Saturday, September 02, 2006

Living in a Modern Day Babylon

I've started Beth Moore's Bible Study on the book of Daniel. When I signed up for the course, I did it because I love her work, not because I knew what the study was about. Sounds nuts, I know, but I enjoy it all so why not just go?

Wow. Is this course going to convict me! Beth compares our world today with that of Babylon. Babylon was a city that " . . . morphs into the current image of what every worldly man and woman wants to be - deserves to be. She is popular. She is desirable. She is intoxicating. And did I say that she is religious? Ah, yes. She is believes in so much of everything that one would be hard-pressed to tell if she believes in anything. To worship self is to worship her. To worship her is to worship her king. She is dressed for success, but underneath her gaud, she is a lifeless mannequin. A fake. A poser. Her prop is the devil himself". Ouch.

I struggle, really struggle, with the material items in our world. Some people are not fazed by "stuff" but I love it. Clothes, plants, books, things for my children, etc. I went shopping yesterday, and I've been fantasizing about the new things out for fall. I know. Everything in moderation. But the thing is that I truly don't need any more stuff. I have plenty and others have little.

We've moved to an area where appearances are important. People visit Walmart in high heels. I'm one of the few who dare to venture out without lipstick on. I glanced at others during the Bible Study this week, and I started to compare, which is never a good thing. "I don't think I fit in" started to creep into my head. "Maybe if I came next week in that skirt I saw at Kohl's I would be more comfortable". All this during a Bible Study. Sad.

My sad mind set is part of what Beth calls friendly captivity. Satan acts like a friend, sympathizes with us, and later betrays us. "Awww Amy. You are new again. You have moved so much and making friends is so hard. Buying a little something to fit in isn't a big deal. Don't worry about tithing this week, buying that food for the food drive, etc. God knows that you are lonely and wants you to have friends, be happy, etc. It's really ok". And the cycle of friendly captivity continues. Another huge ouch. I am the Queen of Rationalizing, justifying all my stuff with little trouble.

The goal of the first part of the study is to become someone who can live in an extravagant, excessive culture without being poisoned by it. Like Babylon, we have become a culture that emphasizes looks, intelligence, popularity, etc. We're living in an excessive, self-centered culture which closely parallels the Babylon motto;" I am and there is none besides me". Isaiah 47:10. Another major ouch because I can see this weaved throughout my life.

Throughout the blogging world, people are starting to take a stand to remove themselves from the modern day Babylon. Owlhaven is doing 30 Days Without, and it's encouraging me to do something similar. Some think it's "drastic", and I would encourage those of you who do to start small. Just becoming aware of others' needs is a huge step in the right direction. I had someone ask me earlier this year "Ummm . . . Where is Rwanda?" Babylon had impenetrable walls, and I believe many of us do as well.

Is today's culture a struggle for you? If so, how do you deal with it? I'd love to know!


Heidi said...

Thanks for your comments on my blog. I've lurked around yours on several occasions.

I agree that it's so easy to let satan get in and encourage. We are being conservative with our 30 days and becomming more aware. Great post, thanks for sharing.

mama's madness said...

Hey! Seems this is the only way I can keep up with your busy life these days! I start my study one week from Tues. and can't wait to start! Miss you guys so! Khaki asked to go play with Jack last week!

amy said...

We are about to get started with adopting from CHina. Just wandered onto your blog..Hope you dont mind