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Globalism, Nationalism, and the Body

Having just returned from meeting with teams of co-workers in several Asia Pacific cities, my mind is jumping ahead a few days to what soon will be happening in synagogues around the world.

On Yom Kippur 2011 (October 7-8 on our calendars) Jewish celebrants will once again honor their national Day of Atonement with a reading of the story of Jonah.

But why read on Yom Kippur the story of a prophet who, because of his nationalism, doesn’t want to give the enemies of his family and friends a chance to experience the mercy of God?

Jonah read anytime, but especially on a day that celebrates the mercy of God, raises important questions for the rabbis of Israel. Some explain that the story of Jonah is meant to be a reminder that no matter how great our sins, the forgiveness of God is greater. Other Rabbis say that the story is not just about us.

Certainly, there is a truth in both answers. But my bet is with the second. If reading the story of a reluctant prophet on Yom Kippur is meant to call to mind the bigger story of the Bible, it’s a reminder that the mercy God offers his people is what He wants for others.

The back story to Jonah is that his nation was chosen not just for itself but to be good for her neighbors and enemies as well (Gen 12:1-3). The rest of her story leads to a Messiah who takes the real meaning of Jonah to its ultimate meaning of One for all (John 3:16).

So, what do you think? Do you buy the point? If so, or if not, what do you see as a greater threat to the mission of the Body of Christ: the anti-conversion bias of globalism, or the competitive self-interests of nationalism, not only for Israel, but for us as well?  Is either more reason for alarm than the other?

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56 Responses to “Globalism, Nationalism, and the Body”

  1. florida7sun says:

    Mart, it is good to have you back. My thoughts take me to Ephesians and Galatians. In Christ we are all children of Abraham. It is not a question of globalism or nationalism. It is a question of who is Our Father. In Him Gentiles and Jews are grafted together and look forward to the soon return of His Son. Nationalism and globalism will not save or bring peace. “Isms” will all pass away. It is important we do the work of our Lord and Savior in loving everyone he puts in our path and freely share His Precious Gospel. – John 3:16

  2. bubbles says:

    Mart, it’s so very good to have you back. You have been missed.

  3. davids says:

    Nice subject, Mart. Welcome “back”.

    Of course it was the Jewish rabbis that created the tradition of reading Jonah on Yom Kippur due to its theme of repentance. I wondered if a rabbi today were told to go to the Palestinian city of Ramallah to deliver a message of repentance, whether he would head in the opposite direction.

    Nationalism, and before that tribalism, has been a stumbling block for centuries. Yet Christianity has managed to overcome it time and again, as believers were able to take the message, “in Christ we are one” to many lands and peoples.

    But I don’t see globalism as an insurmountable obstacle either. Certainly the idea that one faith is equal to another is a challenge to overcome, but globalism has been gradually spreading beliefs that were rooted in Christianity: rights of women and minorities, the value of the individual, and freedom of conscience.

    Perhaps in the spread of globalism God is preparing the field so that the seed might be sown, as it is today in places that were previously closed due to nationalism and tribalism. But I might be wrong.

  4. poohpity says:

    I thought there was a really good point in the second article “Other Rabbis” it stated about Jonah that “it may teach us that sometimes gentiles are noble and fear God while the Jews ignore Him”. I took that for today’s church that those who claim to be followers of Christ yet do not see themselves in the light of the grace of God but similar to the religious leaders of Jesus’ time sort of really forget God in all the activities of daily life while they look religious. I think that may bring more a threat to our mission.

    Any devotion to culture or interests of a nation only or over emphasizing it’s goals over international relations seems very self centered while aspiring for a nation to develop independence from another countries foreign domination seems to be for the betterment of the peoples. That is what I understand as nationalism which can be seen in either way helpful and harmful.

    I am not really sure about Globalism. I really would like to believe that what we are taught about the atoning work of our Savior would be really good for the whole world to set all those who are captive to the consequences of sin, free.

    Jonah rather than giving His life sacrificially by jumping overboard could have just stayed on the ship and prayed like he did from the belly of the whale and I think sometimes maybe we go to such extreme measures rather than doing the small wonderful things that the Lord has given us to do. I think being kind and gentle is seen as a weakness rather than realizing it really shows strength of the Lord’s power in our lives and that may be what hurts the body worse than anything else.

    Welcome back and thank you for the wonderful things to think about that take some real thought to consider.

  5. saled says:

    “. . . a reminder that the mercy God offers his people is what he wants for others.” I love looking at Jonah in this light! I had never thought about Israel and the Palestinians in light of Jonah either.

    Globalism is the result of more of us realizing that it’s not about us, the world does not revolve around us, no matter who or where we are. But globalism is scary too, because of the Bible prophecies about a one world government.

  6. remarutho says:

    Hello Mart & Friends —

    Mart, you wrote:
    “If reading the story of a reluctant prophet on Yom Kippur is meant to call to mind the bigger story of the Bible, it’s a reminder that the mercy God offers his people is what He wants for others.”

    Jonah, though he is in rebellion against God’s mission to the Ninevehites, proclaims the true character of God…”a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, One who relents from doing harm.” (Jonah 3:2) Jonah’s grudge against the Assyrians is national, but he understands the transcendent Creator God, Maker of all things (including these Ninevehites).

