Anytime you here of one world religion, ask yourself: given the substantial, even irreconcilable differentials between world religions, especially their eschatologies, is a one-world religion possible? Similarly, when you hear of a one-world government, ask yourself: given the wide, even chasmic differences in the political, economic and religious ideologies that drive states and their military doctrines, is a one-world government possible?
Seeing that many people are basking in unfounded conspiracies that do nothing but empty people’s lives of meaning, purpose and joy, I am impelled to say something about the one world religion/government conspiracy theory. In doing so, I hope that people who can think deeper will be inclined to pay little or no attention to much of today’s talk about one-world religion, one-world government, and the pope’s role in them all.
Three religions are called Abrahamic Religions, namely: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. In each of them, there is a strong sense that world history is moving toward a definite end. There is a strong belief that a combination of human activities and divine providence will drive history to an age where someone of great power will come from God and establish a new age of universal peace, justice and prosperity. In Judaism the expected one is called Messiah; in Christianity, he is called Jesus the Messiah, Son of God himself; and in Islam, Jesus the son of Mary will return and combine forces with one called al Mahdi to defeat the antichrist and establish a golden age.
I hope you see that we Christians are not the only ones with a deep sense of eschatology or the consummation of history. Ours is not the only faith that expects a Second Coming. We are not the only ones that expect the rise of the antichrist. And we are not the only ones that expect the coming of a Christ.
Next time you hear people talk about a one-world government, understand that the idea is complicated. It came about as a result of two things:
1. the irreconcilable nature of expectations of a messiah and prescriptions on how to prepare for his coming make a one-world government impossible; consequently,
2. the only way a one-world government can be realised is if religions align their eschatological beliefs, expectations and dispositions.
In essence, a world religion is a necessary prelude to a world government. Aware of this, those who tout ideas about the forgings of a new world order with a world government cast in a centre-to-periphery mould always talk of a world religion too. And since the office of the pope has often appeared to have the kind of power and influence needed to work out a world religion, it is not altogether surprising that popes never cease to feature in theories about one world religion /government as prime protagonists.
It should not be forgotten that the ancients of all Abrahamic faiths who handed down the eschatological ideas under question are all dead and gone. Many of those who, in recent history, propagated dominant ideas about the end of the world, the dawn of the messianic age, the identity of the antichrist, and the makings of both world religion and world government with rude confidence are dead and gone. Even many of the popular candidates for the role of antichrist (popes not spared) are dead and gone. Yet, every generation, especially of Christians, spews new conspiracies about a world religion/government, naming names.
Who has forgotten that for Martin Luther and Jean Calvin, the pope of in their lifetime was dogmatically the antichrist, the Roman Catholic church the apocalyptic whore of Babylon, and Rome (the Vatican) the headquarters of all things antichrist? Again, have we forgotten the credal statement found in the original 1646 version of the Westminster Confession that states: “There is no other head of the Church but the Lord Jesus Christ. Nor can the Pope of Rome, in any sense, be head thereof; but is that Antichrist, that man of sin, and son of perdition, that exalts himself, in the Church, against Christ and all that is called God”? By the way, when American Presbyterians adopted the Westminster Standards in 1789, they changed some of the credal statements, even deleting this reference to the Pope as the antichrist.
So far, history has not been kind to people who were so sure of the identity of the antichrist. Don’t place yourself in a position where history will work in your disfavour likewise.
Be sure that Jesus will come for you, but that will most likely be when you die. His Second Coming is sure to happen, but it should be no cause for fear, falsehood and conspiracy peddling. He has been coming for us again and again. Be ready at all times and leave conspiracy theories alone.