New Global Religion
Recorded history reveals that mankind has long wished to rule the world. This was first exemplified in the tower of Babel [Gen 11]’ followed by Babylon, Greece, Rome, Christendom, the Islamic Ottoman and perhaps even the British Empire, Communist Socialism and dominant today, the United Nations.
Empires of the past have sought to unite the world by conquest and to impose a superior culture. Over the last few decades we have learned of humanity’s thrust for a New World Order whereby the global ‘elite’ aim to seek Global Governance by consent and agreement. Hence, the focus upon the congress of the United Nations.
New terminologies, in this thrust for a New World Order, are now common place-e.g. Citizens of the Global Village; One Global Community and new institutions such as the World Bank; World Health Organization; Food and Agriculture Org.; World Water Council; World Council of Churches etc. Few people are aware of just how strongly U N Covenants and Treaties influence our politics and lifestyles. We are aware of Human Rights issues and no doubt, the legislated, aspects of racial and religious tolerance. This latter being consistent with the UNESCO Declaration on Principles of Tolerance adopted by member States of the UN 16 Nov. 1995. One principle article of this ‘Declaration’ calls for a rejection of any/all forms of dogmatism or claims of absolutism. Thus, any kind of religious exclusivity, absolutism or dogmatism is viewed as a threat to world peace. A common view now accepted is that ‘there can be no peace amongst nations without peace between religions.’ All religions have to recognize their share in a responsibility toward world peace.
As a result of "terrorist’’ activity, Australia and the Western World generally is now ‘fearful’ of militant fundamentalist activism often linked to particular religions and questionable mono-theistic groups in particular. We are then led to accept views such as reported under the heading; " This is a Religious War!" ‘---- there is something inherent in religious monotheism that lends itself to terror temptation’ [New York Times 7 Oct 2001] These sentiments are likewise expressed in our own local papers–"Religions are potentially the most dangerous force in the world. More dangerous than communism, because you claim God as your authority for whatever evil you want to do."( Pamela Bone–Age 30Nov. 02) And from Peter Singer [One World–The Ethics of Globalism– Age 1Dec.02] You see so much killing in the world as a result of saying–" I’m a Catholic, you’re a Protestant, I’m a Christian, you’re a Muslim." Then from the
Prime Minister of Spain—Jose Maria Azner ‘……We must all contribute to building a system of peace and security without divisions. Combating terrorism demands a stronger global order based on respect for all beliefs.’ [The Financial Times 21 Sept. 2001] And increasingly, from the pulpits of many Christian Churches– ‘You cannot be right with God and at odds with everyone else.’
The theme of tolerance, diversity and unity now begins to permeate ‘Christian’ preaching. Any Biblical attitudes at variance with global standards of tolerance, diversity and religious harmony are censored as taboo. When unity and harmonious global pluralism is the objective it is necessary that ‘the word of God’ be reviewed and to find what scripture has in common with Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism and/or any other religion. It is then argued that to meet the felt need of the (World) community– the Gospel– for the sake of unity, hope and peace, needs to redefined. The Church must become an instrument for social harmony and not division.
In constructing the ‘New World Order’ NBC commentator Tom Brokaw (11Oct.02) declared – "Christianity will face ideological challenges to its central tenets of faith unlike anything it has experienced in the previous two millennia. In this ‘New World’ all religions must be recognized and acknowledged as legitimate pathways to God. Religious exclusivity, absolutism and dogmatism will be viewed as potential threats to world peace and survival."
One then asks:- " How user friendly is the Christian Gospel to become?"
Repeatedly the newspaper headlines announce–
· " Fundamentalism is a world wide threat!"
· "The religious right are the enemy of the people!"
· "Dogmatic religious assertions cannot be tolerated!"
· "Religious fundamentalism is dangerous; people no longer think independently and operate without question!"
In our diverse local communities and World conferences on Religion and Peace we now face calls for "Faith Dialogue" and responses to terrorist tragedies introduce many multi-faith memorial services.
The modern concept of, and vision for, a world religious structure for global good is however, not new. The first United Religious Organization can be traced back to 1893. Since then accelerating developments have occurred. In 1930 a World Congress of Faiths was Chaired by Sir Francis Younghusband. In the 1950’s the World Alliance of religions initiated the World Parliament of Religions. Then in 1970 Shri R.R. Djwaker formed what we know today as the World Congress on Religion and Peace. In 1986 a World Council of Faiths was followed in 1986 by a sitting of the World Parliament of Religion in Chicago. This was Chaired by Sir Sigmund Sternlier from an International Council of Christians and Jews.
