Compare these two statements and see if you are not at least a little alarmed by their similarity:
"Do as you will." This is the only ethical command in Satanism.
"As Libertarians, we seek a world of liberty; a world in which all individuals are sovereign over their own lives and no one is forced to sacrifice his or her values for the benefit of others."
Juxtaposing these raises two questions for me:
Is there any difference between the essence of libertarianism and this demonic command?
Is the libertarian EXPRESSED philosophy really any different that the Democratic and Republican REALIZED philosophies of fighting to do whatever the heck they want, no matter what Da Good Book says on the subject?
One charitable response to the questions above is that libertarianism is more naive than diabolical.
Another is to reduce "anti-christ" is some grand villain, "a Caesar, Napoleon, Lenin, Hitler types that show up regularly: one who taps into the lure of deep longings for unity, order, fruitfulness residing in the human heart. The issue then becomes the means to those ends, a kind of bait-and-switch. There's always violation in the means because the extension of power to bring about an attractive vision will violate the vulnerable outside of submission to the true Christ" (astute observations by Kyle Phillips on Facebook post).
This is a commonly held view today, and amongst the first century followers of Jesus. But Da Good Book corrects this misconception in two ways:
(1) First, 1 John 2 gives a direct correction to this thinking: "Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now MANY antichrists have arisen." As Colin Brown used to say, "If your ideas don't fit with scripture, too bad for your ideas."
(2) Second, the antichrist is not simply a grand villain, but a "spirit": "Every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world." (1 John 4:3). The most simple rendering of the Greek "antichristo" into English, in my opinion, is "the in-place-of-Christ." With that simple translation, I think you'll easily see the connection to your teaching about idolatry: anything, good or bad, that one substitutes in place of where Jesus should be. Do you catch my meaning, or would you like examples of this? 1 John calls this a spirit and I think it is connected to things "above" and "below" the ceiling and floor of material existence, the principalities and powers that make puppets of people who walk in their own will ("flesh"). (3) I think we do a dangerous disservice to the body of Christ to think of the "devil" as a figure with a red Halloween costume: "Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness" (2 Corinthians 11:14-15). The many things we put in place of Christ are more likely to be almost-Christian looking and therefore more powerful deceptions. For example, when I run into someone who can quote all the latest, hot almost-Christian authors around the country who are hot because they are saying something edgy and controversial, not because they are standing-under the Word of God. The head game almost-Christianity we live among can be an in-place-of-Christ where one's pet theology is the source of identity, security and personal meaning instead of Jesus himself. And, then, there is the distinct possibility that church-as-we-know-it (as opposed to church-as-God-wants-it) is a substitute Jesus, if you read the bumper stickers: "Come to the first church of what's happening now! We got the best band! We got the funniest 'pastor'! We have what your kids need!" I wonder if people really understand the threat to their children. I smoked my first joint at an unsupervised youth group outing (pre-Jesus). Sex, drugs, rock-n-roll--yes, these are obvious in-place-of-christs. But what about all the people who never open their Bibles or pray or do any of the 53 one-anothers of the New Testament.
Republicanism, too is an in-place-of-Jesus for many almost-christians. It is chic, hot, cool, and edgy to move to "do as you will"--just as Satanism itself is hip. We could lose a whole generation of almost-christian leaders to this thinking, "Do as you will." To that I answer my own question with this: Satan appears, not in a red devil's suit, but as an angel of light to deceive and destroy every single follower of Jesus, if possible. The hater of our souls is at work destroying and crushing, maiming and pillaging. As C. S. Lewis rightly warned us, materialistic almost-christians are blind to what's above the ceiling and below the floor, the upstairs principalities and powers, and the downstairs mob. They operate most freely in our land that once was free, among our nation which is all so rich yet ever poor.
When I wrote this post, I immediately began to take the log out of my own eye by posting on most the doors and every mirror in our house this A - B - A coaching sheet for Ingrid and me:
A: Do whatever God wants, quickly, no matter what it costs.
B: Do NOT do whatever you want.
A: Do whatever God wants, quickly, no matter what - period.
"Do not focus on what is SEEN but on what is UNSEEN. What is seen is temporary and therefore passing away. What is unseen is eternal and therefore last forever" (2 Corinthians 4). Open the eyes of our hearts that we can see You, Lord Jesus, AND the hater of our souls who seeks like a lion to maim, pillage and destroy.