Rick Warren: Antichrist?
This article is written by one of my favorite theology bloggers David Ketter. This young man’s blog, The Account, has been a central place for me to read some well-written material on almost any theological topic I so choose. He knows his Bible, and he knows how to defend his point. Today, I’ve asked him to write this post on Rick Warren in light of some previous posts and criticisms of Slice of Laodicea from myself. I hope they read and truly examine their hearts.
The famous battle between Rick Warren and the Purpose-Driven â€œPEACEâ€ Corps and extreme â€œtemple policeâ€ like Ingrid Schlueter and the Dombrowskiâ€™s is coming to a new front: that of eschatology, or the study of the End Times. In some posts, Ingrid Schlueter, in referring to Pastor Warrenâ€™s trip to North Korea, has either alluded to or made direct reference to a â€œpossibilityâ€ that Rick Warren may indeed be the long-dreaded antichrist.
“America’s new superstar pastor wants to rebrand evangelical Christianity. He’s got the management genius to do it. Here’s where he’s leading his troops.” [â€¦] Fortune is only saying what I and so many other concerned Christians have been sayins for several years. Rick Warren believes that he owns Evangelical Christianity. He’s “branding” it with his purpose-driven catch phrase on everything but church carpeting. (link)
Rick Warren’s presence in North Korea, just as its insane dictator Kim Jong II is promising to launch more long range missile tests, is no accident. Rick Warren can then become an international “Man of Peace” and will be in even greater demand among heads of state to bring peace and stability to a violent world. Just like a messiah (false) would. (link)
For someone who is as familiar with theology as Ingrid Schlueter is, I would have hoped for better. Unfortunately, contention within the Body of Christ (something Satan must truly enjoy) can blind us often to the truth of the doctrines of Christ. The â€œman of peaceâ€ designation is very well-known about the antichrist, but it could also apply to just about any major political figure in the past â€“ Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Ronald Reagan, included.
Just what are the identifying markers of the antichrist? First, refer to Revelation 13. In this passage, the antichrist is known as â€œthe beastâ€ who comes out of the sea. This tells us a few things in itself. The fact that he comes from the sea refers to Jewish tradition in which the Gentile nations are symbolized by the sea. Thus, the antichrist is a Gentile. The physical description of this beast is even more telling. Among these characteristics are:
â€¢ â€œten hornsâ€ â€“ the horn is a traditional symbol of authority and power. The number ten is traditionally associated with completion or majority. These horns thus represent the fact that antichrist will be the ultimate authority of the human race. The diadems on each head reinforces the fact, as well as demonstrating his unchallenged authority over the nations.
â€¢ â€œseven headsâ€ â€“ the heads represent entities, a traditional representation of leadership or interest. Seven is also associated with fulfillment and unity. The heads then represent the antichrist as representing all forms of life on earth â€“ everybodyâ€™s man. The blasphemous names demonstrate the antichristâ€™s pivotal role in leading the rebellion against God, a rebellion unlike any since the Tower of Babel.
We are offered even further characteristics in 2 Thessalonians 2. The antichrist, in this passage, is thus known as â€œthe man of lawlessnessâ€ or â€œthe man of sin,â€ depending on the translation. Such is this description that reveals to us one key aspect of the antichristâ€™s moral makeup: an absolute lack of it. In terms that many may find familiar, the antichrist will be the ultimate expression of the doctrine of Total Depravity.
There are many other representations and symbolisms about the antichrist in Scripture â€“ the â€œlittle hornâ€ and â€œgreat kingâ€ of Daniel, the â€œfalse Christâ€ of the Gospel-writers, and simply, the â€œantichrist.â€ Take separately, some may indeed describe many men on this planet. Taken together, however, and it is clear that the antichrist is not yet here, and certainly does not speak from the pulpits of the Church. The verdict? Rick Warren could never be the antichrist, even if he desired such an infamous identity.