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 عنوان المشاركة: Should we call Donald Trump “antichrist”?
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Should we call Donald Trump “antichrist”?
هل يجب علينا أن ندعو ترامب بالمسيخ الدجال؟

https://www.abc.net.au/religion/stephen ... t/12335450

D. Stephen Long
Posted Tue 9 Jun 2020, 12:01pm
Updated Tue 9 Jun 2020, 12:03pm


Robert Jeffress, a clanging cymbal of a court minister, regularly invokes Romans 13 to give Donald Trump religious backing for his expanded Article II powers. After Trump threatened North Korea leader Kim Jong Un with “fire and fury like the world has never seen,” Jeffress further endeared himself to Trump by publicly proclaiming that Romans 13 gives Trump the right to “take him out.” Romans 13, Jeffress said, “gives the government the authority to do whatever, whether its assassination, capital punishment, or evil punishment to quell the actions of evildoers.”

The irony of doing evil in order to confront evil seems completely lost on such a noisy gong. In his poor, but politically expedient, biblical interpretation, Jeffress rejects the command in Romans 12 not to repay evil with evil. Such selective and self-serving biblical interpretation also lets you know why he and his ilk lift no significant voice when Trump pardons convicted war criminals, calls some white supremacists “very fine people,” tells Michigan’s governor to listen to and “make a deal” with the armed white militias who stormed the statehouse, but threatens to “dominate the streets” with military force against the protests that erupted after yet another black man, George Floyd, was brutally killed by the police.

Jeff Sessions, then Attorney General and Trump stalwart, likewise cited Romans 13 to defend the egregious US policy of separating immigrant children from their parents at the border. Shortly before that, the leader in Trump’s infamous weekly bible studies for his cabinet, Ralph Drollinger, invoked Romans 13 as justification for building a wall to keep out immigrants. The passage is central in Drollinger’s campaign to return America to greatness through Judeo-Christian values.

When it comes to conceding Trump authority, the manifold evangelicals and ultra-right Catholics Trump has surrounded himself with, seem to have Romans 13 always ready at hand. If Trump follows Senator Tom Cotton’s advice and declares war on Black Lives Matter protestors, invoking the Insurrection Act of 1807 in order to use the military against us, you can rest assured that Romans 13 will be used by his religious loyalists to defend the great American carnage that Trump and his allies project on their regularly announced enemies of the state.

Their misuse of Romans 13 utterly fails to guide the faithful in understanding our current political context. A more reasonable biblical word for this administration, especially after the recent incident in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church, is found in Revelation 13.
On Monday, 1 June, surrounded by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, in his military fatigues, Attorney General William Barr, and other representative symbols of America’s immense military and judicial power, Trump used the police to suppress a peaceful, law-abiding protest so that he could take an awkward photo of himself with a Bible standing before a church. In what has become (satirically) known as the “battle for Lafayette Square,” Trump, the military, and the police used overwhelming force against people armed only with signs and bottles. Declaring victory, Trump trumpets his courageous stance while the brutal men of his cabinet look on approvingly.

For those who are not Trumpian court ministers, the image invokes an obvious biblical symbol, and one in stark contrast to their misuse of Romans 13. Here is the beast of Revelation 13 arising out of the sea of smoke and violence, making war on the saints and conquering them while people of violence follow the beast and chant, “Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it? MAGA, MAGA, MAGA!” The more the beast uses haughty and blasphemous words, the more authority his devoted followers give to him.

That Trump’s loyal supporters neglect this central Christian political theology in the Book of Revelation is somewhat surprising. After all, many of his American Christian followers arose from the kind of end-times theology that draws on Revelation 13 to identify the antichrist as subverting American values. This theology helps generate the fear and resentment that fuels Trumpism. It assumes that America has an exceptional role in bringing about the end times by its military might and international hegemony, but the antichrist is always working against America’s exceptional role. John Hagee, a leading proponent of this theology, accompanied the Trump delegation to Jerusalem when the US embassy was relocated there. Trump held a rally in Florida shortly after moving the embassy and invited Florida senator Doug Broxson to speak. Broxson said, “Now, I don’t know about you, but when I heard that Jerusalem, where the King of Kings, where our soon coming King is going to return back to Jerusalem, it is because President Trump declared Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel.” Those unaware that Jesus’s return is predicated on the US President’s actions have not been following this end-times theology, which unfortunately is not limited to US Christianity.

Anyone who grew up in evangelical circles in the Midwest, as I did, will be well-aware of this kind of end-times theology. Hal Lindsey’s The Late Great Planet Earth was a staple in the movement, predicting how a clash between the United States and the Soviets would usher in Armageddon. When the Cold War ended, putting an end to his interpretation, Lindsey then speculated that the antichrist would create a one world government through a cataclysmic war. The antichrist will be smart, well-educated, and attractive, which means at least that one should be very wary of education. Films like A Thief in the Night (1972) and songs like Larry Norman’s “I Wish We’d All Been Ready” prompted evangelicals in the 1970s and 1980s to be ever vigilant against the threatening reign of the antichrist. How odd, then, that when one appears, they have lost the religious sensibility to recognise him.

