A professor of religion has claimed that Christians who refuse to wear face masks reflect the spirit of antichrist.
Obery M. Hendricks Jr, a visiting research scholar at Columbia University, was speaking on a Youtube show called Can I Push It?, presented by Rev Dr Howard-John Wesley when he made the claim during a discussion about freedom, responsibility and Donald Trump supporters.
Hendricks Jr, author of a book called Christians against Christianity: How right-wing Evangelicals are destroying our nation and our faith, told Wesley right-wing Christian’s tendencies to prioritise their individual liberty above what is best for the community was anti-Christian.
He said: “The overarching perspective of scripture is not freedom, it’s responsibility…We have freedom, but we don’t have freedom from responsibility…They are violating the biblical principle of responsibility for our brothers and sisters…What we see reflected in their attitudes, in their actions and their pronouncements is what 1 John calls the spirit of antichrist. Anti means in opposition to. What these folk are saying is in opposition to the gospel.”
He went on to claim that Franklin Graham, Paula White, and Robert Jeffress — all prominent evangelical supporters of former President Donald Trump — also have the spirit of antichrist, saying they were “in the thrall of evil discourse and evil actions….It’s hurting innocent people in the name of Christ and they don’t care.”
Hendricks Jr, an elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, who published Christians against Christianity last year, is an established author and former Wall Street executive.
Following the comments, Rev Wesley said that he expected he would get “some pushback” in emails about the comments, but encouraged viewers to read Hendrick Jr’s book to understand what was happening in the United States at this time.