I cannot remember ever hearing anyone in the church make a direct connection between our faith and international relations. Probably the closest we ever got was to pray for persecuted Christians in certain countries. (I don’t remember any prayers in church for persecuted Muslims or Hindus.) Later, when I led worship myself, I did think there was a connection, but being specific felt like entering a minefield, cause members of congregations were not keen on their ministers being ‘political’.
And yet outside of church now, Christians as much as any other Australians are concerned about how we should play our relationship with the USA and China. I found myself wondering if being inspired by the life of Jesus has anything to contribute to our dilemma.
Humans Beings and Nation States Want to be ‘the Biggest on the Block’
Recently, I listened to John Mearsheimer, Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago, explain how the USA and China are headed for a battle for power and why Australia should choose to side with the USA or risk the consequences of becoming the enemy of the USA. (You can find his talk on the Radio National website under “Big Ideas” 28th August.) In his view, military power is the most important consideration because survival is the basic human motivation.
Without any sense of judgement, he described his own nation, the USA, as always being ruthless in seizing power. His advice is to accept that nations, like individuals, always want to be the “biggest on the block”.