What is Apocalyptic

Written by:  Bob Brinsmead

The very word apocalyptic means the unveiling of a secret… something is being revealed that goes beyond any rational observance.  eg. A great flood takes places, lots of lives are lost etc.  What makes the event apocalyptic is not that it has been a devastation, people killed, food crops and homes destroyed, thousands homeless – no no, events like this are as old as the world.  What makes this an apocalyptic event is when a hidden meaning to this event is revealed, an interpretation that can’t really be falsified because it is taken out of the domain of rational observation and put into the category of “faith”.  e.g. it becomes an apocalyptic event when it is “revealed” or “disclosed” that this was an act of God to punish human sin, and/or as a sign of the end of this wicked age.  There is of course no proof of such a thing; it is simply a matter of “faith” –  Apocalyptic does not really appeal to any rational proof for what is claimed.

Dare I be more specific and press this matter into very touchy religious areas?   That Jesus of Nazareth was a Galilean teacher who died by an act of crucifixion is a plain historical event.  If you were there, you would have seen an act of injustice and brutality for sure, and if you were a sympathizer, you would have seen the martyrdom of an innocent man and a real tragedy for sure – but something not uncommon in that age.  Some years later (and it was really after the passing of 10-20 years later at least and after the early Jesus movement was in existence) that a certain man saw the hidden, cosmic meaning in this earthly event.  In his teaching, this was a predestined execution planned by Almighty God for the end-time blood payment of human sin (the first part of the judgment of the world) to effect the reconciliation of man to God on the condition of faith.  This is a typical example of an apocalyptic interpretation of what in that age was a very common event. This apocalyptic interpretation of this mundane historical event is not something that can be proved or disproved.  What tended to make it more believable was when ultimate rewards were attached to believing it and ultimate punishments were attached to not believing it.

 

Observation

The new leadership in China has said some interesting things, especially the new president.  A Chinese commentator noted that it was more what he did not say- he did not refer to Mao, Communism, or the usual claptrap about the Party.  He focused on the people and their desire for progress and prosperity.  And that China wanted to take its place among the community of nations.  And with China entangling itself with countries all over the world in trade and commerce, well, that bodes very well for a peaceful future with China among the other developing democracies.

History has shown that when people and communities trade and engage commerce together they do not go to war with one another.  The famous French philosopher noted this when he went to London- how the Mohammedan, the Christian, and the Jew were all peacefully engaged in commerce together.  And Seabright (In the Company of Strangers) noted how over history there is the “moralizing influence of  “gentle commerce” (not his phrase but the essence of his book).  Russia is also part of this.  Too many people have tasted freedom and prosperity, so while there may be hiccups along the way like this current statist messing with economies and causing recession, eventually freedom and the desire for something better will win out.  Even the greenies are losing ground, though they never give up.  And on your comment Herb about not all environmentalists being extremists. I make the distinction that we are all environmentalists (Kuznets Curve research affirms this) and we all care for the environment when we are prosperous enough.  There is no one subset that speaks for the environment, especially not those calling themselves environmentalists.  We all care just as much for our world.