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Wed, 2005-Nov-23

I am the Antichrist

This is a story I've shared with a few people recently, and I thought a light note may be welcome to my readers. I am the Antichrist, or at least that's what a seventh day adventist once told me in the middle of Brisbane's Queen Street Mall.

When I was going to university I had a year-long bus pass. The mall was on my way home in a two-leg journey from St Lucia. A wait of half an hour was not uncommon so I tended to spend a fair amount of time in Queen Street.

I grew to like studying there. I found the constant but indistinct bustle kept my mind active but undistracted. Not that I minded the odd distraction, and that was where I found myself when two seventh day adventist evangelists walked up to me. One handed me a tract. We began to talk.

The seventh day adventists don't simply preach to the "unconverted" the "non-christians", but also to christians. They see themselves has having a purer christianity, bourne out of very literal interpretations of certain biblical verses. When I indicated that I was already a christian the young man who took the spearhead role wanted to know if I was the right kind of christian. He wanted to make sure that I knew the right things, and he had two points to convey.

  1. That God has a literal and physical face
  2. That hell is literally in the centre of the earth

He had bible verses to back him up. I don't recall the biblical references but I'll try to see if I can get close matches to my recollection. My recollection of the first verse is something like "the angels see his face every day". Perhaps he was quoting Matthew 18:10. He seemed to think he was being extra spiritual by telling me that from the original translation "face" could also mean "form".

The second verse was backed up by something like "your enemies will be trampled under your feet". Perhaps he is referring to Pslam 110:1 or one of the several times it is quoted in the new testament, such as Matthew 22:44 or Mark 12:36.

He had finished having his say, and I started. I said that I didn't believe that God was likely to be governed by his creation. I thought that God probably created the whole universe rather than simply our world, and that God is probably something outside our universe. I said that the angels may see his face because they too have a form outside of our universe. I hijacked his clarification, saying that if face can mean form then form can surely mean a non-coporeal form.

I suggested that his verse supporting the notion of Hell being in the centre of the earth seemed weak to me. Without hearing any more of the context of that verse it seemed to me that I was simply hearing a turn of phrase inspired by war. When your enemies are trampled under your feet it means that not only are your enemies dying, but that you are advancing. Surely this reference was nothing more, and not a reference to Hell after all.

What I didn't notice during my monologue is that my new friend was becoming more and more upset as I spoke. When I finally stopped he exploded:

You ANTICHRIST!

He tore his tract from my hand.

You DON'T DESERVE TO BE SAVED!

His friend tried to calm him.

I didn't hear you quote a bible verse ONCE!

That, my friends, is my story. I am the antichrist. I'm sorry for the harm I am destined to bring you all.

Benjamin