Select a page

Brexit: Historical Significance and Future Prospects

Missionary Paul Choi, Director of InterCP 

 

Brexit, the exit of the United Kingdom (UK) from the European Union (EU), has become a reality. In the May 2015 general election, as an attempt to secure conservative votes, the former British Prime Minister David Cameron promised to hold a vote in 2017 regarding whether or not the UK should leave the EU. As a result, he was elected as the Prime Minister and confirmed his promise during his inauguration speech. The vote took place on June 23, 2016, and the results were far from what Cameron expected. 51.9% of the British people wanted to exit the EU and decided on Brexit. The UK decided to leave the EU 43 years after it became a member of the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1973. As a result, the leaders of the EU are enraged, the United States is also seriously concerned, and eyebrows are raised with uncertainty about the future of the world.

Due to Brexit, the membership of the EU will decrease from 28 nations to 27. The bigger issue is that the citizens of many European countries like Greece, France, Italy, Denmark, and the Czech Republic are raising their voices to leave the EU, challenging the very purpose of EU’s existence. According to a report submitted by Germany’s Ministry of Finance to the meeting of six foreign ministers that took place before the emergency EU summit, France, the Netherlands, Austria, Finland, and Hungary may follow the UK in leaving the EU.

 

  1. Contributing factors to the UK’s EU exit

Internal resentment has been building up among the members of the EU. Here are the main reasons why.

 

First, the EU executive board, the European Commission (EC), is becoming more like a dictatorship. In order to make Europe a single, unified state, the leaders of the EU have been centralizing its power and control. This, in turn, means the extinction of the identity of each nation state and nationalism. The older British generation, who still basks in the “glories of the Great Empire,” became confused with their identity towards the German-led EC’s nation-building initiatives and could only express strong psychological resistance.

The Soviet Union did everything in its power to destroy the 150 ethnic groups within its boundaries in order to establish a single Soviet nation. However, they failed. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, nationalism was fiercely revived. Since then, Russia has struggled with numerous nationalist movements of ethnic groups like Chechnya, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Georgia, and Tatarstan.

This reality proves that people like Benedict Anderson and Erick Hobsbaum, who viewed nations as unimportant, modern creations and imagined communities with invented histories, were wrong, and that people like Anthony Smith, who argued nations as a primitive and a naturally occurring community, and Emile Durkheim, who argued that the origin of nationalism is totemism and thus applied a religious meaning to it, were correct. When Lenin and Stalin progressed with their policies to thrash nationalism and labeled nationalists as rebels of the Soviet Union, Otto Bauer, an Austrian leftist scholar, argued that a nation is an ethnological foundation that can never be destroyed. The Soviet scholar Karl Kautsky also argued that it was not easy to remove the concept of a nation. Afterwards, the Soviet Union changed its national policy and gave up on the creation of the Soviet Nation in their pursuit of the global socialist community.

Despite these failures in the past, the reason why the president of the EC continues to pursue a strong unified empire is not only because of the mutual economic benefits which were emphasized during the formation of the European Economic Community (EEC).

The leaders of the EU dream of a new Holy Roman Empire, and furthermore, they are pursuing a vision of a unified world empire in alliance with the United States. The EU that began under the leadership of Germany, France, and Italy has pursued a 21st century version of a unified Holy Roman Empire for the past half-century.

This is the context in which we must view the strengthening of the Pope’s political leadership within the EU. At a UN annual meeting in September 2015, the Pope strongly emphasized Agenda 2030, and the UN officially adopted this vision. The core content of Agenda 2030 is to make everyone a global citizen regardless of ethnicity, state, or religion, along with inclusiveness that overcomes discrimination. During the UN NGO International Conference that was held in Gyeongju, Korea in June 2016, these two themes were strongly emphasized, and action plans were shared to legalize same-sex marriage and to educate anti-discrimination against homosexuals in schools. The agenda includes topics on the environment, climate, economy, human rights, and peace, but ultimately their strategy is to unify the world.

