The End Times: Apostasy, Antichrist, and Politics

Apostasy

In a previous post I identified three things concerning Jesus’ return that are indisputable: visible and unmistakable; unexpected; and normalcy, as in the days of Noah and Lot.1 And now we have a fourth thing, apostasy in the Church.

In a letter the apostle Paul wrote to the church at Thessalonica, he reminded them that they shouldn’t be deceived into believing that the day of the Lord had come unless the apostasy has come first. (2 Thess. 2:3 NASB) So what is apostasy and how are we to identify it? Well, according to the online dictionaries: merriam-webster.com and dictionary.com, apostasy is defined as abandonment and departure respectively. To abandon something is to let go of it and you can’t let go of something unless you first had possession of it. Unbelievers, people who were never saved, cannot be apostate since they can’t let go of something they never had; only saved people can become apostate.

A common misconception is that apostates are Christians who have lost their salvation. However, I don’t subscribe to that theory; I believe apostates are Christians who have left their first love, (Rev. 2:3) that is, they have abandoned or compromised many or most of the fundamental doctrines of the faith. They hold on to the “Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so…”2 refrain from the well-known children’s song, but they put aside other biblical doctrines or strong teachings that conflict with the popular culture that we find ourselves in the 21st century. Everyone is familiar with the current social issues that are in conflict with biblical teaching: women in ministry; divorce; same-sex marriage; and abortion but not everyone would consider belief in evolution; man-made climate change; and economic inequality as qualifications for apostasy, but they are. And yes, a person’s political and religious beliefs are both interrelated and inseparable.

Antichrist

Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour. (1 John 2:18)

Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. (1 John 2:22)

By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God;
and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world. (1 John 4:2-3)

For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. (2 John 1:7)

Antichrist is anyone who doesn’t believe that Jesus is the Christ. Contrary to Hollywood’s misappropriation of the term, antichrist is not a specific person.3 The character Damien in The Omen is portrayed as the antichrist, but in reality, he is really the beast who the Bible introduces in Revelation chapter 13. Antichrist and beast are sometimes used interchangeably; I guess because “antichrist” has more of a ring to it than “beast.”

Christians can be apostate but they cannot be antichrist. But according to Jesus, it’s possible for false Christians (antichrists) to become assimilated in the Church such that they become almost indistinguishable from the true believers; nevertheless, God is able to differentiate the wheat from the tares. (Matt. 13:29-30)

Politics

The theology of liberation or liberation theology is one such example of blending politics and religion. In liberation theology, Scripture is reinterpreted with a bias towards the poor. This brand of theology advocates its followers to engage in the struggle to liberate the poor from their male-dominated, rich, white capitalist oppressors.4 You know the old saying, “If it looks like Marxism and smells like Marxism, it’s Marxism.” So, the question becomes, can a person still be a believing Christian while embracing socialism and Marxism? Well, according to William Montgomery Brown, the answer would unequivocally be “No!”

The Rt. Rev. William Montgomery Brown, D.D. was a bishop in the Episcopal Church who published a very interesting and enlightening booklet in 1920 called Communism and Christianism Analyzed and Contrasted from the Marxian and Darwinian Points of View. In his booklet Rev. Brown describes the relationship between supernatural Christianity and science (Darwinism); Christianity and socialism; and Christianity and communism (Marxism). I present here some excerpts from Rev. Brown’s booklet. I have numbered them for later reference:

[1] No man can be consistently both a Socialist and a Christian.5

[2] It is, therefore, a profound truth that Socialism is the natural enemy of religion.6

[3] The Creation idea is unsupported by evidence, and is in conflict with every scientific law.7

[4] Religion, which is the ideal half, and politics, which is the practical half, of the same reality, human socialism, are like all else in the universe, constantly changing, and necessarily so, because life and progress are dependent upon change.8

[5] Yes, strange, even blasphemous, as the representation may seem, it is nevertheless true, the machine is the only name given under heaven whereby the world can be saved.9

[6] Darwinism and Marxism constitute one gospel, the only true, comprehensive and sufficient gospel which the world has ever had or can have, and there is no hope for the future of mankind except in it.10

[7] Christianity has held the world back from civilization instead of advancing it towards civilization.11