    Could a servant of the one true God wish to “keep” or “hoard” the love of the Creator of the universe? Israelite nationalism is legendary, based upon the awareness of Israel’s unique “chosenness.” Jonah is the poster-child for this insular attitude. He is even furious because salvation has come to Nineveh.

    I am reminded of Jesus’ parable of the early laborers who received the same denarius as those who hired on at the eleventh hour. Those who were hired in the morning complained, “These last men have worked only one hour, and you made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the heat of the day.” (Matthew 20:12)

    The Messiah is sacrificed so that “whosoever believes in him” may become a citizen of the kingdom of God. Globalism, it seems to me, is only an economic term — nationalism is merely a political term. The reconciliation brought by Christ’s blood is for all peoples. It is not a commodity to be bought and sold, nor a human ideology of pride for country. It is nothing less than the restoration of purity to the fallen soul — the final atonement.

    We do not see Johah’s repentance, though the Lord gives him storm, three days in the giant fish and the withering of his shade-providing vine. Grace abounds, but Jonah just wants to die from the shame of being sent to a hated enemy. Do I repent of my Jonah-heart? It may be Yom Kippur is my opportunity… Maru

  7. remarutho says:

    Sorry, typo: Jonah 4:2 is my reference! Maru

  8. royalpalm says:

    Hello, BTA friends,

    Welcome back, Mart! Thanks for this topic and the above posts… I believe that those who placed their faith in the Lord Jesus and His atoning sacrifice for sin, should always remind themselves that they have been transported by God into the Kingdom of the Son that He loves (Col. 1:13). The kingdom that Jesus established is a spiritual kingdom composed of various peoples from around the world, who will someday gather around God’s throne to worship Him. Rev.5:13.

    Our citizenship is in heaven (Phil. 3:20)and our loyalty should always be to our Lord and Saviour and our cause is to advance His kingdom. Because of this, nationalism and globalism are realities that we need to recognize – not as impediments but as incentives to do our work faithfully. Though we are in the world, we are not of the world. (John 17:16) As Paul wrote in 2 Cor. 5, Christ’s love compels us to spread God’s message of reconciliation; we become new creation with new vision and purpose. May our lives be living sacrifices for God’s glory!

  9. SFDBWV says:

    Well Mart jumping ahead two weeks makes me wonder what we will have to discuss when Yom Kippur does get here. Maybe then we can discuss your trip and what you may have learned in such foreign territory.

    Or is it that what you learned is that even in such a very different place as Asia that we are all the same?

    No matter what flag flies over our capital no matter the language or color of skin, that basically we are all alike.

    If that is what you mean as globalism then I can agree.

    Yet there seems to be a place in God’s plans for nations to exist. In Genesis 11: 1 the whole earth was one language and one speech. In Genesis 11: 5-8 God scatters the people establishes different languages and causes people to gather away from each other into nations. And in Zechariah 14: 16 we see God demand that the nations come and pay respect and worship the King the Lord of Hosts at Jerusalem, after the great tribulation.

    Nations or nationalities are in God’s will or else there would be none. Even near the end of our story in Revelation 22: 2 after the new heaven and new earth there are nations.

    It seems to me that God wants diversity in people but wants a common heart in each of us, so that we can exist together as he intends for us to.

    In the same way that The Father the Son and the Holy Spirit are one, He wants men to be one in and through Him. Yet different and individual even as a nation of people.

    The political aspect of globalism is not found in God’s word except for the scattering at Babel and for the time of the anti-christ.

    So then what kind of nation do we live in and what is our responsibility as Christians to see our nation a nation of Christians?

    In 1 Peter 2: 9 it is said we Christians are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people.

    We are to lead the way, for other nations to come to salvation.


  10. BruceC says:


    Glad to see you are back and that all went well.

    Interesting topic. Our church has fellow believers from many areas of the world and many different nations; for a church in upstate NY. Yet to me I see no difference because we are brothers and sisters in Christ and part of His “global” family. So from the view of a Christian I see no problem with a Bible-centered Christian global(or world) view. His Gospel is for all nations throughout the entire world.

    However the way term globalism and nationalism is used today in the political and economic area it is very different and I believe to be setting up of a foundation for humanity’s answer for their problems; not God’s answer.
    I truly think that many unwittingly are setting up the foundation for the anti-Christ to rule. Some may be doing it with full knowledge also. There is also much talk today globally of all religions as paths to the same “god”.

    God’s offer of forgiveness is good for all in the world who will believe. Man’s offer of what is goo for the world will ultimately lead to the destruction of many.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  11. SFDBWV says:

    I am now addressing Mart’s dual questions as which are a greater threat to the mission of the Body of Christ, globalism or nationalism.

    In the concept that we are a global community and as such must put away all the differences that make us unique so as to embrace the future with a combined effort of all people every where; I see religion as being an obstacle, and the rebirth of humanism (Babel).

    I see this particular idea as an atheistic approach to uniting all people of every tongue into a false sense of unity and an open doorway to spiritualism, occultism, the acceptance of UFO’s and life teeming all throughout the known and unknown universe. As allowing mankind to believe in everything except the Truth. Fully denying the existence of God and a need for a savior.

