Need a distraction from the election? Well, today is also Halo 4 launch day. YAY! Despite a single Negative Nigel review, the game is largely being hailed as an unmitigated success, birthing a wonderful new chapter in the series.
But if Halo ever became a reality, it could be the end of the world. No, really.
My last Flash Friday post, Subcontracting in Shinar, imagined an up-close vignette in the story of the Tower of Babel. Actually, Genesis 11 gives us a picture of what “world peace” looks like when dominated by an unbelieving society. You see, without quarrels and squabbles amongst each other, the unbelieving world can focus its energy full time on quarreling with God… and his people. Revelation, using fantastic imagery, depicts the unbelieving world putting aside its differences to assault the church. In doing so, it shows that human nature hasn’t changed since Genesis 11. By and large, governments and societies are hostile to God and to his people. That’s because, by and large, they are made up of sinful people who don’t know God and therefore are naturally hostile to God and his people. Paul expresses this in Romans chapter 8:
Romans 8:5-8 5 Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; 7 the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.
Without faith in Jesus, without the Spirit regenerating our hearts and minds, the sad truth is that people are downright nasty. Sure, we play a big game and put on polite masks, but it all just hides the rotten core of sinful desire on the inside. Oftentimes, the unfortunate victims of sinful desires are whoever is nearby, convenient, or can maximize the desire’s fulfillment. And sadly, Christians also struggle with quelling those sinful desires. But both the Bible and world history are also full of examples where differences were put aside between unbelieving people in order to follow the sinful desire to make Christians shut up and stop “judging” them… at any cost necessary.
Ok, fine. But what does all this have to do with Halo?
Well, many science fiction settings, including Halo, assume that eventually the inhabitants of the earth put aside their differences and, under the auspices of some unifying body (in Halo, the United Nations), take up loftier tasks. Tasks like colonizing space, boldly going where no man has gone before, and kicking alien ass. But the Bible makes it pretty clear there are really only two ways for humanity to unify. “Whoever is not against us, is for us,” Jesus said. Humanity could unify under Jesus (in theory only–in reality, sin prevents this), or unbelieving society can unify together to defy God. As the Bible points out, when unbelieving society unifies, it is often in the effort to persecute God’s church. And when “every people, tribe, language and nation” unify against God and his church, it’s a sign that the end is near indeed.
The good news? Not all the Helljumpers and Spartans in the universe can win a battle against the Lord Almighty.