Monday, January 5, 2015

The movies and the facts

The news is filled with upset over the movie Selma, and in particular the portrayal of Lyndon Johnson. President Reagan was often accused of confusing what was in the movies with actual history. And yet with think nothing of getting our theology from the movies.

I loved those movies like Omen and Damien as much as anyone but we should not confuse them with the Bible. How many of us would be shocked to discover that the words rapture and antichrist appear nowhere in the Book of Revelation. Yes, I just said it the whole premise of the Left Behind series is not in the Book of Revelation. It's made up from playing Bible collage. You take a verse from here and a verse from there and assemble the picture you want.

The word antichrist appears only four times in the Bible and all four are in the First and Second Letter of John which we have been reading where he makes it clear that the antichrist is a person, one who denies Christ, the person who tries to convince others that Jesus is not the Messiah, the Son of the Trinity. The antichrist is not some supernatural being who will be born like Jesus to mark the end of the world.

Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us. But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth. Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist—denying the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also. (1 John 2:18-23).

The real meaning is not half as exciting as the movies or the books. If you want a real look at the truth contained in the Book of Revelation try Dr. Scott Hahn's The Lamb's Supper. Actual theology beats fiction any time.