04 Dec 2016

Why Some Christians Oppose “Globalism”

Big Brother, Religious 36 Comments

I realized recently that secular people with little familiarity of Christianity (particularly fundamentalist Protestantism) might not understand the suspicion that so many have of “globalism” or “the globalists.” With Brexit, Trump, etc., this issue has more political relevance now than at any time I can remember.

For my Bible study tonight we were covering chapter 15 of Exodus, and we were linked to this:

The Song Of Moses And Of The Lamb

Exodus 15:1-20, 21

  1. Orr

We cannot fail to connect in our thoughts the circumstances of this magnificent triumph-celebration with that other scene, described in the Apocalypse, where they who have “gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over the number of his name, stand on – i.e., on the margin of – the sea of glass, having the harps of God,” and “sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb” (Revelation 15:2). We do not enter into any elaborate explication of the Apocalyptic symbols. The beast and his followers obviously represent the Antichristian foes of the Church – the worldly secular powers that resist, oppose, and persecute the true servants of Christ. God’s judgment on these hostile world-powers, already summarily depicted in Exodus 14:19, 20, is to be afterwards more fully described under the imagery of the seven last plagues.

I’m not going to get into it in much detail right now, but here’s a bit more context: In Exodus, Moses (himself following God’s instructions) leads the Israelites out of bondage from Egypt. Pharaoh’s mighty army has just been slaughtered through divine intervention when the Red Sea parted to allow the Israelites safe passage, but crashed back on the soldiers and chariots.

(You may know this scene:


So for Christians who take the Bible literally, the Devil is the “prince of this world.” The earthly governments are “of the world” and are actively fighting God’s people. (I’m not cracking a joke, I’m being serious: I realize certain American evangelicals combine this general perspective with their adoration of the US federal government and endorsement of the US military. I’m just noting the apparent contradiction here, before some wiseguy jumps on me in the comments.)

So no, I’m not saying that a Bible-believing person necessarily would say, “God doesn’t like the eurozone”; it’s way more complicated than that. But I’m giving some of the context for why right-wing groups dislike “globalism.” They associate it with worldly powers that are the enemies of God’s people.

36 Responses to “Why Some Christians Oppose “Globalism””

  1. Andrew_FL says:

    LOL no.

  2. Iva says:

    Your “explanation” is just an attempt to put some positive spin on Trump-related nativism, and nationalist bigotry – to adorn them with some “theological” authorization. It’s not clear how did you derive “anti-globalism” from Christian suspicion of politics and wordly powers. Attacks on globalism are not attacks on politics and politicians as such, but on foreigners and FOREIGN politicians (and also on our politicians who want to sell us out to foreigners). You yourself admit that Protestant fundamentalists actually adore political power; now, they seem to abhor it in the same time.

    I don’t know if you are aware, but your attempt at positive spin for Trump’s and Trumkins’ nativism represents the highest form of blasphemy: substitution of the political concept of the American nation for the theological concepts of “servants of Christ”. Chinese “currency manipulators” that “threaten the jobs” in Ohio and Michigan become the equivalents of the Pharaoh and Nero the Beast, nailing Christians to crosses and throwing them to lions. Surreal. [btw one wonders how Comrade Putin avoided the wrath of American “theological” haters of wordly power…]

    Why not simply notice the obvious: people, both religious and non-religious, are often nativists and tribalists, with little understanding of the world, and especially little understanding of economics, and represent thereby an easy prey for unprincipled demagogues such as Trump who offer simple zero sum game form of salvation, achieved by giving him unlimited power to destroy the enemies. Much more honest than your convoluted “theological” justification of his and their nativism and tribalism.

  3. Bob Murphy says:

    Andrew_FL and Iva, I am quite sure that the Christian fundamentalists who supported Brexit, hate the IMF, despise the “New World Order,” etc., would agree wholeheartedly with my post. So the fact that you laugh and/or say I’m lying, just shows why you will continue to not understand this huge group of people who are now influencing world events. If you want to say, “THEY are fooling themselves if they think that…” OK fine. But you’re acting like I’m making something up.

