Tony Blair Is Not the Antichrist
Natalia J. Garland
Tony Blair cannot be the Antichrist. If you are shocked by that
statement, it is because: (A) You already firmly believe that Blair
is the Antichrist, or (B) You are unaware that some Christians have
developed a biblical formula that posits Blair as the Antichrist.
I was unaware of these beliefs and rumors about Blair when I began
writing the Post-Iraq Views of the New Year series.
And, Blair's 10 Lessons did not strike me as anti-Christian.
However, it recently came to my attention that some Christian
individuals and groups have pinpointed Blair as the Antichrist or
as a prototype of the Antichrist. Therefore, I shall attempt to
address this issue. So, this essay is really an addendum to Part III of the Post-Iraq series.
My Concerns about End-times Predictions
There seem to be
five major points associated with the designation of Blair as the
Antichrist. (1) Biblical prophecy, especially from the Book of
Daniel and from Revelation. (2) Blair's involvement with the
European Union and the possibility of his becoming its first
full-time president.* (3) Blair's conversion to Roman Catholicism
which gives him access to the Pope and the Vatican. (4) His
founding of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation. (5) His support of a
peaceful co-existence between Palestine and Israel.
(1) It is beyond the
scope of this essay to dig into biblical prophecy. My emphasis
will be on this: there have been many false predictions of the
end-times. Predictions are difficult to prove or disprove within
any current world conditions. It is all a matter of biblical
interpretation, and matching current events to the interpretation.
If specific names, dates, and places are included in the prediction,
such as is true of the assertions about Blair, then only the
passing of time can indicate whether or not those beliefs become
fulfilled in reality. For example, if Blair is a prototype of the
Antichrist, we will not really know this until the real
Antichrist appears and begins his unholy deeds.
If Blair, who is
56 years old, is the Antichrist, then he has relatively little time
remaining (depending on his health) in which to gain dominance
over the world's systems. That means many of us who are alive
today will see this happen. If Blair is a prototype of the
Antichrist, then Christians will continue to anticipate the
appearance of the real Antichrist. Will the real one appear while
Blair is still alive, or after his death? And, if Blair is a
prototype, does that mean he is evil? Or is he just a hapless
human sign of things to come?
speculation is often drawn from the Book of Daniel and from
Revelation, as well as various other biblical passages pertaining
to prophecy or description of the last days. The interpretation of
prophecy includes the assessment of geography, historical and
political dynamics, and numbers (dates, adding numbers together,
and the meaning of 666 or the mark of the beast).
Then, current people, places, and events are plugged into the
interpretation. The result is a formula-based prediction with a
certain level of precision according to the context of each
individual's end-time prediction.
It is not my
intention to criticize the study of end-times. End-times is a part
of the Bible and, therefore, a legitimate area of study.
Christians need to know the Bible. However, I have three concerns
about actual speculation on people, places, and events. (A) Such
teachings can be incorrect and even disastrous (I am referring to
cults such as the Jim Jones group). (B) It seems almost the entire
focus of some churches, while the behavioral and spiritual aspects
of redemption receive less attention. (C) In some instances, it has
turned into a money-making undertaking with the selling of books
and CD's. Now, there is nothing wrong with Christians making money
from their knowledge. However, if it were absolutely essential
that average Christians understand the details of the end-times,
why not provide this information freely instead of charging $60.00
for a packaged deal on a book and a couple of CD's?
What if Blair is
indeed the Antichrist? What should we do? If we tried to stop
him, then we would be interfering with God's plan. If we did
nothing, then we would be enablers or accomplices. What if Blair
is not the Antichrist? Would certain Christians not be guilty of
heresy? How many Christians have been misled by incompetent and
overly confident preachers? Has mental or spiritual harm been done
to Blair? It would seem, at best, that any emphasis on end-times
should be used as an evangelistic tool. In other words, if people
felt the shortness of life, or the overall brevity of time in a
spiritual sense, then perhaps that would prompt conversion to
Christianity and the transformation of lifestyle, relationships,
some Christians interpret Blair's involvement with the European
Union as the beginning of a one-world government over which the
Antichrist will eventually rule. This means that the Antichrist
will originate from or will station himself within Europe. There
are some Christians--not just those who pinpoint Blair--who believe
that Europe will be the center of Antichrist activity. If Blair
becomes the full-time president of the European Union, then it is
convenient to plug in his name as the Antichrist. What if Blair
does not become its president? Would that change the
interpretation of prophecy? Or, would Blair's name have to be
removed from the biblical formula and someone else's name plugged
in? If so, then error was committed and people were misled.