    In the concept of parochial nationalism I see the possibility of allowing or causing the suffering of other nations for a goal to enhance or procure more for only those within the border of ones nation.

    Using fully the particular religion of that nations people as a way and means of controlling its people; never officially denying the god or gods its people worships.

    Now which of these two would I consider a greater threat to allowing the spread of the gospel?

    We need not look too hard for this answer as it already exists and its results are already documented.

    In Turkey some 98% of its people are Islamic; it is against the law for Christian missionaries to be in the country.

    In any Islamic country that follows the law of the Koran it is a death sentence for any of its people to convert to Christianity.

    Yet in India religion is accepted by everyone and with the exception of some an uneasy truce exists between them all. With an unspoken goal of both Christianity and Islam to make the nation all one or the other.

    Communism once again brought the idea of one for all and all for one, but without God; humanism on a national level.

    Communist countries then have a threat against their political ideology in the form of both Christianity and Islam. The histories of the USSR and China are quite clear in the matter of allowing religion to grow in either country. Many un named martyrs are buried in both.

    So which is the bigger threat to spreading the Gospel? I would have to say that in nations that are held in check by a brutal iron fist of oppression it is far more of an obstacle for Christian missionaries to work in. That in a one world atheistic view of things it is the individual who must be convinced, yet much easier for missionaries to work among people. Even in a country that does not allow for missionaries, still the individual must be convinced.

    So my answer is there is that both place the challenge for the individual to accept Christ, but nationalism makes it more difficult to reach that individual.

    Nationalism wins with a slim margin over globalism. Until that time when the anti-christ makes globalism and nationalism one and the same.


  12. poohpity says:

    I was thinking this morning that Jonah rather that offer the way to the people in Nineveh to be saved knowing how merciful his God was and is, Jonah would have rather died in the sea. Israel was chosen to benefit the nations around her yet when it came to giving out that mercy to who Jonah believed in his mind to be unworthy he went in the opposite direction. Do I do that when it comes to forgiving people I think deserve my anger and hatred? Do I withhold grace because I feel someone deserves punishment? Am I fulfilling the generous gift I have been given by not extending the same measures to others? How do I really treat those who are my enemies? Wow lots to think about today.

  13. oneg2dblu says:

    Welcome back Mart, as we need to be kept on task or we will wander aimlessly. We as sheep need to be in constant contact with the shepherd. Thanks for your evergiving spirit and leading.
    To me the grestest “Ism” in the wsy of all things is our defective humanism as Steve has pointed out.
    Created by a Perfect Creator and even in his image. But through freewill has self corrupted, and become self condemned. Then God stepped in and man became partially controlled by the Bable separation, which then led to the other Ism’s. Where they flourish and corrupt again. For man left to his own desire, will just rebuild that same self-serving tower over, and over again, wherever he is allowed to exist if he has his freewill and the desire to control others instead of himself. God even comes and walks amoung us to show us His Way, but man must surrender his will first to Follow the Shepherd, and that csuses man much trouble, for it steps on his toes and he doesn’t like that either. I say, only if God builds the Tower, will it then stand for Him. Gary

  14. dodi says:

    Just this year in June of 2011 the Pastor of Saddleback Church in CA, introduced to the community a new Faith called Chrislam Faith which is bringing together Christians and Islam (Muslims) stating this:

    Muslims and Christians must work together to combat sterotypes, promote peace and freedom & try to solve global problems. Christians, Islams – faithmates – soulmates, workmates and now Chrislam’s

    This pastor even apoligized for the narrow mindness of many in the Christain community for their dim-ness of faith.

    Belief in the Deity of Christ is condemmed in the Islam faith. Jesus in the Quran is stated (he is neither the only begotten son of God (nor)is he the Messiah appointed to restore the house of David).
    Christ is only viewed as merely a Prophet who was appointed by Allah to prepare mankind for the coming of Mohammad.

    Also in June this year (2011) The Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church, Houston, TX along w/ Christian communities in Atlanta, Seattle & Detroit would initiate a serious of sermons produced to a global ecumenical movement between Christainity and Islam, their sermons were to be centered on the inspired teachings of the Prophet Mohammed and the Qurans were to be placed in the pews next to the Bibles. (scary)

    It is virtually impossible to sit down and have anytype fellowship w/ this Chrislam faith.
    Chrislam is a mixture of blending truth and lies. What fellowship can one have w/ the works of darkness.

    Christ is getting lost in the shuffle of all the new age, globalism,Chrislam and false teachings out there.

    Can two walk together except they agree? (Amos 3:3)

    Hold on to instruction, guard your heart with all diligence for out of it are the issues of life. (Proverbs 4:23)

    But when (He) the Holy Spirit is come he will lead you and guide you into ALL truth, He will not speak of himself but will magnify and glorify the Father. (John 16:13)

  15. dodi says:

    p.s..s………..one more note***

    I must share a blessing with all of you of a sad and joyful experience both at the same time,my husband (Tom) and I had yesterday.
    Our little JackRussel K9 Fiest- Jasmine (Jazzy)of 16 1/2 years had to be put to sleep yesterday.
    As Tom was driving us to the clinic and I was holding Jazzy I was telling her how much we loved her and how wonderful of a pet she had been to us and she wasn’t going to be suffering anymore and she would go and see Judy our beloved Siamese of 18 yrs at the Rainbow Bridge.