    • Andrew_FL says:

      ” this huge group of people who are now influencing world events”

      Even more LOL no.

    • Brian says:

      Dead on, Bob. One of the most interesting conversations with Christian conservatives is why they draw the line at the federal level – but not below or above.

      I remember one really interesting exchange with Tom Woods talking to Steve Deace (conservative commentator in Iowa), who was concerned over Ron Paul’s approach to abortion (essentially handed back to states). Tom asked Steve, ~”well, would you support the U.N. outlawing abortion and enforcing that in the U.S.” These people are inherently concerned over world government, but still (largely) blind to the dangers of the US. fedgov.

  4. Ivan says:

    Bob, In England there are very few religious fundamentalists: English are Anglicans, a very high-church tradition, theologically almost indistinguishable from Catholicism. Fundamentalism is a marginal phenomenon there. What explains the emergence of similar nativism in Poland, an arch-Catholic country? Or in Czech Republic or France, which are mostly atheistic? In Russia they are Eastern Orthodox and they by definition ADORE the state, Church and State are one body for the eastern tradition (“symphony”).

    So, yes, you are making stuff up. “Globalism” is a slur word not for political power as such, but for politicians (and non-politicians) here in America who believe in free trade. Those are “globalists” in the worldview of your average Trumpkin, religious or non-religious: bastards, sell-outs who allows dirty Chinese and Mexicans to “steal our jobs”. I wholeheartedly agree with you in rejecting the IMF, poltiical globalization and so on, but that’s not how Trump and his legions understand “globalism”. For them even you, if you were to put on your free market economists hat again,and throw away your Trump-apologist hat, would be equally a dirty globalist sell-out, just like Obama or Chamber of Commerce Republicans, who support NAFTA or TPP.

    • Craw says:

      You confuse doctrine and ritual. The ritual is very like Catholicism. The theology is more like Calvin in many ways.

    • Tel says:

      England has never been an insular society, it is part of the UK which historically has contained many Christian denominations (and others), and they travelled and mingled for centuries (including today).

      Even within the Anglican church itself there’s a high-church and a low-church tradition and this division has existed for a long time. The high-church borrowed extensively from the Catholic and tends to be oriented toward the state, but the low-church borrowed from the Puritans, Calvinists and from evangelical traditions and these two perspectives have never fully been reconciled, nor will they ever be.

      Blood has been spilled over this division, Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of the Commonwealth, was decidedly low-church.

      What explains the emergence of similar nativism in Poland

      There isn’t any. The Poles were happy to join with Europe, they just don’t want to have large numbers of refugees dumped in their lap from outside Europe. That’s the normal way people seek out others that are similar to and compatible with themselves. Poles themselves have migrated all over the place to Western Europe in search of jobs mostly.

      In Russia they are Eastern Orthodox and they by definition ADORE the state, Church and State are one body for the eastern tradition (“symphony”).

      And indeed the Russian state position is that sanctions are unfortunate, having been forced upon them unfairly by the USA. Russia seeks broader cooperation with Europe, China, Turkey, and other nations (both economic and military). They would be more than happy to run gas pipelines all over Europe if they were allowed to.

      The only thing they ask is that NATO backs off their missiles by a hundred miles and that the USA stop trying to smash Russian allies like the Syrian government.

      The Russian state position is also that Christians and Muslims can and will get along nicely.

  5. Harold says:

    ” Christian fundamentalists who supported Brexit…” I was about to respond that there are relatively few Christian fundamentalists over here, so it is nowhere near as big an issue as in the USA. But I did a little digging and discovered

    And now I am not so sure. Christians voted 60% for leave according to one poll. That may be because they are just older – there was a huge split, the young voting to remain and the old voting to leave.

