The more I think about the fact that so many blogs and web sites are speculating about Barack Obama being the antichrist, the more annoyed and puzzled I get. I once used to be part of this apocalyptic-oriented Evangelicalism, until actually reading the Book of Revelation and paying attention to the details persuaded me that the whole approach was misguided.
Just think about the following implications, two of which are ridiculous and one of which, though plausible, is unlikely to be given the consideration it is due by Christians of the rapture-oriented sort:
1) Many web sites are pointing out that Obama’s mother is white, and connecting this with the “white horse” in Revelation. The irony is that this suggests that the Book of Revelation overlooks the thing that might actually identify Obama (his father is black) and instead mentions the thing he has in common with every U.S. president so far.
2) If Obama is the antichrist, then presumably that means he will become president. And so the irony is that presumably at least some of the people who think he could be the antichrist will have to vote for him in order for prophecy to be fulfilled. So this could be a great campaign strategy to use among those who in their ignorance of the Bible think the Book of Revelation is primarily about our time or our future: Vote for the Antichrist and play your part in bringing the rapture closer! Also ironic is that most of the rest of us would be happy to be left behind with Obama…
3) Finally, the one place where there actually is some degree of resemblance between the modern U.S. and the Book of Revelation is that the beast’s kingdom, referred to as Babylon the harlot, does sound like America a bit. A country that has become rich and oppressed others, lived in luxury while others starved? That sure sounds like the U.S., but here too there is an irony. Most of the rapture-oriented Christians have not only misunderstood the Bible’s teaching about the end of the world, but also about social justice, and so they tend to vote for presidents and representatives that perpetuate just this sort of policy. And so perhaps the biggest irony is that the person some of them are currently speculating might be the antichrist represents concerns that might make our country resemble less the kingdom of the antichrist.