Since when did "non-Christian" turn into "anti-Christ"?

By Leca
@lecanis (16647)
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
September 16, 2007 1:29pm CST
I've seen several people on mylot use the term "anti-Christ" to describe anyone who isn't Christian recently. Now, before anyone feels picked on, I'm not complaining about anyone one of the people who used the term, but wondering about the term itself. Since when did Christians start calling non-Christians "anti-Christ"? Is it something many Christians say now, or is it just a few? Perhaps it's just coincidence that I've seen several people using this in the past few days? I can think of two possible meanings for the word "anti-Christ". According to the whole idea of the Apocalypse, there's the person who is supposed to rise at that time as a leader who leads the forces of evil or whatever, but I've always thought that was supposed to be one person, and therefore that meaning doesn't seem to fit this usage. The other meaning I can see is people who are "against Christ" but that doesn't seem to fit either because I would think people whose belief system doesn't include Christ at all would be "neutral" rather than "against Christ". I guess I just see it as an insult because it seems as if you are equating someone with "evil" if they aren't Christian, or as "hating Christ or Christians" if they aren't Christian. Has anyone else heard people referring to all non-Christians as "anti-Christ"? Do you perhaps use this term yourself? If so, what do you mean by it, and why do you say it rather than just saying "non-Christian"?
16 people like this
33 responses
@xboxboy (5576)
16 Sep 07
I've not heard this term, a bit silly and childish, (and that from a 16 yr old!) Christ is all around, or not! it is what makes you feel good inside!
6 people like this
@lecanis (16647)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
16 Sep 07
*nods* I thought it was silly and childish too! (You're 16? I wouldn't have guessed you were so young from your responses to discussions?) =P Perhaps I just happened to run into the few people who say it or something. *shrugs* Maybe it's not something that's a big deal, but it just caught my attention.
4 people like this
@jackxav (660)
• Philippines
17 Sep 07
I do agree with you xboxboy.
16 Sep 07
I have not heard this said before, but I can believe that this would be a word used nowadays what with all that is happening in the world today. I do not believe in Christ but I am not anti, as that would mean I had to have another belief to fight against it and I don't. Sadly its all part of the New World Order..people are segregating themselves more and more over religion and mistrusting anyone who does not have the same beliefs as themselves. Lets hope this in in the minority and people will realise how stupid this really is!!!
4 people like this
17 Sep 07
You are not in the minority thank goodness. I too have friends who are religious and even though I am an atheist I understand why they believe, we all have our own way of dealing with life. Its when people judge, thats what gets me and then I back away!!LOL I hope all is well with you, did you get to the hospital in the end??
3 people like this
@lecanis (16647)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
17 Sep 07
Thanks for your concern! My health stuff is still in question, I went to Wisconsin to see an ear surgeon who said he thinks the problem is neurological, so I have to see my neurologist again on Tuesday to see what he thinks. It's kind of an annoying run-around, because I've already seen the neurologist, but maybe he'll have a new idea this time.
2 people like this
@lecanis (16647)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
17 Sep 07
That's a lovely response, ItTakesAllSorts! You are right that people are segregating themselves more and more over religion, and it's a very sad thing. I personally actually really enjoy meeting and becoming friends with people of another religion, and choose to judge people off how they treat others rather than what their religion is. I do hope that I'm not the minority in being tolerant and loving. =)
2 people like this
• United States
23 Sep 07
This is a great discussion. I don't use the term anti-christ unless I am talking about someone who is appauled of Christ and against everything that he teaches. The term non-religious is suppose to mean someone who is not a member of a religious church or someone who is not a christian, I guess. I never really understood a lot of this babble and I have met a lot of people who were not religious but they were just people, they did not go around telling people that Christ was not real or that he is against Christians. This is a very strange topic and I am getting out of here before I end up saying something that upsets someone. IF I did upset you, I did not mean too and I apologize.
3 people like this
@lecanis (16647)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
23 Sep 07
No, I'm not upset at all. =) I can understand the use of the term anti-Christ for someone who actually says they hate Christ or Christians, but most people who are either non-religious or of other religious beliefs would never say that. I know I'm not a Christian, but I don't have any problem with Christ or Christianity, it's just not my religion. =) Thanks for responding to my topic!
