Trump as Antichrist

Trump as Antichrist January 9, 2020

There have been a lot of discussion on blogs and elsewhere online about the possibility that U. S. president Donald Trump might be the antichrist. Ironically, and at the same time both disappointingly and rather refreshingly, this discussion hasn’t been among those who’ve been predicting the imminent arrival of the antichrist ever since Darby came up with and successfully promote his Rapture theology in the 19th century. Those very people are the ones who are following a world leader uncritically who is leading them to compromise their fundamental values and engage in acts that are at least tantamount to worship.

I’ve written about this before,  on more than one occasion, and indicated that my proposal was offered tongue in cheek, not least because the Bible talks about many antichrists, but also because it is very clear to those who study works like the Book of Revelation closely that they are supposed to be understood about religious and political matters relevant to the initial readers in the first century.

A couple of days ago, however, I had a worrying thought. It hadn’t struck me until now that Trump’s right hand man, his vice president, is from the sort of conservative Christian circles that expects a single antichrist to bring about an apocalyptic war with the U.S.S.R…er, China…I mean, Iraq…oh well, I guess it’s Iran. The false prophets of this viewpoint distort scripture and their followers never lose faith in the underlying approach to the Bible no matter how many times its failure to offer an accurate interpretation of where world events are headed ought to have led them to address the issue.

Against all odds, this futurist view of the “end times” continues to be popular and extremely influential. And we’ve seen in the past how those with beliefs about prophecy and their own times can actually actively bring about the events they think are supposed to happen.

And so I started wondering whether some of the Evangelical supporters of Trump might not actually think he is the antichrist, and precisely for that reason, be goading him on towards doing things that they think the antichrist is supposed to do. Entanglements with Russia in one way, China in another, Iraq, and Iran – or in their thinking probably Gog, Magog, Babylon, and Persia. The move towards Brexit may have rekindled the idea that the European Union, long with too many members for the math to work, might still turn out to be the ten kingdoms that they find mentioned in the Book of Revelation.

In all likelihood, Mike Pence, Mike Pompeo, and others who are poised to influence Trump (such as the pastor of the #MAGAchurch ) are probably not doing this. At least, not consciously. Whether they might be talking about their beliefs to Trump and in his presence and influencing him nonetheless, or simply prompting him in directions they think the “antichrist” “has to” go, is still worth considering as a possibility. Part of me is worried about myself for even exploring an idea like this, which seems too outlandish to be taken seriously. But we live in such strange and worrying times, that on another level it seems as though I ought to have thought about this particular possibility sooner.

What do you think? Might some of the Evangelicals who say that God raised up Trump for such a moment as this be thinking of him not as savior but as deceiver, not as messiah but as antichrist, and as a result be prompting him – again, consciously or not – to do the very things that they think the antichrist “must” do before Jesus returns?

Perhaps the biggest question is, if I did happen to be right, what could be done about it? Some Evangelicals think that these are matters of prophecy that will inevitably be fulfilled, rather than misinterpretations of prophecy and other kinds of biblical literature proffered by Hal Lindsey, Tim LaHaye, and many others. But even if it is self-fulfilling misunderstood and distorted prophecy, the inevitability still seems worryingly to be there, as long as this misguided approach to the scriptures continues to be so widely accepted.

On this topic see most recently Benjamin Corey’s post asking whether American Evangelicals could recognize the Antichrist if they saw him.

See too:

An Evangelical Culture of Disobedience

Also take a look at these past posts on my blog on this and related topics:

Cleaning Up Another Apocalyptic Mess: Israel and the Palestinians

See however this demonstration that Balfour himself is unlikely to have viewed his own actions as a fulfilment of prophecy (although it does not show that he was not influenced by those who viewed things that way).

Donald Trump Fulfills Prophecy

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  • Eeyore

    The only thing that really gets me wondering about the futurist interpretation of Revelation is that the Bowl and Trumpet judgments look an awful lot like the effects of runaway global warming…

  • WingedBeast

    I propose an alternate hypothesis for the matter of conservatives influencing Trump in a destructive and war-like direction. That’s their culture. That’s their religion. For all that they treat these prophecies (as interpreted by some American a long while back… those interpretations now as interpreted by…), they’ve merged their religious identity with the politically conservative for so long and so innately that they could no more see evil incarnate before them than a fish deep in the sea could notice that one particular spot is wet.

  • Trump is the one thing that makes me think premil dispensationalism might not be totally crazy. I was fine with just saying it was totally crazy five years ago, but now, it’s only 99.8% crazy.

  • Mabus101

    I have to admit it gives me some pause. I’m not really in a position to comment because my church, though similar in many ways, is strictly amillennial. (And much of it still supports Trump for other reasons.)

  • John MacDonald

    An apocalyptic worldview is problematic when the fundamentalist in question has the power to initiate the eschaton, like Trump has, and is deluded into thinking it is his/her destiny to do just that.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    Well of course the Orange One is the Antichrist! Every populist dictator seeking to hitch to their wagon the gullible religious wanting him to smite their enemies is the Antichrist, and the Antichrist is all of them, which is why it’s so easy to make them fit the bill.
    And the end is the same for all of them, as Revelation states: they go down in flames and take all those who compromised their faith to serve them with them.
    That seems me what we can take from the book, anyhow.

