An idea that I'm toying with as far as creating an end-times story of my own.
Here a charismatic person who becomes known as The Leader seduces Evangelical Christians into electing him as President of the United States. Once he's in office, he sets up his administration and begins turning America into a theocracy. When that is eventually accomplished, The Leader sets his sights upon subduing the whole world and making it a Christian planet. Freedoms and rights are quashed in favor of everybody submitting to The Leader's interpretation of the Law of God.
But in the process of doing so, has The Leader actually set up the situation that brings the seven-year period known as the Tribulation?
The story idea is a sort of mashup of LEFT BEHIND with Frederic Rich's Christian Nation and Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, at least initially.
A sample piece:
The America that once existed was a great nation. It was great because we had freedom -- freedom of expression, freedom of religion, freedom of the press. We were all able to speak our minds about important issues and we could assemble peaceably to address them. Everybody was entitled to express how they felt about things, even if they were the wrong things, at least in other people's minds. We weren't bound by anything but the Constitution as far as what we could and couldn't do, both individually and collectively.
In America you could worship however you want to to whatever you felt was god -- Yahweh, Jesus Christ, Allah, even the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Christianity had a garden variety of denominations in America for whatever suited your fancy -- Catholicism, Orthodox, Lutheranism, Presbyterianism, Methodist, Baptist, Pentecostalism, Charismatic, any number of cults that claimed the name of Christ in some form. We all felt like we were reaching God in some form or another, and that seemed okay to a good deal of people in America, as long as nobody was "pushing their religion" unto others.
Of course, that same freedom allowed people to do evil things. There was still murder, rape, theft, sexual sin of all sorts, exploitation of the poor and needy, hatred towards various minorities and ethinic groups. America was far from being a paradise, and when people did those evil things and brazenly declared them to the public, some cheered while others mourned. But as much as we wanted a perfect world to live in, we knew that as long as people loved and chose to do evil, it would always remain a distant dream. Nonetheless, we would usually work together for the benefit of all people to make sure there would someday be a perfect world where everybody could live in peace with each other.
But just as there was a snake in the Garden of Eden that desired to ruin paradise, there were those who wanted an America that was modeled after their own desires of a "perfect world". They were the Cains that looked at the Abels of society in jealousy and wondered why those people were considered acceptable while they themselves weren't. They felt like they were given divine rights by their Creator to be the ones on top of the mountain looking down at the masses of humanity and be rulers of everything and everybody, but somehow they weren't because they had been passed over and despised.
These people would be called the Dominionists, and they sought to use religion to their own ends to gain control over the whole world.
They got that name from what God said to the first man and woman He created in the book of Genesis: "Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the earth." They assumed from that verse that God was telling them to also have dominion over every man, although at that point there were only two people on the face of the earth.
In the gospel of Matthew, when Jesus was about to go back into heaven, He told His disciples: "Go, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I commanded you." In the gospel of Mark, Jesus also said, "Go into all the world, and preach the Good News to the whole creation. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who disbelieves will be condemned."
How these people called Dominionists think that Jesus meant for His disciples to take over the world, nobody even among those I have talked to had any idea. But then I seem to be the only one that even understood the Scriptures, even though I had never went to Bible school. The only schooling I had when it came to the Bible was just me reading the Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation all over and studying with some Bible groups about what the Scripture verses meant.
The church I once belonged to, an Assembly of God, paid very little attention to what they were really about. The Dominionists were dismissed as harmless, only seeking "to restore America's Christian heritage" by having prayer be put back into schools and all. That didn't mean some of the language of the Dominionists didn't filter their way through to our assembly and others like it. There was some talk about "the seven mountains of influence" that the pastor and his wife said we must pray over: family, business, education, religion, government/military, arts/entertainment, and media. They were engaged in odd forms of "spiritual warfare", such as taking prayer walks all over town, "claiming this town for Jesus Christ," as if He didn't already own everything on earth.
My pastor truly believed with all his heart that there would be a great end-times revival that would happen before the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. I tried to tell him that the Bible never predicted that to happen, but rather there would be a "falling away" that would occur before the Day takes place, and that the "man of sin", the "son of perdition" from Paul's second letter to the Thessalonians, would be revealed. The pastor seemed to ignore it, saying that what he believed was a prophecy that came to him by the Holy Spirit and that it would come to pass, and at one time accused me of having a "Jezebel spirit" trying to divide the body of Christ.
Trying to tell this to the rest of the congregation did no good either. They seemed so convinced that the pastor was right about the "great end-times revival" that they refused to even look at the Scriptures that I was pointing them to to prove that God's Word about the whole end-times situation was right. It seemed like a losing battle.
What was I to do? Should I continue to warn them out of love for their souls, even if that meant I would be excommunicated from the church, or do I just go along with them and damn myself along with the congregation? I prayed to the Lord to see what He would want me to do. He had me stay where I was and just pray for their eyes and ears to be opened to the truth, to simply love on them in the hope that they would be turned from the false light they are trying to follow.
I continued going to the church, praising the Lord as usual, reading the Scriptures daily, keeping myself fed with the Word of God and in constant contact with the Lord, even though I was struggling with some things that I was beset with since my birth.
I have heard about Jesus Christ since my childhood. I had been raised in a few Catholic-run residential schools and attended Mass on a regular schedule. I was taught how to pray by the counselors, even though the only times the students actually prayed was before meals. To me at the time, it was more of a fascination that eventually dwindled when I became a teenager and my mind was on things like sex and being in a relationship with somebody. I really didn't have much of a desire to become a priest, because I have heard that priests live a solitary life without sex, just like Jesus, and being that I wanted to be married to somebody in my adult years, becoming a priest just wasn't for me.