Is Blair politically
ambitious? Possibly. Many world leaders desire power, control,
authority, fame, wealth, importance. This is nothing new. Does
Blair hope to be of service to Europe, the United States, and the
world? We know that Blair was America's strongest partner in the
war on terror. Even after the Iraq War became very unpopular,
Blair remained America's friend and supporter. Did Blair attach
himself to George W. Bush just to acquire world recognition? If
so, why did Blair not detach from Bush as Bush became increasingly
hated throughout America and the world? Why would the Antichrist
maintain such conviction and loyalty?
One would have to
believe that Blair was so malevolent as to want to kill terrorists
only for the purpose of getting them out of the way to make his
domination of the world easier. One would have to believe that
Blair was so cunning as to seize solidarity with Americans in a
time of great need only for the purpose of concealing his evil
suffered politically for his alliance with Bush. He eventually
resigned from his post as Prime Minister. Below are some selected
quotations from his farewell speech to the British people.
Britain is not a follower, it is a leader. It gets the essential
characteristic of today's world: its interdependence. This is a
country today that, for all its faults, for all the myriad of
unresolved problems and fresh challenges, is comfortable in the
21st Century, at home in its own skin, able not just to be proud
of its past but confident of its future.
I ask you to accept one thing. Hand on heart, I did what I thought
was right. I may have been wrong. That's your call. But believe one
thing if nothing else--I did what I thought was right for our
country. I came into office with high hopes for Britain's future.
I leave it with even higher hopes for Britain's future.
I have been very lucky and very blessed. This country is a blessed
nation. The British are special, the world knows it, in our
innermost thoughts, we know it. This is the greatest nation on
Earth. It has been an honour to serve it.
I give my thanks to you, the British people, for the times I have
succeeded, and my apologies to you for the times I have fallen
short. Good luck.
[End of quotes.]
(3) Blair converted
to Catholicism after he ceased to be Prime Minister. Did he do
this to reinforce involvement with the European Union? Most
Europeans are Roman Catholic, with a growing population of Muslims.
Did Blair want to attach himself to the Pope as a new political
partner? Or, were there other reasons for his conversion? Blair
is married to a Catholic woman, and they sent their children to
Catholic schools. This is very uncommon in England, and it
would probably require conviction and strength of character to go
against the cultural norm.
Why did Blair not
convert to Catholicism sooner? This was possibly due to his
position as Prime Minister. British officials tend to belong to
the Church of England. Blair identified himself as an
Anglo-Catholic, which is a branch of the Church of England. It
could be argued that Blair followed a religious path that was
politically self-serving. Perhaps. However, Blair was in a tight
spot. He was, nevertheless, a believer in Christ although not
officially aligned with the Catholic Church. It would seem that
his conversion to Catholicism was not a matter of belief in God,
but of doctrine and church structure.
has been criticized by the Catholic Church for some of his liberal
political views, and criticized by others for leaning toward some
New Age practices. He and his wife are reported to own
"magic pendants" and to have participated in a
rebirthing ceremony. (Let us not forget that Nancy Reagan was
involved in astrology.) But how does Blair describe his spiritual
I was brought up as [a Christian], but I was not in any real sense
a practising one until I went to Oxford. There was an Australian
priest at the same college as me who got me interested again. In a
sense, it was a rediscovery of religion as something living, that
was about the world around me rather than some sort of special
one-to-one relationship with a remote Being on high. Suddenly I
began to see its social relevance. I began to make sense of the
[End of quote.]
It seems, for Blair,
that religion and the world make sense when there is a social
aspect. Blair does not seem to fall into the contemplative or
ascetic categories. And, his personal relationship with God seems
obstructed by his feeling that God is remote. However, there are
many Christians (and non-believers) who struggle with this same
(4) During the
writing of the Post-Iraq series, I could not find any information
on the Tony Blair Faith Foundation. Either it did not have an
internet presence, or the website was malfunctioning when I did my
research. My major interest at that time, anyway, was in Blair's
10 Points and how these points could contribute to: (A) A
definition of legitimate religion as opposed to religious
fanaticism, (B) A definition of true faith as opposed to a true
church, and (C) How these definitions could help people of
different backgrounds to confront terrorism. However, in the
process of writing today's essay, I located the website without any
Those who view
Blair as the Antichrist apparently think that he is using his
Foundation to establish a one-world religion. According the
Foundation's website, however, one of its goals is to develop
understanding and cooperation among Christians, Jews, Muslims and
people of other major religions for the purpose of working together
to solve world problems. Another goal is to find ways to maintain
one's faith in a modern and globalized world.
