Is God Back?
The October 23, 2000 issue of U.S. News & World Report ran a lead editorial titled, "Divining the God Factor" (p. 22), which recalled the famed cover story in Time magazine during the 1960's, "Is God Dead?" The editorial asks, "Now, in a quieter America, one might well ask, "Is God Back?" (Ibid.).
The editorial claims, "The signs of change are everywhere," from the wide popularity of the "Left Behind" novel series to the skyrocketing sales of "Christian" rock music and religious posturing by political candidates (Ibid.). Reference is even made to a book by a Yale legal scholar who claims that "a secular government has trivialized religion and, in its effort to separate church and state, has placed serious obstacles in the way of passing religious traditions from parents down to children" (Ibid.).
The editorial contrasts the current "revival" with past ones, stating that instead of the "fire and brimstone" preaching of such as Jonathan Edwards, we now see the rise of what is called "Christianity lite," or "low-cal" Christianity," which seems to mesh religion with entertainment (in such religious novels as Left Behind and TV shows like "Touched by an Angel" and yearns for spirituality while resisting "group identity" (Ibid.).
The editorial concludes, "A cursory reading of history reveals that if we aren't amid a religious awakening, we're probably due for one soon" (Ibid.).
Jesus Himself predicted the rise of "Christianity lite" when He declared:
"Many shall say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name have cast out devils? And in Thy name done many wonderful works? And then I will profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity" (Matt. 7:22, 23).
One dispute a thoughtful Christian might have with the U.S. News editorial is the contrast it draws at one point between what it calls "Christianity lite" and the so-called "Christian right" (Ibid.). Considering the fact that the Christian Right promotes legislation as the solution to society's ills, something which doesn't produce conversion or a true change of lifestyle, it too should properly be called "Christianity lite."
From the pen of Inspiration we know that not only is a true revival coming, but a false one which will precede the true:
"Before the final visitation of God's judgments upon the earth there will be among the people of the Lord such a revival of primitive godliness as has not been witnessed since apostolic times. The Spirit and power of God will be poured out upon His children. . . . The enemy of souls desires to hinder this work; and before the time for such a movement shall come, he will endeavor to prevent it by introducing a counterfeit. In those churches which he can bring under his deceptive power he will make it appear that God's special blessing is poured out; there will be manifest what is thought to be great religious interest. Multitudes will exult that God is working marvelously for them, when the work is that of another spirit. Under a religious guise, Satan will seek to extend his influence over the Christian world" (The Great Controversy, p. 464).
Elsewhere, in the same book, we read a similar prediction:
"The line of distinction between professed Christians and the ungodly is now hardly distinguishable. Church members love what the world loves and are now ready to join with them, and Satan determines to unite them in one body and thus strengthen his cause by sweeping all into the ranks of spiritualism. Papists, who boast of miracles as a certain sign of the true church, will be readily deceived by this wonder-working power; and Protestants, having cast away the shield of truth, will also be deluded. Papists, Protestants, and worldlings alike will accept the form of godliness without the power, and they will see in this union a grand movement for the conversion of the world, and the ushering in of the long-expected millennium" (The Great Controversy, pp. 588, 589).
"They shall not cleave one to another"
In an article titled, "Neither Love Nor Money," the October 9, 2000 issue of U.S. News & World Report described the loss of credibility by the so-called "euro dollar," demonstrated by the recent rejection thereof by Denmark and continuing opposition to it from the United Kingdom and Sweden (p. 43). Predictions that this currency would "take the world by storm," as the article puts it, have fallen flat. While the economy of Europe remains strong, the "euro" recent fell 28 percent against the strong U.S. dollar and the similarly strong currencies of the various European nations (Ibid.).
Ray Attrill, a London financial analyst, predicts, "I could see the Germans taking to the streets" when asked to turn in their deutsche marks for "an increasingly worthless euro" on January 1, 2002 (Ibid.).
What did the prophet Daniel say about the nations of modern Europe?
"And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay" (Dan. 2:43).
In the falling fortunes of the "euro" dollar we see further evidence of the truthfulness of Daniel's statement to Nebuchadnezzar:
"The dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure" (Dan. 2:45).
Natural Disasters Watch
A chaotic natural world continues to wreak havoc throughout the world, from a 7.3 earthquake in Japan on October 6, major flooding in Miami, Florida as well as in the Alpine region of France, Italy, and Switzerland, together with record cold temperatures marking an early onset of winter in more than a dozen states throughout the U.S.
Again we see the continuing fulfillment of the following forecast:
"In accidents and calamities by sea and by land, in great conflagrations, in fierce tornadoes and terrific hailstorms, in tempests, floods, cyclones, tidal waves, and earthquakes, in every place and in a thousand forms, Satan is exercising his power. . . . These visitations are to become more and more frequent and disastrous" (The Great Controversy, pp. 589, 590).