He may not be your preferred candidate. He’s not mine. But I am so tired of hearing that Barack Obama is the anti-christ that I might just vote for him to prove others wrong.
There has been a an all-to-common alarm sounded by a number of well-meaning Christians that Barack Obama might bring about the end of the world and kick off the beginning stages of the rapture and the Great Tribulation! Most of these comments stem from poor understandings of the already poor theology of the beloved Left Behind books. But is there any real weight to this concern?
I think at the heart of this issue is that many Christians have gotten so use to associating Christianity with Republicanism that a change in national politics, to the degree which Obama desires, threatens their notions of the faith. They have gotten so use to being on the “in crowd” (or at least that’s where they think they are), that the idea of being an outsider in American politics is a scary thought for many conservative Christians. I am inclined to think, however, that not being so closely associated with the national political scene is going to serve the church well.
At what time in history did the church most grow in number and spiritual maturity? Well it might be somewhat hard to prove, but it has been suggested that the church grew the most when they faced persecution and were not in the pocket of the politicians (i.e. the early church era prior to Roman adoption of Christianity). Here’s the reality American Christians must own up to: Being on the “in” with American politics has not stemmed the tied of moral corruption in our society and hasn’t helped the church as much as everyone thinks it has. Instead we have churches that look an awful lot like the sinful world, and a Christian culture that has so misunderstood the gospel that it associates the fall of Republican power with the Return of Christ and the final judgment!
But perhaps, just perhaps, by not being so consumed with our (fictional?) place in the American political system we can finally focus on regaining a proper understanding of the gospel, and develop a more spiritually mature church.
P.S. if Barack Obama does turn out to be an anti-christ I’ll write a retraction!