Yet in a world in which 4 billion people--two thirds of the
population--are of faith, can we be sure that young people are
equipped to participate as global citizens if they do not
understand much about the world's major religions? How can we
ensure that a lack of knowledge does not lead to prejudice,
antagonism and tension?
There are some significant opportunities at hand. We are already
seeing how new technologies are stimulating radically new
approaches to teaching and learning. Why not apply these
technologies in such a way as to encourage students of different
faiths to learn directly with, from and about each other to support
encounter, exploration and exchange between students from different
countries and cultures?
[End of quote.]
Nothing on the
website seems aggressively or obviously anti-Christian. The
Foundation, at worst, has a multi-faith and multicultural approach.
In other words, it does not prefer one religion over another, but
emphasizes education on different belief systems and cooperative
service to others. How is this going to create a one-world
religion? In order to do that, Blair would have to blend together
the common social themes of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and
form one generalized religion under his leadership (presumably his
leadership as president of the E.U.). This would not be impossible,
but Blair would have to work quickly to accomplish this in his
lifetime. If Blair is a prototype of the Antichrist, then someone
else would have to carry on the Foundation's work after his death
or create another similar arrangement.
What is the
difference between the work of Blair's Foundation and the work of
an organized church? Blair's humanitarian projects involve
multi-faith cooperation, while a church's projects (missionary
work, service programs, etc.) include the saving of souls and the
glorification of Jesus Christ. That is a great difference, but the
former is not necessarily antagonistic to the latter.
However, we know
that some Protestant groups--and it seems that evangelical
Protestants are the ones who pinpoint Blair--have a history of
anti-Catholicism and anti-Papery, and regard praying to the Virgin
Mary and the saints as cult religion. One might suspect that the
remnants of anti-Catholicism are at work in the negative
speculation on Blair. Some Protestants also object to the A.A.
concept of a Higher Power and the Twelve Steps.
Foundation is not Blair's only project. He also established the
Tony Blair Sports Foundation. Those who pinpoint Blair seem not
to mention how or if his Sports Foundation fits into any
On 14 November 2007, Blair launched the Tony Blair Sports
Foundation, which aims to "increase childhood participation in
sports activities, especially in the North East of England, where a
larger proportion of children are socially excluded, and to promote
overall health and prevent childhood obesity." On 30 May
2008, Blair launched the Tony Blair Faith Foundation as a vehicle
for encouraging different faiths to join together in promoting
respect and understanding, as well as working to tackle poverty.
Reflecting Blair's own faith, but not dedicated to any particular
religion, the Foundation aims to "show how faith is a powerful
force for good in the modern world."
[End of quote.]
earlier, some Christians believe that Europe will be the center of
Antichrist activity. The Antichrist will create a new Roman
Empire. Since Blair converted to Catholicism, that would seem to
allow him greater acceptance among Europeans as well as access to
the Vatican. Hence, his name is plugged into a biblical formula
according to the one-world government and one-world religion
Before moving on
to the final point, let me digress and say that some Christians
are also anti-psychotherapy. There are some who believe that
psychotherapy is demonic. To read more on this topic, see my
essays: Doers of the Word which I wrote in
December, 2005, and Freud Deserves Respect which I wrote in
(5) Blair is in
favor of peaceful co-existence between Palestine and Israel. Now,
support for Israel is a major component in some Protestant
churches. For the purpose of today's essay, I am not agreeing or
disagreeing with this stance. But, it must be noted that Blair's
position on Palestine seems to complete the Antichrist picture for
some Christians. Regarding peaceful relations, however, Blair
contributed to the Northern Ireland Peace Process, and his work
helped to develop the Good Friday Agreement.
Blair's Multi-Faith Setup
Beyond the biblical
formulas--that is, the geographical and political
interpretations--is there anything about Blair's Foundation that is
actually anti-Christ. Would professing Christians be
excluded, shunned, or persecuted? Would any Christian member be
forced to deny that Jesus Christ is the Son of God? Let's see what
the Foundation says about maintaining one's religion within its
Question: I'm not sure about multi-faith work. Will I have to 'let
go' of any of my beliefs in order to get involved?
No. Multi-faith work recognises that there are differences between
religious and philosophical beliefs and affirms that distinction.
