The Trumpet Herald
Giving the trumpet a certain sound
Tools of Destruction
The initial terrorist action against the World Trade Center used low-cost, low-tech box cutters to commandeer commercial airliners into the hands of suicide pilots. The audacity and cruelty of the action seemed to be beyond what was considered credible in terrorist threats, although in hindsight, there were some indications pointing to this plan.
Among the weapons deployed in Afganistan by the U.S. have been many high-tech marvels of modern science. One somewhat older weapon that still challenges the imagination is the "conventional" bomb known as the "daisy-cutter."
"With its use of the 15,000-pound 'daisy cutter' bomb in Afghanistan, the United States has unleashed one of its most powerful weapons ó billed as the world's largest conventional bomb.
"The BLU-82 combines a watery mixture of ammonium nitrate and aluminum with air, then ignites the mist for a huge explosion that incinerates everything within up to 600 yards. The shock wave can be felt miles away" ("U.S. Drops 15,000-lb. Bomb on Taliban" The Wire (The Associated Press online), Nov. 5, 2001).
Other weapons used have included stealth aircraft, laser guided bombs and missiles, and remote controlled surveillance and attack aircraft.
Amid a general description of the horrific events (some apparently natural and some clearly man-made) on planet earth as history marches toward the return of Jesus in triumph and judgment, the ingenuity of man to create weapons comes in for mention:
"The Lord is removing His restrictions from the earth, and soon there will be death and destruction, increasing crime, and cruel, evil working against the rich who have exalted themselves against the poor. Those who are without God's protection will find no safety in any place or position. Human agents are being trained and are using their inventive power to put in operation the most powerful machinery to wound and to kill" (Testimonies v. 8, p. 49).
The relationship of the rich to the poor (mentioned in the quote above) is problematic in the present situation since the current war was initiated by horrific attacks apparently possible because of deeply held but erroneous religious belief. However, certainly the U.S. is very rich in relation to Afganistan (although an argument could be made that the Taliban and Bin Laden donít really represent Afganistan) and certainly the elements of corruption within the U.S. (i.e. films filled with sex and violence, cigarettes, and contemporary degenerate music) have been abundantly exported to third-world countries. Christians need to be careful not to condone or assist in this export of corruption, and should be actively seeking to counteract it in the minds of third-world citizens. The words of Jesus come to mind:
"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free [from sin]" (John 8:32).
While we should deeply appreciate the virtues of freedom as it exists in the United States, we also need to tell the truth to the developing world about the sins of our society.
"Those who today occupy positions of trust should seek to learn the lesson taught by Solomon's prayer. The higher the position a man occupies, the greater the responsibility that he has to bear, the wider will be the influence that he exerts and the greater his need of dependence on God. Ever should he remember that with the call to work comes the call to walk circumspectly before his fellow men" (Christian Leadership, p. 13).
Moral Corruption Increases
Seemingly insignificant individually news items can reveal trends of society. It is of concern to note the following item:
"A congregation has installed the first noncelibate, gay Lutheran pastor in Florida, adding fuel to a national debate on the role sexually active homosexuals play in Protestant churches."
The "pastor" in question commented:
"'I've lived in the closet most of my life, but I came to Key West for the sake of my relationship,' said Peterson, who was a Lutheran pastor for more than 20 years in New York and named adjunct pastor at Holy Trinity in August 1999. ('Being gay is not an issue here.'" ("Gay Lutheran Pastor Named in Fla." The Wire (The Associated Press online), Nov. 18, 2001).
"We are not ignorant of the fall of Sodom because of the corruption of its inhabitants. The prophet has here [Eze. 16:49] specified the particular evils which led to dissolute morals. We see the very sins now existing in the world which were in Sodom and which brought upon her the wrath of God, even to her utter destruction" (4BC, p. 1161).
Disaster in "lines of travel"
As each subsequent air disaster takes place, prudent investigators work to establish a cause and to take measures to prevent reoccurrences. The recent crash of an American Airlines jet in New York suggests that while such efforts are improving air safety, the complexity of modern vehicles of travel continues to allow for the development of unforeseen problems. The Associated press noted the rarity of the cause of that crash even as the investigation is still underway:
"NEW YORK (AP) ó Investigators don't yet know why the tail fin and rudder broke off in flight just before American Airlines 587 crashed, but such a catastrophic loss has occurred just once before in commercial aviation history" ("Loss of Tail Fin in Flight Is Rare" The Wire (The Associated Press online), Nov.14, 2001).
It seems the warning of over 100 years ago is becoming more significant as the conveyances of travel become larger and larger, and involve greater loss of life with each accident. The comment of inspiration was:
"Disasters by rail will become more and more frequent; confusion, collision, and death without a moment's warning will occur on the great lines of travel. The end is near, probation is closing. Oh, let us seek God while he may be found, call upon him while he is near!" (The Signs of the Times, 04/21/1890).