Without a vision, coherency and consistency in a nation’s conduct toward other nations is unlikely.
The difference between a Kingdom-based and secular foreign policy start with the motive and content of the vision.
In a typical secular foreign policy the purpose of the vision is typically judged on the extent to which it promotes the self-interest of that nation. An example is the Monroe Doctrine, which prevented European interference in the sovereign affairs of Latin American nations, preserving American hegemony in the region.
The post-war foreign policy of the former Soviet Union, which was designed to promote communist revolution around the world and establish client states and socialist allies, is another example.
The reason there is and has always been so much conflict in the world is every nation’s foreign policy is driven primarily by their own self-interest. Put 195 kids in a room all trying to get their way and you are bound to have conflict. Put 195 nations all trying to get their own way on a planet with limited resources and you will get the same result.
The only foreign policy that will bring peace on the planet is one motivated, not by the self-interest of nations, but by the pursuit of a common vision. A Kingdom-based foreign policy is not motivated by self-interest, although the fulfillment of God’s vision for the earth is ultimately in every nation’s best interest. When countries began to act toward that common vision, there will be less conflict.
This of course begs the question as to what that vision should be. Unfortunately, over the last 40 years, too many Christians have had an anti-vision for the world. Rather than seeing what God wants for the world, they only see what they think God doesn’t want and they fight against that.
They think Revelation prophesies a one world government the Anti-Christ will run to rule the world before the end comes, so they fight against anything that smells of nations cooperating, whether it be the United Nations or the G8. Or–as they did when I was in college–they oppose Ronald Reagan’s meetings with Mikhail Gorbachev because Gorbachev had a birthmark on his forehead which could be the mark of the beast.
I’ve addressed here before why I believe that most of the Book of Revelation has already been fulfilled, that the kingdom of God is present on the earth, and that it will continue to expand until the world is substantially transformed into the place the Lord intended from the beginning. At that time, and only then, will Jesus return to earth. Until then, the Bible says, Jesus is at the right hand of the Father waiting until all His enemies are made a footstool for His feet. (Hebrews 10:12-13).
The question then is, “What is God’s vision for the planet?” Because understanding that is the starting point for building a Kingdom-based foreign policy. I will address that in the next post. GS