The Trumpet Herald

Giving the trumpet a certain sound

September 2009

Christian Coalition 2.0?

One of the most controversial and successful figures of late 20th century politics wants to expand his brand to the 21st.

Ralph Reed believes conservative voters of faith need a Christian Coalition 2.0.

And the man once dubbed the right hand of God by Time magazine is returning to the arena where he had his greatest success to try and make it so.

"This is not going to be your daddy's Christian Coalition," Reed said in an interview to describe his new venture, the Faith and Freedom Coalition. "It has to be younger, hipper, less strident, more inclusive and it has to harness the 21st century that will enable us to win in the future." ...

But, its been a decade since Reed left that stage, and he has suffered embarrassments and defeats the past few years.

Now, Reed wants back in. And, judging from the 2008 national elections, Republicans could use the help. But questions remain: Do Republicans need or want Reed's new group? And can Reed still deliver it if they do ("Reed aims to rejuvenate Christian conservatives," (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution), July 12, 2009)?

Inspired commentary

The attempts at seeking political power by Christian groups have a potential downside for religious liberty.

Heretofore those who presented the truths of the third angel's message have often been regarded as mere alarmists. Their predictions that religious intolerance would gain control in the United States, that church and State would unite to persecute those who keep the commandments of God, have been pronounced groundless and absurd. It has been confidently declared that this land could never become other than what it has been, the defender of religious freedom. But as the question of enforcing Sunday observance is widely agitated, the event so long doubted and disbelieved is seen to be approaching, and the third message will produce an effect which it could not have had before (The Great Controversy, p. 605).

The Vatican and Harry Potter

Once condemned by the Pope for undermining the soul of Christianity, Harry Potter has been forgiven.

In 2003, two years before he was elected Pope Benedict XVI, Joseph Ratzinger, then a Cardinal and head of Vatican doctrine, said that J. K. Rowling's stories of the boy wizard threatened to corrupt an understanding of Christian faith among the impressionable young. "It is good that you explain the facts of Harry Potter," he wrote six years ago to a critic of the books, who argued that they were anti-religious and encouraged the occult, "because this is a subtle seduction, which has deeply unnoticed and direct effects in undermining the soul of Christianity before it can really grow properly."

Now, however, the Pope appears to have fallen under the Potter spell. The latest in the film series, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, is on general release in Britain today, and has won surprising praise from the Vatican newspaper. L'Osservatore Romano said yesterday that even though the Potter saga lacked what it called "a reference to the transcendent", the latest film drew "a clear line of demarcation between good and evil, making clear that good is right, and that in some cases this involves hard work and sacrifices". ...

This represents a remarkable U-turn by a paper that has previously attacked the series, saying that, although the books had narrative value, they held up witchcraft and the occult as positive ideals, unlike the Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings ("Not so immoral after all: ...", www.timesonline, July 15, 2009).

Inspired commentary

Bible prophecy indicates that finally spiritualism and Catholicism will be working on a common goal:

And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame (Revelation 16:15-15).

Satan has long been preparing for his final effort to deceive the world. The foundation of his work was laid by the assurance given to Eve in Eden: "Ye shall not surely die." "In the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." Genesis 3:4, 5. Little by little he has prepared the way for his masterpiece of deception in the development of spiritualism. He has not yet reached the full accomplishment of his designs; but it will be reached in the last remnant of time. Says the prophet: "I saw three unclean spirits like frogs; . . . they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty" (The Great Controversy, pp. 562, 562).

Blasphemy Law In Ireland

A Canadian news source reported on a blasphemy law passed recently in Ireland:

If you visit Ireland after October, you'd better watch what you say about God.

A blasphemous slip of the tongue could cost you 25,000 euros under revamped legislation that will soon be signed into law.

Blasphemy is an act of challenging or offending a religious belief.

In recent years, western countries such as England have been taking blasphemy laws off the books, or changing their focus so that they cover hate-related crimes in general. Ireland has taken a different approach, updating its legislation but maintaining a focus on religion.

In Ireland, it has been a crime to publish blasphemous material since 1961, although nobody has ever been convicted. The Seanad, the Irish senate and upper level of parliament, passed the Defamation Bill in July that makes uttering blasphemy a crime as well.

The bill was originally proposed in 2006. It worked its way through parliament and received final approval on July 10 this year, when it passed by a slim margin of 23-22 ("Blasphemy revamped,", July 21, 2009).

Inspired commentary

Prophetic messages from the past will yet be fulfilled by states legislating religious expression.

Sunday observance owes its existence as a so-called Christian institution to "the mystery of iniquity;" and its enforcement will be a virtual recognition of the principles which are the very cornerstone of Romanism. When our nation shall so abjure the principles of its government as to enact a Sunday law, Protestantism will in this act join hands with popery; it will be nothing else than giving life to the tyranny which has long been eagerly watching its opportunity to spring again into active despotism.

The National Reform movement, exercising the power of religious legislation, will, when fully developed, manifest the same intolerance and oppression that have prevailed in past ages. Human councils then assumed the prerogatives of Deity, crushing under their despotic power liberty of conscience; and imprisonment, exile, and death followed for those who opposed their dictates. If popery or its principles shall again be legislated into power, the fires of persecution will be rekindled against those who will not sacrifice conscience and the truth in deference to popular errors. This evil is on the point of realization (Testimonies, v.5, p. 512).

Page created:09/25/09. Updated: 09/25/09
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