More recently, under the authorization of the UNESCO Declaration on the Role of Religion in the promotion of a Culture of Peace [Barcelona 12-18 Dec. 1994] The following Declaration was affirmed:-
"Religions have led to divisions, hatred and war…….we must call for acts of repentance, mutual forgiveness, personally and collectively to one another…." This Declaration further called for dialogue and harmony between and within religions and also to respect the search for [the] truth and wisdom that is outside the world’s religions. Such a Declaration appeals to different religions and cultural traditions, to join hands and co-operate and under such authority leaders of world religions are encouraged to unite in dialogue.
Representatives from Islam seek dialogue but continue to affirm, according to their Grand Council of Scholars and Fatwa No. 19402, that any concept for the unification of religions other than the ‘truth’ of Islam is unacceptable; Islam abrogating all other religions and creeds.( Ref. whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers." [Al-Qur'an 3:85]. It is our belief that both the Torah and the Bible were abrogated by the Qur'an,)
Notwithstanding, the world Congress on Religion and Peace continues to hope. In Melbourne in 1997 Chris Sodoti –Australia’s Human Rights Commissioner affirmed the core thesis of the UNESCO Declaration on Religion with these words:- " There can be no peace between nations until there is peace between religions; no peace between religions until there is dialogue and no dialogue until there is recognition of the fundamental essential truths they all share."
At the last World Parliament of Religions the ‘Divine Feminine’- Goddess of the world’s religions was represented by Miriam Star Hawk and Covenant first lady Phyllis Curott- High Priestess of the NY Coven, Circle of Ara. Thus, the resurgent wisdom of Wicca- The Union of Spirit and Nature- came to be admitted to take a seat in the Parliament of Religions. Together with the restored new age of witches representing the Priestesses of and Goddess of mother earth was thereby admitted.
At the Earth Summit in South Africa early this year an "Earth Charter"; [one initiated by Robert Muller (former Ass. Sec Gen. to UN) on 21 June 1995] was reaffirmed with the unveiling of the Ark of Hope; a parody of the Biblical Ark of Covenant, as it contained 16 new commandments. Panels on the Ark of Hope, designed by Sally Linder, represented the symbolism of the indigenous earth and her five living elements.
These are the magical symbols of the earth centred religions.
These Wiccan concepts are also promoted to the next generation by means of the Captain Planet–"The Power is Yours"–cartoon.
At the most recent (Nov. 2002) peace summit in Geneva [a meeting of leading women from the World’s religions] Kofi Annan (UN Gen Sec.) affirmed that ‘the future of the world depends on women’. This meeting thus proposed that the collective ‘feminine energies’ should strive to bring peace to a hurting planet.
In Australia the World Congress of Religion and Peace is represented through the Australian Multicultural Foundation and supported through RMIT and Monash Universities. This organization recently (April 2002) conducted a public forum and review on ‘Religion, Cultural Diversity and Social Cohesion’; particular emphasis being given to encouraging multi-faith communication in local communities.
These worldwide movements toward religious syncretism could well be summarized in the prayer offered at the last WCRP in Melbourne in 1997.
"In the presence of the Ineffable Other, the Holy Being, the Numinous Beyond, the One and the Ultimate the Alpha and the Omega, the Unknown and Unknowable, Lord of the Cosmos, Centre of Creation-God, God of Power and Righteousness, we pray to you in the immensity and grandeur of the world…….."
One thing implicit in this latter prayer, is that no religion knows God. Hence, Jesus as Christ and God of the Bible, is thereby excluded. For the above veneration is clearly at odds with John 17:3- " Now this is eternal life; that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent." Consequently, the name of Jesus, in this context, is not welcome in any UN sponsored gatherings of the global religious elite.
World and UN ambitions of the kind noted above may well adapt to other of the World’s religions but fail to accommodate Biblical (Christian) values and ideals. In point of fact, Alan Morrison- Head of Diakisis International (A Christian Apologetics Ministry based in France) is of the opinion that the UN Declaration on Religious Dialogue is pursuing an agenda for the eradication of the Christian gospel. We must now ask ourselves just how seriously we view Jesus’ words:- "I am the way, the truth and the life, no man come to the Father (God) but through Me.."
Yet this kind of exclusivity is now ridiculed as stubborn prejudice; as radical fundamentalism, that must either be confronted or efforts made to halt it. In an, interdependent Globalise, multi-cultural, pluralist, post-modern, world, inflexible Christian assertions can no longer be tolerated.
‘Men may hate you because of Me!’ said Jesus, ‘But stand firm to the end and you will be saved!’ Mat 10:22; Everyone who wants to live a Godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted! 2Ti 3:12