 

Second, in the process of strengthening a unified economy over the past 10 years, complaints of southern European countries continued. There was a repeated pattern of northern European countries such as Germany, the UK and France coming to the aid of countries of southern Europe, like Greece, Spain, Portugal, and Italy, who were heavily in debt. A debtor-creditor relationship emerged within the Eurozone where all are supposed to stand as equal partners, and it resulted in psychological resistance due to economic inequality within the family.

 

Third, as market power increased through the neo-liberal global market system, modern civil society changed into a market society. In the reality that we live in—extreme and unlimited, free competition ruled by market logic — income disparities have escalated into extreme concentrations of wealth. Today, the world’s 60 wealthiest individuals possess the equivalent of the wealth of 3.5 billion people, half of the world’s population. The free market system has worsened poverty in the midst of abundance. As a result, unemployment rates have increased in Europe, and dissatisfaction among middle-class young adults, the group most affected by unemployment, has grown rapidly over the past 10 years. As the logic of the market rules the world, unlimited competition has become extreme. As endless competition continues, most who participate in this competition fail. The world is becoming more like the jungle—a survival of the fittest — and those with strength are wielding more and more control.

In light of all this, global terrorism committed by young Muslims like ISIS is aligned with the global resistance movement against the rule of the global market system. This is one of the main reasons why most people who volunteer themselves as suicide bombers to ISIS are from Europe. They claim a religious justification for their actions, but in reality they are unfolding an international liberation movement of the proletariats against the neo-liberal global market system.

 

Fourth, the EU’s border control system, the Schengen Information System (SIS), is an issue. The SIS was put in place, yet it is being dismantled as the Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel emphasized the acceptance of refugees. As a result, the fear of Muslim immigrants and refugees has spread across Europe.

The complex factors mentioned above surfaced through the Syrian refugee crisis, and after fierce debates, the UK chose to leave the EU (Brexit). The British people who lost their jobs to the Polish and other European immigrants were overcome with fear and anxiety about the Muslims that could swarm into the UK. Eventually, the UK broke away from the SIS and chose independence.

Last year, after Chancellor Merkel declared to accept refugees and the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker led the refugee-admission quota policy, southern and eastern European countries protested. With the sentiment that their work had been taken away by immigrants, the border issue became the core of the conflict. When the EC implemented the refugee-admission quota policy and distributed Syrian refugees among its member nations, complaints piled up, especially in the UK. As a result, the issues of Muslim immigrants and Turkey’s accession to the EU became the top issues during the Brexit vote. If Turkey, an Islamic country of 80 million people, becomes a member of the EU, the UK is worried that they would have an unmanageable number of Muslim immigrants.

Francis Fukuyama, an iconic intellectual of neoliberalism and neo-conservatism, argued in ”The Future of History,” a Foreign Affairs article published in 2012, that abolition of regulations and focusing only on free market principles resulted in the 2008 financial crisis, the crisis of the Eurozone and the disappearing of the middle class which is the foundation of liberal democracy. He also warned that through the rapidly declining middle class, liberal democracy will face its end. In his book The End of History, published in 1989, Fukuyama proclaimed the final and permanent victory of liberal democracy. But now, he now has changed his stance.

As if Fukuyama’s statement was a prophecy, Brexit has become a reality. Western media diagnosed that the so-called “post-1945 order,” the international order, values, and norms formed after World War II (WWII), is now on the verge of collapsing. The elites of the western world are in shock that the UK, one of the axis of western values, has chosen an ancient value like nationalism and has voted to leave the EU.

Stephen Walt of Harvard University, in his article “The Collapse of the Liberal World Order,” published in Foreign Policy on June 26, 2016, analyzes that it and its allies, who have established the order of liberalism and democracy after defeating totalitarianism and communism, is now collapsing from the inside.

 

  1. Analysis and future prospects

After World Wars I and II, Europeans were ashamed that these world wars happened not in Asia or Africa, the “underdeveloped” regions that they used to control, but in their “developed” Europe that was supposed to lead the global community. Therefore, they were determined never to have such a tragedy happen ever again.

