Pages

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Whore of Babylon

One of Candy's more adamant Catholic -church bashers was Rachel who left this comment.

Roman Catholicism is the Great Whore. The Bible describes the church of Rome as a garishly dressed harlot with a chalice full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication, because she adopted many pagan customs to seduce her followers into spiritual adultery. This has been the near universal understanding of God's true saints for 2000 years. But she is not alone, for the churches of the Protestant Reformation are her harlot daughters by retaining many of her sacramental and liturgical corruptions (Dan 7:1-28; II Thess 2:3-12; I Tim 4:1-3; Rev 13:1-18; 17:1-18; 18:1-24; 19:1-4).




I got to thinking about the phrase "Whore of Babylon" and decided to do some reading. I found this information over at ETWN -Whore of Babylon written by Colin Donovan, STL
(Colin B. Donovan, STL is Vice President for Theology at EWTN. A layman, he has the Licentiate in Sacred Theology)


Judging by the criteria of biblical fundamentalism (literal words literally
understood) it is certain that there is no mention of the Catholic Church in the
book of Revelation as the Whore of Babylon.
By contortions of interpretation
(not biblical literalism) some groups and individuals equate the Whore in
Revelation 17:9 with the Catholic Church since Rome is the famous city of seven
hills and the Church's principal See is Rome. This position is untenable, both
factually and from the only words of Scripture which tell us of the actual
doctrine of the Antichrist, those of the apostle John in his letters
.

There would seem to be two choices, either interpret Rev 17:9 absolutely
literally or according to some interpretive key that is metaphorical,
allegorical or otherwise non-literal. Lets look first at literal interpretation.

"The seven heads represent seven hills on which the woman sits." First
of all, no Pope has ever lived or had his "seat" (cathedra or cathedral) on any
of the seven hills of Rome.
These hills are small hillocks (Capitoline,
Palatine, Esquiline, Aventine and three lesser "bumps" in central Rome) where
the religion and government of pagan Rome was situated. The Catholic Church's
headquarters at the Lateran (the cathedral) and at the Vatican (where the Pope
lives) does not coincide with them.
At the time that John wrote Revelation the
Christians of Rome lived mostly in Trastevere (trans Tiber), a district "across
the Tiber" from the City and adjacent to the Vatican hill where St. Peter was
crucified and buried. The Vatican is on top of that burial site
and is today its
own city-state distinct from Rome and Italy.

So, of what was St. John
speaking when he wrote Revelation on the island of Patmos around 96 AD?
Obviously of the pagan imperial system situated on the Seven Hills, especially
the Capitoline
(the religious and political center) and the Palatine (the
imperial palace). This pagan power persecuted the Church of Rome in Nero's day
(64-67 AD), and in the mid-90s under Domitian was persecuting Christians
throughout the Roman world. Domitian was considered by the people a
re-incarnation of the evil, but well-liked, Nero (the head that lives again).
While the antichrist Nero persecuted only the Christians of Rome, Domitian
extended that persecution throughout the empire. Both are thus types of the
final persecutor, the Antichrist.

Why the cryptic name Babylon? First,
the historical Babylon was the pagan power which persecuted the People of God,
the Jews, between 610 and 538 BC, destroying the Temple and dispersing the
people. The Romans inherited that mantle of infamy when they destroyed the
Temple in 70 AD, and, more importantly, persecuted the new People of God, the
Church. Thus, St. Peter, writing from Rome refers to as "Babylon" (1 Pt. 5:13) -
a name any Jew or Christian familiar with the Old Testament would know.


How does this relate to the Antichrist? The future Antichrist will be a
world-wide power, essentially pagan, which will persecute the Catholic Church
(and orthodox Christians in general) everywhere, as the Babylonians persecuted
the Jews and 1st century Rome the Church. These are biblical types! The Babylon
of John's day, Rome, stands for the kingdom of the future Antichrist and is no
more likely to be situated in Italy than Rome needed to be situated in Babylonia
(modern Iraq). John was informing his readers of these prophetic types by
drawing their attention to the contemporary fulfillment they found in pagan
Rome. The Antichrist will come out of the Christian world (Greco-Roman
civilization) to be sure (1 John 2:19), but America is as much an inheritor of
that civilization as Europe and just as likely to be the source of the
Antichrist.

