Remember back in Genesis…
When the people are coming together – forming a one world government of sorts? It’s the story of the Tower of Babel. God saw this, either came down as a cloud, angel of the Lord or preincarnate Jesus (choose one), and jumbled it all up. Why? Well, the people were wicked. Pretty much all of them. We know this because later in Genesis, Noah is tapped to build the Ark since he was the only righteous man around. But, back to Babel…
Since the people were wicked, idolatrous heathens worshiping themselves at this point (and maybe a false god or two), God wasn’t about to have them come together as one powerful force to ruin the path He had set into motion for the birth of Jesus years later. Things were already set into motion since Adam to lay the groundwork for the Son to come and reconcile mankind, and all the heavenly host may have known about it. One did for sure: Lucifer. He could very well have been behind Nimrod and his people trying to obtain an evil kind of divinity. God wasn’t gonna let this happen. He divided their languages.
One minute they could understand each other, the next minute they were like “what?!”
This story shows a couple things:
One: God has a plan that overrides our plans. If we try to monkey wrench His plans, He’ll make our plans lemons. And then come back and make lemonade out of them later.
Two: We humans have amazing potential. If we put all our brains together to worship God and glorify Him, who knows what we could accomplish for the Kingdom?
The Story of Babel
1 Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. 2 As people moved eastward,they found a plain in Shinarand settled there.
3 They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. 4 Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”
5 But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. 6 The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. 7 Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”
8 So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. 9 That is why it was called Babel—because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.
– Genesis 11:1-9
So God had His Babel. Evil wasn’t ever going to be able to unite as one to threaten the birth of Jesus. He was born. Preached His messaged. Talked about the Way. Showed us the Way. Took on our sins. Was crucified. Died. Defeated death because that last Person it took was too much for death to handle. He rose from the grave. Sin has no sting. Sin has no stain. He ascended into Heaven. He awaits the Father’s signal to come back.
That said, there is a second Babel story. It’s so large we can’t see the forest for the trees: Christian denominations. Every one of them claims to be the right one, but how’s that possible? Each one has pretty solid Scriptural backup when used in certain contexts. One has to be the one and all the other ones are anti-denominations, right? (I hope you saw that as a redundant question because I don’t have the answer!)
But what I do know is that maybe the division – scattering or jumbling – of Christianity between the numerous church denominations is Satan’s Babel. The people were evil and tried to be God, so the Lord scattered them. The church is good and tries to promote God, so the devil scatters them. Makes sense to me.
Of course, we know that God wins in the end!
This seems to further prove that Jesus is God and the Savior of the world because Satan wouldn’t want everyone to equally understand, nor believe, this. It would ruin his game, so he whispers in ears and plants division seeds. Usually over trivial matters that build up over time. Some issues bigger than others.
The Catholic Church claims that Peter was the rock in which Jesus was to build Christianity upon, while others see the exact same passage as Jesus referring to what Peter said – “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”– as what Christianity would be built upon. Everything else has been a rocky road since. Perhaps that is where the confusion started, where Satan’s Babel began.
Here’s that Bible passage:
15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.” 20 Then He warned the disciples that they should tell no one that He was the Christ.
– Matthew 16:15-20
A couple things come to mind here:
Where it has Jesus saying “Peter” it is actually “petros” meaning, well, Peter.
Where it has Jesus saying “rock” it is actually “petra” meaning “rock.”
Possibly: The “rock” actually refers to what Peter just said: “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” That is what Jesus said would be the rock upon which the Church (called-out ones) would be formed.
Essentially: “I also say to you that you are petros, and upon this petra [Jesus is the rock; this understanding you just gave us] I will build My church…”
That’s the general non-Catholic translation of the verse. Of course, the Catholics read it as Jesus specifically telling Peter that he was to be the rock of the church. I’m not Catholic, so I don’t think it’s this. Plus, isn’t Jesus the rock in which Christianity is grounded, founded and sounded?
Satan’s Babel is continuing. There are three main Christian branches: Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant. From those, thousands upon thousands of denominations have been formed, all thinking they have the most right answers. Some claim to have all of them.
I’ve even joked that pretty much every Christian could qualify as their own denomination since no churchgoer 100% agrees with the Pastor and ministry leaders.
If we forget everything we’ve learned from any Christian person ever, white-wash our brains and then crack open a Bible again for the first time, we will have no preconceived understandings or subconscious bias one way or the other. However, this would require the entire Christian world to do this. Even then, our understandings will not be the same and Satan’s Babel would just start over. Denominations would split, the word “heresy” would again become subjective.
What’s the answer then?
Put the NASI (Not A Salvation Issue) stuff aside for a time. As much fun as it is to research and write about things like universe built in 6 days vs. a jillion years, it doesn’t matter when speaking about how Jesus wants us to live. Let’s focus on what Jesus said:
“Love God first, love your neighbor as yourself next.”
He said all the Laws (there are 613 of them!) and the Prophets depend on those two things. We only have TWO THINGS to do to show the world how to be a follower of Jesus! If we do those two simple things, I imagine the world will get better and Satan’s tower will start to get foundation cracks.