    I applaud this Baptist minister the Revd Dr Ian Tutton :

    “For it is a purely political matter and as such any Baptist Christian should make up her/his own mind accordingly, and that Baptist Christians can find themselves on either side of the argument without feeling that the other has been compromised in any way. Hence my view that it would be better for the UK to leave the European Union is entirely political…”

    Even if he then makes incorrect and simplistic arguments (such as that for some countries to have a win-win, some other countries must have a lose-lose) he should be congratulated for recognising that his religion says nothing about it.

    So I have to agree that Christian fundamentalists would probably agree with Bob, however distasteful it is for people to hi-jack religion in this way and pretend it is politics.

    Europe is much more secular than the USA. I may be wrong, but my understanding is it would be almost impossible for a President of the USA to be an avowed atheist, but in the UK a prime minster talking God is viewed with suspicion.

  6. Ivan says:

    there are only 2 small problems

    1, People who voted for Trump and other nativists in Europe by “globalism” do not mean IMF, EU and political consolidation as Bob imagines, but rather something like; “Muslims are invading our countries, dirty Chinese and Mexicans are stealing our jobs and we want our government to protect us against these evils”. Trump did not harangue against Washington bureaucracy, or IMF,or UN, but against Mexicans sending their rapists and murderers accross the border and Chinese currency manipulators stealing our jobs.

    2. Occam’s Razor , which is here pretty damn sharp, Bob cut his arm to the bone already. However you slice it, fundamentalists in UK are tiny minority and in the whole of Europe religion as such is way less influential as a political force than in the US, and people are in general were until recently much more susceptible to nativist and protectionist (“antigobalist”) propaganda. That means that you don’t need (and actually cannot use) any religious component to explain the phenomenon, in Europe as well as in the US.

    • Harold says:

      Ivan, I have had discussions about Mexican rapists here and elsewhere and am amazed at the ability to not see what Trump said as racists or inspiring racism because you can construe a non-racist interpretation, bit I don’t think I will make any further progress on that one here.

      The picture is a bit more nuanced. Sure, there were lots who thought keep out the Mexicans and the Poles and the Romanians, but there were also those who disliked the EU and the IMF.

      • Jim says:

        Yeah sure. You had to twist your definitions and reasoning into a pretzel. You had to define a “race” as consisting of the “group of people coming across the border” (or more generally, simply a group of people). All this because you POST-HOC reasoned that Trump was a racist … because you ALREADY KNEW Trump was a racist even though he was never considered that by anyone prior to the mainstream media taking up the cause for Hillary.

        • Harold says:

          As I said, I don’t think there is any possibility of making progress here so I am not getting into it again.

          However I do ask that you portray my argument accurately if you are going to raise it. I specifically said that I could not conclude that Trump was racist, so that does make your above argument look false.

          • Jim says:

            I never accused you of *concluding* that he was a racist. Quite the contrary.

            But fine.

            • Harold says:

              Jim, stop wriggling. If I cannot conclude if Trump is racist or not, how can I have based all my arguments post hoc on the basis that Trump is racist, as you described? Your argument is senseless.

              This is an example of the fixed mind-set I sometimes meet here. You have proposed a wrong argument, but instead of either shutting up or saying “OK, I was getting you mixed up with all those others who are doing what I said”, you try to defend the indefensible through semantic gymnastics.

              You did accuse me if adopting a position where it would be impossible for me to conclude anything other than that Trump was racist. I concluded something other than that Trump was racist. Therefore your argument is wrong.

              • Jim says:

                You completely misinterpreted that comment. “I never accused you of *concluding* that he was a racist.” (emphasis on the *concluded*) because I ACTUALLY accused you of STARTING with that premise.

                Also, take a look back at the original comments on that post. You’ll notice I capitulated twice to other commenters.

              • Harold says:

                Jim, I will assume good faith and that you are not being awkward. Lets go through this.

