Herbert W. Armstrong College Bible Correspondence Course

How well do you know your Bible?

To many, the Bible is a mystery. A patchwork of ancient writings that is at once profound and puzzling, it can be distant and frustrating to those who read and study it. But it need not be!

The Herbert W. Armstrong College Bible Correspondence Course, published by the same organization that produces the Philadelphia Trumpet newsmagazine, offers in-depth understanding of the most profound book on Earth. Is the Bible true? Does it apply to today’s daily living? In its monthly lessons, this course addresses these questions and many more. It is a dynamic Bible study course. It aims to thrill, excite and challenge you—lead you to understand the meaning of world events and the purpose being worked out here below.

In nearly all college classrooms, textbooks or magazines on current affairs, you find alarming world problems hashed and rehashed—but no workable, viable solutions given. And in most religious publications you find much emotion and sentimentality, but very little understanding.

This course, administered through Herbert W. Armstrong College, is entirely different. It is written in a dynamic question-and-answer format that requires you to read the Scriptures and dig out the answers from your own Bible. You’ll find these lessons stirring, vitally interesting. Not dry or dull. They sparkle with interest! They make plain the real meaning behind today’s world news. They reveal the answers to the “unanswerable” social, family, and personal problems facing millions today. They explain the very purpose of human life.

As you study the clear, plain, simple truths of your Bible, you will really come to know the awesome Book of books as never before.

The Trumpet is offering this three-year course to you absolutely free—no catch! There is no tuition cost to you whatsoever. How can we afford to give it away? Because thousands of members and co-workers worldwide voluntarily contribute their tithes and offerings to help bring you this precious knowledge without price. We proclaim the way of giving and of serving. To put a price on any of our literature would be inconsistent with that way. Our desire is to serve—to share God’s precious truths in a ministry of love.

To enroll, request the Herbert W. Armstrong College Bible Correspondence Course.

Americans Fear Losing Jobs

GM’s massive layoff announcements come at a time when Americans are worried about unemployment and the overall health of the U.S. economy.

The same day the news came that Chinese auto-maker Chery Automotive was planning to export 250,000 cars to the U.S. in 2007, General Motors (GM) announced that it needed to lay off 25,000 U.S. workers by 2008. An economist at the Center for Automotive Research in Michigan estimates that every car-making job supports seven other jobs—from parts suppliers to related services. That means an additional 175,000 jobs are in jeopardy because of the GM decision.

Americans don’t seem too worried about the dominance that foreign companies have over the automobile industry. But they are worried about the unemployment resulting from these trends.

GM’s announcement came shortly after a May poll by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found that one of the top economic concerns for Americans is the availability of jobs. Six in 10 surveyed claimed that jobs are difficult to find—a sentiment shared by almost half of those earning $75,000 or more.

Americans have more than one reason to be worried about the economy. Those polled also cited high gasoline prices, the budget deficit, trade deficit, inflation fears, a lack of affordable housing, a stagnant stock market and worsening personal finances as major concerns. The number who reported having good or excellent finances dropped from 51 percent in January to 44 percent in May.

Overall, only about a third of respondents felt that the economy is in good shape and optimism about the future is rapidly declining. Last August, 36 percent felt the economy would improve but only half that many—18 percent—feel that way today. Conversely, those who felt the economy would get worse last August numbered 9 percent. That has now almost tripled, to 24 percent.

This situation perfectly demonstrates the effects of globalization. Asian labor costs are very cheap compared to U.S. labor. As Asian producers become more and more industrialized and offer cheaper products, they gain market share. It becomes increasingly difficult for American companies to compete. What’s happening in the automobile industry is also playing out in several other industries.

The flow of jobs out of the U.S. is one more sign that America’s position as the linchpin of the global economy is in jeopardy.

Europe’s Punching Bag

Europe’s Punching Bag

Michael Kappeler/AFP/Getty Images

The past few weeks have been rough for EU integration. Europe’s leaders are frustrated. Look who has become their punching bag.

