The Trumpet Herald

Giving the trumpet a certain sound

March 2003

Disastrous subway train fire

The Washington Post reported on a subway train disaster in Korea:

A man with a history of depression and angry threats lit a flammable liquid inside a subway car in the city of Taegu today, police reported, creating an inferno that engulfed two trains and killed at least 120 people. . . .

Late tonight, as the recovery of bodies continued, officials predicted the death toll would rise to about 140. People seeking loved ones crowded around hospitals and the burned-out station in Taegu, a textile center and South Korea's third-largest city, located about 200 miles southeast of Seoul. (“Subway Inferno in South Korea Kills at Least 120,”, Feb. 19, 2003).

News reports indicated that many of the deaths occurred when a second subway train pulled into the station apparently parking next to the burning coaches and trapping many passengers in the fire zone. The seating and floor materials in the trains apparently caught fire rapidly and the communication systems collapsed. An investigation is under way. The perpetrator escaped the fire with burns and other injuries, and at this writing is being treated in a hospital.

Inspired Commentary

An inspired writer has noted:

The Lord will arise to shake terribly the earth. We shall see troubles on all sides. Thousands of ships will be hurled into the depths of the sea. Navies will go down, and human lives will be sacrificed by millions. Fires will break out unexpectedly, and no human effort will be able to quench them. The palaces of earth will be swept away in the fury of the flames. 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 Danger of Skepticism in Our Youth,” The Signs of the Times, April 21, 1890).

A lot of world disaster history has occurred since 1890, but more is predicted before Jesus comes to send the history of human evil into suspension for 1000 years.

Nightclub stampede

A disaster on a smaller scale than in the Korean subway occurred in Chicago in the early morning hours of Monday, February 17. In a later news report, the Chicago Tribune reported:

The Tribune reported Tuesday that the building housing the nightclub was inspected four times since last July but that each visit was made during the day when the club was not in operation. “There have been budget cuts through the last couple of years that has limited [building inspection] schedules to weekdays and regular business hours, regular 9-to-5 type of hours,” Georges said. Now, “we are looking at options--when is the best and most appropriate time to conduct certain inspections?” (“Club probe targets guards,” Chicago Tribune Online Edition, Feb. 20, 2003).

The nightclub owner had apparently agreed in court not to occupy the second floor of the building due to building code violations. At the time of the stampede, about 500 people were reportedly on the second floor in the building.

Although a case could be made that no Christian should have been in such a place to be in such a situation, God certainly loves even the erring and desires them to find salvation and to seek a virtuous life.

Inspired Commentary

Note this inspired counsel:

Through spiritualism, Satan appears as a benefactor of the race, healing the diseases of the people, and professing to present a new and more exalted system of religious faith; but at the same time he works as a destroyer. His temptations are leading multitudes to ruin. Intemperance dethrones reason; sensual indulgence, strife, and bloodshed follow. Satan delights in war, for it excites the worst passions of the soul and then sweeps into eternity its victims steeped in vice and blood. It is his object to incite the nations to war against one another, for he can thus divert the minds of the people from the work of preparation to stand in the day of God (The Great Controversy, p. 589).

At the time that I saw this representation, scenes that would soon take place in Chicago, and other large cities also, passed before me. As wickedness increased, and the protecting power of God was withdrawn, there were destructive winds and tempests; buildings were destroyed by fire and shaken down by earthquakes. I saw the expensive building above referred to fall, with many others (The Paulson Collection, p. 50).

Churches uniting

Near the end of January, the Associated Press reported:

Church leaders from 30 denominations agreed Wednesday on a proposal to create the broadest alliance of Christians ever formed in the United States.

The steering committee of the budding effort, tentatively called Christian Churches Together in the U.S.A., will invite a wide range of national church bodies and agencies over the next several weeks to join them.

The loosely knit alliance would represent five segments of U.S. Christianity, listed in the plan as “Evangelical/Pentecostal, Historic Protestant, Orthodox, Racial/Ethnic and Roman Catholic” (“Church Leaders Eye ‘Christian Alliance,’” The Associated Press Online, Jan. 29, 2003).

The article reports that initially the alliance would work on “common worship, fellowship and dialogue on ‘commonalities’ and ‘differences.’”

Inspired Commentary

How the Roman church can clear herself from the charge of idolatry we cannot see. . . . And this is the religion which Protestants are beginning to look upon with so much favor, and which will eventually be united with Protestantism. This union will not, however, be effected by a change in Catholicism, for Rome never changes. She claims infallibility. It is Protestantism that will change. The adoption of liberal ideas on its part will bring it where it can clasp the hand of Catholicism (Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, June 1, 1886, quoted in Last Day Events, p. 130).

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