Is Obama the Antichrist? by Lisa Miller of Newsweek

November 18, 2008 at 4:45 am 1 comment

lisa-miller-newsweek.jpgThe winning lottery number in Illinois was 666, which, as everyone knows, is the sign of the Beast. On Nov. 5, Todd Strandberg was at his desk, fielding E-mails from around the world. 


As the editor and founder of RaptureReady.com, his job is to track
current events and link them to biblical prophecy in hopes of
maintaining his status as “the eBay of prophecy,” the best source
online for predictions and calculations concerning the end of the world.

Already Barack Obama
had drawn the attention of apocalypse watchers after an anonymous
e-mail circulated among conservative Christians in October implying
that he was the Antichrist. Former “Saturday Night Live” ingĂ©nue
Victoria Jackson fueled the fire when, according to news reports, she
wrote on her Web site that Obama “bears traits that resemble the
anti-Christ.” Now Strandberg was receiving up-to-the-minute news from
his constituents in Illinois. One of the winning lottery numbers in the
president-elect’s home state was 666– which, as everyone knows, is the
sign of the Beast (also known as the Antichrist). “It is very eerie,
and I take it for a sign as to who he really is,” wrote one of
Strandberg’s correspondents.

Ever since Jesus
Christ was crucified and, according to the Gospels, rose again in
glory, his followers have been anticipating the end of history–the time
when their Lord will return to earth and reign for a thousand years.
The question has always been when. Most Christians don’t worry about
the end too much; it’s an abstract concept, a theological puzzle for
late-night pondering. A few, however, have always believed that it is
coming–and soon. Millennialist movements, as they’re called, gain
prominence especially when the world grows chaotic, during wars and at
the turn of every century. According to a 2006 study by the Pew Forum
on Religion & Public Life, a third of white evangelicals believe
the world will end in their lifetimes. These mostly conservative
Christians believe a great battle is imminent. After years of
tribulation–natural disasters, other cataclysms (such as the collapse
of financial markets)–God’s armies will vanquish armies led by the
Antichrist himself. He will be a sweet-talking world leader who gathers
governments and economies under his command to further his own evil
agenda. In this world view, “the spread of secular progressive ideas is
a prelude to the enslavement of mankind,” explains Richard Landes,
former director of the Center for Millennial Studies at Boston
University.

No wonder, then, that Obama triggers
such fear in the hearts of America’s millennialist Christians. Mat
Staver, dean of Liberty University’s law school, says he does not
believe Obama is the Antichrist, but he can see how others might.
Obama’s own use of religious rhetoric belies his liberal positions on
abortion and traditional marriage, Staver says, positions that
“religious conservatives believe will threaten their freedom.” The
people who believe Obama is the Antichrist are perhaps jumping to
conclusions, but they’re not nuts: “They are expressing a concern and a
fear that is widely shared,” Staver says.

Before Christ comes again, those who are saved will ascend to heaven,
according to this end-times theology, in a huge, upward whoosh called
the Rapture. Strandberg is so certain that the Rapture is coming, he’s
bought a number of Internet addresses in addition to RaptureReady:
AntiAntichrist, Tribulationus and RaptureMe. In the event that
RaptureReady crashes during the apocalypse, anyone who needs an update
will, with a simple Google search, be able to get one. Strandberg says
Obama probably isn’t the Antichrist, but he’s watching the
president-elect carefully. On his Web site, he has something called the
Rapture Index, a calculation based on signs and prophecy of the
proximity of the end. According to Strandberg, any number over 160
means “fasten your seat belts.” Obama’s win pushed the index to 161.

Source: Newsweek

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Entry filed under: Opinion. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Digital Publius  |  November 18, 2008 at 7:07 am

    I don’t know that he is the anti-christ, but the lottery result seems like a warning that he has the spirit of anti-christ at the very least. This is to wild an occurrence to be chalked up to coincidence.

    http://www.digitalpublius.com

    Reply

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