L.B.: Cursed are the peacemakers

Left Behind, pp. 68-71

Our first real glimpse of Nicolae Carpathia comes through the eyes of Chaim Rosenzweig, who is rather impressed with him:

“I found him most charming and humble. … Impressive, that’s all I can say. … He knew my language as well as his own. And he speaks fluent English. Several others also, they tell me. Well educated but also widely self taught. And I just like him as a person. Very bright. Very honest. Very open. … a man of high ideals.”

All of this sounds laudable and is meant to be interpreted favorably. But Rosenzweig also says the Magic Words regarding Carpathia — the words that indicate to every premillennial dispensationalist “prophecy” buff that this man is clearly the Antichrist:

“… a peacemaker and leading a movement toward disarmament. … I believe his goal is global disarmament.”

That word — “peacemaker” — practically screams Antichrist. For LaHaye and Jenkins’ intended readers, it wouldn’t be any clearer if Carpathia had the number “666″ tattooed on his forehead and went by the nickname “Horny Beast.”

For those not initiated into the cabalistic logic of PMD prophecy freaks, this seems counter-intuitive. Peace, after all, is generally regarded by Scripture as a Good Thing. Peace is one of the fruits of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22). The Messiah is described as the “Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6-7). Peace is often spoken of by God’s angels, including the heavenly host of the Christmas story in Luke 2 (cue Linus), who sing, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

Since we’re on the subject, a few more examples:

Psalm 34:14: “Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.”

Isaiah 32:17: “The fruit of righteousness will be peace.”

Matthew 5:9: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God.”

Ephesians 2:17: “He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near.”

James 3:18: “Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.”

We could go on, and on, and on. Peace is a pretty major theme in the Bible.

But none of this matters to the prophecy nuts who are convinced that the Antichrist will be a man of peace. And since they believe that the most important thing for Christians to do is to be on the lookout against the Antichrist, and vigilantly opposed to his evil ways, they believe that Christians must oppose anyone who speaks of, pursues, or tries to make, peace.

This is one of the most astonishing and dangerous aspects of the popularity of the End Times heresies promoted by people like LaHaye and Jenkins. It is one of this biggest reasons why this matters — deeply, truly, seriously matters.

Tens of millions of copies of the Left Behind books have been sold. That doesn’t just mean that tens of millions of our fellow citizens have horrible taste in literature. It also means they are being taught to oppose — to condemn as immoral and ungodly — any effort that goes under the name “peacemaking.”

Since they believe the Antichrist will rule over a one world government, these readers are also being taught to fear, loathe and oppose the United Nations and anything that smacks of multilateral or international cooperation. (We’ll see much more about the UN as we get further into L.B.)

Oddly, the PMD prophecy heretics often have a hard time explaining exactly why it is that they believe the Antichrist will be “a man of peace.” They love to quote (and twist) the Bible, but if you press them on this point, they’re far more likely to quote instead from the received wisdom of some other “prophecy scholar.” LaHaye is just saying it because Hal Lindsay said it. And Lindsay was just repeating Scofield and Ironsides. And those guys were just repeating Darby, who concocted the whole convoluted scheme and is notoriously hard to follow.

Dig deep enough to find their alleged biblical basis for this belief that peace is Bad and you’ll find them relying on one of two passages.

The first is from 1 Thessalonians 5:3, ” While people are saying, ‘Peace and safety,’ destruction will come on them suddenly.”

The second is even more obscure, Daniel 8:25 includes the phrase “”he will destroy many while they are at ease.” In the King James Version, this reads, “and by peace shall destroy many.” The subject of that passage is a Greek king (usually thought to be Antiochus Epiphanes who profaned the Temple in Jerusalem during his reign in 175-163 B.C.). But prophecy nuts don’t worry much about the apparent subject of any given biblical passage. For them, the subject of every bit of Scripture about something bad is really, secretly, for readers who appreciate the arcane secrets of prophetic interpretation, the Antichrist.

And that is why many American Christians oppose any effort to bring peace to the Middle East. No, really, that’s why. Because of Daniel 8:25.

