John's Apocalypse: A Warning for Our Time


We can see the Apocalypse of John as an appeal to be open to the invisible, but true reality. Then we are not pagans. Pagans worship the material world, such as architecture, urbanization, money, gadgets and hypes. Hypermodern cities like Dubai or the City of London are modern day Delphi's where the idols of the postmodern era are settled.

Openness to the invisible offers a spiritual dimension to human existence. This allows man to resist ' the Beast'. The Beast represents animal behavior, the primitive instincts that incite orgies and aggression in all its forms. Because of the worship of the Beast, we are under the compulsion of our biological and material needs. This compulsion supplants our true humanity, which consists in doing good for our fellow human beings, unconditionally and selflessly. The Beast prevents us from being a free being.

Believing in the one God or stronger: Believing in the one God alone has no place for the idolatry of the Beast. As a result, we shift the meaning of our life to approaching God. This is diametrically opposed to the meaning of life sought in the consumer society, in the industrial and post-industrial age, in the IT age, because basically all this is nothing but idolatry. An idolatry that visibly leads to the destruction of all life on our planet, to the loneliness of man and to a life of meaninglessness.

Believing in the one God is here synonymous with concrete behavior of charity: justice, not lying, not blaspheming, faithful in relationships, not killing or injuring, giving priority to the Other. I am not concerned here with a naive belief in a human conception of God, but with the application of the ethics that are the essence of the Old and New Testaments. Also an atheist or an agnostic can accept this ethics and must accept this ethics if he wants to belong to Western civilization.

John's Apocalypse is not about predictions, but it is about warnings. If God is ignored and not regarded as the Only One, then God will intervene. For God loves men, and He will do justice to the righteous. Now the righteous are persecuted, exploited, ignored and mocked by those who prioritize their own material and biological needs (for example, the complaint of the Metoo movement, which is an indictment of sexual behavior incompatible with love for the Other). This distinguishes man from the animal. It is about the choice between spirituality and paganism.

Apocalypse 5:9-10: (this passage is about the Lamb, - this is Christ -, who died for us to save us, for the forgiveness of our debts): “…because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth”. I infer from this that the commandments given to us in the bible are the key to a kingdom of God on earth, a realm where the spiritual values are the only values that count. Christians can offer true happiness to all peoples, to all races, to all ethnic groups, to all countries.

Isn't this the vocation of the West? of Europe in particular? Doesn't this call from John's Apocalypse hold the key to hope in a new future? If so, then Europe must declare itself as a Judeo-Christian civilization that inspires other peoples for its spiritual values.

Why is biblical ethics the key to a dignified future? The civilization of the West, of Russia, of China and all other countries always leads to war or to threats of war. Therefore, something fundamental has to change. Judeo-Christian ethics offers an answer to this. The Jews are the chosen people who received the Bible. The Europeans are the chosen people to put the Bible into practice (my conclusion from the Letter of Paul to the Ephesians 1:4-10).

Europe can play an indispensable role for all peoples if Europeans rediscover their vocation

Putting Biblical ethics into practice is urgent because the dramatic developments that are happening now (pandemics , climate change, destruction of nature, the presence of weapons of mass destruction, ... ) require a radical change of our way of life. After materialism, consumerism and greed, all mankind must undergo a mutation towards a spiritual life. Europe can set an example here and inspire other peoples under the following conditions:

- Europe must declare itself a Judeo-Christian civilization where only people who accept biblical ethics as a constitution live

- no more immigrants are taken in, so that it becomes clear to everyone that every person is responsible for the land of his ancestors

- non-western immigrants return to their countries of origin, even those who have changed nationality because this is reversed

- asylum is no longer granted. This is initially a harsh measure, but then it will become clear that the people themselves are responsible for their country and must try to achieve their goals through non-violent action and exemplary behavior.

Europe, together with the immigrants who have returned, will work in solidarity for a dignified existence for all people through a fair distribution of wealth, by winning together the fight against natural disasters and by creating basic facilities so that all children can go to good schools, so that there is health care accessible to all, so that hunger and extreme poverty are eradicated from the world. The economy is then no longer intended to become increasingly rich, but to create the wealth that gives concrete form to true charity.

What I want to emphasize here: the above, as harsh as it may sound to immigrants and asylum seekers, is in my opinion the only way to end the misery in Islamic countries, in black Africa and other developing countries. That is why it is also the only way to prevent a total world disaster. I think John makes that clear in the Apocalypse, which was written two thousand years ago.

ref.: Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg & Pinchas Shir (2021). Hebrew Insights from Revelation. Jewish studies for Christians.

Thursday, Octobre, 13th, 2022

other texts: 

   © Juliaan Van Acker 2024