Then the Philistines took the ark of God and brought it from Ebenezer to Ashdod. When the Philistines took the ark of God, they brought it into the house of Dagonand set it by Dagon. And when the people of Ashdod arose early in the morning, there was Dagon, fallen on its face to the earth before the ark of the LORD. So they took Dagon and set it in its place again. And when they arose early the next morning, there was Dagon, fallen on its face to the ground before the ark of the LORD. The head of Dagon and both the palms of its hands were broken off on the threshold; only Dagon’s torso was left of it. Therefore neither the priests of Dagon nor any who come into Dagon’s house tread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod to this day. (1 Samuel 5: 1-5)
Twenty-two years ago on this day, 9 November, I remember watching the evening news with my parents as the Berlin wall come tumbling down. Though I was only a child, the event had a marked effect on me.
You see, three years earlier, when I had been eleven, my family had traveled to West Germany. One afternoon my dad drove us to see the wall separating West and East Germany. I still remember how ominous the electric fence looked which divided the free world from the “evil empire.”
As we emerged from the car, we were met by a chill, drizzling rain. On the other side of the fence a lone guard stared gloomily at us. The rest of my family had their picture taken about thirty feet from the fence, but I was too afraid to venture near. A few minutes later I plucked up the courage and asked my dad to photograph me next to the terrible barrier, or as close to it as I dared approach.
That was three years before that evening in 1989 when I sat with my brothers and parents to watch the wall being torn down. Communism had collapsed and Eastern Europe was finally free.
A year after these momentous changes, we went back to Germany. This time there was no fence preventing us driving into the Eastern section. We traveled to Berlin where the remnants of the wall still zigzagged through the city like a serpent. In some areas there were portions of the wall still intact. Here and there I saw people dismantling the remains of this hated emblem of totalitarianism.
There was something strangely moving in seeing the broken concrete all over the ground and thinking, “So this is all that is left of a regime that tried to turn the state into God.” I stooped down and collected some big chunks of the rubble, determined one day to show them to my own children.
The fall of the Berlin Wall on 9 November 1989 reminds us that God judges regimes that try to usurp His place as redeemer. Make no mistake, for that is exactly what the communist parties of Eastern Europe did. In preaching that government was the solution to all of society’s ills, in teaching that public policy can bring civic regeneration and utopia, the communist parties of Eastern Europe presented a parody of the true gospel and a false narrative of redemption. The fall of the Berlin wall twenty-two years ago reminds us that government cannot be God, and all attempts to deify the state are doomed to end in abject failure. The fall of the Berlin wall revealed the utter futility of what David Galland recently called the “unblinking faith in an all-caring, omnipotent ‘Godvernment’.”
While the communism of the Eastern block may have failed, idolatrous attempts to deify the state continue. Indeed, the latest attempt to invest Government with quasi-divine powers can be seen in the gross idolatry of the European Union.
With utopian zeal, the pioneers of a united Europe have defended the project by attributing a near messianic status to their institutions. One of the chief areas where this messianism plays out is in the EU’s promotion of secular sanctification. The EU is concerned, not simply with promoting law and order, but in how citizens should think, how they should speak, what medicines they may take, what wealth they may retain, what risks they are permitted to run, how much they may pay for wearing their own noses and, this week, when they may or may not fly the Union Jack. In short, the EU has been interested in managing the minutia of our personal lives, claiming for itself the kind of authority our Saviour invoked in Mt. 28:18.
The utopian fervour to use totalitarian governments as a mechanism for ushering in the new heavens and the new earth reached a climax of blasphemy in May of last year when a special liturgy was conducted at Westminster Abbey to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the Schuman Declaration, a document that is viewed as the first step in the foundation of the present European Union. In a strange synthesis of Christianity and state worship, the flag of the European Union was presented at the Westminster altar while an extract from the Schuman Declaration was read from the Pulpit, together with scripture passages about the New Heavens and the New Earth. (To learn more about this blasphemous service, see ‘European Union Invokes New Heavens and New Earth’.)
If the fall of the Berlin Wall on 9 November revealed the utter failure of the messianic state within the communist Eastern block, so the recent breakup of Europe’s financial systems points to the failure of the EU to play the part of God. Yet there is a difference. When the Berlin wall fell to the ground, the leaders of Eastern Europe knew that their game was up. By contrast, as Europe’s financial systems lay in disarray all around us, our leaders remain trapped in what David Galland has described as “a delusional and self-destructive cycle of believing that the Godvernments can solve all that ails – even though almost all that ails is caused or made worse by those very same institutions – then things can only get worse from here.”
As in the story in 1 Samuel 5, the god Dagon has fallen. Yet like the foolish Philistines, Eurocrats keep trying to prop their idol back into place with multiple unsuccessful bailout plans and economic patch-up jobs. To admit what everyone knows – that the Euro-zone is imploding on itself – would be to acknowledge the failure of the entire European project. However, this is something that our leaders are still unwilling to do. Thus, they continue to prop-up the idol of the messianic state with ‘solutions’ that can only defer, but never abate, the Euro’s eventual collapse. We see this every time Europe’s governments attempts to treat the debt crisis with more debt, not least this week when David Cameron confirmed that Britain’s stake in the bailout machine known as the International Monetary Fund would increase from the current level of £29.5billion to up to £40billion.
We can therefore expect Dagon to keep coming unglued and crashing to the ground. This point (minus the Biblical elusions) was made by David Galland in the article I have already cited:
“expect the latest eurozone patch-up job to come unglued. When you have the heads of the eurozone’s largest countries talking about levering up bailout funds or ringing up the Chinese to ask for money, you know the latest ‘solution’ to the eurozone’s intractable problems is little more than a hastily concocted plan to kick the wine bottle just a bit further down the road. The problem is that nothing suggested begins to resolve the structural problems of the eurozone – because nothing can be done to resolve those problems. Thus, a heads-up speculator will look for ways of betting on failure and place those bets during brief flare-ups of euro-optimism.”
In our forthcoming newsletter, which should be with our members this weekend, we have unveiled a new strategy to effectively campaign to get Britain out of the EU. To join Christian Voice and begin receiving a copy of our monthly newsletter, see the information below.
- 1989: Berliners celebrate the fall of the Wall
- David Cameron Defies Rebel MPs Over £4bn For the Euro
- This doomed currency was meant to hold Europe together – but it’s ripping it apart
- The Problem with Seeing Government as God
- Government Squashes Referendum Hopes
- European Union Invokes New Heavens and New Earth
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