Echo Chambers and the American Church

My daily reading takes me through four major portions of Scripture each day. One of my Old Testament readings this month has been a journey through Jeremiah. This has ignited my thinking once again into a long process the Lord has taken me through over the past 3 or so years I’ve called “Living in Babylon.” This is something that was a bit dormant in my spirit last year, but it is flaming into fire again this year.

I’ve explored the possibility that I am part of a “Jeremiah Generation” that is simply needing to write things into motion, preach things into motion, and pray things into motion. It won’t be applauded. I am not the only one in this mode. It’s not about “platform” or “audience”. There isn’t one. It’s a time to prepare and in time the Lord will raise up a “Daniel Generation” to take up the words of Jeremiah and call out to God. I reflected on that a bit earlier in my blog.

As the Lord has brought a bit more clarification in my calling in all this, I’ve decided to keep writing. It’s all in the formation stages, but eventually I hope to be brave enough to begin putting more out in writing, podcasts, etc.

My reading today brought me through Jeremiah 28. There is a prophet named Hananiah who “modifies” the doom and gloom predictions of Jeremiah. Who wants Jeremiah around all the time? He has no good news. 

Hananiah comes and modifies the prophecy a little bit. Sure, he declares, Israel will have to go into Babylon for a time, but it won’t be for that long. God will break the yoke of Babylon and bring us back soon. He then breaks a wooden yoke and I can’t help but think if he did that in a Charismatic church service, the place would go nuts. The shofars would come out and people would start blowing the shofars and going into dance routines.

This is the hard part for me because I have never wanted to see myself as some “crazy prophet guy.” But… this word won’t stop rising up in me.

The American Church is headed into its Babylon period. (Thankfully, that’s not my bad news. Others have been saying this more and more.) The word rising in my heart is this: As the American Church, we’re content with the false prophets always saying, “Peace, peace,” or, worse, we’re finding our Hananiah to placate our rebellion. Hananiah was a mixture of bad news followed by good news. We know Jeremiah is all bad news, and it gets tiring. We may also think, “Okay, we may have some correction coming to us… but it’s got to end sooner rather than later… right?”

Enter our own personal Hananiah. Someone who pronounces some bad news (which usually is aimed at “America” and not the American Church), but also follows it up with glorious good news (“This won’t last long”). We are gathering around us folks like Hananiah to help form our echo chambers shutting out Jeremiah.

Yet, when Daniel was raised up by the Lord to take on the next stage of promise for Israel, who aided him? Jeremiah. He picked up Jeremiah’s writing and realized God was about to do something special. It sent Daniel into prayer and the Lord gave Daniel the next steps for Israel’s journey home.

Somehow, friends, we need to reject the Hananiahs of our generation and choke down the words of the Jeremiahs among us. And the Jeremiahs have to keep serving even when the American Church ignores the clear warnings because at some point God will use those words to spur on a generation of Daniels.

This is what stirs in my heart. And it’s increasing.

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