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Mark-of-the-Beast

Since 2009 there has been a ‘warning’ going around through chain emails, blogs and social media claiming that ObamaCare will force all Americans to have a microchip implanted in order to access healthcare. This is often also claimed to be a fulfilment of Revelation 13 – Obama being the beast and the implant being the mark of the beast.

I wouldn’t bother to respond to this if it wasn’t for the fact that:

  1. Genuine, sincere brothers across the world are forwarding these messages and being worried by them.
  2. In some forms this rumour suggests that if Christians don’t know about this ‘satanic plot’ and have the chip implanted then they will ‘not make it’ when Christ returns / the rapture occurs. This strikes at the heart of the gospel. It is no longer ‘Christ alone’ it is Christ plus knowledge of a particular fulfilment of prophecy (strangely particular to America).
  3. The message sometimes talks about passing on this warning to all your contacts as ‘doing the work of an evangelist’. That makes my blood boil. This has nothing to do with evangelism.

In terms of the specific facts of the matter, the rumour seems to have been sparked by an earlier version of the ObamaCare bill that was voted down and never passed into law. This version (America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 HR 3200) included a provision to take data from implanted devices but did not enforce mandatory implants. The version that did successfully pass (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act HR 3590) had even the data retrieval section removed.

The other impetus, besides a particular politics, is a particular reading of the Book of Revelation. It is not so much that it is an overly literal reading, though that is part of it. More importantly it is simply not a very careful reading of Revelation. Read Revelation 13:11-14:13 for yourself and see if this is really about Obama and microchips. Have the children of God got his name and the name of the Lamb implanted as a chip under the skin of their foreheads (Rev. 14:1)? Do you see worshippers of the Lamb being tormented eternally because they have failed to notice a mark has been forced on them (cf. Rev. 14:9-10)? No. You see those who have been redeemed by the Lamb, sealed with his name and the name of their Father, singing a song of praise, rejoicing in the eternal gospel – the gospel of the Lamb who has been slain for them, the gospel of the One who has drunk the cup of God’s anger that they should have drunk.

That’s the message we should be sharing.

Some resources:

 

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