Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Article: On Mystery Babylon

This is an interesting article regarding the identity of Mystery Babylon in Revelation as being statist regimes of history. [Note: I do not necessarily support everything the organization says or stands for]. Anyway, I think this article is good, especially for materialistic Singaporeans majority of which (even Christians) always fall to the political fear-mongering of voting for a certain party "because otherwise the economy would collapse". Read especially the last paragraph:

All Babylons will end in failure and God’s judgment. Are you preparing yourself, despite the economic hardship you will experience, to join the heavenly host in crying “Alleluia”?

So (especially) Singaporean Christians, are you willing to sacrifice your materialism and put greater worth on the things of God; to put greater value in whether the government is moral rather than on whether they would continue to provide jobs, a reasonable paycheck, and a propspering nation? Or would you continue to sacrifice to Mammon (Mt. 6:24), and ignore the various atrocities that is going on in the nation? When is Singapore going to answer for the thousands of babies we murder in the womb (and in test tubes), for example?


Anonymous said...

I just finished reading a book by Peter Masters about the Reconstruction movement and RJ Rushdonny.

After reading your earlier post about Rick Warren meddling with politics, I am reading now about how Christians are meddling with society.


Daniel C said...


According to his son, RJ Rushdonny claims to have been misrepresented by many of his critics. I'm not taking sides here, however, Chalcedon and Rushdonny has recently sortof seperated himself from the Dominianist movement, claiming that it is a distortion of true Reconstructionism. I don't know if what he says is true, but anyway I will just keep an open mind.

Anyway, the more important point I wanted to make is regarding the interpretation of Mystery Babylon in the book of Revelation according to the author. I think it is a rather correct intepretation, don't you think so?

Anonymous said...

You sound like an expert in the field of the Recontrusction movement. May I know if that is popular in Singapore, esp. amongst the Reformed churches?

As for the Babylon issue, that is Rushdonny's interpretation which is inconsistent with his movement, but not unusual. No, I don't hold to that.

Daniel C said...

Eh well...

No, Reconstructionism is not popular in Singapore. In fact, I think almost all Singaporeans have no idea what it is. The information I get about the movement come from articles on the Chalcedon website.

As for Chalcedon's distancing from the Dominionist movement, see where they distance themselves from the Religious Right.

Anonymous said...

Hi Daniel,

I have enjoyed following your blog and am thankful that there are christians such as yourself in singapore that feel so strongly about the Lord and his truth. Hope you don’t mind me commenting, as this post relates to issues I have been thinking off recently.

Prehaps you could clarify, what exactly is the practical action you are encouraging Singaporean christians to undertake?

To be honest the article seemed rather speculative to me. Babylon is, I think, used as a representation of the enemy of God’s people, based on the historical OT kingdom. I do not think, however, we can say the Babylon from Revelations is ‘statism’ anymore than it is any other anti-God attitude that exists in our world today. In fact, I am more inclined to believe that ‘Babylon’ is a historic city (Rome) as opposed to an attitude or principle, though I am sure more capable minds than mine have thought over this.

Regarding the Singaporean christian’s attitude toward the present ruling power in singapore, I believe rather strongly that all singaporean christians ought to be exceedingly thankful to God for the religious freedoms we enjoy under our current government, which is one of the most christian friendly in the history of the world. No doubt it is essentially an ungodly government, as all governments in the world today are, as they do not acknowledge the God of heaven, but our call as christians is to lead holy lives waiting for the return of Jesus Christ, not to reform government or society so much. The New Testament does not contain anything at all calling christians to try to engineer political reform. Paul said our desire for civil government should be a government that will allow us to lead ‘quiet and peaceful lives’, 1 Tim 2:2. Christians should realize that we are pilrims and strangers here on earth and will always be living under rulers who are not biblically ideal. But we also recognize that God has ordained all governmental authority (Romans 13:1) and are not afraid to take whatever benefits and advantages we can get from them (and I am talking primarily here about religious freedom, not economic prosperity, although we ought to be thankful for that as well). Apart from the specific circumstance of those living in the theocratric nation of Israel, God’s people in both testaments have never worried that involvment with an evil or pagan government would conteminate them. In Acts, Paul freely used his rights as a Roman citizen many times to save himself from trouble or pain, even though he would have condemned many of the practices of that Empire (Acts 16, 22, 23,25). Joseph, as well as Daniel and his friends had no qualms about accepting high positions in pagan empires of Eygpt and Babylon. Although they would never sin themselves, they did not think it compromised their religion to participate in the civil administration of these pagan governments. And there are many more examples that could be quoted.

