Editor's Note: Pastor Roger Barrier's "Ask Roger" column regularly appears at Preach It, Teach It. Every week at Crosswalk, Dr. Barrier puts nearly 40 years of experience in the pastorate to work answering questions of doctrine or practice for laypeople, or giving advice on church leadership issues. Email him your questions at [email protected].
I have heard a lot about the RFID chip. Some people say that could be something to do with the Mark of the Beast. Is that true or will the Mark of the Beast be more like a tattoo? Is the chip okay to have inserted?
Sincerely, A Reader
The RFID (Radio-Frequency IDentification) chip is nothing new. It’s been around for many years. It’s just now coming into prominence as technology catches up to its possibilities.
The RFID chip, which is the size of a grain of rice, is inserted directly under the skin. It takes the place of a barcode or the magnetic strip at the back of a credit card (as well as a number of other things).
Eventually, many stores, especially grocery stores, will be wired to allow “chipped” buyers to fill their carts and simply walk out the door--all conveniently paid for.
In the financial arena, there will be no need to carry around any cash, credit, or debit cards. Already, very few transactions require cash. In fact, Apple CEO, Tim Cook, predicts that the next generation of children will not know what money is.
From my perspective, I like the convenience but I don’t like the devices’ ability to track my every move. This tracking ability smacks of a possible totalitarian government enabled to limit and control the freedom of every individual under their realm. Of course, there are some advantages to this. These devices could easily locate a dementia-impaired senior adult, wayward child, or a hard-to-find teenager--or a dog.
My daughter had a GPS chip embedded in one of her dogs. The chip followed and recorded her dog’s every move. We all had fun tracking the dog. On the other hand, I certainly don’t want anyone tracking me.
The other problem that I see as to do with the electromagnetic frequencies that invade our brains from simple devices like cell phones. A growing pile of evidence seems to support the idea that these frequencies which are bombarding our brains cause cancer. While we use cell phones intermittently, what would it be like to have a permanent chip installed in your body?
Now, reader, to get to your question, I doubt that RFID chips are the 666 tool of the beast to force those alive in the tribulation to either submit to the Antichrist or be forbidden to buy and sell essential foodstuffs, or to find a job.
If you’ve lived long enough, you recall the uproar when credit cards became standard fare in America. Many were afraid that the Beast was upon us.
If you’ve lived long enough, you’ll recall the introduction of barcodes into mainstream American society. Many Christians were convinced that barcodes foreshadowed the work of the Antichrist. Of course, now we know that neither credit cards nor barcodes have anything to do with the Mark of the Beast.
Personally, it seems to me that many Christians who are worried about RFID chips are following in the footsteps of the two previous generations.
In retrospect, there seems to be many parallels between these chips and the Mark of the Beast (Revelation 13:8-9).
- Both have to do with buying and selling and other economic pressures.
- The idea that the Mark is placed on the forehead or the palm of the right hand certainly parallels the placing of today’s RFID chips under the skin.
By the way, the Bible says that the beast will kill everyone who fails to have the Mark. Correspondingly, the Bible says that God will destroy those who do!
Could the mark of the beast be a tattoo? I don’t know why not.
In the same way that ranchers brand their cattle for identification, the Antichrist will use the Mark to identify those who are his. Let me cut straight to the bottom line RFID chips are the ultimate form of identification.
As far as your question, “Is the chip okay to have inserted?” the answer in my mind is a toss-up. Credit cards and barcodes have become standard fare in our culture, I think that RFID chips are not far behind. Frankly, that scares the daylight out of me. Of course, you and I both know that the government has all sorts of means and manners to collect just about any data that it wants to about any of us—already.
You might want to read my "Ask Roger" on 666 and Counting.
Reader, I’m glad that you asked this question. I hope it will be helpful for you and for others who are thinking and asking about the same things.
Dr. Roger Barrier retired as senior teaching pastor from Casas Church in Tucson, Arizona. In addition to being an author and sought-after conference speaker, Roger has mentored or taught thousands of pastors, missionaries, and Christian leaders worldwide. Casas Church, where Roger served throughout his thirty-five-year career, is a megachurch known for a well-integrated, multi-generational ministry. The value of including new generations is deeply ingrained throughout Casas to help the church move strongly right through the twenty-first century and beyond. Dr. Barrier holds degrees from Baylor University, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Golden Gate Seminary in Greek, religion, theology, and pastoral care. His popular book, Listening to the Voice of God, published by Bethany House, is in its second printing and is available in Thai and Portuguese. His latest work is, Got Guts? Get Godly! Pray the Prayer God Guarantees to Answer, from Xulon Press. Roger can be found blogging at Preach It, Teach It, the pastoral teaching site founded with his wife, Dr. Julie Barrier.
Publication date: September 26, 2016