How to Get Your “Babel” On

25 02 2014


Do you know the story?

After the flood, God told Noah, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.” (Genesis 9:1)

We discover, a mere two chapters later, that man had other ideas. They said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.” (Genesis 11:4)

In other words, they disobeyed God.

I’ve heard many reasons for the why of the tower – what it was supposed to do for them. That’s not our focus here.

Instead, I want to consider why this was serious enough that God stepped in and made it impossible for them to communicate with one another.

We find that in verse 6 of the same chapter:

And the Lord said, ‘Indeed, the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they purpose to do will be withheld from them.’ ”

Put another way: Because they worked together, they could accomplish great things.

His plan worked…from that time until the late 1800’s and on, things stayed pretty much the same. General Washington communicated in the same way as King David – by courier on horseback. His transportation was the same, as well.

During the 1900’s, though, something changed.

Language barriers began to be erased and people from differing nations began to work together once again.

Since then, the world has become very different. We have automobiles, electricity, and can converse with someone on the other side of the world in real time…face-to-face, thanks to the computer age.

In addition, the H-bomb, the A-bomb, Weapons of Mass Destruction, genetic manipulation, and a host of other evils were also developed.

The people of the world are uniting once again.

Meanwhile, the body of Christ has become a sadistic mess. We’re busy amputating the parts we don’t like – suspicious of those whose relationship with Jesus Christ looks different from our own.

Please do not misunderstand. This has nothing to do with the religions of the world. I speak of those who have put their trust in the completed work of Jesus Christ in His death and resurrection, who are “born again,” given a new heart, and are in relationship with the Lord…

…the Methodists, the Baptists, the Pentecostals, the non-denominationals, etc.

If your god is anyone other than the God of the Bible,

if your faith is in anyone other than the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation,

this does not apply.

But if you are a child of God, the bride of Christ, a member of His body, then it is to you this post is addressed.

I am as guilty as anyone else of discounting another church’s practices because they do not mirror my own. I’ve been guilty of spiritual “snobbery,” and thrown my fair share of stones at those who do not believe all that I “know” to be “right” about church. In addition, I’ve found myself intimidated by those whose relationship with Jesus seems deeper than my own…and found reasons to throw rocks at them as well.

We’ve become like the civilization after Babel. Unable to understand others, we are suspicious of what they’re doing. There are two areas where we seem to be at greatest odds:

1) How we worship

2) The gifts of the Holy Spirit and what to do with them

However, we agree that Jesus is God, come to earth in the flesh, the atoning sacrifice, whose resurrection brought us victory over sin and death, and that a relationship with Him is eternal life…both now and later.

Yet, we are in the 17th century when it comes to unity…suspicious – prejudiced – against those who are different from us in these two areas.

Do we understand that God’s statement about Babel (‘Indeed, the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they purpose to do will be withheld from them.’), could also be true of His body?

What would happen if the different congregations in just one town were to lay down their arms against one another, choose to let God worry about the differences, and work together in love?

As I’ve considered some of these differences, I’ve had to ask myself: Is it more correct to play it safe and quench the Spirit – or to go all out, and risk being wrong as I step out in faith?

Next to the religious Pharisees of His days on earth, the second group of people whom Jesus showed displeasure were those who lacked faith.

Hebrews 11:6 reads, “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” If I’m erring on the side of caution, afraid to “abuse” the Holy Spirit and His gifts, am I pleasing to the Lord?

Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean jump headlong into whatever others are doing, and check our brain – and discernment – at the door. It does, however, mean that we’re willing to do what we feel led to do – like David dancing before the Lord.

If we lack faith that this or that is of the Lord, then we abstain. For whatever we do, if it is not of faith is sin. (Romans 14:23) Regardless, however, we love the brethren.

In order to love well, I must give up my preconceived ideas about what others’ relationship with the Lord looks like. That’s between them and the Lord. I am called to love them.



Oh, this is not easy to overcome for me! The wrestling match continues, but I want to be an active part of the body of Christ – let go of what I consider to be “proper,” quit worrying about what others are or are not doing and work toward unity. Freedom lies along this path. Fear of other denominations must go. The desire to control what others do in Jesus’ name must be relinquished. He is able to correct anyone who gets off track.

May we, disciples of Jesus, like Babel of old, become one so that nothing that we purpose to do can be withheld from us. We could actually impact our world for good if we determined to know one thing: Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.

It’s time to “Get our Babel on!”




16 responses

2 03 2014
Heather Mertens @ 40YearWanderer

What a great articulation of the state of The Church. There are so many divisions. Cutting each other down. Huge doctrinal differences that are argued over and over. I’m not talking about great respectful needed discussion, I’m talking about how Christians differ in tactic and tone to a degree of even meanness. I’ve been thinking about this for years – having been to many different churches, had many different friends who claimed salvation through Christ in completely different doctrine style churches, and in my research for my 50 person panel Q&A book I’m writing about “God in our lives” – which is exactly why I wrote Open Letter to Christians. We lived in a city once where the different churches did come together often and it is a beautiful thing.
Love your heart and how you write!

3 03 2014

Thanks for taking time to read and comment, Heather! I’ve been trying to wrap my head around loving my Christian brothers and sisters despite our differences.

