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Accursed Things Created 3 September 2014

Introduction

So easily are the effects of curses on people dismissed on the basis of their Christian faith. It is said that Jesus bore the curse, that's why Christians today cannot be cursed. Let's be clear, Jesus did bear the curse; that is, the curse of the Law[1] . In other words, the Bible tells us that a curse hangs on everyone who does not completely fulfill all of the Law of Moses. Since it is impossible to fulfill all of the Law, every non-Christian (everyone who does not rely on Jesus' fulfilling of the Law on their behalf), by definition, is cursed with a curse. That interpretation, in my view, is absolutely correct. Still, it is incomplete.

What about curses that are brought about on accounts other than not fulfilling the Law of Moses? What about curses spoken over people by themselves? What about curses spoken over other people, or curses brought about by ungodly objects (does such a thing even exist?!)? The most popular response to this question is a quote from Numbers 22 and 23[2] where it is recorded that 'Balaam could not curse the people of God'. Therefore, so it is argued, 'the people of God cannot be cursed'. But rendering every curse on the people of God as 'ineffective' singularly on the basis of Balaam - who, albeit after a stern reminder, understood enough about the power and majesty of God not to curse the Israelites - in my opinion, is not only naïve, it is deceiving as well.

Curses on the people of God

Not only does the book of Deuteronomy[3] record how Israel pronounced curses on themselves (if they were to do break certain laws), so too does the book of Judges record how the people of God pronounced an effective curse on themselves should they fulfill certain conditions (give their daughters in marriage to the tribe of Benjamin).

11 And Moses commanded the people on the same day, saying,  12 “These shall stand on Mount Gerizim to bless the people, when you have crossed over the Jordan: Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph, and Benjamin;  13 and these shall stand on Mount Ebal to curse: Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali.

Mount Ebal's curse image

Then, in the New Testament, we see how the Jews pronounce judgment (or a curse) upon themselves over the killing of Jesus[4]. One might say that centuries of anti-Semitism have delivered on that curse. Even so, in the book of Joshua the Bible records how the whole Israelite nation was cursed because they brought "accursed things" into their midst.

And you, by all means abstain from the accursed things, lest you become accursed when you take of the accursed things, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it. But all the silver and gold, and vessels of bronze and iron, are consecrated to the LORD; they shall come into the treasury of the LORD.” (Joshua 6:18-19)

So, we see that in Deuteronomy 27, the Israelites placed a curse on themselves should they, amongst others, make idols for themselves. And in Joshua 6, God warns them to not even bring such "accursed things" (idols made by other people) into their homes lest they too be accursed: "abstain from the accursed things, lest you become accursed".

Jesus freed us from the curse of the Law of Moses

It is clear that Jesus set all Christians free from the curse of the Law. I know of no Scripture that says Jesus set Christians free from curses outside of the Law, such as curses brought about by collecting accursed objects as noted above. Buddha statuettes and objects from other (mainly) Eastern religions may be examples of these. The Bible, therefore, does not only make provision for the people of God to be cursed by having cursing words spoken over them, it also makes provision for the people of God to be cursed by them collecting accursed things. The blood of Jesus, of course, sets us free even from curses outside of the Law as it does from the actual curse of the Law. But first we must get rid of the thing that brought the curse about in the first place. Where we need to confess any sins we must do so before asking God's deliverance.

Accursed things

Now what may these "accursed things" be? It seems that whatever is already consecrated (or dedicated) to another god qualifies as an accursed thing. Alternatively, whatever object has had a curse spoken over it. The Bible records how Jacob cursed the one who had possession of 'household gods' amongst his family. Like the other curses spoken over the people of God, Jacob's curse worked out as well. In ancient times these objects would have been clearly recognizable since they would have had to have been carefully crafted by special craftsmen. But today this is not the case. Whilst to this day creative people create things that are dedicated or consecrated to Satan and other false gods, Art and Craft, and creativity in general, has taken on a whole new meaning since those early days. For example, we know that some songs can be consecrated to Satan[5] .

But before we continue, allow me to make something quite clear: There is a difference between warning believers of accursed things and not having faith in Jesus' victory on the cross. What I am doing here does not take away in any way whatsoever from Jesus' victory on the cross. Instead, it is saying, 'if you truly believe in Jesus' victory on the cross - if you really want to honor God - then your life will reflect the kind of holiness He demands. It is a holiness that is completely free from that which is an offense to Him - an idol or a thing that honors another god'. Entertaining things in your life that has been dedicated to Satan or any other false god shows one of three things: rebellion, unbelief or ignorance.