The blatant refusal by the French and Dutch to support ratification of the EU constitution abruptly choked off further European integration. The goal of unification appears to be faltering; the future of the Continent is at stake.

Yet, in spite of this dilemma staring them in the face, most European leaders have turned to focus on another, decidedly smaller issue: the British rebate.

Each year, Britain is handed back two thirds of the difference between its gross yearly contribution to the EU and the money it receives back from Brussels. Margaret Thatcher secured the monetary rebate from the EU in 1984 after noting how little Britain received from the EU, compared to the massive amounts of money it paid to the Union. The rebate amounts to over €4 billion to Britain annually.

Open confrontation over the issue started when French President Jacques Chirac, still frustrated by the outcome of his nation’s referendum, insisted that Britain surrender its annual budget rebate. With support from German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, Chirac said, “The time has come for our English friends to understand that they have to make a gesture of solidarity for Europe” (Reuters, June 9).

Within hours of Chirac’s jibe, Britain’s Tony Blair responded, “Britain has been making a gesture. … Over the past 10 years, even with the British rebate, we have been making a contribution to Europe two and a half times that of France. Without the rebate, it would have been 15 times as much as France, so that is our gesture.” Nevertheless, leaders from across Europe began to bombard Britain with demands to give up its rebate.

EU budget talks last week, initially viewed by European leaders as a timely opportunity to get back on track toward unification, quickly broke down over the rebate issue. Despite tremendous pressure from Luxembourg’s prime minister, Jean-Claude Juncker, who currently holds the rotating EU presidency, and other leaders, Tony Blair refused to accept a deal suspending the rebate.

Mr. Blair’s persistent refusal to forego the rebate is receiving much support across Britain. But it is not going over well in the rest of Europe. Many view it as simple rebellion against the wishes of every other EU nation—a position so provocative that it calls into question London’s desire to make Europe work!

In an unexpected way, last week’s budget talks did go a long way toward curbing the disunity presently facing Europe. As the talks progressed, European leaders grew strongly united in their ridicule of and frustration toward Britain.

Britain became Europe’s punching bag.

Across the Continent EU officials continue to fall in line behind the Franco-German view that the British rebate issue threatens to destroy the European dream. Ironically, at a time of rampant disunity, it is the issue of the British rebate that has surfaced to become a unifying instrument in EU politics.

This whole affair is another instance of Britain being isolated from the EU. The rebate issue is driving a wedge between European nations and Britain. The Trumpet has said it for years, but we’ll say it again: Britainwill soon cease to be a part of the European Union.

Watch for frustration and anger toward Britain to fester. The time is approaching when Britain will no longer remain a member of the European Union!

Metrosexual Madness

Picture Arnold Schwarzenegger in a pink-flowered shirt getting his toenails done. Though it sounds unlikely for the Terminator, it is fast becoming popular for men all over the Western world.

Masculinity is being redefined.

Within the machinery of mass media and marketing, traditional concepts of manliness are mutating. The new term is “metrosexual”—a man of the 21st century possessing characteristics once attributed only to women and homosexual men. The metrosexual is sensitive, in tune with fashion, concerned about his skin, and a patron of beauty salons.

The trend is a direct challenge to conventional ideas of masculinity. And it’s not just an American phenomenon. Agence France Presse quotes a director of a French fashion agency saying, “The masculine ideal is being completely modified. All the traditional male values of authority, infallibility, virility and strength are being completely overturned” ( June 8).

An Australian newspaper, the Age, reported that “[m]en’s fashion chains are growing, with women’s stores such as Espirit launching men’s ranges” ( March 11, 2003). The market for metrosexuals is growing every year. Advertisers are even dropping the macho image to sell beer and cars.

Both the macho and metro versions of masculinity represent two opposite, and wrong, extremes of the male role. Yet the latest trend is of greater concern because of what the Bible prophesies about the time in which we live. In Isaiah 3, the prophet describes an upside-down society ruled by women and children, where real men—the wise and mighty leaders of old—have been “taken away.”

