Jun 14, 2008

Fatal Attraction: One World Order Theories – Part I

By Wilfred Hahn

The September 2006 issue of Midnight Call carried an article entitled, “One-World Order: Waiting for Godot?” This article likely ruffled up more than a few feathers. Why? It appeared to refute the One-World Order theories (OWO), which after all, are well entrenched in North America. In fact, views of this nature are almost folkloric.

We are referring here mainly to the notions that a sinister group of people — mostly the rich elite of the world, or possibly “international bankers” or Jews — is taking over the world rank and file. In many quarters, “global conspiracy” views are accepted with rabid fervor.

Having read countless similar theories over the years and studied Scriptures on this question, I believe they are a needless distraction to Christians. In fact, if anything, these views are dangerous. They lure us to divert our gaze from what should be the true object of our faith — the promises of the Lord Jesus Christ. Crucially, rampant OWO theories risk making us vulnerable to possible fatal deceptions.

One-World Order Theories Described

Before going any further, let’s first clear up some possible misconceptions. OWO perspectives include, but are not limited to, the belief that globalism and globalization are sweeping the world. There is no danger in holding such views, as it can be factually documented and is also prophesied in the Bible. Sometimes, the term “New World Order” (NWO) is used interchangeably with OWO. Therefore, to talk of a NWO or OWO in the sense of today’s globalization trends is not harmful.

The problems with many OWO theories arise with their additional allegations and heavy, misdirected focus upon certain evil, rich people, their motivations and the conspiracies they are hatching upon the world. Please understand that to warn about the excesses of some OWO theories is not to deny the reality of what is happening globally today.

In the earlier mentioned article, a main argument was that the OWO is not a scripturally documented “pinpoint” sign for Christians. It may indeed be a broad “sign of the times” but not a specific time point. As we observe, the globalization and globalism phenomena that are deeply intertwined with OWO theories, are not trends that one can measure to say that they have been completed. They are ongoing processes to be sure. But even so, the question remains: How much further must these developments proceed before one can conclude that conditions are sufficient for the Tribulation to arrive? Or, can one validly state that much of their impact still lies in the future? Indeed, these trends are definitely symbols of the endtime “season,” but they are not “pinpoints” in time.

A further point argued was that even though we cannot know the endpoint of the “fullness of the times of the Gentiles” (Luke 21:24), at the same time, globalization and globalism are a lot farther along than most people think. Their indicators are not as clear-cut and obvious as many commentators suggest — for example, the arrival of a one-world currency or a unified global government structure. Satan knows Scripture, too. And, as he is the author of lies and deception — in fact, he is the very personification of these traits — we must be wary of falling prey to anything that seems obvious at face value.

Endtime conditions are probably much more advanced than many might think. After all, our enemy has no interest in deceiving us into thinking that the time is shorter than it really is. If anything, he would rather delude us into thinking that the return of our Master, who is away on a far journey (Matthew 24:48), is yet farther in the future.

Yet, much more is unscriptural or dangerous about the emphasis of the popular OWO theories. But before we tackle these aspects, first a point of awareness: It is in the exaggerations and the misdirections of the grandiose OWO theories that we find the path to danger. Here, we may be sometimes dealing in subtleties, but these are crucial ones. As with any interpretation or view, whether it is of Scripture or even a gossip story, it only requires one degree of inaccuracy or error for the whole peck of apples to go bad.

Conspiracies R’ Us

A main thrust of all OWO theories is their focus on elites — rich people or persons of great influence. It is a fixation similar to the worship of media and sports stars. Much of society is captured by the deeds and trapping of the rich and famous. Only in this case, many of the OWO alarums cause us to focus upon the evil of these nefarious people and their ensnaring conspiracies. If movie and rock stars are the “good guys” of people’s adulation, then the “elites” and their grand conspiracies fill the emotional void of having “bad guys” that we can justifiably hate.

Not to be denied is that conspiracies exist or that certain elites might have inordinate powers in domestic or world affairs today. Not at all. What we can and do counter, however, is the popular hysteria that is dragging many Christians into unscriptural and vulnerable perspectives. As we will show, this fixation with the elite and their apparent global conspiracies cause our eyes to be averted from what Scripture actually emphasizes.

To begin, let’s first deal with the general topic of conspiracies. Yes, they are indeed playing out across the world stage today to a lesser or greater degree. However, it is one thing to agree that there are conspiracies and quite another to fear-monger, or to use them as a “pinpoint” sign or to indict a special group of advantaged people as particularly evil.

