What does the Bible say about nationalism? Should Christians support it? Upon review, we may discover that nationalism is Biblical and globalism is not.
Nationalism Versus Globalism
Perhaps the greatest political debate of our time is between two ideologies: nationalism and globalism. These schools of thought offer two fundamentally different philosophies on geopolitics and foreign affairs. Should countries remain divided, independent and autonomous? Or should the world move toward a more global, homogeneous and integrated system?
This debate marks a pivotal crossroad for mankind. The direction taken will change the course of human history. Do countries retain sovereign nationality or move towards a more global society?
In a world rapidly moving towards globalism, “nationalism” has become somewhat of a dirty word. But what does the Bible have to say about all of this? Is there any Biblical precedence for this contemporary debate? Perhaps if we analyze the text through a geopolitical lens, we may find some age-old wisdom for this present-day issue. Is nationalism is Biblical? First, let’s consider a Biblical lesson from the past before proceeding to a prophetic warning for the future.
The Birth of Nationalism – The Fall of Babylon
The pre-Babylonian world did not resemble the current geopolitical landscape. After the flood, there were no countries, nations or borders; no national distinction like we have today. In Genesis 11:1, we see that the whole world shared the same language:
And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.
Genesis 11:2 describes how the people of the earth migrated together until they settled in a land called Shinar (or the general region of Mesopotamia). Once there, the people of the world decided to unify and establish a global society. In Genesis 11:4, we read about this globalist agenda’s attempt to thwart God’s plan for the inevitable inception of nationalism:
Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.”
Ultimately, this globalist dystopia didn’t last very long. Shortly after the Lord saw what they were doing, he decided to put a stop to it. Genesis 11:7-8 illustrates the exact moment in history when nationalism was born:
Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.” So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city.
The dawn of nationalism upon the destruction of Babylon was a direct effect of the depravity of humanity. God saw that when mankind is left to his own devices, united together under one kingdom, brazen licentiousness ensues. This was immediately made manifest in Babylon when they attempted to elevate themselves to the heavens.
Divine intervention shattered globalism into pieces; a.k.a. nations. Nationalism was created by God in response to man’s blunder of globalism. However, Biblical prophecy warns us that this supernatural splintering was only temporary. Another Babylonian-esque, global society lurks in the future.
The Death of Nationalism – The Second Rise of Babylon
How fitting that the analysis began in the first Book of the Bible and finishes in the last. The Book of Genesis revealed the birth and death of Babylon due to God’s righteous indignation with man’s pride and gall. All the while, the Book or Revelation forewarns of the second coming of Babylon during the Tribulation.
Biblical eschatology sheds light on this question of whether nationalism is Biblical or not. Throughout the Book of Revelation, Christians are warned of what the imminent “end of days” will resemble under the Antichrist’s reign. The book forecasts about a second global society emerging. Upon review of Revelation 13:7, we find evidence that the Antichrist will have authority over the entire world:
Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation,
Having authority over “every tribe and people and language and nation” is a clear indicator that the end times will be one of a global society. Every tribe, language and nation will eventually be united under one government or regime. Furthermore, Revelation 13:8 describes a one-world, occult religion being formed under the Antichrist:
and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.
The Book of Revelation makes it very clear that the Antichrist will rule over the entire world. This will be the ultimate result of this globalist initiative. The final Book of the Bible describes the final chapter of human history – a globalist society.
Conclusion: Nationalism IS Biblical
Whether looking to past accounts or towards prophetic foreshadowing, all Biblical indications paint globalism in a negative light. Nationalism was the direct result of human failure and divine chastisement after the first failure of a globalist society. In one fell swoop, God destroyed globalism while simultaneously creating nationalism. A world broken up into different nations, tribes, tongues and cultures.
Proponents of globalism often depict a universal utopia where all peoples and nations will come together in perfect harmony. More sinister wolves in sheep’s clothing will portray the destruction of nationalism in a positive light, knowing full well the future malevolent implications.
However, the Bible warns Christians that this global confederation will not be of God. Globalism will inevitably lead to universal dominion by the Antichrist during the Tribulation.
While the inevitable return of a global, Babylonian society is quickly approaching, Christians should take no part in it or help facilitate the process. The Bible makes it clear from the past and into the future that globalism is not a Godly pursuit. Fortunately, the next global empire will be the last.
Globalism failed in the book of Genesis and will ultimately fail again after the Antichrist’s brief reign.