Multi-faith work is not about believing that all religions are the
same or possess equally valid claims to truth. Nor is it about
trying to convert one another or the creation of a new age
It is instead about recognizing that we share a deeply-held
inspiration to do good in the world and being willing to act on
that, even while maintaining our particular beliefs. If you choose
to organize a multi-faith effort, please proceed in this spirit of
affirming uniqueness while acting on shared inspiration.
By uniting to save lives and combat malaria, faith communities can
help themselves and the broader world to realize that while they
may pray in distinct languages, they share a common concern to
build a better world and are better equipped to achieve that
together than alone.
[End of quote.]
The above three
paragraphs seem to confirm the social aspect of Blair's
spirituality, as well as his goal to solve world problems through
an understanding of one another and through humanitarian projects.
But how does the Foundation implement its multi-faith approach?
The Foundation offers certain principles, projects, recommended
readings, and resources for teachers who want to offer their
students lessons on religion. This is an area where some churches
(temples and mosques) and parents might feel uncomfortable.
(1) Charity, Poverty and Wealth: Students explore the different
meanings of wealth and poverty--including spiritual and
materialistic--and interpret what different faiths have to say
about wealth and in turn charity. The videoconference encounter is
an opportunity for students to share their thoughts on what it
means to be wealthy and how this links to notions of happiness.
(2) Environment: Students investigate, co-operate, debate and think
critically on a range of issues concerning the environment from
'What does it mean to be at home?' to 'How can people of different
faiths come together to tackle issues such as global warming or
sustainable development?' Students explore one another's beliefs
and values seeking out commonalities and differences, and
considering how faith can be a force for positive change.
(3) The Art of Expression: The Art of Expression module offers a
creative exploration of truth and beauty in the world's religions,
including their art, architecture, music and sacred scriptures. The
module emphasises students' own skills of reflection and begins
with critical examination of beauty in the arts, across human
cultures, as well as in the natural world. The module also engages
with some political themes, looking in particular at limits that
religions may place--or be perceived as placing--on freedom of
[End of quote.]
Let's focus on the
Art of Expression. The sections on charity and environment are
practical and fit within the scope of the Foundation's stated
goals. (I am overlooking whether or not global warming is a
legitimate issue--for the sake of argument and in order to stay
focused.) The Art of Expression, however, discusses truth and
beauty. Truth is different from practical or cultural
commonalities. For the Christian, there can be no truth except as
taught by Jesus Christ. If the Bible is the Word of God, then
Christians will not find truth in other religions.
As for finding
beauty in art and sacred texts, this would be more appropriate for
art history courses and literature courses. This kind of study is
also more appropriate for older students who are already
well-grounded in their own faith, or for adults who have no
religion and who are searching. Those parts of the third section
could be omitted. Let students learn about and understand one
another through the processes of charitable and environmental
studies and projects. The third section also includes a module on
political themes. This should be the focus of free expression:
discussion of freedom and oppression rather than truth and beauty.
And, discussion of freedom of expression would have to include the
study of democracy and constitutions. Perhaps it would be better
if students studied the Great Books of Western
Civilization instead of various sacred texts.
The result of a
focus on religious truth and beauty, even if unintended, is that
all religions might appear the same. There could be a leveling
off of the negative aspects in order to find common positive
aspects which would enable people to work together. Participants
would have to place a priority on the Foundation's statement:
"Multi-faith work is not about believing that all religions
are the same or possess equally valid claims to truth."
Let us remember
that George W. Bush had a universalist approach to religion. He
said, "Well, first of all, I believe in an almighty God, and I
believe that all the world, whether they be Muslim, Christian, or
any other religion, prays to the same God. That's what
I believe." To read more on this topic, see my essay We Do Not All Worship the Same God which
I wrote in October, 2007.
Is Blair attempting
a one-world government and a one-world religion? Is he
pro-religion but anti-Christ? Or, is he politically liberal in
some areas? With a tendency toward multiculturalism? And perhaps
a little kooky? Does Blair even have the capacity to be an
effective Antichrist? Let's read what the biographer, Anthony
Sheldon, wrote about him.
All prime ministers are limited by external forces: in Tony Blair's
case it was the erosion of support due to the Iraq war, the
unremitting hostility to much of his reform agenda from his
chancellor, Gordon Brown, a lack of Blairite ministers of quality
to run the departments of state, or supporters in the party at
At his best, as in his response to the death of Princess Diana in
1997, to 9/11, or to the London bombings in July 2005, he was able
to find a language that chimed with the national mood that few
prime ministers, or indeed US presidents, have matched.
