Babylon’s Record—Ancient and Modern
When Noah’s great-grandson Nimrod started to become a mighty one in the earth and set himself up as “a mighty hunter in opposition to Jehovah,” the beginning of his kingdom was at Babel, Babylon. It was at Babel that men, in defiance of Jehovah, decided to make a celebrated name for themselves by building a city with a religious tower. This was an apostasy, a falling away from the worship of Noah’s God, a rebellion against Jehovah’s sovereignty. But their building program resulted in dismal failure. Jehovah came down and confused their language. No longer able to communicate with one another, they divided off according to language groups and were scattered from Babel “over all the surface of the earth.” (Gen. 10:8-10; 11:1-9) Their false religion went with them. It became a world empire of false religion, mystic “Babylon the Great.”
The common origin of the world’s religions is plain to see. There are so many similarities! For example, ancient Babylon featured the worship of Semiramis and her infant Nimrod, so similar to the worship of Madonna and child in apostate Christianity. In his book “Ancient Pagan and Modern Christian Symbolism,” Thomas Inman says of mother-and-child images: “Such groups are as common in India as in Italy, in pagan temples as in Christian churches. The idea of the mother and child is pictured in every ancient country of whose art any remains exist.”
The Roman Catholic cardinal John Henry Newman, in his “Essay on the Development of Christian doctrine,” wrote of many such practices and doctrines, saying that they “are all of pagan origin” and that they are “sanctified by their adoption into the church.” But the latter is not so! By embracing Babylonish beliefs and ceremonies, modern-day Catholicism and Protestantism, along with Judaism, have added no holiness or sanctity to false religious practices and doctrines. Rather, they have identified themselves as daughter organizations of “Babylon the Great.”—Rev. 17:5.
These “daughter” religions have shared prominently on both sides in the crusades and other sectarian wars of history. The two world wars of modern times got started between so-called “Christian” nations, while Shintoists and Buddhists also became deeply involved. On both sides, the religious clergy contributed to whipping up the war fever. Rather than represent the ‘God of love,’ the world empire of false religion has always been a leading fomenter of hatred. To this day, Catholics and Protestants fight one another in Northern Ireland. Religion lies behind much of the violence in the Middle East.
However, Babylon the Great is most reprehensible for what is described at Revelation 17:6. Here we read: “I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the holy ones and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus.” Those words have had tragic fulfillment, such as in the persecutions of first-century Christians, in the Inquisitions of the Dark Ages and in Catholic Hitler’s modern-day violent suppression of Jehovah’s Witnesses! Will the ‘God of love’ avenge this bloodguilt? Most certainly he will!