Afterwards, many organizations, universities and multinational corporations in the US and in Europe established institutions of peace. For the sake of securing world peace these institutions began policy research. As a result, the policies that they formed were predictable from the perspective of reformed eschatology and biblical prophecies of the signs of the times.

 

1) Globalism

From the beginning humanity has been in conflict and war. Poverty, suffering, conflict and war have never ceased. How can one make a war-free, beautiful, and happy world? The design of how to make a global system for world peace and prosperity was made 2,500 years ago by ancient Greek philosophers through their vision of a Perfect Society.

Aristotle said that in order for the human community to become a perfect society there needs to be political and economic peace. There must be no hungry person nor must there be war. He claimed that humanity is one family, and we are brothers and fellow companions. However, the problem is that humanity has been divided into tribes, nations, and religions. Aristotle said that the world must transcend tribes, nations, religions and become one Human Society. To accomplish this, he proposed the establishment of a unified world empire. Therefore, his pupil Alexander went on a campaign to conquer the world, and tried to create a new world culture that fused eastern and western cultures.

Thereafter, the Catholic priest added religious peace as one of the prerequisites. He argued for peace with God, but nowadays the Catholic Church is promoting peace among religions. The leaders of the Roman Catholic Church are leading the global unification of religions.

In the 13th century, Dante Alighieri said that in order for humanity to have peace and prosperity there needs to be an absolute monarch and a universal empire, thereby casting vision for a unified world empire. He argued for an absolute monarchy and the establishment of a universal common empire and the enthroning of a universal monarch for a peaceful world.

In the 18th century, Immanuel Kant advocated for eternal peace. He said making a global nation (world empire) is ideal, but because it is realistically impossible, first all nations must be controlled by global democratic ideals and there must be an international legal system in order to establish permanent world peace. According to Kant’s vision, the League of Nations was established and later on, the United Nations.

The world till present has been running towards the accomplishment of one community for mankind, for the establishment of world unification that is based on ancient Greek liberal ideologies. And the world is about to see the completion. Aristotle’s vision for a unified world empire has continually been leading the elites until today.

After WWI and WWII, the project to unify the world became more serious with the establishment of the UN. Following the political unification of the UN, in 1950 the European Economic Community (EEC), an economic alliance, was established, and it later became the EU, a political, economic and social alliance.  For the past 20 years, political, economic, social, and cultural unification has strengthened the religious unification agenda, which is quickly accelerating with the support of the UN’s policies.

After WWII, American and European national institutions, universities, multinational corporations founded institutions of peace. They blamed nationalism and religious fundamentalism as factors that hinder world peace. The wars between European nations were caused by nationalism. Nationalism was blamed for damaging world peace immediately after WWII. And the world switched from an era of nationalism to an era where liberalism and socialist ideology became dominant.

Another factor is religious fundamentalism. Chronic global conflicts mostly originate from religious disputes. We can see this in the world today. The root of the issues in Israel-Palestine, Russia-Chechnya, Georgia, Ukraine, Armenia-Azerbaijan, India-Pakistan, and Bosnia-Serbia are religious conflicts. Arguing that one’s own religion is the sole truth aggravates other religions which leads to religious conflicts. As a result, the project to unify religions began after WWII.

The problem is that all over the world, protestant fundamentalists and evangelical groups are strongly opposing these efforts towards the unification of world religions. Especially in 2013, during the World Council of Churches (WCC) conference in Busan, Korea, the UN and the global elites were perplexed by the opposition shown by the conservative Korean religious circles. Approximately six years ago, the conservative Korean Christian bloc showed extreme opposition to an anti-discrimination law submitted by 70 Korean legislators, and such opposition strongly displeased the US and the UN.

A new strategy to eliminate Evangelical Christians who oppose the unification of world religions is the movement to legalize same-sex marriage. Through the legalization of same-sex marriage, which Christians could never agree with, these Christians who are against the unification of world religions will be exterminated.

