Don't let anyone deceive you [that Christ has returned], for (that day will not come) until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed...He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God. ...For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed... The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.
(2 Thess. 1-6)
* Pictures of Bush with halos.
* Republican faithful associating him with miracles.
* Comparisons of Bush to Christ.
* Casual acceptance of presidential lies by people calling themselves "Christians."
* People calling themselves "Christians" inverting the gospels to use the name "Christ" to justify murder, avarice, hate, and every sin forbidden by the Law of Moses.
And now this:
President Bush has quietly claimed the authority to disobey more than 750 laws enacted since he took office, asserting that he has the power to set aside any statute passed by Congress when it conflicts with his interpretation of the Constitution....Many legal scholars say they believe that Bush's theory about his own powers goes too far and that he is seizing for himself some of the law-making role of Congress and the Constitution-interpreting role of the courts....Golove said that to the extent Bush is interpreting the Constitution in defiance of the Supreme Court's precedents, he threatens to "overturn the existing structures of constitutional law."A president who ignores the court, backed by a Congress that is unwilling to challenge him, Golove said, can make the Constitution simply "disappear."
Only the Constitution never disappears, no matter what laws are written or repealed, because it is based on transcendent, eternal principles: God-given principles, if you like.
The title "Man of Lawlessness" has always puzzled people, but it didn't puzzle me, at least not for very long. Jesus's disciples witnessed the first grand empire that was believed to encompass the whole earth. Whereas previous empires had been constrained by rivals, the Roman emperors were without any constraint.
And, while many rulers have recognized the political advantage of declaring divine authority, kinship, or even godhood, the world had by then evolved so that it's doubtful many kings-- even Julius and Augustus Caesar believed they were gods in the unselfconscious sense that the Egyptian royalty evidently did. People like Nero and Caligula represented therefore a reversion to an unfamiliar pattern of absolute authority, unchecked by rivals, human or divine. They were the law.
And if one is the law, then one is lawless, because laws are rules that apply to everyone. Like Nero and Caligula, lawless people are or become mad. Hubris consumes and destroys them. There have only been a handful of such figures in modern history, and they have been the most destructive rulers of all time.
Is Bush the Man of Lawlessness described in 2 Thess.? God alone knows. But there has been a rebellion within the Christian church, in which many have renounced the Sermon on the Mount and taken up unprovoked war. The one who holds back the rebellion is the Spirit of Truth, the counselor. Heaven knows that truth is held in little enough regard today.
Bush certainly is a lawless man. He might even be the Man of Lawlessness.