Finally, after distorting the text and history to read what
they want into the Bible, and thereby obtaining God's "blessing" on their hatred of the Catholic Church, some "Christians" ignore the only texts of Scripture which tells us about the religious leanings of the Antichrist.
The Catholic faith being a religion you would think they would see what it teaches on the only criteria the Bible actually gives about the Antichrist. In St. John's
letters (1 John 4, 2 John 1), he tells us that the spirit of the Antichrist
denies the Incarnation (the Son of God becoming man) and thereby also the
Trinity (the Father and the Spirit, too). This is the spirit of the Antichrist
.
There is not a single text in 2000 years, including the new Catechism of the
Catholic Church, where the Catholic Church, her popes, her bishops, her official
teachings, her saints, or her acknowledged ecclesiastical authors, deny the
Word-made-flesh or the Blessed Trinity. Instead, all of Christianity owes the
preservation of these Truths to the Catholic Church, whose great Councils
formulated them and whose saints and popes have defended them to this day, often
at the cost of martyrdom
. The present pope, John Paul II, has written three
great encyclical (circular) letters on the Trinity, one for each Divine Person,
and he has without a doubt preached Jesus Christ to more people than any other
person in human history. The Catholic Church does not have the spirit of the
Antichrist but of God, since no one without the Spirit can say "Jesus is Lord"
(1 Cor. 12:3), something the Church and Catholics always have done and continue
to do!

16 comments:

kitkat said...

If I may, I would like to recommend that folks read "Rapture: The End Times Error that leaves the Bible Behind" by David Currie. He has a great section in this very long book about why the Catholic Church is NOT the Whore of Babylon and exactly who is. (Actually who it was, as the book uses scripture and good 'ol history lessons to explore the prophecies in Daniel and Revelations.) Great book! Too much stuff in it for me to be able to abbreviate it here, but it is definitely worth reading. I learned alot from reading it, and I came from a Protestant background. (I was raised Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. We were never taught that the Catholic Church was the whore of Babylon or that we were all going to be raptured away. I had to learn both why some fundamentalists think this way AND why this was incorrect. Whew!!)

motherofmany said...

I would not say that either beliefs are fundamentalists teachings, but simply ideas some people hold in all different denominations. The term fundamentalist (which I think tends to be used when referring to an non-catholic church lately) means being firmly grounded in the basics of the Bible, and is not a denomination or set of beliefs in itself.

There is not a direct answer about either topic in the Bible. I had never heard of the Rapture until I was an adult, and I had not heard that the Catholic Church was the anti-christ, but only the belief that they would be part of the end-times 'one-world' church. So these cannot be called fundamentalist teachings, because they are not, even if some fundamentalists hold to them. Just as pro-choice Catholics do not make abortion rights a teaching of the church.

motherofmany said...

http://www.kingdom-gospel.com/end.html

go to http://www.sbs777.org.uk/, click on Bible Prophesy, and then The Whore of Babylon

Kelly said...

Well, kitkat did say why some fundamentalists think that way.

Originally, a fundamentalist was someone who agreed with a set of articles called The Fundamentals, that was published around the turn of the (previous) century. It was a reaction against modernism in the Christian church.

I would certainly agree with your definition, Amy. Trying to differentiate between fundamentalists and evangelicals is sometimes difficult, because people often use the words interchangeably.

What really irritates me, is when the media refers to Muslim fundamentalists. I'm pretty sure that they would not agree with things like Jesus being the Son of God, etc. :)

Elena said...

THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH: Though this religious organisation has many Bible-based teachings and millions of true believers, sad to say it is also riddled with pagan beliefs and practices. These include the Worship of Mary, (a practice patterned on the Babylonian worship of the Virgin Queen of Heaven) idol, image and relic worship, the use of the rosary and the Sign of the Cross, the payment of prayers for the dead, the enforced Celibacy of the priesthood, the doctrine of purgatory etc. These and other pagan practices in the Roman Catholic church classify her as one of the whore's daughters -

OK, but as the as Colin Donovan pointed out, this article is using criteria for Whore of Babylon that aren't scriptural!

1. Geographically- The Vatican does not fit the reference in the bible.

2. Babylon refers to a pagan power that persecutes the people of God- that doesn't fit either.

3. The antichrist will deny the incarnation and the trinity.

The writer of that web site may not like Mary, the rosary, relics, purgatory etc. (chances are he doesn't understand them) but to pull them all together and say, "Yep, that means Whore of Babylon" is a REAL STRETCH when you look at the actual biblical passages.

kitkat said...

Whew! Tough crowd! I do understand that no one would like their beliefs negatively pigeonholed (sp?). I used the term "Fundamentalist" (with the addition of the word "some" because I did not want to make the sweeping statement that ALL Fundamentalists believe this) in my statement because my Protestant background was more of a direct teaching from Martin Luther (hence "Lutheran"). Now I KNOW that we could get into the whole "Martin Luther called the Pope the anti-Christ" thing when discussing Lutheran theology. But I was just making a small point and not going into detail. My key word was 'some'. Would you prefer, motherofmany, that I use the term Evangelical? Honestly, I have heard them used interchangably (as Kelly mentioned) so I will correct myself in the future if this would be the more appropriate term.

kitkat said...

http://members.aol.com/johnprh/whore2.html

This goes into a little bit of the history that is discussed in "Rapture" that I mentioned earlier.

motherofmany said...

