The Trumpet Herald
Giving the trumpet a certain sound
Faith and Values Coalition
The U.S. presidential election of 2004 is now history. The biggest surprise for many was the "moral values" factor in the re-election of George Bush. While the strength of that factor is still be considered by political analysts, Jerry Falwell, former head of the Moral Majority, a political action group consisting mostly of evangelical Christians, has launched a new organization, The Faith and Values Coalition.
"Our three-fold platform is: (1) the confirmation of pro-life, strict constructionist U.S. Supreme Court justices and other federal judges; (2) the passage of a constitutional Federal Marriage Amendment; and (3) the election of another socially- fiscally- and politically-conservative president in 2008." (Jerry Falwell as reported in NewsMax.com, Nov. 10, 2004)
Falwell reported his feelings on election night:
"On election night, I actually shed tears of joy as I saw the fruit of a quarter century of hard work. Nearly 116 million Americans voted. More than 30 million were evangelical Christians who, according to the pollsters, voted their moral convictions. I proudly say... they voted Christian!!" (ibid.)
Given the corrupting nature of power, almost any agenda for positive social change can be abused. The challenge for thoughtful Christians in the next four years might be to discern and affirm the positive while at the same time identifying abuses and being a voice for appropriate religious freedom.
Ministers who deny the obligation of the divine law will present from the pulpit the duty of yielding obedience to the civil authorities as ordained of God. In legislative halls and courts of justice, commandment keepers will be misrepresented and condemned. A false coloring will be given to their words; the worst construction will be put upon their motives.
As the Protestant churches reject the clear, Scriptural arguments in defense of God's law, they will long to silence those whose faith they cannot overthrow by the Bible. Though they blind their own eyes to the fact, they are now adopting a course which will lead to the persecution of those who conscientiously refuse to do what the rest of the Christian world are doing, and acknowledge the claims of the papal sabbath. (The Great Controversy, p. 592)
Decline of Sexual Morality
The recent release of a film titled Kinsey about the life of work of Alfred C. Kinsey, a sex researcher who published a book in 1948 titled Sexual Behavior in the Human Male. Christianity Today reported some of the response from the Christian community:
Hollywood has been known to offer us ethically misguided heroes in the past. James Bond, for example. But Kinsey may take us to a new low. To make matters worse, this individual's outrageous exploits weren't fiction, even though the movie that pays tribute is full of half-truths.
Director Bill Condon's film celebrates a "scientist" whose research-gathering methods involved child molestation, shoddy experiments, and survey methods that break the rules of credible investigation. From these methods, he came to champion all manner of sexual misbehavior as acceptable animal behavior. (http://www.christianitytoday.com/movies/filmforum/041118.html)
WorldNetDaily commenting on Kinsey's influence on sexual behavior reported:
Kinsey claimed that 85 percent of males had intercourse prior to marriage, nearly 70 percent had sex with prostitutes, and 30-45 percent of husbands had extramarital affairs. Moreover, from 10 to 37 percent of men had engaged in homosexual acts, according to Kinsey. In fact, the oft-repeated claim that one in 10 human beings is homosexual - a cornerstone of the "gay rights" movement - comes directly from Kinsey's published research.
In great detail, Kinsey painted a picture of Americans as being amoral sexual animals seeking constant gratification. ("Obsessed with Sex," worldnetdaily.com, Nov. 18, 2004)
WorldNetDaily called Kinsey a fraud and his conclusions as fraudulent.
He relied on interviews with hundreds of prisoners and sexual psychopaths, while pretending he was surveying normal citizens. He threw out large amounts of data that didn't fit his predetermined conclusions. He encouraged his wife and fellow "scientists" to engage in wild group sex, and filmed these sessions in his attic. (ibid.)
The film is reportedly doing very well at the box office and is being suggested for Academy Awards.
Jesus expressed God's standard for marriage:
Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. (Matthew 19:6)
And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery. (Matthew 19:9)
Scalia on Church and State
A recent story in the Jerusalem Post reported:
US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia used an appearance at an Orthodox synagogue in New York to assail the notion that the US government should maintain a neutral stance toward religion, saying it has always supported religion and the courts should not try to change that.
Speaking at a conference on religious freedom in America on Monday hosted by Manhattan's Congregation Shearith Israel, the oldest Jewish congregation in North America, Scalia said that the founding fathers never advocated the separation of church and state and that America has prospered because of its religiousness.
"There is something wrong with the principle of neutrality," said Scalia, considered among the court's staunchest conservatives. Neutrality as envisioned by the founding fathers, Scalia said, "is not neutrality between religiousness and nonreligiousness; it is between denominations of religion." ("Scalia in shul: State must back religion," Jerusalem Post online edition, Nov. 23, 2004)
The area of government support for religion is one fraught with danger for individual liberties (as attested by many historical examples). There is a fine and sometimes hard to distinguish line between freedom of conscience and government's role in maintaining public order and prosperity. Inspiration predicts:
Those who honor the Bible Sabbath will be denounced as enemies of law and order, as breaking down the moral restraints of society, causing anarchy and corruption, and calling down the judgments of God upon the earth. Their conscientious scruples will be pronounced obstinacy, stubbornness, and contempt of authority. (The Great Controversy, p. 592)
Stem Cell Research and Ethics
The Washington Post reported recently on stem cell research "progress:"
In Minnesota, pigs are being born with human blood in their veins.
In Nevada, there are sheep whose livers and hearts are largely human.
In California, mice peer from their cages with human brain cells firing inside their skulls.
These are not outcasts from "The Island of Dr. Moreau," the 1896 novel by H.G. Wells in which a rogue doctor develops creatures that are part animal and part human. They are real creations of real scientists, stretching the boundaries of stem cell research.
Biologists call these hybrid animals chimeras, after the mythical Greek creature with a lion's head, a goat's body and a serpent's tail. They are the products of experiments in which human stem cells were added to developing animal fetuses.. ("Of Mice, Men and In-Between ," washingtonpost.com, Nov. 20, 2004)
Mentioning one of the ethical problems, the article asked the question:
Does the repugnance reflect an understanding of an important natural law? Or is it just another cultural bias, like the once widespread rejection of interracial marriage?
Many turn to the Bible's repeated invocation that animals should multiply "after their kind" as evidence that such experiments are wrong. Others, however, have concluded that the core problem is not necessarily the creation of chimeras but rather the way they are likely to be treated. (ibid.)
There is indication that before the flood in the days of Noah, genetic research went on and that God's disapproval of it was a factor in the occurance of that deluge:
But if there was one sin above another which called for the destruction of the race by the flood, it was the base crime of amalgamation of man and beast which defaced the image of God, and caused confusion everywhere. " (Spirit of Prophecy, v.1, p. 69).
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