A battle hymn for truth, justice and the Pope’s way

Posted: 30th April 2008 by ElShaddai Edwards in Uncategorized

Whether by omission or commission, not a word was written here about the Pope’s recent visit to the United States. Frankly I don’t have the context to fairly speak about Roman Catholicism and the role of the Pope. My exposure to the Roman Catholic Church is limited to a few months of attending different services with an ex-fiancée, in which I mainly was trying to keep straight which churches allowed communion by intinction and which ones didn’t (never mind that as a non-Catholic I wasn’t supposed to be partaking anyway), as well as a visit to the University of Notre Dame for a ND vs. USC football game in the cold rain (yes, they allow intinction at Notre Dame, just in case you were curious).

I’ve read about the Pope (meaning the position, not the current holder of that title) inspiring countless millions, as well as millions who look at him as the incarnate Antichrist. And some, like Kim Riddlebarger, who see him (the person) as:

a brilliant and formidable theologian (Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger), who now presides over a church which officially denies the gospel of justification sola fide.

Which I suppose could be the same as the incarnate Antichrist, but at least Riddlebarger didn’t go so far as to name him “Satan’s Pastor”, as Iyov recently labeled fellow blogger John Hobbins.

However, a recent post by Michael Barber on “Singing in the Reign” about the Pope’s visit caught my eye as it promised to undercover some of things that may have otherwise slipped past the media’s eye.

There’s been much written about Pope Benedict’s visit to the US. You’ll find commentary in the media, in the Catholic blogosphere, in Catholic-friendly arenas, in anti-Catholic forums—like I said, a lot has been said. But there’s a lot about this visit that you’re not hearing. A lot of that has to do with the fact that most of the commentators don’t know how to contextualize what just happened. Here I want to do that. Just what happened with this visit. Well, the short answer is: way more than most people realize. Let me explain… and, as I said before, let me do so by helping to provide the framework for understanding why this visit was so big.

Barber goes to on to discuss the current state of Catholicism in Europe, the unprecedented greeting by President Bush, the opening remarks by President Bush and the Pope, and the Pope’s “long-fought war for truth in the face of relativism.”

He ends by discussing the final ceremonial song of the welcome ceremony, “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”, tying in the President’s now famous (infamous?) remark that he sees God when he looks in the eyes of the Pope to the opening phrase in the hymn: “Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord…” He concludes by noting with astonishment that the hymn sung by the army choir was based on the exact passage (Revelation 14) that was used for that day’s prayer from “the Liturgy of the Hours―the prayer book prayed by virtually all priests, religious and many lay people.”

14 Then I looked, and there was a white cloud, and One like the Son of Man was seated on the cloud, with a gold crown on His head and a sharp sickle in His hand. 15 Another angel came out of the sanctuary, crying out in a loud voice to the One who was seated on the cloud, “Use your sickle and reap, for the time to reap has come, since the harvest of the earth is ripe.” 16 So the One seated on the cloud swung His sickle over the earth, and the earth was harvested.

17 Then another angel who also had a sharp sickle came out of the sanctuary in heaven. 18 Yet another angel, who had authority over fire, came from the altar, and he called with a loud voice to the one who had the sharp sickle, “Use your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of grapes from earth’s vineyard, because its grapes have ripened.” 19 So the angel swung his sickle toward earth and gathered the grapes from earth’s vineyard, and he threw them into the great winepress of God’s wrath. 20 Then the press was trampled outside the city, and blood flowed out of the press up to the horses’ bridles for about 180 miles.

– Revelation 14:14-20 (HCSB)

Barber highlights the phrase “the press was trampled outside the city”, but doesn’t explain why. I can only suppose that he is meaning that God’s winepress is located outside of Rome. Is the suggestion that the events of Revelation are being divinely fulfilled by the Pope’s visit to the United States? Or does some event planning bureaucrat in Washington have an apocalyptic sense of humor?

Barber promises two more posts on the Pope’s visit. I’ll look forward to them to better know whether kissing the Pope’s ring (as Ms. Pelosi recently did) is bending my knee to acknowledge Christ as Lord or taking the mark of the Beast.

  1. Iyov says:

    I never called John Hobbins Satan’s Pastor. First, you need to google all the Latin proper names in my posts. Second, in my belief system, ha-Satan is an angel of God, a good guy (if a bit stern). Third, to be truly wicked, one must be truly knowledgeable.

  2. Fair enough, Iyov. If that wasn’t your intent, then I’ll be happy to strike the note from my post. However, I’m not the only one who’s expressed this specific concern; in fact, many other regular bloggers have come to a similar conclusion. The fact that you disabled comments on that post doesn’t help our coming to any other conclusion. Satire is perhaps best discussed, not hidden behind.

    But, again, if you say that your post was not satirically about your recent acerbic interaction with John on his blog, then I’ll strike the comment.

  3. Iyov says:

    I am of course, highly critical of the way Hobbins has managed himself in defending the ESV — I believe he has largely copied his points from another author (he admitted as much in his latest post) and he has also failed to consider the entire situation. Furthermore, he is apparently indifferent to the very real concerns of women, who are badly slighted in the ESV. Nonetheless, I would not say that Hobbins is evil incarnate. Rather, I would say he is badly confused.

  4. I’ve missed his latest posts, so I appreciate you pointing that out. It would be disappointing if his arguments are not original to him, regardless of their validity or indifference.

  5. Nathan Stitt says:

    I am glad to see that cleared up. 8)