2 people like this
@pyewacket (43958)
• United States
16 Sep 07
I know the discussions you're talking about and I have to admit to being a little offended by it...While I haven't completely left my Christian beliefs, I'm on the wiccan/pagan path. I think anyone, who is NOT a follower of Christianity who be insulted by this term "anti-Christ" and that would include not only us pagans, but Moslems, Buddhists, Jewish, and Hindus....As you say, my connotation of the meaning of anti-Christ is that as explained in the Bible, as one person who will rise to power and who will be a false "Christ"...people will believe he is Christ come back again, but is the evil counterpart to Christ---So to call those who are not Christian as anti-Christ is also suggesting that we're evil...well, sorry, I just plain don't think I'm evil, I just happen to follow a different religion and that doesn't make one evil
4 people like this
@lecanis (16647)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
17 Sep 07
*nods* Yup, that's exactly the thought process I went through. I'm glad that it wasn't just me that took it this way, I was a little worried I was over-reacting. But yes, it does seem to have a connotation of "evil" and that bothers me.
3 people like this
@morgandrake (2136)
• United States
16 Sep 07
The use of this particular term goes through phrases. Based on my experience, the people who use it are implying that you are against Christ. As far as a lot of Christians are concerned if you are not a Christian, then you are serving the devil. To many, it is impossible to be neutral about religion because there is only one true relgion--either you belong to it or you are against it. To this type of person, the Dali Lama is an "anti-Christ". He is not. And either am I; but due to my belief system, I have had people tell me to my face that I was an Anti-Christ. As for the original term, it might anyone who was against Christ. Then Revelation came along and cornered the market on the term. It is much like the term Satan which originally was a generic term, and then got associated with a specific being later.
3 people like this
@lecanis (16647)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
17 Sep 07
I like the way you broke it down here, morgandrake. You make a good point about the quality of person that would be considered "anti-Christ" using the definition that anyone not Christian is against it. Thanks for your intelligent response!
3 people like this
• United States
16 Sep 07
In the Book of Job (Old Testament), the term Ha-Satan is used; it means "the adversary." So the earliest use we have of the term Satan is actually generic. Satan is a Hebrew word. In New Testament, Satan becomes a specfic entity. From a Kabbalistic viewpoint, the process and history of Satan going from a generic entity to a specific is ratehr interesting. It would be like going from "the lawyer" to "Lawyer" being an actual first name.
3 people like this
• United States
16 Sep 07
Technically, it was devil that was the generic term, Satan being a name associated with the Christian devil from biblical times.
3 people like this
@Sharon38 (1912)
• Jamaica
16 Sep 07
Anti-Christ is the term used to describe the man/beast who will fight against God's risen Lamb. He will desecrate the temple and set up himslef as god! it is not right for any christian to tell anyone that they are anti-christs. it is being rude as you said and furthermore that makes us sound as if we are worst off than b4 we accepted Christ as out perosnal Saviour. Non christian as you say is much better,this has a total different meaning from anit-christ!
4 people like this
@lecanis (16647)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
17 Sep 07
Thanks for your response. I completely agree with you! I don't think it's right for anyone to accuse others of being the anti-Christ, and it does make the person saying it sound very un-Christlike themself.
4 people like this
@Sharon38 (1912)
• Jamaica
17 Sep 07
Thanks Lecanis I say I believe and stick by it. We all have choices to make and if my choice is not yours all I can hope is that I can lovingly and gently try to teach you the way but if you dont want to accept it..... I am tired of all the labels. Christ has set an example fr us to follow and if we do that we cant go wrong. God bless!
4 people like this
@KrauseHome (36449)
• United States
22 Sep 07
For me, the only one I would call the Anti Christ, is people who are like Leaders of Cults. To me, I may not always agree with what people have expressed on here, but it is not my place to Judge anyone here, and call them an Anti Christ. Maybe they mean this in another form than what we are thinking?
@lecanis (16647)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
22 Sep 07
It's possibly a cultural thing or something, I'm not sure. I'm sure they can't actually mean what anti-Christ usually means! Surely just because someone isn't Christian doesn't mean they want to bring about the end of the world and all that stuff. I mean, I'm a pretty nice person, or at least so I'm told. =P
1 person likes this
@pumpkinjam (8419)
• United Kingdom
22 Sep 07
I have noticed people using this term. I think it is often a matter of lack of ability to think of a better desccription. I don't know why they can't just say non-Christian unless they do specifically mean people who are against Christ rather than simply those who don't believe in him. Then again, I'm not entirely sure how relevant the word Christian is because, as far as I know, it only means people who believe Christ exists or ever existed and that could include a lot more people than who think Christ was/is a saviour or anything else like that.
