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Giving the trumpet a certain sound

July 2006

Prostitution and the World Cup Games

Spiegle online, the web site of a popular German magazine commented recently on the news coverage around the world regarding prostitution activities associated with the influx of tourists to World Cup soccer games:

With all the negative coverage, one could be forgiven for thinking that Germany is a country of human-trafficking pimps and shackled prostitutes. They do exist and one shouldn't talk the problem down. But since 2002 the country has also had legalized prostitution — a world that is closely monitored by the government and where women pay taxes and receive benefits and regular health checks. ...

But even before you hit the third paragraph, the articles have unleashed the moral sledgehammer admonishing readers about the immorality of prostitution. Fully licensed brothels are discussed in the same breathless paragraph with grim estimates by human rights organizations that between 40,000 and 60,000 young women from Eastern Europe may be trafficked into Germany where they will be forced to work as sex slaves. If you’re going to write about prostitution, the rule seems to go, than it had better be negative.

Forced prostitution, of course, is a very real and serious problem in Germany. But much of the foreign coverage seems to deliberately conflate the two issues. ...

The Federal Criminal Office estimates that there are 140,000 forced prostitutes in Germany. ...

But at the end of the day, the vast majority of the country's sex workers — 400,000 of them — are legal. And when the World Cup begins, they’ll be in the well-regulated brothels and in mobile huts stationed near football stadiums waiting for customers. Visiting them isn’t a sin. And the German economy could use the boost. (“Madame Angie and the Prostitution World Cup,” Speigel online, May 26, 2006)

Inspired Commentary

One has to wonder at the brash audacity of a German magazine to proclaim fornication (sexual activity between unmarried partners) not to be a sin – because it is legalized in Germany? The apostle Paul stated God’s position on the issue:

For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Ephesians 5:6, 6

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: ... 2 Timothy 3:1

Pope on Unity Under Peter

While many things about the Roman Catholic Church seem to have changed in modern times, there are yet some teachings that have not changed. It seems that the idea of the primacy of the Pope is going strong:

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – The foundation of the primacy of Peter in the desire manifested by Jesus and recognition by the Twelve, and spontaneous prayers so that “poor human beings” entrusted with the primacy will know how exercise it according to the will of Jesus, and so it may be recognized also by Christians who are not in full communion with Rome. This was the thrust of the words of Benedict XVI in today’s general audience.

Thus, Christian unity, indicated by Benedict XVI himself as being one of the fundamental objectives of his pontificate, accompanied his reflection on the “primacy”, described as a “constitutive element” of the Church, which has always posed one of the main – if not the main – obstacles to Christian unity. (“Pope: may all Christians recognize true meaning of Peter’s primacy,” asianews.it, June 7, 2006)

Inspired Commentary

The issues of the Protestant Reformation are still with us today, but today the Protestants are often making conciliatory gestures toward Papal demands.

The Roman Church now presents a fair front to the world, covering with apologies her record of horrible cruelties. She has clothed herself in Christlike garments; but she is unchanged. Every principle of the papacy that existed in past ages exists today. The doctrines devised in the darkest ages are still held. Let none deceive themselves. The papacy that Protestants are now so ready to honor is the same that ruled the world in the days of the Reformation, when men of God stood up, at the peril of their lives, to expose her iniquity. (The Great Controversy, p. 571)

Anglican Bishop on Homosexuality

A retiring Anglican Bishop in England stated in a recent interview regarding Anglican evangelicals that: “There has to be a conversion to a new way to see that gay partnerships are not contrary to biblical truth. They are congruous with the deepest biblical truths, about faithfulness and stability.”

One of the country's most senior bishops has reignited the Church of England row over homosexuality by claiming that same-sex partnerships are supported by the Bible.

The Rt Rev Richard Harries, the Bishop of Oxford, said that traditionalists in the Church needed to be “converted” to see that homosexual unions are confirmed by the scriptures.

He reaffirmed his controversial belief that an openly gay man should be allowed to be appointed a bishop.

His remarks have angered traditionalists and are set to rekindle the debate on homosexual “marriages” that has left the Church’s House of Bishops deeply divided following the introduction of the Civil Partnerships Act last year. (“Bible supports homosexual partnerships, says bishop,” telegraph.co.uk, May 28, 2006)

Inspired Commentary

In the same article quoted above, the leader of an evangelical Anglican group responded:

“Same-sex partnerships are not congruous with the Bible,” he said, adding: “Sexual relations outside of heterosexual marriage are not blessed by God.

“We need to be pastorally supportive of those who struggle in this area, but we shouldn't be trying to change the teaching of the Church. No amount of calling black white will make black white.”

The Apostle Paul concurs:

Professing to be wise, they became fools, ... Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. Romans 1:22-27

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