Genesis 11:1-9 recounts the dispersement of families, tribes, and languages upon the earth. It tells of a people who tried to “reach” God by the building of a great tower. Despite God’s command for them to be “fruitful and multiply” (Gen 9:7) man tried to maintain and establish his own authority by remaining in one place (Gen 11:1-10). As a result, God came down and confused the languages of the people, thereby forcing them to comply with His command to fill the earth and subdue it. Just as a caveat a study note in the Faith Life Study Bible adds,
11:7 let us go down As with 1:26, both exhortations are plural. The plural indicates that God is speaking to the heavenly host (see 1:26 and note; and see v. 1). The text also contains literary puns and wordplay: “let us confuse” is nabelah (from the root, balal; see v. 9), the reverse consonant order of the word used earlier for “bricks” (lebanim). God will reverse their efforts by confusing their language.
What does this have to to with the Evangelical church? The tower of Babel was a defining moment for the people of that day. Perhaps you didn’t catch it but the author kinda drops a clue at the end of verse 9: And from there the Lord dispersed them over the face of all the earth.
Back in Genesis 9:7 God had commanded Noah and his family to disperse and fill the earth. Upon coming to the plain of Shinar the people ceased to obey that command. They began to make plans to actually bring the people together rather than settle all over the earth.
Today, the Church is at its defining crossroads. We have been commanded to preach the gospel. Not that we haven’t been preaching it–in a loose, sort of a way, I suppose. But today, the Evangelical church, by and large has produced its own Tower of Babel in the gospel it proclaims. This gospel has proclaimed to men that are dead in their trespasses and sin (Eph 2:1, Col 2:13) that they may indeed raise their dead souls to life with but a mere prayer.
This man-centered gospel has produced false converts who believe that simply because they have “accepted Jesus” then they are eternally saved.
Scripture makes it abundantly clear that God is the author of salvation from start to finish! (John 6:37, John 6:44, Mat 11:27, Ro 9:16, Rev17:8, Eph 2:8-9).
Perhaps it is not too late for the Church to redeem the lost time it has squandered. Perhaps we can once again, as in centuries past, change, shape, and lead our culture to see the Great King, Jesus the Christ. Perhaps we will abandon our nonsensical efforts of salvation and finally leave it wholly to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.