Sai Baba: Antichrist Superstar!
"For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible." - Matthew 24.24
According to Tal Brooke in his book 'Avatar Of Night' (formerly titled 'Lord Of The Air'), this is the random verse he selected with his fingertip as his Bible fell open to a random page when he was reading on a Puttaparthi hilltop. Great technique I must say, and it is one that I have used regularly in my own scriptural study over the years to obtain my "thought for the day". It is also a popular methof amongst many Christian friends of mine. For Brooke, this verse served as an ominous portent of things to come. A chain of events was set in motion where Brooke slowly realised that Sai Baba was a fraud, left his association and went on to become a dedicated Christian.
The idea of Sai Baba being an antichrist (even the Antichrist) has been one that has been considered by devotees and sceptics alike. It was also a concept that I flirted with as a teenager although, in my view, Sai Baba was actually the Messiah-figure who had advented to slaughter the Antichrist in a grand and destructive Armageddon battle. That is, if you follow the Bible to it's conclusion.
Is that a strange idea? Compared to the thoughts and speculations about Sai Baba from fellow devotess in those days, my own views were veritable PhD. theses! I've heard the nuttiest ideas from devotees, truly and utterly nutty. One thing that sticks out in my mind right now is how a devotee once told me how she revered her dog as her guru. Another thing is how they justified keeping Sai Baba's pictures or books in the toilet, as well as singing bhajans while naked in the bath.
Alas, I digress. Keeping in mind that Sai Baba's devotees are fond of quoting passages in Revelations 19 as evidence of Sai Baba's incarnation, it's funny how they fall silent after reading Verse 16. As I'm a great believer in viewing things in the proper context, I couldn't help noticing references in Verses 19 and 21 relating how the "beast" makes war against the rider on the white horse. To find out who this dirty beast was, I had to skip back a few chapters (to Chapter 13) to find out all about the Antichrist with the infamous '666' mark. What can I say? Contextually, what does the beastly Antichrist have to do with Sai Baba? Sai devotees appear to be divided on this issue; if it is all figurative then what does it mean? If it is real, then who or what is the Antichrist?
As an interesting anecdote, Howard Murphet relates the story of John Worldie in his book, 'Sai Baba Avatar'. Worldie had apparently snapped a few photos of Sai Baba on the day of Mahashivaratri and was struck to discover a photographic aberration on one of them after subsequent development. While Worldie and Murphet were both of the opinion that this was a miraculous display of Sai Baba's 'third eye', Worldie appears to have later changed his opinion and that it was a clear '666' mark. Apparently there were only three copies of that photo (one was gifted to Murphet) and so it is unlikely that we will able to see this picture and verify it for ourselves.
Regardless of Sai Baba's identity as the Antichrist or not, Matthew 24.24 sure appears to confirm that genuine followers of Christ will not be bewildered by any fancy display of miracles. With this definition I think we can safely conclude that Sai Baba is not the genuine article, given that a large majority of his followers are constantly amazed about reported miracles attributed to him as well as quoting stories of the same to support their claims of his divinity. :-)
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