The Anti-Christ is Here
By Carol Harper
The Anti-Christ is here.
He is loved and embraced by millions, all over the world. He speaks many different languages, is an eloquent, practiced speaker, revered and supported by politicians, lobbyists, corporate entities, authors and writers, talk show hosts and TV personalities. He is seen shaking hands with celebrities and noted world leaders. He has written many books; there are books written about him. He has a degree in theology, is well-versed in all scripture. He is marketed and produced by the corporate media, and has gained great wealth, with holdings all over the world. He has great power, authority and influence over the hearts, minds and souls of many, many people.
Yes, the Anti-Christ is here…and his name is Christianity.
You would think that, because of the good news of Jesus Christ, the world would be a better place. Then why isn’t it? If the commandment of love has ruled and abounded in the hearts of humankind for 2000 years, the world would be a better place. Then why isn’t it? If compassion and forgiveness were first actions/ reactions, then the world would be a better place. Then why isn’t it? If the millions who profess to be Christians really live what they claim to believe, practiced what they preached, truly served their fellow human beings from the goodness of their hearts, then wouldn’t the world be a better place?
Then why isn’t it?
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The same was in the beginning with God.
All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.
In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
(John 1: 1-5 & 10-12, KJV, underline added)
Jesus was crucified for blasphemy, for breaking Judaic law and tradition. He was a revolutionary, an activist, a threat to religious and political authority. They wanted Jesus silenced, even from birth (Matt. 2). He was crucified, mocked and stripped from any association or recognition as a King or Deliverer. His followers abandoned him. He was crucified because he preached the truth, revealed the truth, was and is the truth.
It has taken 2000 years to create and perfect such an effective Christ-image in the sophisticated, complex mirrors of religion…an image worthy to be worshipped under the sign of “The Cross”. For Jesus is still a threat to religious and political authorities. He is still mocked and stripped of identity as King or Deliverer. From the pulpits has “the way, the truth and the life” been replaced by hypocrisy, with lip service taking form as a Judas kiss, denied many more times than Peter’s mere three. The “Word made flesh” has been replaced by an idol called the “Bible”, a book twisted and spun, used and abused, self-righteously interpreted by those who deem themselves more Christian than Christ Himself!
Why? Because of one, simple thing: love. Ah, our history lessons…love has become a threat!
Have we learned nothing in 2000 years! Jewelry and bumper stickers reading: “WWJD”? What has Jesus done? He brandishes picket signs that read: “God hates fags.” He bombs abortion clinics and murders doctors. Jesus readily and loosely scoffs and shouts “Sinner!” telling death row inmates to “burn in hell”. He strings up a gay man on a fence and murders him, hangs a black man from a tree, massacres and forces entire indigenous tribes from their lands and homes. Jesus backbites, gossips, destroys the reputations of those he is jealous of; accuses, hangs, beheads, shoots, maims, dismembers, burns, drowns…stands by, watches and does nothing, unmercifully consents. Jesus enslaves and punishes the poor, wines and dines the rich. Jesus rejects what he thinks is “fat and ugly”, endorses the thin and pretty. Jesus subsidizes concentration camps, proclaims genocide, stereotypes and judges. He strikes deals behind closed doors; lies, steals and cheats and justifies, claiming it’s “for the sake of the greater good, for “the faith of the people” or the “bigger picture”. He creates a career for himself and calls it a “ministry”, preaches for profit; pastes a smile on his face, pretends to be humble and submissive to gain popularity, favors and votes. Jesus passes off his opinions as fact and truth, insists that sinners are going to hell if they don’t believe in him.
Wow. That’s not my Jesus. The Jesus I know is full of grace and truth. The Jesus I know steps outside the errant, religious boundaries to reach the real, broken, downhearted, meek, poor, hungry and merciful (Matthew 5). The Jesus I know confounds the prideful (Luke 20), heals the sick, raises the [physically and spiritually] dead, saves those on death row (John 8), hangs out with whomever He dang well pleases (Matthew 9, John 4), and not only preaches love as the greatest commandment (Matthew 22: 37-40) , but has proven His love for me (John 3:16-17).
My Jesus didn’t ask me to believe a book, a preacher, prophet, denomination, religion or doctrine. My Jesus simply asks me to believe in Him:
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us,
(and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,)
full of grace and truth.
Jesus is “full of grace and truth”. So then…where in the world is he? If Jesus said that the greatest commandment is to love, then where is this love found? Where is love being taught, where is it being practiced? In churches, synagogues, mosques and temples? In best-seller books sold by talk show hosts, or CD sets sold on late-night TV? Is Jesus preached by leaders and pastors who can’t readily admit they don’t know right from left, up from down, forward from backward?
