I happen to pastor a congregation in Washington DC where many of my members work in federal, state and local agencies. Not all, of course, but I know my congregants to be passionate about justice and compassionate for the marginal. They are certainly not swamp beasts. The invective discharged by a certain candidate about draining the swamp here in DC begs the question, can the Swamp Master drain the swamp?
This candidate oversees a swamp filled with misogynists, racists and anti-semites. Indeed, he not only oversees it but nurtures it. Seriously, drain your own swamp first.
“It happened that a fire broke out backstage at a theater. The clown came out to inform the public. They thought it was just a jest and applauded. He repeated his warning, they shouted even louder. So I think the world will come to an end amid general applause from all the wits, who believe that it is a joke.”
– Sören Kierkegaard, Either/Or, vol. I, p. 30
You have heard that the Antichrist is coming, and already many such antichrists have appeared.
I John 2:18
Far be it for me, a Baptist who does not believe we Baptists are historically Evangelicals, to instruct Evangelicals in our country—and let’s put a finer point on this—White Evangelicals in our country who have embraced Donald Trump as a legitimate Presidential candidate–that they have embraced an antichrist, but you just may want to ponder that.
That verse from the epistle of John is a fascinating one. Personally, while I appreciate apocalyptic literature, I don’t try to apply it as a template for history. I’m not fixated on the “last days,” certainly not like the recently deceased Tim LaHaye who got rich off writing stories and pronouncing the end of the world. One might have at least expected an apology before his own hour arrived (an hour that arrives for each of us, so I’m not trying to be disrespectful of the deceased) which brings us actually to Donald Trump who has been disrespectful of the deceased; Khizr and Ghazala Kahn, parents of a soldier who gave up his life in service to the United States, have had to endure the cynical and disgusting smear of Mr. Trump. Oh, I’m quite aware that many in the Evangelical and conservative wing of the country retort with “what has Hillary sacrificed?” but they apparently need reminding that Ms. Clinton has not demanded that Muslims be kept out of the country, monitored and otherwise reduced to second class citizenship because of their religion HENCE (this is a word that pivots on some semblance of a logical mind) a Muslim father standing on the national stage and asking what Mr. Trump has sacrificed demolishes Mr. Trump’s arguments about Muslims in general.
What is it to be an antichrist? To answer that, you have to ask what it means to be Christ-like. Here’s a short list: be compassionate, empathetic, protect the weak and the sick, the orphan and widow, work for peace, honor justice, and otherwise see the Image of God in all persons regardless of their gender, race, ethnicity, religion or sexuality. Does that sound like Mr. Trump? Of course not. But here’s the other red flag: an antichrist will march under the name of Christ while destroying the very principles Christ taught. Cue the story from the Danish theologian, Sören Kierkegaard.
Evangelicals, we are warning you that the theater is on fire, that your champion is an antichrist. This is the moment you stand up and denounce him as unfit for the high office of President of the United States. We’re not holding our breaths though. We expect you to call us clowns and laugh off the warning. That would be a mistake, not just for you, but for the country, the world and the Church.