Antichrist, Birmingham, Mass Killings
Another mass killing has happened. Already the news media frenzy has spilled all over the TV, Radio, the Internet, etc. Thirteen people died (twelve plus the shooter) at the Navy Yard just 2 miles from Congress and the White House. As I heard this, I groaned with a certain sense of irony. Some of you may remember that yesterday was the 50th anniversary of the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, AL. Four little girls died in that criminal attack. I wrote a few thoughts about the event on my personal blog, never thinking that the very next day there would be a mass killing. While it currently appears that the shooter was not a terrorist but simply an angry man, nevertheless, I think that some of my words are appropriate and tie together with today’s events.
A terrorist is a terrorist regardless of the cause they espouse. The whole purpose of the Birmingham bombing was to strike fear into the hearts of the black community. It was a warning that if they continued to be involved in civil rights, innocents would suffer. Today’s jihadists and today’s dictatorial repressive governments use the same tactic, that of indiscriminate violence and murder against innocents. There is a sameness about it that dates back several thousand years.
If you read about the tactics of Babylon in the Old Testament, they most certainly qualify as state-sponsored terrorism. If you did not immediately submit to them and they defeated you, many of your leaders would be impaled, or led away with a hook through their jaw, etc. The treatment of captured peoples by Babylon, and the later corruption of Babylon’s leadership, was so bad that Babylon becomes a symbol in the Book of Revelation for both terroristic killing (I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement.) and for corruption.
The Antichrist also shows up in the Book of Revelation. But, Saint John the Evangelist gives us a warning about what will happen before the Lord returns. He says, “Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour.” That is, there are many people around who already are showing the same behavioral traits as the Antichrist who is to come, the same behavioral traits as Babylon that is to come (yes, I know the two are different), and the very same behavioral traits as the dragon who pursued the offspring of the woman of Revelation 12.
Those who commit terrorism show the behavior of a Babylon, of an antichrist. One becomes a terrorist when one switches over to the indiscriminate untargeted killing of people for the sole purpose of causing fear. What happened in Birmingham 50 years ago was terrorism. What happened in Birmingham 50 years ago was some antichrists at work.
Not all antichrists are terrorists. Some antichrists are simply angry men who have given in to the same anger by which Cain slew Abel. In the same way, the Book of Revelation speaks about the anger of the dragon that burns against the offspring of the woman who is revealed. And just like the anger of the dragon led to a great persecution and a great murder, so the anger of one man has led to yet another mass killing. And so, another little antichrist rose up for a very little while.
We need to remember Birmingham, and 9/11, etc., in order that we may know what is terrorism, in order that we might be able to spot the antichrists who would come among us and deceive those whom they could. In the same way, we need to remember events like today’s mass killing in order that we might be able to spot the anger of Cain, the anger of the dragon, that lets us spot the antichrists who would come among us with destruction in their hearts.
“Little children, it is the last hour; … even now many antichrists have come ….”