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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Japan, China, India

I've blogged before about the notion of making treaties and doing business with people who don't share your values. God warned the Israelites against it in the Old Testament. Mankind has been ignoring that warning ever since.

As an American citizen, I'd like to believe that Washington, DC leaders of our federal government consider these things. But as a Bible-believing Christian, I have to say that sometimes wonder about the wisdom of our nation's choices in commerce.

Japan was a nasty enemy of the U.S. years ago. I've read stories of how they treated prisoners of war. It was beyond atrocious. When I visited a museum in Seoul, South Korea a few years ago, I was intrigued to learn of the atrocities Japan had inflicted on that country as well. In short, the Japanese were savages. No religion and no values. It seemed power was their end - to conquer the world. When the U.S. struck back with atomic power and put them in their place, we neutered their military might ... and they turned to economic power. Japan became one of the largest economies in the world. And the most influential. Mind you, Japan didn't change it's colors. It just changed its game. And we've happily done business with people who don't share our values --- or recognize our God ever since.

Germany nearly destroyed all of Europe. Here's another case where the U.S. had to step in and neutralize a world power to protect the rest of the world from its evil ways. Had the U.S. not intervened, it would seem that all of Europe, at least, would be controlled by Hitler and there would be no Jews alive on earth. When the U.S. struck back and put them in their place, we neutered their military might ... and they turned to economic power. Germany became one of the largest economies in the world. And one of the most influential. Mind you, we don't know if Germany changed its colors ... but we could see that it changed its game. And we've happily done business with people whom we aren't sure share our values ever since.

Along comes China. We have this ingenious plan hatched out of fear that they are amassing military might that we may not be able to put in its place. So we make a treaty with them ahead of time. No conquering here. "Let's be friends." Mind you, China is still communist. They still have forced abortions. They destroy churches and imprison Christians. But we happily do business with them, in extraordinary measures too. In fact there has been a massive transfer of wealth from the U.S. to China in recent years. It didn't change its colors ... but we convinced it to play a different game (at least for now). And we're happily doing business with people who don't share our values - or acknowledge our God.

Then there's India. This one looked pretty innocuous. No wars here. No threat to our global security. In this case - they hatched the plan. India's leaders proved to be perhaps the smartest in the global economy. They lifted themselves up from dire poverty with education, and convinced us to transfer our wealth to them as well. Now India is a Hindu nation, for the most part. Christians are in the minority there (only 2.3% of the population). More than 80% of its people are Hindu and more than 13% are Muslim - both religions which repress religious freedom. Put another way, they kill Christians and close churches. In this case, the government doesn't sanction it (it's not an official Islamic republic). But the largely Hindu government does nothing to prevent it either. Here's another case of people who don't share our values - or acknowledge our God. They've not changed their colors. They just suggested a new game. And we've happily played that game for years now, transferring our wealth to India.

Now don't get me wrong, I love the people of these countries. I have close friends who are German and Indian. I have loved ones living in China. So I have nothing against these people. But I'm remembering that God told the Israelites not to do business with people who wouldn't share their values or acknowledge their God.

Now I expect that someone reading this blog will feel compelled to write and lambaste me for being "anti-Asian" or bigoted against Germans. But not so fast, my friends. I see the exact same dilemma in our cozy relationships with Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and other repressive governments around the world. Quite honestly, it looks as if America is willing to sell our souls to the devil ... if it gets us what we want at the time (i.e., oil, cheap manufacturing, quick profits). Do we really think that transferring our wealth to these countries - by doing business with them - is without consequences? Can we really be that naive?

This week we're watching news reports of Toyota's bad behavior. China is threatening the U.S. fiscal policy and potential imposition of sanctions against us for our freedom fighter ways (which they don't like). We're watching the European economy (union) being driven by Germany. And more American companies die - only to be replaced with Indian, Japanese and Chinese companies. It really makes me wonder if we've thought this all through well enough.

If it was disobedience for the Israelites, what is it for the Americans? If it had dire consequences for the Israelites, what does it have in store for the Americans?

Shouldn't America's foreign policies be tilted strongly in favor of countries and people groups who share our values and acknowledge our God?

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