I see a spiritual dynamic being played out in what is currently happening within and regarding the Roman Catholic Church, and I believe that this
dynamic is revealed in the Bible. I’d like to present that idea for discussion.
Please note: If you have no regard whatsoever for the Bible, then I respect your right to disbelieve what is written in it. This post, however, is
not intended to debate the validity of scripture or the sanity of those who believe it, but to discuss a particular perspective on current world
events in light of certain passages of scripture. I’d appreciate if we’d keep our discussion in that line.
Since I wish to cite a passage from the Book of Revelation (The Apocalypse of John)
, and since interpretation of that book is often a source of
confusion, I’d like to first briefly explain my view on that often misunderstood document insofar as it pertains to this topic.
My Perspective On The Book of Revelation
I see the purpose of the Book of Revelation
as largely being to give us instruction (revelation
) in certain spiritual principles and
dynamics that occur within and affect the world in which we live. I believe that the focus on The Apocalypse
as a vehicle for deciphering
future events has robbed students of the Bible of its true and most important value. While it may have prophetic value in the sense of foretelling
coming events, it’s deepest prophetic value and its greatest usefulness lie in speaking to the dynamics of history and the interaction between the
Church and the world on an ongoing basis.
I believe that the events described in the Apocalypse of John
have, by and large and on some level, played out again and again throughout the
course of human history, and will continue to play out until that history comes to an end.
In Light Of Current Events
speaks of “the great prostitute.” It says:
“Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great prostitute who is
seated on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality, and with the wine of whose sexual immorality the dwellers on
earth have become drunk.” (Revelation 17:1-2 ESV)
In the entire context of this passage, I see this prostitute as being a picture of any quasi- or pseudo-ecclesiastical body that lays claim to status
as the Church, but then uses that status to amass worldly achievements, riches and power that were never meant to be the goal of the Church. (A
prostitute, by definition, is one who sells one’s self for a price in order to obtain something.)
In order to attain worldly power and riches, any religious system must, of necessity, allay itself with the powers that, in the natural order, hold
these things. The Roman Church, since the time of Constantine, has done this, and done it well. While I won’t say that the Roman Catholic Church is
great prostitute, I do believe that it fits the description of a prostitute, in this sense. It has attained to worldly wealth and political
power of a temporal and carnal nature and has become something that, in my understanding of scripture, the Church of Jesus Christ was never intended
to be. It is one of many bodies that, throughout the course of history, has, in the name of true religion, prostituted itself to the temporal world
for gain and influence.
The relationship between the Roman Church and world powers has, up to now, been symbiotic. The secular system has, in many ways, benefited from its
relationship with the Roman Church, as the Roman Church has used the secular system for its own gain. They have, historically, held an uneasy alliance
and shared wealth and power. A study of European history from Constantine forward makes this fact clear.
Where Are Things Going?
“And the angel said to me, “The waters that you saw, where the prostitute is seated, are peoples and multitudes and nations and languages. And the
ten horns that you saw, they and the beast will hate the prostitute. They will make her desolate and naked, and devour her flesh and burn her up with
fire, for God has put it into their hearts to carry out his purpose by being of one mind and handing over their royal power to the beast, until the
words of God are fulfilled. And the woman that you saw is the great city that has dominion over the kings of the earth.” (Revelation 17:15-18
The symbiotic relationship between the prostituted religious system and the world (the world, here, symbolized by beast [the spirit of secularism]
and the ten horns [the political powers]) eventually sours. The prostitute is useful to the worldly system only for a time by helping the secular
system achieve its goals of dominance. The two cannot, however, coexist for long. There are two reasons for this:
First, though the two work together up to a point, they never work toward a common goal. They both want to achieve dominance in ultimate exclusion of
the other, and neither will ultimately share with the other. They both know this.
Second, since the prostitute - even with all of its corruption - still bears some hint of the heavenly or spiritual, the secular system will always
see it as a potential threat from a spiritual perspective. The philosophical systems of the world wish to obliterate any hint of the spiritual, even
as it uses the spiritual to attain its own ends.
At some point, then, this quasi-religious system becomes more of a liability than an asset to its secular ally. At this point, the beast and the horns
(the spirit of the world and the powers that reign in the world) turn on the prostitute and, essentially, throw her under the bus. “They will
make her desolate and naked, and devour her flesh and burn her up with fire...”
From a heavenly perspective, this is done at God’s behest, as he uses these worldly powers as his tool to execute judgment on this body that has
claimed His throne, then abused the authority that emanates from that claim. I Peter 4:17 assures us that:
“...it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the
gospel of God?"
The principle here being that when judgment starts, it will first start with those who claim God’s kingdom, then will move to those who reject
Is it possible that this is what is happening now?
It is obvious that the corruption inside the Papist Church has been going on for ages. The sexual perversion - namely the abuse of boys by the clergy
- is nothing new. The current investigations into money laundering and organized crime ties within the Vatican and the Vatican bank are digging into
things that have been going on for years, perhaps centuries.
Why is it, only now, becoming an issue and being sounded abroad? It seems as though these dark, wicked activities that have, for ages, been ignored
and even covered over by the powers that be are suddenly being thrust into the light.
Are we, perhaps, seeing the principles revealed in Revelation 17:15-18
play out before our eyes?
Have the worldly powers decided that they no longer have any need of the Roman religious system and decided to jettison it by uncovering its internal
rot, by making her "desolate and naked?"
Has time arrived for judgment in the house of those who lay claim to God’s eternal and spiritual kingdom?
edit on 26-2-2013 by incoserv