"The Antichrist" | September 22, 2012 | Order Info
Text: 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2; Matthew 24:1-14, Zechariah 3:1, Daniel 8:8-11, Acts 2:22.
Have you heard of the website Fact Check.org? It is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center. The website Ask Fact Check reads, “Just because you read it on somebody’s blog or in an email from a friend or relative doesn’t mean it’s true. It’s probably not.1 The Public Policy Center invites anyone to check what someone states as fact and validate it for accuracy.
Our Bible lesson this week warns us to not let anyone deceive us in any way. We need to check facts.
This week there has been enough confusion to deceive even the brightest among us. Violence spread like wild-fire across the Middle East allegedly because of a low-budget, anti-Muslim film made in the United States. In the film, The Innocence of Muslims, the Muslim Prophet Muhammad is depicted as a fraud, a womanizer and a child molester.
The Washington Post quoted a Libyan television journalist who said he witnessed part of the attack in Libya. When asked who the attackers were he was told they claimed to be Muslims defending the Prophet and a group of Muslim youth who were defending Islam.2
Later in the day some Middle East analysts suggested that the attacks might have been launched as revenge for the death of a top al-Qaeda militant, a key aide to Osama bin Laden who was killed by an American drone strike in Pakistan in June. There was speculation that the extremists used the film to rally their people to stage the protests. Another prospective was that the attacks were well-planned and occurred in waves organized by groups of militants angry at the United States. By Friday the deadly cancer infected 20 nations.
Sam Bacile, was first identified as a 52-year-old Israeli-American real estate developer in California. He claimed he had raised $5 million from 100 Jewish donors to make the two-hour film he produced, directed and wrote but had not anticipated such a furious reaction. He said he had no idea who dubbed his film into Arabic. A national correspondent for the Atlantic called Steve Klein who allegedly was a consultant to the film. Klein said that Bacile is not Israeli and most likely not Jewish as had been reported. The Bacile name is in fact a pseudonym.3
On Monday ABC News reported that Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, is an Egyptian-American Coptic Christian who told authorities that he and his son, Abanob Basseley, 21, were responsible for producing the movie. He and his family are now in hiding for their safety.
In our Bible study this week we are reminded that before Jesus second coming false information will be circulated. The Thessalonians had been destabilized by conflicting information about end time events. We are reminded we, too, can fall prey to spiritual deception unless we are grounded in God’s Word. As the author of this week’s lesson points out, “…the gospel of Jesus Christ, not political events, has always been the crucial divide between good and evil throughout Christian history. Antichrist reveals its true character by usurping the life, death and heavenly reign of Jesus. All other actors in the drama play subordinate roles.”
Our fact-checker is the Bible. Read it frequently to discover what's true when conflicting stories confuse you. Even better, spend more time getting to know the real Christ who replaces fear with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control in your life.