the anti-Babylon

Do you have trouble seeing the Kingdom of God? Have you been in church your whole life, and you still have yet to see any evidence in the real world for this heavenly Kingdom we read so much about in the Bible? You know sometimes we need to see the darkness before we can recognize and appreciate the Light.

That’s why I started this new category called “the anti-Babylon.” Our culture is so steeped in Babylonian thinking that we think it’s normal. We often don’t question it, not even in churches. But the trouble is that it can be really difficult to SEE GOD from Babylon, when Babylon is all you have known.

Take simplicity, for example. Jesus was all about a simple ministry. There was no fanfare, no hours spent at the synagogue preparing for His Sermon on the Mount. He didn’t need millions of dollars, top-quality sound equipment, or a special prayer chamber. He just prayed, and spoke. And He told His disciples to do the same.

Here’s another example — evangelism. “You must have all the answers, you know. You’ve got to understand and be able to give a summary of all 66 books of the Bible, before you even dare to evangelize. Or you need to go to some kind of seminary school to be qualified.” If that’s the case, then I’ll just throw in the towel right now.

But what about all those people who Jesus healed? They COULDN’T WAIT to tell others about what Jesus had done for them! And that’s what evangelism should be. Not this big, puffed up thing, but just telling others what Christ has done for us. Jesus has saved you from something, as surely as He has saved me. He has healed us, changed us. He has freed us from a prison of sin and darkness. I can’t wait to tell you about it!

See the difference? Babylon likes to make things complicated and excessive. Jesus was neither of these things.

So it may be helpful to think of the Kingdom of God as the ultimate anti-Babylon.

8 thoughts on “the anti-Babylon

  1. Hi Anna,
    You say “But the trouble is that it can be really difficult to SEE GOD from Babylon, when Babylon is all you have known”

    That’s exactly the point that needs to be made. The way which she is able to delude.

    This statement reflects a truth revealed throughout scripture. Jeremiah speaks concerning Babylon, which I’m pretty sure applies to our day. The consequence of surrounding oneself with idols is that we are blind, we cannot see and we cannot find our way out.

    I love the following verse because it almost seems as if this verse speaks of me, perhaps, you, and many others in this day.

    Jer 50:4 In those days and at that time, says the Lord, the children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah together; they shall come up weeping as they come and seek the Lord their God [inquiring for and of Him and requiring Him, both by right of necessity and of the promises of God’s Word].

    5They shall ask the way to Zion, with their faces in that direction, saying, Come, let us join ourselves to the Lord in a perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten.

    6My people have been lost sheep; their shepherds have led them astray [to favorite places of idolatry] on mountains [that seduce]. They have gone from [one sin to another] mountain to hill; they have forgotten their [own] resting-place.(B)

    And so held captive amidst the idols of modern day Babylon we too have lost our way. And we must once more return to what you allude to “the simplicity of Christ Jesus”

    Sorry for the long response, as you know this is close to my heart.

    Have you ever read pilgrims progress? Christian falls into a mirey pit referred to as the “slough of despond” and is unable to find his way out until someone shows him. It’s a bit like this really.

    Bless you,
    Tim

    Like

    1. Hi Tim — no need to apologize for your post, as always your thoughts are welcome and insightful. I would have responded sooner but I have been out of town on vacation over the past week.

      I think part of the trouble is that we don’t understand idolatry. I don’t worship statues or at a pagan altar, so it seems like I’m okay. But an idol is just anything that takes the place of God in our time and heart. We have lots of those things unfortunately. I like your point about the consequence of idolatry being spiritual blindness. When we come to Him, weeping as that verse says, knowing what we have done and feeling sorry for it, He will begin to restore our vision.

      I have read Pilgrim’s Progress, quite some time ago. It is a wonderful and inspiring work. I’m sure if I read it again now, it would have even more meaning to me.
      Anna

      Like

  2. Also…I agree with you on this. To me, the spirit of babylon is the tail wagging the dog, it it has totally non spiritual applications.

    First the spiritual. Everyone likes to be helped, and institutions are formed to make helping people more efficient. Than at some point, the needs of the institution become more important than the needs it was created to serve. When disciples of John the Baptist go to Jesus and ask “Are you the Christ” What evidence is offered?

    The disabled are made better, and the wretched are loved. (Mathew 11:2-6)

    Wow. Where’s the theology? Where’s the name dropping? Where’s the PhD in divinity? Late in the NT we read “True religion is taking care of poor mothers and children and not buying the materialist lie.” (James 1:27)

    This is what the early church was founded on: True religion. This is how they become so numerous: they took the extra they had and gave it away to those who had none. The early communion was called a love feast, because it was real feast, often the only one many of the poor had that week.

    And somehow…400 years later this institution was killing people for not belieiving. The tail was wagging the dog.

    But its a human thing that happens in institutions. I wouldn’t so much call it a spirit of Babylon as a spirit of thoughtlessness. You can see it in every country and every institution. In every government and every school board meeting. The goals the institution were created to meet become less important than the institution itself.

    You and I are alike on fighting this.

    Like

    1. Jesus is a great example of how to fight that institutionalized thinking.

      1) He tended to His own spiritual needs first, withdrawing to pray and be alone on a regular basis.
      2) He met regularly and intimately with a small group of people, only 12 of them.
      3) He never lost sight of the big picture.
      4) People were always more important than rules.
      5) Truth was always more important than acceptance.

      With the human thing that happens in institutions, every one of these points becomes reversed. Leaders lose sight of their own needs, larger groups of people become the norm, details crowd out the big picture, procedure is more important than individual people, and acceptance trumps truth. Why are we so driven to this reversal?

      Like

  3. Your two points about knowing the books of the Bible before you evangelize and then about using healing as an evangelistic tool are perfect contrasts.

    How well did the early church know the Bible? When you consider that 90% of the Roman Empire could not read, you see a disconnect right away, right? And then when you remember the OT was on numerous scrolls which were expensive and the NT was not written, you begin to understand the Word meant something a little different to them than us believers today.

    Healing, the other gifts, signs, wonders and miracles are actions that even the hardest atheists can not argue with when it happens to them.

    For instance Malchus’ ear being restored by Jesus when the Lord was arrested, what do you think Malchus thought about the whole incident? I’d guess that Malchus became a believer and maybe his whole family did the same because of the healing. And maybe his neighbors, too. All of this from one healing.

    Like

    1. Today at church I heard a great story from a guy who grew up in a dysfunctional home and didn’t know anything about church until he was 27, sitting in a jail cell, and began thinking about God. When he got out of jail he started going to church and now sees God in just about everything. His enthusiasm and excitement about what Jesus has done for him was undeniable, and he told our whole church about it today. Not a scholar, or a minister, no family church “pedigree.” He just told his story.

      Another man in my church was diagnosed with brain cancer — they found a large orange-sized tumor in his brain just after Christmas. It was stage 4, one of the most malignant types of brain cancer, and after surgery and treatment he is beating all odds and amazing his doctors with great progress. Several weeks ago he stood up in front of our church, talked about how God was healing him and changing his view of life through this trial.

      Powerful stuff.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s