The Great Reset
Is the Church Ready?
Writing on The Great Reset is a risky endeavor. On the one hand you risk being lumped in with the conspiracy theorists, and on the other you risk underselling the real threat to freedom.
The Great Reset and its supporters declare that COVID-19 provides governments with the emergency policies necessary to radically transform the way we live. This not up for debate; the authors do an excellent job ensuring that the optimists of the world understand that “going back to the good ole days” is not an option. (In this article, The Great Reset will refer to the book, while the term Reset will refer to the concepts of the book)
“[The Great Reset] is not a ‘nice-to-have’ but an absolute necessity. . . Some may resist the necessity to engage in it, fearful of the magnitude of the task and hopeful that the sense of urgency will subside and the situation will soon get back to ‘normal’. . .The conviction that today’s world is better than it has ever been, while correct, cannot serve as an excuse for taking comfort in the status quo and failing to fix the many ills that continue to afflict it.”
Schwab, Charles & Thierry Malleret, COVID-19: The Great Reset. (Geneva, Switzerland: Forum Publishing, 2000), 245.
This article is an attempt to thread the needle of apathy and conspiracy to expel ignorance and raise awareness among the readers. This does not require us to be conspiratorial or distracted by fantastical theories on the internet. The ideas laid out in The Great Reset are terrifying enough to usher in a digital dark age, and its authors possess the influence and political power necessary to implement it. “Build back better”, “Reset”, and “fundamentally change the economy”, are all slogans synonymous with the ideas of The Great Reset. In their own words, the only thing that can prevent them from achieving their goal is a citizenry that desires individualism over globalism.
What is the Great Reset?
COVID-19: The Great Reset is a book written by the founder of the World Economic Forum, Klaus Schwab and his colleague, Thierry Malleret. The book was published in June 2020. The World Economic Forum has an annual conference, and this book appears to be a summary of the 2020 conference’s presentations. The book covers a significant amount of content, much more than I can summarize. The Great Reset is not a timeless treasure, but it is an important and influential book for our time. It should be read, but not overanalyzed.
Midway through my seminary education, I was assigned to read Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion. About halfway through, I had produced a sticky-note tab on nearly every other page; the book looked like a small peacock, with each crumpled tab having its own scribbled rebuke. One day, I had the book on my office desk (I worked at the seminary). My professor walked in and picked up the atheistic propaganda. He was a towering man, well over 6 feet tall. In an instant, I found myself hoping for a compliment. What would it be? My attention to detail? My meticulous markings of the sticky-tabs? Maybe we’ll strike up a conversation about my impeccable insights? Pride cometh before the fall, as they say.
“This…” he said, gesturing to the whole book, “is not worth all of this.” and thumbed all my sticky tabs. Humbled, I realized he was correct.
The Great Reset and Propaganda
COVID-19: The Great Reset, like The God Delusion, is a piece of influential propaganda. We read other faiths and atheistic writings to understand those with which we disagree. There are plenty of timeless authors who will challenge or bolster our beliefs. Their works demand and deserve the best of our intellectual effort and attention. They rest on the pillars of time and truth — not on sophistry and iconoclasm that will likely fade from memory after the author’s funeral. The Great Reset does not provide groundbreaking ideas or timeless truths; rather, it provides the reader with insights into a world they are not otherwise privy to: what do some of the most powerful persons in the world believe about technology, healthcare, and government post-pandemic? Their goal is to usher in a “fundamental” change to the global economy and the way nations interact with their citizens. More diversity and inclusion, specifically for minorities and LGBTQ+ groups, climate control, and more visibility into your personal day-to-day life and finances, is a short list of the ways your life could change under their Reset. If they hadn’t put it in a book, it would be hard to believe.
“With the economic emergency responses to the pandemic now in place, the opportunity can be seized to make the kind of institutional changes and policy choices that will put economies on a new path towards a fairer, greener future. The history of radical rethinking in the years following World War II, which included the establishment of the Bretton Woods institutions, the United Nations, the EU and the expansion of welfare states, shows the magnitude of the shifts possible.”
In summary, The Great Reset will capitalize on the pandemic, and implement a regress in all factors of your life: government, culture, healthcare, and economy. This will be accomplished via a technological reset and the implementation of a “global surveillance network” through mobile devices and the Internet of Things (IoT):
“…the containment of the coronavirus pandemic will necessitate a global surveillance network capable of identifying new outbreaks as soon as they arise, laboratories in multiple locations around the world that can rapidly analyzes new viral strains and develop effective treatments, large IT infrastructures so that communities can prepare and react effectively, appropriate and coordinated policy mechanisms to efficiently implement the decisions once they are made and so on…Its effectiveness depends on how well it works as a whole, and it is only as strong as its weakest link.”
Ibid. 34, emphasis mine.
