A Coming Exodus?

By Dudley Hall Published on November 16, 2016

Is it time for another exodus? Is God setting the stage to deliver His people from another government gone bad? The great Exodus from Egypt is the central event in the Old Testament Scripture. God delivered His people from the oppressive rule of Egypt. Several Hollywood types threatened to leave the country if Donald Trump won the election. It’s hard to tell whether they’ll actually carry through with that, but perhaps another exodus of an entirely different sort may be coming.

I want to explore what would warrant such an exodus in today’s world, what it would look like, when it might take place, and what its effect might be.

What would warrant another exodus?

In short, a departure from our culture’s defining narrative — which is indeed happening. We know that cultures are built around narratives that tell the people “who we are,” “how we got here,” “what is wrong” and “how to fix it.” All moral decisions and ultimately all social structures tend to adhere to this narrative. Today in America, those responsible for sustaining our founding narrative, the one by which our culture was created and has been upheld, have set it aside for another one.

The people want their culture back. They don’t realize the narrative has changed.

Much of Americans’ frustration can be traced to the fact that the people want their culture back, but don’t realize the narrative has changed. At one time it was a story about the creator and His creation, in which humans are given the privilege of managing the earth according to His principles of order. This same creator-God is also a redeeming God who does what is necessary to resolve the conflicts of human failure. This narrative has been replaced by one in which mankind has become the final authority by means of random chance. The ramifications are staggering. When there is no authority above human intellect, human-created governmental structures tend to grow until they begin to define reality and determine individual rights. All other social structures such as family, church and business shrink in liberty and power as they are regulated by a central governing agency. Religious liberty, God-ordained rights, and private property fall under grave threat.

What would such an exodus look like?

I’m not talking about hordes of people packing up and moving out physically. I’m talking about moving out from under the new, false narrative. When the children of Israel made their exodus from Egypt it wasn’t just to another land. It was to freedom and to a better and truer narrative regarding reality. This is what I would expect of another exodus, then, based on the pattern in biblical history and the nature of the gospel narrative.

  1. It will begin with people tired of an oppressive culture.
  2. These people will define themselves not so much by class, race or education as by an overriding story that gives them hope. (Otherwise, they will just be revolutionaries reacting in frustration.)
  3. They will believe in that story enough to die for it.
  4. They will coalesce around the essential tenets of the story and live in an interdependent community where the ramifications of their narrative can be practiced.
  5. Their culture within the national culture will be criticized, marginalized, and sometimes criminalized. They will need each other for survival.
  6. Yet for them the story will have preeminence. It will be prized, preached and practiced until it serves as the basis for all moral decisions and social structures.

Of course the one story that meets these conditions — especially that of being worthy to die for — is the gospel of Jesus Christ.

When will this exodus take place?

Not as long as people are willing to let the new narrative of comfort and convenience — administered either by government, the economy or religions marked by compromise — rule their lives in place of the true gospel narrative. But there is great hope for a real exodus in the not-too-distant future. God is already raising up spokesmen for the original story. Those who have heard in the depths of their hearts the joyful sound of God’s redemption in Christ are tired of the empty materialism and moralism that had demanded center stage for too long.

They want more than a spectator church. They long for community where faith is lived out among broken but confident believers. The seed of God’s word has taken root in them and they earnestly desire to learn and grow in it. They have put up long enough with nice motivational talks, and they are tired of being spiritually anemic. They are ready to demand the bold proclamation of the mighty works of God accomplished through Jesus the Son.

Will the coming exodus result in the preservation of this country?

All I know is that it is our only hope. If we continue to insist upon or permit a society that excludes God as creator and sustainer, we pull the curtain down on this experiment of a democratic republic. Destruction is not a matter of if, but when. A government “of the people” cannot function when controlled by the spirit that works in the children of disobedience. (Ephesians 2:1-2) The salt and light influence of the gospel is essential for any such government to properly function.

What would happen if miraculously a large remnant returned to the original narrative revealed in the gospel?

In a word, it would mean life-giving change for our culture. When we acknowledge God as the source and sovereign Lord of life, we begin to think sanely again. Moral reason returns. We see that God created mankind with a special dignity with unalienable rights that must not be oppressed by any man-made structure. In that light we submit to our assignment of managing creation under His guidance and authority. We define work, worship, recreation, and procreation in light of the truth of His word as interpreted by the gospel.

Virtues like responsibility, accountability and integrity become more valued than bank accounts and titles. Our approach to education changes in the light of the knowledge that wisdom begins with the proper fear of the Lord. Leaders in church, government and business see themselves primarily as servants rather than superiors. Creativity thrives, leading to art that enlivens and ingenuity that provides unexpected solutions.

In short, we reflect the kingdom of God on earth, resulting in more people being truly helped than was ever possible under the existing ineffective structures. The effect will work like leaven through the loaf. There is no promise in scripture that God will save America. There is great promise that God is exalting His Son and those who join Him will not be ashamed. This is the best we can hope for, and I choose to live with that hope in my heart.

If we are tired enough of the oppression, let’s cry out to God. He is already saying, as He said to His people in Revelation 18:4, “Come out of her, My people.” We don’t have to move our address. Just our hearts.

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