The New World Order and the Convergence of Religious and Secular Opposition
First presented at the Irfan Colloquia Session #9
Bahá'í National Center: Wilmette, Illinois, USA
March 29 – April 1, 1996
(see list of papers from #9)
The Bahá'í concept of world order has two goals: spiritual transformation of the human race and renewal of culture and civilization. The first goal describes a divinely ordained process that marks "the healing of the nations" and the "spiritualization of the masses" and stands identified with the "coming of age of the entire human race" and the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth. The second goal--renewal of culture and civilization--describes the consummation of historical development that must result in profound changes in the social and political life of the world. The renewal of culture and civilization, Bahá'ís believe, must inevitably reach a fitting climax by the adoption of a universal framework for world unity and peace and the establishment of a united world authority.
Bahá'ís believe that the emerging world order is not a manmade secular enterprise. Historically, they assert, the intensification of social solidarity and complexification of social organizations are impelled by the unifying spiritual forces released by the progressive appearances of the Manifestations of God. Thus a new world order, within the Bahá'í context, describes a single spiritual-social unit within which the progressive revelation of God and the path of human evolution coalesce and converge.
The Bahá'í scriptures emphatically emphasize that nothing short of spiritual forces, released by the revelation of Bahá'u'lláh, can succeed in establishing a new world order. Christian fundamentalists, however, reluctant to entertain the possibility that Bahá'u'lláh's revelation has fulfilled Christian prophecy concerning the return of Christ, claim that the emerging world order represents nothing less than a new order for the human race under the dominion of Satan.
To them, a new world order epitomizes everything that is anti-Christian. The ultimate goal of a new world order, they assert, is to destroy the Christian faith, personal freedom, and capitalism. They believe that a new world order represents a satanically inspired conspiracy that has been quietly germinating in satanic secret societies and has now reached its culminating period, marked by global dominance and an alliance with occult and mystery religions. The ideals of international peace and security, propagated by proponents of a new world order, are viewed as exercises in futility and given a demonic context.
Fundamentalists consider resisting this new world order a sacred duty. Paradoxically, the same new world order, they believe, must usher in the rapture of the church and the coming of the Lord.
Secular criticisms of a new world order have also been influenced by reactionary political views that espouse racism and supremacy. These views portray the emerging world order as a fearful prospect that would undermine America's national sovereignty and bring the United States under the yoke of a global dictatorship.
It is possible that as the full measure of the teachings of the Bahá'í Faith are disseminated and understood, these religious and secular forces, in their vain imaginings, may come to view the Bahá'í Faith as the missing link in the worldwide web of conspiracy to establish a new world order, and, thus, will feel compelled to mobilize their optimum efforts to oppose it.
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