Question: "Should a Christian be opposed to globalization?"
Answer: Globalization is “the act extending an influence to all parts of the world.” It involves the emergence of a single world market or deregulation resulting in internationalization. At first blush, globalization doesn’t seem all that bad. Globalization seems to hold an answer to the world’s financial troubles, among other things. However, prayerful consideration and research reveals disturbing historical precedence.
The historical form of globalization is military conquest. The Assyrian Empire is an apt example. From the late 25th or early 24th century BC to 605 BC, the Assyrians controlled vast swaths of Babylonia, Egypt and the Holy Land. While technologically advanced for their time, the Assyrians were also brutal warriors who murdered, tortured and enslaved their enemies. The Assyrians were globalists in that they were bent on world conquest. God used the Assyrians to punish and exile the ten northern tribes of Israel for the wicked things Israel did to provoke the Lord to anger (2 Kings 17).
Probably the most well-known example of historical globalization is the attempted construction of the Tower of Babel in the 21st century BC. Rather than filling the earth as God commanded (Genesis 9:1), mankind rebelled, deciding to centralize in one city and not be scattered over the earth (Genesis 11:4). This construction effort was spearheaded by Noah’s great-grandson, King Nimrod (whose name means “rebel”). God, in response, confused their languages, thus forcing the people to group together by dialect and settle elsewhere (Genesis 11:8-9).
All the empires presented in a dream to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia represent other attempts to institute one-world government (Daniel 2). Daniel’s prophetic interpretation of the king’s dream is summarized our article, What is the meaning of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Daniel 2? It is notable that Nebuchadnezzar envisioned a fifth and final world empire, which is yet to come.
This final empire will be a true global government, ruled by the man known as the Antichrist, also called the beast and the lawless one (Revelation 13:4; 2 Thessalonians 2:8). He will have “authority over every tribe, people, language and nation,” and he, along with the False Prophet, will force all people to take his mark. This future global leader will control all financial transactions (Revelation 13:17) and all religious observance (Revelation 13:8). Refusal to worship the Antichrist means death; acquiescence means eternal punishment from God (Revelation 13:15; 14:9-11).
The Bible, therefore, shows that any time man attempts “globalization” it is ruled by wicked, ungodly empires. We should oppose globalization to the extent that we understand that it is implemented by Satan, currently the god of this age (2 Corinthians 4:4). It is interesting to note that man’s (and Satan’s) final attempt at globalization will include a resurgence of “Babylon,” which started the globalization effort so long ago (see Revelation 18).
Of course, we also know that the “whole world is a prisoner of sin” (Galatians 3:22) and that believers are to “hate evil” (Psalm 97:10). We must shine the light of righteousness into the darkness where we find it, via the gospel message (Matthew 5:16; cf. John 8:12). It is appropriate to rebuke wickedness, and there is much of that to be found in Satan’s version of globalization. However, 1 Peter 2:13 does tell us to “submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men,” and Jesus Himself warned us to “give to Caesar what is Caesar’s” (Matthew 22:21), so it is required that we keep our opposition within the constraints of the law of the land.
God has a plan for globalization under the headship of the King and Redeemer, Jesus Christ (see Revelation 19–20). Evidently, there will still be individual nations under Christ’s rule (Zechariah 2:10-11). The Kingdom will be a time of righteousness and true justice (Isaiah 11:3-5).
How peaceful and joyful the days of Christ’s Kingdom will be! Isaiah 12:3-4 describes for us, “With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. In that day you will say: ‘Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted.’”