• on May 29, 2016

The Global Village

There is much said today about the global village. In the latter part of this century seemingly impenetrable walls that were put up by harsh political ideological regimes that warred with the saints have been torn down. Seemingly timeless memorial effigies of men who led the so called people’s revolutions have been thrown to the ground. In no other time in history has there been such a movement of people between borders for various reasons because they have been displaced as political refugees, engaged in commercial activity or as ordinary travellers. In the last 100 years sovereignty and royalty have virtually vanished. Cultural traditions have been eroded and replaced with a new culture based on commercial opportunism and its demands for homogeneity; its international icons are recognised everywhere. But it is not just the physical and political barriers that have been torn down, social barriers and traditions have also been changed due to this great movement of people and the subsequent cultural mixing that has occurred. To some all of this looks good, particularly if you are a political leader preaching the need for a global community and emphasising the oneness of humanity. Playing the game of war and peace is many an international politician’s road to recognition and fame to make their mark in history. There are leaders of certain countries for instance whose major pre-occupation seems to be more about international peacekeeping and acting as watchdogs over other nations than it is to manage the internal affairs of their own countries.

There is an amazing irony in the recent international events of our time when we compare these with the historical imperialistic pre-occupation of nations for world domination in the past. There is now a new and much more subtle yet much more powerful strategic force emerging which is driving what is a less apparent and covert program for world domination. It comes with its own sense of culture by enforcing the economic submission of nations to open market forces and control. Those nations that do not conform to this new regime are treated as deviant and treated as if they do not have their own countries’ good interest at heart. It is as if the world is being primed for an economic, social and cultural union the kind which has never been seen before. In the construction of such a world, economic advantage is everything. From the forces that seek to unite us into one inter-dependent market and political system lies the inherent foundation of systemic weakness which inadvertently prepares the world for the throne and the enthronement of a powerful world leader – ‘the anti-christ’.

I cannot accept for one moment that strength can be found in a single economic or social system, but an array of complex systems, a diversity that exercises tolerance, coexistence and balance as is the case with the bio-diversity existent in nature; not what a few powerful, wealthy and privileged nations can impose through their own self-interest and propaganda machines – the media whose job it is not to inform the people but to prime them to serve powerful international interests. The new forces and systems that are coming into play today, and their frequent reference to ‘freedom’ is being used as a front to secure conformity to their own cause. A greedy world that teaches that success means growth and more growth, profits and more profits without end to support and spread the illness of mass consumerism. Not that people would outwardly agree with this movement, nor even necessarily be conscious of it. But it is nevertheless happening. In a world that is increasingly becoming globalised there are some serious challenges ahead.

Behind this temporary earthly kingdom which is being established lies in waiting something fearful and terrible, the coming of the anti-christ.
Christ invites us to look beyond this perishable and corrupt earthly kingdom which He has “overcome” (John 16:33) teaching us instead to prepare ourselves for the heavenly kingdom which “is not of this world” (John 18:36) and which is eternal. Christ invites us to join with Him who is our guide and our protector, He has told us “I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2)
Knowing this, the power of truth takes on a new dimension for Orthodox Christians. It is not worldly power or peace but the power of the Almighty God who we place all our trust in. The promise of this world with its brand of peace, with its brand of world union is nothing more than the preparation of the short lived earthly kingdom which prepares itself to enthrone and glorify the anti-christ who will be defeated by Christ. “I have come into the world” says Our Lord, “that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” (John 18:37)
So now we must look deeper into what is behind world affairs, we have to look at what is behind the policies and the news and the themes that world leaders pronounce in the hope of bringing the people of the world closer together. The world can know no such union that it promises for only Christ unites us by uniting us to His Holy and Heavenly Resurrected Body that has ascended into Heaven for our sake, so that our new life in Christ too may join with Him and sit at the right hand of the Father.

There is nothing we can do about the escalation of events that will lead to the enthronement of the anti-christ. But there is much we can do to prepare ourselves for the heavenly kingdom. This we must do here on earth through the practice of the Sacraments of the Holy Orthodox Church. This does not mean we will avoid the hardships that all people will endure at these times. Christian or otherwise the suffering will be great. But knowing what Christ has done for us we should have no fear, only the fear of the Last Judgement in our hearts. Again we are reminded of what Christ said that “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
The spirit of man is being ever increasingly enslaved by the world as it strives to become one in order to serve its own ends. But again we are reminded by Christ’s liberating Words, “..know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32).

Fr Emmanuel Stamatiou

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