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The Trumpet Herald

Giving the trumpet a certain sound

August 2008

California Burns

The Associated Press reported on July 4 that 367 wildfires were then burning in the state of California and that the number of fires peaked a few days earlier at about 1500.

In all, the wildfires have scorched more than 790 square miles and destroyed at least 65 structures since June 20, the department [California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection] said.

At the time of this writing, Big Sur, a town and area along the central California coast is threatened by an approaching fire burning in the Los Padres National Forest.

Independence Day is normally a booming time for tourism here, ... But this year, the only out-of-towners in Big Sur are firefighters working around the clock to save the storied community from flames.

A ferocious wildfire burning through the Los Padres National Forest continued creeping closer to town Friday, after jumping a fire line and claiming several more homes this week. Locals who feared for their homes and businesses also had to worry about lost revenue during peak season. ("Wildfire chases July 4th visitors from Big Sur," Associated Press, July 4, 2008)

Most of the fires were reportedly started by lightning.

Inspired commentary

Despite the difficulty sometimes of establishing immediate cause, the natural disasters that come are in the context of the contest between good and evil, sometimes referred to as "the great controversy." The Bible explains that battle to be between Christ and Satan.

God's message for the inhabitants of earth today is, "Be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh." Matthew 24:44. The conditions prevailing in society, and especially in the great cities of the nations, proclaim in thunder tones that the hour of God's judgment is come and that the end of all things earthly is at hand. We are standing on the threshold of the crisis of the ages. In quick succession the judgments of God will follow one another fire, and flood, and earthquake, with war and bloodshed. We are not to be surprised at this time by events both great and decisive; for the angel of mercy cannot remain much longer to shelter the impenitent. (Prophets and Kings, p. 278)

Floods In U.S. Midwest

During the month of June 2008 and continuing into July, major flooding has caused major damage in the U.S. midsection. Web site Wikipedia summarized the situation:

The June 2008 Midwestern United States floods are on-going flooding events which have affected portions of the Midwest United States. After months of heavy precipitation a number of rivers overflowed their banks for several weeks at a time and broke through levees at numerous locations. Flooding has continued into July. States affected by the flooding include Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, and Wisconsin. The American Red Cross is helping the victims of flooding and tornadoes across seven states. They anticipate spending in excess of $15 million for recent disasters.[1] As of June 20, twenty levees along the Mississippi River have been breached since flooding began.[2] ("June 2008 Midwest Floods," http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/June_2008_Midwest_floods)

Inspired commentary

Many will perhaps reject the idea that natural calamities such as floods and earthquakes have any spiritual significance, but students of the Bible need to take into account the words of Jesus:

For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Matthew 24:7,8

Notice also this more contemporary word:

The spirit of antichrist is prevailing in the world to a far greater extent than it has ever prevailed before. The day of test and purification is just upon us. Signs of a most startling character appear, in floods, in hurricanes, in tornadoes, in cloud-bursts, in casualties by land and by sea, that proclaim the approach of the end of all things. The judgments of God are falling on the world, that men may be awakened to the fact that Christ will come speedily (Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, November 8, 1892).

Neopaganism Growing

The Denver Post reported recently on the growth of paganism among U.S. religions:

Give them that old-time religion ancient religion and then watch an exploding population of modern pagans give it contemporary twists.

Their numbers roughly double about every 18 months in the United States, Canada and Europe, according to the Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.

Neopaganism, whether a careful reconstruction of ancient practice or a completely modern interpretation of ancient lore, is now among the country's fastest-growing religions.

People, especially teens, are rejecting what they see as the "autocracy, paternalism, sexism, homophobia and insensitivity to the environment" of some more traditional religions, the Canadian group concludes. ("Neopaganism growing quickly," www.denverpost.com, June 26, 2008)

According to one spokesperson quoted in the article:

They generally believe worship of God as father without worship of Goddess as mother is a serious imbalance in the natural order of things. Yet generalizing can be dangerous, even within sects.

"You'll get no agreement on how Wiccans see God or Goddess," Brennan said. "In Wicca, there is no 'you have to' and 'you can't.' There is no orthodoxy." (ibid.)

Inspired commentary

The thought that there are "no rules" would certainly be appealing to many. Scripture, however, notes:

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. (Jeremiah. 17:9, 10)

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God" (Galatians. 5:19-21).

Unemployment Grows

WASHINGTON -- The nation lost jobs for a sixth month in a row in June, a storm of pink slips drenching this year's July Fourth holiday for more than 60,000 Americans and leaving thousands more worried about the future. ...

In June alone, employers got rid of 62,000 jobs, bringing total losses so far this year close to a staggering half-million, 438,000, according to the Labor Department's report released Thursday. The economy needs to generate more than 100,000 new jobs a month for employment to remain stable. ("62,000 jobs lost, off nearly half-million for year," www.washingtonpost.com, July 4, 2008)

Inspired Commentary

In the great cities there are multitudes living in poverty and wretchedness, well-nigh destitute of food, shelter, and clothing; while in the same cities are those who have more than heart could wish, who live luxuriously, spending their money on richly furnished houses, on personal adornment, or worse still, upon the gratification of sensual appetites, upon liquor, tobacco, and other things that destroy the powers of the brain, unbalance the mind, and debase the soul. The cries of starving humanity are coming up before God, while by every species of oppression and extortion men are piling up colossal fortunes. (Testimonies, v.9, pp. 11, 12)

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