Whilst I personally believe that things that have been dedicated to Satan can and will bring a curse many are not convinced citing New Testament scriptures that point to foods that have been offered to idols and which are said to be 'okay for consumption'. I note that the Bible explains what this situation is all about: the conscience of some will not condemn them for eating food offered to idols. The conscience of others will condemn them. Therefore, if my action brings a stumbling block to another's faith, then my actions are sinful[10] [11] . To some it appears then that the question is about a person's conscience and not any potential curse which a thing may bring.

Not quite. The point Paul was making was that, by comparison, idols are really nothing at all; believers in God should not be scared of them. Indeed, that is very true; believers should not be scared of false gods and even demons. But eating foods offered to idols (demons) - after saying thanks over the food[12] - is not the same as harboring things in your life that honor Satan. There is a big difference. Where the stomach consumes the food that is offered to idols from whence it goes to waste[13], having accursed things in your house actually harbors ungodliness and it is an offence to God. Jesus' victory on the cross did away with Satan's command over believers' lives. It did not do away with God's utter distaste for idols and false gods. Harboring accursed things is an unholiness - a thing that dishonors God - and which simply does not belong in the house or the life of such a one who is supposedly consecrated/dedicated to God. Joshua 6 makes that point exactly[14].

A while ago I corresponded with Ps. Ralph Woodrow who wrote the book "The Babylon Connection?" in which he refuted another book by a 19th century Presbyterian minister - Alexander Hislop ("The Two Babylons"). Hislop claimed that the Catholic Church imported many idols into Christianity (Should you be interested, a video series based on Hislop's work has been made). Whilst Woodrow at first was an avid supporter of Hislop's work (and wrote a book in support of him) he later changed his mind and wrote a book contrary to his first position. I found Woodrow's thoughts sincere and worthy of consideration and so we corresponded. Still, I think we do not completely agree on certain matters concerning this issue. Read the complete transcript of our correspondence for a fair representation of the issues discussed[9] .

Works honoring Satan

We have established that God has an utter distaste of things that bring honor to false gods, let alone Satan himself. So, where do we go to find out which 'works of art' honor Satan? For an explicit answer to this question we may look at a book published by the administrators of the actual church of Satan called "The Church of Satan" [6] . The book thus captures questions about the devil and how to bring honor to him. Wikipedia's article about the book shows a list of 'works of art' that bring glory to Satan. In it there are references to Songs, Albums, Music videos, Television, Fairy Tales, Movies, Children's programs, Live shows and other Live performances. These were recorded or produced by a number of well-known individuals. How many of them do you recognize?:

Walt Disney (amongst others "Lady and the Tramp", "101 Dalmatians", "Sleeping Beauty", "Mary Poppins", "Little Mermaid", "The Lion King", "Toy Story") (quoted in the book as having "made his Pact"), Rudyard Kipling (amongst others "The Jungle Book") (quoted as having "made his Pact"), Ben Hecht (amongst others "Mutiny on the Bounty", "Gone with the Wind", "Nothing Sacred") (quoted as having "made his Pact"), Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Barbara Streisand, Carley Simon, Sinéad O'Connor, Linda Ronstadt, Rod Stewart, Cher, Lady Gaga, Richard Wagner, Richard Strauss, Felix Mendelssohn, Frédéric Chopin, Johann Sebastian Bach, Giuseppe Verdi, Hans Christian Andersen, Sigmund Freud, Friedrich Nietzsche, Carl Jung, Fyodor Dostoevsky, George Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde, Mark Twain.

Elsa in the movie Frozen

Whilst the people noted here may or may not be (have been) confessing satanists, the (article about the) book does give them an explicit mention.

What's more, the book was published in 1990. How many other things have you and me and our children consumed that are endorsed by these people? I bet quite a lot.

Whilst the people noted above is a selection from a very long list and whilst these individuals may or may not have come to repentance and faith in Jesus, one thing is for sure: they all get a mention in relation to the book "The Church of Satan".

Did you spot the composers of classical music in there?: Richard Wagner, Richard Strauss, Felix Mendelssohn, Frédéric Chopin, Johann Sebastian Bach, Giuseppe Verdi. Who would have thought?!

Accursed things and the people of God

And you, by all means (did you get that?) abstain from the accursed things, lest you become accursed when you take of the accursed things, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it. But all the silver and gold, and vessels of bronze and iron, are consecrated to the LORD; they shall come into the treasury of the LORD.” (Joshua 6:18-19)

So, we know that Music Albums can be and are consecrated to Satan. So too Movies, TV shows, Live performances. Then also, video games, bumper stickers, insignia, T-shirts. Not to mention books, rituals and board games, toys and the like.

