W W W W World Wide Web Witness Inc. Home Page Contents Page for Volume What is New
Advertiser, February 20, 1999
JUSTICE AND THE PAPACY
It is of interest to note that there has been a candid admission that the Pope, or his entourage, has approached the British Government with a plea for leniency in the case of Argentinian General Pinochet. As Head of State, this gentleman is accused by many of crimes against humanity. The plea by an advocate has been presented on TV, to the effect that the Communist danger required a deliverance, the General provided it and he must not be seen as if there had not been a 'war' on.
On the other side, in the same multiple TV interview, the case was presented that crimes against humanity are neither the same as the actions of war nor required by it. If anyone chooses such vast and eclectic deprivations of human dignity, so acting against civilians with torture, brutality and liberality of methods of intimidation, leading to massive and untested extinctions of non-combatants, this is answerable ethically, and there is no escape on the grounds of that other phenomenon known as war.
Nuremberg, one should have thought, would have made in its massive post-World War II trials, the point once and for all that obedience to orders (and far more the issuance of them!) is no excuse for what transcends the war of those formally opposed, and attacks humanity, as it were, on the side.
The evidence as in any other action needs evaluation, and the post-war Trials noted are an excellent example of the sort of task which properly would lie ahead, in determining what happened in fact, and where it stands in judgment in such a case as this, if it is to be handled before men.
However the POPE has intervened. It says much for the Blair Government in Britain, that as the Advertiser reports, when Lord Lamont asked: " Has the Government received any represenation from the Vatican on General Pinochet's behalf?" he actually received an intelligible and pointed answer. One's own dealings with the S.A. Government on the topic of a crime against youth when it pushes its unscientific hypothesis of organic evolution so remorselessly, removing all competition even when it abundantly meets the demands of scientific method, shows that a candid and pointed answer is a boon when there is DESIRE on the part of Government. Smoke screens are not merely used in maritime battles. NEVER has one received any answer which goes so far as to use scientific method on the matters in view from that body.
To return however to the BRITISH Government, to its credit,
it gave reply to the point to Lord Lamont:
It was brief and pithy. Did they receive such a request from the Vatican ? In one word came their answer: "Yes." This was a written answer, it is reported. We find also reported that General Pinochet is a "life-long practising Catholic".
"Clearly, any representation will be taken into account. But I think in a case like this, the Vatican does not really have any place in asking for one thing or another. It is not a matter for religion."
Wrong again. Religion is precisely what IS relevant. Indeed, if one is seeking JUSTICE and not CULTURAL REACTION for a given action, or series of murders, or whatever, if there is NO ABSOLUTE, then there is no justice, merely response of the cultural mandate that man continually changes with the political and philosophical seasons, making martyrs of conscience and the rest. It is only if - to use the term we have defined purely for clarity, META-RELIGION is involved, that there is more than some inglorious contribution to the stark follies found in Gulliver's Travels, where cranky and diminutive social puppets did what they wanted with the utmost solemnity. Meta-religion ? That is, religion evidencing itself as from the Almighty, honoured by Him, and without effectual logical challenge (cf. Isaiah 41-48, where the point is abundantly made).
If, therefore, ONE MAN should happen to have a series of thoughts, values and a conscience probe so that he does this, and another GROUP has a dissimilar set, then is it JUSTICE which brings to pass, quite apart from the contribution of having held this or that for a longish time, the judgment of one on the other ? Is this a matter of JUSTICE! Without God, and His word, there is no possibility of justice which can meet the claims and clamours of all, with objectivity rather than mere power. Traces of memory, twinges of conscience, contributions of tradition may help, or hinder; but one source alone transcends this vicious contortion of sin against sin, bending, twisting or bedevilling.
