Part 3 – Great Nations: Spiritual Foundations

South Koreans praying at Easter Service in Seoul, South Korea

It is interesting that Japan and Germany had been travelling on dangerous paths prior to the Second World War. People had been yearning for a great German nation. Japan was hungry for domination in East and South-East Asia. Their yearning back to greatness gave rise to regimes that indoctrinated an entire generation. What is interesting is what allowed these circumstances to arise?

My hypothesis is that there was likely a spiritual vaccuum in both of these countries. They had made greatness their god. They desired greatness more than anything. They didn’t care how it hurt innocent people. Many millions of people died at the hands of imperialist Japan and Nazi Germany. They either lost or did not have a spiritual foundation to support their societies. The Church grew weak in Germany. There was a spiritual and religious staleness within. Ethics and morality fell by the wayside and it allowed vain pride and desire for greatness overtake the souls of their nations.

A nation without a spiritual foundation will eventually be forgotten. What China lacks today is a strong spiritual foundation. China may be strong and gaining economic strength, but will it last? Its authoritarian government seems to seek to become a god or godlike. Any nation, China included, needs a government with a sense of humility at its core. What if China does become the pre-eminent economic or military powerhouse in 10-20 years? Well, what then? If we learn from history, any nation can fall like Germany and Japan had fallen during the Second World War. It sought greatness as their god.

Today, South Korea has become a rich nation. They have also become a great Christian nation. It is my earnest hope and prayer that China also becomes a Christian nation. Christianity could potentially provide China a spiritual foundation it never truly had. In its past life, it was inundated with Confucianism and Buddhism. This was sort of a spiritual foundation but it was not able to propel China to greatness. These philosophies and religions brought China a certain level of spirituality but the Chinese people eventually lost their way. It eventually became a weak nation that other nations picked on. A portion of the Chinese population fell prey to opium addiction. They lost generations to drug addiction and as a result, it became incapacitated. It allowed Communism to step in and take action against imperialistic intimidation.

Chinese Opium smokers/addicts in early 1900s. Numerous opium dens throughout China.

Hence, the rise of Communism was needed to beef-up its borders. These former religions and philosophies, as good as they were, are limiting. Although Christianity has not yet taken hold of China as it has to the degree like it has in South Korea, they are on their way to becoming a greater nation than it used to be under Buddhism and Confucianism.

Temple in Beijing China

I hope and pray that their turn toward Christ will not falter. I also pray that my father’s motherland of China can become that great nation for Christ that it can potentially become. I believe it can do so with Chinese characteristics. Christianity can bring a humility to its national core that Confucianism and Buddhism could not bring. Christianity can help reinforce a spiritual core that communism cannot. Communism has at its core a requirement to control. It must keep a tight rein on its people through intense big brother tactics. It does not trust individual rights and private property.

I pray that these two nations of South Korea and China will not forfeit the opportunity to build their spiritual heritages as nations that follow Christ. All nations need a spiritual foundation in order to maintain peace in order that prosperity may come. Throughout history, all nations that have become prosperous have acquired the prerequisite for peace—that is, a strong and robust spiritual foundation. Without peace, nations cannot become prosperous. Poverty only results from political instability. In the past, English and American prosperity ensued due to a peaceful environment.

May God also grant peace and prosperity to China, South Korea, and other nations along with a reverence for God.