The Trumpet Herald

Giving the trumpet a certain sound

January 2010

German Court: Obey Sunday Law

Coincident with the enacting of the Lisbon Treaty/EU constitution on December 1, Germany’s Constitutional Court has ruled that the nation’s capital must, akin to the rest of the country, abide by the law instituting Sunday as a day “of rest from work and of spiritual improvement” (Deutsche Welle, December 1).

Since the war, Berlin had enacted its own legislation allowing 10 shopping Sundays per year. That local ruling is now quashed. Effective from Jan. 1, 2010, Berlin must fall into line with the law institutionalizing Sunday as a day of rest and religious contemplation as contained in Germany’s Basic Law (“Germany Reaffirms Sunday Law,”, Dec. 1, 2009).

Germany, of course, is one of and perhaps the most prominent of the nations in the European Union.

Inspired commentary

Regular readers of this newsletter will be well aware of the prophecies about God’s final test of loyalty:

And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters (Revelation 14:6, 7).

The Lord is doing His work. All heaven is astir. The Judge of all the earth is soon to arise and vindicate His insulted authority. The mark of deliverance will be set upon the men who keep God’s commandments, who revere His law, and who refuse the mark of the beast or of his image (Testimonies v. 5, p. 451, 452).

Religious Coalition: Civil Disobedience

On November 20, a coalition of religious leaders released a document urging civil disobedience in certain situations:

A formidable coalition of 150 Catholic, Orthodox, and evangelical leaders is calling on Christians in a new manifesto to reject secular authority — and even engage in civil disobedience — if laws force them to accept abortion, same-sex marriage, and other ideas that betray their religious beliefs.

On Friday, these leaders released a 4,700-word document, titled the “The Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience,” which calls on Christians to engage in civil disobedience to defend their doctrines.

Those signing the document ranged from evangelical leader Chuck Colson to two of the leading Catholic prelates in the United States, Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C., and Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York. ...

“We are Orthodox, Catholic, and evangelical Christians who have united at this hour to reaffirm fundamental truths about justice and the common good, and to call upon our fellow citizens, believers and non-believers alike, to join us in defending them,” says the declaration, which was drafted by Colson, an evangelical, and Princeton University professor Robert P. George, a Roman Catholic.

The declaration lists the “fundamental truths” as the “sanctity of human life, the dignity of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife, and the rights of conscience and religious liberty” (“Religious Leaders: Civil Disobedience OK to Protect Faith,”, Nov. 21, 2009).

Inspired commentary

The goals as stated are admirable. Regarding religious liberty, the manifesto states, “No one should be compelled to embrace any religion against his will, nor should persons of faith be forbidden to worship God according to the dictates of conscience or to express freely and publicly their deeply held religious convictions.” One might wonder, however, about the future of the “coalition” aspect of the effort.

When the leading churches of the United States, uniting upon such points of doctrine as are held by them in common, shall influence the state to enforce their decrees and to sustain their institutions, then Protestant America will have formed an image of the Roman hierarchy, and the infliction of civil penalties upon dissenters will inevitably result (The Great Controversy, p. 445).

Episcopal Lesbian Bishop-elect

The future of the worldwide Anglican Communion was in jeopardy last night after the Archbishop of Canterbury said that the election of a lesbian bishop in the United States raised “very serious questions”.

Dr Rowan Williams added that the choice of Canon Mary Glasspool to be a suffragan bishop in Los Angeles had “important implications”. The election of Canon Glasspool, who has lived with the same female partner since 1988, is the second appointment of an openly homosexual bishop in the US Episcopal Church. It confirmed fears among evangelicals in the Anglican Communion of more than 70 million people that crucial votes at last summer’s General Convention of the Episcopal Church had in effect ended the moratorium on gay bishops. ...

Campaigners for equality for lesbian and gay Christians welcomed the election result. The Very Rev Mark Kowalewski, Dean of St John’s Cathedral in Los Angeles, said: “I don’t think it’s a referendum on electing a woman or a gay person. Those are secondary characteristics.”

Canon Glasspool was ordained in 1981 and has led parishes in Annapolis in Maryland, Boston and Philadelphia. Bishop Jon Bruno, who leads the Los Angeles diocese, urged Episcopal dioceses to approve her election (“Anglicans split over election of lesbian bishop,”, Dec. 7, 2009).

Inspired commentary

Two interesting aspects of this Anglican situation are the apparent fracturing of Anglican church unity and the fact that the bishop-elect was living with a lesbian partner since 1988 after being ordained in 1981. We note that the Pope has offered a church home to Anglicans opposed to unacceptable women bishops – so a fracturing may lead to a different unity. Regarding the second aspect, she had been both ordained and a practicing lesbian since 1988. Was that combination not a major issue before the present situation?

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 (Jer. 17:9, 10).

Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen (Romans 1:22-25).

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