Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Babylonish behavior is NOT limited to the Catholic Church

Earlier this week, my day job brought me in contact with a man who introduced himself to me as “Pastor Pete.”
I managed – barely – to refrain from introducing myself to him as “Blogger Bill.”
Why do all clergy and most doctors feel the need to stick a title onto the front of their name?
I can’t answer for doctors, but in the case of the clergy, I’m convinced it’s because they feel just that little bit superior to the rest of us.

In a previous column we discussed whether the exposé, and eventual destruction, of the harlot called Babylon the Great, described in Revelation 17:16, applied to Catholicism only, or even to Christendom only.
The answer to that question lies in the history of ancient Babylon.
The city was started by a character called Nimrod, whom the Bible calls ‘a mighty hunter before the Lord.’ The word translated “before,” in this case, doesn’t mean he was basking in the Lord’s approval. It’s more closely related to the modern slang, ‘In your face!’
History records that his prowess with weapons made him feared. Says Bible commentator Matthew Poole,
“When men were few…and wild beasts abounded, by the hunting and destroying of those beasts he got much reputation and favour with men, who thereby were secured in their dwellings. In confidence hereof, and having this occasion to gather great companies of the youngest and strongest men together to himself, by their help he established a tyranny and absolute power over men in snaring, hunting after, and destroying like beasts all those men who opposed his dominion.”
Aggrandizing himself in this way made him one of the human race’s first kings. After his death, his mother convinced people he was a god.
The inhabitants of Babylon began building a tower whose top would ‘reach the heavens.
(Mormons please note: The intent of the builders was not for them to reach heaven, as your Book of Mormon states on its first page. Smith failed to understand that the tower’s top 'reaching heaven’ was hyperbole. Deuteronomy describes the fearful Israelites saying of the Caananites ‘The cities are great and walled up to heaven;’ (Deuteronomy 1:28) The rest of the sentence in the Tower of Babel account tells us the intent of the builders was actually ‘to make a name for ourselves, and to keep from spreading over the surface of the earth.’)
Because they were defying God’s order to spread out and fill the earth, God stepped in and miraculously changed their common language into multiple languages, so that families woke up unable to speak to their neighbors. A person’s only recourse was to seek out whomever in the city was now speaking his language. Language groups banded together and separated themselves from the others with whom they could not communicate.
Note, however, that God changed only their language. He did not interfere with their thinking in any other way. People have free will, they can believe what they want. Folks who wanted to worship Nimrod could still worship Nimrod (although they may have now called him ‘Marduk’), people who worshiped bulls still worshiped bulls, sun-worshipers still worshiped the sun.
All those scattering groups took all their babylonish beliefs with them.
Seventeen centuries later the city of Babylon, now a massive metropolis, was conquered in one night by the combined armies of the Medes and the Persians. While its hanging gardens were considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, The conquerors could not have failed to notice that there were temples on nearly every corner, dedicated to over 50 different gods.
Is all this ancient history? Does it have any significance for those of us living in the 21st century?
We’ll see, in the conclusion.
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