I could make a strong case for why our own US of A easily qualifies as a modern day Babylon. Oppression of the poor, manipulation of world labor and trade markets, human trafficking, and fornication of every flavor exist here just as they did in ancient Rome. I’m not in a position to say who’s worse, but if you have ears to listen it’s not hard to hear how our country is worthy of God’s judgment.
But none of those is what struck me about this passage. What struck me was how Babylon’s luxury was condemned. I had two different conversations today with people who said that the American standard of living is causing us to be isolated from one another. Our demand for luxury and possessions causes us to work more and more, eliminating the time necessary for genuine community. I’ve been thinking that a lot myself lately as I try to squeeze in work, family, church and friends. At the end of each day my energy level is far more exhausted than my task list but my relationships are as sparse as my free time. And yet I saw an ad in a magazine today of a young teen girl comparing iPad images with her dad over the couch with an idyllic Photoshop glow cast over the entire photo. This is our ideal? This is what we value?!?
Perhaps Revelation is right. Maybe it is time for us to step away from our culture before we get sucked in beyond all recognition. What is God calling me to step away from in this crazy possession-obsessed culture? What about you?