If we could travel back in time 2000 years and survey the most well educated Jewish scholars of the time, of where they would predict for their Messiah to arrive to, I highly doubt that “a cave in Bethlehem” would get very many mentions. Likewise, if today, we polled the American Evangelical crowd, of where they would expect the Anti-Christ to come from, I don’t think that you’d hear “The Republican Party” very often either. Isn’t it interesting how, when Jesus made His first appearance, that those who knew the most, wound up also missing it by the most. The Old Testament spelled out dozens and dozens of incredibly detailed and intricate prophesies, and yet when the time came when every last one of those prophesies were exactly fulfilled, those who had devoted their entire lives to knowing all the “facts”, somehow completely missed the moment. Their self indignant and high minded furious pursuit of information, blinded and robbed them of any chance to ever experience true revelation.
I’m a 35 year old, evangelical, white male. I would only admit to such a terrible thing in the safety of such a format as this. I’m a picture perfect child of the birth of the 1980’s cultural wars. And I was breed to be a soldier for the Right side. My father entered into adulthood through the bleakness of the Carter years, and then the glorious Reagan revival. I could recognize the voice of James Dobson as just a young boy. I knew what it meant to be a ditto head. In 1992, just barely ten years old, I and my two Democrat friends would have fierce debates about that years’ election. I knew more about Monica Lewinsky than a 15 year old kid probably should have. And in the year 2000, when I was finally old enough to vote, of course, without any hesitation, I proudly voted for George W. Bush. And have voted Republican in every election since. Every one.
But a lot has changed in the 17 years since then. A lot has changed in the past 17 months. I am not one to spend a lot of time thinking about, or studying about, end time prophesies. But for whatever reason, recently I have been thinking about it, just a little bit. I believe that our nation’s two most recent Presidents make the emergence of an Anti-Christ figure suddenly seem quite believable. In an age where policy positions have been trumped (I really wanted to use a different word here but just couldn’t think of one) by personality, and large, loud, cultish followings have sprung up, its not difficult to connect the dots into an inevitable future. But this isn’t the most surprising aspect of the developments of the past nine years. What’s so surprising, and downright terrifying, for someone like me, is the thought that this ultimate epitome of wickedness could sneak in under the noses, and perhaps even with the blessing, of large sects of Christianity. This notion would have seemed unfathomable just a couple of years ago. But today, not so much. I’m certainly not naming anyone as the Anti-Christ. In fact, I haven’t used the names of any current political figures in this article. That’s not the point. The point is that we must be careful. We must be vigilant. We must be humble. Jesus did not say, “Blessed is he who hungers and thirsts after information.” Or “power”. And certainly not “politics”.
Righteousness. We must seek righteousness. And meekness. And purity of hearts. And to be makers of peace. Peace...what a novel idea. Surely we live in the least peaceful, “peaceful” place and time in the history of places and times. Standing firmly and boldly for righteousness and truth, while also extending grace and peace? Talk about a radical and compelling counter to current culture. Because the truth is, like so many people are doing today, it was woven into the DNA of all of humanity to ultimately bow, not before the creation of a philosophy, but rather at the feet of a Person. Jesus, let us be transformed into the likeness of You, lest we be conformed into the likeness of something much less.