 

2) Project: Unification of world religions

The actual forces that are carrying out the project to unify world religions are actually the Catholic headquarters, WCC missions department committee, the International network for Islamic education, Hizmet Hareketi (The Volunteer Movement, whose leader is Fetullah Gulen, the Islamic religious leader who heads an international network of Islamic education), and the Unification Church of Moon Sun Myung, whose goal is to unify all religions within East Asia. All of these organizations were established in the 1950s before WWII. By the Hizmet Hareketi, and the Unification Church, which both are fundamentally lacking in international cooperation, have placed their headquarters close to the headquarters of the CIA on the east coast of the United States and are operating their international networks. They have been in mutual cooperation with global elites who have been leading world unification since the 1950s and are orchestrating the movement for the unification of world religions.

Meanwhile, since the end of WWII, the global elites have been focusing on eliminating any obstacles that are in the way of world unification. Those obstacles include nationalism and religious fundamentalism.

Religious fundamentalism has mostly been removed, as can be deduced from the churches across the world through the religious unification international movement. Outside of the church there are still strong, resisting groups like ISIS that are extremist groups. But they are known as “terrorists”. At the beginning of December 2015, UN officially announced ISIS as “humanity’s public enemy”.

Another serious, opposing party has also been scattered across the world and is pushing forward a grassroots movement. They are protestant fundamentalist evangelicals. Unlike Islamic fundamentalists, they do not use armed force but they adhere to the Bible and the uniqueness of Jesus and so they leave no room to accommodate religious unification. Then how can proponents of the unification of world religions incapacitate this group?

In order to eliminate the protestant groups, in 1952 they set WCC missions department committee leader as J.C.Hoekendijk. He proclaimed “The Mission of God’ (Missio Dei). According to this proclamation one can talk about God, but not about Jesus during missions. At the root of this is the idea that when Judaism does not emphasize Moses, nor Islam, Muhammad, nor Christianity, Jesus, then all religions will be unified. Thus Judaism, Islam, and Christianity will be united under Abraham whose authority is acknowledged by all three groups. But Judaism does not call Moses the best, nor does Islam call Muhammad the best. The problem is Christian fundamentalists and evangelicals. They believe and argue that Jesus is the only savior and they strive to evangelize and do missions. Proponents of world peace and world unification see Christian fundamentalists and evangelicals evangelizing and doing missions to convert people of other religions and are more than discomforted or troubled but recently are nervous and even abhorred. The conversion of other religions is an act that ignores those religions and offends human rights and also prompts religious conflict that hampers world peace.

Due to J.C.Hoekendijk’s ‘Mission of God’ (Missio Dei) movement, there were divisions not only in the western Churches but also in Korea’s evangelical campaign throughout the past 30 years. But still there are Christians who are sharing of the Gospel of the Kingdom and are diligently evangelizing and doing missions work. How can those who are for religious unification get rid of them?

Therefore, the “Missional church movement” project was devised to incapacitate and eliminate the fundamentalists and evangelicals who evangelize and do missions.

Recently for the past 10 years among evangelicals around the world there has been a trend to do missional church movement in which local churches avoid overseas, cross-cultural missions to other religions and focus on local community service domestically. The argument for this shift is that missions that focuses on sharing Jesus and the Gospel is not a mature form of missions because it only raises more criticism against Christianity and leaves no fruit but only adverse effects and side effects.

The missional church movement has spread among Korean churches over the past several years. Moreover, the number of Korean churches participating in overseas missions has rapidly decreased. Local churches that were working hard in overseas missions changed their policies to help the local community in the form of community service, and even those who are doing overseas missions are focusing on community service projects rather than on evangelism or church planting. Not only the Western Churches of Europe or North America but also recently the Korean evangelicals are also being scorched as such. Soon the remnants of Christian fundamentalists will also be targeted and eliminated through the same-sex marriage project.

