Someone’s Daughter … Someone’s Son

Someone’s Daughter … Someone’s Son

Ed Giles/Getty Images

Somewhere in this world today, someone’s daughter, someone’s son, is being slaughtered due to an act of war. When will it all end? Will we ever have world peace?

Recently I had the opportunity to officiate at my eldest son’s wedding.

Being still in deep recovery from recent congestive heart failure, God gave me the strength to stand in for the father of the radiant bride, then lead her down the aisle and conduct the wedding ceremony. It was a delightful and very memorable occasion.

Conscious of our family’s Scottish heritage, the bride and groom had arranged for a champion piper to play selected tunes through the wedding.

As the recessional, they chose You’re the Voice. The piper rendered a fine performance of that tune for the occasion.

I just went back over the lyrics of that song, made famous 20 years ago as a smash hit by the English-Australian popular singer John Farnham. I wanted to discover just what it was that had such appeal in that song to such a wide audience and still has today.

It is very obvious. Within those lyrics is expressed a deep-seated longing for a cessation of war, for the opportunity to extend peace among humanity.

The appeal is made personal by the song directing its message in a very personal way to the listener.

Farnham sings, “You’re all someone’s daughter, you’re all someone’s son.” The message of the song is thus dual—an appeal to the current generation, and to their parents.

But it’s the next line that poses the burning question that the youth of the modern world have lived with increasingly since the Great War, World War i.

The singer cries out, “How long can we look at each other down the barrel of a gun?”

That’s a powerful question that this world seems utterly incapable of answering in any positive way.

According to the Peace Pledge Union in London, “Since the end of the Second World War in 1945 there have been some 250 major wars in which over 50 million people have been killed, tens of millions made homeless, and countless millions injured and bereaved.

“In the history of warfare the 20th century stands out as the bloodiest and most brutal—three times more people have been killed in wars in the last 90 years than in all the previous 500.”

The cannon fodder for all this carnage has been “someone’s daughter … someone’s son.”

The saddest fact about Farnham’s most famous hit song, and those of its genre—the protest songs of the 1960s and ’70s come to mind—is the vain hope they expressed to the youth of the day.

By way of example, the song You’re the Voice asserts the bright hopes of the generation for which it was written:

We have the chance to turn the pages over;We can write what we want to write;We gotta make ends meet, before we get much older.

So what happened to that chance for social and economic renewal that this song and dozens like it promised a whole generation?

The youth of the early 1980s are the middle-aged parents of today. As to making “ends meet,” they find themselves enmeshed in a great global economic crisis. The choice to “write what we want to write” has resulted in legislation that has confused gender roles, resulted in the slaughtering of countless millions of little lives in vitro, and largely neutered both language and societal norms of their clarity, introducing a host of politically correct social practices that are gnawing away at the very heart of our moral foundation.

The song promised change for the better:

This time, we know we all can stand togetherWith the power to be powerful,Believing we can make it better.

That chance for a generation to “make it better” came and went, not for the better. The chance to “stand together” faded. The “power to be powerful” never materialized.

How disheartening for that generation that sang, “We’re not gonna sit in silence, we’re not gonna live with fear,” to see their bright hopes for a voice for a better future squashed by the petty politics of the squabbling leaders of the day. Leaders who have promoted immigration policies that have led to the ghettoing of certain suburbs into even no-go areas to the police, as racial and religious hatred has been increasingly imported into our once settled Anglo-Saxon culture.

The longing for change for the better, for a cessation of war, for humans to live in brotherly harmony together, is as old as civilization itself. The Utopianists in our midst continue in the vain hope that they can bring peace by appeasement, by an appeal to the “better side” of human nature. Six thousand years of history have proven that a vain dream.

The realists, on the other hand, admitting that human nature is corrupt at its core, seek the best compromise within which to balance the demands of competing self-interest groups, with little effective result in advancing the cause of peace.

As Herbert Armstrong continually taught, the only way humankind will ever learn the way to peace is to submit to the rule of a power possessing a nature the very opposite to that of humanity at large—the government of their very own Creator! But that’s the very thing that humankind refuses to do!

