Globalism—Breaking Down the Dividing Wall
Wikipedia defines globalism “as a process by which the people of the world are unified into a single society. This process is a combination of economic, technological, sociocultural and political forces.” The outsourcing of labor and services to other countries and the rise of multinational corporations have played an important role in this movement. There has been a push since World War II by economists who recognized the cost savings potential. They put together the Bretton Woods conference which led to international institutions such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Trade Organization which mediates disputes. In the 1990’s the North American Free Trade Agreement reduced tariffs and barriers to free trade in North America. These agreements have flooded foreign markets with cheap goods and served to hold down inflation and increase productivity.
Supporters of globalism point out the statistics that poverty rates have fallen substantially in countries where globalism is in effect, but in countries not affected by globalism poverty rates are unchanged. The fear of many that success in India and China will have a corresponding detrimental affect on the U.S.A. is not supported by statistics. It appears that the affect for America is the opening of new markets for our technology and capital. So far free trade has led to a more efficient allocation of resources leading to lower prices, more employment, and higher levels of production.
The Greatest Barrier, the Real Dividing Wall
The greatest barrier to spiritual globalism in the first century, and in our twenty first century is sin. National ambition, selfishness, and pride has always been the cause for strife and separation between races and cultures. The good news is that Jesus Christ has removed the great “dividing wall” that is sin making it possible to remove every other barrier. Because we are reconciled to God, we can be reconciled to each other. In Ephesians 2:13-22, Paul (a Jew) makes this clear by telling the predominantly Gentile church in Ephesus, “now in Christ you who were formerly far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall…and Jesus has reconciled them both to God through the cross…” Again to the Galatians who were mainly Gentiles, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus”(Gal.3:28). Jesus’ atoning work on the cross has ended all barriers and distinctions as to race, nationalities, gender, and class. We no longer look at people solely as to appearance, but we have a new spiritual vision. What is most important is whether they have Christ as their Savior. There are only two kinds of people—those who are in Christ, and those who need to be in Christ. Therefore our calling involves what our role in bringing those who have the need to the only One who can meet that need.
The Body of Christ
The Bible says the only real lasting peace comes through Jesus. Jesus brought peace between God and man, and Jesus can establish peace between totally divergent people. What religion, laws, and good deeds could not do to bring harmony to people—Jesus has done. Sin is basically selfishness and selfishness causes divisions and conflicts. When Jesus died, He abolished every barrier between people because Jesus overcame sin; but this new unity can only occur when people are united through a common relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul explained this new peace we are to have with each other using three illustrations in Ephesians 2:19-22—1. All believers are “fellow citizens” in God’s Kingdom 2. We are part of the same family of “God’s household”, and 3. We are all together like a building in progress being built upon the foundation of the gospel of which Jesus is the cornerstone. That building will become a “holy temple in the Lord”.
This should change our view of those people from different places, speaking different languages, who don’t look like us.
Paul said it well in Romans 10:12-13, “there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call upon Him, for whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved”. How about you and I? Do we make distinctions? Are there barriers and dividing walls in our lives? Do we ever get out of “the bubble” we live in? I must admit that last year in Cuba when I was sitting across from a surly looking guy of another race with no shirt or shoes in a shack that he lived in, I thought, “what am I doing here?” Yet when that same guy asked me to pray with him so he could receive Jesus as his Savior, it was a whole new ball game. I viewed him through a new lense, a spiritual lense focused by Christ.
Ripe Fruit for the Picking
Just as conditions were ripe for the formation of the Church in the first century, conditions may be ripe now for worldwide evangelism or as I have been calling it spiritual globalism. They say that the “world is now flat”, meaning communication is quick and easy, outsourcing is prevalent, and travel so fast that conditions are ripe for globalism. Borders are opening, people are multi-lingual, and free trade is the order of the day. By opening the borders to business, the borders are also opening to evangelism in eastern Europe, Russia, China, India, and many other places. “How then will they call on Jesus in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!”(Rom.10:14-15).
Are you ready to be sent, or are you at least sending someone through your support and prayers? CHARLIE TAYLOR