America’s Greatest Sin—And How It Sets the Stage for the Antichrist


If you’re a normal human being of any thoughtfulness, you must be wondering,

Why the heck does everything in American life seem crazy right now?

If you’re like me, you’re trying to make sense of some of the inanity you’re seeing in the news. Heaven knows I’ve been trying to find some common thread.

Take a look at the following and ask what that commonality might be:

  • The ascendency of Donald Trump, Ben Carson, and Bernie Sanders
  • The hunt for the “murderer” of Cecil the Lion
  • The Kim Davis case in Kentucky and the rapid rise in support for same-sex marriage
  • The decline of Christianity in America
  • The failure of the Planned Parenthood videos
  • The pornification of everything

If you don’t see the connection, don’t feel bad. I only just realized it myself.

What ties those six items together is one concept:


Let’s unpack this by starting with the last item on the list.

Scientists have studied pornography and its effects on the brain, and they’ve been startled at their findings. Pornography’s addictiveness is linked heavily to novelty. The porn addict is more addicted to the newness of every image seen than he or she is to the actual content of the image itself. It’s why porn addicts can’t be satisfied with seeing a pornographic image; instead, it must be one they’ve not seen before. That portion of the brain that resonates with novelty must be fed.

Internet, novelty

Trump, Carson, and Sanders are doing well in political polls for the very reason that everyone they are running against is a dyed-in-the-wool, tired politician of the kind we’ve all seen a million times before. But that trio is new, fresh.

The reason the Cecil the Lion case blew up is as much about our boredom with hunting down typical bad guys as it was about the actual killing of a notable animal. Ho hum with the mass murder of human beings (boring, old news), but some American dentist shot a famous lion! That’s different.

America’s boredom explains why only Christians interested in fighting abortion were entranced by the Planned Parenthood videos. Abortion? To everyone else, this is a dead horse. One the same “fanatics” keep flogging. Really, time to move on to something new!

Such as same-sex marriage. Soon to be followed by plural marriage. Soon to be followed by whatever new form of marriage we can dream up. Heck, even Christians are spinning this toward the novel when we talk about this being the FIRST DOCUMENTED CASE of Christians (Kim Davis and her supporters) being persecuted in America (which it isn’t, but hey, some of us want it to be).

And on and on.

Novelty. Not just idols, but NEW idols. Every single day.

This obsession with novelty may very well be America’s greatest sin.

When you start to think about it, that sin of obsession with novelty begins to make sense of the nonsensical. It can explain almost everything. Why people stand in line for the latest iPhone. Why you can’t engage people in conversations with any meaning. The enthrall of social media and its cascade of what is happening right now. All of it revolves around novelty.

Give us something new.

Which is why I think, in part, that Christianity is suffering in the West. It’s old, ancient even. Everyone is used to it. Even people who aren’t Christians can spout something about Christianity. And just like Asian religions swept America in the 1960s, Islam (new here, unusual, different) is making inroads in America. This seems otherwise crazy in light of 9/11, but not if novelty is the driving force. This also explains the sudden appeal of atheism. In a world filled with religions, how novel is NO religion?

This is why I believe America is in even deeper trouble than we may understand. It’s why we may be setting the stage for Antichrist or the Antichrist, depending on whether you believe it’s a generalized concept or an actual entity.

Because when Antichrist comes, the characteristic that will most likely define it/him/her will be novelty. It/him/her will gain acclaim for “freshness,” newness, and differentness. The Bible says that Antichrist and the minions supporting it/him/her will be known for the miraculous. And what sucker among us isn’t hankerin’ to see a miracle or two. Because, hey, novel. May even be the top trending news item on Facebook.

God knows we’re primed.

The Coming Religion


Genuine vs. CounterfeitAs I noted a few posts ago, my church is going through The Truth Project, a series from Focus on the Family that outlines a Christian worldview. I have enjoyed the series so far, and I think it is excellent. But I have a problem with the third lesson, which asks the question, “What is Man?”

The lesson contains an excellent outline of the case of biblical anthropology against an anthropological theory that many would immediately recognize as that of atheism or secularism. You know, the favorite bogeyman of those enmeshed in the culture wars.

My thoughts? I absolutely agree that the secularized worldview portrayed in the lesson (as epitomized by Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, with its pinnacle of self-actualization) is definitely a problem. What troubles me is that I don’t feel that a secular worldview is the threat against genuine Christianity that the lesson makes of it. Atheism? Secularism? That’s so…well, 1990.

Fact is, if you look around the world, people are not rushing to atheism and secularism. Sure, in some places they’re buying the books, but not in the majority of the world. With the exception of small pockets of atheism and secularism in Western nations, the actual trend is toward a more progressive spirituality, a spirituality that may not—at least from undiscerning human eyes—appear to enthrone self, as does secularism. In fact, some people might even call it a new fundamentalism, a return to what are ultimately superstitious or flawed religious beliefs. Ask an African what is sweeping Africa, and he’ll not reply atheism, but Islam.

Though atheists and dim-bulb “brights” claim antisupernaturalism is on the rise, that is anything but the case. Witness the mass euphoria over the so-called Lakeland revival. The supposed supernatural displays on center stage had people transfixed. Rational people who never would have entertained supernaturalism otherwise flocked to Florida, hoping for a miracle. Many spent thousands of dollars to fly in from around the globe to bask in the overhyped glow of the Bentley miracle show. People who believe in nothing outside the material world don’t do that.

