IF, as they say, we will be shocked out of our "cotton pickin' minds" when the Antichrist appears, then it cannot be who you think! We seem to have a morbid fascination with villains, as the guessing game has not stopped for a fortnight. It seems ladies really love their bad men, despite their protestations. Let me assure Miss E that her employer is not the Antichrist, he just wants her body, not her soul, and she will have to decide if the job is worth the degradation.
I have views from Adventist and Catholic, none from Antichrist, so the jury is still out. The same road goes to heaven and hell; it's a matter of the lane you are in. Was not Satan an angel? The Torah does not reference this concept; Antichrist is a New Testament thing. But for Paul we might all be Jews.
Months ago I was moved to see black Jews from Ethiopia at the wailing wall in Jerusalem; the fervency and passion of our mother faith; a tinge of nostalgia for what might have been. We would not be talking about Antichrist.
To Christians the Antichrist is of God. We have seen full-page adverts on the Antichrist. They were not attributed publicly, but the adverts were not placed by atheists or Jews. Who has a vested interest in fellow humans being ripped apart by fearsome beasts? Antichrist is a high-stakes issue; books are written about it and we are hooked; why the fascination? Who then are the players in this drama, what's their role, and how should it play out by the book?
Who are Roman Catholics? The bishop in Rome (il Papa = the Pope) was always the most fiesty bishop of the Western Catholic Church. I suppose it is a big-city thing. Suffice it to say the Roman Catholic Church is our "Daddy", as for centuries they defended the faith using some strange, wonderful and wicked methods which we today frown on.
It is hard to judge history. Who can imagine writing a book today saying women should obey men? Blood! Christ's men do terrible things when threatened. Sit in a pub of veterans in business suits and hear horrible tales of what they did while in uniform. Christianity endured and today we have a good faith. There is lots of sex, venality and violence in church history, but Adventist, Baptist, Church of God, etc (ABC churches) did not exist when saints of God were being tortured and killed.
Still, it's their history and they have to own the Inquisition as their forebears' handiwork. Catholics are imperfect, just the kind of people Christ died for, and their evil deeds are well documented in Vatican Archives of the global church. If we had a "Day of Origins" Anglicans would thank Catholics, Methodists thank Anglicans; Baptists Methodists and so on for the gift of the gospel and the Bible.
Centuries after the wars of faith were over, the ABC churches were formed. St Paul would be shocked at the antipathy towards Catholic fathers. I suspect this is what the singing, dancing priest wanted to say and it came out politically incorrect. Adventists are bright, they know who preserved the Bible which Mrs White, a good Methodist, used. They are popular today, but in the sweep of history they are a new "flavour of the month".
We are all one in Christ in a dark world where poor people suffer and governments do not know one orifice from another. Christ's church sits on its fat arse and talks platitudes or they cuss one another — shame on you! Check my inbox, do you know it is Christians who give this Antichrist stuff traction? Nothing from atheists or Jews. Christians idle, "Jah kingdom goes to waste!"
The first big break from Rome was by Anglicans, and all the other groups came through them. Today 2,000 years after Christ, there is a church for every mental age and proclivity. None can explain why they are not led to be Jews since Jesus lived and died a Jew. All follow Paul. The Anglican Church was formed by a king whom the Pope would not allow to marry his mistress. The ABC faiths would have sided with the Pope had they existed.
Christianity today is quite pathetic and drifts from its roots as many pursue market share. For the ABC group, history may begin with their founders. Do they make it known their founder was a Catholic, Anglican, Baptist, Methodist before they flipped? Do they disrespect the legacy churches?
Who are Adventists? This is a group started in America in the 1860s by a Methodist lady. Mrs White embraced Jewish shibboleths and their Sabbath. Why did she not become a Jew like Christ? Who can say? Adventists have been on the margins for years -- not any more. Their numbers and influence in politics and state grow. This is good, as given their record in education they can make a big difference in values, quality and help the singing priest uplift the poor. Success attracts negative people, they must get used to it. Run with the baton!
Who is the Antichrist? Protestants, Catholics, Luther, Tyndale said it was the Pope, and Hitler, Voerwoerd, and Bush have been so named. None fit the profile. The first rule in Antichrist lore is if it has been named it's not it. The Antichrist will be a surprise. Let's put one myth to death; Adventists know Catholics are not Antichrist. They came on the scene some 1,500 years after Catholics bore the brunt of Christian witness.
The Pope cannot be it as his cover is blown. The Antichrist is seductive and will take the world by surprise. Bredda Antichrist may be on show as YouTube is global visibility. Who tweets Antichrist? He will be sophisticated, a sociopath, ruler, visible. Bob Marley ruled the music world, was globally visible — not him! The beast, the horned lamb, the dragon — who? Mix a potion of Revelation, Daniel and John 1 and 2. Scary stuff! Tell us, Lord!
The Antichrist is a polymath type, suave, urbane, knows global politics. This rules out Bush, Ahmadinejad; Obama, Elvis or Michael Jackson missed; universally liked, rules the air waves, globally visible; this would have the shock effect Revelation avers. Buju? Sizzla? Putin? Cameron? Frankly, none of these fit.
The Antichrist may be a woman, Beyoncé? Adele? They are smarter, super welcoming and they "can't mash ants" — or so it seems. Who will we not suspect of being evil? Your Mom? Who is loved, bright, friendly, visible; the Adventists tick all the boxes but I am trending to the IMF. Stay conscious, my friend!
Dr Franklin Johnston is a strategist, project manager and advises the minister of education.