Thursday, March 2, 2006

Mark of the Beast

http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,70308-0.html

I've heard this before. People claiming RFID is the mark of the beast and the sign of the end times.

First, a little background. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags are sweeping the world and revolutionizing the way information is accessed. Believe it or not, we're only a few years away from the grocery store where you just push your cart out and the RFID tags in each item are automatically logged and your account is charged. Only a few years from real-time inventory tracking and always knowing where products are within the store. They will replace bar codes and magnetic stripes very soon.

However, there are several companies, including VeriChip, that are rapidly working on human-implantable RFID chips. Here's the kicker. They say that the best place for these chips to be placed on the human body is either on the back of the hand or on the forehead. And the chips would be used for purchasing, also mentioned in Revelation.

Obviously, this is causing quite a stir in the religious community. People are writing books, giving talks and making websites shouting against RFID because it's the prophesied mark of the beast.

I don't buy it. First of all, Revelation says that the beast will force the mark upon everyone, so I'm sure it's possible that when the beast shows up he may use RFID for his mark, but the tags themselves are not evil. Also, there's the point made at the end of the article that this isn't the first time people have cried out against marking technology.

It's really easy to get caught up in end times thinking. Just reading the passage in revelation kind of gives me a chill. But the Bible also says that the Son himself doesn't know when the time will come. So do we have any business trying to interpret everything as a sign?

I personally don't plan on avoiding RFID just because of this. When the government mandates that everyone receive a chip on their foreheads, then I'll worry.