I had never imagined that I would find myself swinging a pickax in the middle of a gravel road. I was literally digging a hole in the road. Even stranger, I was digging to find a rock with an “X” cut into it. In effect, I was digging through a pile of small rocks looking for a particular larger one.
So my task was to swing the pickax at such a way as to strike the surface hard enough to break through its texture of soft cement, but I must not — at all costs — strike the stone we were looking for. The stone we were looking for, with the “X” cut into it, might well have been put there 150 or more previously, and marked a precise point necessary to locate a particular parcel of land.
Should I mark that stone in any way, or worse yet, move it, we would have to find other markers so that we can reestablish this precise position. You see, I was working with the surveyor, and before we can establish the boundaries of the parcel of land we are being paid to locate, we had to have a certain starting point.
Sometimes, markers had been lost or destroyed, and we were forced to use a corner fencepost which bore the signs of long usage, as a landmark. Such practices go back for as long as humans have claimed ownership of land. In fact, the Bible tells us, “Do not move the ancient boundary Which your fathers have set.”(Proverbs 22:8) Sometimes dishonest people have done just that, in order to take land away from the rightful owner.
If the marker was the corner of 1 mile square section, for example, even a slight error could affect dozens of smaller parcels, involving significant costs to reconcile. For this and several other reasons, intentionally moving such a marker is a crime with significant penalties. It is essentially fraud.
Boundaries define and bring order to the land. Babylon brings confusion and disorder. One of the ways we know that we live in Babylon is that Landmarks and boundaries keep changing, moving, or disappearing altogether. Babylon targets anything which brings order and clarity to this world, and substitutes disorder and obscurity.
Just as one example, in America we are told that the Constitution was written more than 200 years ago, by men—and its authors were all male—who could not imagine the times in which we live, and so we can and should largely ignore what they wrote. And deconstruction—which is commonly taught these days —tells that the meaning of any text depends on what the reader perceives, not what the author(s) wrote.
I am not making the argument that the U.S. Constitution is a perfect or even good document, only that it serves as a landmark for our civil government. It may be, and has been amended through a process it describes. If we want to change it we have that right. But there are factions today who simply want to deconstruct it, to move it without going through the formal process.
And many who advocate that are self-designated Christians. Now, the Constitution, like all merely human documents, will pass away. But there is another document, much older, and even further removed from our culture. I am speaking, of course, of the Bible. And since it is a text, it can also be deconstructed.
Its authors were all male, and they took slavery for granted. Every argument used against any ancient document can also be used against the Bible. Once one starts moving landmarks to suit our tastes, nothing is sacred. Once begun, the process is self-perpetuating. The history in Scripture confirms this—for those who still value that old Book. And the Bible is where we find the oldest and most certain of all the landmarks. When we move those, the consequences are grim. But even human set landmarks can bring disorder. Not because such landmarks are perfect, but because many other boundaries depend upon a common starting point.
Moving landmarks brings confusion and disorder in two fundamental ways. Important boundaries are removed, which brings its own disorder and chaos. At the same time, those who are unsettled by the disappearance of important boundaries may come to think that every old fence post or marked rock is a landmark which must be preserved at all costs, which only increases the confusion and disorder.
We did uncover that rock, and took a sighting from it. If we had not found it, we would have had to go back further, to reference points which would help us re-set the missing landmark. But that would have been a difficult, labor-intensive task.
In Babylon, identifying which landmarks are important, which important ones have been moved, is always before us. Re-setting them is essential, but will require fortitude and endurance.