Hope you have your COVID passport; would hate for you to be the “weakest link”.
The Church and the Government
The church and the government share the same object. Man is the necessary and sufficient resource needed to produce governments and religious institutions. No man, no church. No man, no government. He is a spiritual and political animal. His life in one sphere directly affects his life in the other; there is no separating the two from a man’s life. If he is taxed more, he cannot give as much to the church. If he is thrown in jail by his leaders, he cannot worship with his community. Thus, when men make a moral claim about man’s livelihood and his purpose, they make an assertion that the church is not only qualified to evaluate, but obligated to assess and judge.
“[The Great Reset] is ultimately a moral choice about whether to prioritize the qualities of individualism or those that favor the destiny of the community.”
Ibid. 220, emphasis mine.
All moral systems are in peace or conflict with the church. Her representatives are obligated to challenge the government when policies or abuse of power distort God’s will for mankind. The Reset is a collectivist, or communist, framework. Political systems are moral, and The Great Reset is no exception. Communism should be understood in terms of a competing moral system with the church. The Great Reset proposes a moral system, one we can accept or reject.
The Reset seeks to restrict and suppress individualism in favor of the collective; this is a stated goal of communist propagandists. In the introduction to The Black Book of Communism, the introduction’s author affirms that communist systems are moral systems and that the biggest failure of the West is to view it as a product of social processes.
“Even so, a basic problem remains…the premise that Communism can be understood in an aseptic and value-free mode, as the pure product of social process. . . With such fables now consigned to what Trotsky called ‘the ash heap of history,’ perhaps a moral, rather than a social, approach to the Communist phenomenon can yield a truer understanding. . .”
Martin Malia “Forward” in The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression, ed. Mark Kramer (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Press, 1999), x, emphasis mine.
Reading The Great Reset in light of the Black Book of Communism demonstrates the similarities Communism and the Reset share. Both will disrupt God’s purpose for man as a political and spiritual creature. God has endowed government with the sword, but he has not made government his representatives; we Christians, and specifically our Christian pastors, priests, deacons, and elders (or whatever other name you have for “Christian leader”) have an obligation to confront sin wherever it may be found. How is a government to know its God-given boundaries if his clergy remain silent?
The "Political" Christian
The idea that your faith is apolitical or can exist without influencing a nation negates the millions of Christians in other countries that see the Christian faith as the antidote to the political tyranny in their countries. I had the opportunity to participate in a day of prayer and fasting for Christians serving an international ministry. Nearly 200 nations sent in prayer requests for us to pray over, many of their requests asking for revival so that their governments would be reformed to a more free and less totalitarian state. Christians in the prayer group commented that they were surprised at “how political some of the requests were.”
Furthermore, do pastors who remain silent on “political” matters today truly believe that it was virtuous for pastors to remain silent in the wake of policies that instigated famines in Ukraine or the displacement of the Jews in Germany? How are Christians under their care to know what belongs to Cesar and what belongs to God if pastors only talk about God and not about Cesar? Does the church believe that it should stand by idly while politicians lead Christians astray into a dystopian nightmare? Is the church prepared for The Great Reset and its moral impositions? Clergy and their congregants may want to reflect on the meaning of complicity and its role in ushering in hellish governments and oppression.
“The complicity of those who rushed into voluntary servitude has not always been as abstract and theoretical as it may seem. Simple acceptance and/or dissemination of propaganda designed to conceal the truth is invariably a symptom of active complicity.”
Stéphane Courtois “Introduction: The Crimes of Communism” in Black Book of Communism, ed. Mark Kramer (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Press, 1999), 13.
Is the Church Prepared?
The answer is no. Our pastors are cowards, not all of them, but a significant amount of them. For example, where are the church leaders, from any denomination, condemning the actions of Australia, France, and Italy? They are silent, because they fear the recourse that could come from the mainstream labeling them as political. They fear man rather than God. When God’s law (natural or revealed) is violated, the church, specifically her leaders, are to affirm the truth in the face of lies. If a human right comes from God, is not the pastor, as God’s representative, morally obligated to defend that right? If our rights are stripped, do our leaders not have a moral obligation to serve God rather than men and to exercise that right, even if they could be punished for it? This is not an argument that laws should be written by the church. Rather, they are to alert governments and her leaders when they are risking divine condemnation on themselves and their citizenry through the support and execution of unjust laws. The church should see itself as a base camp of spiritual, physical, emotional, and intellectual nourishment for those that refuse to submit to an unjust law. It was, after all, the greatest Christian thinkers of all time that said, “an unjust law is no law at all.”
For a church to prepare, they must read COVID-19: The Great Reset. As I write this, the economy is struggling, supply chains are blocked, immigration is elevated, China is flexing, Afghanistan has fallen to the Taliban, and Vaccination Passports are getting stricter everywhere in the world. All of these scenarios, minus Afghanistan, were predicted by The Great Reset’s authors. If you want to know what kind of future your leaders are attempting to actualize, read the book for yourself. It is the play book for world leaders and compliant constituents, and the leaders appear to be implementing these solutions chapter-by-chapter.