What then does a Christian - any Christian - have to do with horror movies, rock bands and rock music - particularly those who quite proudly promote Satan and his ways? And, what does a Christian - any Christian - have to do with Harry Potter and Halloween?

Harry Potter

For some time already Christians have been sucker-punched into naively believing the 'oh-but-it-has-a-beutiful-story-of-redemption-attached-to-it-lie'. A story of morality cannot bring to holiness a thing that dishonors God. So, how is it that mature Christians can look at obvious ungodliness and say, 'Yes, Harry Potter promotes witchcraft. But he uses it for good'. That's like saying Judas will have been forgiven if only he donated his 30 pieces of silver to a good cause. Such thinking does not tie up with the reality of spiritual evil in this world.

The Obelisk

This brings into question the Egyptian obelisk that was shipped in by the church of Rome and erected right in front of the Vatican as a symbol of worship to all followers. It is a sobering thought; that something so blatantly unbiblical may find a place in 'contemporary Christianity' as if it is 'no big deal'. If you find that statement offensive, it is not my intent. Nevertheless, my request to you is to correctly reference from the Bible the re-consecration of objects or places of worship (altars, etc.) to the living God so that I may retract.

Vatican obelisk image

Wiki article

Note, I am not referring to food consecrated to gods, as discussed earlier. These are foods, which the Bible says, are themselves consumed. I am making specific reference to objects (statues, altars, obelisk', cups) that had previously been consecrated (dedicated or set aside) to Satan and was then used in the worship of God. I would like to see a clear example of that in the Bible please.

For, if there is no such example, then true Christians - the ones who genuinely believe (read 'adhere to and trust') the word of God - will rid themselves of every false-god-consecrated thing that this world has conjured up.

List of obelisks in Rome

Redemption

There is a happy ending for those offending Christians, thank God. Jesus' death, resurrection and ascension did buy believers the option to repent and believe. That is, to turn from our wicked ways and to adhere to His way. He did give us the option to rid ourselves from works of magic (think Mary Poppins, Frozen), sorcery (think Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter), witchcraft (think Halloween) and devil worship (think KISS, Katie Perry), and to follow His way in faith.

"Rock has always been THE DEVIL'S MUSIC . . . I believe rock and roll is dangerous . . . I feel we're only heralding SOMETHING EVEN DARKER THAN OURSELVES." - David Bowie (Rolling Stone, Feb. 12, 1976)

First of all, we'd like to thank Satan... - Red Hot Chili Peppers at MTV awards

We were doing witchcraft, trying to make witchcraft music. - Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys

I sold my soul to the devil. - Katy Perry

David Bowie

The examples given are but a very, very select few of those who openly promote darkness under the cloud of a morally approvable delivery.

God provided Christians the option of ridding themselves from having any part of Halloween, rock albums, questionable books, questionable movies, questionable TV games, board games, signs, symbols and every other object that has (likely) been dedicated in honor of Satan or his devils. So, it is clear that:

  1. Joshua 6:18-19 tells us that God hates accursed things in the midst of His people. Christians should abstain from keeping accursed things in their homes.
  2. Romans 14:21 tells us that it is not good to do anything that may cause a Christian brother or sister to falter in their faith. Doing so is sin.
  3. 1 Peter 1:16 tells us that God wants us to be holy as He is holy. This means that Christians shall abstain from having accursed things on them, in their minds or in their midst.

So, how did the people of God respond when they needed to rid themselves of that which was an "accursed thing"? Here's the answer: The offender, and all his possessions, was stoned and then burnt.

Today we may come to God through Jesus and ask for forgiveness. But in order to be forgiven we must confess our sins and turn from it [8] . The way we turn from the accursed things is to do away with it or to burn it[7] . We must be holy. "Saint" means 'holy, set aside from defilement'.

