The other evening, a bit bored, I flipped on the TV and began surfing the channels. I came across a silver-haired, silver-tongued orator, who was expounding on current events and things to come. I recognized him as one of my late mother-in-law’s favorite preachers. (Please forgive me; the following narrative is reproduced from memory.)
He referred to many articles (flashed on the screen), gleaned from TV news, blogs and news magazines. Most seemed to have little connection with each other except that they had to do with some actions or sayings of President Obama or Henry Kissinger. He talked of one-world government, of the Club of Rome, the Illuminati, the New Age, the New World Order and many other frightening conspiratorial entities, all signs that we are approaching the horrors of the end times when the Antichrist will reign. Although it wasn’t said in so many words, our President is apparently the Antichrist.
“Our president,” says the preacher “has surrounded himself with evil men, all of whom give evil advice.” The president’s and their anti-religious actions were listed, the worst being that the President had visited Billy Graham to have coffee with him in order to deceive us.
All of this is, of course, in fulfillment of biblical prophecy. “It’s all right there in Daniel, chapter 7 and the book of Revelation,” insisted the preacher again and again. I felt so ignorant, as I had read and studied these Scriptures many times, but had failed to see what was plainly there.
Every so often the scene would shift to the preacher’s beautifully Botoxed wife. “Oooh,” she would say with a sweet smile, “that means that Jesus is coming soon!” Then she would turn to her husband with a look of awe, “Tell me more.” This happened quite a few times, interspersed with promotions of the preacher’s latest books.
The preacher then shifted to a proclamation of the uniqueness of Jesus – that He is the only way of salvation. He gave a reasonably clear presentation of the Gospel.
What are we to make of this seeming anomaly? Well Paul said of some preachers of his day: “Some because of envy and strife, and some because of good intent preach Christ. Some from love … and some from selfish ambition proclaim Christ, not from purity … What of it? Only that in every place, whether in pretext or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and I rejoice in this” (Philippians 1:15-18).
So I can be glad that the Gospel is proclaimed. Some, perhaps many, will be saved.
But does this justify the conspiracy theories, the slander of our President and others? What kind of Christian does this sort of preaching produce? What would most unbelievers think if confronted with this?