While Rev. Brown was never a real Christian, he definitely was a bonafide, dyed-in-the-wool communist. Note how in excerpt [5] and [6] he professes to worship the creation (the machine) instead of the creator (God) whereby the machine becomes the savior of the world not Jesus. In fact, Rev. Brown never actually believed that Jesus was a real person let alone the son of God. He vigorously denounced the supernatural or spiritual aspect of Christianity. (It’s Interesting to note that Rev. William Montgomery Brown remained a professing Christian even after he was convicted of heresy in 1925—the only person to be convicted since the Middle Ages.)12

In excerpt [4] he declares that religion and politics are really two sides of the same coin. That is to say religion being the theoretical side and politics being the practical side. In his mind, he attributes capitalism (the scourge of the working class) as being created and sustained by Christianity. Capitalism being the devil and Darwinism/Socialism/Marxism being the triune god that saves the world.

In excerpt [1] and [2] the battle lines are drawn; Christianity is declared the enemy of socialism. After reading Rev. Brown’s booklet, it should come as no surprise to the reader why the political Left is so hostile to Christianity. The Left believes that Christianity is hindering their entire agenda, namely wealth redistribution, income equality, social justice, and whatever else that goes along with it.

Since all public school curriculum has been coordinated along left-wing ideology, there’s no tolerance for creationism or intelligent design as inferred from excerpt [3].

Has Christianity really held the world back from civilization as stated in excerpt [7]? Certainly Rev. Brown thinks so, but so does President Obama based on his “pattern” of anti-Christian remarks such as his infamous comment made during an Easter breakfast held at the White House:

On Easter I do reflect on the fact that, as a Christian, I am supposed to love. And I have to say that sometimes when I listen to less-than-loving expressions by Christians, I get concerned.13

Or how about this comment:

In the United States, Eid also reminds us of the many achievements and contributions of Muslim Americans to building the very fabric of our nation and strengthening the core of our democracy.14

And this one:

Unless we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. And in our home country, slavery, and Jim Crow, all too often was justified in the name of Christ.15

So, based on his own words, Obama really is acknowledging that ISIS is carrying out terrible deeds in the name of religion; otherwise, why would he draw a comparison with the Crusades and the Inquisition which everyone identifies with the Roman Catholic Church. Furthermore, like Obama said, the ISIS threat is not unique; history records wars against militant Islam for almost four hundred years during the 7th, 8th, 15th, and 16th centuries.16 Even though the “Mohammedan Arabs with fire and scimitar had crushed and subjugated the entire Persian Empire and over half of Christendom,”17 it was the Crusaders who were the oppressors.

Nevertheless, the one thing President Obama can’t do is label ISIS for what it really is, an organization that wants to convert the world to its brand of Islam through terror and intimidation.

So then according to the Left’s rewriting of history, it really was the Christians who held back civilization. And “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.”


  1. Gerard Sczepura, “The End Times: Arguments Against a Pre-Trib Rapture,” Theological Ruminations (blog), May 4, 2015, http://gerardsczepura.com/?p=627

  2. Anna B. Warner, Jesus Loves Me, 1860, http://library.timelesstruths.org/music/Jesus_Loves_Me/

  3. Gerard Sczepura, “The End Times: Hollywood’s Take,” Theological Ruminations (blog), March 7, 2015, http://gerardsczepura.com/?p=599

  4. “Christian Revolution in Latin America: The Changing Face of Liberation Theology,” Ron Rhodes, accessed June 21, 2015, http://home.earthlink.net/~ronrhodes/Liberation.html

  5. Brown 1855-1937, William Montgomery (2010-02-16). Communism and Christianism Analyzed and Contrasted from the Marxian and Darwinian Points of View (p. 10). Public Domain Books. Kindle Edition. 

