How Did We Get Here?

For God’s people in exile, there was no question about how that journey came about. They were conquered by a nation from the outside: Babylon. They were taken from the homeland they knew to an unfamiliar place. They were trained in the ways of another culture. As we see the parallels to exile today, it’s odd to think that we are in the same place. Things have changed around us.
In his book, Live No Lies: Resist the Three Enemies That Sabotage Your Peace, John Mark Comer explains three “tectonic shifts in Western culture” that have brought about our current reality. (These are not the three enemies from the book’s title.)
  • The shift from the majority to the minority
    “While 49 percent of millennials and 65 percent of American adults as a whole still identify as ‘Christian’ in national surveys. A recent in-depth analysis by the Barna Group, a Christian think tank, put the number of young adults who are “resilient disciples” at 10 percent.”
  • The shift from a place of honor to a place of shame
    “Walk around the downtown core of any major American city, and just look at the buildings: carved into them is the language of Scripture. The Christian vision so penetrated our nation’s early imagination that it was literally chiseled into the stone of our earliest architecture. That time is a distant memory, if that. Most people today want nothing to do with faith in the public square. The church is seen as part of the problem, not the solution.”
  • The shift from widespread tolerance to a rising hostility
    “A growing number of our secular friends and neighbors think of us not just as weird—because we eschew premarital sex, give away a percentage of our income, and refuse to be held captive by a political party or ideology—but as dangerous. As a threat to secularism’s alternative vision of human flourishing. At the risk of mixing metaphors, the literary motif used by the writers of Scripture for this kind of a cultural experience is that of exile.”
Trying to understand how we got here is a worthwhile exercise, but the key is this. We are here. Since this is our reality, how does God call his people to live in exile? We see the answer in the people we have studied so far. We live faithfully. We work diligently. We practice humility. We honor God above all else. We are loyal to Him. We know that He is sovereign and the source of all power. When we feel alone, we remember that we are together with the family of God.

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