In the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks, the world has entered a period of rapid global transformation towards a new world order in which religion will play a major role. A united, new world order not only demands the political and economic unification of the world but also its religious unification. In the emerging international order the former antagonists, Russia and the USA, are increasingly united in the fight against the global threat of terrorism. That is the view of Lorin Smith of Christian Research Projects, a ministry that analyses global developments and their impact on the Christian community.
Smith further concludes that in the construction of this new world order, Christianity will face ideological challenges to the central tenets of its faith unlike anything it has experienced in the previous two millennia. In this new world, all religions must be recognised and acknowledged as legitimate pathways to God. Religious exclusivity, absolutism and dogmatism will be viewed as potential threats to world peace and survival. Hans Kung, director of the Institute of Ecumenical Research at the University of Tubingen, makes this point emphatically in his book, Global Responsibility: In Search of a New World Ethic: "All the religions of the world today have to recognise their share in responsibility for world peace. And therefore one cannot repeat often enough the thesis for which I have found growing acceptance all over the world: there can be no peace among the nations without peace among the religions. In short, there can be no world peace without religious peace."
This view ties up with that of many others in the growing chorus of interfaith scholars. At the 1999 meeting of the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, Dominic Peccould, advisor for socio-religious affairs at the International Labour Office in Geneva, spoke on the topic of "Religion as a Global Phenomenon for the New Millennium." He said: "Fundamentalism is a world-wide threat. The way it has to be countered is to change the view that salvation depends on playing by certain religious rules: everyone is saved."
The prime minister of Spain, Jose Maria Aznar, shared his vision for a new world order that is free form the threat of religious fundamentalism. He said: "Our system of values respects all ideas and beliefs. However, we cannot confuse this respect with conferring legitimacy on fanaticisms that prevent us from living together in a civilised manner. We must all contribute to building a system of peace and security without divisions: a system that is today more feasible than at any time in the past. Combating terrorism demands a stronger global order based upon respect for all beliefs."
At the 2002 annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, religious leaders in attendance expressed their desire to work more closely with their business and political counterparts in the building of a just and equitable world order: "We enthusiastically endorse the project of initiating and continuing dialogue in order to create a framework that integrates leaders of religion, business, politics and civil society. Let us join forces to seize this opportunity."
However, Alan Morrison, who is heading Diakrisis International, a Christian apologetics ministry based in France, made the following observations on this new worldview: "What we have here is world governance and world religion beginning to come together in a common utopian purpose to establish a global order without the Christ of the Bible and without the missionary encumbrance of Christian evangelism. The purported reason behind these gatherings is the establishment of peace on earth, but the real intention is the eradication of the Christian gospel."
Since Christianity is essentially evangelistic, there is bound to be an inevitable conflict between the Christian who takes seriously the claims of Jesus Christ that "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no man comes unto the Father but through Me" (Jn. 14:6) and those who believe that all religions are equally legitimate pathways to God. In a world that is becoming increasingly globalised by the blending together of economies, peoples, laws, cultures, religions and social ethics, these types of dogmatic religious assertions will not be tolerated.
Role of the Dalai Lama
Apart from the multireligious themes which are discussed on an increasing number of international forums, the various leaders of the world religions also emphasise the pivotal role of religion in ensuring peace and harmony on earth. All facts which indicate divisions, irreconcilability and confrontation among religions are concealed in order that all the deceived ones everywhere can link hands for the sake of unity and world peace. As a case study of this false ecumenical process, the role of Tibetan Buddhism will be reviewed. The Dalai Lama and his views on love and compassion are gaining popularity all over the world, including America and Europe. He is the 14th incarnation of the Dalai Lama of Tibet but since 1959 he lived in exile in Dharamsala, India, because he revolted against the Chinese domination of Tibet. He says, among others:"We can reject everything – religion, ideology and learned wisdom, but we cannot afford to lack love and compassion in our lives. That is my true religion and simple faith. There is no need for a temple, a church, a mosque, or a synagogue and no need for a complex philosophy or dogma. My own heart and spirit is the temple. My dogma is love and compassion to all, regardless of who and what they are. As long as we daily live according to these principles, irrespective of whether we believe in Buddha, in God, in any other religion or in no religion at all, there is no doubt that we will be happy."
In spite of his interfaith orientation the Dalai Lama is a committed Buddhist who practices transcendental meditation every morning for two hours. He believes that as the 15th incarnation of the Dalai Lama he will return to continue his struggle from exile for the liberation of Tibet. Since the late 1970’s he has initiated hundreds of thousands of people into the Kalachakra Tantra which is offered as a Buddhist action for world peace and interfaith dialogue. Kalachakra refers to the highest Tibetan god of time, while Tantra refers to the holy text of Tibetan Buddhism. The Kalachakra Tantra is 10th century in origin and the youngest of all Tantra texts. The Lamas regard it as the highest development of all Buddhist systems of thought.
The Kalachakra Tantra is presented as a worthy and exalted contribution to world peace, the co-existence of all living beings, interfaith dialogue, tolerance among nations and races, the equality of genders, ecological consciousness, peace of mind and soul, and the spiritual development and happiness of the next millennium. The Dalai Lama says: “Because we all have to share the small planet earth, we should learn to live in harmony and peace with one another and with nature.” His initiation rites into Kalachakra Tantra take the form of a congregation for world peace which is open to all cultures and religions.
During 2002, and estimated 500 000 people were introduced to the Kalachakra Tantra cult by the Dalai Lama, of whom 400 000 were initiated in India during January. A big meeting, attended by people from many different countries, was held in Graz, Austria, in October 2002, at which those present were also made part of the Kalachakra Tantra movement.