2 people like this
@lecanis (16647)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
22 Sep 07
You have a good point, it could just be lack of ability to think of a better description. I hadn't thought about it in that way. You have a good point about the word Christian too. I have heard so many arguments about what that word means and who it includes or doesn't include. *sighs*
2 people like this
@paul8675 (750)
• Australia
26 Sep 07
In a sense all people who are not Christians are anti-Christ. Jesus himself said that if you are not for Christ, you are against him. It is really that cut and dry. There is no fence sitting on this issue.
2 people like this
@cyntrow (8523)
• United States
30 Sep 07
tell me where you see this statement. Christ never pushed anyone away. He taught to all and was inclusive. Jesus never called himself Christ. Tell me where you see this.
@cyntrow (8523)
• United States
30 Sep 07
right on, kamran.
1 person likes this
@kamran12 (5526)
• Pakistan
30 Sep 07
Hello paul8675! I think there is a little misconception or misinformation or misunderstanding here. Jesus, never ever called himself as Christ in his entire life. I believe that translations have it's fair share in misunderstandings. If Jesus and His disciples were here and we called them Jesus, Peter, Paul etc I can say for sure that they won't admit that they are being called as these are not their names as such. Peter isn't even the translation of his real name but that of his title. Similarly GOD is not the name of Jesus's GOD but a descriptive title. I wish proper names were never translated!
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Sep 07
I think some of it may just be a way to draw attention to there post. Usually it works really well. Of course we all should look at where their from. I know some translators will translate it that way. So they may have checked on a translator that told them to write it that way. As you said it could mean the people against Christ. That is how it may be translated.
2 people like this
@lecanis (16647)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
17 Sep 07
You know, I hadn't thought of this possibility that people used it on purpose to get more responses. I'll also have to start paying attention to where people are from!
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Sep 07
I think it was the Puritans that starting using the phrase the Anti- Christ for whomever weren't Christian.It is like some Christians believe that there is only two wasys to be , right or wrong.If you are not a Christian , you are wrong. Just because you are not an Christian doesn't make you evil.Whenever I heard the phrase " the Anti-Christ" I always thought of the devil.
2 people like this
@lecanis (16647)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
17 Sep 07
Thanks for your response, sarahruthbeth! I'll have to look up more info about the Puritans now, it's been a while since I studied anything related to them. =P It's that many people believe that you are either right or wrong, for or against. It just makes me sad because I am not "against" anyone's beliefs, only against the way people misuse them sometimes.
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Sep 07
I am with you. I am not against any religion either.It is sad that people are so closed minded.
1 person likes this
@Springlady (3986)
• United States
17 Sep 07
It does say in the Bible that the anti-Christ is already here. Those who reject Christ and say that He is not the Son of God are anti-Christs. I actually read this last night when I was reading the Bible.
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16647)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
17 Sep 07
That could make for some interesting discussion, Springlady. For example, if one believes that Christ is the son of the Christian God but does not worship that God, what then? I have no problem with the idea that Christ is the son of your God, but since that God isn't one I worship, it simply doesn't MEAN anything to me that he is. Does that make sense to you?
@lecanis (16647)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
17 Sep 07
I'm not Christian. I don't accept your God. I simply don't deny him either. It doesn't matter to me whether he exists or not, because he isn't my God. Jesus was a guy who said some really cool stuff, and it's easy enough to believe he's also the son of a God. However, it's still not my God. Still, I'd say that makes me "neutral" rather than "anti". My religion has nothing to do with either Christ or the Christian God. So I can respect Christ either as a human being who said cool things, or as the son of a God I don't follow, but I don't think I need him to save me or any of that. I have my own Gods to take care of me, in this life and the ones that come after. I was simply trying to make the point that even most people who are not Christian have some kind of respect for Jesus based off what he said. It's not that everyone who is non-Christian rejects or hates Christ or Christians.
• United States
17 Sep 07
It sort of makes sense. Do you believe that Jesus Christ is really the Son of the living God? I know you know that Christians believe this, but do you believe this? Do you reject Him? Just something you may want to think about for yourself. You can read 1 John 18: 1-25. It says, "This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son."
1 person likes this
@aissha (2036)
• India
17 Sep 07
that is quite ridiculous as i feel non- christian never mean anti christ ,like what i feel is i'm not christian but i hv absolutely no problem with chritians at all and i guess they don't hv any problem me being hindu and i guess this is called peaceful coexistence.