God, through Jesus, has set us free from the curse of the Law. Still, as was the case with Achan the son of Carmi above, He did not set us free from rebellion, stupidity or ignorance: My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge (did you get that?), I also will reject you from being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children. (Hosea 4:6)

Footnotes:

[1] 12 Yet the law is not of faith, but “the man who does them shall live by them.”13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), 14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. (Galatians 3:12-14) [back]

[2] 12 And God said to Balaam, “You shall not go with them; you shall not curse the people, for they are blessed.” (Numbers 22:12). “How shall I curse whom God has not cursed? And how shall I denounce whom the Lord has not denounced? (Numbers 23:8). 20 Behold, I have received a command to bless; He has blessed, and I cannot reverse it. (Numbers 23:20) [back]

[3] 11 That same day Moses also gave this charge to the people: 12 “When you cross the Jordan River, the tribes of Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph, and Benjamin must stand on Mount Gerizim to proclaim a blessing over the people. 13 And the tribes of Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali must stand on Mount Ebal to proclaim a curse.14 “Then the Levites will shout to all the people of Israel:15 ‘Cursed is anyone who carves or casts an idol and secretly sets it up. These idols, the work of craftsmen, are detestable to the Lord.’ And all the people will reply, ‘Amen.’16 ‘Cursed is anyone who dishonors father or mother.’ And all the people will reply, ‘Amen.’17 ‘Cursed is anyone who steals property from a neighbor by moving a boundary marker.’ And all the people will reply, ‘Amen.’18 ‘Cursed is anyone who leads a blind person astray on the road.’ And all the people will reply, ‘Amen.’19 ‘Cursed is anyone who denies justice to foreigners, orphans, or widows.’ And all the people will reply, ‘Amen.’20 ‘Cursed is anyone who has sexual intercourse with one of his father’s wives, for he has violated his father.’ And all the people will reply, ‘Amen.’21 ‘Cursed is anyone who has sexual intercourse with an animal.’ And all the people will reply, ‘Amen.’22 ‘Cursed is anyone who has sexual intercourse with his sister, whether she is the daughter of his father or his mother.’ And all the people will reply, ‘Amen.’23 ‘Cursed is anyone who has sexual intercourse with his mother-in-law.’ And all the people will reply, ‘Amen.’24 ‘Cursed is anyone who attacks a neighbor in secret.’ And all the people will reply, ‘Amen.’25 ‘Cursed is anyone who accepts payment to kill an innocent person.’ And all the people will reply, ‘Amen.’26 ‘Cursed is anyone who does not affirm and obey the terms of these instructions.’ And all the people will reply, ‘Amen.’ (Deuteronomy 27:11-26) [back]

[4] 24 When Pilate saw that he could not prevail at all, but rather that a tumult was rising, he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, “I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it.25 And all the people answered and said, “His blood be on us and on our children.” (Matthew 27:24-25) [back]

[5] The link below lists at least 10 famous songs that have been dedicated to Satan. The craftsmen include bands and artists who are openly endorsed by rather ignorant people around me. Even leaders and musicians claiming to be Christian. Bands include: KISS, Iron Maiden, The Beatles, Metalica, Motley Crue, Alice Cooper, Van Halen, The Rolling Stones. See this link {Warning: lyrics and images} [back]

[6] The Wikipedia link to this book may be found here. [back]

[7] But the children of Israel committed a trespass regarding the accursed things, for Achan the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed things; so the anger of the LORD burned against the children of Israel. Now Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, ...... and the men of Ai struck down about thirty-six men, for they chased them from before the gate as far as Shebarim, and struck them down on the descent; therefore the hearts of the people melted and became like water. ... So the LORD said to Joshua: “Get up! Why do you lie thus on your face? Israel has sinned, and they have also transgressed My covenant which I commanded them. For they have even taken some of the accursed things, and have both stolen and deceived; and they have also put it among their own stuff. Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they have become doomed to destruction. Neither will I be with you anymore, unless you destroy the accursed from among you. Get up, sanctify the people, and say, ‘Sanctify yourselves for tomorrow, because thus says the LORD God of Israel: “ There is an accursed thing in your midst, O Israel; you cannot stand before your enemies until you take away the accursed thing from among you.” ... it shall be that he who is taken with the accursed thing shall be burned with fire, he and all that he has, because he has transgressed the covenant of the LORD, and because he has done a disgraceful thing in Israel.’ ” ... Then he brought his household man by man, and Achan the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was taken. .... And Achan answered Joshua and said, “Indeed I have sinned against the LORD God of Israel, and this is what I have done: When I saw among the spoils a beautiful Babylonian garment, two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels, I coveted them and took them. And there they are, hidden in the earth in the midst of my tent, with the silver under it.” .... Then Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, the silver, the garment, the wedge of gold, his sons, his daughters, his oxen, his donkeys, his sheep, his tent, and all that he had, and they brought them to the Valley of Achor. And Joshua said, “Why have you troubled us? The LORD will trouble you this day.” So all Israel stoned him with stones; and they burned them with fire after they had stoned them with stones. Then they raised over him a great heap of stones, still there to this day. So the LORD turned from the fierceness of His anger. Therefore the name of that place has been called the Valley of Achor to this day. (Joshua 7:1-26) [back]

[8] 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9) [back]

[9] Ralph Woodrow's workhas been published. As such, I am comfortable to publish his position - which is a fair position to take, I believe - on this website.