    I told Jazzy that she would be jumping and playing and running and in no more pain when she entered rainbow bridge…..
    dearest friends I had just got the words out of my mouth and as Tom turned onto the bypass he said look….dodi and there was a rainbow hovering over the animal clinic where we were driving her to.

    I’m not sure what you would call this…. but I would like to think of it as glorious grace and Jazzy would rest in peace. (we were so blest from this) Just wanted to share it….

    Every good and pefect gift is from above (James 1:17)

    forgive me from straying from the topic….L/dodi

  16. davids says:


    I am afraid that this discussion is floundering on what you meant by nationalism and globalism.

    Nationalism to Americans means a country, which might be made up of states. On the other hand, a nation can mean a people. The UK views itself as a state made up of several nations (English, Scots, etc.)

    More troubling is globalism, which some might see as the spread of values and economic ideas, like nationalism. Others equate it with athiesm, humanism, world government, and even UFOs.

  17. davids says:


    I’m and sorry if this comes across as personal, but I hate to see good people hurt by false rumours.

    There has been an email campaign over the last months smearing Pastor Warren and several other pastors and churches with the Chrislam story.

    It is completely untrue. Warren never said such things. A quick search on Google for Chrislam will turn up several articles, including a website that pushes all the false stories, and includes church signs that they even admit were photoshopped. Naturally, they want your donations to combat this “widespread” problem.

    In His Love, David

  18. davids says:

    Ooops, I meant to write above, “More troubling is globalism, which some might see as the spread of values and economic ideas, like capitalism.”

  19. remarutho says:

    Hello Mart & Friends —

    Seeking some clarification here.

    Mart, you ask:
    “…what do you see as a greater threat to the mission of the Body of Christ: the anti-conversion bias of globalism, or the competitive self-interests of nationalism…?”

    I am not certain I am on the same page as you. You have been steeping in the political, cultural and religious teapot of Pacific Asia. I have been traveling much shorter distances and seeing folks a whole lot more like myself than you have! It is what it is. I wonder if we are using the same terms…

    I believe the mission of the body of Christ is to share the good news of the Gospel — the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ. We are sent to make disciples of the nations (ethne).

    When I try to get my mind around “globalism,” I listen to Tom Friedman, Fareed Zakaria and others…more and less conservative, who are talking about it. Globalism is the view that a nation’s sphere of influence is the whole world, not just its own sovereign territory. In fact, extreme globalism on the liberal side promotes the break-down of national identities world-wide — and a redistribution of material wealth. Extreme globalism on the conservative side seeks hegemony and “containment” of militarily and economically competing or even threatening nations and alliances.

    Nationalism is that patriotic zeal seeking the advancement of one’s own nation-state: growth, prosperity and a strong future, without regard for other nations.

    There could be danger for the Christian mission from all these economic/military/ideological forces. Christian mission cannot be cargo. It cannot be bought and sold in the marketplace. Christian mission could be compromised when the message is diluted or mixed with any message that contradicts the truth that Jesus Christ is Lord.

    I would be eager to hear your definitions for “mission,” “globalism,” and “nationalism,” so that we may speak to the issues in the same terms. Maru

  20. bratimus says:

    “ism’s” i try to stay away from them or not let them define me.

    My question is, are nationalism and globalism still 2 different ideals?

    Or are they blending into one?

  21. florida7sun says:

    Within nationalism and globalism there are hundreds of other “isms” that differentiate beliefs and cultures. And, within those, there are countless distinctions that attempt to mold our view of life and destiny. We are all unique with an individual worldview shaped by our appointed place in time and space. And, in that respect, we are all like Jonah.

    The one commonality that has infected us all is sin.

    The one remedy that cleanses us from all unrighteousness; brings wholeness to the body; and unites us as brothers and sisters is the atoning work of our Precious Lord and Savior.

    All “isms” are an illusion like distorted mirrors in a carnival sideshow. They contain humanistic philosophies. Focus on them and the seducer of souls laughs his hideous laugh. Can you hear him?

    Let us focus on the Cross and share His Gospel to a dying world. Jesus is praying for us:

    “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.

    “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.” – John 17:24-26

    In submission to our Lord and Savior there is a peace that quiets our hearts. We see Him and are transformed into His image, wiping clean from the inside out the smudges that blur the sight of His glorious presence.

    Blessings to all, Ray

  22. remarutho says:

    Hello Mart!

    Your topic title is “Globalism, Nationalism and the Body.” At the end of your post, you ask: “Is either more reason for alarm than the other?”

    Lord knows, there has been power struggle among nations since there have been nations. As Steve pointed out, at the tower of Babel, God’s mighty hand moved upon the “one world” effort. Steve wrote:
    “The political aspect of globalism is not found in God’s word except for the scattering at Babel and for the time of the anti-christ.”

