By Rev. Morrie Lawing
We are now living in a post-Christian culture. Just a few generations ago, unwed pregnancy, “living together” and disrespect to parents were no-no’s and a homosexual lifestyle was shameful. By and large, Christian values were the morals of the majority. But, no longer. Today, those who accept evil as good and call good evil are our neighbors, and we are living among them. How are we to live in this evil age, in this Babylon?
“This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: “Build houses and settle down…Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you in exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” (Jeremiah 29:4-7)
As Christians, we are pilgrims who have not yet arrived home to the New Jerusalem. We are people living in Babylon. We may be concerned to know how to personally evangelize our neighbor. Yet it may better serve the cause of Christ—long before we ever say anything— to start by asking: “How am I living in the presence of my neighbor? Do I seek to bless my neighbor? Do I pray for my neighbor?” Do I really love my neighbor as Christ loved me while yet a sinner? Loving and serving my neighbor and seeking the prosperity of my city may be the best groundwork for sharing the gospel. It takes time, effort and sacrifice. Let us pray to the LORD as we love our neighbors paving the way for the gospel seeds to take root in their hearts.
For an amazing example off this kind of living in “Babylon” see Rosaria Butterfield’s books The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert and Openness Unhindered.