In the Meantime, Bless Babylon (What Jeremiah 29:11 really means) Part 1 of 2


I mean no disrespect…

…when I say that most of what I’ve ever heard populist preachers say about this verse as a mantra for wealth and health is bogus. I’m not saying that God isn’t interested in our well-being or bank balance, but I don’t think we can justifiably extrapolate automatic “Everything works out for good Christians” from this passage or from the Bible’s message as a whole.

As always, backstory, otherwise known as context, plays a critical interpretive role, nevertheless I’m not going to give it here. For that I refer you to an audio podcast of mine on the subject. What I will do here though is slam down some sound-bytes of my convictions about how to apply this passage…

  • Our own Babylonian exile is to rehabilitate us and reorient us to take our place in the world as redemptive missionaries…
  • God, by leaving us in Babylon (for now), is not trying to “harm” us but help us become the uninfected, yet infectious people he intends us to be…
  • As “aliens and strangers” in this foreign land we have hope and a future in proportion to living into our role as servant subversives
  • Shalom doesn’t come to those who claim it but to those who bring it to Babylon…
  • Some people just want to “get the hell out of Babylon” and others who hope to get the hell out of Babylon
  • God is gonna judge Babylon and take us out of here any day now, so what’s the point of serving Babylonians? Hmmm…
  • The “Hananiah School of Prophets” sanitizes Christianity, reduces the Bible to merely a promise book and defines believers as entitled receivers rather than empowered givers of the goods and the grace of God…
  • The idea that if we have enough faith we’ll conquer Babylon or that Babylon exists to serve us is a narcissistic myth
  • We’re here not just to enjoy Babylon’s benefits. We’re here as heaven’s citizens to work and pray toward a shift in the culture of Babylon and to reach Babylonians… 

So, if you’re interested to know how I arrived at these outlandish ideas you’ll have to listen to the podcast..

2 Replies to “In the Meantime, Bless Babylon (What Jeremiah 29:11 really means) Part 1 of 2”

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