    I would submit that major power-mongers are mentioned in the prophets as well. Daniel is a prominent example. We do not focus our attention as the body of Christ on the emperors, conquerors and rulers of the world — though I believe our eyes should be open, not closed to the realities of world power struggles.

    When the body of Christ is fervently attentive to both Scripture and the leading of the Holy Spirit — we live under the hand of our Creator God. We still bring the message of Jesus Christ (John 3:16)

    The power-mongers are not simply an intellectual construct. They have their place, as did Pharaoh, Alexander, Cyrus and Herod! Americans, including Christians, often make unfortunate and dangerous assumptions about our own abilities, position and advantage in the world. Blessings, Maru

  23. BruceC says:

    Beginning to think that the really big threat is globalism. Nationalism I believe is the scare tactic the enemy will use to drive unbelieving mankind into his new world order and his cruel dictatorship.
    Nationalism is what dragged the world into two world wars in a row. And many in the world are fearful of that. Religion(such as what we see with Iran calling for the death of all of Israel), trade dominance(China increasing and buying up debt to control), are just a few of the symptoms of nationalism.
    Many see a world controlling government as their only hope. And many in politics here at home and abroad have that view.
    But our dear Lord told us that the gates of hell will not prevail against the church so obviously neither will nationalism, globalism, ecumenicalism, or any other ism.
    I am reminded of that song “One Day at a Time, Sweet Jesus”. And I pray that He get me by one day at a time and that His Gospel go forth in power; one life at a time.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  24. SFDBWV says:

    Mathew 12: 39 Jesus makes reference to the Prophet Jonah by saying that this evil generation shall see no sign except the sign of Jonah.

    Yom Kippur is also known as “The Day of Atonement”; in Jewish tradition God inscribes a person’s fate for the coming year into the “Book of Life” during the “Days of Awe” and on Yom Kippur seals the deal.

    Jesus says it all in his statement that this evil generation shall see no sign except the sign of Jonah.

    Three days in the belly of the fish was Jonah, three days in the grave was Jesus. Through this act of self sacrifice and atonement God seals the deal and all who look upon Jesus as savior, their names are written in the “Book of Life”, Jesus making a way for atonement for all men Jew and gentile alike.

    The Rabbis who as yet do not recognize Jesus as the Messiah still unwittingly show the connection of Jesus and Jonah by the reading of the story of Jonah on Yom Kippur; in blind obedience to God.

    There will come a time when God will remove the blindness from Israel and the “Nation” will see the connection of this and all the prophets whose life and actions point to Jesus of Nazareth as being their promised Messiah.

    Jonah considered a minor Prophet, clearly was angry with God because He knew that going to an enemy of Israel and proclaiming their coming destruction was an opportunity for them to repent. Knowing if they did repent God would forgive them and make Jonah the instrument in blessing their enemy. As well as making him look foolish in the eyes of others. He did not want his enemy blessed, but God used his misdirected anger as a way of showing through his story that God is slow to anger, willing to forgive, and does care about people who are willing to repent.In my eyes Jonah is anything but minor.

    Rabbis who recognize that the whole world is blessed through Israel are correct. As it is through Israel that we get the story of God and His plans for all mankind. It is through the people of Israel that the Messiah Jesus of Nazareth was born. And through Jesus of Nazareth that atonement for our sins are made and forgiveness offered to all nations of men.

    How appropriate then for Rabbis to read the story of Jonah on “The Day of Atonement” Yom Kippur. As Jonah is a reflection of Jesus.

    I hate to end on a somber note, but like in the story of Jonah and the city of Ninevah, God withholds punishment for a season because of the people who repented, but ultimately punishment comes. Just like in the bigger story of man, punishment is withheld for a season, but comes in the form of tribulation as inscribed by the Disciple John; in the end Gods prophetic word is always fulfilled.


  25. tracey5tgbtg says:

    People see nations who have an overabundance and waste resources and they see nations who are starving to death. Naturally, they want to “make things fair.” They see nations who cling to beliefs and won’t compromise with other’s beliefs and they think the solution is to make everyone keep their beliefs to themselves.

    These ideas of making everyone equal in their resources and saying that people’s spiritual beliefs must take a backseat to the good of all mankind may “sound good” in theory to those who think humanity is in charge of its own destiny, but they won’t work in reality.

    You can set up a system where you believe everyone will be taken care of justly and fairly, but you are dealing with people and people are fallen. One government power will easily become corrupted and the people will become enslaved and start revolutions and it will be bad. You can have many government powers, and they won’t get along and none of them will be perfect, but at least they keep each other in check.

    People without God are always trying to save the world, because this world is all they have.

    The biggest threat to the mission of the Body of Christ is to quit relying on the Holy Spirit and try to be a savior of the world in our own strength.

    Jesus said to “follow Him.” He went through persecution, humiliation and death. His glory was not “in this world” but in the kingdom of heaven and that is what we look forward to.

    The mission of the Body of Christ is to spread the good news of Jesus Christ and the Body always grows and multiplies under persecution, not when the going is easy.

    I take comfort in this scripture: 2 Thessalonians 2:7-8 Jesus will overthrow the man of lawlessness with the BREATH of His mouth.

