On July 1, another major component of the One World Government described in the Bible, was put into place. The International Criminal Court came into existence to investigate and prosecute crimes of genocide, war crimes and "gross human rights abuses."
The ICC is the result of a 1998 United Nations treaty calling for the establishment of such a world court. Such treaties are drawn up by the UN and individual nations sign the treaty agreeing to its conditions. Other such treaties deal with rights of children and women, economic development, the environment, terrorism, genocide, etc.
Once a treaty is drawn up, UN member nations sign the treaty and then start a process to ratify it by implementing the treaty requirements in the laws of the individual country. When ratified, the terms of the treaty become binding on the citizens of that country even if it contradicts a national law.
This is where President Bush dug in his heels against the ICC, pointing out that members of our armed forces could be charged with violations of the laws of the ICC and tried without the due process and trial by jury guaranteed by our U.S. Constitution.
Indeed, one of the "war crimes" is the killing of civilians during war. By that, the pilots who accidentally bombed the Afghan village recently could be prosecuted by the ICC.
Besides the general threat to U.S. citizens, there is a specific concern for Bible-believing soul winners. In the genocide treaty, it is an international crime to cause mental harm to anyone of a particular national, ethnical, racial or religious group.
Such harm may be to "one or more persons" and be "intended to destroy, in whole or in part, that...group." The criminal conduct must take place "...in the context of a manifest pattern of similar conduct directed against the group..."
Enforcement of this "crime" could easily eliminate proselytizing (soul winning). Someone has said that the truth will set you free but it may make you very miserable first. To obey the great commission, a soul winner must present the truth to a Roman Catholic, or Orthodox, or Muslim, that they are sinners trusting in the wrong god.
To tell them that they need to trust only in Jesus for salvation, this could easily be construed as "mental harm" to a person of a "religious group. And if all Roman Catholics got saved, that religious group would be "destroyed." If just one got saved, then part of the group would be "destroyed."
Also, winning that soul would be "in the context of a...pattern...directed against the group" since all soul winners would have the same goal, to get everyone in the group saved.
Thus the danger of this new court becomes obvious. Of course, it is unlikely that we will see a Bible believer hauled out of Texas to stand trial before the ICC judges. President Bush has expressed strong objections to the treaty and Congress has not made haste to ratify it.
But if, for example, an Orthodox church official in Russia objected to the "proselytizing" by a local soul winner, or even an American missionary, he could conceivably demand that the ICC investigate and prosecute him.
First, we need to contact President Bush's office and our Congressmen and encourage them to stand firm against ratification of this dangerous treaty. Then we need to redouble our efforts to get the gospel to as many as we can while we can. "The night cometh when no man can work."