___________

From: Gerhard, To: Ralph

Hello Ralph,

Thank you for your informative and seemingly sensible review of Hislop's work. May I ask, please, which portions of his work have you found satisfactory?

Thank you. Kind regards,

Gerhard

___________

From: Ralph, To: Gerhard

DEAR GERHARD,

THANK YOU FOR BEING IN TOUCH. I AM NOT SURE WHAT YOU HAVE READ, PERHAPS AN ARTICLE OR THE BOOK ITSELF, BUT THE FOLLOWING IS THE TEXT OF A LETTER SENT TO OUR MAILING LIST SEVERAL YEARS AGO, IF YOU CARE TO PURSUE IT. THE AREA WHERE THERE IS DISAGREEMENT WITH HISLOP WOULD BE THE WAY HE TRIES TO LINK SO MUCH WITH PAGANISM, NIMROD, SEMIRAMIS, TAMMUZ, BABYLON.
THIS METHOD, IN ITSELF, CAN BE SERIOUSLY FLAWED. ATHEISTS HAVE LONG USED IT AGAINST CHRISTIANITY ALTOGETHER, NOT JUST THE CATHOLIC CHURCH. YOUR SLOGAN EVERY DAY BELIEVER REMINDED ME OF AN INCIDENT SOME YEARS AGO. I WAS PREACHING IN ATLANTA, GEORGIA, A VISITING PASTOR SAID HE WAS FROM THE CHURCH OF GOD SEVENTH DAY, ANOTHER PASTOR REMARKED, WE SHOULD GET ALONG GOOD, I'M FROM THE CHURCH OF GOD EVERY DAY!

GOD BLESS. RALPH

July 2013 - From the Ralph Woodrow website: www.ralphwoodrow.org

Dear Christian Friends:

For a number of years my book BABYLON MYSTERY RELIGION was very popular, enjoyed a wide circulation, and was translated into various languages. To this day, we do not cease to receive orders and inquiries about it. Despite its popularity, several years ago we pulled it out of print and now offer a replacement book THE BABYLON CONNECTION?

Because misinformation about this decision persists on the Internet, and in other ways, the aim of this article is to set the record straight.

According to one rumor, "the Catholics" put so much pressure on me, I had a heart attack and almost died! Consequently, I "recanted" and wrote the other book. There is no truth to this!

Another rumor is that my motives were financial-my desire was to be popular and make more money. To the contrary, BABYLON MYSTERY RELIGION was extremely popular and provided more income to our ministry than all other books and offerings put together! We have faced much financial loss because of the decision to pull the book out of print.

Some letters we have received have been very warm, commending me for honesty and integrity, expressing appreciation for the thorough research and clarification provided by the replacement book THE BABYLON CONNECTION? But other letters have been mean-spirited-that I am "stupid," "scum," "scared of the truth," a "low down coward," a "traitor to Christ," following "a false god," and am an "undercover Jesuit"! One even said, "I hope you die soon, I want you dead!"

It puzzles me how some can be so fanatical against one set of errors-or what they perceive to be errors-only to develop greater errors: becoming judgmental, hateful, and dishonest.

My original book had some valuable information in it. But it also contained certain teachings that were made popular in a book many years ago, THE TWO BABYLONS, by Alexander Hislop. This book claims that the very religion of ancient Babylon, under the leadership of Nimrod and his wife, was later disguised with Christian-sounding names, becoming the Roman Catholic Church.
Thus, two "Babylons"-one ancient and one modern. Proof for this is sought by citing numerous similarities in paganism. The problem with this method is
this: in many cases there is no connection.

Let's suppose that on May 10th a man was stabbed to death in Seattle. There were strong reasons for believing a certain person did it. He had motive. He was physically strong. He owned a large knife. He had a criminal record. He was known to have a violent temper and had threatened the victim in the past. All of these things would point to him as the murderer, except for one
thing: on May 10th he was not in Seattle-he was in Florida!

So is it with the claims about pagan origins. What may seem to have a connection, upon further investigation, has no connection at all!

By this method, one could take virtually anything and do the same-even the "golden arches" at McDonald's! The Encyclopedia Americana (article: "Arch") says the use of arches was known in Babylon as early as 2020 B.C. Since Babylon was called "the golden city" (Isa. 14:4), can there be any doubt about the origin of the golden arches? As silly as this is, this is the type of proof that has been offered over and over about pagan origins.