    God is in control.

  26. poohpity says:

    Wow tracey, you said a mouth full when you said, “The biggest threat to the mission of the Body of Christ is to quit relying on the Holy Spirit and try to be a savior of the world in our own strength.”

    When I woke up this morning the thought that was on my mind, not about nationalism or globalism, but just to look within and how am I representing the Lord to just the people within my own little sphere of the world. Can those people see the cause of Christ or me pushing my beliefs, thoughts and wisdom on them while neglecting what really drew me to Jesus in the first place. I will not even share because it is obvious what the answer would be. At this point all I can ask is “Father please do not stop your work within us so that that I/we will better ambassadors for you in your world, nations, states, neighborhoods, homes and in our hearts”.

  27. oneg2dblu says:

    tracey… your comment about People without
    God always trying ot save the world, because the world is all they have, “That was Huge!”
    We as Christ Followers are always trying to Save their Souls, by showing them the Only Way to Heaven is through Christ, because Hopeless Eternity, is all they will have when they leave this “unsaved world,” and find themselves Lost in Hell forever.
    Those without God are without this reslity.
    I trust that knowing God means that we, In His Love, are being both judgemental,and truthful. Gary

  28. Mart De Haan says:


    I’m starting from the assumption that:

    Globalism can imply everything from global consideration, to global influence, to the kind of extreme of global power and control that is at the expense of healthy freedoms.


    Nationalism as well can imply everything from healthy patriotism and identity to the kind of national self-interest and pride that disregards the rights of other nations.

    As I wrote, I was thinking of how important it is for us to see our mission in Christ as lifting us above nationalistic and political alignments. In that sense, it is global in consideration and concern.

    Yet, as systems, both nationalism and globalism might be associated with a mindset that regards the “Christian” mission as being a threat to either a State religion, or an imposed secularism.

    Clear as mud? :-)…

  29. remarutho says:


    Thanks for the clarification!
    Of course, you are saying both globalism and nationalism manifest themselves on a continuum from normality to paranoia. We could come up with a short list of nations that treat Christian evangelism like a dreaded disease.

    It seems to me, the kingdom of Jesus Christ breaks in where and where it will – and militant Islamist regimes are in fact chock-full of underground Christian fellowships! This is a function of heart-readiness among the peoples, not the official position of the government.

    Sort of wonderful, don’t you think?


  30. poohpity says:

    I was reading one of Philip Yancey’s books today and he brought up, which I totally agree, that as in Jonah’s time and as always with God, people matter. It was also seen in the story of Jonah, God cared about the people of Nineveh so much he sent one of his trusted seers (prophets) to deliver His message of the desire that the God who created all peoples, wanting a relationship with them. If anything gets in the way of that mission and most of the time it is people who cause the message to get lost by their mixed understandings then it turns people away.

    I fully believe that however God can and through whatever measures necessary people will understand that they matter more than anything to God, no matter where they come from, whatever their culture that message will be told. I would just like to be a person that shares that kind of love with them, the same kind of love I found that the Lord had for me, pure unconditional love while knowing the full truth about me.

  31. BruceC says:

    Funny how this “nationalism and globalism” became a topic just at the time I am reading a book called “Bloody Mohawk” which is a history of the Mohawk Valley and the Iroquois Confederacy just prior to and up to and through both the French and Indian and Revolutionary Wars. The valley is just minutes from my home and I love the history of my area.
    Even back then the forces of nationalism and globalism were at work; even though it may have been slightly different. Many sought the use of economics or military power to advance their influence(both white and native Americans). But then there were Evangelicals from New England coming to New York to spread the gospel to both white and Indian alike; and the Quakers in Pennsylvania that sought peace for all tribes of the Iroquois and whites and worked toward that goal. So it becomes clear how the believing people acted as opposed to those whose main thrust was power and wealth.
    God’s way versus the world system.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  32. SFDBWV says:

    I love the statement Tracey made “People without God are always trying to save the world, because the world is all they have.”

    This is a great piece of wisdom and a true statement about a segment of our *global* society. It immediately resonated within my spirit and found a home in my heart.

    If I have to endure labels I would label myself a conservationist, but not at the cost of people or common sense. The far left concept of being *green* is exactly what I see in Tracey’s statement.

    As these people deny creation from a creator and believe that they can *save* the planet.

    Not from a savior, not from relying on God, as they don’t believe in either, but believing that a political process can save the world. Even to the degree as to effecting the weather of the planet on, yes, a *global* scale.

    So strongly is their belief that they have invaded every segment of the *global* society and are able to sway political thinking by way of what the world sees as influential people, movie stars, TV personalities, the bored rich, the news media and so forth.

    The real tragedy of this is that such personalities do influence well meaning people and they are then used to force their own misguided view of a global utopia upon everyone else. Void of God and bringing all of mankind together under the banner of *humanity*.

    Interesting, if you look at the base meaning of *Hell* it is a place void of God.


