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The Whore of Babylon Identified

September 20, 2011

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.

(Revelation 17:1-6)

Well wonder no longer. Damon Thompson has heard from God and it turns out the whore of Babylon is Rob Bell!

Who knew?


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.

Rob Bell, probably praying to the Beast

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.

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8 comments

  1. The Bible does not teach eternal punishment. God’s love & mercy endures forever. Does it really endure forever or only in this life? How can it be Good News if it doesn’t translate to the afterlife? God will still judge but He will not punish forever. He’s a better father than we are, right?

    1 Tim 4:10 This is why we work hard and continue to struggle, for our hope is in the living God, who is the Savior of all people and particularly of all believers.

    That’s like saying track is for everyone, especially for those who like to run. Salvation is for everyone, especially those who believe.


    • Interesting stuff Jackson. I share many of your sympathies, but not the same confidence that I know the answer. Good luck with the book.


  2. Speaking of the “whores of Babylon (babble-on) this short video clip identifies who they are in stark terms.

    Fascism in the name of “freedom”, and carrying a Bible too.


    • John, I can’t tell if you’re referring to Rick Perry or Obama. Either way, I’m content to let Babylon be Rome (which it clearly was in the book of Revelation) without feeling the need to attach the label to current people or movements.


  3. Thank God for the internet! I am so glad to have found others who love Jesus and the Bible and are coming to the same conclusions I am. The evangelical/fundamentalist world apparently WANTS hell to be eternal and for people who don’t join their religion, which is very discouraging to me. I have heard them say that without the threat of eternal punishment, why would people come to Jesus? Seriously? Uh, to experience the uxurious, unilateral love of God right now? To know the joy that comes from accepting that God delights in you and accepts you just as you are? To seek wisdom from the Creator of all things about how to live your life here and now in light of His eternal mercy?

    What they really fear is that if people actually begin to grasp that the gospel means, as Paul wrote, “that God has reconciled the world to Himself, not counting men’s trespasses against them”, then said people will no longer need to attend their church, pay their salary, and let’s face it, allow themselves to be manipulated from the pulpit to do whatever it is that MOG wants them to do. In this organized Christianity as it currently exists does have much to lose by “giving up” the doctrine of hell.

    Fear is an amazingly effective motivator. Organized Christianity is afraid that we will no longer be afraid of hell. Fear of punishment gives religion great power over people’s lives, and apparently the ones at the lead in that power structure have no plans to give up that source of control.

    Ironic, isn’t it, that the apostle John wrote, (I John 4) ” 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

    19 We love because he first loved us.”


  4. Hilarious post! Love it. I’m glad to see this spin on the ‘whore’. But still wouldn’t mind seeing a ‘Rome vs Jerusalem’ on identifying this figure. Will have to read up again on it so that we can have a lively discussion.


  5. I wonder how they’d react to Aleister Crowley’s writings, which use the Scarlet Woman/Babylon as a symbol of the divine feminine?

    :: chuckles ::


  6. Still going backwards through the archives… But anyhow. Here’s a thought for the believers arguing over whos in hell and for how long. Ever notice theres no mention of afterlife punishment, heaven vs hell in the Torah? And in the Tanakh its only at the very end that afterlife comes into play, and only after the Israelites are in contact with Persia? Then suddenly in post-greco times the NT is full of heaven and hell theology? Early Jewish writers have some interesting stuff to say about where and when the heaven vs hell beliefs were introduced into post-exilic Judaism. I guess we should be a little more cautious before we assign our beliefs to Divine inspiration. 🙂



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