Antichrist? An unhealthy fixation
Is there a presidential link to the Antichrist? Should you care?
by Jim Ray
The best way to share your faith, most Christians would surely agree, does
not involve firing rounds from a semiautomatic rifle into the White House.
But a young man named Oscar Ramiro Ortego-Hernandez did just that recently,
and his objective was to take out Barack Obama on the basis that our current
president is the Antichrist.
Earlier this week a judge ruled that Ortego-Hernandez is competent to stand
trial based on a preliminary screening, but more extensive evaluations are
planned and it is certain the defendant’s actions were driven by psychosis not
theology. That being said, Ortego-Hernandez is hardly the first person to claim
our president is the Antichrist.
John F. Kennedy was believed by many theorists to be the Antichrist, and the
fact he was a Catholic who received 666 votes for vice-president at the 1956
Democrat Convention seemed to solidify the case. Ronald Wilson Reagan – note
that each of his three names contain six letters – was also deemed a strong
candidate. And now, can it really be a coincidence that on the day after Barack
Obama was elected, the Pick Three lottery numbers in his home state of Illinois
came up 6-6-6?
The Antichrist, of course, is a central figure in the Bible who will come to
power in the end times, forging a one-world government and seemingly bringing
peace to the planet. When Jesus returns, He will reveal the Antichrist to be a
satanic imposter and destroy him in the battle of Armageddon.
Identifying the Antichrist has become a veritable cottage industry, now
turbocharged by the Internet. Along with our recent and current chief
executives, others who have been named as the Antichrist include Bill Gates, the
Pope, Pat Robertson and Prince Charles. Dipping further back into history, many
were certain that Adolf Hitler, Napoleon or the Roman Emperor Nero would bring
about the apocalypse.
Not everyone who speculates about the identity of the Antichrist will be
wrong…even a stopped clock is right twice a day. But those who spend their time
broadcasting these predictions – along with those who forecast the date of the
rapture – work only to erode the credibility of Christianity among those who are
already skeptical of the claims of Scripture.
In a nation that has become increasingly hostile to Judeo-Christian values,
it is more challenging than ever to effectively share the message of hope in
Christ with friends, loved ones and neighbors. That task is made more difficult
by dubious prophets who claim, with great fanfare and more than a little hubris,
to be the recipients of special revelations from God about the end times…and
then are proven to be spectacularly wrong.
Certainly, Jesus instructed Christians to be watchful and ready for His
return (Matthew 24: 42-44), but some people, in truth, have developed an
unhealthy fixation on the particulars of future events that leads them away from
what God wants them to do in the present. The life of the believer should amount
to something more than trying to correlate ominous-looking lottery numbers with
There are a number of divergent views within the pale of orthodox
Christianity about how, exactly, the end times will play out. With diligent
study and prayer, the Lord will reveal much to you – though certainly not all.
That reality should be enough to keep every Christian humble.
Most importantly, remember that reading the Bible and studying prophecy is no
substitute for acting on what Jesus says are the two greatest commandments – to
love God and love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:37-40).
If you have missed the import of those two commands, the identity of the
Antichrist should not be your biggest concern.