However, researchers have started asking probing questions, like the following, about this Buddhist movement for world peace: Is Kalachakra Tantra and the myth of Shamballa really peaceful? Does it really promote a harmonious society? Does it meaningfully contribute to peace, justice, the equality of genders, religious tolerance and a good relationship among nations? Does it make a comprehensive, democratic and violence-free contribution to world peace?
Apart from Chinese sources, Lamaism (Tibetan Buddhism) and the exile of the 14th Dalai Lama are also subjected to severe criticism by various Western sources. The Tibetan myth is a power syndrome of the Dalai Lama. The presentation of the Kalachakra Tantra as a movement for tolerance and world peace is an extreme example of religious deception. The Dalai Lama is presenting this cult as an interfaith peace movement, and has doubled his efforts to this effect after September 11 when world events increasingly stood in the sign of war. But this kind of opportunism to increase his following in the world, simply does not harmonise with the real meaning of Kalachakra Tantra. The basic implications of this Buddhist text are the following:
1. A commitment to secrecy is enforced upon initiates. No information about Kalachakra Tantra may be revealed to non-members. A curse rests on trespassers to the effect that such a person's head and heart will burst while he suffocates in the deepest hell.
2. In the eight highest rites, things are said which completely contradict the humanistic value system of the Dalai Lama. The Kalachakra Tantra is not pacifistic at all since it propagates a bloody religious war for world domination between Buddhists and non-Buddhists. This aspect is associated with the myth of Shamballa in terms of which members should be willing to serve as Shamballa soldiers.
3. The Kalachakra text explicitly mentions the leaders of the three monotheistic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) as the main adversaries of Buddhism. Among them, the following leaders are singled out and severely discredited: Adam, Enoch, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Mohammed and Mathani Mahdi. The KT text calls them a family of demonic vipers. Because of the anti-Semitic nature of the text, many of the radical anti-Semitic groups in the world accept KT and its propaganda against Jews, Muslims and Christians. The KT also foresees a big war between Muslims and non-Muslims, in which Islam is portrayed as the main adversary of Buddhism.
The two faces of the interfaith movement
From the foregoing review of the interfaith movement as a vehicle to promote world peace, as well as the subsequent review of the final objectives of Tibetan Buddhism to wage a holy war against other religions, it is evident that the interfaith movement has two distinctly different faces. The one is committed to peace and harmony among the various faiths and nations, while the other one is committed to a bloody confrontation aimed at total domination by only one faith. In the end, a clash of religious interests will cause more death and destruction on earth than all the other conflicts put together. The united religions will not bring peace but war. Only a short spell of false peace will prevail on earth before their leader, the Antichrist, exalts himself above the God of heaven and embarks on an international campaign of terror to kill all his political and religious adversaries who refuse to worship and serve him.
The god of this world [Satan] is blinding the minds of all the children of disobedience (2 Cor. 4:4) to unite them for the revelation of the world government and universal messiahship of the Antichrist. The lie is widely spread that all religions worship the same creator God and that all of them proclaim the same message of love, tolerance and mutual acceptance. These false assumptions form the basis of a multireligious ecumenical movement, which is rapidly gaining momentum all over the world. Movements such as the United Religions Initiative and the Parliament for the World's Religions are well known interfaith forums. World bodies such as the United Nations are putting their trust in the ecumenical movement to establish a world brotherhood among all people and to unite humanity in preparation for the inauguration of the new world order.
This Babylonian spirit of linking hands to unite the world is rapidly spreading to all deceived religious leaders in the world. They are paving the way for Revelation 6's rider on the white horse who will appear on the world scene as a bogus prince of peace. In imitation of Christ and His bride (the true church), the Antichrist will also have a bride – the mother of all the false religions. In Revelation 17, she is described as riding the beast. Her name is "Mystery, Babylon the Great, the mother of prostitutes and of the abominations of the earth." She has the blood of the saints on her hands, thereby identifying her as the great adversary of the kingdom of God.
It is a well-known biblical fact that evangelical believers cannot enter into any ecumenical association with non-Christian religions: "What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? … Therefore, come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord" (2 Cor. 6:15-17).
After the coming of the Antichrist, the ecumenical body of false religions will only have 3½ years to reign supreme by uniting the whole world behind the worship of the Antichrist as the universal messiah of all faiths. The Antichrist will then promote himself from the position of world messiah to that of god of this world and demand the unconditional worship of all people. Paul says he will "exalt himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God" (2 Thes. 2:4).
At this point, the second face of the interfaith movement will come into play. It will then be evident that instead of lasting peace the united religions will have set the scene for the greatest confrontation on earth. The ecumenical movement will be the first to be disbanded when the Antichrist institutes the forced worship of himself as God. Revelation 17:16 says: "And the ten horns which you saw on the beast, these will hate the prostitute, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire."
The Antichrist will then mobilise all his followers – those who worship him and received his number on their right hand or foreheads – to await the coming of the true Christ at the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem and fight against Him for supremacy in the world. This will be a clash between two kingdoms – that of God and that of Satan – which will end in a decisive defeat for the Antichrist and the overt establishing of Christ's kingdom on earth. The interfaith movement, therefore, serves a very evil purpose to deceive humanity into joining forces with the coming Antichrist in his war against the true Christ.
That will also be a war between two religions – the only true religion of the Triune God against the alliance of the Antichrist’s false religions. Only the Lord Jesus can bring lasting peace to people’s hearts and to the world. He said: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you” (Jn. 14:27). There is a big difference between Christian peace and the humanistic, multireligious peace of the world.
Have you given your heart and life to the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ, by confessing and forsaking all the sins that separate you from Him? If you are still on the multireligious ways of the world you will not experience true peace of heart. Only the Lord Jesus is our peace and righteousness. He can give you peace that passes all understanding.