THE HANDWRITING ON THE WALL IS CHINESE
The famous story in Chapter 5 of the Book of Daniel in the Old Testament tells of a banquet held by the King of Babylon, Belshazzar, during which a magical finger writes mysterious words on the wall: mene, mene, tekel, upharsin.
After a fruitless debate by the king’s advisors over the words’ meaning, the king asks a Jewish captive, Daniel, to translate, who explains the strange words mean counted and counted, weighed and divided:
Meaning that Yaweh, God, has counted and numbered Belshazzar’s kingdom, weighed its balance, and now will bring it to an end by dividing it up among Babylon’s enemies, the Persians and Medes.
This prophecy is said to have taken place in 559 BC. 21 years later, in 538, Cyrus the Great, founder of the Persian Empire, occupied Babylon, ended its independence, and freed the Children of Judah from their captivity. Ever since, “the handwriting on the wall” has been used as an expression of foreboding doom – or of liberation.
Today, the handwriting on our wall is in Chinese. And just like back in 559 BC, there is a huge debate over the correct translation – this time between two factions on the President’s National Security Council.
Those of Faction A are the appeasement squishes detailed over from the State Department, backed up by corporate suits from Wal-Mart and other Fortune 500s desperate to have their making money in China supercede American national security.
Those of Faction B are veteran Cold Warriors who still call it Red China, and see it as irretrievably Communist, the implacably devious enemy of America, which must be contained and resisted at every turn no matter what the cost to America’s economy.
The result is an accommodation of both these factions into the Bush Administration policy of “congagement,” a juggling act with such balls in the air as increasing military ties with India and Japan, polite calls for more democracy in China, and making sure the one-way trade deficit spigot stays cranked open.
But where is Daniel? His voice is only a whisper, but if you stand in the halls of the OEOB – the fabulously ornate Old Executive Office Building adjacent to the White House – you can hear it emanating from a handful of National Security Council offices.
Let’s listen carefully, for these whispers are reaching the ears of the President, who is intrigued by the suggestion of a third alternative to the business squishes and the cold warriors regarding the conundrum of China.
That alternative is Christianity.
Christianity, asserts this small but growing group of Daniels on the NSC, is not only what will convert China from a communist-fascist threat to a non-threatening democracy. Further – and be prepared for this – Chinese Christianity is the only way to save Europe from becoming Eurabia and win the war on Moslem Jihadism.
One year ago, in November 2004, I wrote The Chinese Christian Crusades. If you read this again, you can understand the reasoning of the Chinese Christian Option folks on the NSC. Then take a look at the website the article recommends, Back to Jerusalem. And then reflect on this argument:
There is no way to get rid of China as we did with the Soviet Union. China is on the ascendancy. It is confident, it is assertive, it is gaining immense wealth and power. It is hopelessly counter-productive to attempt to go straight up against it. We must, therefore, use its strength and power to our advantage, deflect it towards a direction that benefits us.
This must also be a direction that would equally benefit China itself, benefit China’s neighbors, all of Asia and the world in general.
“Democracy” cannot by itself perform the religious, soul-transforming passion necessary to turn China away from totalitarian, imperialistic confrontation and towards cooperation with America. Communism, as a secular religion, once provided transforming passion for China and has become the “god that failed.” The new transforming passion that China needs and is ready for is Christianity.
There are already 80 million Christians in China. That number is going to double and quadruple within the next one to two decades. There will be hundreds of millions of Chinese Christians by 2030. China’s future is as a Christian nation.
Only the Chinese have the new-found born-again fervor and passion, the assertive confidence, the money, and the sheer numbers to not only Christianize China, but to re-Christianize Europe with Chinese missionaries, to evangelize Europe’s Moslems, and to compete for souls among Moslems in Islam’s heartlands of the Middle East.
Saudi Arabia claims the right to finance and build Moslem mosques in Christian countries. It’s not going to be long before Chinese Christians demand the right to finance and build Christian Churches in Saudi Arabia.
Ask yourself: what other Christians, from America, Europe, or anywhere else, have the courage to do this?
Now you can see the explicit purpose of President Bush, in his speech at Kyoto, Japan, last week, not just calling for more political freedom in China, but for religious freedom, publicly calling for China to give its citizens “the right to print Bibles without fear of punishment.”
He made this call just days after Chinese courts sentenced a Protestant minister Cai Zhuohua to three years in jail for privately publishing the Bible.
Advocating religious freedom, denouncing religious persecution, is about to become a major theme of American foreign policy towards China. Daniel’s whispers of the Chinese Christian Option will be growing louder in the NSC hallways. Louder because the numbers of Chinese Christians are growing exponentially. Louder because it is the way to best deal with the threat of China that makes the most sense to America’s Christian President.