“But why should it be imaginary or impossible? Why shouldn’t we have peace on Earth, with universal prosperity, good health, right education, abundant well-being for everybody?” Mr. Armstrong wrote in 1982.

“True, we do say it actually will require this ‘strong hand from someplace’ to solve the world’s troubles and bring us peace. Then the critic will ask, ‘Aren’t you saying it is impossible for humanity to solve our problems?’ No! We don’t say it is impossible—we say humanity is not willing— humanity REFUSES. It is impossible only because humanity rejects the way to peace, prosperity and all the good things—only because humanity refuses” (Plain Truth, April 1982).

That’s the reason that each generation, regardless of their motivation to seek peace, still, and even increasingly, “look at each other down the barrel of a gun”!

That’s the reason the power to bring peace on Earth is denied mankind. It’s the very reason why man is denied the opportunity to “all … stand together, with the power to be powerful,” always believing, yet utterly unable to “make it better.”

My children grew up as youths singing along with John Farnham the lyrics to You’re the Voice. But they grew up with a sense of reality. They knew that the words of the song were words sung in vain, for they had embedded in their minds from their earliest years a far better vision. The very vision that Jesus Christ, Son of God, Prince of Peace, had come to declare to mankind so long ago.

They have now produced another generation having the same vision, and are able to demonstrate the very imminence of the fulfillment of that vision through the prophecies that current events so obviously prove are being fulfilled at this hour. They are part of a wonderful peer group, worldwide, that shares that vision, a vision of reality that gives them tremendous confidence in their future.

I am privileged to be a faculty member at a unique institution. It’s a college that teaches this vision of reality that the youth of today can have the power to change the world for the better. The “chance to turn the pages over,” to “write what we want to write” because it will be from a common perspective of the vision for peace revealed by their Maker.

The students at Herbert W. Armstrong College do not “sit in silence” nor “live with fear.” Their faces are radiant with the glow of confidence that comes from having implicit faith in the God of the universe to enact His will. And they are overjoyed to be used as His servants in helping to do so.

When one experiences such a phenomenon as those of us do who serve on the faculty of Herbert W. Armstrong College, the only real pain is in the realization that so few get to experience it.

But that pain is going to be short lived. For the very Creator declares of all humanity that the time will come when “the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea” (Habakkuk 2:14). That time is rapidly approaching. A time when all men will be educated in the way to peace, and their sons and daughters will no longer look at each other down the barrel of a gun!

That’s the vision we teach at Herbert W. Armstrong College. It’s the only true vision of hope for a humanity that seems to be hell-bent on the way to its self-destruction.

If you want to read more about this grand vision for the future of mankind, read our booklet The Wonderful World Tomorrow. It will open up new vistas to you and your sons and daughters. Vistas of peace and plenty, of true godly love human to human, and of the God-given power to truly “turn the pages” to a new and unsurpassably brilliant future for all mankind.

Children Murdered by the Hands That Should Nurture Them

Children Murdered by the Hands That Should Nurture Them

Imgorthand/iStockphoto

Incomprehensibly horrifying murders have been making headlines in recent days.

On October 30, a 40-year-old immigrant from Poland ordered her son and a playmate to “kneel on a bedroom floor and pray, then stabbed them both dozens of times, as they begged for their lives,” the Associated Press reported.

The 7-year-old boy had stab wounds on his head, face, neck and back. The report said he was stabbed 100 times; the other child, a 5-year-old girl, about 50 times. Both appeared to have had their throats slit.

The Illinois mother, who murdered her son and the child she had been entrusted to watch, claimed she did so because “the children had evil inside them and she was trying to get the evil and devil out of them.”

This nightmare took place just on the heels of another heart-rending tragedy. On October 25, a New York City mother came home to find her 6-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son lying motionless in their bathtub in a pool of blood and then watched as the perpetrator, their trusted nanny, violently attempted to commit suicide.

It seems like something out of a depraved horror movie. One law enforcement official said the murder was one of “the most gruesome and horrific crimes” he’d seen in 30 years on the job.

How can such horrors happen? Is there an explanation?