What Should We Do?
So, you read the book. Now what? The church should learn from Joseph and prepare for the future. Regardless of what you think about vaccines and mandates, Schwab and Malleret predict significant shock waves to the economy, which will inevitably hinder the livelihoods of church members and the bottom line of churches. Schwab and company also predict that automation will replace more jobs, i.e., more low-income workers, welfare programs will be expanded, the government will need more control of healthcare and insight into your financial assets so they know their upper and lower limits for the next catastrophe.
I may disagree with Schwab and Malleret on their communist ideas, but I don’t believe they are wrong on the impact their policies will have on the economy. They are obviously brilliant men and know what they are talking about. This is not the kind of book where the authors try to hide the weak points of their arguments. Rather, it is a set of ideas expressed by individuals that know they have the power to implement them, and they are stating exactly how they intend to do it. In their own words, they say this could take “decades” to transform and recover. Indeed, Justin Trudeau announced that his net-zero-emissions plan will be implemented over the course of 30 years. Again, this is not merely a right-wing talking point, it is the “planners” stated consequence of “fundamentally” changing the economy and resetting it. Inflation, supply chains, disruption to the healthcare system, and increased unemployment due to government subsidies will cause significant problems to the stabilization of any economy. There is no “one-size-fits-all” scenario for the church, and ignorance is not a virtue. Acting like things are “normal” or getting back to “normal” is not an option. This is affirmed by common sense as well as Schwab, Malleret, and a cadre of government leaders.
Finally, the church must unite the body of Christ against The Great Reset and its communist agenda. There is no guarantee that The Great Reset will be successful, and the authors acknowledge this. But no matter how the world reveals itself over the coming years, the church must ensure that it regains and exercises its influence. In doing so, it must preach against totalitarian collectives, both secular and puritanical, but also radical individualism.
The Threat of Individualism
My father used to say, “every strength taken to an extreme is a weakness.” Individualism is essential to a thriving and free society, but so is respect for political office and the role God intended government to play in the life of his creation. In Democracy in America, there is a brilliant introduction by a man named Isaac Kramnick. Kramnick highlights Tocqueville’s concerns about a radical individualism:
“[Tocqueville’s] worst fear is that disconnected and docile individuals will apathetically succumb to a despotic tutelary state. In love with property and ‘the enjoyment of the present moment,’ Americans turn from public life and ‘stand independently,’ creating the danger that individuals seeking only their own interest, existing for themselves alone, will leave all common concerns to the government, which if it offers them order and security will be granted more and more power unto omnipotence. Tocqueville conjures up a nightmarish democratic despotism, seemingly mild in its paternal control, but totalitarian in its reach. In this frightening fantasy the state takes over education, which the liberal Tocqueville. . . opposed; it provides for economic wellbeing and manages most commercial affairs, virtually relieving individuals of the need to think for themselves. The horrible prospect comes full circle when self-centered individuals, whose initial abandonment of public affairs ultimately led to the state’s despotism, find themselves isolated and alone, ‘lost in the crowd.’”
Isaac Kramnick “Introduction” in Democracy in America and Two Essays on America trans. Gerald Bevan (London: Penguin Books, 2003), xxxiii-xxxiv.
Those that are optimistic about the future and those that are apathetic about government overreach are both in the wrong. One is grown out of false optimism that says, “things always come back around”. These types of individuals will criticize Russian novels as being depressing and having a bleak outlook towards life; who would want to read that? The other group tends to be selfish and if the radical progressives don’t tread on them, they don’t care whether progressives tread on anyone else.
A New Creation
The Reset is a revolution influencing the most powerful countries and corporations to fundamentally change the economy in a “militaristic style” campaign. These were the words that Prince Charles used during a recent climate summit. This revolutionary rhetoric is only bolstered, and most likely influenced, by The Great Reset and its authors. It is undeniable that these world leaders have a post-pandemic vision, and they don’t care if you, your church, or your family are in it.
Schwab, Malleret, and our western leaders, view the pandemic as a kind of salvific experience for humanity; the pandemic justifies the sacrifice and death of your individualism so the government can resurrect you as a “new creature” and integrate you into the collective state. This may be why they propose that we change BC and AC to “Before COVID” and “After COVID”.
It is true that the Church must not become overly political, as its history dictates. But it must also avoid believing it has no role to play in the influence of culture and, by proxy, politics. The church must understand that abortion and gay marriage are not the only moral categories hijacked by politics. For the church to stand and protect its flock, its leaders must begin to reflect on God’s law, both the natural and the revealed. Let us begin by fearing God rather than man.