The Bible has much to say about conspiracies and the manipulations of the rich and powerful. To begin, it counsels to not get carried away with conspiracy fears.

“Do not call conspiracy everything that these people call conspiracy; do not fear what they fear, and do not dread it. The LORD Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, he is the one you are to fear, he is the one you are to dread, and he will be a sanctuary” (Isaiah 8:12-14).

Before we put grand global conspiracies up on a pedestal to fear, it is comforting to know that God is in control. In the first place, He is the One to fear and respect, not globalists or “money-trust” conspirators, or even smaller conspirators who live down the street. Let’s rest assured that God sees what the conspirators are doing. Not only that, He assures us that their plans will come to naught: “The wicked plot against the righteous and gnash their teeth at them; but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he knows their day is coming” (Psalm 37:12-13).

Also, we realize that the conspiracies of the wicked — people in pre f e rred positions — have always existed. In that respect, not much is diff e rent today but only in one key respect. The means and opportunities for deceit and conspiracy today are simply bigger. It’s a global world in which some of the wicked now have worldwide influence.

The Bible records an ancient history of elite seizing the upper hand, oppressing the poor, and entrapping the unsuspecting and the disadvantaged. God sent many prophets to register His displeasure with such conditions. Consider just a few of such warnings that depict the nature of those similar times.

“ Woe to those who plan iniquity, to those who plot evil on their beds! At morning’s light they carry it out because it is in their power to do it. They covet fields and seize them, and houses, and take them. They defraud a man of his home, a fellowman of his inheritance” (Micah 2:1-2).

“The scoundrel ’s methods are wicked, he makes up evil schemes to destroy the poor with lies, even when the plea of the needy is just” (Isaiah 32:7).

“…that noisy crowd of evildoers. They sharpen their tongues like swords and aim their words like deadly arrows. They shoot from ambush at the innocent man; they shoot at him suddenly, without fear. They encourage each other in evil plans, they talk about hiding their snares; they say, “Who will see them?” They plot injustice and say, “We have devised a perfect plan!” Surely the mind and heart of man are cunning” (Psalm 64: 2- 6).

“Among my people are wicked men who lie in wait like men who snare bird s and like those who set traps to catch men. Like cages full of birds, their houses are full of deceit; they have become rich and powerful and have grown fat and sleek. Their evil deeds have no limit; they do not plead the case of the fatherless to win it, they do not defend the rights of the poor” (Jeremiah 5:26-28).

These are just a few of the many testimonies that the Old Testament records providing vivid descriptions of the conspiracies of wicked elite. Perhaps the most illuminating account of such conditions of evil plotting of the rich and powerful is found in Ezekiel 22. The entire chapter concerns itself with this topic. All in all, we see that conspiracies existed thousands of years ago, always have and will continue to do so until the time of the millennial reign of Christ on earth. However, included in this and all other pictures of evil plotting and manipulation is also the prophesied outcome for these elite and their plans.

“Should I not punish them for this?” declares the LORD. “Should I not avenge myself on such a nation as this?” (Jeremiah 5:29). God declares that the wicked and the rebellious nations will not escape: “But God will shoot them with arrows; suddenly they will be struck down. He will turn their own tongues against them and bring them to ruin; all who see them will shake their heads in scorn” (Psalm 64:7-8). While we may consider the elite of this world in privileged positions — living sumptuously and in conditions of ease and prosperity — it is, however, a very shortsighted perspective. Their outcome is clear: “The wicked draw the sword and bend the bow to bring down the poor and needy, to slay those whose ways are upright. But their swords will pierce their own hearts, and their bows will be broken” (Psalm 37:14).

Follow the Evil Rich People

Let’s next turn to our modern day. Is there really a mythological group of men and women who are bound by blood across the centuries to sacrifice their lives to Satan in the selfless aim to bring about a New World Order? Moreover, could they be part of some secret cult or a certain “chosen” people who have been conscripted into an organized plan to deliver the world to the future Antichrist? Are they a tight-knit compact, dedicated to help bring about the world conditions that lead to the final Armageddon? If so, who are these people?

There are literally thousands of books that claim to identify them. Names such as John D. Rockefeller, W. Averill Harriman and hundreds of others are painstakingly documented in many of these accounts. Various groups are said to be part of this evil world plan, including the Bilderbergers, Skull and Bones, the Illuminati, the Elders of Zion and countless others. Do all these groups exist? Are many of the people cited guilty of some forms of collusion? There is probably much truth to these accounts.