  6. Ibid., 12. 

  7. Ibid., 17. 

  8. Ibid., 44-45. 

  9. Ibid., 53. 

  10. Ibid., 54. 

  11. Ibid., 60-61. 

  12. “Bishop Brown,” Galion Historical Society, accessed June 22, 2015, http://www.galionhistory.com/about-bishop-brown/

  13. “Obama’s anti-Christian ‘pattern’ disconcerting to some,” Chris Woodward, OneNewsNow.com, April 8, 2015, http://onenewsnow.com/politics-govt/2015/04/08/obamas-anti-christian-pattern-disconcerting-to-some

  14. “What Obama just said about Muslims and their influence on America is beyond disturbing,” Joshua Riddle, Young Conservatives, July 28, 2014, http://www.youngcons.com/what-obama-just-said-about-muslims-and-america-is-beyond-disturbing/

  15. “People are freaking out after Obama compared ISIS to the Crusades,” Colin Campbell, Business Insider, February 6, 2015, http://www.businessinsider.com/people-are-freaking-out-after-obama-compared-isis-to-the-crusades-2015-2#ixzz3divxEH1V

  16. “On the Spanish Inquisition and the Crusades,” Dr. Miguel Faria, Hacienda Publishing, September 12, 2011, http://www.haciendapub.com/randomnotes/spanish-inquisition-and-crusades

  17. Ibid. 

Something Rotten At Apple?

In many parts of the world Christians are being persecuted and killed for their faith. All over the USA this Easter Sunday, people of faith will be making their way to church to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus without fear of harassment and intimidation. Even though Christians are not being killed in America for their faith, at least not yet, they are being persecuted. The religious persecution that rose its ugly head this time was perpetrated by the LGBT Community in general and by Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, in particular.

What was all the hubbub about? It was about the Indiana Religious Freedom Law. A Nazi-esque1 law which would enshrine2 discrimination against gays and lesbians by private business owners who also happen to be people of faith, specifically, the Christian faith.

Tim Cook is well aware of how conservative Christians behave towards their neighbors. They roam the countryside looking for any gay or lesbian to attack and kill at will—zero tolerance. Christians are also well known for setting off IEDs at gay and lesbian parades. In addition, it’s a well-known fact that no Buddhist, Muslim, Jew or atheist is safe as long as those intolerant, religious fanatics are allowed to run wild. They must be stopped at all cost!

So who are these Nazi-esque people of faith? Well, one example is Memories Pizza in Indiana. Memories Pizza is an alleged discriminatory business run by owners who have taken a stand for their religious convictions. All hell broke loose when they said they would refuse to cater gay/lesbian weddings. How dare they! Pizza at a same-sex wedding, really? Hum…maybe there’s a business opportunity here.

Now, what was that again? Memories Pizza would only refuse to cater gay/lesbian weddings; they wouldn’t call the local Gestapo to have the couple arrested in the middle of the night and sent to a concentration camp. Is this what the protests are all about?

On another issue, if I understand where Tim Cook is coming from, pizzeria businesses are a vibrant part of the 21st-Century economy in those parts of the country.3 I guess we can all look forward to seeing Apple frozen pizzas in our local Publix sometime soon.

Based on what he has said in his postings, it’s obvious that Tim Cook doesn’t know a thing about straight couples and I would even go so far as to say he doesn’t know much about same-sex couples either. What gay or lesbian couple in their right mind would pick a conservative Christian business to cater their same-sex wedding? It would never happen. This isn’t about discriminatory business practices; it’s all about marginalizing people of faith and Christians in particular. The Indiana pizza shop said they wouldn’t refuse to serve anyone who came into their restaurant; but participating in a same-sex wedding ceremony is a different matter altogether. It would be like a same-sex couple trying to get Jerry Falwell (if he was still alive) to perform their marriage ceremony. Are gay/lesbians really that stupid or is it that the LGBT Community could care less if they offend other people’s beliefs?

I agree with Tim Cook that religious freedom laws will hurt businesses. Memories Pizza in Indiana had to shut down after receiving threatening messages.4 When it comes to making money, Tim Cook has no problem violating his own left-wing principles since Apple conducts business in countries that have little or no regard for gays, lesbians, or women’s rights.5

In one of Tim Cook’s articles, he said that, “Men and women have fought and died fighting to protect our country’s founding principles of freedom and equality.”6 Well, I’ve known a few of those who fought to protect our country’s founding principles but none of them ever said that they fought for same-sex marriage or abortion rights.

In another on-line post, Tim Cook said, “I have great reverence for religious freedom. As a child, I was baptized in a Baptist church, and faith has always been an important part of my life.”7 Could it be that the Baptist church that baptized Tim Cook didn’t require him to make a profession of faith? If they did, then wouldn’t they be discriminatory because their decision to baptize him was based on his religious beliefs. Hypothetically, what if Tim Cook professed to being an atheist? Would the Baptist church be wrong to refuse to baptize him?

