Opinion

‘Red State’ Writer Claimed ‘Trump is Antichrist’

When Obama was President, I wrote an article addressing the claim made by some that he might be the antichrist. You can read it here. There’s an article on RedState.com with the title “Trump is Antichrist” that was written by C. L. Connett and published in May of 2016. There have been others. Red State isn’t exactly a “Never Trump” site, but it’s irritatingly close.

Identifying political figures as an antichrist or the antichrist has a long history. Even Ronald (6) Wilson (6) Reagan (6) who lived at 666 St. Cloud Road (later changed to 668 by Nancy)1 was tapped as an antichrist figure:

As Robert Fuller explains in his 1995 book, Naming the Antichrist: The History of an American Obsession, “apocalyptic name-calling” has a long, rich history here. While it goes back to the Puritans, in the 20th century it has often centered around divisive figures. Some of the century’s most violent leaders — Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Francisco Franco, and Josef Stalin — have been tapped as possible Antichrists. (The Outline)

Some Republicans are infected with Trump Derangement Syndrome (although not as bad as some Democrats) like many on the Right were struck with Obama Derangement Syndrome for eight years. Red State is not as bad as some anti-Trump sites, but a number of writers can’t seem to get over the fact that Trump won in November, and they are doing little to help to get his campaign promises enacted. I don’t think anyone at Red State prefers Hillary over Trump, but sometimes I wonder.

I recognize that Connett’s article was written during the primary season, but its over-the-top claims border on a certain type of pathology that is still present among many Republicans who would like to see Trump brought down. Connett, who is a seminary graduate (as I am), wrote, “I feel I’m justified in saying that from a theological perspective, Donald Trump is an Antichrist.” He goes on to write:

Note that I’m not saying he is “the” antichrist.  In fact, in the Christian tradition there isn’t even an agreement that there is necessarily one antichrist who is the anti-type of the antichrists we otherwise find in Scripture and in the world.  However, looking at Scripture, Donald Trump fits the description of an antichrist, all the way down to the fact that Christians are supporting him.

Connett then quotes four verses that use the words “antichrist” and “antichrists” (1 John 2:18-19, 22-23). (By the way, I supported Trump when he was the last man standing after a bruising primary fight. It was either Hillary or Trump. I voted against the greater of two evils because Trump was the only viable choice. It’s my good guess that other Christians did the same.)

Connett then jumps to the book of Revelation. Connett equates the “beast that comes out of the land” with antichrist (Rev. 13:11-18), and Christians who voted for him are in some sense fulfilling this descriptive prophecy. “Trump is doing the very thing that we see in Revelation 13,” Connett claimed. Really? Read the passage and ask yourself if Trump is doing any of what the passage states. By the way, Revelation never uses the word “antichrist.”

From these passages, Connett states, “I don’t care what Trump says about being a Christian, as far as just saying, ‘Yes, I’m a Christian.’  If you read 1 John and 2 John (seriously, take 15 minutes to read them both if you’re interested, they are very short books) then you’ll see that John is telling the church that the very people he is calling ‘antichrist’ are claiming to be Christian, but they are rejecting Christ.  Therefore, just saying, ‘I’m a Christian’ doesn’t prevent one from being antichrist.”

Connett urged his readers to read 1 John and 2 John. So how does 2 John 7 define an antichrist, a verse he does not cite? It’s very simple: “For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist.” Contrary to Connett, an antichrist is not someone who claims to be a Christian. John is describing the unbelieving Jews of his day. They were the deceivers who did not believe that Jesus was the incarnate Son of God. Paul describes them as “false brethren” (Gal. 2:4; also Acts 15:1, 24; 2 Cor. 11:13, 26; Gal. 1:7). They were hindering the progress of the gospel with their warped beliefs (1 Thess. 2:14-16).

Keep in mind that the first Christians were Jews. The church in Jerusalem was exclusively Jewish (Acts 5:11; 8:1). The antichrists were those who rejected Jesus as the promised Messiah and persecuted the church, beginning with its Jewish members.

In 1 John 2:18, John writes, “it is the last hour.” Notice the when of these antichrists: “even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour.” The “last hour” for what? The coming judgment on Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple that took place in AD 70 that was prophesied by Jesus in the Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24; Mark 13; Luke 21). John is describing what was happening in his day. Anti-Christian Jews were working to stop the spread of the gospel message. It began at Jesus’ trials when false testimony was brought against Him and at His crucifixion when some of the religious leaders in the crowd cried out, “We have no king but Caesar” (John 19:15).

It continued throughout the book of Acts, beginning with the arrest and imprisonment of Peter and John, the stoning of Stephen, the martyrdom of James, an event that “pleased the Jews” (12:3), and a group of Jews who “formed a conspiracy” to kill Paul (23:12).

Donald Trump was not a perfect candidate and he is not a perfect President. He’s made mistakes. Even so, he has fulfilled a number of his campaign promises while others have been obstructed by the Democrats and the members of his own party. There are areas where I disagree with him, but I have not seen him make war against Christians and Christianity, something Hillary and the Democrats specialize in doing.

Compare what Pres. Trump has done with what Bernie Sanders and professing Christian Sen. Christopher Van Hollen Jr. of Maryland, a Democrat, did to Russell Vought who President Trump nominated to serve as deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget and tell me who fits the biblical definition of antichrist.

  1. A Los Angeles Times article reported: “In August, 1986, [a group of 18 ‘financially independent’ friends] bought the 7,192-square-foot ranch-style house at 666 St. Cloud Road in Bel-Air for $2.5 million. In February, the address was officially changed to 668 on city records because of the ‘mutual concern’ of the Reagans that the old number could be construed as a Biblical reference to Satan, according to Elaine Crispen, press secretary for Nancy Reagan.” []
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