2 people like this
@lecanis (16647)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
17 Sep 07
I feel the same way, I don't have any problem with Christians. Unfortunately, I have encountered some Christians who had problems with people of any other religion. I'm glad to hear that you have had more peaceful experience! =)
@mamasan34 (6518)
• United States
17 Sep 07
Anti-christ is being used as a term to describe someone who doesn't believe in Christ or God. The proper term would be atheist.
2 people like this
@lecanis (16647)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
17 Sep 07
Actually, atheist wouldn't be the proper term either, because then you would be calling people of every religion except Christianity atheists, and that's not true. Many people of other religions do in fact believe in some form of deity or deities, while atheists don't.
1 person likes this
@Stiletto (4579)
21 Sep 07
LOL I responded to a discussion the other day about the "anti-Christ" just because, as an atheist, I was fairly amused at being called that. I'm not really sure exactly what the person starting the discussion was meaning but I gave him the benefit of the doubt and assumed he meant it literally as in "anti" being opposed to Christ. I pointed out to him what you have already said in your OP - how can I be against something I don't believe exists? That doesn't make sense at all. "Neutral" is a good term to use I think - I really don't have any feelings about it so that describes my attitude pretty well. I wasn't offended by the term "anti-Christ" - I just thought it was quite funny. I've not been called that before!
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16647)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
23 Sep 07
*giggles* Well, it is pretty funny, when you look at it that way. I often use the same argument "How can I worship something I don't believe exists?" when being accused of worshiping the devil. =P
1 person likes this
@sunshinecup (7871)
17 Sep 07
No speaking as a Christian, I can honestly say I have never called anyone that. That is pretty sick if you ask me. You are so correct, it's equating non Christians as evil and that is so darn wrong in so many ways.
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16647)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
17 Sep 07
Thanks, sunshinecup! It seems like the people who say this are indeed in the minority, which makes me feel much better. =) Speaking of which, I think you're one of the nicest Christians I know. =P
@Ravenladyj (22904)
• United States
18 Sep 07
Sunshine are so right..it is wrong in so many ways... Lecanis I agree with you..Sunshine IS one of the nicest isnt she :-D
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16647)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
19 Sep 07
Yup, she's pretty awesome. Definitely a "ray of sunshine" in my life. =)
@angelicEmu (1311)
18 Sep 07
I'm afraid this is yet another symptom of one of the uglier sides of human nature being used by religious organisations who don't wield as much power within the richer countries as they used to. Intolerance, feeling threatened by anything different (as though by choosing your own path which happens to be different from theirs, is a threat or an act of moral aggression), small-mindedness, bigotry, pettiness, ignorance, suspicion and all of these basest and worst aspects of human nature (acting like a cornered rat ready to pounce and tear someone else's throat out just because they're not a member of your gang) are, I'm sorry to say, on the increase nowadays, certainly in the UK, and I believe in the US too. You see, when religions feel their influence and (more to the point) bank-balances slipping, they tend to get all "wrath of god" on their congregations' a$$es, to scare them into attending, rather than losing anymore loyal subjects to open-mindedness or apathy. Now the reason for the extra boost of nastiness within certain noisy (if not that large) sections of society nowadays, is also down to the fact that certain governments (who shall remain nameless) secretly declared war on certain terrorist leaders who helped them out in the Gulf War, got rather sanctimonious about it when their homeland was attacked, (surprise surprise) and used the whole mess as an excuse to go and nick Iraq's oil. Oh yes, and of course, to illegally overthrow their government, set up the "democracy" so that the new leader would be one who was more pro their point of view, and to completely de-stabilise that whole region. Nice eh? And who would believe that a democratically-elected first-world government would be able to get away with that sort of thing, unless their people had been whipped up into a frenzy of fear, paranoia, ignorance and religious "millennium" excitement (who would have thought that changing a decimal in the man-made measuring system of time would have made so many people so ready to accept anything from their leaders - the bloodier, the more hellfire and brimstone the better. Scary thought, but politicians love to use this sort of thing too - it makes the christians so much more pliable, morally suggestible and zealous - and all you have to do is use the words "911" or "god" or "millennium". In my opinion, arguing with such people is tiring, futile and deeply frustrating, but there are times when I can't bite my tongue - I don't see why theirs should be the only point of view which people express, and at least I have reason and morality and knowledge on my side!