However, to a certain measure, the Government source quoted in the Advertiser, is in the right direction. It is not a matter for MAN'S RELIGION, where a pope can speak infallibly in the name of Christ, and as God Almighty on earth, as the New York Catechism puts it (see reference, in SMR Index) to determine, any more than for man's politics. Where cultural enclaves rule, is God to be silenced ? Not really. He has indicated clearly what He wants (cf. Micah 6:6-8, Amos 6:11-12, 4:10-13, 2:13-16, 5:13-16, 8:4,11, 5:24, 4:1, Isaiah 1:17, Mark 12:31). HE will judge. In the meantime, judgments which would be lenient towards crimes against humanity are appropriate neither politically nor religiously. God is judge, and as far as man and his ways are concerned, his actions are to love your neighbour as yourself, and God first above all, the revealed God, the performing God, who distinguishes Himself above all, and with no equals.
This does not mean that, for social convenience, you agree or pretend to agree with what God has condemned; but it does mean that you do not play God. What God wants of this generation is express and clear, involving idolatry neither of the State nor a religion; HIS OWN meta-religious words, being HIS, are to be obeyed, and if any think otherwise, there is only the rule of the mutterings and natterings of man to consider. Unfortunate indeed are those locked into these woes, but justice is not their name nor the collar about their necks.
It may be true that much Biblical truth is shown in British law in restraint and in care; but when its basis is neglected, the superstructure being without foundation, becomes merely in jeopardy like anything else. It then runs the express peril of becoming a more dignified nattering and muttering, leading to endless dissatisfaction with the correct feeling, that there are too many who take much too much upon themselves, making man ludicrous and the Lord to be despised. It is He however who alone is in a position, determining what man is, whom He made, and what are His powers and responsibilities, to bring sound judgment, and to give the facility for operating in the correct confines on His behalf, to man.
All these legal trials about 'crimes against humanity', make one thing clear: impressive as were, at least in intent, the Nuremberg trials, which discounted mere authority, and required a REASON from each individual for the action of the same, not merely someone's name, who gave an order: they yet melt into mist when compared with the coming judgments of God Almighty.
With principles long ANNOUNCED, and all DATA ABSOLUTELY
KNOWN, there will be an opening of the divine books which is shattering
to pretence, immune to evasion (Revelation 20:11). It is a corresponding
mercy that here also is the GRACE treaty or covenant which God has for
millenia mounted on blood on the rock, a fitting emblem of cost and reliability,
both, the blood of Christ and the rock of His reality. The book of life
records those who have fled to Him for refuge (Isaiah 66:19,
Hebrews 2:3), and being covered in His pardon, bought at such a price in
the interests of justice (Romans 3:23-28), are His and given due and true
pardon because in love He has met the case in ransom payment
This topic is of its own interest. Thus in Adelaide University, a Ph.D. student once decided "Your book is wrong!" on the delusive basis that it did not mention persecution by the Anglican Church. As the book did not deny such persecution, and in fact cited some of it (SMR pp.446-447), it was a tad difficult to see even the relevance of this unsupported charge, far more its force! It disappeared into the soup of rampant emotion and irrational reaction, a pathogen not uncommon when the Lord requires one to forsake all that one has, and follow HIM (Luke 14:27ff.).
fact, this world grasping powers
are many. Thus in SMR we have these paragraphs
Verbal assault without logical force is unfortunately one of the ways of what is untrue. The truth stands without any difficulty even when abused, and is often the more obvious because of the contrast between it, and mere verbal denigration.
What is interesting indeed is that it is BABYLON in Revelation 16:19 ff. which is singled out for the divine treatment of retribution for inhuman and vast assaults on the saints. This symbolically signified city of the famous seven hills, is identified in SMR pp. 946ff., beyond evidential doubt, as Rome.
Yet there is far more to it *, though not less, than that, a reference being given at the time of the challenge, though never answered, since error can be speechless under test, and merely continue to adorn its preferences with neither truth nor wit. SMR's First Edition carried this extension of 'Mystery Babylon' which charts the end of Babylon against its whole array of commencements and extensions, it type (pp/ 729ff.).
