Gleanings – Lounging in Babylon?

Hebrews 11:13-22

“These died in faith . . . having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on earth.”

Faith in Jesus is meant to bring rest and peace to the believer. But is our faith meant to bring comfort with or complacency about our surroundings? In a number of places we are told how the person of faith is at odds with the world. Are you at odds with the world or as one of my early mentors asked, “are you too at home in Babylon?”

Babylon was the destination of the deported. Babylon had different food, different clothing, different customs, and, more important, different gods and different values. It was a brilliant strategy. Let’s take Jews away from everything that makes them Jewish and then they will become Babylonians and therefore no longer at odds with us. The deportation was meant to subdue.

Brilliant strategy then and it remains a brilliant strategy today. The evil one is inviting us to be too at home in the world over which he rules. And boy is he subtle. He has duped us into believing we live in a Christian nation. If true, then the values around us are Christian.

But surely they aren’t and thus we are meant to be odds with a world ruled by the evil one. Are you at odds? Do you feel the tension? For me the tension is always accentuated by elections. I am a conservative in that I believe one thing we do as Christians is conserve Kingdom values. Personally I do not find that an enduring core value of one party so that party is not an option. And within the only remaining option (at least an influential one) there is a clear struggle between people who stress values and those (who may very well be people of faith) who stress the economy or things pragmatic.  And when cynicism rules (or perhaps just honesty) I am not sure either of the groups is passionate about conserving values, at least not in practice. So who represents me? How do I cast my vote without holding my nose?

Other major distinctions where I feel at odds? Being a grace based person earning a living in a merit based world where people are too often a means to an end. And I am at odds with the world on issues surrounding the sanctity of life.

I am at peace because I am redeemed and my redeemer remains upon the throne. However, I cannot be at peace with a world at odds with God. Can you feel the tension or are you too home at Babylon?

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