Yet I think it appropriate that reasonable people of faith begin to refer to Trump as antichrist. I don’t come to that conclusion lightly. When Trump was elected, I regularly referred to him as the “Orange Vulgarian.” I still find that reference descriptively accurate, but a friend admonished me that calling the president names was not the best strategy to win over his supporters. Since many of those supporters are family, friends, college classmates, and others, I thought it best to refrain from such epithets and attempted to make reasonable arguments on behalf of a different kind of Christianity and politics than the one that gained ascendancy with Trump.

Recent events, however, have led me to conclude that such a strategy leads us nowhere, especially when it comes to the war Trump and his allies are waging on black America. The necessity to stand with black neighbours against the current injustices that repeat old patterns requires something different. The obvious contradiction between Trump and his administration’s response to white supremacists and to those protesting on behalf of black lives demonstrates a demonic force at work that must be named by all of us who at baptism pledged to resist sin, death, and the devil, “the spiritual forces of wickedness,” or “the evil powers of this world which corrupt and destroy the creatures of God.” It is time that we call Trump what he is, an antichrist, and pastors and faithful Christians must start doing so from their pulpits, Sunday School classes, bible studies, and whatever means are available.

My only caveat in doing so is that I don’t want to be mistaken as supporting the silly, albeit dangerous, end-times theology by people like Lindsey, Hagee, Jeffress, and Broxson. Of course, they are poor readers of Scripture, and for that reason we should not concede it to them. They look to Revelation for a specific person and event that gives them power over their enemies and support for their friends — an odd theology for those who supposedly follow a crucified Christ. A better way to read Revelation is through what Judith Kovacs and Christopher Rowland have called an “actualizing interpretation,” which they contrast with “decoding interpretations.” The latter turns apocalyptic symbols into factual statements that give precise information about the future. The antichrist is a single person who will emerge at the end of time. In an actualizing interpretation, the symbols do not convey precise information but refer to a repeating symbol. The antichrist is not a single person but a political pattern that repeats itself by taking on power to oppress the poor and the just. It can be found in Antiochus IV Epiphanes or Nero, rulers of yesterday, today, and most likely tomorrow. The pattern that repeats itself differs, but a few things remain constant — power is glorified and used to oppress the righteous; brutal and vicious men are freed to wreak their vengeance; resentment, grievance, and fear cause people to turn to the brutal and follow them. The faithful can be identified by their unwillingness to bow the knee to their brutality.

Calling Trump an antichrist may give him too much credit. He is, after all, more of a carnival huckster who has turned the US presidency into a reality show sponsored by one continuous infomercial, but he is a carnival huckster who has the power of the US military at his command. Watching Mark Milley and William Barr stand in solidarity with him as they made their “brave” campaign against the people gathered at St. John’s Episcopal Church should cause all people of true faith to turn to the book of Revelation for political wisdom.

When this is all over, when the smoke from the tear gas (or whatever chemical agent used) has cleared, American Christianity will stand condemned for following the beast. An actualizing interpretation of Revelation gives us a political theology that might, we can only pray, prevent the likes of Hagee, Jeffress, Pompeo, Pence, Barr, and others from misleading so many in the future. If not, at least we will have the political theology of Revelation 13 to help us name them for who they are.

D. Stephen Long is the Cary M. Maguire University Professor of Ethics at Southern Methodist University. His most recent book is Truth Telling in a Post-Truth World.


_________________
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لِمَ تَقُولُونَ مَا لَا تَفْعَلُونَ (2) كَبُرَ مَقْتًا عِندَ اللَّهِ أَن تَقُولُوا مَا لَا تَفْعَلُونَ (3) إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الَّذِينَ يُقَاتِلُونَ فِي سَبِيلِهِ صَفًّا كَأَنَّهُم بُنْيَانٌ مَّرْصُوصٌ (4) سورة الصف


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ما يجبش الدجال .. كلهم غلابة بالنسبة للدجال ..

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بصراحة ..

ما يجبش الدجال .. كلهم غلابة بالنسبة للدجال ..


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يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لِمَ تَقُولُونَ مَا لَا تَفْعَلُونَ (2) كَبُرَ مَقْتًا عِندَ اللَّهِ أَن تَقُولُوا مَا لَا تَفْعَلُونَ (3) إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الَّذِينَ يُقَاتِلُونَ فِي سَبِيلِهِ صَفًّا كَأَنَّهُم بُنْيَانٌ مَّرْصُوصٌ (4) سورة الصف


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