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Saturday
Aug092008

No, Barack Obama is not the Antichrist!


I have this thing—this issue, this problem—whatever you want to call it. It stems from something good, but…

My problem is that I care so deeply about how Christianity is viewed in our culture by those who are not Christians. Whether you want to call them nonbelievers, secularists, agnostics, atheists, skeptics, or whether they come from the ranks of other religions, I think a lot—and worry a lot—about how they see Christ. And, of course, how they see Christ is based almost entirely on how they see Christians.

The problem is that I have no control over how Christians present Christ. We are so diverse—Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and about a million different strands of Protestantism. We’re conservative, liberal and everything and everywhere in between. Our worship styles are so varied that you’d think we were from different galaxies, not different denominations. I know that I have no control over how Christians communicate the gospel. It’s a full time job for me to know how I should communicate it without telling others how they should do it.

But could we all pleeeeeeeeeese quit saying crazy things? Could we take a moratorium on making our religion look goofy? It’s hard for a questioning, skeptical world to believe in Jesus when in Jesus’ name we say things that are simply false. False and absurd.

When someone sends you an email stating that the Book of Revelation says that the Antichrist will be a man of Muslin decent in his forties, your response should not be, “Wow, that must be Obama. I’d better forward this to everyone in my address book.” Instead your response should be, “I never read that. I’d better check it out before spreading it around. Because forwarding lies is spreading lies, and spreading lies would be…well…I guess it would be lying.”

By the way, if you were to check it out you’d discover that the Book of Revelation never says anything like that. Islam didn’t even exist when John wrote his vision from Patmos. (There are a lot of Biblical scholars that are pretty certain who the real "Beast" of Revelation is, or was—Nero Caesar. But that’s a whole other subject.) If you did some other research you’d also discover that Barack Obama took his Senate oath of office on the Bible—not the Koran, that he’s not afraid to say the pledge of allegiance and that he was not educated in a jihadist school when he lived in Indonesia. Oh, and by the way, he’s not a Muslim.

It is vital that we all remember one thing—Christianity does not teach that the ends justify the means. If a Christian thinks that Barack Obama should not be president, that does not give that Christian a license to use smears, innuendo and flat out lies to discredit the senator. And what is most heinous is that there are the web sites and emails that do it in the name of Jesus.

When I was a kid growing up in an evangelical church, I was taught that I had a responsibility to show Jesus to others. I remember a phrase we’d hear often—“You may be the only Bible the world ever reads.” Even as a youngster I got what that meant. It meant that if I call myself a Christ follower I have a responsibility to do my best to live like a Christ follower.

The Christian message is a scandal. In fact, Paul used that very word—scandalon—to talk about how Jesus’ message causes men to stumble. The thought of God becoming a man, the belief in resurrection, the command to love our neighbors and our enemies—that is difficult enough. It takes grace and faith to go there. But when we do evil—when we lie—in the name of Jesus we make the Jesus message something ugly to those who do not understand its beauty.

Two of our early leaders told us how we are to speak to those who do not follow Jesus...

Paul said, “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace…” (Colossians 4:5-6)

Peter said, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.” (1 Peter 3:15-16)

Gentleness, respect, conversations full of grace—I think that would include telling the truth. And I think the world ought to hear Christ in our truthful, gracious speech whether we're voting for John McCain or Barack Obama.


(Just a note. If you have any doubt as to whether or not the mainstream media have noticed the “Obama is the Antichrist” emails, click here. A CNN/Time report says that “A Google search for ‘Obama’ and ‘Antichrist’ turns up more than 700,000 hits, including at least one blog dedicated solely to the topic.”)

Reader Comments (5)

You go, boy! It's embarassing to get those emails and see that they've been sent to dozens of people. When I got the most recent crazy-gram, I checked it on Snopes, then did a "reply all" to everyone the original sender had sent it to, debunking it. Kinda mean, I suppose. I could have replied privately, but I guess people will either learn to check their own facts or not send me forwards. :-)

September 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Stone

amen. thanks phil.

October 20, 2008 | Unregistered Commentererik gernand

I realize the original post was quite some time ago, but I just read it! I've thought about this topic a lot...

I believe this subject begs the question of WHY people are saying this. There has been an almost spiritual response to Barack Obama, and quite frankly, I believe it shows just how ready the world is for a "messiah" (I'm not saying he's the anit-christ!), and how willing people will be to accept him when he appears.

People want "hope" & "change". True hope & change only come as a result of the transforming work of Christ in each individual's heart. That comes about through the work of the Holy Spirit. Not the president of the United States or any other human that walks the earth. :)

February 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKelly Burkhart

I also just read this an am ashamed and repent for my stupid mouth. I am guilty of saying that Obama is the antichrist and I repent of it right now. I will be more careful in the things that I say as a representative and follower of Christ. Thanks Phil for holding me accountable for my behavior.

May 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCF

Having just started to use the church's web page, I'm finding out what I have been missing! While I find myself many times disagreeing with President Obama's policies, I say amen to Pastor Phil's article. I have been guilty of displaying my anger at the president verbally. While I cringe when I see christian prostesters at military funerals with those wicked signs, I find that I am just as guilty as them in my ways. Thanks Pastor!

October 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJerry Schotthoefer

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