 

3) Project: Eliminate nationalism

Nationalism is ethnocentrism that fundamentally pursues the glory of their own people group only. From the perspective of those who advocate world unification, nationalism is a public enemy of the human race and it is an evil that must be removed since it seeks the glory of its nation rather than the peace and prosperity of humanity. Nationalism must be eliminated in order for world unification to be accomplished.

Then how will those who want world unification eliminate nationalism? Who are the strongest nationalists of each ethnicity and nation? They are the militants. This is because officers cry out for the glory of their nation ever since their youth.  after WWII, militants in the West were quickly removed. Militants are idealists and they are subordinate to politicians who in turn are realists that easily compromise. The highest militant in command must show absolute obedience to the nation’s politicians. A military coup is never permissible and the ones that led the coup will be chased till the ends of the earth by global elites and be eliminated. The last places are the Middle Eastern Arab countries.

This is evident when critically analyzing the unfolding, the progression, and the result of the Arab Spring, which is the democratization of the Middle East that happened approximately 6 years ago. Among the 22 Arab nations, the democratization of the Middle East happened in Tunisia first and spread to Egypt, Libya, Syria etc. Why did this democratic movement happen in the most democratic Arabic nation? Why is it not happening in the nation with the strongest monarch like Saudi Arabia or Libya?

Middle Eastern Arab nations are divided into two as royal dictatorships and military dictatorships. Nations where militants rule all have a past of the militants seizing authority through a military coup. And they continue to keep that authority. These militant dominant nations all prioritize Arab nationalism over the Islamic religion. As Arab nationalist nations they formed the Arab League in the 1950s.

The Arab nation leaders who were eliminated as a result of the democratization movement throughout the Middle East and also the President of Iraq, Saddam Hussein, who was ousted 10 years ago, were all militant leaders and Arab nationalists. Starting with Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, all Arab nationalist military political powers were ousted or eliminated. But they did not touch any of the Arabic monarch nations. Global elites planned and carried out the Syrian war in order to remove the last dictatorship in Syria. Looking at this recent trend, it seems like the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will be eliminated rather than be ousted.

 

  1. Closing Words

The global elites have activated the UN, Global Governance system and have begun the unification of world politics and established the WTO in 1995 to construct a neoliberal market system. They also pursued the recent Arab Nationalist Project in order to remove any hindrance to unification. But the result is illogical. Resistance forces against ISIS have formed and an innumerable amount of Arab refugees has resulted.  Moreover, anxious of refugees flooding into their countries, Europe was in fierce internal disputes that finally resulted in the withdrawal of the UK from EU. Their own project has backfired on them and thus have gotten themselves in trouble.

The issues of Islamic terrorism and Muslim refugees actually became the trigger for Europeans to raise suspicions about the unification project. Because of this, nationalism that was on the decline has shown a recent increase.

When Syrian refugees began flocking towards them, Europe actually refused the refugees. They gave Turkey a tremendous amount of money and signed an agreement with them that the Turks would accept the refugees. Although Europe has always pursued the construction of a community for mankind and has contended for general humanistic values such as human rights, democracy, freedom, equality, peace etc., they themselves abandoned those values and chose their own benefits and well-being. The UK actually feared the immigrants to the point of seceding from the EU, and other nations of EU are also in turmoil. The EU executive branch and leaders are busy trying to protect and maintain Western traditional values, but they will not be able to still the waves that have been set into motion. The Europeans who are already stirred will not easily give up. Moreover, even in the United States, Donald Trump, an egotistic nationalist, is also emerging.

The Turks, after receiving support money from Europe, are laughing at the Europeans. The West has lost the qualification or right to enforce general humanistic values such as human rights, democracy, peace etc. on the non-western world. The truth that all humans are equally selfish sinners has been exposed. Russia and China are also smiling on the inside. Now that non-Westerners know the true intention of the West, the traditional global leadership of the West will no longer be the same as before.

Meanwhile, the global elites mustered whatever strength they had to calm the turmoil, but to no avail. Will they then abandon the plan for world unification? Definitely not. This is because forming a complete society and world peace is the unrelenting aspiration and vision of humankind.

