06 January 2021

Antichrist and Terrorism

As I sit down to recall this week's Bible study and write my article, the news unfolds that the Capitol Building has been stormed by armed insurgents. These home-grown terrorists were incited by President Trump in what appears to be an attempted coup.

I rarely write about politics. It isn't my place. I write about the Bible, its history, its related texts, and its impact on theology, liturature, and culture. Even now, I will not address the political aspects of this event, but rather, what disturbed me most were the people carrying signs that "Jesus Saves."

I cannot think of a more anti-Christian message than an armed insurrection carried out in the name of the Messiah. However, this is exactly the kind of messiah people expected Jesus to be. People in the First Century expected the Messiah to come in force, oust the Romans, and establish a nation of Israel for all time. They expected the Lion of Judah to be a military leader. This is why people rejected Jesus, he came like a lamb.

Instead, Jesus preached peace and sacrificed himself for the sake of the world. In Revelation, at the "final battle" at the end of time, God's army gathers to worship God while Satan's army gathers to wage war against God and against the Lamb. God's army carries no weapons and wages no war; they worship God. Satan calls the world to war, and God himself wipes out all the forces of evil with a thought.

God's people do not arm themselves, do not advocate violence or wage war. God's people pray. When men of violence came for God's people, when they came for Stephen, Paul, Peter, and even Jesus himself, they took up no arms and gave no resistance. They were martyred, they held to their beliefs until death.

Over a century after Jesus was crucified another "Christ" rose up named Simon bar Kokhba. He was exactly the kind of christ people expected. He led a revolution against Rome and was defeated. After his defeat, Rome drove the Jewish people from Jerusalem and Kokhba was denounced as a "false messiah."

He was not the first "false messiah" or "anti-christ" and he wasn't the last. When people advocate violence in the name of Jesus, they are anti-christs. The way of Jesus is the way of the martyrs, not soldiers, terrorists, crusaders, rebels, or rioters. Violence is the spirit of anti-christ.

When you see armed insurgents proclaim that "Jesus Saves" they have been sold an idea of Jesus that is the very definition of anti-christ. They are not Christians, they are Antichristians.

Jesus stood for love, community, peace, and unconditional forgiveness. His was a ministry of self-sacrifice. If you found yourself today caught up in the lies of the antichist, know that Jesus forgives and invites you to repent and be baptized in the Spirit of Truth. It is never too late to turn to God and reject evil.

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