Friday, October 23, 2009

The Harlot: Part Three: Rahab In Jericho

"Jericho's name is pronounced by its local Palestinian inhabitants Ariha (Arabic أريحا /ʔæˈriːħɑː/), which means "fragrant" and derives from the Canaanite (as well as Arabic and Hebrew) word Reah, of the same meaning. Jericho is also pronounced Yəriḥo ( יְרִיחוֹ) in Hebrew, and an alternate theory holds that it is it derived from the word meaning "moon" (Yareah) in Canaanite and Hebrew, as the city was an early center of worship for lunar deities."

Pope Pius XII, in the Marian Year in which he proclaimed the Assumption of Mary, said,
Enraptured by the splendor of your heavenly beauty and impelled by the anxiety of the world, we cast ourselves into your arms, O, immaculate mother of Jesus, and our mother, Mary. God crowned you Queen of the Universe. O, crystal fountain of faith, bathe our minds with eternal truths; O, FRAGRANT LILY OF HOLINESS, captivate our hearts with your heavenly perfume. O, conqueress of evil and death, inspire in us a deep rise from every heart in this year dedicated to you. Convert the wicked, dry the tears of the afflicted and the oppressed. Comfort the poor and the humble. Quench hatred. Sweeten harshness. In your name, resounding harmoniously in heaven, may they recognize they are all brothers. And, finally, happy with you we may repeat before your throne that hymn which is sung today around your altars: You are all beautiful, O, Mary, you are the glory: you are the joy: you are the honor of our people. (Walter Martin, The Roman Catholic Church in History (Livingston, NJ: Christian Research Institute, Inc., 1960), pp. 45-46.) found here: Emphasis mine.

'She is called the "Star of Morning."
Stronger than a mighty army
Set in battle's long array.
Hence I love the starlit heavens,
And the brilliant Queen of Night,
For I see in gazing upward,
Through that pathless field of light,
From a poem, 'The Name of Mary', found here: Emphasis in the second line is mine.

Joshua 2:
1 Now Joshua the son of Nun sent out two men from Acacia Grove to spy secretly, saying, “Go, view the land, especially Jericho.”
So they went, and came to the house of a harlot named Rahab, and lodged there. 2 And it was told the king of Jericho, saying, “Behold, men have come here tonight from the children of Israel to search out the country.”
3 So the king of Jericho sent to Rahab, saying, “Bring out the men who have come to you, who have entered your house, for they have come to search out all the country.”
4 Then the woman took the two men and hid them.

“Cursed be the man before the Lord, that riseth up and buildeth this city Jericho”
Joshua 6:26
Since he was cursed who rebuilt Jericho, much more the man who labours to restore Popery among us. In our father’s days the gigantic walls of Popery fell by the power of their faith, the perseverance of their efforts, and the blast of their gospel trumpets: and now there are some who would rebuild that accursed system upon its old foundations. O Lord, be pleased to thwart their unrighteous endeavours, and pull down every stone which they build. It should be a serious business with us to be thoroughly purged of every error which may have a tendency to foster the spirit of Popery, and when we have made a clean sweep at home we should seek in every way to oppose its all too rapid spread abroad in the church and in the world. This last can be done in secret by fervent prayer, and in public by decided testimony. We must warn with judicious boldness those who are inclined towards the errors of Rome; we must instruct the young in Gospel truth, and tell them of the black doings of Popery in the olden times. We must aid in spreading the light more thoroughly through the land, for priests, like owls, hate the daylight. Are we doing all we can for Jesus and the Gospel? If not, our negligence plays into the hands of priestcraft. What are we doing to spread the Bible, which is the Pope’s bane and poison? Are we casting abroad good, sound Gospel writings? Luther once said, “The devil hates goose quills,” and doubtless, he has good reason; for ready writers, by the Holy Spirit’s blessing, have done his kingdom much damage. If the thousands who will read this short word will do all they can to hinder the rebuilding of this accursed Jericho, the Lord’s glory shall speed among the sons of men. Reader, what can you do? What will you do?
-C. H. Spurgeon, from Morning and Evening


Moonshadow said...

Spurgeon may be speaking metaphorically, 'though I can't help but hope Jericho's casino industry bears the brunt of that curse.

The Bible is the Pope's bane and poison? Spurgeon's remark is inapplicable to Benedict. Priests are like owls, hating daylight? I haven't met any like that.

Well, I'll tell you, Jennie: we finished Precepts Genesis Part I. Lots of science ... it was difficult because I'm not a science person. I'm more of a literature person. We'll take a break with the small study of Joseph, Genesis Part V, and then pick up the sequence again in January with Genesis Part II: The Fall, the Flood and the Nations. I hope you'll continue to pray for us, especially as we have enjoyed the presence of "new" people - first timers, and such.


Jennie said...

Hi Teresa,
It's good to hear from you again.