Actually, fundamentalists were divided from the very beginning. The term was first made popluar by the articles written and adhered to by some, but many other people had been 'fundamentalists' in practice without it every being termed or organized. And many refused to sign articles, stating that it was not permitted to swear an oath, and also that each person was accountabwel to God himself and not to other men for what he believed. The very strict interpretations later become known as Puritan. That's another reason the statements that "we were all Catholic until the Reformation" drive me bananas. There were many small groups of people, home churches, that did not affiliate with any denominational teachings, who practised 'fundamental' aherance from the time of the first teaching, whether it be pre- or post- crucifiction.

Both of the websites I posted said that the Catholic church was not the whore of Babylon. The statements he made were that what he believed to be false teachings of the Catholic Church made it part of the prophesied apostasy. A major reason for that belief is the attempt by the Catholic Coucil to bring all religions under one heading, including the Muslim faith which, while agreeing Jesus was a prophet, deny his diety. So the Catholic church is becoming aligned with a group that denied the incarnation and the trinity.

http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/popekiss.html (although the writer of this site does believe that Rome is the Harlot of Revelations)

http://www.asianews.it/index.php?art=2871&l=en

http://www.isna.net/index.php?backPID=5&id=35&tt_news=799

motherofmany said...

Please don't feel that you need to defend your statements, as I am not upset by them. I was just pointing out that those two ideas are not exclusively nor inclusively fundamentalist. That is another good point as to why we cannot say everything is either Catholic or Protestant. It is just too narrow to include all the diffetrent points of view. There are some Methodists, some Baptists, and I am sure, some Lutherans who feel that way. I personally do not know of any church where is it actual doctrine.

And that is also why I would not claim a denomination, because to do so automatically brings a 'mold' to people's minds as far as what I believe. I prefer to glean it for myself because one day I will answer for my choices, and I know I won't be able to blame anyone but myself since I have the opportunity and the ability to study.

motherofmany said...

NO! Please do not call me an evangelical either. I may believe in evangelizing, but that term also puts me into someone else's shoebox, and I certainly do not fit.

I would just say some people believe whatever, since again these things cannot be confined to specific church doctrine. ;)

kitkat said...

Motherofmany, I didn't mean to sound defensive. :) Really, I just wanted to make sure that you didn't think that I was trying to misrepresent what a particular group of people believes. That was not the goal of my original statement, and I am very sorry if it came across that way. But thank you for the great clarification. :)

Erika S. said...

Mother of Many-
What are you refering to when calling Currie a loon? Was there a post some where that I missed? A link? I might have missed it and would love to read it also as I enjoy David Currie's books. I have yet to find him loony but I will alway be ready to learn more.

motherofmany said...

I don't mind outing myself. Kelly sent me books, and it was such a surprise. I opened the box and there were these books on Catholicism, and I thought, "I didn't order these", so I checked the label again (because last year CBD sent me someone else's order) and it had my name on it, and I finally found the gift note (it was pretty small, so I hope they didn't charge you extra for that) and they were from Kel. I sent her books (and an apron) in return. We have been having our own discussion for a while, and this way we have printed, tangible material to discuss.

She emailed me last weekend and said she wanted to post her reactions to the books here, but she would keep me anonymous. I don't mind at all if people know it was me.

So, Kelly sent me Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic, which is by Currie. And then in this post she stated that she was willing to bet that fundamentalists could feel the same about his book as she did about the former-catholic writings. So that was what I was referring to- as a fundamentalist, I cannot say I have had the experiences he has had. And I would love to know what church he attended (yes, that would be the shoe-box I so dread) just so I could have a better idea what doctrines he learned, because again, I have a hard time seeing 'fundamentalist' in his arguments.

motherofmany said...

OK, that link did not work at all. The article in which Kelly talks about the books is on top of this one, called Former priests and Nuns.

I have not yet figured out how to do a link in a comment, and I thought I had found it, but I still don't know how!

Kelly said...

The term was first made popular by the articles written and adhered to by some, but many other people had been 'fundamentalists' in practice without it every being termed or organized.

Well, I was referring to when the term was coined, around 1910.

There were many small groups of people, home churches, that did not affiliate with any denominational teachings, who practised 'fundamental' aherance from the time of the first teaching, whether it be pre- or post- crucifiction.

From my point of view, there is just no historic evidence for this. We have lots of preserved writings from down the ages, usually titled "Against the Heresies" that tell us what various groups believed through their arguments against them.

Be sure to write up a full review of Currie's book on your blog. I'd love to know where you disagree with him, or feel he is misrepresenting!

I've gotta go, dh wants the computer.

Elena said...

Perhaps we should put up a different topic about the differences in Fundamentalists and Evangelicals (although that's not really the purpose of this blog.)

My point in posting this is that there is no biblical (Literal or figurative) defense for referring to the Catholic Church as the Whore of Babylon.