  33. oneg2dblu says:

    Steve… that is whst was formost in mind as well, with all this politically driven earth saving green stuff that does not and will not work, unless God wants to use it to bring about His Plan, or man spins his wheels and goes nowhere. It is just another form of tower building as man expresses his need to try to forge some type of saving power for himself. Self Ambition gone amuck!
    Salvation, for man by man, never works to improve anything, but it does separate man’s ambitions away from God’s.
    It is proof to me,that man knows he is in a mess, but doesn’t know where to look, or how to solve his past mistakes.
    You either solve them at the Cross today, or the Throne of Judgement awaits, where every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confesss that Jesus is Lord!
    Thank God He has called us His, and to the Cross first!
    Be Blessed! Gary

  34. poohpity says:

    As I read ODB this morning this topic had so much more meaning to me. The enmity between the Jews and gentiles in the day of Jonah and today with the Palestinians wanting to take over Jerusalem and some of the land in Israel for God to send someone in without some type of warheads to tell them the God they are defying wants a personal relationship with them would seem to be outlandish. Or for someone from the west to go to Ahmadinejad and offer that same relationship seems almost preposterous. How about the person who killed or maimed one of your family members, or stole your most valuable possessions would we be willing to put down the the resentment or anger long enough to tell them about a God who loves them so much that He provided an atoning act so they could be forgiven by God.

    At times I can not even feel accepting of someone who disagrees with me let alone that would destroy someone I love. God knowing that in the years to come what Nineveh would do to the Israelis still sent someone to offer the gift of mercy. Do we look at the Muslims or anyone for that matter that we disagree with in the light of a potential brother/sister in Christ or feel anger, malice, and/or superiority. To realize that ALL humans were the enmity of God but yet He still sent Jesus. If you really realize the extent of the mercy of God it is totally amazing.

  35. poohpity says:

    The passage I read this morning was from Eph 2:11-22

  36. davids says:


    That sounds interesting. I just finished a book called, “The Coming of the Third Reich” (Evans). It tells about how many parts of German society ran toward extreme nationalism, out of fears for the globalism of the day.

    Some fears were understandable, like the spread of Communism from Russia. Others were simply conservatism, like women’s suffrage.

    We know that most Protestants and Catholics failed to rise above the political issues of the day, and instead became complicit in the persecution of scapegoats like the Jews. I think it is a good lesson for us to not get too drawn into the politics of nationalsm versus globalism lest we serve a purpose other than the one we are called to.

  37. remarutho says:

    BruceC Hello!

    You wrote:

    “God’s offer of forgiveness is good for all in the world who will believe. Man’s offer of what is good for the world will ultimately lead to the destruction of many.”

    Agree mightily with your statement! I believe this may be more and more important as the worldly powers align themselves in what looks like sharper polarity. It is a delusion, it seems to me,to pursue the “I’d like to buy the world a coke” all-for-one world model in bringing the gospel. There is no marketing plan for the Good News. Jesus is the Beginning and the End.


  38. jon614 says:

    What a thought-provoking blog this has been. There are a lot of lessons in what you all write – i am reminded of the third grade teacher who taught me to draw a tree – she kept us drawing branches that started one we had already drawn – one day i decided to draw 100 branches – and then another 100 – and again until i had 600 branches – it was a jumble of branches but when my teacher came over to see what I had done, she remarked how beautiful the tree was but (isn’t there always one of those?) it would be hard for the sun to shine through so many.
    Now that was not meant as a criticism of this blog but rather, as the Son shines down on each of you, your branch seems to enlighten me into growth and the writing of lessons for the youth of my church. Thank you all for all the ideas.
    I also looked into the Chrislam, as I had heard it mentioned at a prayer meeting I was at earlier. It makes me wonder why we as Christian brothers fight so hard against each other when there is a world to win for Christ – we need to be together in the one thought that He is all! All we need and all that will lead to personal peace and everlasting life.
    With love from South Texas where the prayers were answered last night with a life giving rain – i have missed the wildflowers because of the drought but God has now sent His rain – we will bloom once again!


  39. oneg2dblu says:

    “Go into all the world and make disciples,” sounds like the Command of the Lord, and a good marketing plan as well. In this information age we now live in it is also even very possible.
    If we buy the world a coke, they will be thirsty again, but the Living Water we are to bring to them, quenches the Fires of Hell for all, but those non-takers.
    Sugared water is sweet, but Living Water brings forth a Sweeter Overflowing that only God can provide. after all, are not we all in the business of being about His Business. Licensed and Insured by the Holy Spirit who lives in us. Be Blessed, We are never unemployed or retired in Christ! Be Blessed, Gary

  40. poohpity says:

    Jon, I can see the wisdom of that teacher and so many branches not allowing the SON to shine through. Good thought for the day.

  41. poohpity says:

    Hoping and praying that the gardener has His pruning shears out for me today because I could sure use a trim. :-)

  42. pegramsdell says:

    lol deb

  43. foreverblessed says:

    Amen and Amen

  44. florida7sun says:

    Please let me add one more Amen.

    This is what the LORD says:

    “Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches, but let the one who boasts boast about this:
    that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,”
    declares the LORD.” – Jeremiah 9:23-24

  45. SFDBWV says:

    I am not sure how much more information Mart can expect to get from this topic, which he has filed under “Nations, politics, and service”.