                1) You say I started with the position that Trump was racist. You argue that it was that starting position that led me to conclude that the things Trump said were racist. OK so far?

                2) I said that I could not tell if Trump was racist. OK again?

                3) Position 2 is incompatible with position 1. I cannot both rely on Trump being racist to inform my interpretation of everything he says whilst simultaneously not knowing if Trump is racist.

                4) Since we have it in writing that I said I did not know if Trump is racist and we only have your assertion that I arrived at my conclusion through assumption of Trumps racism, the evidence is all on my side.

                5) It is therefore reasonable to conclude that your assertion that I started with the premise that Trump was racist is wrong.

              • Jim says:

                All right Harold. First, I will agree, you never said Trump was a racist (I went back and read the comments).

                Second, you DID say he made racist statements. And you interpreted the comment about illegal Mexican immigrants being rapists as a racist statement. Something, that I’ve only seen done by people who already assumed he was a racist and saw what they expected to see in that comment. I will admit there’s no evidence to accuse you of the same.

                I did start commenting in that post by talking about confirmation bias for a reason.

                Third, I confused you and Daniel. You continued each other’s arguments. He was the first person I accused of confirmation bias and you were the first to respond to my accusation.

                Fourth, and least importantly, the above comment (that you misinterpreted) was nothing more than a bit of pure rhetoric.

              • Harold says:

                Jim, thanks for that. You have restored my faith in the power of reason and argument. I too have been caught out by a bit of rhetoric or jokey comment being taken with more seriousness than I meant, but truth is it is impossible for the reader to see the cheeky grin we have when we type.

    • Bob Murphy says:

      Ivan wrote:

      “People who voted for Trump and other nativists in Europe by “globalism” do not mean IMF, EU and political consolidation as Bob imagines, but rather something like; “Muslims are invading our countries, dirty Chinese and Mexicans are stealing our jobs and we want our government to protect us against these evils”. “

      No Ivan, Trump’s final campaign ad did exactly what you are denying here. Let me refresh your memory:


      Don’t worry, you don’t have to retreat too much. You can just say, “Oh right, I forgot, in addition to hating Mexicans, Trump also put out an ad against Jewish people.” THAT’s how his critics handled the ad at the time, you may now be remembering.

      But for sure, Trump explicitly railed against shadowy international forces.

  7. Ivan says:

    Bob, you seem to have deleted my last night’s comment. Good, my friend, sapienti sat. Got the message. “Sad”, as your new Fuhrer would say…

    • Bob Murphy says:

      Ivan, your message came in at 11:03pm. The blog automatically held it up. Didn’t you notice that it didn’t appear at all? If I had deleted it, it would have first appeared, and then disappeared.

      Believe it or not, I don’t sit by my computer through the night, hoping someone calls me a Nazi. I approved it (just now), the first chance I was at a computer.

      Since you were so wrong about this particular incident, maybe your psychoanalysis of me more generally is off? Just a theory you may want to explore.

      • Jim says:

        Just so you know Bob. If a post gets held up (usually because the poster is new or has more than one link) then it still appears for THAT person until they close their browser and reopen it. So it would LOOK like it was removed unless the author noticed the “awaiting moderation.”

  8. Andrew_FL says:

    I mean I realize this election has been my Harvey Dent moment and in having lived long enough to see myself become the villain I should probably improve my trolling quality by actually explaining myself in a way you can misunderstand properly but, come on. It’s bad enough you actually think “why right-wing groups dislike “globalism.”” is explained by appealing to the tiny number of people who take their religious beliefs sufficiently seriously to come up with a ridiculous rationalization like this. But you actually think that tiny group is not only huge, but influencing world events? I repeat, come on! What are you, Grand Moff Tarkin? “Evacuate? In our moment of Triumph?”

    • Dan says:

      You think fundamentalist Christians who oppose NWO stuff make up a tiny number? Do you not live by Christians or something?

