Teacher: Chancellor Roger J. Magnuson
Topic: Review the account of the tower of Babel in light of Sir William Jones’ breathtaking discovery shared with the Oriental Society in Calcutta in the early 1800’s and tell the significance of God’s intentions for humanity as revealed in his multiplication of languages in the light of current calls for world federalism, a new world order and descriptions of the United Nations as man’s last best hope. Having traced the political significance of Babel, describe whether it was an expression of God’s judgment, or God’s mercy, or both.
Title: Centripetalism, the Demonic Device
Centripetalism is a great demonic device that the Devil has used in Old Testament times, New Testament times and today. There are two forces when something is spinning: a centrifugal force creates pressure outward, sending things flying out; a centripetal force creates pressure inward, forcing things into the center.
- Seductiveness—the Devil is a great persuader, one might say he’s a great conman; he is a great marketer, who sells the sizzle, not the steak. You can smell the sizzle, and pay for the steak. The devil has nothing nourishing, he simply sells the sizzle. That’s why ice cream is anti-satanic, it has no sizzle.
- Appeal to Sense—People saw after the flood that humanity was beginning to go all sorts of directions, society was being fractured and people were falling out of communication with one another, and so it seemed to make sense for them to build a piece of enormous architecture as a sort of magnet to hold things together. In the l960’s, this was called urban renewal—when people saw fractioning of the body politic, they would bulldoze and rebuild to keep people downtown, not letting them disperse into the countryside. That’s the reason why people build sports stadia downtown. They try to bind people together. If you had lived way back then, you probably would have thought, “What a great idea! Build a ziggurat and that will be the absolute centerpiece of our society, and even if people spread out, they will always revolve around that centerpiece? It just seemed to make sense.
- Appeal to Sensuality—the sense of excitement that goes along with centripetalism—people love to be builders, to keep things together—in a dead church, you get a building program, that gets people excited! Any time you can collaborate on a major project, you incite people’s sensual drives: their nerve endings tingle at the thought of making such a major center of their pride. Something about the human nature is stirred up by centripetalism.
- Appeal to Sentiment—It is a nice sentiment to find unity among people, not to let people get together: the name of Babel, means “gate to God,” expresses a religious sentiment. It is an attempt to reach God, has basically a sentimental attraction.
- Strategy—Satan organizes strategic enterprises among humans.
- Mission—He wants to bring the whole world together so he can rule it. He wants to organize a united church and a united world that is fit to be his control. The devil has been in a state of free fall, he became the prince of the power of the air. The Bible tells us he was cast out upon the world. The world is his by rump, not by right, and when he is seeking to entice Jesus, he offers Him control over the world. It is a battle with the devil over the world, and especially the souls in the world, as his goal. He will have a son, the “son of perdition,” the antichrist. There will be the antitype of Jesus Christ.
- Tactics—individual skirmishes that create forward progress in his campaign. Wherever Satan can encourage centripetalism, he will.
- Pride—Pride goes before a fall. The whole motive of Babel was pride. They were going to show that by their great prowess in engineering, they could build a great tower. Every religion outside of Christianity is full of pride! Each one thinks it can build its own tower to heaven—this comes from Satan, who has always been the embodiment of pride. It was his proud insolence that caused him to want to be like God and eventually to be cast out of heaven. He seeks to influence the world with these same things.
- Power—Lord Action, the English philosopher came up with the saying, “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” When Satan lost the power struggle, the best way to get power back was to get people under a single power.
- Method—It is not to be centrifugal with power, but to be centripetal, to bind people together around common things with the benign ideas of beneficent well doing.
- Significance—Tower of Babel showed a picture of world federalism; the problem, they say today, is just a lack of communication, a lack of mutual understanding. New use of euro, new fiscal policy, fighting of wars under UN flags, giving power to commanders outside the nation, punishment of soldiers who want to wear US uniforms in these kind of conflicts, worldwide police force, social study books whose last chapter call the UN the “last best hope of man on earth,” are all signs of Satan’s work in the world. They all seem to carry out the devil’s program of consolidating power. While Satan is a centripetalist, God is a centrifugalist.
- World Order—
- Ecclesiastical Issues—Ecclesiastical view that God wants a central religious authority: i.e., the Pope and bishops, etc. But God intends dispersion of power—they may have exciting, stimulating purposes that seem spiritual.
- Evangelism—God’s purpose from Matthew 28 and Acts l is centrifugal. He wants people, not to gather together, but to disperse them all over with the same message. Therefore, He says, we will be witnesses unto the uttermost parts of the earth. He wants to put pressure on us to be thrown out of our comfort zone—what we see today is the belief that the Gospel can be best presented in a megachurch.