The Call to Come Out of Babylon: Living Set Apart in a Culture of Sin
In the eschatological interpretations of biblical texts, particularly in the Book of Revelation, the concept of “Mystery Babylon” has long intrigued theologians and believers. Many interpretations have been proposed regarding the identity of Mystery Babylon, with some suggesting it symbolizes a decadent and corrupt societal system. In contemporary discourse, some have drawn parallels between this imagery and the cultural landscape of modern America. Whether one subscribes to this interpretation or not, the call to “come out of her” holds profound implications for those seeking to live counter-culturally in an age of decadence, sexual deviance, and self-worship.
One notable reference is found in the Book of Revelation, where Babylon is depicted as a symbol of worldly corruption and spiritual rebellion. In this context, believers are urged to dissociate themselves from the sinful systems of the world:
“Then I heard another voice from heaven say: ‘Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues.'” – Revelation 18:4
This passage emphasizes the importance of separating oneself and aligning with God’s Word.
At its core, the exhortation to “come out of her” embodies the idea of separating oneself from the prevailing cultural norms and values that are deemed antithetical to the principles of righteousness and spiritual integrity. For Christians contemplating this directive within the context of contemporary American society, it prompts reflection and discernment about how to practically carry this out.
Living “set apart” from the cultural currents of society involves exchanging worldly pursuits for pursuing Christ and His righteousness.
Practically, coming out of Babylon necessitates intentional lifestyle choices that challenge the prevailing trends. No one better embodied this than Daniel and his friends during their time in Babylon.
When Daniel and his companions were taken into captivity in Babylon, they were offered the king’s food and wine. However, Daniel resolved not to defile himself with these provisions and asked the chief official for permission to eat only vegetables and water.
This decision by Daniel and his friends to refrain from partaking in the king’s food represents their commitment to remain faithful to God and to adhere to the dietary laws outlined in the Torah. By choosing to eat simple and clean foods rather than indulging in the lavish feasts of Babylon, Daniel demonstrated his loyalty to God’s commands.
Spiritually, Daniel’s refusal to eat the decadent foods of Babylon symbolizes his resistance to the worldly temptations and influences that surrounded him. It reflects his determination to maintain his identity as a follower of God and to avoid compromising his beliefs, even in the face of pressure and potential consequences. This act of obedience and faithfulness paved the way for God to bless Daniel and his companions, as they were found to be healthier and wiser than the others who ate the king’s food.
Overall, Daniel’s choice to abstain from the king’s food revealed his commitment to live according to God’s commands rather than conforming to the ways of the world.
For those committed to living set apart, there may be tensions and conflicts with mainstream culture. However, examples such as Daniel or the early Church demonstrate the power of living counter-culturally with courage and conviction.
To come out of Babylon is to heed the prophetic call to be “in the world but not of the world”. It is a declaration of allegiance to a higher Kingdom.
The call to come out of Mystery Babylon resonates with those seeking to live faithfully in an era marked by moral ambiguity and spiritual disillusionment. It challenges us to examine the ways in which we are ensnared by the values of our culture and invites us to embrace a different way of being in the world. Ultimately, it is a call to reclaim our identity as pilgrims and sojourners, as citizens of Heaven, journeying towards a Kingdom that is not of this world.