 

  • Robin

    “I wouldn’t trust a world leader promising “peace” through the United Nations until I had an ironclad promise that this would be a union of nations that gave a rat’s, uh, left behind about the rule of law.”
    This is a confusing statement. When one actually goes to the UN and understands the process, and looks at the member states and how they interact with the UN, one realizes very quickly that it is certain member states, the declared nuclear weapons states and one in particular *cough*US*cough* that violate the Rule of Law on a daily basis.
    The Secratariat does all in it’s power to uphold the Rule of Law, but one of the fouding nations *cough*US*cough* insisted that it have any enforcement powers stripped from it. One example of this is the International Criminal Court. One member state in particular refuses to have anything to do with a binding international jurist bosy specifically because they are the world’s primary violaters of the Rule of Law and don’t want to have to be responsible for their actions.
    This leads to one inevitable conclusion. This one particular member state, one of the six declared nuclear weapons states, the largest supplier in the world of armaments large and small, is the single largest violator of the Rule of Law. This state is now trying to set itself up as the sole arbiter of the affairs of the rest of the nations on the planet, without itself having to uphold the law it is forcing the rest of the world to obey. Do as I say, not as I do.
    Having actually spent time inside the Secretariat and interacted with ambassadors from all over the world, I can safely say that this world would be a LOT farther along the road to lasting international peace if my nation, America, had followed the Rule of Law from it’s inception instead of opposing every single attempt at peace. The US has ALWAYS been the single largest obstruction to true and lasting global peace for the last 60 years. And now under President Bush, we are worse than ever.

  • David evans

    the largest obstruction wheel in the world is the london eye in england at 450 feet high it will be the largest for a long time so stop being up your own arses and accept that we beat you at this one

  • Ken

    ” While people are saying, ‘Peace and safety,’ destruction will come on them suddenly.”
    These days, I take that passage as a warning of a general pattern:
    You can want peace so badly that you can deceive yourself with denial of a real threat that actually is coming to destroy you.
    And that you never know when things can go sour “out of the blue”.

  • Dave S

    Wow, I stumbled on this site and am amazed at the hate level for works of Christian fiction. Left Behind is not presented as fact rather as a thought provoking and riveting fiction. The issue with a peacemaker being the anti-christ is most likely the issue of the move by many to say that there is no right and wrong and that all religions are equally valid and that the idea of peace was really an issue of making everyone’s belief’s totally irrelevant. And obviously the anti christ of these books wasn’t a real peacemaker he was a false peacemaker using that issue to come to a position of great power and then revealing his true identity upon gaining it. When peace comes by removing the rights and beliefs of those it is bring peace too it isn’t peace. Of course Christians should be peace makers, but generally in this culture we are ridiculed for our beliefs and we can find peace with people like yourselfs by compromising our beliefs and admitting that everything we believe is a lie, the bible, jesus, social issues we are wrong about it all. I hope all the hateful people in this blog, find their own peace.
    God Bless,
    Dave

  • Parasum

    “That word — “peacemaker” — practically screams Antichrist.”

    ## Apologies for the…eh…time lapse between the last post on this thread and this, but that aspect of LB-istic Christianity is one that really, really, *really* is bothersome. The inability of “these people” to tell the difference between a pseudo-Messiah, & the Jesus Who does in fact bring peace & blesses the peace-makers, “for they shall be called (= shall be) sons of God”, appears to be total :(  

    Justice/Righteousness and Peace are integral to the Kingdom/Reign of God. Jesus “preach[ed] the Good News of the Kingdom/Reign of God” (Mark 1.15). IOW, Jesus preached peace – the kind that God alone can give. So this allergy to making peace in the world is rly depressing. Dispies seem to be so terrified of being “taken in” by the big AC, that they confuse the Peace of the Kingdom, which is inseparable from righteousness in society and the doing of justice/righteousness in society, with the perversion of it by the AC.  Christianity =//////= preserving the *status quo*.  Jesus blesses the peace-makers, not the war-mongers.

  • Flip

    Fuck. How long have I believed something so stupid for no real reason? I knew distrusting attempts at peace made no actual sense but I kept feeling this way because of something I read so long ago that doesn’t make any freaking sense when you actually look at it.

    I really don’t know how to thank you for clearing that up for me. Really, thank you.


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