In an August Philadelphia Trumpet article, Joel Hilliker commented on the gruesome cannibalism outbreak last spring. “Our world suffers from far more satanic influence than most people realize,” he wrote.

… Revelation 12 reveals the lightning-bolt truth: The violent ruler of the evil spirits, who at one time actually inhabited heaven, has been cast down: ‘he was cast out into the earth, and his angels [the demons] were cast out with him.’ The devil and his countless demons are now roving the Earth, spreading their evil. ‘Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea!’ the scripture warns: ‘for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.’

This is why today’s world is so perilous!

Human history is full of bloody crimes. However, biblical prophecy expressly says that Satan’s influence will increase as his time on Earth draws short.

In addition, the end times are prophesied to include a decline in the natural affection that binds families together and that inspires a protective spirit in adults toward children. “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come,” the Apostle Paul wrote. “For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection” (2 Timothy 3:1-3).

But even this increase in such problems contains hope: The growing prevalence of these mind-numbing acts proves we are living in the last days—which means we are soon to witness the return of Jesus Christ, who will put a stop to these abominable acts! Time is short and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ draws near.

Until then, as Joel Hilliker said, “expect more of these horrifying headlines in the time ahead!”

Now is the time for us to draw near to the one true God who alone can protect us and our little ones during these perilous times. God speed the day when little children won’t have even the slightest inkling of fear that harm can come upon them from the same hands that nurture them.

U.S. Regulators Threaten to Fine Barclays Half a Billion Dollars

U.S. Regulators Threaten to Fine Barclays Half a Billion Dollars

hatman12/iStockphoto

Barclays faces a bigger fine than it did over Libor fixing.

Over accusations that Barclays manipulated the energy market, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (ferc) threatened to fine Barclays $470 million. The fine could be the biggest in the ferc’s history.

The fine is roughly the same size the amount of money Barclays was forced to pay British and U.S. regulators for manipulating the Libor rate.

The ferc accused Barclays of using one part of its business to make a loss on electricity in order to push the price down, so that another part could make a huge profit. To prove their case, the ferc released expletive-laden messages between Barclays traders boasting about how they were manipulating the market. The individual traders also face fines totaling $18 million.

Barclays says it did nothing illegal and will fight the fine, saying that the ferc’s report is “by nature a one-sided document, and does not reflect a balanced and full description of the facts.”

But even if it hasn’t actually broken the law, the e-mails make the company look guilty and callous. It is also being investigated by U.S. and UK regulators over its fundraising efforts in the Middle East.

Yet another scandal for Barclays is yet another nail in the coffin for Britain’s reputation as the home of a responsible and mature banking industry.

The finance industry is one of the few areas where Britain still leads the world. The continued blows to its banking industry will hurt the whole economy.

Parliament Tells Prime Minister: Stand Up to Europe

Parliament Tells Prime Minister: Stand Up to Europe

LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images

The British government suffered a historic defeat on October 31 as Parliament voted that Britain should aim to negotiate a real cut in the European Union’s budget. Prime Minister David Cameron had originally intended to push for a freeze in spending.

The amendment, tabled by Conservative MP Mark Reckless, was passed by 307 to 294 as Conservative Euroskeptics teamed up with the Labor Party. This is the British equivalent of Tea Party Republicans aligning with Democrats.

The vote marks a significant shift for Labor, which in recent years has wanted more Europe. At the last long-term budget negotiations in 2005, Labor significantly increased the amount of money Britain sends to the EU.

Some accuse Labor of political opportunism. But even if that is true, its reversal shows how much the public opinion has shifted against the EU.

In an article outlining its position, Labor’s Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls and Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander made clear that they still wanted Britain to be a leader in Europe. But if they see public opinion to continue to shift against Europe, that attitude may change too. It would not be unprecedented. Labor led the opposition to the EU when Britain joined.

Even Mr. Cameron doesn’t advocate a spending freeze because he supports the EU getting its current amount of money. With the European Parliament and European Commission demanding a budget increase of €200 billion over the next seven years, Mr. Cameron believes that an increase in line with inflation is merely the best deal Britain can realistically get.

