The Trumpet Herald

Giving the trumpet a certain sound

August 2002

AIDS Pandemic Worsening

The Associated Press recently reported that:

"The world is only at the beginning of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, which is spreading rapidly in southern Africa, Eastern Europe and the world's most populous nations: China, India and Indonesia, a new U.N. report said Tuesday." ("U.N. Says HIV/AIDS Spreading Rapidly," The Wire (The Associated Press online), July 2, 2002).

Writing of the growing impact of this disease, AP stated:

"Overall, the figures speak horrors: Between 2000 and 2020, 68 million people will have died of AIDS in the 45 most-affected countries — five times the number of deaths in the previous two decades. In 2001 alone, an estimated 3 million people died of AIDS" (Ibid.).

Reflecting on the current negative report, Dr. Peter Piot, head of UNAIDS, told a news conference: "Collectively, we have grossly, grossly underestimated how bad this was going to be" (Ibid.).

Delegates to the 14th International AIDS Conference in Barcelona, Spain, got a few glimmers of hope on July 13 at the end of the conference as progress was reported on low-cost drug programs for developing countries. ("AIDS Meeting Ends With Hope," The Washington Post, July 14, 2002). However it was noted that any substantial results would not begin to become evident for a least a couple of years.

Inspired Commentary

The major role of sexual promiscuity in regard to AIDS transmission is well known. Yet apparently international health workers have more confidence in drug programs to treat the disease than education about God’s directions for life in responding to the growing crisis. Given the ratio of evil to good that we observe in the world today, the health workers are probably right about the relative effectiveness of the two approaches.

While Christians may understand from Bible prophecy the trends toward evil, the truth about God’s loving counsel about how to live should be proclaimed clearly and widely.

To the sins of gambling and alcohol mentioned by inspiration, it should be clearly seen that human seeking after sinful pleasure and a disregard of the health of others have contributed largely to the AIDS health crisis.

"Our physicians are to rebuke in decided terms the sins which are the cause of sickness and disease. We have need of men who, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, will rebuke gambling and liquor-drinking, which are such prevalent evils in these last days. We need men who will bear their message against the selfishness that is eating out the very vitals of godliness" (Loma Linda Messages, p. 302).

Sunday Rest Proposed in Israel

The Internet Jerusalem Post reported on July 10 that:

"Sunday would be a non-working day, in addition to Saturday, according to a bill that was approved in first reading by the Knesset last night."

"The aim of the bill is to reduce religious-secular tensions, since it would enable all citizens to enjoy a day off for shopping and entertainment, and reduce the demand for such activities on Shabbat.

"Langental said making Sunday a day off would also fit in well with the work week of the Western world. For example, he said it would resolve the discrepancies in the financial markets, which do not operate on Sunday internationally.

"He also said the law would allow families to spend more time together."

Apparently final passage of the bill requires two additional readings and passing votes.

Inspired Commentary

Inspiration once noted how some with an agenda would combine truth with error in order to more effectively promote the error. The popular support for the Sunday weekly holiday is so pervasive that even in Jewish Israel it may soon be accommodated . . . to promote "the highest interest of society." The counsel suggests where the movement is going:

"Here the temperance work, one of the most prominent and important of moral reforms, is often combined with the Sunday movement, and the advocates of the latter represent themselves as laboring to promote the highest interest of society; and those who refuse to unite with them are denounced as the enemies of temperance and reform" (The Great Controversy, p. 587).

Christian Coalition Expresses Support for Catholic Church

A recent press release from the Christian Coalition (June 21, 2002) expressed support for the Roman Catholic Church which has been experiencing scandals related to priests and child abuse.

Roberta Combs, Christian Coalition president, stated that:

"Catholicism is a potent force for traditional values and morality in America. "The Church is steadfast in its opposition to abortion, cloning, pornography, gay militancy and sexual license," the Coalition president observed. "America will suffer if the Catholic Church’s moral authority is damaged by this scandal."

"Those who’ve historically opposed the Church’s ethical teachings are using the crisis at hand to attack an institution they view as an obstacle to the advance of their values." Combs urged all people of good will to pray for the American Catholic Church in its time of trouble. The Coalition’s over 2 million supporters are overwhelmingly Protestant."

Inspired Commentary

The Christian Coalition clearly understands the "potent force" of the Catholic Church, and seeks to ally itself with that force to influence political and moral trends. Unfortunately despite the positive goals of Catholicism mentioned above, there is lots of other negative baggage (for Protestants) that the Catholic Church is unwilling to part with.

"A spurious sabbath is presented to be legislated into power, compelling the observance of a sabbath which God has not enjoined upon man. The persecutions of Protestants by Romanism, by which the religion of Jesus Christ was almost annihilated, will be more than rivaled, when Protestantism and popery are combined. . . ." (Selected Messages, Book 3, p. 387).

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