Ever wonder who or what the author of Revelation had in mind when he penned these verses:
1 One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the punishment of the great prostitute, who sits by many waters. 2 With her the kings of the earth committed adultery, and the inhabitants of the earth were intoxicated with the wine of her adulteries.”
3 Then the angel carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness. There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns. 4 The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls. She held a golden cup in her hand, filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries. 5 The name written on her forehead was a mystery:
BABYLON THE GREAT
THE MOTHER OF PROSTITUTES
AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
6 I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of God’s holy people, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus.
Well wonder no longer. Damon Thompson has heard from God and it turns out the whore of Babylon is Rob Bell!
Okay, so the whore of Babylon isn’t Rob Bell himself. According to Thompson, the whore of Babylon is “the universalist church”, but if you’re reading Rob Bell, you are flirting with said whore.
It’s about time someone pointed out how “drunk with the blood of God’s holy people” those universalists are. Why, just this week a Reformed church in my neighborhood was firebombed by a mob of universalists wearing TOMS and chanting slogans about the reconciliation of all things. Those bastards!
What I found particularly helpful was Thompson’s insight that Gehenna can’t be a reference to the Valley of Hinnom outside the walls of Jerusalem. Why not? Because worms die in the Valley of Hinnom. Hell, on the other hand, is located in “the bowels of the earth” and has no shortage of worms capable of tolerating the 4000+ kelvin temperatures in the earth’s core for all eternity. Game, set and match, you inclusivist Babylonian hookers.
So in case you got lost, here’s a recap: When the Bible describes the place of the dead as being under the earth, that’s literal. When it mentions immortal worms eating the dead, that’s literal. When it describes a prostitute with the name “Babylon the Great” on her forehead, that’s a metaphoric reference to Christians who believe God intends to reconcile all people to himself.
Exegesis is so much easier when stuff just means what you want it to mean.