As the proud recipient
of the great name of one of the greatest religious mix-masters of all time,
that is, of Babylon (cf. Jeremiah 50:18-51:34, 51:44, 51:52-53 -
and note of Babylon this, "he has spit
Me out", 51.34), the syncretist specialists,
this new Babylon,
Rome, has indeed become a death-mask for this whole religious spirit
of folly and presumption, self-affirming arrogance and power before the
face of the Lord, before the divine judgment so abundantly
outlined in Revelation 17-18. It is this which is measured and identified
as coming for that city of the seven hills. That is how 'Babylon' is when
it is laid to rest, summed up in this Roman location: but its antecedents
as also noted in SMR (p. 1031C) for
this name, reach vastly into antiquity, and these indeed give to Rome this
censorious name, set upon its seven hills in Revelation.
Indeed, it has spiritual associates, in condominion. As noted in the above reference,Most importantly, in the system of apologetics in this site, Rome is given extensive treatment not least because it is
"In practice, this end-time 'mystery' of Babylon reaches to the WCC cohorts, to the New Babylon as indiscrete adherents might call it. It centres in Rome and bubbles beyond with all the brave effrontery of an ancient regime, the religion-thirsty, confused spirit of Babylon. However, though its battlements have changed, its foundations are the same: Rome has centred it, the WCC dances about it, antiquity knew it, its predicted precincts for today are as clear as the astounding spate and state of its friends. On these same foundations of old, sit Liberalism , neo-Orthodoxy, Existentialism - indeed the whole heretical synthetics (Biblically 'harlotries') of today. "
1) RELEVANT to the contemporary scene and the prophetic portent, jointly,
2) fulfilling to the 't' the latter, and operating high profile in the former, and hence
3) equipped with verificatory value, merely enhanced by the amazing divine donated forecast of I Timothy 4:1-4.
It also is
4) the scripturally cited body on which judgment is to be poured, as was the case with the generation of Jesus Christ, something stored up over a long period (cf. Matthew 24:33-36); and hence it figures in the scenario of fulfilments, and conditions leading to them.
In that parallel pronounced in Jerusalem which was to receive, just as it did receive such retribution some 40 years after the murder of the Lord Jesus Christ, the words are a stimulus to understanding. Let us quote them:
You see that focus of much on the current standard bearer, the present runner in that evil marathon of religious self-assertion. Yet for all that, Christ went right on to say in lament, for He has no pleasure in the death of the wicked (Ezekiel 33:11),
It would be an anti-verification if NO CITY at ROME could be said to be resplendent as is this predicted city, guilty of much blood of the saints and a very conspicuously central focus for the spirit of Babylon! Accordingly, its presence is a massive verification, some 1900 years after the prediction.
Yet there is far more to it than this, significant though it undoubtedly is. It is -
5) imperative in any rational consideration of Christianity, its claims and its fruits, in parallel with other religions, to realise that the path of Romanism, Roman Catholic world imperialism as shown in Unam Sanctam, mentioned earlier, and in many other ways in history, one which has led to multitudinous slaughter, torture, dispossession, is NOTHING WHATEVER TO DO WITH BIBLICAL CHRISTIANITY: this is shown in detail in SMR pp. 1032ff..
when some journalist in a local paper (as in fact happened here in Adelaide)
speaks of Christianity as a failure because it has been implicated in wars
and aggressions, it is a mere confusion. He/she simply confuses a this-worldly
aspiration on the part of Rome (it makes no difference that it does not
stop there, it still abides there), with all its horrors, with Christianity,
a lapse which is most obviously highly relevant to Christian Apologetics.
You might as well condemn medicine because some practitioner, excluded
from the society of the doctors, has done evilly, disdaining the Hippocratic
oath. It is important for medicine to make its position clear, that this
is not medicine, but rather its abuse. So here.
