Lord of the World by BY Robert Hugh Benson (1907) book review
Since this book was recommended by Pope Francis, I thot maybe it would be worth reading to see if it would give any clues to what the papacy is thinking regarding the final events soon to take place. I think it does, but it is difficult to tell the reason that the pope considered this book important enough to warrant recommending to the world.
As a Seventh-day Adventist, I believe that the papal system is the great whore of Revelation who will rule the world for 3 1/2 years and severely persecute all those who go against her law to keep Sunday. So I was kind of looking for something on the Sabbath or something else about God’s commmandments. Instead, it was an entire upend on what the Bible has written about the Catholic Church’s role in end-time events.
Instead of the Little Flock being persecuted by the world-dominating Roman Catholic Church, it is the RCC which has become the Little Flock who is persecuted by a secular-humanist-socialist one-world government!
If you wish to read the book, you may wish to skip the rest of this review, as the entire plot is given away.
The story is set around the beginning of the 21st century, it seems. That’s right, just the time we live in now. As a science-fiction work, the only “cool” thing is something slighly less impressive than airplanes. So as a work of “future cool things”, it is sadly lacking.
But what is the message of the book? It talks about the object of secular education finally giving rise to a secular antichrist-type figure. In describing the rise of this secularism, it talks about the dying of patriotism, rise of pantheism, school teachers replacing prophets, psychology and materialism merging, and thru it all, there is the Freemason menace. Anyone with knowledge of Roman Catholicism knows that Freemasons are their mortal enemies. This part of the story is actually quite true.
The story is told thru several characters’ viewpoints, a young, rising secular politician and his wife in the UK, a couple of priests in the UK, and the end by a Syrian Catholic. The UK priest describes how it is to be a priest and have doubts and fears like everyone when the world is turning against everything you believe in. His methods are what the RCC traditionally does – self-exclusion, ecstatic self-contemplation where he experiences the heart of Christ and Mary and becomes one with the dead saints, does the Mass, rosary, etc.
Interestingly, Democracy is put on the same plane as the hated Freemasonry. Does this show the hatred the RCC has towards freedom? I think so.
The world is split into the East, Europe, and the Americas. The East is thinking of war, but a senator from America goes and calms them down, and then his secular rhetoric sways Europe, but interestingly, he is held in most suspicion in his native country of America. This part certainly reminded me of a certain political leader we have now (2015) in America!
The author can’t have it that the secular triumph will allow people to just do away with all religious symbols and doctrine, so he has them making images and feasts, festivals, and beautiful speeches about free will etc., calling to my mind what actually happened in the French Revolution. Again, as a book of science fiction, there is little imagination displayed.
He goes over several things that he seems to find central to the Roman Catholic faith – the mass, the prayer, the rosary, and Jesus Christ. I was surprised to see Mary was not put on a tall pedestal, but she is honored quite a lot in the book. The secular govt. installs four new festivals of Maternity, Life, Sustenance and Paternity. Somehow here, to me, the author is showing the importance the RCC places on festivals/feasts/celebrations. Then, he writes something quite interesting, saying of this secular govt.: “Sunday worship was to be purely voluntary.”
Pantheistic worship is inaugurated, the antichrist embodies everything Christ is except the individual becomes subordinate to the group and nature itself. This is interesting, as actually it is the RCC that tries to force people to become subordinate to the group and nature.
Then Rome is destroyed by the secular govts of the world to destroy a cancer and make everybody of one mind and heart, Europe forsakes Christianity. The pope moves to Israel. The only Christians left are all RCC.
The final part of the book is quite mystical/spiritualistic. I got to where I just skimmed over several pages, as it is gobbledygook about feelings. It seemed like it was promoting spiritual contemplation – mystical nonsense.
It ends somehow. Reading it, I still couldn’t tell what happened.
My overall take is that it is a middlin’ book, not worthy of notice if the pope had not mentioned it. The main takeaway from it as a Seventh-day Adventist Christian who knows that the papal system is the first beast of Revelation 13, and the great whore who sits on many waters that has killed more Christians in history than any other single organization, and will rule the world for 3 1/2 years inflicting terrible persecution on God’s people again, is that it turns prophecy on its head by trying to make the RCC out to be the Little Flock, and the secular-humanistic-Freemason-Atheist world as the main persecuting power in the end. The fact that Protestants are never even mentioned in the book except once to say “Protestantism is dead” is highly significant to me. In the same paragraph it states: “There are a few faddists left, especially in America and here; but they are negligible.”
This is my main take on the book – the writer paints the Roman Catholic Church as the only Christian group, that “faddists in America” are neglibible, and that the RCC must take the fight to the secular-humanistic world to win all for Jesus.
Now that’s some science fiction for sure!
Let’s be “faddists” for Jesus, and keep the flame of the Protestant Reformation burning bright to the end when we see Jesus come in the clouds and take his little flock of those who keep his 7th day Sabbath (sundown Friday to sundown Saturday), and all his other Commandments, Statutes, and Judgments to heaven to live with him forever.
Jesus Christ, true Lord of the World and the whole Universe!