For many years when I read in 2 Thessalonians about the rising of the man of lawlessness I had only the shallow impression that ‘this is a bad guy’. What’s so different about lawlessness? Don’t we see it every day? Constant prison construction can’t contain all those making a career out of breaking the law. Why talk about lawlessness as if it were a special feature of the end times?
Then came Barack Hussein Obama II. I must admit to not having heard of him prior to the gear up of the 2007-2008 campaign. I dismissed him as having no chance, realizing that to most others he was also a new name and face. But that wasn’t all. His campaign was without any substance; built around a vision of ‘change’ without the mention of issues or what should change. Paper Mache. Ridiculous. Who could and would buy in to that? Then there was the lack of experience in anything but non-profit organizing complete with an odd, seemingly hate-filled, church background. No way.
By spring 2008 he had gained real momentum. Still no substance, still no experience, not even a proof of American birth. Yet his popularity grew. I stood on the 3rd floor of the Kimmel Center at NYU overlooking his speech in Washington Square Park. He drew a huge crowd to listen to the promise that Yes We Can change. I shook my head in disbelief. To what? This guy came out of nowhere, with nothing to say, and was making big gains against well-entrenched and well-liked Democrats.
As his popularity grew I started to realize what could give reason and rationale to this surreal political popularity. There hung over our nation a spirit of deception, a force that could blind the eyes and numb the senses. It is one thing to be duped by socialist rhetoric, to be hoodwinked into the belief in getting something for nothing, to get sucked in to empty promises of equalizing wealth and distributing the goodies. It is quite another to be emotionally swept by a non-message, to be totally taken by imbued personality and to hang on every empty word. This was deception on a grand scale. Scripture tells us that the forces of darkness post spiritual bosses over each city working for Satan who holds current sway over the earth. The hierarchy must include countries as well and they must have been working overtime for Obama.
It dawned on me that this was a precursor, a test case of sorts, for the rise and popularity of the man of lawlessness; that false Christ that will come from humble means and sway hearts and trap minds to do his bidding. Not that Obama was or is the false Christ, though many leaders that rise are accused of such. But if we doubt the biblical picture of an obscure guy, one not connected to great wealth or with strong political heritage, one that could rise to incredible power even with a sinister agenda, the Obama experience should settle the issue. That scenario is not only possible, it is recorded in our own experience and easily believed probable even with a cursory understanding of our world-wide political stage.
This man, this nobody from Italy or perhaps Greece, becomes a man of lawlessness. What exactly does this mean? For an answer I was swept back to the spirit of deception surrounding the Obama campaign and how thorough it was. A few months before the election Obama began to actually say something. And it was bold. He began talking about changes he really intended, that he planned to raise taxes and that the middle class was to ‘pay its share’. Raising taxes has never been a political ace in the hole. It isn’t the type of thing you want to use to peak your campaign. Yet he said it and it was as if no one heard. It didn’t matter. The momentum of deception was with Obama – people would accept most anything and the media was only too happy to assist.
Then he declared something even bolder. Democrats had long criticized Bush for war entanglements, for spending too long in Iraq, and contrasted it with their intention to end war, to foster peace, and bring home the troops. But in the waning weeks of the campaign, Obama promised an escalation of war into Afghanistan. The change he would bring would be more war, not peace. This should have resulted in a backlash from his liberal support. It should have shifted the balances toward the other Democrat candidates and put the campaign in jeopardy. But no – not a peep. There was no media stir, no questioning by the faithful, no cry of foul from the doves. Obama, it seemed, could cross any philosophical boundary with impunity. It must have been a test of support, feelers sent out to see how far he could go.
Then he took office and interesting things began to happen. His ‘Justice Department’ which he staffed with about 100 of his own minions would proactively ignore their duty to clean up election rolls as mandated by congress. They would leave errant lists in over 200 counties; many that contained more voters than there were live bodies in the county.
Next they would sue the state of Arizona for its determination and action in enforcing federal immigration laws. Let’s get ahold of this. The Justice Department was not only shirking its duty to enforce existing law it would move to prevent others from doing so as well. Arizona should have gotten an award for the courage to enforce the law but instead was drawn into court and taken to task.
And the major insult was his inability to prove citizenship as a prerequisite for the office of president. Many tried to raise the issue in court to no avail.
And the lawlessness has not stopped. As I’m getting ready to publish it was recently uncovered that the Obama/Eric Holder Justice Department was caught wire tapping the media violating the 4th amendment protection against warrantless searches and, in all likelihood, the operating rules of the Justice Department itself. Lawlessness – and that against those who helped Barack Obama to power.
That is what this lawlessness means. It occurs when the leaders themselves ignore and break the laws of their own land, often of their own making. These are those that consider themselves above the law who increasingly use power and privilege to gain personal advantage and subdue the populace. This method is expected of a dictator, usually rising to power through bloody military coup. But for a society based on the rule of law, such as the ancient Greek and Roman republics or the modern west, the expectation is that elected leaders have a duty toward the law, to uphold it and to obey it themselves. For our country, and perhaps western civilization, the game is changing.
That is the picture of the false Christ, the man of lawlessness. He is not a common criminal. The biblical description has something larger and more far-reaching in mind. He breaks the rules of society and manipulates entire countries. When he arrives on scene, eyes will be so blind to what it all means that he will break laws and impose poisonous hardships and the people will drink it in as if it were a refreshing stream. What may have seemed biblical fantasy to readers of centuries past, the deceptive and rapid rise of a world-wide leader with lawlessness as a trademark, has been demonstrated as easily plausible. Obama is not he, the rise of the false Christ has not yet happened, but watching his success makes us realize there is little left in the way, it cannot be far off.