For more information on true masculinity and the dangers of gender blur, read our article Wanted: Real Men.

Remember Father’s Day

Remember Father’s Day

Dynamic Graphics

Father’s Day—the one official day annually when families show recognition and appreciation for their fathers—is a tradition dating back to the early 1900s. But in modern times, with traditional families on the way out and fatherhood deteriorating, Father’s Day may become a relic.

Every year on the third Sunday of June in America, Dad gets special attention and reward recognizing his sacrifice and hard work for his family. And with Americans spending over $8 billion on their dads for the event, it is little wonder that advertisers invest so much into Father’s Day.

But statistics show that a diminishing number of Americans have reason to celebrate on this day.

In a society where divorce is rampant, single parenting is common, and cohabitation is the norm, for many Americans, dadhood isn’t what it used to be. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, of the 66.3 million fathers in America, only 26.5 million are married with children under 18. www.fatherhood.org informs us that, between 1960 and 1995, the percentage of American children living in single-parent homes increased from 9 to 27. An estimated 40 percent of American children live in homes without their biological father. Among African Americans, that number is about 75 percent.

Families without fathers can experience devastating consequences. Columnist Phyllis Schlafly wrote June 15, “Most of our social problems are caused by kids who grow up in homes without their own fathers: drug abuse, illicit sexual activity, unwed pregnancies, youth suicide, high school dropouts, runaways and crime.” Yet, so often, society’s most prominent leaders overlook this connection between fatherlessness and teen pathologies.

A strong movement is afoot to portray fathers as unimportant and unnecessary. The institution of marriage itself is more commonly considered merely temporary, if not entirely antiquated. Yet the fruits of stable families headed by a dedicated father are obvious. Study after study shows that good fathers not only have a positive and powerful impact on their families, but on society as a whole.

It certainly is a role worthy of honor—even codified within the fifth of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:12)—not just one day out of the year, but every day.

To understand more deeply the vital significance of fathers, read our booklet Conspiracy Against Fatherhood. Practical instruction on how to recapture some of the fundamental qualities of strong fathering can be found in our article Fatherhood 101.

Pope to Visit Germany Before Vote

Pope to Visit Germany Before Vote

Reuters

Benedict’s appearance at a Catholic youth festival in August is good timing for Germany’s conservatives, who are campaigning to take the chancellorship in September.

The build-up to the annual conference of Roman Catholic youth in Cologne, Germany, this August—just one month away from a probable federal election—should be carefully watched.

Pope Benedict xvi will address this conference and is expected to draw an audience of over 2 million. This is the first time a German pope will address such a conference, and both the pope and his audience will no doubt be highly sensitized to this reality. Benedict’s message to the youth will have particular appeal to a segment of the German population that presently hungers for inspired leadership in times most unsettled and unsettling.

Should this German pope find a powerful following within the country’s current generation, he may be instrumental in igniting a political force that will clamor for a more conservative leader at the upcoming German elections in September.

Religion appears dead in Europe, or so some say. We can actually expect to see the revival of religion, namely Roman Catholicism, on the Continent—particularly an increase in its influence over politics. That is what makes the confluence of this groundbreaking youth conference in Germany, presided over by a German pontiff, and this pivotal moment in German politics, so noteworthy.

Germany, residing as it does at the heart of Europe, will not give up on its dream of a pan-European federation. Remember ex-chancellor Helmut Kohl’s warning that, should this dream not be realized by the institutions set up to achieve it peacefully, Germany may be tempted to obtain its will “by its more traditional methods.”

The apparent fracturing of the dream of obtaining a united Europe by multiple edicts and endless treaties, issued by a faceless bureaucracy in Brussels, appears, on the surface, to be doomed. The reality is, as Texas-based think tank Stratfor recently mused, “Europe, for political reasons, cannot be unified except beneath the heel of a conqueror” (June 2).

Watch for the Vatican to use its influence over Germany to provide Europe with just that.