December 03

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Mystery Babylon: First-Hand Thoughts on the Ferguson Riot

by Tex Wood

I came to Missouri to visit family for Thanksgiving. The previous evening in Ferguson, numerous building and cars had been destroyed. The police closed off a large section of Florissant Ave so I found a place to park. An English film crew, Korean cinematographers, and I snuck past police barricades to film the devastation.

It is sad to see this happen, to watch a Southern city burn. As I walk around and see the destruction, one thing keeps popping up in my mind- the smell. When you walk around these ruins, the smell of burnt wood and plastics is the only thing that I cannot really express enough.

Demonstrators stand in the middle of West Florissant as they react to tear gas fired by police during ongoing protests in reaction to the shooting of Brown, in Ferguson

Will diverse groups of peoples ever get along in living in the same society? I do not see how, at least, not until the return of Jesus. It seems unnatural for diverse peoples, with differing opinions and ideas on everything from the size, scope and type of government to thoughts on justice to be ruled over by the same government. If you think about it honestly, it is almost inhumane; since interests do conflict in a diverse society, no group will ever truly be able to get full representation. If not inhumane, it is certainly tyrannical, as the government must be overbearing to force equality or its own ideas on justice.

To experience this destruction, to see it in person- it is almost Biblical. That got me to thinking about God, church and the Bible. To live happy and productive lives I think God gave us historical examples not only for our own life but also for society as a whole. Two thousand five hundred years ago, the diverse peoples of the earth were gathered together under the rule of a great and powerful empire- Babylon, which means chaos/confusion. Boastfully the citizens questioned, “Who can make war with Babylon- the world’s only superpower”. Although she was invincible from conquest or invasion- she was weak internally. The people wanted to be like God Himself as they built a tower stretching to the heavens. God made the people speak many languages and the diverse peoples broke free to become the Nations of the earth. Likewise, in the end times the anti-Christ rules over an evil world system, a mystery Babylon. Some of the basic points of Chapter 17 in the Book of Revelation tell us:

“Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me, ‘Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication…On her forehead a name was written: Mystery Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and of the abominations of the earth.”

Later in that same chapter, John the Apostle explains, “Then the angel said to me, ‘The waters you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages.”

babylon

So the logical conclusion is that Mystery Babylon is a diverse, multicultural world system. Only for the last 50 years or so could people imagine such a world system but today it is reality. Every country from America or Australia to all of Europe suffers from mass immigration and its resulting ethnic and racial conflicts. But the truly sad thing about living in such a world system is the lack of representation by government. Diverse people have conflicting opinions and opposing voting patterns, cities burn over conflicting ideas of social justice and police shootings. One group is made to feel disenfranchised, the injustice of being targeted; meanwhile, the founding population largely supports the rule of law or the authorities. To me, it is not about good and bad, or even right and wrong. Most folks I have met of all races are good people. Instead, it is mostly about conflicting interests, opposing ideas of what government ought to be, representation or lack thereof.

So who is right? I say they both are! Blood and soil; all people deserve the basic human right to have a government that reflects their own unique points of view, interests, culture and people. Freedom….all people deserve that BASIC HUMAN RIGHT to self-determination. Most people do know and understand that instinctively but until that happens or the return of Jesus, you can expect more cities to burn, just like Ferguson.

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