Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Perpetuator of "Two Babylons" Falsehoods Sets Record Straight

[In a sense, this might be considered "old news", but as these falsehoods are still firmly embedded in the minds of so many, it is thus still relevant, and "news" nonetheless.]

Ralph Woodrow
Ralph Woodrow, author of BABYLON MYSTERY RELIGION, has acknowledged the misinformation extant in his book, and has stopped distributing it. As well as publishing another book in which he addresses and critiques these errors, entitled THE BABYLON CONNECTION?, he has also posted a public message on his website, admitting that the former work contains items which are in fact falsehoods.

[You can read the whole statement here: Message from Ralph Woodrow regarding the book BABYLON MYSTERY  RELIGION]

BABYLON MYSTERY RELIGION perpetuates an historical theory, first proposed by Alexander Hislop in his work TWO BABYLONS, that the modern Roman Catholic religion is ultimately a repackaged continuation of the ancient and unchristian pagan religion of Babylon, and that several of its heathen religious practices has infected much of Christianity as a whole.

Woodrow demonstrates that much of this theory is largely established upon what amounts to pseudo-science and historical fiction; in other words, its claims are unfounded. Supposed connections between Catholicism and the ancient paganism are no true connections at all, as the claims result from a shallow assessment of supposed similarities between the two in their external features.

Belief in the false ideas proposed by this book has sometimes led to a needless hostility against Catholicism from otherwise well-meaning Christians, deeming its adherents to be no better than pagans (I partially speak from personal experience.) I believe actively sharing this information will go a long way in clearing up misunderstandings and in promoting a deeper sense of charity between Catholic and non-Catholic Christians.

Here are what I deem as some highlights from Mr. Woodrow's public message:
. . . It puzzles me how some can be so fanatical against one set of errors—or what they perceive to be errors—only to develop greater errors: becoming judgmental, hateful, and dishonest.

My original book... contained certain teachings that were made popular in a book many years ago, THE TWO BABYLONS, by Alexander Hislop. This book claims that the very religion of ancient Babylon... was later disguised with Christian-sounding names, becoming the Roman Catholic Church... Proof for this is sought by citing numerous similarities in paganism. The problem with this method is this: in many cases there is no connection.

. . . By this method, atheists have long sought to discredit the Bible and Christianity altogether—not just the Roman Catholic Church . . . Basic things like prayer, and kneeling in prayer, would have to be rejected, because pagans knelt and prayed to their gods. Water baptism would have to be rejected, for pagans had numerous rites involving water, etc.

. . . It is amazing how unsubstantiated teachings like these circulate—and are believed. One can go to any library, check any history book about ancient Babylon, none of these things will be found. They are not historically accurate, but are based on an arbitrary piecing together of bits and pieces of mythology.

. . . Some claim that round objects, such as round communion wafers, are symbols of the Sun-god. But they fail to mention that the very manna given by God was round! (Exod. 16:14). Some are ready to condemn all pillars and historical monuments as pagan. But they fail to take into account that the Lord himself appeared as a pillar of fire; and, in front of his temple, there were two large pillars (Exod. 13:21,22; 2 Chron. 3:17).

. . . Claims that imply “all these things started in Babylon,” are not only divisive and fruitless, they are untrue.
I would like to personally commend and warmly applaud Mr. Ralph Woodrow for his integrity and honesty in this matter: he is a good man. May God grant him many years.