Famous movie-star, martial arts expert and political columnist, Chuck Norris, recently wrote a column on WND warning readers about the implications of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, to be held in Copenhagen this coming December. Bottom line? He’s afraid.
I was in a small-group Bible study this past weekend in which a member expressed similar fears that Obama is working towards a “one world government”. I’ve got to admit that the socialist, even communist, ideology that seems to motivate Obama is scary. And yes, democracy, freedom, national sovereignty (for all nations), opportunity for hard work and religious freedoms, all of these are threatened by what seems to be the agenda of the Copenhagen coference and what sure looks like Obama’s agenda. But why do people give voice to this fear under the label, “one world government”?
The reason, I think, is the wide acceptance of the theological views most popularly expressed in the Left Behind series of novels and movies. The actual perspective is known as “Pre-Tribulational Dispensationalism”. This perspective sees the Bible as teaching a series of dispensations under which God arranges His dealings with humanity throughout history. The “Pre-Tribulational” part of the label refers to the belief that the final dispensation is ushered in by the invisible coming of Christ to Earth just before a world-wide “tribulation” (pre-tribulational) breaks out against Christians.
Very common among writers who hold this view is the belief that the mastermind behind this world-wide tribulation will be a global dictator, the “Antichrist”, and leader of a “one-world government”. The thing of it is that no such “one-world government” is described in Bible prophecy anywhere.
For instance, in Daniel 2, the Bible predicts that starting in about the year 600 BC (2600 years ago), the nation of the Jews will be dominated by a succession of Empires: 1. Babylon, 2. Medo-Persia, 3. Greece, and 4. (though not named) Rome. In that prophecy, the Roman Empire is foreseen to break up into a commonwealth of 10 inferior kingdoms. This happened within about a century-and-a-half of the collapse of the Roman Empire in 476 AD. I’ve written in some detail about this already in a previous post. The point is that from the early “Middle Ages” until the present day, that same territory exclusively ruled by the Roman Empire (not the Greek, Medo-Persian, or Babylonian Empires) still included 10 nations.
Daniel 7 adds some detail to this foreview of world history by explaining that a single religious-political ruler will emerge who will have great influence and power over this commonwealth of 10 nations. Revelation 13 also pictures this. We often call this religious-political ruler “the Antichrist”–though he’s not named that in either book of the Bible. But even if we go along with the use of the name, “Antichrist”, we still find no indication whatsoever that he ever is predicted to rule over a “one world government”.
I don’t really care that lots of people believe a “one world government” is coming though they’ve paid very little attention to studying the relevant Bible passages. But I do care that in looking ahead so intently for the emergence of the Boogeyman a great many Christians are blind to the much more serious and close-at-hand threat presented by the real “Antichrist”, the Popes of Rome. It’s not that Christians around the globe are in danger of being persecuted by the Pope. Hardly. It’s that the Gospel message proclaimed by Christians around the globe is constantly attacked by the counterfeit “Christianity” of the Roman Catholic Church, and the self-proclaimed leader of the Christian Faith.
A read through Augustine’s City of God is a more effective vaccine for fuzzy Christian thinking about the distinction between politics and the mission of the Church than Obama’s H1N1 vaccine is for the Swine Flu. Augustine can help Christians to see that our main mission is not to defend religious freedoms and democracy, but to preach the Gospel. We can be good citizens and pray for our political leaders, yes, but when we begin to demonize them we run the risk of being distracted from our mission as the Church of Christ. We can and must pray for and seek the welfare of “The City of Man”, but we are first and foremost citizens of “The City of God.” Therefore, our real enemy is not Obama or the UN or some fictional future leader of a “one world government”. Our real enemy is the enemy of the Gospel. We call him “Satan”, and the counterfeit Christianity we call, “Roman Catholicism” is his pawn (as is every other counterfeit form of Christianity that has spawned from the Roman “church”).
Let’s pray for the success of the Gospel while also doing our part. Let’s also pray for the welfare of the City of Man and the leaders God has set up in it. But let’s not get distracted from our spiritual mission by political science-fiction masquerading as biblical teaching.
By the way, I still love Chuck Norris’ column.