When I was a young Christian girl in high school, I was briefly obsessed with the Left Behind book series. It’s a book series that tells the fictional story of the End of Days, according to passages in the bible. I was fascinated by the end of days. Would there ever be a rapture? How does a well-known public figure rise to power as the Antichrist?
The story of the Book of Revelations in the Bible is a complicated one but to simplify, this is what Wikipedia says about the Antichrist and the end of days: “In some Christian eschatologies, Jesus the Messiah will appear in his Second Coming to Earth to face the emergence of the Antichrist figure, who will be the greatest false messiah in Christianity. Just as Christ is the savior and the ideal model for humanity, his opponent in the end time will be a single figure of concentrated evil.”
While driving home from work the other day, it struck me: the Antichrist is already here.
In fact, people have been following the Antichrist for as long as I can remember in history. Christians already worship a version of Christ which is wholly unlike the Christ described in the bible. In fact, some could say that the Christ they worship is the antithesis of the Christ as described in the bible. They worship in the name of hate and in the name of judgement and in the name of violence: everything Christ preached against. Christians are already worshiping the Antichrist and they don’t even realize it.
The Christ described in the bible was selfless and charitable. He would never want to amass wealth of his own and regularly counseled his disciples to do the same. And yet, many “Christians” in Western society are wealth driven. John Oliver did a whole segment on televangelists that take people’s money by promising God will reward them with wealth and riches. If you were to look up some of the richest people in America, many would probably identify as Christians (The Koch Brothers and 10 of the top 20 according to this list, although I’m skeptical about the list in general since I don’t believe that Jeff Bezos considers himself a Christian). They evade taxes and only use their wealth to gain more wealth and power.
Even beyond that, there are many Christians that oppose government programs meant to help the poor or sick. In fact, they’d widely disapprove of universal healthcare. How many times have Christian Republicans tried to get Obamacare overturned? They want to keep the money they’ve earned, and certainly don’t want it going to help the poor. Does that sound like the teachings of Jesus Christ? Why would we not do all we can to help the sick be healed or the poor off the street?
Does anyone think that Jesus would approve of owning a gun? Definitely not. And he would definitely never want people going to war, especially in his name ala The Crusades. I love, for instance, that many anti gun control people think that guns aren’t the problem, mental health is and yet they do not support universal health care. They show no concern for trying to help people or make access to these deadly weapons harder. It’s cliche but, really, what would Jesus do to solve our mass shooting problem in America?
Even fear around gay marriage (or gays in general) has parents turning away their children. There are countless accounts of teens being kicked out. There are even more unheard accounts of parents not welcoming a daughter’s girlfriend or son’s boyfriend into their home. Gay and transgender people commit suicide at alarmingly high rates because all they feel is hatred in this world and a lot of that hate is coming from Christians. I’m pretty sure Jesus told us to love each other. I’m also pretty positive that he told us to leave the judgment up to God.
Many Christians are saying there’s a “War on Christmas” but look at what Christmas has become! It’s the pinnacle of materialism. People care way more about what presents they’re getting (and evidently their Starbucks cups) than the fact that it is Christ’s birthday. Some are saying there’s even a war against Christianity. If Christianity is receiving any backlash, I’d wager it’s because they aren’t acting very Chist-like in the first place!
Take Donald Trump, for instance: I found an article where Donald Trump said that if elected, he will be the “greatest representative of the Christians they’ve had in a long time.” Now think about what that means for a second: Here’s a man that actively hates other cultures, religions, nationalities. He distrusts all Muslims and doesn’t want them allowed in the country. He wants to put up a wall between us and Mexico. He regularly bullies and cuts down people. He’s said plenty of terrible things about or to women. If that’s the best representative we have for Christianity, we all need to be very afraid.
The truth is, Christianity morphed into something unrecognizable and I don’t think many modern day Christians even realize it. They’re too entrenched in what they’ve heard the church say is “bad” or “good” to even remember what Jesus said himself. But the fear, selfishness and hatred that drives Christianity today is not worshiping Jesus Christ; it’s worshiping the anti-Christ.
So no, I’m not saying that in order to be a Christian, you have to be pro-gun control and pro universal healthcare and anti-war and not support Donald Trump… But, if you aren’t all those things, maybe you should just ask yourself which version of Christ you are worshipping in your faith? Just gut check yourself and your beliefs and what you’ve been told vs what’s actually written about The Man, Jesus Christ. You may be surprised at what you uncover.