If this whole debate is really all about equality and inclusion, then I’d like to see either Sean Hannity or Ann Coulter give an address at the next Democratic National Convention and I’d like to hear Tim Cook give a Sunday school lesson on 1 Corinthians 6:9.

In my opinion, Tim Cook is more the radical left-wing activist than the CEO of a high-tech company. In all his posts he never passed on an opportunity to associate people of faith with racism, hate, bigotry, intolerance, and, of course, the Nazis. Congratulations Tim! You’ve become a highly decorated hero in the war on Christianity.


  1. ”It’s Not Discrimination If It’s Religious Freedom,” Tim Cook, Sometimes Political (blog), March 29, 2015, http://sometimespolitical.com/tag/tim-cook/

  2. “Tim Cook: Pro-discrimination ‘religious freedom’ laws are dangerous,” Tim Cook, The Washington Post, March 29, 2015, http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/pro-discrimination-religious-freedom-laws-are-dangerous-to-america/2015/03/29/bdb4ce9e-d66d-11e4-ba28-f2a685dc7f89_story.html

  3. Ibid. 

  4. “Memories Pizza In Indiana Receives Donations After Backlash Over Gay Weddings Stance,” Ed Mazza, The Huffington Post, updated April 4, 2015, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/01/memories-pizza-gofundme-donations_n_6989852.html

  5. “Carly Fiorina: Tim Cook Opposition to Indiana Religious Freedom Law Hypocritical ,” Reid J. Epstein, The Wall Street Journal, April 3, 2015, http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2015/04/03/carly-fiorina-tim-cook-opposition-to-indiana-religious-freedom-law-hypocritical/?mod=WSJ_Politics_Blog

  6. Cook, “Pro-discrimination ‘religious freedom’ laws are dangerous.” 

  7. Ibid. 

The End Times: Hollywood’s Take

It’s undeniable that the concept of the end of the world holds a strange fascination for many people. This fact has not been overlooked by the film industry as evidenced by the number of recent apocalyptic movies released such as: Knowing (2009), 2012 (2009), The Book of Eli (2010), and many others. There were, of course, even earlier films which attempted to portray the end times such as: On the Beach (1959), The Last Man on Earth (1964), The Omen (1976), Mad Max (1981) The Terminator (1984), Armageddon (1998), and End of Days (1999). The premise being depicted in most of these films is that the world can or will end through natural means such as war, disease, climate change or some other natural disaster. Some films even go so far as to suggest extraterrestrials as the antagonists.

While some movies about the end times are entertaining and even plausible, others are just totally ludicrous such as the zombie apocalypse in the anti-Israeli World War Z or the laughable climate change disaster as portrayed in the anti-American 2012. Those who don’t believe in what the Bible teaches about the end of this age are left with nothing else but to fantasize about how man can prevent or even ride out the coming apocalypse. On the other hand, the Bible presents a totally different explanation for how and why these events will come to pass.

While war and disease are certainly strong possibilities, the notion of climate change bringing about the apocalypse is ridiculous from a biblical perspective. The Bible teaches that the laws of nature won’t be changed while the earth exists as recorded in Genesis, “While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, And cold and heat, And summer and winter, And day and night Shall not cease.” (Gen. 8:22 NASB)

Even though it is certain that there will be severe storms; extremes in temperature; floods and droughts; earthquakes; and volcanic eruptions, another certainty is that God is in control of the weather and He has determined that the current order of things won’t be changed.

Climate change is the least of man’s concerns; there are many other things to worry about. We can see in our day the constant threat of war including terrorism—which is still a war whether you want to accept it or not. Jesus himself predicted there would be “wars and rumors of wars” (Matt. 24:6) (Mark 13:7) before the end comes. Wars have always been with us; as the poet has said, “Only the dead have seen the end of war.”

