A Titanic Lesson
“Even God couldn’t sink the Titanic.” That was one of the many claims made in 1912, when that impressive ship was launched. That attitude created complacency that led to catastrophe. On the ship’s maiden voyage, the captain ignored repeated warnings about ice fields and went to bed. Soon after, the “unsinkable” ship struck an iceberg; a mere 160 minutes later, it had disappeared below the waters and was descending to the ocean floor 2½ miles below.
“So much for God-defying arrogance!” wrote the Trumpet’s editor in chief, Gerald Flurry, when James Cameron’s blockbuster movie Titanic hit cinemas in 1998. “It’s easy to ignore warnings. Millions—even billions—are doing it today. But we can’t ignore the icebergs!”
“I’ll tell you what haunts me when I see video footage of the Titanic today,” he continued. “It is very emotional. I see Britain and America in a similar condition—if they fail to heed God’s warning message. Our nations are headed for a disaster that will make people forget the Titanic tragedy, perhaps forever.
“God is sending out the ‘ice field’ warnings. But it is ‘a voice crying in the wilderness’ (Isaiah 40:1-10). … The voice is ignored or ridiculed by most people. They somehow think America and Britain are ‘unsinkable.’ Like the captain of the Titanic, they ignore the warnings. They continue steaming ahead into the darkness.”
That 25-year-old article came to my mind this past June, when a submersible called the Titan descended into North Atlantic to visit the Titanic wreckage. Stockton Rush, ceo of Titan manufacturer OceanGate, was one of five men on board. He had ignored a number of warnings himself in constructing the Titan.
He said he didn’t want to build this vessel using ex-military submarine men, “50-year-old white guys.” He wanted his team “to be younger, to be inspirational” and to “have a variety of different backgrounds.” He and his staff dismissed several industry experts’ concerns over safety. Rush sought a reputation as an innovator, and he felt excessive safety protocols and regulations hindered that. “Somebody said, you’re remembered for the rules you break. And that’s the fact,” he told 60 Minutes. “There were a lot of rules out there that didn’t make engineering sense to me. … I think I can do this just as safely by breaking the rules.”
But physical laws are unyielding; they don’t care how inspirational or diverse your engineering team is. And when the Titan was under 2½ miles of water, it was being squeezed by nearly a ton and a half of pressure per square inch.
One hour and 45 minutes into the Titan’s dive, the United States Navy heard an unusual sound underwater. It was the Titan’s hull imploding at 2,200 feet per second. One expert said it is like “crushing a can of soda to the size of a very small marble in your hand.”
America is like the Titanic: It has ignored warnings, it is punctured and is sinking fast. But it is also like the similarly doomed Titan.
Americans are prioritizing inspiration, diversity and other trendy virtues, and breaking rules simply because those rules don’t make sense to them. This mindset is driving all sorts of radical “innovation”: efforts to defund police forces and “rethink” law enforcement, to replace meat from animals with bugs and lab-engineered “foods,” to erase national borders to boost ethnic and cultural diversity, to pretend that biological sex and gender are utterly unrelated. Thousands of years of tradition, experience and wisdom are now routinely cast aside without hesitation.
The trouble is, in so many of these areas, what is actually being cast aside is not prejudice or parochialism or stodginess—but immutable, inescapable law.
Laws given by the “one lawgiver” (James 4:12) cannot be broken without suffering for it. “Innovation” wrought by breaking them is illusory. Just look around: The more people cast aside God’s laws governing morality, sex, family, health, commerce, leadership, government and religion, the more we see lives imploding, communities imploding, nations imploding.
This is a highly pressurized, rapidly compacting version of what human beings have been proving for 6,000 years. The world has always suffered from criminality, poverty, conflict, corruption, disease and malevolence—because the very first humans deliberately chose to break the rules governing human existence! They followed Satan’s advice: Don’t listen to God! That will only hinder innovation. You’re remembered for the rules you break! (Genesis 3:1-6). So as Herbert W. Armstrong wrote in his book Mystery of the Ages, God has allowed mankind to “innovate” and build a multifaceted civilization under the sway of Satan’s deceptions.
Our world shows the turbulent results. The education, knowledge, religions, governments, culture, music, entertainment, sports, dress, technology, priorities, attitudes—all are deeply influenced by that evil being, who seeks to destroy humanity as he destroyed our first parents (2 Corinthians 4:4; Revelation 12:9).
Revelation 18 prophesies about Babylon. Babylon may be the best single word in the Bible for the world’s system, cut off from God. The whole world has gotten mixed up in it. And this prophecy shows its end: It will all sink like the Titanic and implode like the Titan. Open your eyes, and this world’s path to oblivion is growing clearer by the day.
So God commands, “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues” (verse 4). Reject Satan and satanic rule-breaking. Come out. Humble yourself. Heed the warnings! Follow the laws of the Lawgiver, and even as the pressure mounts in a world rapidly descending underwater, you will remain safe.