The Trumpet Herald
Giving the trumpet a certain sound
A Painful Reality Exposed
The Boston Globe on March 20, 2002 reported that:
"The Archdiocese of Boston yesterday gave state prosecutors four boxes of files containing information about the victims of about 90 priests accused of sexually abusing children over the last 50 years.
"More than two weeks after agreeing to supply prosecutors with the information they need to decide whether to bring criminal charges, archdiocese officials brought the files to Attorney General Thomas F. Reillyís office yesterday afternoon" (p. A32).
The recent spate of revelations of sexual impropriety (homosexual) with children by Catholic priests finds a counterpart in a report by The Times Online (London):
"BRITISH aid workers are being questioned by UN investigators over allegations that they demanded sex from teenage refugees in Sierra Leone in exchange for food.
"One of the Britons is alleged to have preyed on girls as young as seven. Staff from more than 40 aid agencies and UN peacekeepers are also named as having exploited young women and children in what one investigator called "a shameful catalogue of sexual abuse" ("British aid workers accused of sex abuse," Mar. 19, 2002).
The ancient apostle once instructed a trainee:
"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;" (2 Tim. 3:1-4).
Besides the question of biblical support (or lack of it) for a celibate priesthood, it seems there is room to question its common-sense practicality. The apparent cover-up of the problem to the detriment of others is also disturbing to many. Further it is certain that the Lord sees beneath the cloak of professed religion to the heart, whether the sin is homosexual or heterosexual.
Carnage in Israel
"JERUSALEM -- A Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up in a main shopping area in downtown Jerusalem on Thursday, killing at least two people and wounding more than 40 people, police said. Ö
"Israeli troops arrested 21 people in a pre-dawn sweep Thursday aimed at militants around the West Bank city of Jenin, home of a suicide bomber who killed seven Israelis on Wednesday, Palestinian officials said. The army said it had seized dozens of people" ("Explosion Rips Downtown Jerusalem," The Washington Post, Online, March 21, 2002).
"And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places" (Matt. 24:6, 7).
"And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction. And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren" (Gen. 16:11, 12).
Abraham had two sons, one a child of promise, one a child of human devising. The "wars and rumours of wars" currently wracking Palestine trace their historical roots to Abraham and Sarahís lack of trust in Godís promise. The hatred that is frequently reported in connection with this conflict bodes ill for eventual peace. One day the animosity of centuries may be channeled into serving the ends of the first beast of Revelation 13 in securing the worship of mankind
"And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Rev. 13:8).
Drought and Flood
In some areas of the United States where recently farmers were complaining about drought conditions, the rains have come with disastrous effect.
"OLIVE HILL, Ky. (AP) ó Streams overflowed their banks and hundreds of homes and businesses were inundated as flooding caused by steady rain spread throughout the hills of eastern Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia and Virginia.
"Since the weekend, at least seven people have died in the flooding, and hundreds of homes have been damaged or destroyed" ("South Hit With More Floods," Associated Press online, March 21, 2002)
"Virginia Gov. Mark R. Warner visited flood-ravaged southwest Virginia Thursday to assess the estimated $51 million in damage caused by drenching weekend rains. Warner made a disaster assistance request Wednesday for the area, where severe flooding swept away bridges and temporarily displaced more than a thousand people" (Ibid.).
We obviously donít know from one day to the next what disasters, natural or man-made, the headlines will describe. Even as one seeks to understand how God sees these things and how close the end may be, the Bible describes His fundamental character as one of love. His heart must be saddened by the effects of the outworking of sin.
Inspiration has declared:
"The restraining Spirit of God is even now being withdrawn from the world. Hurricanes, storms, tempests, fire and flood, disasters by sea and land, follow each other in quick succession. Science seeks to explain all these. The signs thickening around us, telling of the near approach of the Son of God, are attributed to any other than the true cause" (Testimonies, vol. 6, p. 408).