Sunday, May 15, 2011

The "Anti-Christ" is already here

I did not mean to start writing blogs about religion. For me, as I have said before, my childhood was spent in an ultra-religious and ultra-conservative environment. Mostly I have been writing about politics, fraud and music. However, it seems that in my own quest to find what I believe when it comes to religion, I have developed a perspective that some people have found interesting. I don't think it is necessarily unique but I am hoping it does give those who are "wandering in the wilderness" the knowledge they are not alone.

I do find it rather naive that so many people believe in the "Anti-Christ" especially the hard-right conspiracy theorists who think perhaps Obama is that boogeyman they have been waiting for that will signal the kickoff of the "End Times". Personally, I think that whole story is something that was made up to give hope to Jews that were suffering under the iron fist of the Roman Empire. However, I am going to run with the "Anti-Christ" idea to make a point. Follow my rambling train of thought and see if you agree.

The "Anti-Christ" is already here. He/she/it have slowly gained power but the AC is not a single person, as much as the religious right believe it is. In my opinion, the AC is an idea, one of the deadly sins in fact. Greed, all-consuming greed. Think about it, look at how many people in this world have placed themselves so far into debt in the pursuit of material things that distract them from the importance of community, people and God. How many people lament the decline of our society and want to point fingers at the media, liberals, etc? Yet, you see these same people spend their lives chasing bigger homes, fancier cars, bigger TVs and other things which do not bring them closer to God who they proclaim to love so much. They are indeed following a false god, the opposite of Christ.

If you call yourself a Christian, you would ideally be following the teachings of Christ. He said, ""If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." Matthew 19:21. Yet, people rejected this because they were wealthy and couldn't imagine giving up all they had worked and schemed for. Look at the mega-churches, the Joel Osteens of the world, those who preach a religious message of money and prosperity as somehow being consistent with the teachings of Christ. It absolutely is not. This is, in my opinion, the Anti-Christ. 

The AC is not a person, not a government figure, it is our inclination to greed and our need to somehow rationalize and justify that greed. It is the need to demonize those who do not have as much as others as somehow being lazy and therefore undeserving of help or redemption. It is the Ayn Rand/extreme conservative libertarian ideology which embraces the basic mantra of "screw you, I got mine". That is, in my opinion, the Anti-Christ.

32 comments:

  1. I share your view, believing NOW is always the end-times,that greed (and that other strangely reversed anti-Christian trait, pride) need to be studied for their practice, their underlying lies, and their rationalization of fine American character traits into something subversive, and ultimately evil. In other words, i agree with you wholeheartedly.

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  2. I also agree with you wholeheartedly and have been thinking about this exact same thing lately. We are a culture driven by greed and consumerism, and as the corporations--the logical outgrowth of our greed--gain political power while we lose it, we are in a very real sense being consumed by greed. Pretty much of an apocalyptic scenario if you ask me.

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  3. It was pretty much the same for the ancient Romans. Greed is forever with us. It brought down ancient Rome. I will bring us down, too. One doesn't have to be prescient to see this. It's ancient history.

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  4. Have you seen the documentary film "I am" yet?

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  5. there are several titles for "I am" can you please tell me which one is that? ...thanks

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  6. totally agree...and don't even get me started on corporate greed

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  7. Matthew 6:22–24 (NKJV)
    22 “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
    24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

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  8. Actually there are a lot of conservative christians that agree that joel olsteen is an antichrist.(there are several kinds in the bible and ironically non of them are in the book of revelations) The early christians did consider the roman emperor to be the beast in fact that was actually neros nickname. the 666 in the bible is his name translated in hebrew letters which also stand for numbers. as for the end times a lot of conservative christians understand that Paul taught they started about 2000 years ago. the people driving the conservative right wing movement are very ignorant of the bible and the rest just make stuff up to deny their own beliefs. Congratulations you did a better analysis than most evangelicals.

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  9. I encounter a few people on their way to Houston to see this Osteen guy. They practically worship him, many of them are quite well off and yet they don't believe in tipping members of the service industry very well. That's the first sign of greed to me.

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  10. It's a mistake to equate some followers of Osteen with Osteen's message. Although my wife and I are not fundamentalists like Osteen, we do agree with his message that being in alignment with Spirit creates a prosperous life. Osteen is in our opinion just preaching against the old fundamentalist doctrine that poverty is spiritual. I've never heard Joel saying that accumulating wealth is the mark of Christianity, only that living in poverty is not the mark of being in alignment with Spirit.
    If some of Joel's professed followers are not compassionate and giving, it's not because that's what Joel teaches. There are many Christians, and others, who pick and choose the bits and pieces of the message they want. Don't blame the messenger.

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    1. This is a way to justify not helping the poor. It's their fault for not being faithful enough. I could argue that saving your money instead of giving it to the poor is not having faith in God to provide for your future! King Solomon received 666 Talents of Gold and that's what? The number of the Beast. The pursuit of Gold! Telling people to turn to God to get rich is not salvation. They believe in wealth and reduce God to the status of a good broker.