In the end, I really cannot see any place where God asked his new testament church to attempt to reform the governments they lived under. Christians are to live holy lives wherever they are, not change the society they are in. That is not to say that christians shouldn’t try where they can to improve society, whether through voting, letter writing, legal protests etc etc, but God has never promised to bless such efforts, and as such we must not let them overshadow the true battle of the christian life, which is a spiritual battle (Eph 6), not a political one. Christians should try to change society, so to speak, though the preaching of the gospel, but the gospel is only effective where the Spirit of God works, and I believe the primary effect of such preaching will be to bring men and women into the church, as opposed to changing either government or society. Nor do I believe it is wrong to support the governments we have if they are condusive to christians being able to worship according to the bible and live peaceful lives as per 1 Tim 2:2. In fact, in that verse Paul exhorts christians to pray FOR their governments and not against them. Finally, this is a rather childish point, but I found it interesting that Rushdoony would chose the article title ‘Don’t Pray for the Peace of Bablyon’ when such a sentiment is in direct contradiction to Jer 29:4-7.

I agree with you that materialism is a big problem amongst singaporeans and singaporean christians. (well, actually I think singaporeans have been unfairly type cast in a way: materialism is big problem everywhere in the world.) I also agree that we as christians ought to be always ready and willing to give up everything for Christ. It is a very convicting and sobering thought. But I do not believe that our relationship to the civil government is the primary place to practice these principles.

Daniel C said...

Eh... of cause I don't mind.

With regards to the practical attitude that I am encouraging Christians, especially Singaporean Christians to undertake, I am encouraging Singaporean Christians to think before they commit to any particular stand or vote for any political party. I am in no way suggesting man-made revolution, creation of a Singaporean "Religious Right", or anything of that sort. I am just a trite bit irritated that Christians of all people can buy the stupid argument of economic blackmail in order to support a particualr political party. Instead of voting based on morals, a lot of Christians vote just like the world (and of cause think just like the world), forgetting that God is the one who is in charge of the economies of the world, NOT the government. If God decided to destroy the Singapore economy i.e. today, nothing the government (or anyone else) can or will do will stop Him. If God decided to bless Singapore, the country will prosper even if an impotent, useless leader takes over the helm in the country.

With regards to the issue of Babylon being statism, I do not necessarily agree with the fact that this is the correct eschatological interpretation of the Mystery Babylon in the book of Revelation. However, it is a good practical application, since Mystery Babylon, [be it eschatologically refering to the Roman church-state, Sulafism (otherwise known as extreme Islam), or the Secular Humanist one-world government, a fusion of all three, or something else,] would of necessity be a statist regime, holding immense power over economies, nations and societies in order to enforce the rule of the Antichrist.

With regards to the Singapore government in particular and Singapore society in general, yes, I agree with you that we should be thankful of the comparative religious freedom we have. Also, we should obey the government cf Rom. 13. However, that does not mean that we should just blindly follow the government's policies out of 'gratefulness for having religious freedom', nor should we think that we should not act as salt and light in society in the social and political realm. Christianity is not purely a 'spiritual faith', as if one can be a schizophrenic and divorce Christianity from the rest of a person's life. Christians ought to behave as Christians in whatever they do, including their voting. We should not therefore side with a political party because of the good it has done even though it is pressing on in the destruction of morals. When a party and/or a government decides that money-making is more important than risking the destruction of the social fabric of the nation, then we as Christians should be taking a stand against the party/ government, even though they may be consequences for doing so. Also, taking a stand is NOT just making some noise just to show dissent (i.e. for the sake of showing others that we disagree), and afterwards just ignore the issue (which just goes to show that you think the issue is not that important in deciding whether the party is morally credible to lead the nation).

Anonymous said...

Hi Mark,

Whoever you are, excellent comments.

Daniel C said...

Oh ya,

just to add. When the article tells us not to pray for Babylon, it is talking about Mystery Babylon, not the physical city of Babylon.

MC said...

"I am just a trite bit irritated that Christians of all people can buy the stupid argument of economic blackmail in order to support a particualr political party. Instead of voting based on morals, a lot of Christians vote just like the world"

I wholeheartedly agree