Broken-down Poetry: come out!


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Thursday, April 17, 2008

come out!

Thanks, everyone, for your responses. Austin, I love your answer (after begging you week after week at Starbucks-ironically enough-I'm glad that you want to save your money, woot!). As for Tom and Paul, I will answer your comments throughout this blog.

So without further ado:

Part 2.5: Jesus wouldn't drink Starbucks.

Who are we worshiping? (Tom, I believe that was your question.) Are we worshiping God or Money? Clearly in Matt. 6 it says it's up to you to choose which one you're going to call Master. So which is it?

We won't answer that quite yet.

* * *

God called us to be set apart; I will say it again and again. We are to be a "holy people," we are God's Bride. We are not supposed to follow the pattern of this world.

"Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you." [Romans 12:2, The Message//Remix]

* * *

In Revelation, John the Revelator describes a mighty empire called Babylon as being like a seductive whore:

"Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great! She has become a home for demons and a haunt for every evil spirit, a haunt for every unclean and detestable bird. For all the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries. The kings of the earth committed adultery with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries." [Rev. 18:2-3]

Her whoring days didn't last long. By verse 9 of Revelation, after the "kings of the earth" committed adultery with Babylon, she ran outta her "goods." Verse 11 and 15 say, "The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her because no one buys their cargoes anymore.... They will say, ‘The fruit you long for is gone from you. All your luxury and splendor have vanished, never to be recovered.' The merchants who sold these things and gained their wealth from her will stand far off, terrified at her torment. They will weep and mourn..."

Notice Babylon's connection with money. Who's suffering from "Babylon's fall?" Are the poor peasants suffering? How about Christians? It doesn't say much about them. The passage does make it clear that the MERCHANTS will suffer and weep and mourn. [And the children of the Slaughtered Lamb will rejoice.]

Notice more from that Revelation passage: "John says that [the Whore of Babylon] is drunk with the blood of the saints. Her wineglass is filled with the blood she has shed throughout the earth-of "saints, prophets, and all who have been killed on the earth"-hers is the cup of empire, slaughter, genocide, and sweatshops. Everyone has grown drunk from the blood, and they stand back and marvel, ‘Who is like Babylon?' Babylon the beautiful. But there are those who do not drink from her cup, who do not grow drunk on the cocktails of culture. Their cup is filled with the blood of the Lamb. It is the cup of the new covenant. The question becomes, From which cup will we toast?" [Claiborne, Shane. Jesus for President, 2008; p.150]

So John the Revelator paints this awful picture of a sex-and-money-hungry Whore of Babylon who entices people to do what? SPEND THEIR MONEY. Not on the poor, of course, but themselves. Sounds familiar if you ask me (hint: "We must keep shopping." George W., post-9/11)

Am I jumping ahead too much?

Consider what Ezek. 16:49 says of good ole Sodom: "She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy."


So what are we supposed to do? I believe that was the great debate. Tithe more? Or, as Tom said, just not hang on to money so tightly? The answer:

"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;" [Rev. 18:4]

"John's language couldn't be clearer: we are to ‘come out' of her, literally to pull ourselves out.... Scholars point out that this is erotic language and that the words John uses are the same ones use for coitus interruptus-to interrupt sexual intercourse before its climax. As John is speaking of this steamy love affair with the empire, he calls the church to ‘pull out of her'-to leave the romance with the world and be wooed by God, to remember our first love [v2:4], to say no to all other lovers. Certainly he made his readers blush. And it's not easy to pull out of a relationship of dependency and romance, of lavish gifts and captivating beauty, especially with a bride as beautiful as Rome or America." [Claiborne, Shane. Jesus for President, 2008; p.150; emphasis added]


Like I said before, in this blog and others, we are supposed to be set apart. We are DIFFERENT. I am a Christian, a "little Christ," a member of the Jesus Liberation Movement, I pledge allegiance to the true Son of God: Jesus Christ.

I am not of this world.

And since we are not of this world-or as Paul says, our "citizenship is in heaven"-we are supposed to not CONFORM to our culture but, (quote it, brothe'!) be TRANSFORMED by the renewing of our minds... etc, etc.

I do not have a solution to this financial issue. Personally, through reading this book (Jesus for President) I feel convicted to STOP buying things and live like Penny* for a year.

*In Donald Miller's Blue Like Jazz, his friend Penny decided to not buy clothing for one whole year.

But, can I do it? Is that what God wants me/needs me to do?

I don't know.

Nor is that the point. I'm here as a messenger. Here's what I've heard, this is what I believe is a problem.


1 comment:

Carmel Mizrachi Wines said...

Carmel Mizrachi Wines...

This is an interesting take on Wine Tasting. Emilio Brings us on a jouney through his Wine Cellar....