Is Christ divided? (1 Cor. 1:13) Do the blind still lead the blind? (Luke 6). Do hypocrites still exist? (Matthew 23). Apparently, yes. So…where is the real Jesus? Where is God being worshipped “in spirit and in truth”? (John 4:24) Because, if there is such a place, I want to be there! If there are such people, I want to be among them. If there is joy, forgiveness, mercy, grace and peace and rest to be found in this world (Matthew 11: 28-30), please…take me by the hand and show me the “Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6) because quite frankly…these various brands of “Christianity” just ain’t doing it for me!
Love God. Love your neighbor. Love your enemies, “bless them that curse you, do good to them that despitefully use you and persecute you…” (Matthew 5: 43-48). We haven’t even learned how to love! You can quote scripture until the cows come home, but where is the love? Where is the grace? Are these things so difficult for the human race to grasp that an Anti-Christ must be created?
“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven
but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name?
and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
We should believe the real Jesus who saves by grace, not an anti-Christ that “saves” by ultimatums. The real Jesus is the Word [God] made flesh,”…not an anti-Christ who uses scripture to justify opinions, prejudices, acts of cruelty and destruction. We should embrace the real Jesus who accepts us for who we are, right where we are…not some anti-Christ using religious or denominational standards to measure worth by stereotypes or “sinner” labels. The real Jesus wants us to know that the most important thing we learn in this life is to LOVE. Oh, that we know this in the very core of our being! If we have not love, we are NOTHING (1 Cor. 13). Jesus doesn’t command us to go into battle and conquer. The real Jesus commands us to love…because love is greater!
Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God,
but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God.
This is the spirit of the anti-Christ, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. (1 John 4: 1-4)
I have spoken out and written of the false Christ of Mormonism. But I’ve recently come to learn that many so-called “Christians” have proven themselves no better. At least Mormons don’t actually know they worship a false Christ. Heck, I would even call them innocent in the world’s religious chaos. But more would I say that there are too many Christians who proclaim with their lips that they worship Jesus, yet reflect the exact opposite in their words and actions. Does this not breathe life into the spirit of anti-Christ? I physically shudder to think of how many fear, feed, readily worship and give power to such.
I am not saying that there aren’t those out there who don’t possess a genuine, Christ-like love. There are believers that do live the teachings of the real Jesus. What I am saying is that I’m so very grateful that the Lord has given me moments in my life to experience religious prisons, the “denomination abomination”, to observe and discern good fruit from bad, and recognize hypocrisy when I see it. Call me naďve, but I never expected such to exist here in the “Bible Belt” of America.
I know that there are believers who love Jesus and have avoided the crowds (Matthew 7: 13-14). I love you, and pray with you all. I admit I’ve been a slave to religion, to an “anti-Christ” on many fronts, but I can promise you this: I will never again sign the dotted line and compromise my relationship with the real Jesus for a false one, for a religion or church, for a paycheck (Matthew 6: 24) nor allegiance with the kind of “Christ” who cares nothing for me or who I am. That might mean death for me, especially here in the South. But so be it, and may the “Bible Belt” strike me on the way out. I’ll gladly turn the other cheek.
All I ask for is hope and strength to be “perfected in Him” (Matthew 5:38-48)…for I know am nothing if I haven’t mastered the commandment of love.
Love is not a threat. It is the answer.
A note from Carol...
I want to thank everyone for their responses and comments on "The Anti Christ is Here".
One thing I want to say is this: I don't care if you're a Mormon, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, JW, Wiccan, atheist, etc. I don't care if you're a man, woman, gay, straight, red, yellow, black, white or anything in between. I don't care if you're conservative, liberal, a Republican or Democrat or associated with any political party. I don't care what size you are, what you look like, how tall or short you are, rich or poor, educated or uneducated. I don't care where you live, if you're homeless, in prison. I don't care how much scripture you've memorized, how much you [think you] know. I don't care what you eat or drink (or what you don't eat or drink) what you wear, where you hang out or with whom, what kind of music you listen to...
Nothing I write, nothing I do or say, nothing matters unless I love you. No matter who we are...unless and until we can all as human beings bring down the walls that have divided and destroyed us over the past 2000 years (or longer) and really learn how to love each other (not pretend) with the unconditional love and grace of the real Jesus Christ, nothing in this world will change and nothing will matter.
I love you. I may not know you, or have ever met you...but that doesn't matter! :)
1 Corinthians 13
"If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."
Hey, if you're ever in Nashville, email me, let me know. We'll do coffee! I know some great places...