Superpower relations - a higher view
IN recent weeks the Monitor has carried a number of articles relating to the state of superpower relations. People are naturally concerned when tensions rise or when agreement simply doesn't come on any issue.
While the challenges in this area are clearly immense, there's something infinitely greater we might consider: reality in its deepest, truest sense.
To a common, materialistic viewpoint it seems as though conflict is unending, a cruel and stubborn fact of life. And it seems as though there's not much any of us can do to change certain entrenched ways of thinking. Yet the reality God has established doesn't include intransigent mortals. It isn't characterized by confrontation or cruel oppression. If God is infinite intelligence and pure, unvarying Love, as the Bible indicates He is, His creation is not in constant turmoil but expresses His intelligent, peaceful nature.
What our senses label reality, then, isn't the whole story, or even an accurate one. Rather, it's a mistaken, limited perception of creation. The state of affairs we read about in the news only reflects fluctuating phases of human thought, as significant as these may sometimes be.
When nations are talking to each other and attempting to find common ground, we may feel more at ease - and this is natural, because signs of concord are certainly preferable to signs of provocation. And yet we need to look beyond appearances of the moment to something deeper.
While we can be grateful, then, for every indication of progress, and be alert not to underestimate the threatening nature of superpower conflict, we might well consider international relations from a spiritual standpoint. The more we as individuals, and humanity as a whole, trust in God's supreme government and in His perfect will for man, the more that spiritual reality will become apparent on the human scene. Evil, whatever its form, thrives on our fear of it, and, we might even say, our reverence of it. To the degree, though, that we actively realize the oneness of God and His indestructible goodness - and faithfully worship the one God in every aspect of our lives - the supposed activity of evil must diminish, whether or not we see immediate proof.
Christ Jesus clearly showed this. Weren't his healings of sickness and sin the result of an absolute trust in God as the only power, and an understanding of man as God's blessed offspring? If the Master had given in to evil, feeling it was no use trying to overcome it, he couldn't have done such mighty works.
Before the Master's crucifixion, Pontius Pilate, the governor, said to him, ''Know-est thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee?'' Jesus answered, ''Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above.'' n1 The Master acknowledged God alone as the ultimate authority, not erring mortals. And Paul asserted, ''There is no power but of God.'' n2
n1 John 19:10, 11
n2 Romans 13:1.
This is the issue: Is God's creation spiritual and in perfect order, or is it material and subject to endless conflict and injustice? If the latter, then God is less than God, and we can only hope for the best. But if the former, as Jesus showed, then there is great reason for hope, because the demise of whatever would oppose God and foster conflict is inevitable. The demise of selfishness, hatred, oppression, blind materialism, is inevitable, and no one can prevent it. No mortal or group of mortals can overthrow genuine good. As Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes: ''No mortal mind has the might or right or wisdom to create or to destroy. All is under the control of the one Mind, even God.'' n3
n3 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 544.
''But evil does succeed,'' we may argue. ''People suffer, the world is threatened.'' All the more reason for us to realize in prayer the true nature of creation, the true nature of government, and help bring this reality to light. Paul assures us that ''the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds.'' We are ''casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God.'' n4
n4 II Corinthians 10:4, 5.
God is the governor of man, and whatever opposes His government, whatever denies the intelligent divine reality He has established, must yield. Discerning this truth in prayer, and aligning our very lives with it, we'll gain an assurance about world affairs that transcends appearances - and we'll help, at least to some degree, to promote lasting peace. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Thine is the Kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all. I Chronicles 29:11