Daniel and Babylon; America and Me

Daniel served both God and the king.  He did not step out of the kingdom of the world when he served in the kingdom of God; he merely kept the heart of his religion while serving a godless, pagan king.  Unlike most of Israel, Daniel kept the law and stood up for God in the face of a king who demanded that he be worshipped like God.


To do this Daniel put everything on the line.  At several points in his career men of great power were seeking to have the king put Daniel to death because of Daniel’s obedience to God.  God shut the mouths of lions to protect Daniel.


Daniel’s obedience to God is important and in fact, all of us who have been to church or synagogue have heard great inspiring oratory regarding the faithfulness of Daniel—including how we should strive to be just like him.


What we seldom hear is great inspiring oratory regarding Daniel’s equal faithfulness to the king.  Daniel helped build the kingdom of Babylon.  Nebuchadnezzar made Daniel ruler over the whole province of Babylon and chief prefect over all the wise men of Babylon.  Daniel was at the king’s court.


It is not hard to understand why we seldom hear much about this side of Daniel’s faithfulness.  Here is Daniel, the faithful servant of Jehovah, ruling over one of the most godless kingdoms in the history of the world.  The great whore Babylon, a kingdom that in modern times was headed by the late Saddam Hussein—this is a claim Hussein made himself on numerous occasions.


I am sure there are theologians who will insist that I am missing the point of Daniel’s great life.  I will not argue with them.


My point is simple.  There are those in the Christian community who say we should not be involved in the current elections and political systems because our choices are not godly men.  Daniel did not have any godly choices—except to defy the king and worship God publicly.  He was then promoted.


In his promotion Daniel served the godless king of Babylon—still considered a part of the anti-Christ system by many—and lead the king to a confrontation with God.


I am sure there are those who will not vote for Obama because he is a democrat or a black man.  I am sure there are those who will not vote for McCain because he has a woman on his ticket and they know that a woman’s place is in the home.


To all of those I say that we must serve the king of the universe in the kingdom of this world.  It is not an option; it is a requirement at the very core of Christianity’s nature.  The first century church did not have the luxury of serving in a peaceful environment.  They served in a religious community that used the local government to put them to death, but they served publicly.


Jesus told us to render to Caesar what was Caesar’s and to God what was God’s.  He did not tell us to step out of the world.  He expected his followers to change the world, by being in the world but not of the world.  This means that we are to work within the world systems without becoming immoral like the world systems.  We are not to withdraw to the mountains and hide; we are to be on the front row, taking risks, showing the way to real change.


Obama is right, we do need change.  Where he is wrong is that we do not need change we can believe in, we need to believe in change that matters.  The only change that really matters is change that is eternal and permanent—change that redirects a man or a woman’s life from hopeless to hopeful, on an eternal basis.  Anything less is folly.


It is not change to continue murdering babies in the name of convenience.  It is not change to continue to deny people the right to acknowledge God in public places and at government events.  It is not change that matters to continue to reinforce a world system that denies access to faith based organizations.


Regardless of whether you are a believer in any religion or not you have to admit, like Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, that true religion, when practiced by real believers is a positive thing for a person and a people.


2 Responses to “Daniel and Babylon; America and Me”

  1. 1 Jamie Holts 30 August 2008 at 3:58 pm


    I would like to put a link to your site on my blog roll if you want to do the same for mine. It would be a good way to build up both of our readerships.

    thank you.

  2. 2 Jamie Holts 30 August 2008 at 4:57 pm

    Nice writing style. I look forward to reading more in the future.

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C.S. LEWIS--Mere Christianity; CLAIRE BERLINSKI--Menace in Europe: Why the Continent's Crisis is America's Crisis, Too; BRUCE BAWER--While Europe Slept: How Radical islam is Destroying the West from Within; DAVID LEVERING LEWIS--God's Crucible: Islam and the Making of Europe, 570-1215; THOMAS SCHIRRMACHER--The Persecution of Christians Concerns Us All; PHILIP JENKINS--God's Continent: Christianity, Islam, and Europe's Religious Crisis

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