Some people make a big deal out of “The” Anti-Christ as talked about in the book of Revelation. Of course, there is debate about this figure. The more Evangelical and Fundamentalist argument is that the Anti-Christ is some future powerful figure that will wreck havoc and fool many people.
Those of us who follow more mainline theology typically argue that “The” Anti-Christ figure of Revelation is referring to Nero, the Roman tyrant (“Ceasar”). This comes from the idea that Revelation was written to an oppressed and exploited people as a way to encourage them and tell them that in the end God wins. It’s not a prediction of some distant future, but the obvious conclusion of how empires die and fall, like they have in the past. Regardless, Revelation is Good News.
Regardless of your view of “The” Anti-Christ, I argue that there are anti-christs. An anti-christ is anyone who is in opposition to the ways of God. It is someone who actively opposes the ways of Christ. I don’t see the idea of anti-christ focusing on one person so much as lived belief system that is opposed to God and God’s ways.
So this means that anyone who actively opposes and does the opposite of what Christ calls on us to do is an anti-christ, by definition.
Here’s how this works. Take a look at what Christ calls on followers to do. Take Matthew 25 for example. In this passage Jesus is talking about how the nations will be judged – mostly by how they treat the poor. In Matthew 25, Jesus calls on his followers to feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty, clothe the naked, welcome the stranger, care for the sick, and visit the imprisoned.
So this means that an anti-christ would not just not do these things. Instead, an anti-christ actively opposes these things, makes doing these things more difficult, finds ways to do the opposite, etc. So in other words an anti-Christ would not just oppose policies and measures meant to make sure the hungry received food, but would actively promote other policies and measures that keeps food away from the hungry. See how that works?
An anti-christ not only opposes policies and measures that allow the thirsty to get water, but actively promotes efforts to either block water to the thirsty, or worse, pollutes waters that are then unusable.
An anti-christ not only opposes policies and measures that clothe the naked, but actively promotes efforts to keep people naked, or lacking clothing.
An anti-christ not only opposes policies and measures that welcome strangers, but works to dehumanize strangers and keeps them away.
An anti-christ not only opposes policies and measures that care for the sick, but also works to make people sick or sicker.
An anti-christ not only opposes policies and measure that encourage visiting the imprisoned, but actively promotes keeping people locked up and keeping visitors away.
The point of this is not to identify “The” Anti-Christ. The point of all of this is that there isn’t one Anti-Christ we should be focused on. There are many. And sometimes we are an anti-christ – an active hindrance to the ways of God.