The G20 summit is now over and the rhetoric coming out of it is nothing short of amazing. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown referred yesterday to the “new world order” that was emerging from the London meeting. President Obama called it “historic.”
I am not a conspiracy theorist. So when I hear the phrase “new world order,” I do not immediately think of black helicopters and UN troops occupying American cities.
What I think of instead is the limitless arrogance and the false hopes that lie behind such statements. Not, mind you, because these statements were made by these two men in particular. All politicians, of whatever ideological stripe, are prone to — indeed, make their living off of — these kinds of statements. In this country, the people just endured eight years of similar statements* that, if they differed at all, did so only in their more bellicose tone. In the late Roman Empire, as the defensive borders of the Western half of the Empire were repeatedly breached during the first half of the fifth century, each new emperor (both legitimate emperors and usurpers) issued coins and erected monuments that promised renovatio and restitutio.
The long and short of it is this: all human governments exist in rebellion against the rule of God, no matter how they might usurp Christian language or eschatology (which PM Brown’s words do, aping the NT’s “new creation” language) to bolster their claims. In promising a “new world order” and the like, human rulers make promises that are not theirs to make, all the while oblivious to the fact that the power that they arrogate to themselves and the structures they set up to preserve their power will be destroyed in the end (Dan 2.44; 1 Cor 15.24-25)
Father, forgive us, for we know not what we do.
*…and eight years before that, and four years before that, and eight years before that, and four years before that… I could go on, but I think you get the point.