According to Browser's Book of Beginnings, the earliest evidence of a game that featured two opposing teams kicking, tossing, and aggressively advancing a ball in opposite directions was practiced 5,000 years ago in Egypt-as a fertility rite. So would any insist that football is a fertility rite today? Imagine a parent sending a note to the school: "My son is not to play football-it's pagan"! It is obvious: Finding a pagan similarity does not, in itself, provide connection.

By this method, atheists have long sought to discredit the Bible and Christianity altogether-not just the Roman Catholic Church.

By this method, one could condemn Protestant and evangelical denominations like the Assemblies of God, Baptist, Church of Christ, Lutheran, Methodist, Nazarene, etc. Basic things like prayer, and kneeling in prayer, would have to be rejected, because pagans knelt and prayed to their gods. Water baptism would have to be rejected, for pagans had numerous rites involving water, etc.

By this method, the BIBLE itself would need to be rejected as pagan. All of the following practices or beliefs mentioned in the Bible, were also known among pagans-raising hands in worship, taking off shoes on holy ground, a holy mountain, a holy place in a temple, offering sacrifices without blemish, a sacred ark, city of refuge, bringing forth water from a rock, laws written on stone, fire appearing on a person's head, horses of fire, the offering of first fruits, tithes, etc.

By this method, the LORD himself would be pagan. The woman called Mystery Babylon had a cup in her hand; the Lord has a cup in his hand (Psa. 75:8).
Pagan kings sat on thrones and wore crowns; the Lord sits on a throne and wears a crown (Rev. 1:4; 14:14). Pagans worshipped the sun; the Lord is the "Sun of righteousness" (Mal. 4:2). Pagan gods were likened to stars; the Lord is called "the bright and morning star" (Rev. 22:16). Pagan gods had temples dedicated to them; the Lord has a temple (Rev. 7:15). Pagan gods were pictured with wings; the Lord is pictured with wings (Psa. 91:4).

Here is a list of the some of the unsubstantiated claims that are made about the religion of ancient Babylon:

The Babylonians went to a confessional and confessed sins to priests who wore black clergy garments.

Their king, Nimrod, was born on December 25. Round decorations on Christmas trees and round communion wafers honored him as the Sun-god.

Sun-worshippers went to their temples weekly, on Sunday, to worship the Sun-god.

Nimrod's wife was Semiramis, who claimed to be the Virgin Queen of Heaven, and was the mother of Tammuz.

Tammuz was killed by a wild boar when he was age 40; so 40 days of Lent were set aside to honor his death.

The Babylonians wept for him on "Good Friday." They worshipped a cross-the initial letter of his name.

It is amazing how unsubstantiated teachings like these circulate-and are believed. One can go to any library, check any history book about ancient Babylon, none of these things will be found. They are not historically accurate, but are based on an arbitrary piecing together of bits and pieces of mythology.

Hislop, for example, taught that mythological persons like Adonis, Apollo, Bacchus, Cupid, Dagon, Hercules, Janus, Mars, Mithra, Moloch, Orion, Osiris, Pluto, Saturn, Vulcan, Zoraster, and many more, were all Nimrod! He then formed his own "history" of Nimrod! He did the same thing with Nimrod's wife. So, according to his theory, Nimrod was a big, ugly, deformed black man. His wife, Semiramis-also known as Easter, he says-was a most beautiful white woman with blond hair and blue eyes, a backslider, inventor of soprano singing, the originator of priestly celibacy, the first to whom the unbloody mass was offered! This is not factual history-it is more in the category of tabloid sensationalism.

Basing claims on pagan mythology is certainly a complicated and roundabout way to expose errors in the Roman Catholic Church!

Let me tell you about two ways to go from the living room of our house to the kitchen. I could go out the front door and head south through Mexico, cross the Panama Canal, on down through South America, and Antarctica. I could then continue up through Australia, the Philippines, China, Russia, and into Alaska. From there I could travel down through Canada, Washington, Oregon, and then-finally arriving at Palm Springs, California-open the back door and enter the kitchen! That's the long way. Or, I could simply go north a few feet from the living room and be in the kitchen!

In somewhat the same way, we do not need to go to BABYLON to expose error; we can go right to the BIBLE. For example, we can better argue against forbidding priests to marry from the Bible (1 Tim. 3:2; 4:3), than by trying to show that Semiramis ordered the castration of Babylonian priests!