Remember this:

For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. So, if they say to you, ‘Look, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it.
—Matthew 24:21-26

Does Jesus Himself predict that secularism will reign at the end? Hardly. If anything, it will be a time of people desperately seeking spiritual nourishment, seekers who latch onto one magician after another.

Jesus’ warning should shake us all because the genuine lie isn’t going to be as obvious as secularism or atheism. That’s bush-league deception. That will only fool the completely gullible.

What should sober us is that the coming lie will look so much like truth that even the elect will be perplexed by it. Brother doesn’t hand over brother because of secularism, but because of fundamentalistic religious beliefs that sound exhilirating yet are at odds with genuine Christianity. It’s the form of godliness we shoud be alarmed by, not the form of godlessness.

Lee Grady, the editor of Charisma magazine, claims a pastor he knows insists that many charismatics will follow the antichrist because of their devotion to supernatural signs. I think that pastor nails it. The deception that is coming is less obvious. It’s subtle. It’s sorta-Christianity, with a veneer of powerful wonders. It will have many of the trappings of what Western Christians have come to accept as Christianity but will actually be a complete lie. In some ways, we Western Christians have been test subjects. We’re just too drowsy to see it.

To the man buried in an avalanche, the entire world is snow. But the man standing at the top of the mountain knows better. With the world moving in a more religious direction, not a lesser one, the ultimate snowjob may be just around the corner.

Christ Alone in All Things, Even Politics


Believe it or not, this isn’t a political post.

Despite what weather satellites may reveal, the United States, if viewed from space, has never more resembled a massive, angry red wound than it does now. And the salt? Try the Iraq war, terrorism, our status in the world, immigration, or the economic meltdown. For those reasons, people are losing their heads, Christians included, though not quite as thoroughly as in the French Revolution.

Given the election year, the mania is worse than ever. Some are billing Election 2008 as either salvation or damnation for America. Oddly, the Church used to have a term for people who thought that way: the lost.

Still, despite the fact that the One who is to serve as our Lord, Guide, and Model had very little to do with politics, many Christians are looking to politics as the answer for the crises we have made for ourselves.

So in one corner is a former POW who didn’t roll on his country when tortured. In the other corner is a man who says he is full of new ideas. One paints himself as a maverick and the other as the candidate of change.

Critics of Sen. Change note that he’s astonishingly light on any notable political output. They claim the extent of his political will includes his “win at all cost” efforts to champion one political issue more than any other: the right of a woman to have a doctor jam an aspirator into her unborn child’s skull and vacuum out his/her brains.

A little stung by that charge that their man, Sen. Change, fights so hard to kill the unborn, critics of Sen. Maverick come back with claims that while Sen. Maverick doesn’t actively crusade for barbaric deaths for babies, he’s allied with people who are even worse: those who don’t really care all that much about what happens to people after they are born.

Those same pro-Change people like to also note that despite the fact that their man earnestly contends for a policy that leads to the certain death of the most vulnerable in our society, he also represents a vague feeling that may lead to a possible better future for some people at some time—maybe.

This has led some born-again Christians to jump onto Sen. Change’s ship.

Here’s what the Bible says:

I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the LORD your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days….
—Deuteronomy 30:19-20

Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.”
—2 Corinthians 6:14-18

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price….
—1 Corinthians 6:19-20a

The side of Christ is life and blessing. The side of antichrist is death and cursing.

The side of Christ is light. The side of antichrist is darkness.

The side of Christ is surrender to Him. The side of antichrist is surrender to self-interest.

To choose the side of self-interest, death, and darkness is to choose the side of the barbaric skull-vacuuming and dismemberment of the very least of these, the most helpless of all in our society. It is to choose the side of antichrist.

As Christians, we must never choose the side of antichrist. For this reason, we must never, under any circumstances, ally ourselves with those who represent antichrist. Our love for Christ compels us.

Can a Christian still be a Christian if he or she holds a mistaken position that supports antichrist? I believe so, as long as that Christian actively seeks to repent of that mistaken position and choose Christ in all circumstances.

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked. We will all answer on Judgment Day. Everything will be revealed. The intentions of every heart will be made known.

Those born-again Christians who think themselves so brave to be endorsing one who supports antichrist positions are really fooling themselves. Theirs is the coward’s way.

And it’s also the coward’s way to vote for the opposing candidate for no other reason than to not vote for his opponent.

The way that honors God in all things, political or not, is to choose Christ’s way at all times.

Jesus Christ said that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. If we are in Him, then He will make a way for us because He is the Way. He will show us truth because He is truth.

How does this play out in reality?

Let’s consider the election. Those who live by their own self-interest will vote for those candidates that will give them what they want. Those who live by the Spirit of God will vote for those candidates that best reflect what God alone wants.

Here’s where that becomes true counterculture: The one who is guided by Christ alone will vote for the people who best honor His Kingdom even if that means they vote for candidates Two roads, but only one Waywho are not among the major parties. It means they will vote for the one who honors the Kingdom of God even if that person has no chance of winning the election. Even if that means writing-in the name of a godly person who might only garner one vote, that is what the Christian must do. Because the Christian seeks to reflect light, life, and blessing in all things, even if no one else in the world does.

Therein lies bravery. Therein lies the only real choice for the believer.

And so it must be for all decisions Christians make. We honor Christ and no one else. We choose light and life and blessing in ALL things, not just some. We reject outright anything and anyone set in opposition to Christ in anything.

The road to destruction is wide and many take it. Sadly, many people who consider themselves born again will take it in November and in the days ahead.