But the obstacles he encountered, his lack of governing experience,
and his lateness in discovering his personal agenda, meant his
achievements were less than he hoped for, or promised.
Perhaps, in his
quest to address globalization, Blair has again managed to find a
language that chimes with the global mood. Perhaps he has
finally discovered his personal agenda. One might even wonder if
his Foundation is an attempt at atonement for past failure, or to
counteract accusations that he was a warmonger. If any pinpointing
of the Antichrist is based on the content of the Tony Blair Faith
Foundation website, then it cannot be concluded that Blair is the
Antichrist. Either the biblical formula is incorrectly applied, or
the formula itself is incorrect. If there are any hidden, sneaky,
deceptively coded messages in the website, then I failed to detect
Other Explanations and Possibilities
It is not my
intention to defend Tony Blair or his Foundation. I have simply
tried to offer careful analysis and evaluation to determine if
there is any accuracy to the speculation that Blair is the
Antichrist. Such speculation, in turn, is based on claims which
may be invalid from the start.
Not all Christians
believe that Antichrist activity will be based in Europe or that
it will involve a one-world government and one-world religion.
Some believe that the Antichrist will rule only a portion of the
world. There will be activity (wars, etc.) in the other parts of
the world, but those activities will not be under the authority of
the Antichrist. There are also some Christians who believe that
the Antichrist will be Muslim and that he will reign over the
Middle East. And, all these beliefs are backed up with biblical
formulas. Which one is correct? Or are they all incorrect?
development of a new world order is of great concern to Americans,
such an arrangement could be effected apart from the Antichrist's
dominion. We may or may not agree with Blair's political
involvement in the European Union, and we may rightly question
whether this will have a negative impact or influence on the
sovereignty of America and other nations. This is a political
issue which may or may not overlap with Antichrist activity.
Foundation may have some troubling aspects, and it may or may not
parallel with the development of a new political world order.
The Foundation, nevertheless, does not directly express anti-Christ
sentiments. However, we may question whether the Foundation is an
effective way for different people to work together. It certainly
is not the only way. There are other agencies through which good
works are accomplished: Catholic Charities, World Vision, the
Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, and the Peace Corps to
mention just a few. Most Christian ministries also have service
programs which help in the neighborhood, and some extend globally
to all races and cultures.
It might behoove
Christians, given the ongoing threats and acts of terrorism, to
learn to work with non-Christians in order to create positive
relationships, solve world problems, and overcome terrorism through
collaboration. If some Christians feel disturbed by Blair's
multi-faith approach, then perhaps they should concentrate on the
maintenance and/or fortification of their church-based projects and
on the saving of souls. If other Christians are convinced that
Blair is the Antichrist, then it would seem imperative that they
announce that we are in the last days and stress repentance.
To the best of my
knowledge, the word antichrist is mentioned only four
times in the Bible, all in I John and II John. If you
refer to your concordance, then with some very simple
cross-referencing you can follow a path backwards from II John
to the Old Testament. This does not involve a study of prophecy,
but only a reading of brief descriptions of what it means to be an
For many deceivers
are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is
come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an
(II John 7)
And every spirit
that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not
of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye
have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the
(I John 4:3)
Who is a liar but he
that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that
denieth the Father and the Son.
(I John 2:22)
Little children, it
is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come,
even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the
(I John 2:18)
I am come in my
father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his
own name, him ye will receive.
For many shall come
in my name, saying, I am Christ, and shall deceive
Then the Lord said
unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not,
neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they
prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of
nought, and the deceit of their heart.
It is my hope that
the above passages might shine a light forward for those who feel
confused over the various end-times and Antichrist predictions. I
will avoid the temptation of personal interpretation--because I am
not called or qualified to do that. It is for the reader to decide
the meaning and application of the above passages as well as the
validity of this essay. (Written 07/02/09: bibliography available.)
[*ADDED NOTE: The
European Union has chosen Herman van Rompuy, the Prime Minister of
Belgium, as its first Council President. Van Rompuy is a
Christian Democrat. He favors both unity and diversity. In
addition to the Euro, he favors establishing E.U. license plates
and I.D. cards, and displaying more E.U. flags. However, he is
against Turkey joining the E.U. because it is an Islamic country
and he wants to maintain Europe's Christian heritage.] (Written
Until we meet