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Originally published in "The Lord's Coming Herald & Wesleyan Bible Prophecy Advocate," Spring Edition 2007

Understanding Empire

The history of the world is the history of empires. This is so obvious, it hardly needs to be stated. Historical references abound in testimony to the reality of empires. There is the Babylonian empire, the Persian empire, the Greek empire, the Roman empire, the Holy Roman Empire of the middle ages, the Spanish and other European empires of the classic colonial era, the once great "British Empire" of the nineteenth century, and now, finally, what must be recognized as the great American Empire, as well.

The world has widely accepted the idea of the United States of America as now being the world's lone "superpower," but many of us hedge on the admittance of the truth that we are also now an empire. Our national psyche is not ready to allow us to see ourselves in this light, because, for most of our history, we were a republic: one of many nations in a world of emerging nationalism. We started as a colony. Now it is important for us, as empire, to have colonies.

And this, friends, is really what the current war in Iraq is all about. It is about American empire attempting to set up puppet governments in the Middle East that will be compliant with our imperialistic self-interest. (Of course, we know that it is not politically correct for us to say such things in public, but let me frankly tell you, friends, it was never a great concern of our's to be politically correct, anyway!) We are supposed to believe that our interest in Iraq is quite otherwise than that of imperialistic colonialism. We are there for the freedom of the Iraqi people, and for democracy, so our Caesars tell us, but can we really trust them to be telling us the truth?

The top brass know why we are in Iraq, and the rest of us are in denial. We invaded a foreign country and overthrew its government, thus creating chaos and civil war. Now, since those problems cannot be quickly and satisfactorily resolved, the mess is supposed to be the Iraqi government's fault! No, friends, it is not the current Iraqi government's fault, it is our government's fault, which is having trouble getting the complicity that our national egocentricity demands for this situation. Eventually we may succeed in installing another quasi-dictator (!?) in Iraq that will allow us to get on more smoothly with the business of being empire--cynicism, delusion, or reality?--time will tell!

Now here is the important fact that we should keep in mind concerning empires: empires rise and empires fall. As empire, we arose in time. As empire, we will fall in time, as well.

The Bible predicts the sudden, fiery collapse of the great materialistic, immoral, and self-righteous empire "Babylon" at the end of the age by the foes that she proves unable to abet (Rev. 17:12-17; ch. 18). True prophets of God, friends, are sometimes bearers of bad news (see for example in Dan. 4:19). In the current scenario it does not bode well for us! We who see the judgment coming have strong cause to urge America to repent!

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