How am I going to “set them straight” if I don’t critique them…and then deliver my evaluation of their relationship with the Lord? (tongue in cheek – well, sort of!)

The freedom that comes from “just loving” is fantastic, though. Once we’re through this transition, I’m certain that I’ll never want to return to the old way. 🙂

May the children of God move toward unity this year in ways unheard of since the inception of the church in Acts!

Love you,

7 03 2014
Heather Mertens @ 40YearWanderer

Ahhh… Freedom from just loving. Yes!!

8 03 2014

So simple…so obvious…which explains how I missed it all these years. I’m definitely NOT the queen of the obvious! 🙂

I trust this year is going…somewhat…better for you two??
Loved your poem by the way. It looks like it ought to be a song.


8 03 2014
Heather Mertens @ 40YearWanderer

You know what?! I actually have had a desire for many years to write songs. You see that because you love music. You talented gal, you! 🙂

I think it came out like that because I completely felt it coming out of me from God’s Holy Spirit. Singing praises through me. It’s a beautiful thing.

I wish I could tell you 2014 is better in every way, but I can’t. I do appreciate you asking, Sister! I’ve been in a lot of chronic pain, but God is working in me. Should my healing come later rather than sooner then I will praise and share Him inside this thing. The best news is that our daughter is starting college in May – Bachelor of Science in Religion!! We still love our new house! We can’t seem to feel connected here in town or at church though. Still praying God shows us what to do and where to go.

I truly treasure your encouragement through the last year (or more now?!!), Tami. You know I’m no complainer, but things have been challenging and you’ve been a great speaker of comfort into my life.
And so far this year my husband has had no more work accidents! And that’s without a bubble suit!! Lol

10 03 2014

Ha! I knew it. The reason I’ve been sporadic in posts right now is because the Lord is equipping me so I can share what’s been rattling around in my head. There have been entire songs since childhood…just lacked the skills needed to put it in a format that others could hear. I have several that I’m working on right now…entire compositions, not just a melody and some guitar chords…which is EXCITING! Unfortunately, such learning comes in cliffs, and not curves, so my time is largely spend studying. I hope to have a CD ready by November. That’s my goal. Phew!

Life sure comes with crazy twists and turns, doesn’t it? I’m asking Abba to remove your pain sooner – rather than later!

I’ve had my share this last year…given “birth” to more than a dozen gall stones. Sometimes the pain makes everything go black before my eyes. NOT FUN.

I have some of my best conversations with the Lord during those times, oddly enough…and not of the “make this go away” variety, either. Maybe I need to figure out how to talk with Him like that apart from gall stones!

Mostly, it makes me thankful for the day when my body will be perfect and whole. 😉

May the Lord continue to bless your ministry to others, and continue to give you greater revelation of Himself as well.

Blessings to you and yours this day. 🙂


11 03 2014
Heather Mertens @ 40YearWanderer

Oh I pray the same for you Tami! I am thankful we *met* and can wander this beautiful journey together. You do bless me!

27 02 2014
Mel Wild

Awesome. I agree with what can be done if we were actually unified in Christ. And He will do so as believers discover their identity as sons. Paul said that division comes from carnality, from acting like “mere men.” (1 Cor.3:1-4) instead of the new creation in Christ. Christians who act like orphans are divisive. But this unity will only happen by the Spirit (Eph.4:3), and this comes from sonship, walking in the fellowship of the Father’s love (John 17:21-23).

27 02 2014

Thanks for your insight. I’m sifting through life-long beliefs. Many of the things I accepted as truth concerning other churches is being tossed out, and I’m trying to wrap my mind around loving others – and letting God worry about what they’re doing.

Without a relationship with Abba (as opposed to religion), love for one another will not grow, will it? I realized from your comment that this is the key to true transformation.

Personally, it wasn’t until He separated my identity from my ministry, that I could love those whom I previously perceived as a threat to my position, status, etc.It was a painful process, but one I would gladly endure again for the freedom it brings!



26 02 2014
Planting Potatoes

good read….yes, there was a time when the truth was so easy for the world to see…..and that has not changed….just that the world got more complicated! God bless

26 02 2014

Thanks for the comment. May we become simpler in the midst of such complexity, eh? 🙂


26 02 2014

This is meat! Thanks, Tami.

26 02 2014

I feel like a piece of taffy being stretched to the limits!


26 02 2014


25 02 2014
Valerie Rutledge

Oh sister, you are speaking to the church! I know you are a worshiper at heart, as am I. Our praise team is currently reading a book that you may find interesting as well, “Exploring Worship, a practical guide to praise & worship.” We are only into Chapter 2 but already it is opening my eyes about worship, praise and the differences between the two, One little sentence that has been swirling in my mind in regards to how others express their praise: “It is easier to restrain a fanatic than to raise a corpse.” Your post goes right along with what we are exploring in this book. Right on time for me!

25 02 2014

I’m going to check out that book, it sounds good! (Hey, do you ever buy books from They have many new/used books and are very affordable. $1 for this book, $2.48 for shipping.) 😉

One body, one mind, one Lord and Savior. This is our goal.

We have a long, long way to go!


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