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(Part 1 of 3)

  1. The Anti-Babylon Movement

About three decades ago in parts of Nigeria, the United States and the Caribbean, there was a thriving doctrine that upset not a few Christian establishments. For lack of a better adjective, the simple Christian folk who did not have much time for grandiose religious terminologies, especially in Nigeria, simply described the adherents of that doctrine as the ‘Anti-Babylon’ brethren. The doctrine itself they summarised as, ‘Come out from among them.’ The theological outlook of the Anti-Babylon movement subscribed virtually everything under a ‘world system’ that went by the name of Babylon. The serious ‘remnant Christian’ was to be no part of such Babylon-systems, especially the Babylon-church system. That Christian needed to ‘come out from among them.’ It was one zeal stretched too far in certain respects.

The Anti-Babylon movement was very word-based, so it could not be easily flipped off by mere Bible wish or commonplace ‘Sunday School’ passages. One day I found a New Testament breakthrough scripture in 1 Peter 5:13, which went viral in answering the Anti-Babylon creed: “The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son.”

Wow, a church in Babylon? Did Apostle Peter really call it a church, or something else? And its members were elected in no less measure than the holy others outside of ‘Babylon’? Marcus was a son, not a rebel, in Babylon? And from Babylon could come a message of greeting fit to be communicated to the holy rest of us; a greeting that would become a global and eternal message that we would still read today? Wow, one would have wondered what any ‘serious’ Christian was doing “at Babylon”?

If Peter was right, we conjectured, then something must have been lacking in the Anti-Babylon presentation that said one could not be a ‘proper’ ‘end-time’ Christian if they remained ‘in Babylon,’ where ‘Babylon’ especially meant any other Christian worship group, especially the denominational establishments. So, from the New Testament days of Peter, God has had His people also in Babylon, to say nothing of the Old Testament days of Daniel and Ezekiel.

Why have I brought in this story? I came upon a video in which a preacher, with an air of pugnacious triumph, was stating how he had prophesied ahead of the last general elections in Nigeria, as it eventually turned out, that Buhari would be president, even though his prophecy was being challenged by others who claimed they also could hear from God. He seemed to have been suggesting in that edited video that Buhari was a redemptive Cyrus whom God had sent to Nigeria, and that the Christians in Buhari’s government were ...

Continued in part 2:

From The Preacher’s diary,

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