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  11. And where in the Bible did Jesus say that following him would make anyone materially rich?

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  12. It is greed, I agree. But I think it actually begins at the top: when people see the kind of greed from the bankers and CEOs, and they see no difference between the top greed-spinners and themselves, they become consumed (no pun intended) with greed. John McCain loses track of how many houses he has, Trump teases us with his fortunes, the extreme right-wing, with the message "I got mine, screw you": people like these send the message to the rest of us that greed is good. Very few at the top are known for their philanthropy. So I don't blame the "masses," we are only following our leaders. When/if our leaders wake up and start leading based on some very common sense ideas, maybe the rest of us will change our ways. And I must say I think Joel Olsteen is part of what is wrong with the Christian message.

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  13. I think I hold a view related to yours, but mine is perhaps more extreme. I believe that the most brilliant thing the AC could EVER do is to co-opt a piece of Christianity to do his bidding. (I am not sure where this began, although reading "The Family" by Jeff Sharlet has given me a few thoughts on the matter.) This is exactly what I believe has happened with many of these right-wing religious sorts; they have been led astray by the AC and the AC's minions (televangelists, for example) who has filled their heads with false prophecies and teachings and twisted the words of Christ to support an evil agenda.

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  14. That's not extreme at all. These people are following a false prophet of sorts. While I am not a Christian, I do respect true Christians, not these wackos.

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  15. Greed is only part of the problem.

    Emperor Palpatine in SW III said it best, "The only thing people in power fear is losing their power."

    No mention of greed, as power can get you all the money/stuff you want...

    Jesus said, "There have been many antichrists."

    I am not anti-Christ...but I sure am anti-christian...

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  16. Great post! The almighty dollar is the great evil!

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  17. i think the antichrist is debt, a manifestation of greed. christ's preachings spoke of freedom; debt is a form of slavery.

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  18. The Love of Money is the root of all evil. You can love, want, desire more money if you are poor or rich.

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  19. If greed is your God,
    then Money is your Christ
    therefore be it resolved:
    I want to be YOUR Anti-Christ

    I'm your antichrist,
    I'm your antichrist,
    I'm your antichrist !!!

    I'm the antichrist,
    I'm the antichrist,
    I'm the antichrist !!!

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  20. Replies
    1. Sorry, people are. They just look for a rationale. Eugenics through extremist-level applied Darwinism is proof of that in WW2 (yes, they twisted the Bible to get the church to go along -- don't ignore your biggest market!)

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  21. Greed is the culmination of the meme that mother culture has been whispering in our ear since the day each of us slid into existence: "The world is made for man and man is made to conquer the world." This is the story our society - East & West, we all work to get food out from behind lock & key, that is our society - enacts. We have been given a story to enact that has us conquering the world and leaving it lying bloody and beaten at our feet. We have lived this story to the fullest.

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  22. In ancient times the people of Yhwh met those whose religion was fertility and their rituals were meant to manipulate Baal and his consorts to make them fertile to the point of having leftovers, savings. This religion is the American Civil Religion, prosperity is the goal of our society at every level and virtue is measured by wealth. Puritans thought that the wicked were punished with poverty, and today the religious-right consider those impoverished as lazy. To think this they have to ignore over 2000 verses regarding God's concern for the poor, while finding a couple of questionable verses here and there out of context to justify their crippling of women, children and others. This is indeed the spirit of AC and not the Christ, as Jesus demonstrated.

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  23. Olsteen does not even take a paycheck from his church. Have you seen his home, it is nothing big. He is just saying, we do not have to be stuck in poverty. That we serve a God who owns all the cattle. He is also not saying like the Republicans, to not help the poor.

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    1. Google Joel Olsteen's house..he owns a 10 million dollar mansion...you don't call that BIG?

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  24. This post was over a year ago, which makes it all the more ironic that the last paragraph sounds like a specific reference to Romney's 47% comment.

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  25. The Collective Anti-Christ are the following:

    Tony Perkins, Bryan Fisher, Mat Staver, Jerry Boykin, Bishop Harry Jackson, Kamal Saleem, Frank Gaffney, Tim Wildmon, Sandy Rios, Star Parker, Lila Rose, Kirk Cameron, and Rick Scarborough. The list keeps growing unfortunately.

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  26. Poor in Spirit. Yes, the anti-christ is definately in the house. And I agree with the author of this blog, I don't believe it's an actual person but a way of thinking. Many people are no longer blind and they've found truth, no thanks to the Church. Greed is across the board! ALL have fallen short. ALL have participated in the current condition of this country. But wait I say, on the Creator!! In the meantime despite the outcome of the elections/economy, live the best life you can, cause I think you only get 1 shot at it.

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