Who is the antichrist? It may not be what we think by Jeremy Dover for Christian Today
Fierce speculation surrounds the identity of the antichrist. The Book of Revelation points to an antichrist/s that opposes God’s plan and stands in conflict against Jesus’ people. Much of the morbid fascination comes from a misunderstanding of this book. In our culture we have little experience with apocalyptic literature and many ignore the importance of genre in helping to interpret meaning. For me, the whole book, with all its strange apocalyptic imagery, can be summarized in just two words: “Jesus wins!”
It is, however, curious to watch each generation “guess” the identity of the antichrist. People try to interpret the Book of Revelation through the eyes of the newspaper rather than through the context of the whole Bible storyline. Moreover, the antichrist that appears repeatedly in the Bible is seen as anything, person or a concept, that stands against Jesus. So here is my guess as to one antichrist today. The one that shines bright in our Western society is the god of ‘consumerism’.
Every “ism” has positives and negatives. Capitalism promotes financial growth which raises living standards. However, it also gives birth to an egocentric hedonism called consumerism. The desire for more ‘stuff’ is a seductive mistress. Two examples highlight this: Halloween and Black Friday.
Halloween was once isolated to America and horror movies. However, it has established itself firmly in the calendar in other countries too. Why? Because we have a deep spiritual desire. No, not for the Roman Catholic All Saints day or the ancestor worship “Day of the dead.”
Most people would have no idea or care about these backgrounds of Halloween. It is more a deep spiritual need for a god that brings meaning.