We are fast approaching voting day, where we as a nation need to decide whether we are in or out of the European Union. As this time has drawn near more and more information has come out about whether we should stay or go; political and economic battle lines have been drawn by all parties involved. Within this mix the Christian voice has also been raised, with a warning cry about the European union and how this may relate to biblical prophecy. My intention for this blog is not to make any political statement, or tell you which way to vote, but to address the spiritual views made by some christians on the European union and to hopefully give some helpful thought about how to move forward.
Let me me first address some of the Christian ideas that are being promoted:
For a number of Christians, there is a growing concern over the European Union, that it is fulfilment of end time prophecy found in the books of Daniel and Revelation. Proponents of this view believe that the European union is the beast or the antichrist, rising up to persecute the Christians before Jesus returns. They believe this because of the following reasons:
Daniel 2 tells us about a dream King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had about a statue, which had different parts. Daniel interprets this dream as the different parts referring to different empires that will rise and fall. It is believed by some that the last kingdom depicted as feet made from iron and clay in the vision is a picture of a restored Roman empire which is what is happening now in the European Union. This new empire wont be destroyed until Jesus second coming, which is the stone that is seen in the vision. The centre for the European Union is Strasburg, with the parliament building that they say looks like Babel…
Strasburg - European parliament meet in a building built by Louise Weiss that is believed to have been modelled on a painting by Bruegel of the Tower of Babel. All this begins to build an argument that the European Union is a new Babylon, with a new Tower of Babel, which is what revelation 17 refers to as the mystery of Babylon, and she is riding on a beast…
Featured outside the European Union headquarters is a sculpture of a woman on a bull. It is believed that this actually represents the prostitute and the beast found in Revelation 13 and 17 and Daniel 7. Brussels and Strasburg also contain paintings of this. The member states also use this in their currency - the euro. Again building up the picture of the European Union as the Antichrist,
But what do these symbols really mean?
I personally believe that this is a misunderstanding of Scripture for the following reasons:
The final empire made of iron and clay in Daniel 2 is believed by most Scholars to be the Roman empire, which was in rule during the life of Jesus, and not a reformed Roman empire of the future. It is believed that the stone is Jesus first coming, which set in motion the defeat of Satan and the introduction of Gods Kingdom. Jesus death finished everything, thats why Jesus cried, ‘it is finished’. This also means so was the reign of Satan, and although Satan still has opportunity to work in this world, it is only through us that he can do so. Jesus said all authority is his, so go… (Matthew 28). If Satan still had some authority over Jesus, Jesus couldn't have said all authority is his. Revelation speaks of the time of Roman rule when the church was still in its infancy, where Caesar was God, and Christians were persecuted. However, through the church, the kingdom was still coming and bringing healing to the world, which we carry on today. This will lead up to when Jesus will come again written about in the last few chapters of Revelation.
The Louise Weiss building was actually modelled on a Roman amphitheatre not the Tower of Babel. The idea of Babel actually came from a Mormon TV and Radio personality who said it looked like Babel, then others began to speak in the same way. Also a promotional poster with Bruegel’s picture of babel on it saying ‘many tongues one voice’, was not from the European Union, as some have said, but from a humanist European group.
The sculpture of the beast found in models, paintings and coins, is not the prostitute and the beast, because it does not fit the descriptions in Revelation or Daniel. The sculptures and images are of Europa, depicting greek mythology, where one of the Gods - Zeus abducts a girl called Europa by disguising himself as a white bull and riding off with her, where she becomes his lover. This is where Europe got its name from.
With all this said, it doesn't mean that there is nothing sinister going on within Europe, or that there are no end time repercussions from decisions being made. However, much of what I believe is being presented by various Christians and groups over the European Union does not correlate with the bible. For us to fully discern what is going on, we need to ask God. As I have prayed about this, I felt God say this to me:
This is a distraction for the Christians. If Christians get overly caught up in trying to work out the meanings and symbolism, and telling people to vote a certain way as we might be promoting the antichrist, it will be a distraction from what we should be doing - taking the authority of Jesus to heal the sick, cast out demons, raise the dead - bring Gods Kingdom and make disciples.
Christians have often been at the heart of some of the most distracting conspiracy theories. Many Christians panicked over the millennium and the millennial bug. Christian groups were saying that this was the end, the antichrist was coming, the worlds economy was going to collapse and one world government will take over. Christians were stock pilling food, rather then getting out loving people and living Jesus mission. The enemy doesn't have to mask itself in the European Union, he just has to get Christians to believe he is there so they become distracted from what God has called us too. As Jesus said, if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. (Matt 24v23-24). I have seen many emails and meetings inviting people to gatherings to talk about the Europe Union and the beast. Although I'm not saying this is wrong, lets stop talking about the beast, and start telling people about Jesus!
My advice for the European referendum is to pray and ask God how you should vote, what does he want you to do, and then be obedient to it. Don't get too distracted about Babylon, Babel and the beast, but get caught up in Jesus and his mission, because ultimately Jesus has already won.
Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped ind blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. Revelation 19v11-16
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever. Revelation 22v1-5