Don't Mix Up Modern Globalization with Global Church Mission, Says Kobia

The head of a global church network said that there is a distinct difference between the global mission of the church and modern globalization.

The Rev. Dr. Samuel Kobia, World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary, explained that modern globalization is “associated with free-market economics and the consumer culture promoted throughout the world by commercial media,” according to WCC. Globalization of the world often is “conveyed and defended by militarized western powers,” promoting “economic and social Darwinism of a dog-eat-dog world.”

On the other hand, the global mission of the church is to spread the good news through evangelism to “all nations and the entirety of God’s earth.”

The general secretary emphasized that the two efforts to globalize should not be confused with one another even if “some colonial empires and other expansionist powers of Europe and North America have claimed to act internationally as agents of Christendom.”

Kobia affirmed that the Gospel, if it is to be shared in the way the Bible intended, cannot be spread by forcing a culture’s values on another culture.

However, western qualities such as freedom as seen through human rights, and advances in technology, economics, social sciences, and productivity and growth should be shared if they are not based on “any single ideology” and are “dedicated to the good of all.”

Kobia delivered his speech last weekend to a crowd of some 200,000 Christians at the 112th Maramon Convention in India, the largest Christian gathering in Asia. The Convention took place Feb. 11-18 and included notable speakers such as Anne Graham Lotz.

The organizer of the gathering, Mar Thoma Evangelical Association, is the mission arm of the WCC member church Mar Thoma Church.