Parliament’s vote is not binding—Mr. Cameron is free to negotiate whatever he feels is the best deal from Britain. But it makes it much harder for him to compromise. If he comes back with anything less than a real term freeze on the EU’s budget, he will be a laughing stock.

The tough line taken by Parliament pits Britain against much of the EU. Mr. Cameron has vowed to veto anything other than a freeze in spending. The French say that they’ll veto anything that cuts their sacred Common Agricultural Policy. Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel isn’t a fan of increased spending, but her biggest priority is to get a quick deal so she can go on to focus on Europe’s bigger problems. Britain has allies among the Scandinavian countries.

The budget talks, scheduled for November 22, seem set to end in failure. They expose how bitterly divided Europe is, and that the EU will never be able to quickly and effectively make decisions. The talks also expose how much Britain’s political landscape has changed. Watch for Britain’s drift away from Europe to continue.

Nearly Half of British Parents Split Before Their Child Turns 15

Nearly Half of British Parents Split Before Their Child Turns 15

EricVega/iStockphoto

Britain recognizes its family problems, but cannot fix them.

Forty percent of British 10-year-olds do not live with both parents, according to data released by the Department of Work and Pensions on October 31.

Eighty percent of children are born to parents living together. By the time they turn 15, only 55 percent of children live with both parents, according to data from 2009 to 2010.

The number of children in Britain being brought up by unmarried couples has doubled since 1996, according to another set of figures released by the Office of National Statistics on November 1. The number of opposite-sex cohabiting couples rose from 1.5 million to 2.9 million. The number of children living with these couples rose from 900,000 to 1.8 million. Cohabitation is now the fastest-growing family type in Britain, while the number of married couples bringing up children has fallen by 12 percent.

In 1996, roughly three out of four children were brought up by married parents. Now, it is three out of five. Marriage is still the dominant family structure: 12.2 million out of Britain’s 18.2 million families consisted of married couples.

The managing director of think tank Center for Social Justice (csj), Christian Guy, said, “These figures revealing growing levels of family instability and breakdown, which should raise alarm.”

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith, who founded the csj, announced plans to measure the success of social policy by how it helps families, education and employment. Family, he said is “the most important building block in a child’s life.”

“When families are strong and stable, so are children—showing higher levels of well being and more positive outcomes,” he said. “But when things go wrong—either through family breakdown or a damaged parental relationship—the impact on a child’s later life can be devastating.”

But one word was completely absent from Smith’s speech: “marriage.” Smith has been an outspoken supporter of marriage. But in a speech about the importance of strong and stable families, he didn’t mention it once. Britain’s politically correct establishment raises an outcry every time someone in government like Smith tries to stand up for marriage.

The British government is beginning to wake up to the fact that family problems are at the heart of its social problems. But Britain still doesn’t know how to fix its families. Until people are willing to talk about marriage, and the different roles of a husband and wife, these problems will continue. A traditional, Bible-based family is the only way to fix Britain’s social problems.

China Tests New Stealth Fighter

China Tests New Stealth Fighter

STR/AFP/Getty Images

Thursday afternoon, hours after photos of China’s stealth fighter hit the Internet, a video emerged depicting the prototype stealth fighter in flight.

Ross Babbage of Australia’s Kokoda Foundation said the flight test demonstrates an impressive capability on the part of the Chinese industry. “It’s a very interesting development. It shows how rapidly they’re moving ahead,” he said.

Analyst David Axe agreed with that assessment, saying the flight was “a huge leap forward for China’s ambitious stealth warplane program.” But, he continued, “there are still more questions than answers about China’s second stealth fighter model.”

The radar-avoiding aircraft was accompanied on its test flight by two Chinese-made J-11 fighters. The video is available here.

Developing a stealth fighter-intercept plane was not an easy milestone for Beijing to cross. “The technical barriers and development costs for such aircraft are enormous,” the Associated Press said.

China remains largely reliant on Russia for engines for its latest J-10, J-11 and J-15 models, but Moscow is happy to supply Beijing with this technology. Watch for these Eastern giants to continue making military strides, and to continue cooperation with each other toward that end.

To understand why these trends matter, read Russia and China in Prophecy.