Rome is the death-mask of Babylon, that world urge with synthetic, all-embracing religion, like an itch of misguided angst in the troubled heart of man; but the spirit and city of Babylon lived long before it came to this; and has surged into its present format through a varied ancestry, and with many associates. Yet since the Bible focusses on Rome so profoundly, and indeed as an international religious centre of no small parade, it has lived up to, or down to Biblical expectations with some flair: it is the Rome of these pretensions which must be roundly contemplated in any conscientious work in this field. Now as in former times, each with its flair and fame, the metonymy of Rome is of no doubt. There is none like it indeed! As Rome' stood for much in its Empire days, so now the association of the term is manifest and unique. The contemporary site is no newcomer, and its long specific antecedents go back in spirit at least, in this setting some 1400 years, when the Bishop of Rome, Gregory I, first complained of the misuse and mischief of the term 'universal bishop' as applied to the bishop of that city.
In his view, it was a matter of antichrist, for any bishop, so to speak of himself or his office. It insulted the brethren, the other pastors, and exalted what had no such due (see SMR p. 914, 924, Matthew 23:8-10, I John 2:24-27, I Peter 5:1-4, Ezekiel 26-27, cf. SMR pp. 623ff.). The effective categories when it comes to being the teacher and master, are merely two: CHRIST, the 'Master', and ALL the REST, who are 'brethren'. We may function differently (I Corinthians 12, Romans 12) as brethren, but that is the place of mastery in the Church, for the throne is that of the Lord Himself, overtowering, overpowering, filled with grace, God as man, the Saviour.
There is no other Lord, no other Saviour, and the difference is infinite (Psalm 73:25, 89:6, Isaiah 43:10-11, Ephesians 4:4, John 13:13-15). The rest ? the brethren ? they are redeemed sinners; Christ, increate, He is the Redeemer who is Lord over His own, and ONLY Lord (Ephesians 4:4, II Corinthians 11:13-19,) and master. In this field, additions are merely subtractions, and the final subtraction of such additions is a vast judgment as outlined in Revelation 13-18.
See further on this topic, Biblical Blessings, Ch.2, pp.
21ff. , which
deals amongst many other things, with the "Mystery Babylon the Great" to be
found in Revelation 17, which merely amplifies the signal of Rome, readily
identified from its 7 hills (Rev. 17:9), moving to the other signals coming from
the term "Babylon", which was a symbol par excellence of religious
syncretism, deviationism, misuse of the divine name, playing about with
religion in the interests of political power and so on. Such extension into
the hinterland of the past, of these culminating events for Rome, has been published from
1992, in the first Edition of The Shadow of a Mighty Rock, as on
There we see that the 'Babylon' of Revelation,
"though focussed as we show, in Rome of the 7 hills ... is yet an approach, a projection,
a renegade movement - a monument to confused and evil - not to say forceful ... religion:
there is also more generally, a type of propaganda. This, broadly promulgated, adopts
the spirit of this sort of confused compromise."
Thus these culminating events in terms of Rome and Babylon, in Revelation, are shown from the very first Edition of The Shadow of a Mighty Rock, in terms of the spirit of the thing, which continues to its entire overthrow, not only in its original pagan religious lust, or in the developing primacy of Rome which enshrines it, and biblically specifically defines its hub, but in the generic thrust into the heartland of false religion ('Mystery Babylon' - Rev. 17:5) without the discipline of the true and living God, Himself alone the Master. This proceeds until the finale looms on the disappearing horizon of human power. Thus Rev. 18:24 now leads on to Revelation 19, which commences, "After these things ... ".
Here, the more direct movements culminating in Revelation
19:19-20, artfully consummate what went before, even when 'Babylon' as
identified in focus, lies a burnt ruin (Rev. 17-18); for the beast does not rest
with Babylon (Rev. 17:16), and participates ( will "make
her desolate") in her just ruin (so seen in Rev. 18:21-24). It is
in his own terminal arrogance, that he proceeds to his own terminus (19:19-20)
in the vile company of the false prophet (16:13-14).