Today, a Facebook friend of mine posted an link to an article with the headline, “NBC News: ‘All Americans Will Be Microchipped In Less Than 3 Years.’” The article likens RFID chips to the Mark of the Beast. Such a comparison is representative of the end-times hysteria that has recently gripped popular culture. In my opinion, such a comparison is improper and sensationalistic for reasons I will below elucidate. The particular friend who posted the article is a conservative Christian. Unfortunately, her post was typical of a pervasive pattern that I’ve noticed on social media. Many conservative Christians seem very prone to post any and every conspiracy article that they can find from internet news sources of dubious repute. Often these articles are some sort of unholy religiopolitical hybrid. Christians, being the recipients of the revealed word of God in scripture and the beneficiaries of the inner witness of Holy Spirit, should exhibit far greater discernment than the world and display this great discernment to it.
I believe, in accordance with set of 2,000 year-old books and letters written in Greek by several different authors, that the incarnate Son of God came to earth, died on a Roman cross, came back to life in 3 days, ascended to heaven, and will return to judge the quick and the dead. Some people doubt the veracity and authorship of these writings. To such people, I will defend the veracity and authorship of the biblical text. For example, I may try to make a reasonable case that Peter is the author of both 1 Peter and 2 Peter, despite noticeable differences in the style of the Greek text of the two epistles. If I also believe and pass along every questionable religiopolitical article written from the BaldEagleChristian’MericaInternetPost, I’ll just look gullible, if not politically brainwashed, to the rest of the world. My defense of the veracity of the biblical text will be called into question along with with my discernment. As an ambassador of Christ, making an appeal to the world to accept Christ as Lord and be reconciled to God, I do not want to look that way.
So many people do. For example, my friend asked a commenter on her Facebook page who questioned the reputation of the news source of the article posted, “Don’t you believe the Bible?”
Taking my Georgia Baptist friend for a premillenial pretribulationist**, I told her that I personally wouldn’t mind having one of these microchips. As a Christian, I cannot receive the Mark of the Beast, therefore these chips can’t be the Mark of the Beast. I furthermore noted that since the Mark of the Beast is believed to be midtribulational, Christians will be raptured before the Mark of the Beast is given and thus shouldn’t worried about it. Even if Christians aren’t raptured before the tribulation or all all, Christians won’t actually receive the Mark and thus shouldn’t be worried about it. I also explained that the Apostle John couldn’t have known what RFID chips were when he wrote Revelation. I finally made the comment, that I already made above, that Christians should be more discerning.
Then I was unfriended.
This is unfortunate but is often the result of pointing out such situations to others. We’re no friends to others when we don’t call undiscerning statements to their attention. We should hope that others will do that same for us. We should also be careful of more reputable sources of conservative news that are just as dangerous. I often see Glenn Beck’s “The Blaze” news service linked by Christians. Glenn Beck is a Mormon and his conception of God is heretical and subversive to scripture. Far too many Christians are enamored by Beck’s generically religious, politically conservative statements about God and America. Far too many Christians are letting their witnesses go down in a blaze of incredulity. Strangely, even lauded Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias recently appeared on the Blaze to discuss God and suffering with Beck even though Beck does not know God! (I recently followed the link above to the Blaze website and noticed banner ads for articles about celebrity breast sizes. It made me wonder, “Exactly what kind of conservative Christian are clicking around on Beck’s website?) We shouldn’t be a target market for mainstream conservative pandering but rather voices in the Wilderness for the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Unfriend the Blaze and hokum news websites.
*Please note that the preceding is my personal opinion. It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church at which I am a member, any church which I attend, or the educational institution at which I am enrolled. Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.
**I am premillenial myself but have not yet worked out a specific position on the timing and nature of the rapture.
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