After I left the residential schools, I stopped going to church except for Easter, Christmas, marriages, and funerals. At that point I was hearing various people spouting verses from the Bible that I knew nothing about, since I had never actually read the Bible when I was in residential schools -- I had only heard stories from the Bible. The verses seem to make God sound rather offensive to the way I was living, and I didn't seem to want to have anything to do with that kind of God who hated the way I lived, much less the people speaking those verses. Some of them were well-meaning people who became my friends, but when some of them got really pushy, I would distance myself from them until they stopped. But that didn't really stop the ones dedicated to "pushing their religion" on me.
It was in my early thirties that I decided to give this church one of my friends recommended a try and that I started reading the Bible for myself. Compared to a Catholic mass outside the residential schools, this church's service seemed very lively in their worship, lots of shouting and unusual vocalizations that I came to find out was actually them "speaking in tongues", and that the pastor of that church preached messages that had us examining ourselves to see if we were truly "in Christ". The first Bible I read was the New International Version, and that seemed to get me through as far as introducing the truths of God's Word into my life. The thing is, the church I was going to used the King James Version exclusively, and the pastor didn't like that I was using what he called "a perverted Bible" in his services and for my personal devotionals. I did get myself a copy of the King James Version to satisfy him during the services and study groups, but privately I still read the New International Version.
Over time, though, I got sick of that church because it seemed so strict and cult-like, and my family had to rescue me from that as I ended up losing the job that I was in at the time due to some mental problems I was having. Another friend of mine, who was a Christian, recommended me to another church, which was an Assembly of God, which had a worship similar to that of the previous church I was in but wasn't afraid to use other translations when preaching messages. I felt like I was loved in that church, and eventually I gave my life to Jesus Christ to be my Lord and Savior and was baptized. After fully reading the New International Version, I decided to switch to a translation that was similar to the King James Version but was more readable and understandable by modern audiences, so my next Bible became the New King James Version.
But things in that Assembly of God church changed. The pastor who was in charge of that church at the time was eventually called to be the pastor of another church, so he and his family, which included a wife, a son, and a daughter moved out of the area. There was a new pastor who came from Maine. He seemed very friendly, but he was a complete firebrand with a passion for winning souls compared to the previous pastor, who seemed like he was a bit dull and wooden. His wife wasn't a worship leader like the previous pastor's wife, but she was a good teacher and she knew her way around running the church as an administrator. The church seemed to like this new pastor, and after careful praying and seeking the Lord's will, he and his wife settled in and he became our pastor.
At first things in the church seemed to be going so well, as there were improvements in the worship, which became as lively as the church I had previously gone to, if not much more. But then the pastor started preaching that the American government was "taking our rights away as Christians", that Christians didn't have the freedom to proclaim the Gospel like they used to anymore, that since prayer has been taken out of schools there has been all sorts of disasters, even school shootings like the one in Columbine. People couldn't say "Merry Christmas" anymore because businesses wanted all religious holidays in December to be recognized. Gays were gaining the right to be married nationwide and were even fighting for the right to adopt children. Marijuana was becoming legalized in more states for both medicine and recreational purposes.
This kind of preaching started off as rather benign, but as time went on, it seemed to be dominating the preaching as we heard less about the Great Commission and the promised Rapture of the church, and more about Christians needing to "take back their country for Christ". It was all about "our rights as Christians" and nothing about reaching out to the lost and perishing souls. The pastor didn't see anything wrong about preaching this kind of message, for he felt in his heart that if the country was "taken back for Christ", then there would be a great end-times revival that would happen before the Lord's coming.
I felt rather hopeless and helpless. In part, I felt like I was Jeremiah in the situation where he couldn't speak the Word of God to God's people because they didn't want to hear it. He said that the Word of God became like a fire shut up in his bones and he couldn't hold it back. That's what it felt like to me, a fire that was shut up in my bones, but being that I had trouble communicating anything to anyone, how was I going to speak this to other people?
I did this by beginning a private blog on the Internet. I started very slowly to speak my mind in the blog since it felt like the place where I could freely communicate myself with nothing lost in the translation of brain to lips like in natural speaking. Nobody in my church knew about this blog, or if they did, they seem to act as if they haven't seen it. But eventually came the people who did read what I had to say, and there came comments of every stripe -- those that agreed with what I had to say and those that didn't.
I didn't know how long I could continue being silent in my church while the congregation was being led on the wide road to Hell without knowing it. They seem to act as if it was the Lord's will all along, as if the Lord's will superseded everything He ever inspired the authors of Scripture to write down. The church was supposed to be for people seeking a refuge from the world so they could made whole in Christ and then be ready to go out into the world to help bring in the lost sheep. Now it just seemed that the Great Commission was not enough, that simply preaching the Gospel message wasn't enough, that the Lord was too slow in His promised Second Coming and they needed to hasten it somehow.
Granted, I didn't like how dark the world was becoming without Christ. But I didn't like seeing a growing darkness creeping within the church and mocking the very methods for winning souls that the world would consider foolishness. And there was just no way to stop the darkness from growing.
Jesus said in Scripture that things like this would happen: that brother would eventually betray brother, and that false prophets would arise and deceive many, and that false Christs would display signs and wonders that would deceive, if possible, even the very elect. He said that a time would come that whoever kills you would think they are doing service to God, and that they do those things because they know neither the Father nor Him.
I look at the congregation and begin to wonder: when will that happen? Who will stand for the truth of God's Word and who would be persuaded by the devil's schemes and lies? When would this great "falling away" occur that would cause brother to betray brother? Who would initiate all this prophecy to happen? The congregation says it would be the appearance of the Antichrist, and their thinking is that they believe he would arise from the unbelieving secular masses to deceive many. But Scripture says of those who were called antichrists that "they went out from us, but they were not of us, for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us."
So that left me wondering, as all the congregation did: who would become the Antichrist?