No, they will will never give up. The civilization project to reconstruct Babel for unification will definitely not be stopped. Rather, they will justify themselves with global terrorism and use the method of strengthening the global control system by continuing the G System. In this way, the apocalyptic phenomenon in the world will accelerate.

In regards to end times, we clearly know three things.

First is the truth that Jesus will surely return. The Bible ends with Jesus’ promise of “Surely I am coming soon!” and the response of the saints “Come, Lord Jesus!” The hope of heaven must be focused on the second coming of Jesus.

Second is that we do not know the exact time or hour of the second coming, but we know the condition for it to happen. “This gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” (Matt 24:14). As a sign of the times, the completion of world mission alludes to the end times. Eschatological redemptive history is in synch with the completion of world missions. Eschatological redemptive history has been fulfilled through the cross and resurrection of Jesus, God the Son, who came to this earth. It will become complete with the Lord’s second coming. God’s Kingdom has come, but it is not yet complete. It will be complete when the gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed to all nations and Jesus returns.

Third, there is resistance to God’s history that is advancing towards the end. The final resistance will be a global phenomenon: the persecution of the world church. It is the establishment of the anti-christ system led by the apostasy and great tribulation before Jesus’ return. The recent anti-christian phenomenon is global. President Obama, in reality, the world’s president, proclaimed in the spring of 2015 that “whoever opposes gay marriage is our enemy!” UN is strongly pursuing the legalization of same-sex marriage. On the other hand, the false prophet is expanding their global influence, and despite terrorism his religion is rapidly growing even in Korea and the United States.

Also, the global intellectual society and the mainstream media is treating Christian fundamentalists who do mission, the evangelical Christians, as a very dangerous group. One day they will stipulate us as potential terrorists who threaten world peace and slander other religions as we evangelize and do mission work.

God’s history marches forward towards the end. Resistance against this history has also continued. But all things will be fulfilled according to the prophecy of our Triune God. When the gospel is preached to all unreached people groups of the frontiers, including the Islamic World, that have not yet received the gospel, world evangelization will be completed. Just like how the judgment came when Noah’s Ark was finished, it is then that Jesus will return in judgment. And He will wipe away the tears of our missionaries who have suffered with their lives on the line for the fulfillment of world mission and that of the loyal saints of the church and lead them to eternal Heaven.

And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and takeup his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.” (Mark 8:34-35) Give your entire life for our Lord Jesus and for the Gospel!

This gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” (Matt 24:14).

Amen! Come Lord Jesus Come!

 

 

 

 

From the perspective of eschatological redemptive history, the new covenant directs us to the second coming of our Lord Jesus.  In Matthew 24, Jesus made it clear that this will be fulfilled through mission towards all nations, beyond Israel. “This gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” (Matt 24:14).And this is clearly shown also in Jesus’ commission, the Great Commission, in Matthew 28** _George Ladd <The Gospel of the Kingdom>

The postmillennial expectation of a future golden age before Christ’s return does not do justice to the continuing tension in the history of the world between the kingdom of God and the forces of evil. That there is and will be such a continuing tension in history has been touched upon before. Already in Genesis 3:15 God announced the antithesis that would run through history: enmity between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent. This antithesis continues until the very end of history._Anthony Hoekema

God himself is the one that is in warfare with Satan, and man merely takes part and joins God’s side.** _Geerhardus Vos

The Biblical concept of history has in premise the fact that there is a huge gap between God and Satan, between Christ and the antichrist.**_K.E. Skydsgaard

To be sure, Christ has won a decisive victory over sin and Satan, so that the final outcome of the struggle is never in doubt. Yet the antithesis between Christ and his enemies will continue until the end._Anthony Hoekema

Furthermore, the ongoing of the Kingdom in history gives purpose and meaning to history itself. It is this dynamic historical-prophetic-eschatological character of the Kingdom that should make us impatient with a static church preoccupied with its own piety and salvation._Arthur Glasser

 

**Paraphrased statements