      • Andrew_FL says:

        I believe the vast majority of “Christians” are not people who take their faith seriously enough to have legit theological objections to “New World Order stuff”

        But I imagine I do live near a lot of Jews if that’s what you’re insinuating.

        • Harold says:

          “I believe the vast majority of “Christians” are not people who take their faith seriously enough to have legit theological objections to “New World Order stuff””

          I agree entirely here. However I think that a great many Christians could have non-legitimate theological objections to just about anything.

          • Andrew_FL says:

            Their objections might be legitimate or not, to be clear, the issue is whether they are legitimately derived from Christian theology or from somewhere else…

            • Harold says:

              I am stepping well out of my comfort zone here, and maybe people of better biblical knowledge will correct me, but is seems to me that a lot of right wing Christian justifications come from the old testament rather than the new, and are not core “Christianity”.

              • Andrew_FL says:

                This comment was maybe an example where staying in your comfort zone would’ve been a better idea-Mainline Christianity stresses continuity between the New and Old Testaments-saying one is somehow lesser than the other is heresy.

              • Harold says:

                I am not saying necessarily that the old is lesser, just an interesting observation that the arguments used are not those that pertaining to Christ. Surely the thing that differentiates Christians from Jews is the bit about Christ, so that could be described as core Christianity?

                Anyway, it was simply an observation, nit a theological thesis. Old and new are equal in my mind.

        • Dan says:

          No, that’s not what I was insinuating. I was saying that you must not be around many Christians if you don’t think there aren’t many that oppose NWO stuff for religious reasons.

          This is anecdotal, obviously, but when I was working with a company that dealt with almost exclusively right wing Christians, I would constantly have them telling me about how much they opposed the UN and it was definitely for religious reasons. I mean, if I was in need of hearing bible verses, I just had to mention Obama in connection with the UN or something about Israel. Maybe the reason this post seemed obvious to me is because I’ve been a non-Christian surrounded by these kind of views my whole life (not my parents, though, they were never religious).

          • Andrew_FL says:

            Any half serious sparsely church attending yahoo can quote and deliberately misconstrue the Bible.

  9. Leanne says:

    Yep! Right on! As a conservative Christian, I would totally agree. You’ve got some tough skin to deal with these tough words- more power to ya! ☺️

  10. Matthew says:

    The problem with globalization (judeo-christian perspective) in my opinion is not something (or only partly) about you’ve mentioned in your article with the forces of the world against God’s people. It is more like globalism (which can have great effects on our world) starts to seem like a religion which (by its nature) combines the world’s cultures and religions into one; and also becomes the main target of an average person’s view in order to create world peace and wealth to everyone – and not by God but by all of us, the people and our half buthist-half hinduist-half jewish-half christian (I’m afraid its more than one… 🙂 god which was created and mixed by us – not by Him. I don’t announce it as the only true and relevant opinion in the topic but I can say you can’t read about it in the Bible as a thing God really likes. In the other hand you find couple of prophecies about the end of this world age (other word: Apocalypse) – in Old and in New Testament as well – which has some signs that comes before the great end. And those signs are talking about a unity of the nations, a fake, succubus religion, worldwide impurity (and by that we have to understand biblical view which is very objective about these things – f.e. about marriage or total sexual freedom), the worldwide spread of evangelization (Jesus talks about this), and also the homecoming of the sons of Isreal to Sion. So we have to ask ourselves: do we see these things around us? Christians (and also jewish people) say: yes, we do. So what we do now? Try to warn people (like Noah or Jonas in their times) go back to God’s speech and don’t believe in foreign gods but only the One. I am not a priest or a preacher-man and also not trying to frighten anybody. I am just a guy who reads the Bible and would recommend it to everyone because love (and the love from God, not the love from human) is the only thing and God is the only person who can solve your life and can save you from bad things. But this is only my experience I really don’t want to force it upon to anybody, I just know it works. I hope I helped to cleared this topic. 🙂

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