For the last time, Revelation means whatever the crap you want it to mean. The point of Revelation is to give you same damn good reading material, to get into the spirit of worship. It’s there to entertain you and give you a God high. It’s not there for know-it-all theologians, heavy-handed pastors, and Joe Christians to fight over. If it was literal, don’t you think John would have made that clear? Maybe add some kind of note at the end?
“Hey by the way, everybody, I know this Revelation of mine looks exactly like just a poetic vision. I know it looks like just a really awesome reverie I dreamed up to get you super excited about God and everything. This book seems to be just a wonderful way to express the ineffable awe and hope in the future that Christ offers.
“But the fact is, all of this is super true, literally, including the eyeball animals. It’s not figurative. Take it exactly as I wrote it. My name is John, and I hereby state this is all just straight facts, and if you don’t take it at face value then you’ll miss the Rapture and you’ll die with your fellow unbelieving. Don’t kill the messenger.
“John (last name withheld)
“Author of the bestselling bible books John and Revelation”
Something like that.
John was describing his vision of Heaven exactly however he wanted to describe it. Read John’s vision because it’s completely twisted and awesome. Just give yourself over to it. Get lost in it. Take it literally for a while. Suspend your disbelief as you would a powerful work of fiction. Enjoy it, blood and all, rainbows and everything, holy, holy, holy.
And in your most secret heart, continue to believe it, if that’s what moves you into closer union with the Awesome and All Powerful Glorious God of Everything and All Time. Know that millions of other humans are sharing in your love of this impossibly powerful book of the holy bible. Let this worldwide communion magnify your awe.
But then maybe think up your own Revelation. Could be a work of writing like John’s. Could be a painting or a song. Anything. Just make sure it stirs the heart and makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Then show it to someone so they can see how God has moved in you.
Just like John did.