Tonight’s episode of Heroes presented what one might expect to encounter if one had access to the comic books produced by someone who genuinely could see the future. Precise dialogues depicted, word for word, including even the questioning and skepticism of those who participate in them and don’t think such things are possible.
In most instances of prophecy and apocalyptic visions, we get symbolism, vague characterizations, and language that is flexible enough that it can be (and has been) applied to, and interpreted as referring to, all sorts of figures, events and regimes down the ages.
This might seem like it is building up to a negative assessment of Biblical and other literature. It isn’t. I value the free will that most likely makes impossible such precise predictive prophecy as Daniel at first glance seems to be. But the main point of all this is that books like Revelation are not in the same genre as the 9th Wonders comic books on Heroes. And the sooner those who are obsessed with the Book of Revelation in comic book junkie fashion realize this, the sooner they may begin to hear the book’s real challenge for American Christians: is the kingdom we are working to build more like the kingdom of the Lamb, or that of the self-indulgent Babylon and the worship-seeking Beast?
How sadly ironic, if those who think they have the inside track to the future through reading Revelation, play a part in bringing about a future that might have been different, for the better, if they had actually understood the message of Revelation. And how truly disappointing if people spend their time trying to figure out who the antichrist is instead of focusing on avoiding becoming that sort of self-absorbed, worship-seeking person themselves.