Where is Europe headed now? The leaders of the European Union (EU) recently declared that "the Union stands at a crossroads, a defining moment in its existence" (Laeken Summit text, emphasis added). They see the decisions made at Laeken as a far-reaching declaration for the future of Europe, heralding a new era in its long existence as a civilization. Coinciding with the EU's secular mission statement is the emergence of the euro as a real in-pocket currency. Said Romano Prodi, president of the European Commission, "We will become a greater Europe with the euro. We shall become stronger, wealthier" (Associated Press).
The euro's impact
A biblical proverb tells us that "money answers all things." This is the real reason for a lot of things that may initially puzzle us. Clearly the euro will go a long way towards unifying Europe even further. Even the three EU countries that have not yet subscribed to the single currency will find themselves being irresistibly pulled towards the center of Europe.
Many familiar British retail chains like Virgin and Marks & Spencer have already decided to accept euro notes and coins in their shops, nationwide. Undoubtedly many others will soon follow. Britons may face the prospect of having to cope with an extra currency in their own country. Seasoned observers feel that 15 million annual visitors from the European continent with euros in their pockets and purses, plus the inevitable effect of tourists from the British Isles visiting Europe, will help assure the eventual demise of the pound.
Envisioning the European future
But the stated intentions of the Laeken Summit leaders could turn out to be far more significant than even the impact of the euro. People with a sound understanding of both biblical prophecy and European history have very good reason to be seriously concerned about the recent joint declaration of the EU heads of government.
For example, one crucial portion of the final Laeken declaration states: "Fifty years on, however, the union stands at a crossroads, a defining moment in its existence, the unification of Europe is near. The union is about to expand to bring in more than ten new member states, predominantly Central and Eastern European, thereby finally closing one of the darkest chapters in European history: the Second World War and the ensuing artificial division of Europe.
"At long last Europe is on its way to becoming one big family, without bloodshed, a real transformation clearly calling for a different approach from fifty years ago, when six countries took the lead. Now that the Cold War is over and we are living in a globalised [British spelling], yet also highly fragmented world, Europe needs to shoulder its responsibilities in the governance of globalisation [British spelling]" (text quoted in The Daily Telegraph, Dec. 18, 2001, emphasis added).
Concepts like the near unification of Europe and becoming one big family may sound innocuous on the surface, but when viewed from a biblical standpoint the eventual outcome of these trends takes on a more sinister note. From God's point of view, unity among the nations of this world is not always a good thing. World leaders do not generally promote God's way of achieving unity, but as much as possible each is seeking his own benefit and believing that his own way is the right path to a unified outlook and an absence of conflict. The Hebrew prophet Isaiah wrote: "The way of peace they have not known, and there is no justice in their ways...Whoever takes that way shall not know peace" (Isaiah 59:8).
Remember the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9). "And the LORD said, 'Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose [imagine, KJV] to do will be withheld from them'" (verse 6). Whether or not they fully grasped it, the motives of these ancients were not right. Their Creator had explicitly told them to spread out, but they wanted to stay together in one place. They sought unity for the wrong reasons.
Another case in point is the historic division of ancient Israel, divinely imposed as a penalty for their national sins. God saw to it that the nation was divided in two, and He later prevented an attempt by King Rehoboam to reunify the two separate countries (1 Kings 11:9-13; 12:23-24).
Planning a European constitution
The European Council in Laeken decided to convene a special constitutional convention in the interest of further steps towards unity. It has appointed former president of France V. Giscard d'Estaing as chairman of this convention. This proposed constitution would most probably redefine the four treaties that undergird the EU.
Also on the agenda is the selection of a president of the European Commission who will be directly elected by the citizens of Europe. Potentially this is an office of vast powers, which could emerge in just a very few years, with authority over perhaps as many as 25 nations.
If the EU leaders really understood human nature as the Bible views it, they might have paused to consider where the course of events laid out at Laeken will really lead us. But most leaders of secular Europe today pay little if any attention to the wisdom of the Bible. If they did, they would understand with the prophet Jeremiah that "the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man who walks to direct His own steps" (Jeremiah 10:23). Mankind desperately needs divine guidance (verse 24).
You can understand where these key events in Europe are taking us. Please request our free brochure, The Book of Revelation Unveiled. This final book of the Bible is particularly pertinent to current trends on the European scene. The booklet will not only show you where world trends are leading mankind, but also reveal what steps you can take to cope with these coming events in your personal life. WNP