PSEUDO-MISSION: Syncretism Ethics & Moral Facades
(Marc Gunther, "Power Pastor: Will Success Spoil Rick Warren?" Fortune, 10/31/05) [emphasis added]
“If there is to be a new world it must come first of all through a new spirit in the nations. There must be created an international mind and conscience; we must learn to think of humanity as one family and to have a world patriotism; they must keep their minds free from jealousy and selfishness, and must base their policy and practice upon true and Christian principles, they must be as quick to resent injustice by a nation as by an individual. Humanity must become an ideal in order that it may become an actuality. World patriotism must be a faith, a chivalry, before it can be an organization. International peace must become an aspiration, a religion, before it will become a reality.”
(Samuel Z. Batten of the FCC, The New World Order (1919), cited by Martin Erdmann, Building the Kingdom of God on Earth, p. 122. [emphasis added])
Various terminologies have been used to cloak an international agenda to forge universal moral ethics. The past few decades these terms have been recognizable in education circles: character education, values education, conflict resolution, global education, consensus-based decision making, common core values, global citizenship, community service, world core curriculum, principle education, etc.(1) The latest fad word is "worldview."
"Worldview" is a particularly interesting word because it carries the secondary meaning of "global view." The new global ethics is just that -- a view of the world which is based on the assumption that there are "common core" values. To certain Christian groups, this means finding the "common core" values of Christianity. But, define "Christianity." This effort is usually taken a step further into dominionism, based on assumptions of "natural law" and "natural rights."
The early history of this "moral law" movement can be found in the speeches, life work and writings of John Foster Dulles.(2) His concept of the brotherhood of all humankind was based upon a syncretistic moral law, global in scope. Dr. Martin Erdmann, in his landmark book Building the Kingdom of God on Earth, describes Dulles objectives and beliefs:
“In 1944 Dulles had already reminded Christian audiences in numerous speeches that they do not ‘alone possess the qualities of mind and soul upon which [the] solution depends.’ Although ‘Christians believe that the moral law has been most perfectly revealed by Jesus Christ,’ it had to be recognized that ‘the moral, or natural, law is revealed through other religions, and can be comprehended by all men, so that it is a force far more universal than any particular religion.’ In the 1950s he still defined his belief as the application of principles derived from ‘the natural and moral law which have wider acceptance than Christianity’.… In an address at the ‘Festival of Faith’ of the San Francisco Council of Churches, on June 19, 1955, Dulles defined the moral law as a pantheistic concept undergirding each religion, which imbues the United Nations with the moral force of its principles.
“In short, Dulles did not believe in the orthodox tenets of Christianity, but rather in a selective and subjective interpretation of Christ’s moral teachings. It was an abstract faith in the expediency of the generally recognizable ‘Moral Law’, as defined by Dulles himself, governing the affairs of the universe as an impersonal force.” (pp. 120-121) [emphases added]
Erdmann documents how Dulles spent considerable effort to create a grassroots movement within the Federal Council of Churches to call for the creation of a United Nations. In the 1940s, Dulles delivered a speech, "The Moral Foundation of the United Nations," in which he outlined his belief that there are common moral principles that can be used to "govern the conduct of nations":
‘The success of the United Nations have been largely due to those throughout the world who believe that there is a God, a divine Creator of us all; that he has prescribed moral principles which undergird this world with an ultimate authority equal to that of physical law; that this moral law is one which every man can know if only he opens his heart to what God has revealed; that these moral principles enjoin not merely love and respect of the Creator but also love and respect for fellow man, because each individual embodies some element of the Divine; and that moral principles should also govern the conduct of nations… Thus, as we gather here as representatives of many faiths held throughout the world, we can find much ground for satisfaction. It has been demonstrated that the religious people of the world can generate the motive power required to vitalize a world organization by providing it with principles which are guiding not merely in theory but in fact.” (Footnote #274, p. 142, Erdmann) [emphases added]
"Moral law is variously expressed and understood. Its implications do not seem to all to be the same. It needs to be translated into codified world law. But even today moral law can serve mightily to direct the conduct of nations into ways consonant with peace." (Henry P. Van Dusen, ed., The Spiritual Legacy of John Foster Dulles, Westminster Press, 1960) [emphases added]