You have seen those road signs which point in all directions. Just pick a route and get going. I wonder what would happen if all the sign posts at any given intersection just pointed back to where you have already been. Would you naturally choose to go there? It’s crazy to be driving forward with your eyes fixed on looking in the rear view mirror. Glancing, Okay! Moving forward at a fast rate of speed with eyes fixed on where you just came from, a recipe for disaster.
The Israelites had a problem with that very issue when they were constantly hounding Moses to take them back to Egypt. In 1980, Keith Green released a song that echoes that story: “So You Wanna Go Back To Egypt?”
Stories are interesting. They sometimes provide a flashback of where a character has been, but only to give context to where the character is now and then the story moves forward from scene to scene. This same practice seems to be the thrust of the story of God.
A while back, I read something that had the reverse philosophy. It’s author wanted his denomination to go back, hit reverse right now, and go back to the good old days. When I read this, I smelled “leaks and garlic.”
I tried to read around what seemed to be intentional statements that seemed to me were written to give the email author some kind of authority to make the suggestion he was making. He even used some metaphors from the group’s founder, which appeared to me as an attempt to make a clearer connection to his perceived present authority. No regard was given for the context of the figures of speech which are often used to spin a certain point of view. It was like I was reading a fragment of Scripture (Bible verse) whose intent was to prove the author’s point.
I wondered: What if what God did, in the author’s denomination many years ago, was what God wanted to do then? Is it possible that God might just want to do something different now? I would hope so, or we are perpetually riding a merry-go-round, going round and round but getting nowhere. I wondered: Why is there such a propensity to want to go backwards, thinking that therein lies the real thing? What if we learned to live a vibrant life as agents of the kingdom now, today, without the constant desire to go back to how the kingdom was previously expressed. It’s as if the author wanted his denomination to be frozen in a certain time frame.Is it possible that God might just want to do something different now?
I believe that any founder of a denomination still alive today, he/she would have serious problems with wanting to revisit exactly what God did through him/her in today’s present culture. If any denomination could learn anything from its past adventures, it should be that a group has to listen to the culture, form its message for that culture, and deliver the appropriate message to that culture. In my opinion, we should not be constantly looking in the rear view mirror and calling all leaders to look in the rear view mirror as a way in which to reach our present culture.
So You Wanna Go Back To Egypt? Why?