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Four ‘micronations’ you probably haven’t visited: The peril of autonomy and the power of humility

Dr. Jim Denison is the CEO of Denison Forum.
His Daily Article and podcast globally reach over 160,000 subscribers. Dr. Denison guides readers to discern today’s news—biblically. He is the author of multiple books and has taught on the philosophy of religion and apologetics at several seminaries. Prior to launching Denison Forum in 2009, he pastored churches in Texas and Georgia. He holds a Ph.D and a Master of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Jim and his wife, Janet, live in Dallas, Texas. They have two sons and four grandchildren.

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As you’re making your summer travel plans, you might want to consider the Republic of Molossia.

This 11.3 acre “nation” was established in 1977. It includes part of Dayton, Nevada, and two other enclaves in California.

It claims to have its own navy and space program and adds that it has been at war with East Germany (a country that no longer exists) since 1983. Molossians even have their own time zone and currency and are happy to stamp your passport.

According to Travel Trivia, this is just one of several “micronations” you probably haven’t visited.

Another is the Grand Duchy of Westarctica, a micronation formed in Western Antarctica to advance conservation. They claimed a large swath of land that was unclaimed by any country and used it to form a non-profit organization dedicated to “advocacy through occupation” and preservation of their territory.

Nearby stands the Grand Duchy of Flandrensis, a micronation claiming five small islands in Western Antarctica. It was founded in 2008 to raise awareness about the perils of climate change. Citizens hail from over sixty countries worldwide.

If you’re looking for someplace with a more hospitable climate, consider the Principality of Seborga.

This micronation is comprised of a pleasant hilltop village in northern Italy. Residents say the land was unclaimed because a sixteenth-century land sale contract was never properly signed and notarized. Its citizens believe that Seborga is not part of Italy but is its own state, beholden only to their monarch, Prince Marcello I.

Here’s one trait Molossians, Westarcticans, Flandrensians, and Seborgians share: they each claim autonomy from the rest of the world. Their residents create their own laws and culture. They see themselves as members of their uniquely independent nation.

In a sense, we are all attempting to do the same.

The peril of autonomy and the power of humility

John Claypool was one of my favorite preachers and pastors. In his classic work The Preaching Event, he makes this very honest disclosure about himself: “At an exceedingly early age . . . the overwhelming drive of my life became ‘to make it,’ ‘to get ahead,’ ‘to out-achieve all others’ so as to do something about that awful emptiness I sensed at the bottom of my being. This way of living affected me at every level. . . .

“People used to ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, and I was shrewd enough to fashion my answer according to what I thought they wanted to hear. . . . However, in my own heart of hearts, I had my own private fantasy that I never dared to share with anyone. Do you know what it was? I am telling you the gospel truth: I wanted to be president of the world!

“I envisioned the whole human race as a giant pyramid with one place of preeminence at the top. I dreamed of climbing over everybody’s back until at last I got there. Then I knew exactly what I would do. I would look down and say, ‘Now! Now, do I amount to something? Have I at last become a somebody out of my nobodiness?'” (his emphasis).

The path to becoming “a somebody out of my nobodiness” is actually just the opposite.

Jesus taught us: “Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 14:11). Peter added: “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you” (1 Peter 5:6).

Martin Luther was right: “God creates out of nothing. Therefore, until a man is nothing, God can make nothing out of him.”

Every day of his adult life, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones prayed the same prayer: “Lord, keep me from pride.”

Will you make his prayer yours today?

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