Some claim that round objects, such as round communion wafers, are symbols of the Sun-god. But they fail to mention that the very manna given by God was round! (Exod. 16:14). Some are ready to condemn all pillars and historical monuments as pagan. But they fail to take into account that the Lord himself appeared as a pillar of fire; and, in front of his temple, there were two large pillars (Exod. 13:21,22; 2 Chron. 3:17).

Because Babylon had a tower (Gen. 11:4), some suppose this must be why there are church buildings with towers or steeples: they are copying Babylon! A newspaper reporter in Columbus, Ohio, wrote to me about this. In that city, and numerous other places, this claim has been made. Let me say it quite
clearly: No church ever included a steeple or tower on their house of worship to copy the tower of Babel! Why discredit thousands of born-again Christians by promoting ideas that have no connection? If a tower in itself is pagan, God would be pagan, for David described him as "my high tower" (2 Sam. 22:3; cf. Prov. 18:10).

No Christian who puts a bumper sticker with a fish symbol on the back of his car has ever done so to honor the fish-god Dagon. No congregation has ever put a cross on a church building for the purpose of honoring Tammuz. No Christian has ever gone to an Easter sunrise service to worship Baal. No Christian has ever worshipped a Christmas tree as an idol. Claims that imply "all these things started in Babylon," are not only divisive and fruitless, they are untrue.

The concern about not wanting anything pagan in our lives can be likened to a ship crossing a vast ocean. This concern has taken us in the right direction, but as we come to a better understanding as to what is actually pagan and what is not, a correction of the course is necessary in our journey. This is not a going back, but a correction of the course as we follow "the shining light, that shines more and more unto the perfect day"
(Prov. 4:18).

This is what I have sought to do in the book THE BABYLON CONNECTION?

Single copies: $8.

Ralph and Arlene Woodrow

WebSite: www.ralphwoodrow.org

___________

From: Gerhard, To: Ralph

Hello Ralph,

Thank you for your prompt response. I particularly enjoyed your story about the ‘church of every day’. That’s why we want to be believers every day.

I should have been more clear with my original question – my apologies.

I had read your letter (below) from the Internet in which you rightly point out that circumstantial evidence alone does not guarantee that any culprit has been found. My concern, however, is not with making or questioning the connection between the likes of Nimrod, Semiramis and Tammuz with each other, but the connection between ancient pagan idols, ornaments, rituals, signs and practices with that which is prevalent within Catholicism today (and Christianity). As such, Hislop seems to make the point (note, I have not read his work) that pagan idols, practices, signs, ornaments and rituals are rife within the Catholic Church – a claim that seems to have been confirmed since his writing by Catholic Cardinal Newman who wrote, “The use of temples, and these dedicated to particular saints, and ornamented on occasions with branches of trees; incense, lamps, and candles; votive offerings on recovery from illness; holy water; asylums; holydays and seasons, use of calendars, processions, blessings on the fields; sacerdotal vestments, the tonsure, the ring in marriage, turning to the East, images at a later date, perhaps the ecclesiastical chant, and the Kyrie Eleison , are all of pagan origin, and sanctified by their adoption into the Church." -An Essay on the The Development of the Christian Doctrine John Henry "Cardinal Newman" p.359”.

I will argue that if this is so then it is likely true for the Reformed tradition as well, having shared the same heritage with Catholicism for quite some time whilst getting rid of only some (obvious) errors introduced by them (the Catholic Church). Nevertheless, from this, there are two questions that I can see:

1. in the light of 1 Cor. 10:14-22, to what extent can any one Christian be empowered to sanctify a pagan idol, ornament, ritual or sign? I guess that if I wear a wedding ring (see Newman above) I have to believe that a pagan practice can be sanctified. But can the obelisk in Vatican square be sanctified in order to be made a monument to honor God?
2. Presumably Hislop writes about the ‘Constantine shift’ where Satan’s tactics are said to have changed in order to ‘highjack’ the church, thus spreading deception through ‘official’ means to the place we are today. To what extent do you support such a view?

Thank you for your time. Please note, if these matters are discussed in your book I will not expect you to re-state the same in an email reply to me. Please be so kind as to point me to your writings so that I may purchase a copy instead.

Thank you. Best regards,

Gerhard

___________

From: Ralph, To: Gerhard

Dear Gerhard,

Hello again,

Thanks for your well written message. I can offer our book THE BABYLON CONNECTION to you as a gift from our ministry. However, not being within the USA, postage would be $13 to Australia. If you want to send this through PayPal, it will need to be marked as a “donation.” PayPal on our website is not set up to figure foreign postage, so does not work through the normal channel. If you would like to do this, send me your mailing address.

