we hear the word “Antichrist” what comes to mind?Usually, it is some ultimate evil person that
is opposed to Christ.Books and movies
are filled with these demonic depictions of some totally evil world leader that
is bent on destroying the followers of Christ.In actuality, the word “Antichrist” does not mean “against Christ” or
“opposed to Christ”.That is an
assumption we make based on the English word “anti” but the term “Antichrist”
is a Greek word.
the very end of the Sunday service in the Orthodox Church, blessed bread is
given out to everyone present.This
bread is often known by its Greek name:Antidoron.This word is broken
down anti (instead of) and doron (gifts).So it means:Instead of the gifts.In other words, it is not Holy Communion, but
rather it is given out to everyone “instead of” Holy Communion.The pinnacle of the service was the reception
of Holy Communion and now that the service is over, everyone receives the
antidoron.When the priest is preparing
for the liturgy he takes one special part out of the bread to be used for Holy
Communion.Once that preparation service
is completed the rest of that bread becomes the antidoron (“instead of the
can use that same break down of the word Antichrist:anti (instead of) Christ.Anything or anyone that is “instead of
Christ” would fit the definition of being Antichrist.
let’s take this thought in the direction of the building of a kingdom here on
earth.Christ came to give us a place in
His Kingdom.The early followers of
Christ thought He had come to establish a new kingdom on earth that would
replace the Roman Empire.Christ told
them that that His Kingdom was not of this world.In fact, this world has a “prince” that
desires to be followed and worshiped.
has always been consumed with establishing a kingdom on earth.Over the centuries, these kingdoms have risen
and they have fallen.These kingdoms
have had many differing philosophies and goals.“If only everyone had everything in common then there would be a
utopia.”“If only this one certain race
were left, then the perfect society would be realized.”“If only all religions were done away with,
then true peace could be attained.”The
“if only” concept of building one’s kingdom on earth seems to be a regular
occurrence in history.Establishing a
perfect kingdom on earth could be said to be “antichrist” because it is an
attempt to have a kingdom established by mankind “instead of” belonging to the
Kingdom established by Christ Himself.
some of the leaders behind these kingdom building attempts have come to your
minds as you read this.Such figures as
Hitler or Stalin may have popped up..Our view of Hitler and Stalin being evil is gained
from seeing the completed work of their hands.When they first started, many people thought them to be almost messianic…another
“instead of” Christ.The followers of
Jim Jones did not go with him to Guyana because they viewed him as an evil
man.They went to help him establish his
kingdom on this earth that would be a perfect utopia.He and his followers came to the conclusion
that he was the second coming of Christ.When his kingdom began to collapse around him, he and most of his
followers drank the poisoned kool-aide and died.We can look back and see the horrible evil,
but it wasn’t so obvious in the beginning.We know now that he was simply another “instead of” Christ.
move from the global scale and bring this down to a very personal level.Have I been building a kingdom for
myself?This can be a very troubling
thought for most of us.Here are some
random questions to ponder:
is honestly number 1 in my life…who do I love the most?(If I purposely avoided thinking about self…why
did I do that?)
now, what is the most important goal that I have in mind?
is the mark of true success for me?
important is it for me to be praised and exalted by other people?
do I drive the car I drive?
me, how much money is enough?
me, what priced house is enough to live in?
that is more than enough introspection on my life.“Instead of” Christ things seems to fill my
life with purpose and meaning.I am
writing this as the thoughts come into my mind and I find I am becoming rather
uncomfortable right now.St. John tells
us that “many antichrists are in the world right now” and suddenly I find
myself thinking about the many “instead of” Christ values and goals that exist
in my life right now.Wow…I am far from
being the “sold out” Christian that I would like to think I am.There is a lot of work…a lot to confess…and a
lot to repent of (meaning a true change of direction) that should keep me busy
for quite some time.
“An UpWord Glance” certainly did not go the direction I had in mind when I
began writing.I had never really taken
time to think about the term “antichrist” as being “instead of” Christ and then
applied that concept to my own life.I
hope you found this helpful as you continue to “run the race marked out for you.”
blessings to each of you.
St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church Pueblo, Colorado