1 person likes this
23 Sep 07
Thanks lecanis. Sometimes, on forums like this, it's good to be the dissenting voice when there's a concensus of ignorance, and the easily-swayed might just accept the ignorant points themselves. At least if you refute the non-points made by people whom you aren't trying to convince, you know that a. the truth will be out there in a place where there's plenty of mis-information, whether or not anyone listens to it, and b. you've spoken out against the madness which gets perpetuated and can escalate to ridiculous levels if no-one bothers to point out the obvious flaws in this "reasoning". All the best to you, and I'm sure your measured, logical non-knee-jerk responses have helped some vulnerable folks (especially young people being brought up in far-right-wing and cultish communities) who are looking for other points of view, to start to think for themselves, and have the confidence to question and learn. This can only be a good thing :-)
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16647)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
19 Sep 07
You make a lot of really good points here. I feel the same way about arguing... I know it's futile but sometimes I just can't help it!
1 person likes this
@cyntrow (8523)
• United States
17 Sep 07
I personally find it highly insulting to suggest that someone who is not Christian is the anti-Christ. The anti-Christ is supposedly the epitome of evil and that is not how I have found most non christains. historically, though, the anti christ in Revolations probably referred to Nero, and many of my fellow Christians would try to crucify me for this statement. Probably the same ones who would call a non christian the anti christ. LOL
1 person likes this
@cyntrow (8523)
• United States
17 Sep 07
LOL, some would probably view me as the anti christ. Your heart is your core. If love and heart are anti Christ, I would be anti. Christ was pro human. Sucks that people have hi jacked his teachings and called them their own. Sad. Very sad. A friend of both of ours is the epitome of Christian and yet he can't call himself that because of what the word means. OMG, I am so on my soap box right now. LOL Peace and love to all.
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16647)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
17 Sep 07
"A friend of both of ours is the epitome of Christian and yet he can't call himself that because of what the word means." Yup, this is a very, very good example. One of the most loving people I know refuses the label "Christian" because of how it has been misused it. Oh, completely off topic, I saw you mentioned that you had sick children! I hope they feel better soon!!
@lecanis (16647)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
17 Sep 07
Haha, beautiful response as always, cyntrow! I have heard the Nero idea before actually, it's interesting. I'm glad that you can see us "anti-Christs" for what we are, cyntrow! I'd hate to think you thought I was evil! ;)
@agnescav (566)
• United States
18 Sep 07
I saw a couple of post calling 'non-believers' anti-Christs. My initial reaction was to explain why Christmas is celebrated in December. I went against my judgments and decided to leave it alone. At times, I get tired of explaining that I am not a believer in the Judaic system. And if I respond in that manner, I leave it to the appropriate posts. I have no desire to be a martyr, emotionally, physically or mentally.
1 person likes this
@cyntrow (8523)
• United States
19 Sep 07
Oh, I love the whole Yuletide thing. Nothing about Christmas has to do with Christ. It's all about sharing and giving. OK, Jesus was probably a giver, but the holiday is pagan based. Christians wont accept this fact. Easter is also pagan based. Hmmm We need to focus on what the man said, rather than how we intepret it. Paganism is not about hate. Anyone who has done a half an ounce of research can see this. Therefore, non Christian cannot be equated to evil.
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16647)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
19 Sep 07
That's a good point... X-mas isn't the nicest thing in the world either. Though I always laugh that Christians sing songs that say "Yule" or "Yule-tide" in them, since Yule is the Norse winter holiday. I had an argument over that with a teacher in school when I was a kid, because she kept saying "Yule is just another word for Christmas, it doesn't MEAN anything else."
• United States
17 Sep 07
I have never seen or heard someone use that term except when describing the book of Revelations. That is quite a weird use of the word. I have heard non-Christians referred to as Gentiles, non-believers, or pagans. However, I do agree that people that do not believe in Christ should not be given a nickname. They are just people.
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16647)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
17 Sep 07
Oh, I love the last part of your post there! You are correct, we are all just people! =)
@lecanis (16647)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
17 Sep 07
I completely agree that any religion can be misused, and it is wrong to judge people of all religions based on the actions of a few. I know many nice Muslims, just as a I know nice Christians, nice Jews, nice Hindus, nice Buddhists, nice Humanists... and so on. And of course nice Pagans, since I'm one of those. =P
• United States
17 Sep 07
Well, the troubling thing to me is that despite for the human need to beleive in something or another, we have to berate those who do not share the same beliefs. And I do believe that all religions have their heretics, but the Christians sit and yell about Islamic extremists. However, didn't the Christians commit the same amount of heresy during the Crusades? Just something to ponder. I apologize in advance for my side rant.
1 person likes this