Things that are truly pagan should obviously be rejected. To me the obelisk is only significant as a museum piece. I believe the Catholic church has added a bunch of junk. But at the other extreme, there are people who will not use the names of the months or days of the week, considering them pagan, but this gets confusing in the modern world. Words like Janitor (from Janus god of doors, of beginnings—thus January) or cereal (from the goddess of grains, etc.) have pagan roots, but trying to avoid them is fruitless. Others waste time preaching against wedding rings, etc. a point you mentioned.

God bless.

Ralph

___________

From: Gerhard, To: Ralph

Hello Ralph,

Thank you again for your speedy reply as well as your offer to send me a copy of your book, “THE BABYLON CONNECTION?”. This, indeed, is a kind offer but I will not take it up. I believe you should be adequately rewarded for the effort you have made to do the research and write the book. As such, I will look at purchasing a copy via Amazon instead. Again, thank you for your kind offer.

This question has far-reaching implications as you no doubt already know. As you’ve pointed out, there are varying opinions as to the relevance of the use of pagan symbols and ornaments although the use of pagan rituals, largely, is not being disputed. I stand corrected. I nevertheless believe the Bible is adequately clear on refraining from participating in rituals that honour anything else but God. Paul calls it ‘drinking the cup of demons’. Then again, should that not also be true for ornaments and symbols that were created to honour anything else but God?

This brings us back to the question about whether or not a symbol or ornament that was created in honour of say Baal was capable of being sanctified permanently and used in honour of God instead, as Cardinal Newman below asserts? The jury is out for me on that question although I have to admit that Romans 14:14-23 seems to be giving some guidance in this, particularly through v. 21: It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak. Overtly Pagan symbols and ornaments in churches may thus get well-meaning Christians’ faith to grow weak or fail, which, in itself, makes these symbols and ornaments inherently evil, especially if such stumbling may be avoided by simply refraining from having them. Why would a loving brother risk the faith of another? And, why, if this issue is not specifically addressed in the Bible, do churches not err on the side of caution, and thus not display such ornaments?

Whether or not an obelisk or any other ornament/symbol may house an evil spirit I thus cannot quite show from the Bible. That said, if Paul’s handkerchief can hold godly spiritual power, then, I guess, an ornament of any sorts may also hold ungodly spiritual power.

As noted, there is much to discover about the use of Pagan symbols and ornaments within Christians circles. Till all is known, I guess the best thing to do is to see what fruit the organizations, which manifest such symbols and ornaments deliver. If they’re godly throughout then we should have few reservations.

Thanks for the conversation – I appreciate your views.

Best regards,

Gerhard

[back]

[10] 7 However, there is not in everyone that knowledge; for some, with consciousness of the idol, until now eat it as a thing offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. 8 But food does not commend us to God; for neither if we eat are we the better, nor if we do not eat are we the worse.9 But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak. 10 For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols? 11 And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? 12 But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ.13 Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble. (1 Corinthians 8:7-13) [back]

[11] 23 All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify24 Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being.25 Eat whatever is sold in the meat market, asking no questions for conscience’ sake; 26 for “the earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness.” 27 If any of those who do not believe invites you to dinner, and you desire to go, eat whatever is set before you, asking no question for conscience’ sake.28 But if anyone says to you, “This was offered to idols,” do not eat it for the sake of the one who told you, and for conscience’ sake; for “the earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness.” 29 “Conscience,” I say, not your own, but that of the other. For why is my liberty judged by another man’s conscience? 30 But if I partake with thanks, why am I evil spoken of for the food over which I give thanks?31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 32 Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God, 33 just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved. (1 Corinthians 10:23-33) [back]

[12] 30 But if I partake with thanks, why am I evil spoken of for the food over which I give thanks? (1 Corinthians 10:30) [back]

[13] 11 Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.”12 Then His disciples came and said to Him, “Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?”13 But He answered and said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. 14 Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch.”15 Then Peter answered and said to Him, “Explain this parable to us.”16 So Jesus said, “Are you also still without understanding? 17 Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated? 18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. 20 These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man.” (Matthew 15:11-20) [back]

[14] And you, by all means abstain from the accursed things, lest you become accursed when you take of the accursed things, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it. But all the silver and gold, and vessels of bronze and iron, are consecrated to the LORD; they shall come into the treasury of the LORD.” (Joshua 6:18-19) [back]

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Please consult the Bible and test what is written here. Ask the Lord to give you wisdom in this area. Keep that which is good and reject that which is not Scriptural. Should you come to a different understanding than I please let me know - perhaps I can learn from you.

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