The words Obama and Antichrist, side-by-side, garner almost 1 million Google results. But why? Is this simply more evidence of shallow-minded, backwoods believers plying their paranoia? Or is there a fearful symmetry between those two figures that the world has yet to realize?
When it comes to “Antichrist Watch”, the Church has an embarrassing history… and a woeful record. At one point or another, Reagan, Mikael Gorbachev, Hitler, Marilyn Manson, and the Pope (pick your Roman numeral), have been labeled The Beast. We’ve witnessed far-flung numeric schemes, prophetic calendars, conspiracy theories, and tabloid-like sensationalism, all in an attempt to identify this much-anticipated world leader who will, according to Scripture, usher in the end of this present age. So while the Bible clearly presents the Antichrist as a real historical figure, Christians are notorious for their tangents and gullibility concerning the matter.
Nevertheless, the Church’s history of paranoia and prophetic speculation does not invalidate the biblical prediction — someone, some day, will actually be the Antichrist. In fact, Scripture asserts that deceit will be one of the primary characteristics of this coming world leader. The Bible uses words like “lying wonders,” “unrighteous deception,” and “strong delusion” (II Thess. 2:9-11) to describe his assent and influence. “And he deceives those who dwell on the earth” writes the apostle John about the Antichrist in Rev. 13:14. Aided by global angst and outright demonic agency, he will trick the world into obeisance. This being the case, can anyone say with absolute authority that Obama IS NOT the Antichrist? I mean, if deception is the order of the day concerning the “Man of Sin”, then why couldn’t WE be deceived? Furthermore, and maybe this is a better question to ask, what exactly disqualifies President Obama from being the Antichrist?
One factor that has definitely stoked the Obama/Antichrist connection and contributed to the claims, has been the almost unqualified adoration of this political figure. Fawning reporters, celebrity endorsements, children’s choirs, YouTube lovefests, T-shirts, bumper stickers, media puff pieces, global celebrations, and the largest Inauguration of any American president, all reveal a head-over-heels infatuation with the man. But was this adulation simply fueled by the possibility of seeing our first black president, or were other factors at work?
Even more unnerving, especially to Christians, has been the messianic aura attached to Obama. In a recent Harris poll, Barack Obama beat out Jesus Christ as America’s number one hero. Yet being included in the same breath as Jesus Christ is not new for this politician. For instance, Art Institute of Chicago student/ artist David Cordero’s sculpture titled “Blessing” depicts President Barack Obama as Jesus Christ and the ever-colorful Louis Farrakan directly called Obama “the Messiah,” chronicling the “signs” of his coming (YouTube video HERE). Images of Obama in glowing garb, encircled by a halo, before adoring masses, abound. Couple this with his campaign’s slogan of Hope, and a surreal religious sentiment appears tapped. Whether intentional or not, Barack Obama’s rise to power has conjured more than just the typical political passion; something transcendent is summoned, as if “the world was waiting for this moment” (words apparently spoken by Obama himself on the campaign trail).
On our recent trip to Hawaii, I was struck again by this eerie convergence of politics and spirituality. I photographed several bumper stickers (including the one below) that associated the ushering in of world peace with the election of President Obama.
For end-times watchdogs, this connection should raise a red flag. Why? World peace is a huge issue in the apocalyptic scenario. Not only will the Antichrist concoct some sort of Middle East peace pact, only to break it mid-tribulation, (a rather complicated prophetic set-up via Daniel 9:27 and Matthew 24:36-51)), Scripture warns:
When people say, “There is peace and security,” destruction will strike them as suddenly as labor pains come to a pregnant woman, and they will not be able to escape. (I Thess. 5:3 ISV)
In other words, the prelude to Armageddon is a climate of peace, at least an vapid aspiration or illusion of peace.
Okay, call it alarmist, over-zealous, or flat out delusional. The point is that significant conditions are in place to raise concerns among Christians regarding Barack Obama’s place in the end-times circuit. Sure, there will always be nutjobs seeing the Devil behind every handshake and peace accord. But if the Bible is to be believed, then one day a handshake and a peace accord will launch the Apocalypse.
Furthermore, Scripture portrays the masses of humanity as flawed and empty; we hunger for something — someone — to fill that void. When Christ is rejected, we turn to anti-christs — mock messiahs who, we hope, will speak peace to the troubled sea. This affectation, this tide, is what will sweep the Last Great World Leader into power. The end of our age will be precipitated by a collective angst, an indiscriminate willingness to anoint a false messiah. Humanity is crying for that savior. And for many, Barack Obama currently fills that bill.
It may just be a precursor, a rehearsal for the real thing. But the tear-streamed faces at Obama’s Inauguration, the celebrity swoonings, the global acclaim, and the media compliance, all reveal a people and a power structure that is ripe for devilish picking; a spiritual climate that is whetted for the ascension of a Leader, one with elegance and charisma who will woo the world and summon their allegiance; a collective mindset that will one day put a Devil in power.
For the record — I do not believe Barack Obama is the Antichrist. But what his election and the surrounded hysteria has proved to me, is that our world is inching, ever closer, toward its prophetic destiny.