    I also admit I missed the thrust of poohs remarks about needing a trim?

    Claudia’s remarks are right on in every respect and I add my own “amen” to those of others.

    It is my hope that should this topic not change and Mart leave it up, that it not degenerate into bickering as is the norm too often. That if we must drift from the original topic issue it be in a direction of enlightenment and encouragement for all.

    As for me the world’s pressures are increasing on me, always from a national level as it is my country’s actions that cause either relief or problems for me.

    As I watch and endure life here in my country it seems all common sense and intelligent reasoning has disappeared and something else is replacing it.

    As a result I and those I love are placed under the effects of poor leadership; this cannot be ignored by me anymore than can I pretend that if I cut off a finger that my finger is still there.

    Perhaps it is a global influence upon my nation that causes such angst, but a nation should be concerned with its citizens first and then look globally second not the other way around.

    I agree wholeheartedly that we Christians are not of this world in spirit, but as for now we are in this world and so suffer because of it. This cannot be ignored and so we must act upon issues that come our way and so relieve the suffering of others as well as ourselves when and wherever we can.

    This is a form of control, self control as well as the unified control of a nation.

    Up early, too much on my mind to sleep, 37 degrees.


  46. oneg2dblu says:

    Steve… thanks for sharing that small part of your too much on my mind. National and global thinking has its merits, but the “mission field” is always the one closest to us.
    We get lost in the grand view of distance, and trip over the little stuff of every day living.
    We get polictical, denominational,nationa land even global, as a means of escaping our needed centerdness on the only thing we really have, and that is what is IN the BOX, the Image of Christ Himslef, as it beats our hearts, takes our next breath, and is our very being.
    If it where only the staring point of every thought, then we would be captive to His Eternal Plan, and that is, keeping us Christ Centered, Forever!
    I’m touched this morning by some simple words from Max Lucado in, You Changed My Life, speaking about kindness.
    “Kindness not only makes the coffee… Kindness says Good Morning”
    Good morning, Steve, Thanks for putting the coffee on! Gary

  47. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart & Friends!

    In the nineteen sixties, Karl Barth said in an interview:

    “The Pastor and the Faithful should not deceive themselves into thinking that they are a religious society, which has to do with certain themes; they live in the world. We still need – according to my old formulation – the Bible and the Newspaper.”

    In my humble opinion, Barth is not being a tedious theologian here. He is reminding the body of Christ that we are citizens of the New Jerusalem — but sojourners here in the world among the peoples who are dying to hear about Jesus.

    Yours in Christ,

  48. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning Gary, I do hope life and the Lord shine many blessings your way today.


  49. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning Maru, one of my all time favorite folk songs is the “Wayfaring Stranger” it was a standard in the Appalachian revival meeting during the 1840’s.

    I don’t know if you are familiar with it but it echoes your comments this morning…

    ”I am a poor wayfaring stranger, A wandering through this world of woe, there is no sickness no toil nor danger, in that bright world to which I go.
    I’m going there to meet my savior, I’m going there to see my Lord. I’m only going over Jordan, I’m only going over home.”


  50. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Steve!

    Amen. We are poor, wayfaring strangers in the world. Still, in our poor selves we have the best news ever! The small word of encouragement, or the small act of kindness can bring the light of Christ in the most unexpected ways, don’t you think?

    In the face of the discouraging realities of our life in the world — we still have the joy of the Lord that is our strength. (Nehemiah 8:10) You are never alone, brother! Jesus has your back. Maru

  51. oneg2dblu says:

    Maru… good morrning. Yes many are dying to hear about Him, and many are dying because they have not wanted to hear about Him as well!
    Maybe if we extend that cup their way again today… they might just listen.
    God prepares their hearts to hear even us, if we just keep trying for Him. As the fields are whiter than ever this very day,that Our Lord has made. Let us all rejoice in it. Be Blessed, Gary

  52. SFDBWV says:

    I have always loved the simplicity of a good quote; I will share this mornings with all;

    “What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls a butterfly.”
    Richard Bach


  53. florida7sun says:

    In the 1984 movie “The NeverEnding Story” there is an expansive cloud that devours all life. That cloud is called The Nothing. So it is with humanism that attempts to extinguish the light of the world that lives in the heart of every believer in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

    As the deer pants for streams of water, our soul pants for Him. – Psalm 42:1-4

    His life within us guides our steps, and we are refreshed in Him. Yet, The Nothing eats away the hope of the fallen and instills fear in the hearts of man. Blood is shed throughout the land and spills into the earth. It cries out, for life itself is in the blood. It pants for streams of living water.

    Cleverly the Prince of the Air encourages the fallen to remove crosses from steeples, prayer from schools and truth from reality. The Nothing seeks to be worshipped. He offers a kingdom of despair in exchange for acceptance of a lie.

    “For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed; whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of His coming. The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.” – 2 Thessalonians 2:7-10

    “Open our eyes Lord we want to see Jesus; to reach out and touch Him and say that we love Him. Open our ears Lord and help us to listen. Open our eyes Lord, we want to see Jesus.” – Open Our Eyes Lord

    In Him we receive living water through His Precious Word and the comfort of His Holy Presence.

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