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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Thousands of Babels

The other day I was reading the biblical account of the story of tower of Babel.  At one time, people spoke the same language. They settled in an area and decided to use their skills to build a huge tower. Thier goal and purpose was to build a tower that stretched into the heavens and reached into heaven itself. So, they set out to build the tower of Babel. The story goes on to say that God was not pleased. He scattered them and confused their languages so that no one could understand one another.

I have to be honest, at first, I was confused by the story. I couldn't help but ask the question, "Why would God do something like this?"

So, I asked Him to show me and help me to understand.

During the course of the next few days, I received a book called "Revolution in World Missions" written by a man by the name of K.P. Yohannan

K.P is the founder of Gospel for Asia. In his book, he speaks of his first trip to America. He had spent his entire life in a country where poverty is extreme. He knew the taste of human suffering and hunger. He was in awe at the amount of waste and wealth that he witnessed.

In his book, he describes how he had spoken at a church and was greatly pleased at the love offering he received because the amount of money would go very far in his native country. However, he was amazed that the same church spent more on a single meal than he received during his stay.

He was stunned that on one street corner he would see a huge church structure that cost millions of dollars and directly across the street, there would be yet another church costing close to the same. He noted how very few are preaching the gospel in his homeland and how a single church could be built for a very small amount of money, and contrasted it to the fact that we are spending billions of dollars erecting huge buildings on every corner. He noted the amount of money that was spent on Christian entertainment- the shops, the bookstores, the trinkets, the junk and he couldn't help but think of the suffering back home.

As I was reading this, I felt Christ speak to me..about the Tower of Babel. That is what we are doing today. We are split wide open by denominationalism and many of huge churches are nothing more than symbols of pride. We are building Towers of Babel, falsely believing that we are reaching Heaven, but, in essence, we are only the formidable purveyors of confusion.  We may speak the same language, but we are not in one accord. We have become wasteful, and we can only wonder how angry God must be at our own inventions.

I can't help but think of the men who set out to build the huge tower of Babel.
They, falsely believed that they were doing good, and even believed that their efforts would reach Heaven..Perhaps, they thought they were pleasing God..but, in essence, all they were really doing was building a huge structure of pride. They were devoting their entire lives, including their time and resources to the building. Is that what we are doing when we essentially ignore the needs of the broken and the poor begging at our feet, the K.P Yohannan's of the world, looking for mercy but only finding confusion? What kind of Jesus are we showing them when we ignore their needs and cater to our own? 

This entire post reminds me of an article I read in the not too distant past by a man by the name of Doug Perry.

Doug wrote an article called Bread and Circuses. Certain governments once tried to rule the people and they suceeded by distracting them by filling them with food and providing them with entertainment. The mentality was, that if the people were fat and laughing, then they wouldn't have time to see what was really going on around them.
Doug noticed that many of our churches are feeding us with bread and circus routines. We miss the needs of the poor, the suffering, and the hungry, when we are busy filling our mouths with fellowship and attending church for entertainment. Here's the is worth reading.. and please try nto to take offense.. the goal of the article is to get people to see deeper into what we are doing.

 Before you get angry or offended (which is not my intention) please note that I am not against churches..I am simply against the amount of waste and inefficency and I can see that what many of us are doing is building our own little "stairways to heaven" that often lead nowhere.  I truly feel as if Christ is calling us out of our comfort zones, to extend beyond our borders, and reach into the lives of those who truly need Him. Perhaps, He is calling some of us to look outward.. to the street corners and to the houses of the neighbors we have probably never even met.. to the nursing homes, and food banks..

Here is some interesting thoughts that I copied from :

Genesis 11:1-9

The Tower of Babel - Story Summary:

Up until this point in the Bible, the whole world had one language - one common speech for all people. The people of the earth became skilled in construction and decided to build a city with a tower that would reach to heaven. By building the tower they wanted to make a name for themselves and also prevent their city from being scattered.
God came to see their city and the tower they were building. He perceived their intentions, and in His infinite wisdom, He knew this "stairway to heaven" would only lead the people away from God. He noted the powerful force within their unity of purpose. As a result, God confused their language, causing them to speak different languages so they would not understand each other. By doing this, God thwarted their plans. He also scattered the people of the city all over the face of the earth.

Points of Interest from the Story:

• When God speaks in this story, He uses the phrase, "let us go," referencing the trinity.

• Some scholars believe that this marks the point in history where God divided the earth into separate continents.
• God says in Genesis 11:6, "If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them." (NIV) God realizes that when people are unified in purpose they can accomplish impossible feats, both noble and ignoble. This is why unity in the body of Christ is so important.
• To build, the people used brick instead of stone and tar instead of mortar. They used "man-made" materials, instead of more durable "God-made" materials. The people were building a monument to themselves, to call attention to their own abilities and achievements, instead of giving glory to God.

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