If so, what then are we to do with this information? That, it turns out, is the key question. Should we be judging such conspiracies, seeking to expose them and to condemn the elite that might be fomenting such disagreeable and difficult conditions on the rest of the world’s populations? Surely, we can expose such plots in the sense that we should not be unaware of such schemes. However, what is to be our response to these misguided people? Should we ourselves be concerned with their punishment and conviction? Should we now slavishly follow their every move and action, allowing ourselves to become captured by their money-making plotting? Just how should we respond to these people? It is here that we find one of the most critical points of departure from scriptural mandate in the histrionic bashing that we see by the OWO theorists.

However, before we seek the Bible’s answer as to how we are to respond, let’s focus upon just one of these types of elitists. No doubt, everyone has heard of the mythical “international banker.” He is a common kingpin in many OWO theories.

Money and Bankers

International bankers of conspiracy lore are caricatured as wearing a bespoke, pin-striped blue suit, working somewhere in unnamed international locations. Apparently, they are the evil force behind much of the world’s troubles. They are so evil that we are to assume that they are hell-bent upon handing the world over to the Antichrist at the end of days. They are devious and cunning, and perhaps even pray to Satan for their next set of directions to help in the take-over of the world.

Just who are these so-called international bankers? Allow me to share a personal perspective. For well over two decades, I was a globetrotting international financial executive. During that time, I can honestly say I rarely met any person I thought could fit this description. I surely did encounter all kinds of financial elite, from global corporate captains, central bankers, mega-billionaire investors, leading economists and strategists, and most certainly, individuals that might well be called “international bankers.” I met some very greedy people — some even psychopathic — but rarely anyone that qualified as an international banker of popular folklore. I certainly did not find any smoky upper meeting rooms filled with cigar-chomping elite who were plotting to take the world hostage for an apocalyptic, evil end. We see that only in the movies.

That said, there surely are many power brokers in the world today — whether rich in money or political or positional power — who are indeed bent upon evil, whose minds have been seared of all consequences of their actions. But we must repeat the question: Just who are these global elite that are taking over the world? Are they a special breed of people, chosen from the dawn of time? Or are they just ordinary humans who have gone astray, or have been deceived? Is their real intent and preferred choice to work for the losing side and to end up in eternal damnation? No, that is not likely.

These so-called elite are not extremist Muslims who want to sacrifice their lives for such an idea. They are not interested in the promise of 72 virgins in the afterlife, but rather are mostly motivated by self interest and greed in the “here and now” as well as in the ways that might appear right to godless men. Why? The answer is not surprising. These are impulses inherent to all people, though some indeed are consumed with these characteristics. These are the same flawed penchants that reside in the heart of all humanity. So said John: “For everything in the world — the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does — comes not from the Father but from the world” (1 John 2:16).

Most “international bankers” (in real life, rather than the mythological ones of lore) that I met didn’t have a clue as to what was expected of them according to OWO theory. For the most part, they were quite ignorant of the big conspiracy in which they were supposedly playing a role. Rather, the aspects that motivated them all to some extent, were much more pedestrian. The desire of many of them was for riches, power and glory. And, if not those pursuits, they were surely motivated by the fear of losing their jobs, poverty, lack of means, or professional failure. Robert South, the colorful 17th century English churchman, couldn’t have pinpointed this motivation any more succinctly, saying: “There are not a few who believe in no God but Mammon, no devil but the absence of gold, no damnation but being poor, and no hell but an empty purse; and not a few of their descendants are living still.”

What are we to do with such people? As already proposed, should we condemn them, hound them, and convict them? No. We are to pray for them. Whenever I have encountered such people who are consumed by power or the love of money, rather than feeling loathing, I have felt compassion. Often, they are lonely, imbalanced people, sometimes even bordering on the psychopathic. At some point in their lives, they became vulnerable to the lust and ambition for riches and gain at any price. These are not people who have signed a blood pact with Satan. They are lost. They are heading for a horrible fate. They are hardly different from us, “for we were saved while we were yet sinners.”

In Part II we will turn to several Scriptures that clearly lay out strong reasons we are not to allow ourselves to be carried away with extreme OWO conspiracy theories. Most crucially, we learn that these lure us to watch in the exact opposite direction to which we are commanded. Doing so, humanity will have been set up to fall prey to a great religious deception that comes to its final crescendo in the Tribulation Period.