There are today countless theories of a global plot to undermine once flourishing Christian nations and establish in their place a tyrannical, one-world government.
Through the forces of compelled multiculturalism, mass immigration, aggressive de-Christianization, and the degradation of biblical morals, our nations currently bear little resemblance to the world our grandparents once knew. And only few might imagine we’re better off for it.
Theories on exactly who is behind this destabilising effort largely differ. But whether or not the decline of the West can be attributed to a far-reaching conspiracy, one undeniable truth remains: it is ultimately all in vain.
Though it may seem as though success and power are on their side, it is crucial to bear in mind that God’s greatest victories often bore an appearance of defeat. The crucifixion of Jesus stands as the most prominent illustration of this truth.
From the outside, it appeared as though the enemies of our Lord had achieved a decisive victory. Yet, in truth, their imagined win served as their own undoing.
If this is true of the most heinous crime ever perpetrated by mankind, then it must be true of every other evil. As Joseph learned, the wicked might mean evil against us, but God means it for good, every time (Gen. 50:20; cf. Rom. 8:28).
This truth ought to have a radical impact on our perspective. It should change the way we view the world, and the evil so often perpetrated throughout.
Is there any hope? Are the “good guys” losing ground? Is King Jesus forfeiting his authority to the earthly powers that are so blatantly hostile to the advancement of his kingdom through the Gospel?
In his brilliant work, The Institutes of the Christian Religion, R.J. Rushdoony aptly notes that the power of evil is weak and limited. Evil is under God’s control. It is His scourge of the nations.
As such, evil conspiracies can normally only occupy a vacuum, and therefore, we ought not to attribute to them the power and glory that belongs to God alone. To do otherwise, Rushdoony says, is to advocate “satanic determination.”
What is “satanic determination”? Rushdoony explains:
“To deny the sovereign power of conspiracies is one of the surest ways of antagonizing many of the people, who will then argue with religious passion for the sovereign, predestination power of Satan. They will insist that every national and international act is a carefully planned and manipulated conspiracy, all governed by a master plan or plot, and a secret master council.”
Of course, that’s not to deny the existence of sinister plotters. History is riddled with individuals and groups of people who sought world domination and inflicted horrific injustices in their efforts to obtain it. What it is to say, however, is that those intentions are ultimately futile.
“That the plotters and plans exist, and are many, can be granted, but the Christian must hold to their futility. They rage in vain; they ‘imagine a vain thing’ when they plot together against the Lord and His anointed (Ps. 2:1, 2).”
According to Rushdoony, to blame the world’s evil, and to ascribe the world’s government, to hidden satanic conspiracies is to be guilty of “false witness against God.” This is because it “denies that God only is the source of prediction and ascribes power and prediction to Satan instead.”
It is at this point, he argues, that the true conservative is put to the test: “Does he believe in the existence, plan, and power of the conspirators, call them what you will?”
If the answer is yes, then he is guilty of ascribing to conspiracies a power, discipline, and government of the past, present, and future which is not theirs to possess.
“The Biblical position involves not only an affirmation of man’s essential responsibility, but it also declares that God alone is the almighty one, and He alone predestines and governs all things.”
As the Proverb states: “The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He will” (Pro. 21:1). It is God who directs the hearts of rulers and authorities, so that ultimately, we are at God’s mercy – not theirs.
“Today, many so-called Christian conservatives not only spend their time studying the work of Satan but become angry if you question the omnipotence of Satan. They insist that every step of our world history is now in the hands of satanic manipulators who use men as puppets.
“To deny this is to be classed as some kind of heretic; this practical meaning of this position is Satan worship. But St. John tells us that, at the supreme moment of Satan’s conspiracy, when Christ’s death was decreed, the secret purpose of God was being most fulfilled (John 11:47-53).
Yes, we know the nations rage, and we witness the peoples plot in vain. The Psalmist tells us as much in Psalm 2. What’s more, we know the kings and rulers of the earth conspire together to set themselves against King Jesus. But what we also must remember is that their conspiring is so futile, so vain, that God responds to it with laughter (v.4).
We may feel the temptation to fear when our future appears outside of our own control, but we must remind ourselves of the One who holds our future in his hands. Not the power-grabbing conspirators of our day. Not our politicians or powerful elites with delusions of grandeur about world domination.
As Rushdoony put it: “It is always God who reigns, never Satan. Any other faith is a false witness and an especially evil one.”