"For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect."
Mark 13:22, NIV
I've read the above verse many times and wondered, What would it take to deceive the elect? Well, I believe I've figured it out! So, if there's a false messiah or future antichrist reading this, here's a little help for your campaign of persuasion.
Dear Future Antichrist,
I can't tell you how to gain a following among Christians all over the world, but I have learned a couple of things about my own culture that may help you. If you want to reach at least some of the conservative Christians in America, make certain you have these two bases covered. Nothing else matters except these two issues.
(1) You must promise to protect Second Amendment rights. It doesn't matter whether you really value or follow through on this; just make certain everyone believes you will.
(2) You must proclaim that you're now pro-life. Your previous position, words, and actions don't matter. All you have to do is say that you're pro-life now, and and you will have unquestioning followers.
These are the only two check boxes that evidently matter. If you can convince your followers that you hold these two things dear, you will have full impunity to say and do anything you want. As long as you cover your bases in these areas, your followers will support you regardless of anything that happens afterwards, in spite of how preposterous your words and actions really are.
Good luck (not really),
*Let me be perfectly clear: no, I do not actually believe any of the candidates currently running for office are "the Antichrist" (none of them have enough charisma and charm to qualify). However, I do believe many of the actions seen in today's politics (across party affiliations) are, indeed, antichrist (lower case "a")--that is, in opposition (ἀντίχριστος) to the person and work of Christ (1 John 2:18, 22; 4:3; 2 John 1:7). And I'm saddened as to how some people can forego all discernment to uncritically ignore grossly bad behavior and past history as long as a prominent individual proclaims (with no evidence of sincerity) to value a couple of prominent hot button issues.
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law."
Galatians 5:22-23, HCSB (emphasis added)