Babylonian Faith ~ A ... Foot Soldiers for Babylon
'Babylon' springs (lurches?) into Biblical pre-history in Genesis 10. The post-flood world is settling and God is yet again ignored, disobeyed and forgotten. The team of mankind conspire to reach heaven in their might, independent of God they raise a tower to heaven. Babylon is both grossly indulgent and unsubmissive to God. God acts with immediacy and frustrates all their efforts. The people of Babylon are then dispersed worldwide, which was God's original intention.
It is no longer simply located at the junction of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Wherever humans live without the Lord, Babylon is present. At the end of the world in Revelation 18, Babylon is destroyed.
The tale of the Christian’s life, their sojourn upon earth is a trip through Babylon. The Bible is God's counsel for how men are to journey through Babylon. The only correct manner of travel is by faith.
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. (Hebs 11:1)
Faith is the steering wheel the disciple grips to point them home. Faith peers through life's windscreen into the unseen. Headlights blare through the darkness for a brief distance, but the darkness is far deeper than any halogen bulbs can penetrate. At intervals the headlights illumine streets of mansions or hustling malls, all with the same inviting street name - Turn Here.
Faith always looks into the unknown and therefore unseen as it steers down the knowledge-sealed roads of tar that criss-cross Babylon.
Since Eden (well before Babylon ever rose) the Tree of Knowledge has always challenged and then denied the Tree of Life.
Western Christians are taught 'faith' from the Tree of Knowledge. The extent of this is so broad it is now without measure. 'Knowledge' is now equated, even exchanged for 'faith'.
Foot Soldiers for Babylon
To mix the travelling metaphor, the Tree of Knowledge has successfully created diligent Christians into unwitting foot soldiers for Babylon. These western Christians march blindly to the glow that Babylon softly radiates. They traipse blinded to the things of the Lord, while being alert to the lure of bright lights.
To my mind the Tree of Knowledge and Babylon are almost synonymous, for both live in an independent pride, denying true good and feeding true evil. They promise that faith is as insecure as vapor, merely a wisp rising from a weak imagination.
A striking picture of Babylon is captured in Revelation 18 of her destruction. Babylon is the self-sufficient city without God, resplendent in pride. Fame and merchants worship at her gates.
In her (Babylon) heart she boasts ~ I sit as queen; I am not a widow, and I will never mourn. (Rev 18:7b)
Babylonian faith is a faith at rest and guided by the merchants. Babylonian faith has arms linked to the worldly wise. But to the disciple's of Jesus Babylon is to be greatly feared. The thinking and values of Babylon are opposed to the thinking and values of Jerusalem.
Jesus' disciples in Babylon look like the disciples of a self-styled western Jesus.
Jesus' disciples in Babylon look like the disciples of a self-styled western Jesus. These disciples count little cost, they wear Windsor Smiths and enjoy the luxuries Babylon so freely seduces with. At best Babylonian faith is calm and it fails to heed the whispered pleas of heaven.
Of Bling & Baubles
Babylon slices the disciple's heart and flattens his faith with its bling and baubles. This division weakens, and the strength of faith is lost. In fact Babylon feeds the head but starves the heart. Those who eat at Babylon's tables are rarely served the fruit of righteousness, or are even aware of its existence. Little can they distinguish good from evil.
As the now pale merchants witness the holocaust in Revelation 18 that is to become Babylon, they can only lament for lost enterprise, wealth that is now in ruin. Consumed by their avarice, no thought at all is given to the countless tortured souls, the absence of righteousness, and the reality of judgement they too must soon face. The merchants see the end of money, but are witless to their end and the end of the world.
They will weep and mourn and cry out: Woe! Woe, O great city... in one hour, such great wealth has been brought to ruin. (Rev 18:16-17)
Babylon has becalmed western Christian faith through its lies about learning, borrowing, titles, luxury and prosperity. Western Christians feed on facts and ignore faith. These are no more than a first class ticket to the fireside upon the Titanic.
But from the heavens a mighty voice interrupts the judgement of Babylon to muster the disciples of Jesus:
Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins... (and judgements) - Rev 18:4)
Yet to leave Babylon is to hear its fearful threats and be advised that this is impossible to do. In fact Babylon deceitfully promises to those who remain, they will be rewarded. And so as with the Israelites in 522BC countless Christians will remain.
A faith at ease is a faith with disease.
Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” (Matt 8:20)
True Christians must still live and travel across Babylon, but their dark (and often lonely) drive will always be forward to Jerusalem.