  • Leigh Sutherland

    Speaking as someone who is not a Trump supporter, people are continuously underestimating how clever (and devious) he actually is, if I were a betting man he is hands down an Atheist, the show of praying and pretending to listen to evangelicals is but a means to an end.
    And James what do you mean when commenting on the EU, ” long with too many members for the math to work”.

    • Ocelot Aardvark

      I tend to agree with your assessment of the TЯ卐m₽ situation.

  • James Elliott

    While i currently avoid describing the current President as THE Antichrist, Evangelical leaders certainly fulfill the description of the False Prophet. “Judas” would also be a good description as they either knowingly or unknowingly try to force God’s hand in history. Out of curiosity, have Lindsey and LeHaye ever commented on the similarities?

  • Ocelot Aardvark

    The Trinity of Evil, the Antichrist, the Beast, and the False Prophet, are all declared in Scripture as being liars … as Satan is the Father of Lies.

  • Ocelot Aardvark

    Trinity of Evil: The Antichrist, the Beast, the False Prophet.

    TЯ卐m₽ matches up with the description of the Beast even more so than that of the Antichrist (IMHO).

    Be that as it may, as the Christian Trinity declares God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit
    to be the “3 Persons of the Godhead” as Equal and One God, so it may also be true for the Trinity of Evil.

  • robrecht

    I’ve proven that Donald Trump is the Antichrist with Hebrew gematria:

    דונלד י טראמף המלך העוון

    Donald J Trump, the Evil King

    ד4ו6נ50א1ל30ד4 = 95
    10 =10י
    ט9ר200מ40ף80 = 329
    ה5מ40ל30ך20 = 95
    ה5ע70ו6ו6ן50 = 137

    95 + 10 + 329 + 95 + 137 = 666

    Quod erat demonstrandum

  • Ken Riel

    Excellent post Professor

  • StupidNet

    Donald J. Trump is the Anti-Christ –

  • Harvey James Johnson

    When people attribute to Donald Trump the praise and obedience that belongs to Jesus Christ, they have made Trump their Antichrist. So yes, Trump is the Antichrist.

  • Jeremy Fretts

    I’m surprised you’ve only just thought of this. The Darbyist crowd absolutely looks to war in the middle east as progress toward their ultimate goal. I definitely think that, intentional or not, those who advise Trump lean into the things that “must” happen. At the least, they do not actively oppose or attempt to alter the things that must happen.

  • gloriamarie

    If the answers posed of Trump’s follwer is “yes” then they are, I am very sorry to say it, apostate. Or maybe blasphemous.

    Personally, I am sick and tired of Darby’s “theology” which he made up and which is never cited in any of the Christian literature before him. I fear his kind of “theology” nly appeals to superstituous people who need to feel better than others. After all, isn’t that the basic point of the Rapture?

    The early church taught universalism and I am sticking with the teachings of the early church.

  • Joe Miller

    So what is worse? His fundy followers are pushing him to help bring about “the end”. or his fundy followers think he is the savior? Both are scary as hell. I suspect that it is the latter. Good analysis.

  • Joris Heise

    My objection to this whole Rapture, End of Days, Apocalypse, etc. belief is that it is a pulling away from the more fundamental Christian view (which, incidentally, our illustrious leader denies) that the Risen Lord is among us, the Kingdom of heaven is now, and Jesus is in the least of the Brethren. Pompeo and all put Jesus out there and up there, rather than in our neighbor and our community. It is a mistake that pulls the rug out from under the most fundamental principles of Jesus’ teachings–especially the Sermon on the Mount. They deny the Real Presence of Jesus in our World today, and so can commit crimes against asylum seekers with no reference at all to the fact that they just might be the presence of the wounded Jesus among us.

  • jcarpenter

    Problematic to have DT as antichrist in that according to End Times scenario Scofield Reference style, the Rapture takes place first, then the Tribulation, Armageddon,etc. Fundyvangys may be trying to nudge Armageddon, but in their own scheme of things they are backwards.

  • JAC Laferriere

    When I first read the Book of Revelation I felt assured there could never be an anti-christ in a democracy because who would ever vote for it. But later I learned that Germany had voted Hitler into power before he took complete control. It is a deception the deceiver is able to master, so it can be done. Does DT rise to the same level of evil? Not in my opinion, but it still amazes me how anyone could vote for him.

  • bill wald

    Before getting “Reformed,” I went to a Plymouth Brethern meeting for maybe 10 years. I know their history and theology. I left because of their eschatology. They were they most “Christ-like” denomination I have known.

    The other side of the coin is Rushdoony, Christian Reconstruction, and the OPC. They are the only “True Believers” and must impose the 613 statements of the Law on the unbelievers before Jesus can return. They, of course, are exempt because only they “have the Holy Spirit.”

  • Kyllein MacKellerann “

    If this means the Trump Evanglicals go to heaven and leave the rest of us in peace….what’s so terrible about that?

  • David

    There can be more than one anti-christ in an age (see 1 John 2:18) . The main anti-christ of this age was of course Hitler, but Trump is next in line as the anti christ of this age. See for more info.