Is our world really out of control?
The recent events of significance around the world remind us that the world is an unstable place. But could the multitude of terrorist attacks in prominent Western cities, the ongoing conflict Syria, the constant threat of North Korean instability, and various other less prominent but equally significant local ‘crises’, implicitly embellished by the media as requiring a ‘global’ solution, be conspiring together to bring into sharp relief that the world is really in a paradigm shift toward tighter control on every level.
Christians love to dramatize world crises and look for potential Armageddon scenarios: where the threat of a thermonuclear conflict, worldwide pandemics, or some untimely natural disaster is seen as harbingers for the end times. But, could it be that these dramatic events we encounter in the media on the daily basis that cause so much anxiety, are more of a smoke-screen for the real threat.
Whilst we may get the alarmed that the world is in disorder, on a more subtle level should we be concerned that the world is being moved more toward a controlling ‘order’? By way of practical example, we should remind ourselves of the ubiquitous presence of technology in our lives. It is now virtually impossible for a person to move from one place to another without having their mobile phone ‘ping’s tracked, their presences appear on the recordings of the multitude of CC TV cameras out there, and all their financial transactions tracked instantaneously. And this is what we know about! Perhaps it’s not the world disorder that should concern us, but actually its order!
It’s a gruesome thing, but I am told that if you slowly boil a frog in water the hapless creature only becomes aware of its terminal plight at the bitter end. In seeking to make sense of the quantum changes that are overtaking our world, I feel somewhat like that beleaguered frog that has just become aware of his horrible plight at the 11th hour.
Could it be that the current world disorder is merely the prelude for a new world order, where through the hegemony of global organizations in concert with trans-national financial, technology and media companies issues, and ultimately the spiritual powers behind them issue a new regime of control, where only those benignly complicit with these ‘systems’ flourish.
Recently, the renowned international diplomat/U.S Secretary of State Henry Kissinger launched his book World Order. Kissinger, a long-standing advocate for world unification, rose to prominence during the USA’s Nixon administration in the 1970s and has been a key participant in central foreign policy events since. He believes the twenty first century’s ultimate challenge revolves around how to build a shared international order in a world of divergent historic perspectives, violent conflict, proliferating technology, and ideological extremism.
Kissinger observes that there has never been a true ‘world order’, an order that could ensure peace and stability between nations. However, does this ‘new world order’ hides a dark under-belly. Although organizations such as the IMF, UN, WHO, and Greenpeace appear relatively innocuous, they ( or more accurately the people that control them) are key players in the push toward a system of world governance superior to, yet independent of, sovereign nation states and the values that formed them.
Given that the agenda behind this ‘alleged’ World Order is inherently secular, such a large scale shift should give Christians sober pause for reflection with issues such as: the integrity of the family, the freedom of religion, freedom of speech, the value of the human, and personal privacy firmly on the agenda.
Regrettably, many Christians make the mistake of ‘simply’ equating worldliness with personal immorality. Such a naïve view leaves them open to be blindsided by the subtle and nefarious forces manipulating our systems of: economics, technology, politics, and social structures. In actual fact, worldliness has far more to do with being complicit with the ‘systems’ of the world, and forsaking Christ’s lordship in the process, than it ever has to do with capitulating to personal sin.
If Christians are not more attentive to their engagement with the world on every level, they, like the unwitting frog might discover our demise too late and find our entrapment so overwhelming that escape seems virtually impossible; such that capitulation or exclusion become the only two options. But, really, is this anything new?
The agenda of this world is, and always has been, self-serving and has always been set against the agenda of Christ and his kingdom. Let’s be realistic, the early Christians in general and their chief advocate the Apostle Paul in particular, did not live in a world shaped by Christendom where the world was crafted to make their religious existence comfortable. They lived in a world shaped by imperialist Rome and its ubiquitous and comprehensive influence; a world where to be a follower of Christ was to set you at odds with the status quo of society—this was their normal!
When Paul wrote to the Romans and exhorted them, ‘Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed with the renewal of your mind, and that by testing you may discern what the will of God is …’ (Rom 12:2), he genuinely knew the pressures of ‘worldliness’. Paul firmly had in mind that Christians should present themselves to God, holy and acceptable, in his service—uncompromised by and disentangled from the world’s agendas, priorities, and values.
Back to our current world; interestingly, in a 2007 interview Henry Kissinger said, ‘On one end of the spectrum there is globalization and the other end religion…’ Wait a minute, surely his categories are crossed? How could globalization and religion be at odds? However, this is no false dichotomy, or categorical mistake, in Kissinger’s mind religion divides and world politics unites!
To put it simply, independent religion has no legitimate role in this new world order. Therefore, let the Christian be warned that authentic Christianity and globalization are not deemed compatible by those advancing this agenda. Be assured, the pressure to conform to this new order will become increasingly great: social pressure, economic pressure, technological pressure, political pressure etc. will all increasingly turn up the heat beneath the metaphorical ‘pot of life’ we Christian’s swim in.
Up until now Christian complicity with the first world has come at a low perceived cost to our faith, but from now on we will pay a higher price for remaining loyal to Christ, his values, and his cause in the public domain. Will we simply continue to conform to this world, allowing our uncompromising loyalty to Christ to be subtly eroded as we are gradually boiled alive by secularism and its growing tentacles? Or will we courageously choose not to capitulate to the world and its systems, and make a stand for Christ? It is a choice we all must make—sooner or later!