The Big Convergence
Powerful evidence is mounting that we are in the middle of worldwide convergences—stunning unifications taking place across the planet on at least four fronts: economic, legal/political, religious, and technological.
Everyone knows that when financial markets in Asia or Russia sneeze, NASDAQ and the New York Stock Exchange get colds. Ideas about a one-world currency, once relegated to the zany-conspiracy category, are being taken seriously. In an article titled “Dream of Universal Currency Just Won’t Die,” Wired editor David Wolman now writes, “It would behoove us to seriously analyze the pros and cons” of a one-world currency.
On the legal and political fronts, never before has the United States become so entangled in both the letter and spirit of so many international treaties and tribunals. The World Trade Organization (WTO) is but one. Both presidential candidates in the last election boasted about their past or proposed use of the WTO. Before leaving office, President Bill Clinton attempted to tie the United States into the UN’s International Criminal Court, which could have been disastrous for American sovereignty. President George W. Bush reversed that move.
However, with President Barack Obama enjoying the luxury of a second term, much could change. Obama is perhaps the most international-leaning chief executive since Woodrow Wilson, and he may be even more so. America has invitations to join a host of international conventions that would usurp existing federal law. The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, for example, would revise American copyright law. Our State Department already has thrown U.S. support behind UN Human Rights Council Resolution 16/ 18, which is fundamentally at odds with the traditional understanding of the First Amendment.
There is also a convergence of religions, even going beyond the Chrislam movement that seeks to create a theological partnership between Christianity and Islam. (See chrislam.org.) When President Obama was reelected, the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s Buddhist head of state, congratulated and praised him as the man who “inspired the world with a call to take responsibility for the problems we face as global citizens.” This “call” is creating a religious melting pot focused on issues like environmentalism and eradication of world poverty, with a spiritual component.
Religion blogger Paul Brandeis Raushenbush said Obama’s victory will produce “a new day for religion in America” by creating a “pluralistic and inclusive” spiritual environment where Christianity will be merely a single part of a “wider circle of fellowship” among religions that address “poverty, environmentalism,” and a “more peaceful foreign policy.”
Though he stopped short of intimating the minting of a new, global theological ethic, one only has to read my newest novel, Brink of Chaos, or the predecessor, Thunder of Heaven, both co-authored with Bible prophecy expert Tim LaHaye, to see how easily that could occur.
The last convergence binds the others together—a type of one ring to rule them all, to borrow a phrase from J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. It is global media technology centered on Internet communications.
Satellite and Web-based media technology provide instant connectivity around the planet. In the November/December 2011 issue of MIT Technology Review, researcher Aaron Brady noted that uniform “interoperability and standards” among Internet devices have made it far simpler for personal and “behavioral” data on all of us to be disseminated instantaneously across the earth. Congress is so concerned that it has held hearings on Google, wondering whether the Web giant has become too powerful; and the Senate has investigated the implications of facial-recognition technology used in conjunction with discrete cameras in restaurants, parks, and public venues to identify and track people remotely.
If we followed 19th-century German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, we would simply throw our hands up at these powerful, seemingly unstoppable trends. But Hegel wrongly believed people are simply prisoners of history. Christians know God is the great architect of our history and future. We also know the Word of God is inspired, certain, and infallible. Jesus said in Matthew 24:14 the “end will come” only after the “gospel of the kingdom” is preached “in all the world as a witness to all the nations.”
These global events should not frighten us; rather, they should be a reason for rejoicing. After all, we have the assurance that, in His sovereign and compassionate will, our Lord is fully capable of directing all these vast, rushing convergences toward the completion of His eternal plan.