The Trumpet Herald is a commentary on certain current events in the light of inspired prophecy.
The past several years of school violence erupted yet again in the bloodiest massacre to date, as two disturbed teens slaughtered at least 15 schoolmates at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, on the morning of April 20, 1999. The young men, fascinated with violence and Nazi terror, seem to have planned this carnage for at least one year, wreaking at last the ultimate vengeance on those who they thought fancied themselves better than they.
TV talks shows, special reports, and magazine headlines speculate endlessly as to why and how such a tragedy could happen, how what many have thought to be normal teenage rivalries and rites of passage could nurture resentment which at last exploded into realms few could imagine.
The Bible says that in the days of Noah, "The earth was filled with violence" (Gen. 6:11), Jesus declared, "As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man" (Luke 17:26). Inspiration writes as follows about those living before the Flood:
"They worshipped selfish indulgenceeating, drinking, merry-making--and resorted to acts of violence and crime if their desires and passions were interfered with.
"In the days of Noah the overwhelming majority was opposed to the truth, and enamored with a tissue of falsehoods. The land was filled with violence. War, crime, murder, was the order of the day. Just so it will be before Christ's second coming" (SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 1, p. 1090).
Remembering the "Sabbath"
The April 2-4, 1999 issue of USA Weekend featured a cover article titled, "Whatever happened to Sunday?", which included a review of a new book by one Wayne Muller, titled Sabbath: Remembering the Sacred Rhythm of Rest and Delight (New York: Bantam Books, 1999). while the article acknowledges the different Sabbath traditions in various religious communities, the author's concluding statement could easily become a political instead of the social, strictly voluntary appeal it seems to be for now.
"I make a plea for renewed Sabbath-keeping. As a nation, we cannot live like this, endlessly rushing about in a desperate frenzy, never stopping to enjoy the blessings of family and friends, unable to taste the fruits of life. . . . Let us, for just one day, cease our desperate striving for more, and instead taste the blessings we have already been given, and give thanks. Religious traditions agree on this: God does not want us to be exhausted. God wants us to be happy. And so let us remember the Sabbath" (USA Weekend, April 2-4, 1999, p. 5).
More recently, the May 10, 1999 issue of U.S. News & World Report, in its "Washington Whispers" column, reports that "Texas Gov. George W. Bush may represent the newest generation of Republicans, but when it comes to Sundays, he's old fashioned. Aides say he won't campaign on the Sabbath. 'He just won't do it, and it sometimes creates problems,' says an advisor" (p. 8).
Recently Governor Bush has bent over backwards trying to appease the Religious Right, whose power remains vast in the Republican Party for whose presidential nomination Mr. Bush leads all polls. His decision to keep Sunday holy could well draw attention to an issue which certain recent events (like the Pope's Apostolic Letter) have started to bring to the front.
No one can question the need for all to rest, nor Governor Bush's right to follow the dictates of his conscience regarding his chosen day of rest. But it is hard to imagine that such sprawling articles in national publications, and such public behavior by the current Republican presidential front-runner, will draw greater attention to the issue of Sunday-sacredness, especially in the wake of the recent natural and human tragedies which leave so manyincluding politiciansfeeling helpless.
After predicting the acceleration of natural disasters as the coming of Christ draws near, inspiration foretells the following as the spirit of those who will promote Sunday laws:
"It will be declared, that men are offending God by the violation of the Sunday sabbath; that this sin has brought calamities which will not cease until Sunday observance shall be strictly enforced; and those who present the claims of the fourth commandment, thus destroying reverence for Sunday, are troublers of the people, preventing their restoration to divine favor and temporal prosperity" (The Great Controversy, p. 590).
Killer Tornadoes Strike Again
On the night of May 3-4, as many as 76 killer tornadoes struck across America's heartland, leaving at least 40 dead, hundreds injured, and at least 11,000 buildings destroyed or damaged. Most of the destruction centered around Oklahoma City, and Wichita, Kansas. Some of these storms, according to a CNN Special Report May 4, were among "the most powerful ever recorded," including a funnel cloud at least one mile wide. In several states softball-size hail accompanied the twisters on their deadly path. Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating reported, "Entire communities no longer exist."
With winds approaching 300 mph, these tornadoes left in ruins nearly half the homes in the town of Moore, Oklahoma. Once-familiar neighborhoods were in minutes reduced to unfamiliar landscapes of total destruction.
As before, we quote the following prediction from the inspired pen, which seems truer every time we print this newsletter:
"Even now he [Satan] is at work. In accidents and calamities by sea and by land, in great conflagrations, in fierce tornadoes and terrific hailstorms, in tempests, floods, cyclones, tidal waves, and earthquakes, in every place and in a thousand forms, Satan is exercising his power. . . These visitations are to become more and more frequent and disastrous" (Ibid., pp. 589, 590).