Word of the Week: Transcendence

America's light on the hill is going out- part 1

In Matthew 5:14, Jesus tells his listeners, "You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden." In John Winthrop's 1630 sermon "A Model of Christian Charity", Winthrop told the future Massachusetts Bay colonists (Puritans) that their new community would be a "city upon a hill", watched by the world. Winthrop's sermon and subsequent likening of America to that city upon a hill, gave rise to the firm and generational belief in Americans that the USA is God's country because metaphorically it is a Shining City upon a Hill, an early example of American exceptionalism. Or rather, it was.

In last Saturday's Prophecy Newsletter (email me to sign up) I spent a good deal of time in the opening segment setting a context for the decline of America's hegemony (influence). I defined hegemony, and I spent noted the fact of it happening and the possible outcomes of such a decline. It was a prescient piece. Today in the Financial Times of London, a similar article appeared. Here is part of what I wrote in the Newsletter about hegemony, and in the next part of the blog entry (Part 2) I'll offer excerpts of the Financial Times' analysis of the global economy on a precipice with America's decline, the Orient in prophecy, and I'll also share some astounding news about the rise of China, in America.

-------------America's Hegemony and Decline------------


Wikipedia does a decent job of defining hegemony. "Hegemony is the political, economic, ideological or cultural power exerted by a dominant group over other groups. It requires the consent of the majority to keep the dominant group's leader in power. The term is often mistakenly used to suggest brute power or dominance, when it is better defined as emphasizing how control is achieved through consensus, not force. ... hegemony describes one state's predominance over other states."

It can be said that America has wielded --

--political hegemony, diplomatic influence to determine a course of action. America has been the singular hegemonic influence of the Middle East peace process since 1948 but that hegemony is almost gone now. The US wields almost no influence in diplomatic arenas any more.

--cultural hegemony, "the imposition of its way of life, i.e. its language and bureaucracies (social, economic, educational, governing). When the Coke logo shows up on pygmy men's tee shirts in interior Papua New Guinea jungle, you know the hegemonic influence is complete.

--sociological hegemony: The US's version of English is known and used worldwide, in many cases as a default language. An example would be aviation, in which the default language worldwide is English. All air traffic controllers speak English on the job. In English is the lingua franca in Europe's business landscape, firmly entrenched nearly everywhere as the international language of business, finance, and technology.

For decades, for all of my generation and perhaps the one before, the world bowed to the American brand. America's hegemony was understood to be the default condition in all spheres of life, including cultural, geographic, sociological, diplomatic, technological, economic and financial. America was it! Capitalism and liberal democracy swept the world, if not in fact at least in ideals. However, since the economic crash of 2008, we begin to see a post-American world in which the US is no longer the world's only superpower. In this 2008 article asking the question of whether America's hegemony in economics and finance will be crushed by the 2008 crash, "The critical point here, and the one which could bear significant consequences, is the existence, within the US economy, of structural weaknesses that enhance the current distress and limit the scope for future policy action."

Yes, policy action over the last three years has been stymied by our decline in influence. So the answer to that question from 2008, is yes.

In this article from Global Geographic Times, 2009, by Zhang Wei, the statement is made in the headline: "For Humanity's Sake, Put an End to Western Hegemony". "Some Westerners believe that human history will eventually fall completely into a Western pattern and that in the future, the West will unquestionably lead the world. The truth is that any religion, theory, or ideology - including democracy and market capitalism - once it's pushed to the extreme and regarded as fundamental to all else, triggers an irrational response by its followers. The outcome of this is never good, and is often crushing defeat. That is the position the West confronts today, with the plight of the Iraq War, the failure of the "color revolutions" and the financial tsunami. How can world history possibly end up following the Western model? Developing countries that choose to imitate the West have seen almost all their attempts fail. The world's peoples continue to explore and test alternatives to development, and humanity's exploration of the political future is far from exhausted.  "Western civilization has arrived at a crossroads. One road leads to a resentment of the world, aggression, indifference, neo-conservatism and violent liberalism. And the other road ... to the building up of oneself through diligent striving, optimism, rationality, sympathy, equality, and a coherent, mutually-affirming society." It so happens that this other road coincides with the idea of the "harmonious middle way" advocated by the Chinese."

We ARE at a crossroads. It so happens that this crossroad is coming into view at the end of the Church Age, but it is still a crossroad nonetheless. America's hegemony in all the arenas mentioned above is declining, as the Chinese model rises. As the world realizes that the Western model is failing, they will explore others that suit, including not only the Chinese 'harmonious middle way' but the Muslim jihadi way, and perhaps once again flirt with the Iron Curtain Communistic/Marxist way. As vultures and jackals circle a wounded tiger, so the nations who have either enjoyed America's hegemony or have hated it, are now ready to pounce, stripping influence from our spheres and ripping it to pieces until only white bones are left, the meat picked clean. America is wounded, and it is my opinion that this trajectory will result in a bleached, bony carcass in the Tribulation. The results of our decline in influence will have devastating effects on the world.

The most obvious effect of our loss of influence is in the diplomatic arena and also perhaps by association, military, is that we can no longer protect Israel to the extent that we once did, even if our current occupant of the Oval Office would want to. (And it seems he does not want to, in my opinion). It is no sure thing that America's influence of other UN Security Council permanent members against a Palestinian State, coming up in the  July-Aug time-frame, will yield any "NO" votes at all. It is obvious that our influence as a Quartet member in direct peace talks has vaporized, along with respected George Mitchell, who resigned.  Once the loss of strength is deemed to exist in the American will and execution of military force to protect our Israeli ally, then the jackals will pounce. They are circling already.

In February of this year, the voice of the Muslim Brotherhood Youssef al-Qaradawi, the Muslim televangelist whose program Sharia and Life has been the no.1 hit on Al Jazeera for the past fifteen years "Calls for Establishing a United Muslim Nations". Qaradawi said "establishing a United Muslim Nations is the only alternative to the hegemony of the West."

Solomon was the richest king, wisest priest, and much loved by God. His kingdom was influential and the envy of all around. It lasted 40 years, falling from its seeming permanent pinnacle to a divided land under his son. At the end of his life, Solomon wrote about the folly of earthly grasping, and wise once again but only because of the pain of wrong choices and advanced years of bitter experience, noted that-
"To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven" (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

America is wonderful and I love it. But America is not my church- I do not worship it. My residence is not this country. It is in New Jerusalem, where He has been preparing a place for me. It is time for us to get used to the sad fact that America's season, long and glorious though it was, has fulfilled and is finally ending its purpose under heaven. It is time for others to rise now, to be used in all His purposes for bringing about the end of days. The Kings of the East are restless...He is raising them up even as America sinks. Rather than bemoan the fact that America's hegemony is in severe decline, I praise Him that we were used at all for a Godly purpose, "He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.' (Ecc 3:11). Friends, glory in His work, do not grasp for a temporary nation under God on a dying earth. "Better a handful with quietness Than both hands full, together
with toil and grasping for the wind." Ecc 4:6


  1. I'm in agreement with you: I love America, but it's been both breaking mt heart and making me sick to see how Americans, in some cases, have turned to IDOLATROUS patriotism. Thos is not our home.


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