More troubling than wars, if that’s possible, are pandemics. Infectious disease outbreaks are becoming more frequent and deadly than they have been in the past. Worse yet, some diseases are difficult or near impossible to treat effectively including antibiotic resistant bacteria such as MRSA, VRE, and MDR-TB. The Bible predicts such things will exist in the end times. (Rev. 6:8)

So, how does Hollywood’s take on the end times stack up against Scripture? Let’s look at a few examples:

On the Beach

This film presents a post-apocalyptic scenario which depicts the end of the world brought about by nuclear war. In the movie, almost everyone has died from radioactive fallout except for those living in Australia and those serving on an American submarine. The end of the movie depicts the death of every human being. The movie closes with a warning to the viewer that “There is still time…brother.”1 implying that man can prevent the apocalypse whereas the Bible teaches that God is going to bring it about and no one will be able to stop it.

The Last Man on Earth

This is a creepy movie about a plague that turns those affected into vampire-like creatures. There appears to be only one survivor who is immune to the disease. You can almost make a case for this scenario from a verse in Revelation which states, “And in those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will long to die, and death flees from them.” (Rev. 9:6) Of course, in order to accept this possibility would take a stretch of the imagination and would certainly require reading more information into the verse than is given.

The Omen

This film is about the birth and early childhood of the antichrist or beast which is mentioned in Revelation. Most people use the terms antichrist and beast interchangeably. The apostle John refers to the antichrist or spirit of antichrist as being anyone who denies that Jesus is the Christ. (1 John 4:3) (2 John 1:7) On the other hand, the references to the beast in Revelation seem to indicate that he is a specific person. (Rev. 19:20) Since the Bible doesn’t give any information about where the beast comes from; his background; or his childhood, the events depicted in the movie are pure speculation.

Armageddon

Unlike what the title implies, this movie is really about an asteroid hitting the earth and has nothing to do with the biblical references to a major battle to be fought in the Valley of Megiddo. The movie is entertaining even though it’s one or two references to the Bible are inaccurate such as the quote made by the President, “The Bible calls this day ‘Armageddon’ – the end of all things.”2 If you read the book of Revelation in the Bible, you’ll find that the battle of Armageddon is not the end of all things; there will be survivors on earth who enter into the 1000 year reign of Christ. (Rev. 19:15) (Rev. 20:7-10)

End of Days

This film was obviously inspired by the Y2K (Year 2000) hysteria that was going around during the 1990s. The movie was released in 1999 in order to take full advantage of the uncertainty surrounding what would happen if all the computer software in the world couldn’t handle four-digit dates. The movie’s premise is based on a misinterpretation of the 1000 years mentioned in the book of Revelation. Again the premise of this movie is based on an amillennial interpretation of Revelation Chapter 20, verses 7 through 8. The term “amillennial” or “amillennialism” refers to a theological belief that teaches there is no literal 1000 year reign of Christ on earth. Hence, the year 1999 is the last year of a 1000 years, (1999 – 1000) +1 = 1000 years, so Satan is released to wreak havoc on the earth. The movie proposes that if Satan can find a bride before the Year 2000 arrives he wins; and if one man can stop him, it would be Arnold.

The Terminator

The antagonists in The Terminator are the infernal machines developed by Cyberdyne Systems Corporation and adopted by the U.S. Air Force in a global defense network called Skynet. Skynet becomes self-aware and through a bug in programming decides that all humans are a threat. This movie capitalizes upon President Eisenhower’s fear of the “Military-Industrial Complex” and its consequences. Obviously, the movie takes these concerns to an extreme. And it’s not surprising that almost every issue of the Journal of the ACM in the 1980s contained at least one article in opposition to the development of Skynet…I mean, the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI). In this film, the antagonists are corporations and the military.

Most all the other films have themes that are similar to those I’ve just described. I won’t even mention World War Z and 2012 since they are just beyond ridiculous in my opinion.

It’s clear that Hollywood is convinced that the end of the world will be brought about by man’s actions, either through war or climate change or by some natural calamity such as disease or by some extraterrestrial event. In many of the movies listed above, there is always some individual or group of heroes that steps in to save mankind from himself; in The Terminator it was Sarah Connor; in End of Days it was Jericho Cane; in Armageddon it was NASA. But according to the Bible, there won’t be a superhero that comes along to save the world; neither will man’s attempts to reduce his carbon footprint prevent the end from coming. The only hope for mankind is the King of kings and Lord of lords. (1 Tim. 6:15)


  1. “Synopsis for On the Beach (1959),” IMDb, accessed March 3, 2015, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0053137/synopsis

  2. “Armageddon (1998) Quotes,” IMDb, accessed March 3, 2015, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120591/quotes