The Trumpet Herald

Giving the trumpet a certain sound

July 2003

Hurricane Prediction: More on the Way

U.S. News & World Report reported recently:

Colorado State University researchers are predicting 2003’s tropical storm season will be one of the busiest in recent years. Climatologist William Gray and his weather team expect 14 tropical storms to develop in the Atlantic basin--two more than last year. “Regardless of whether a major hurricane makes landfall this year,” says Gray, “it is inevitable that we will see hurricane-spawned destruction in coming years on a scale many many times greater than what we have seen in the past” (U.S. News & World Report, June 23, 2003, “Top of the Week” section).

Inspired Commentary

One of the comments mentioned last month is also appropriate here:

The time is right upon us when there will be sorrow in the world that no human balm can heal. The Spirit of God is being withdrawn from the world. Disasters by sea and land follow one another in quick succession. How frequently we hear of earthquakes and tornadoes, of destruction by fire and flood, with great loss of life and property. Apparently these calamities are capricious outbreaks of seemingly disorganized, unregulated forces, but in them God’s purpose may be read. They are one of the means by which he seeks to arouse men and women to a sense of their danger (Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, February 26, 1914).

Homosexual Bishop?

There was foot-stomping in the pews, dancing in the aisles and a hug and a kiss for the winner from his partner when an Anglican diocese chose an active homosexual to be its bishop for the first time this weekend.

Canon Gene Robinson, 56, now bishop-elect of New Hampshire, choked back tears as he celebrated his victory but also asked his supporters to be “sensitive and kind and gentle” to those hostile to his appointment.

Amid tumultuous applause, his two grown-up daughters and his male companion of the last 13 years later joined him in front of the altar of the church where Saturday's election was held.

Speaking in a chapel in the same church, St Paul’s in Concord, afterwards, Canon Robinson appealed to anyone shocked by his selection to “get to know me”.

“Get to know my love of the Lord,” he said. “Get to know my devotion to the church. Get to know my devotion to my family. Let's talk.”

Canon Robinson, who left his wife because he felt God wanted him to acknowledge his sexuality, saw no conflict between Biblical teaching and his being gay, he said.

“I think we have to push right through those seven brief biblical references or what seem to be references to homosexuality.

“What we are talking about today in terms of faithful, monogamous, lifetime-intention relationships between people of the same gender or homosexuality in general is just not addressed in the Bible” (“Dancing in the aisles and lover's kiss greet election of gay bishop”, Telegraph Group (London), 6/9/2003).

Another news source indicated, “Robinson’s election still must be ratified by a two-thirds vote at the church’s national triennial General Convention when it meets next month in Minneapolis.” (“N.H. Episcopal diocese elects gay bishop”, [Phildelphia Inquirer], 6/8/2003).

Inspired Commentary

Note this inspired counsel:

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; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away (2 Tim. 3:1-5).

Spreading Disease

It happens again and again.

Strange and frightening new infections seem to appear out of nowhere, such as Lyme disease, Ebola and, of course, AIDS. With monkeypox coming on the heels of SARS, which emerged not long after West Nile, it's a phenomenon that seems to be happening at an accelerating rate.

Scientists agree that the trend is alarming and does appear to be gathering speed. In the coming years, they say, dangerous new pathogens could arise more frequently, multiplying the misery at a minimum and, in the most dire scenarios, increasing the chances of a cataclysmic plague.

“There are probably hundreds, if not thousands -- maybe even millions -- of viruses out there,” said Robert G. Webster, a leading virologist at the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis. “We don't even know they're there until we disturb them. SARS is probably just a gentle breeze of what one of these big ones is going to do someday.”

All the new diseases have one thing in common: Animals passed them to people. Fears of new pathogens and bioterrorism have prompted more intense efforts to detect new infections, uncovering some that may have been there unrecognized all along. But many leading experts agree that animals are transmitting viruses, bacteria and parasites to humans more rapidly than ever before, spawning ailments known as zoonotic diseases (“Infections Becoming More Widespread”, The Washington Post, 6/15/2003).

Exotic pets, exotic animals used as food, modern transportation, suburban sprawl, climatic change forcing animals into different areas, and industrialized agriculture come in for mention as contributing causes mentioned in the article.

Inspired Commentary

“Disease in animals is increasing in proportion to the increase of wickedness among men. The time is near when, because of the iniquity of the fallen race, the whole animal creation will groan under the diseases that curse our earth” (Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 366).

The biblical counsel about not eating unclean meat is being reinforced in current headlines. It appears that the diet given to the human family in Eden (with no animal foods) is even better.

“And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat” (Gen 1:29).

Another Harry Potter book

“Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” set records around the world in its first weekend.

“We expected to sell 1 million copies in the first week, and we sold that many within the first 48 hours,” Barnes & Noble CEO Steve Riggio said Sunday.

Scholastic, the book's U.S. publisher, estimated that 5 million copies were sold the first day alone, well ahead of the pace of “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” which came out three years ago.

Borders Group reported worldwide sales of 750,000 the first day. shipped out more than a million copies of the new book, making Saturday the largest distribution day of a single item in e-commerce history.

In London, the supermarket chain Tesco said it sold 317,400 copies of the fifth book in J.K. Rowling’s fantasy series in the first 24 hours, seven times the number sold in the first week of Potter IV (“Harry Potter’ has record-setting first weekend,” Minneapolis Star Tribune, June 23, 2003).

MSNBC reported that the book is 870 pages long and that the first printing in the United States alone was 8.5 million copies, despite which some retailers think the supplies will run out before a reprinting can be done (“Harry Potter sets sales records galore,” MSNBC news, June 22, 2003).

Richard Abanes, a Southern Baptist, … believes the movie and the books teach anti-Christian lessons on the occult and ethics. Abanes has been studying the occult for much of the past decade, writing almost a dozen books on the subject (“Harry Potter Movie Lamented As Kids' First Look at the Occult,” Baptist Press, Nov. 12, 2001).

The fictional Harry Potter is a young wizard-in-training who discovers on his 11th birthday that he has magical powers. The author has reportedly said that each successive volume will get “darker.”

Inspired Commentary

It is revealing that large numbers of people are willing to buy an 870-page tome with witchcraft as a major theme, while some suggest that small tracts and leaflets are required to get a reading for the gospel.

The Bible makes clear about how God feels about wizards:

There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee (Deut. 18:10-12).

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