What’s wrong with the mark of the beast, anyway?

It’s generally thought that the earthly reality behind the book of Revelation’s “mark of the beast,” the infamous 666, was the imposition of emperor-worship by Nero, whose name is argued to add up numerologically to that number. For the Christian, it meant the compulsion to own any other god than the true one revealed by and in Christ.

Whether that phenomenon was intended by John as a contemporary reference, or a last-times prophecy, the fact is that many Christians have anticipated a climax of state control usurping God’s place before the return of Christ. Even those who haven’t previously anticipated this are increasingly seeing current events – notably since 2020 – as bearing an uncanny resemblance to John’s mysterious marking of individuals, so that even buying or selling is impossible without it.

Now the thrust of the passage in Revelation is the perversion of the State (since only states have such power) to force Christians to deny their Lord by getting the requisite certificate of sacrifice, or tattoo, or subcutaneous chip. But I think the demonic ambition would be wider than that. After all, one could sacrifice with fingers crossed to get the emperor’s “passport,” which would be perjuring Christ, it’s true, but which would enable one to pay lip-service to the State Cult whilst in reality carrying on as normal.

I think Satan wants more than that. He wants us to be sold out body and soul to the point where our discipleship of Christ becomes totally ineffective and, indeed, diverted. Not only the faith of believers, but the entire life of everybody, is to be subsumed to the purposes of the (powers and principalities behind) the State. You could see this in the totalitarian regimes of the past and present, with children’s spare time being devoted to the Komsomol or Hitler Youth, political commissars in every work-place, the prevalent ideology’s slogans being pasted over the Ten Commandments and Creed in churches and compulsory declaimed from the pulpit, and so on. The whole of real life, in fact, is to be downplayed by filling the people’s minds with the State’s twisted agenda.

Now, I feel that dilemma between real life and the all-consuming ideology here on The Hump, and I think it constrains my writing to a degree (if that can’t be blamed on having other commitments and on pure sloth). Since COVID, much of my content has been about the perversion of science and politics to impose widespread deception on the people. Like many others, I see the lies, and try to expose them in the hope that others may have their eyes opened and so “escape the devil’s snare.” But that means, ironically, that my eyes are more on the deception rather than the real life it’s denying.

Yet, as most of you will know, that isn’t how the blog started. I (and my erstwhile fellow-authors) were concerned with the nature of God and creation, of exploring things that mattered to us and, we hoped, our readers too. True, that involved controversy against those with whom we disagreed, but that’s how life is sometimes. Like the-discipline-formerly-known-as-Science, knowledge and wisdom grow by debate and discussion: iron sharpens iron. I would do blogs on subjects tangential to the predominant evolution/creation content: on the wonders of musical theory, the philosophy of God behind campanology, Berkeley’s immaterialism, and so on, including straightforward biblical exposition.

But the truth is, all these things began to look rather irrelevant when we were being locked up at home, our children were being masked, poisoned, terrified, sexualised and denied education, our elderly care-homes were being turned into death-camps, doctors were being struck off and Nobel prize-winners silenced for speaking long-established truth… well, you well remember it all. And worst of all we were also discovering how receptive most of our friends were to the lies, and how easily our relatives soon became active enemies of the truth.

But as we now see, that gross imposition of the State (and its corrupted institutions – how they got corrupted is another story we’ve explored here) on private life, to the extent of destroying livelihoods, breaking up families, closing the churches and so on and on, has become overt and, as far as one can see, almost the whole business of government.

Each planned bill is intended to force us all to live out the State’s agenda. Online safety bills are actually about policing our thought. Energy bills are about snooping into our homes by 5G and fining or imprisoning us if we cook the wrong food using the wrong heat source. Transport policy is about preventing transport by planes or cars and restricting us to fifteen-minute cities (implied: also moving us out of the countryside we love, by taxation and re-wilding it with wolves and lynxes as, no longer grazed by methane-producing livestock, it returns to scrub and wild-wood).

We want to rent our property to folks? Not possible unless we bankrupt ourselves with energy changes that neither we nor our tenants want. Want to buy or sell a house? Not unless you meet the energy standards imposed by the Beast whose mark you bear. And buying or selling anything else is also only to be possible under the watchful eye of the central digital currency algorithms that already suspect you of money-laundering or, worse, supporting dangerous extremists like Jacob Rees-Mogg (of all people!).

Needless to say, the same monitoring ensures that, should you resist the lies the State tells about any foreign nations it wishes to consume, it will be discovered and suppressed. And I almost forgot – we will be forced to accept the approach to maintaining our health imposed by institutions that gave us dietary guidelines that caused insulin-resistance, and which don’t even try to follow up adverse reactions to the untested vaccinations they want to give us by force.

The net result of all this is that all the real and important things that people get involved in – family formation, family arguments, choices of careers or pastimes, culinary preferences, management of money for both necessities and indulgences, political discourse, wisdom and folly – and most vital of all, the pursuit of eternal life through whatever truth God may have revealed – all these are to be buried under the constant demands of the State for our compliance to what it deems important (to itself, not to us, for the people’s natural interests are what gets in the way of their ideal society).

Government used to be about protecting our God-given freedoms from malefactors. Now it is all about treating us as malefactors and forcing some centralised secular belief system on us.

The worst aspect of this is how readily most people accept the mark of the beast. I have a young friend, who even identifies as a Christian, whose job at a university involves “nudging” students into ideological choices (in this case environmental – presumably someone else nudges them on the diversity, inclusion and equity front) rather than encouraging them to weigh the strengths and weaknesses of the environmentalism case. He has also helped redesign all the arts courses so that they are orientated towards the climate agenda – so your love of Spanish, or Dante, or economics, or architecture can no longer be relished without being drenched in the anchovy sauce of belief in the Club of Rome’s climate ideology. My assumption is that my friend’s willingness to indoctrinate (= the imposition of human prejudices) rather than educate (= the drawing out God-given talents) results from his own science-training having already been nudged and channeled by the same ideology.

But whether that is true or not, the result is the same: the richness of individual viewpoints becomes buried under a fundamentally irrational and crude belief system. Greenpeace, founded on saving whales, is now so intent on “saving the planet” that they take no interest whatosever in the possibility that increased whale-beachings may be connected to offshore windfarms and their subsonic noise pollution. Tesla enthusiasts rejoice that the demise of European electric cars by cheap Chinese competition benefits consumers, blind to the fact that Chinese cars are cheaper because they are built with cheap fossil energy. Even people are parasites on the earth, with the exception of those with green credentials and private jets.

So I still have my dilemma – as everyone’s foreheads are being stamped with “666” (and human faces potentially crushed by a boot forever), do I write about it and get sucked into the totalitarian agenda, or do I write about the glories of God and his world, and risk ignoring that stamping boot?

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About Jon Garvey

Training in medicine (which was my career), social psychology and theology. Interests in most things, but especially the science-faith interface. The rest of my time, though, is spent writing, playing and recording music.
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