The Trumpet Herald
Giving the trumpet a certain sound
President Bush to Meet With the Pope
President Bush had a private meeting with the Pope on July 23 at Castel Gandolfo near Rome, Italy. The Washington Post Online on July 23 reported that "Pope John Paul II urged President Bush in their first meeting together to bar creation of human embryos for medical research, saying Monday that America has a moral responsibility to reject actions that "‘devalue and violate human life.’"
Bush reportedly thanked the pope for reminding Americans that their prosperity "must be matched with compassion and moral purpose." "And always to all you have carried the gospel of life, which welcomes the stranger and protects the weak and the innocent," said Bush, who also read from a prepared statement. "Every nation – including my own – benefits from hearing and heeding this message of conscience" (Ibid.).
The Associated Press reporter remarked that the Bush adminstration stance on abortion was conducive to much better relations with the Vatican than was that of the Clinton administration. The reporter then wrote, "And it would certainly be receptive to Bush's initiative to bring religious groups into government-funded charity efforts" (Ibid.).
Christians who take the Bible as the highest rule of faith and practice can find a lot to like in the pronouncements of the Pope as President Bush noted in his statement. The reservations many feel in regard to an unquestioning cultivation of Catholic favor relates to the many instances where the tradition of the Roman Catholic Church has distorted the doctrines of the Bible and been willing to persecute those who disagree with her.
Particularly ominous is the cryptic statement of Scripture:
And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. . . . And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six". (Rev. 13:11, 12, 16-18).
The U.S. history of separation of church and state has served well to protect freedom of conscience. Let care be exercised to protect that freedom as long as possible.
Economic Slowdown Shows Pivotal US Role
The Los Angeles Times website (latimes.com) in an article about the Group of Eight meeting in Italy reported on July 19
"The summit carries particular importance this year because of the world's woes. A U.N. study issued last week warned that the world faces a ‘significant decline’ in the growth of global production and trade this year. And it concluded that the length and severity of the U.S. economic slowdown will be the decisive factor in determining the world's fiscal health this year.
"Globally, the growth in international trade is expected to drop from 12% last year to 5.5% this year, said the United Nations’ ‘World Economy in 2001.’ And the growth in gross product worldwide is expected to slow from 4% last year to 2.5% this year."
The events of world history are fulfilling Bible prophecy as the stage is being set for the two-horned beast to speak as a dragon (Rev. 13:11). The U.S. has become the one military superpower (though not unchallenged of course), and now a realization of its key economic role in the world economy is also receiving notice. Inspiration indicates how that power will eventually be used:
"As America, the land of religious liberty, shall unite with the papacy in forcing the conscience and compelling men to honor the false sabbath, the people of every country on the globe will be led to follow her example" (Maranatha, p. 214).
In that day, fidelity to the Scriptures will be at great cost, but with greater reward in God’s coming kingdom.
Warning Flag on Cloning Research
On July 6, 2001 the Los Angeles Times reported on an article appearing that day in Science:
"Strengthening the scientific case against human cloning, researchers have discovered that even apparently healthy clones may harbor unpredictable genetic abnormalities.
"In experiments with laboratory animals, scientists at the Whitehead Institute at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Hawaii discovered that clones created with embryonic stem cells develop apparently capricious errors in when and how their genes become active. Those errors can lead to premature death or serious abnormality in the resulting animals, the researchers said. The research also found that stem cells themselves are surprisingly unstable.
"The findings bolster misgivings about the basic biology of cloning. Developmental biologist Brigid Hogan of Vanderbilt University and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute called the research ‘a technical tour de force. This certainly is raising a flag.’"
The Sunday Times of London reported on March 11 that among others, a prominent Italian physician, Severino Antinori, has assembled a team of scientists from his worldwide consortium of 120 fertility clinics to clone a human being "for the good of mankind." Antinori wants to be the first to accomplish this "landmark in human evolution."
God’s authority over men is established in the Bible by his claim to being the Creator of heaven, earth, and all life. There are also indications that men are restrict their tampering with what God has done.
"Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion. Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you: And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants. (Lev. 18:23-25).
"But if there was one sin above another which called for the destruction of the race by the flood, it was the base crime of amalgamation of man and beast which defaced the image of God, and caused confusion everywhere" (Spirit of Prophecy, v. 1. p. 69).