March 17, 1998
Mergers are making news. Not too long ago, Nova Corporation and TransCanada Pipe Lines announced their plan to unite. This deal could create a huge company with billions in revenues and assets. It would also give them greater power over their competitors.
Not to be outdone, Compaq Computer Corporation plans to take over Digital Equipment Corporation. This will be the biggest acquisition in computer industry history, also giving this larger company an edge over their competition.
Banks are getting in on the act too. The Bank of Montreal and the Royal Bank of Canada announced plans to merge. If this agreement is approved, it will be the largest bank in Canada with enough clout to be considered a world class financial institution. Again, more power.
In the past week, two major pharmaceutical companies also announced their intention to merge. It is unlikely this deal will become reality as this merge would produce a huge monopoly in that market. Governments agree that too much power in the corporate sector is not good. However, intention and motivation are there. And as my friend Gloria would say, “It’s a control thing.”
Some Christians suspect these mergers are an indication that the world will eventually be united under one government and one spiritual and political leader, the Antichrist, who wants to control everything. Whether or not one person will rule the world, forces other than big business do unite to give themselves greater power, particularly in opposition to Christianity.
On that note, the first real “antichrist” merger happened when Jesus was arrested. Luke 23 describes how Pilate tried to pass off making a decision about Jesus by sending him to Herod. When Herod couldn’t get Jesus to perform any “tricks” for him, he sent him back to Pilate to order His death. Verse 12 says, “That day Herod and Pilate became friends—before this they had been enemies.”
Since then, leaders of varying political persuasions have tried to eliminate Christians by joining forces to make laws against faith in Christ. Believers have been persecuted and killed for telling others about their beliefs. Atheists and others joined forces to make sure reading Scripture and saying prayers to God is banned in most schools, even in Canada. Many religious and secular organizations collectively cry for tolerance and fair treatment but will not tolerate the Christian faith. Again, my friend Gloria would say, “It’s a control thing.”
We do have a thing about control. Marriage partners vie for it and seek out others to “take their side.” Children gang up to wrest it from their parents. Students join to take every opportunity to seize it from teachers. We make control a sales feature on everything from cars to breeds of dogs. And if it helps, we will join forces with the most unlikely people in order to have more control over our own lives.
God (are you ready for this?) says this attitude is the very thing that separates us from Him. In short, our penchant for control He calls sin. One of His prophets describes it like this: “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way . . . .”
Apart from Christ and within our own selves, we unite against submission to the authority of God. Our minds say, “I think I am right.” Our emotions say, “I don’t feel like it.” Our wills say, “No one is going to tell me what to do.” Our bodies say, “My own way is far more comfortable.” The resulting merger is that we become our own boss, we turn to our own way.
God says we cannot serve two masters and our self-serving is the essence of sin. Instead, He wants me to pray, “Lord, unite my heart to fear Thy name.” Whenever I insist on being the boss, I declare I do not, and will not, trust God’s sovereign power. Unless I choose otherwise, and again begin believing He wants and knows what is best for me, I become a one-person monopoly.