The Mark of the Beast

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI ran across an article today (linked below) which talked about the EEO filing a lawsuit on behalf of one Beverly Butcher Jr. (a dude named “Beverly”?!?!) against Consul Energy Inc.  The lawsuit was filed because the company has instituted hand scanning of its employees and Mr. Butcher refused due to religious beliefs regarding the mark of the beast (which, as this article points out, “is implanted on the forehead or right hand and symbolizes allegiance to the antichrist”).

I don’t mean to get too far into this, because 1) it’s a semi-trivial thing, and 2) I’m no expert on end-times theology (eschatology), but I do want to comment about a lack of logic from our evangelical friends who focus on the antichrist and other, oft-misunderstood prophecies in Daniel and Revelation.  My objections are not based on any particular systematic theological treatise, but simply on the general tenor of the basic hope which we hold in the blood of Christ Jesus.

Regarding the ‘triviality’ of the issue, despite the differences in belief about the end times between myself and Mr. Butcher (which are likely very slight), we both (presumably, since I don’t know “Bev” personally) cast all of our hopes on the mercy and grace imparted to us through Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection.  And regardless of how the order of events happen when the end times come (whether a pre-millennial, millennial or post-millennial actuality) we know that God wins and we want to be on His side!

The main issue to which I alluded though is a logic issue – which, I believe, is endemic amongst the general population (Christian and non-Christian) and can actually become a barrier to faith.  Just follow me in this simple question:  If God is omniscient and God is just, then how would He a) NOT know if you were a supporter of the antichrist, and b) hold you accountable for a mark which – real or imagined – was placed on you without your consent?

The simple answer is that God wouldn’t.  We can make that unequivocal statement through an elementary understanding of God.  God IS all-knowing, therefore He is aware of your allegiance without an outward seal.  God IS completely just, therefore He will not hold against you those things which are outside of your power.

Reason states that those of us who believe in the ultimate grace and mercy of God must rely on His omniscience and justice also.  How indeed could a less than perfect knower be anything approaching a perfect judger?  And how could a less than perfect judger be anything more than insulted by the pitiful results of our attempts to follow Him – and therefore harsh in His judgments?  And yet, we still expect Him to be true to His word regarding the impartation of His grace and mercy through the blood of His Son Jesus!  Therefore, if we truly believe that we will not be held responsible for the unrighteous acts that were intentionally committed prior (and even after) the acceptance of His salvation, much less the unrighteous acts UN-intentionally committed – how can we fall for such a pitiful argument as the idea that God will hold us in the antichrist’s camp because of a simple matching of a handprint with stored ones and zeroes in a computer?

This line of reasoning shows exactly why I had to write about this silliness on the part of good ol’ Bev.  Mr. Butcher may be acting according to his conscience (a commendable and honorable thing), but he is acting on incomplete or faulty knowledge.  A God of grace, omniscience and justice will not count the unintended sin against the true believer – a lesson which should bring fearlessness and comfort to all Christians from now, through any tribulation to come until the skies split and God’s glory descends.

May we know your grace, mercy and truth better each day, oh Just God.  And may our actions and our intentions always align with Yours as we follow the footsteps of Your wonderful Son Jesus Christ.  Please set our hearts and our minds at ease in Your presence and please comfort us as Your day draws nearer.

Daley, Elizabeth.  Yahoo News.  U.S. Sues Company Over Miner’s Religious Objection to Handscan.  Yahoo.com, Web:  26 Sep 13.  <http://ca.news.yahoo.com/u-sues-company-over-miners-religious-objection-handscan-212606362.html&gt;

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