great cities, New Orleans, which in 2008 remained trashed with half its population unable to return. It calls to mind the indifference of certain mental patients to severe injuries. As though that were too little, BP was allowed to trash the Gulf of Mexico and the livelihoods and health of millions, not due to an accident, but by the willful refusal of the Bush-Obama regime to exercise any meaningful regulatory supervision at all, when they knew well BP's history of criminal negligence beyond even the usual in their business. New Orleans and the Gulf put us to shame by the hand of Saddam Hussein, who in the face of sanctions that were killing hundreds of thousands of little kids still managed to largely restore electricity and other such essential services less than a year after Gulf War 1. This is not a flattering comparison.
And yet such a nation can be so swollen with pride and conceit in the face of these facts that it can call itself the greatest nation in the world, the light on a hill, the example of the world – an instructor of babes and a guide to the foolish everywhere else. Its Christians, who rightly hold that pornography, drug addiction, and gross materialism are worldly, carnal, and demonic, are foremost in declaring the nation that excels in such things to be the closest thing on earth to the kingdom of God. Would we trust any individual this deluded about his own ways to care for our kids or to be a cop on our streets?
How can any of us grow up in such a madhouse without its insanity somehow infecting us? Jesus tells us that we cannot see to treat anyone else until we are in treatment for the same disease in ourselves – removing our plank so that we can see to remove the specks of others. Who needs to believe in Jesus to know that he is right about this? If we don't get a thorough understanding of what's wrong with the patient and how he got this way, successful treatment is not possible. Therefore, the mirror is the place for each of us to start. Let's not kid ourselves. This patient is truly insane, and it's getting worse, and whoever we are, that madness in some form is also at work in us.
If you are not a Christian, I'm not trying to make you a Christian or turn you into a theologian, just as Paul the apostle was not trying to turn his shipmates into Christians when he advised them against sailing in the winter storm season. But trying to understand the US and what to do about it without a fairly solid grasp of how its Christianity has formed it is like trying to understand Iraq without learning anything about Islam, or understanding Israel without some grasp of Jewish religion and history.
If you have seen what awful things people say and do who claim to be Christians and to believe the Bible, this job may be very hard for you. Trying to sort out the Bible and its distortions in American Christians may feel like a surrender to this enemy you want to get away from. But without gaining such understanding, what hope is there of success? If American Christianity stays the way it is, America will not get better.
Antichrist in the Bible
We Don't Know When, but Today Is Always the Day
2. The Mark of the Beast
3. The Nature of the Beast
The Government of the Beast
5, The Religion of the Beast
6. The Beast – Strong but Fragile
The Current Scene – The Usual Suspects
Antichrist in the United States of America
Foundations of American Spirituality
9. The Plantation and the Wilderness, Then and Now
Babylon - A Tower to Reach to Heaven
11. The Gospel of the Kingdom
12. The Religion of America
13. Separating Light from Darkness
14. Breaking the Spell
Copyright (C) 2005-2013 by Peter Attwood.
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