Tuesday, August 10, 2010
The Antichristic --What Is IT?
"...as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come"---1 John 2:18
"Even now many antichrists..." According to the Christian tradition, from which scripture flowed, the end of history will one day be preceded by the appearance of the "Man of sin...[who] will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God" (2 Thess 2:1-4).
This eschatological Antichrist is preceded by "many" small-'A' antichrists; and, as we have seen, these "many" stretch all the way back to the very beginnings of the Christian Faith, and each of these anticipates in some (usually persecuting) way the final revelation of the Man of sin.
The Antichristic is present in any age or nation (secular or religious) where good and evil are systematically inverted.
"Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter"---Isa 5:20
It is present when the values of life, generosity and peace are eclipsed by the anti-values of greed, death (for examples, abortion, euthanasia, prejudice and actions against the innocent poor, etc), and unjust war.
End of Time?
As for the end of time we cannot know with certainty when that will be. Though I often speak of the "Antichristic" which has shadowed Christianity from the beginning, as its antithesis, and does so very intensely today, I do not subscribe to a fatalism born of any certainty about what Hour of history we are living through.
John14:3 “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also".
Christians from the beginning were eager to know this secret of God
“Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.”---Acts 1:6-7
Even then, before the coming of the inspiring Spirit, the apostles and disciples were still confused, looking for an earthly kingdom.
The end of history, be it near or still afar, is God's business. We are called to be Catholic Christians, witnesses, not fanatics, and that means praying and working for the evangelization of culture, its transformation from a culture of death to a culture of Life, through both proclamation and deeds of mercy. Luke 19:13, “Occupy till I come,” said Our Lord.
1 John 4:3: "And every spirit that dissolveth Jesus, is not of God: and this is Antichrist, of whom you have heard that he cometh, and he is now already in the world".