I know that Spurgeon's descriptive language isn't what people are used to hearing today. However, I believe in his day he was seeing a different face of the Church than is seen today. The Church still had some temporal power, though it was lessening, and there were still many abuses of power against religious liberty and against Bible believers or other dissenters. In the twentieth century, and into this century, there were and are still abuses of power in places where the Roman Catholic Church is dominant.

Also, the gospel of Scripture and the gospel of Roman Catholicism were different gospels in Spurgeon's day, and there is no reason to believe that has changed today, even though the ecumenical movement has tried to downplay the differences. The true gospel, which is found only in the Bible, and is preached mainly by those who clearly discern it from scripture, must be preserved and protected and proclaimed clearly so people have the opportunity to hear it and respond to it and be saved.

I believe the Roman Catholic Church as a system has obscured the gospel, and that, though it's loss of temporal power has lessened it's ability to exert control, it still retains the infrastructure of it's power, and if it is regained, and perhaps combined with other systems, we will see that the religious and other liberties we are used to here will be in question. I hope that if this happens, that Roman Catholics of the U.S. will recognize what is happening, and 'hide the spies' of God who are in danger instead of 'thinking that they offer God service' by handing them over (That is the difference between the 'sheep and the goats' of the Matthew 25, I believe). Is our allegiance to God, who asks us to have mercy as He does, or to the pope who historically has shown no mercy to those who differ from Roman Catholic doctrine and who will not submit to his decrees?
I'm not saying that many Roman Catholics, including priests, are not Christians, in spite of the confusion about the gospel, but that they will have to make a choice soon as to who they will serve, God or the Roman Catholic Church. They are not the same thing.

I know I'm being blunt, and bluntness is not my nature, but at the risk of sounding strange, I know these things are important to say.

Jennie said...

Your classes sound very interesting, and I'm glad you're enjoying them. I like science as long as it doesn't get too technical. I wonder what perspective the classes have on creation vs. evolution, and what your perspective is on it. I know the RCC does not think evolution is incompatible with faith.

Moonshadow said...

The bluntness is fine and doesn't sound strange. I know you believe those things, so why shouldn't you say them, as well.

Here's a picture I took near Jericho ten years ago, St. George's Monastery. See the Greek Orthodox monastery built right into the mountainside.

The perspective of the classes was that the scientific narratives of "Big Bang" and evolution are utterly incompatible with the narrative of Genesis, so a Bible-believing Christian cannot accept the scientific narratives over the word of God.

There were times during the lectures that women applauded the speaker's conclusions and cheered. It was very emotional for them and many indicated that they get into arguments with their spouses over science and the Bible. It seems that the classes provided much-needed affirmation that the ladies are correct and some scientific reasons why.

I became uncomfortable in the second-to-the-last lecture when the topic turned to "Big Bang" because some hostility was expressed towards the scientists who discovered the background radiation associated with "Big Bang." You see, I worked at AT&T for a number of years (a number of years ago) and had caught a glimpse of one of the scientists who won the Nobel Prize for the discovery of "Big Bang" radiation, Arno Penzias. He has a wonderful personal story of escaping Naziism as a boy. This man is somehow an enemy because of an accidental discovery? No, he's a man of integrity.

My personal perspective hasn't changed but I understand better what's at stake. That is, I see that my perspective on the origins of the universe carries significant implications for other things, like doctrine of God and doctrine of man. I haven't been satisfied for some time by "the gap," evolutionarily-speaking, between humans and our supposed great ape progenitor. Unfortunately, the recent find dubbed "Ardi" was, in fact, too recent to be mentioned in the lectures or study material.

Jennie said...

I'm not familiar with the story about Arno Penzias and his discovery. I wonder if he himself assumed that this radiation had to be associated with a 'big bang' or if others used his data to make that conclusion. If he did relate it to the big bang, are there not other possible reasons for this radiation to exist? I'm not a scientist, but I'm sure there has been more research on this and other interpretations of the data. Are there not other phenomena that contradict a big bang?

Moonshadow said...

or if others used his data to make that conclusion.

In his bio, Penzias says another scientist clarified the significance of the discovery: "It was not until Dr. Field reminded me of them in December of 1966 that I had any recollection of my momentary involvement with what was later shown (by Field and others) to be observational astronomy's first encounter with the primordial radiation that permeates our Universe."

Are there not other phenomena that contradict a big bang?

In two different doctors' waiting rooms, I've come cross the September issue of Scientific American whose theme seems to be "beginnings." I wish I'd thought earlier about getting a copy at the newsstand, too late now. Science refuses, perhaps prudently, to comment on what, if anything, preceded the "Big Bang."

For me, personally, I still have a difficult time inserting a wedge between a book, even The Book, and people. I guess, not satisfied with the two choices with which I'm routinely presented by Christian tradition, I'm always looking for that "third way," whatever it is.

Peace. It's bedtime here. *Snooze*

Jennie said...

Here's an interesting article about intolerance of alternative views in the scientific world.

I found it on a search at Here's the search page: