Nehemiah’s Wall Found in Jerusalem

Nehemiah’s Wall Found in Jerusalem

PT

At a conference in Tel Aviv, an archaeological discovery is unveiled that proves biblical history true.

Archaeologists who reject the biblical narrative or who believe the historical account is, at best, grossly exaggerated sometimes point to the wall Nehemiah is said to have built around Jerusalem during the 5th century b.c. and ask why none of its remains have ever been discovered.

Now those remains are beginning to turn up.

Yesterday, at an archaeological conference at Bar Ilan University near Tel Aviv, Dr. Eilat Mazar told 500 attendees that she had discovered Nehemiah’s wall. The discovery comes, as our regular readers know, just two years after Mazar uncovered a small section of King David’s royal palace. Last winter, during the second phase of her ongoing palace excavation, she uncovered a massive wall on the eastern side of the royal complex, measuring 5 meters in width.

Adjacent to the palace wall stood a large stone tower archaeologists believed to be built during the Hasmonean dynasty (142-37 b.c.). Early last summer, a section of that tower, which was built on a steep slope just outside the palace, began to give way, indicating it was on the verge of collapse. And so what started as a simple task of repairing a collapsing tower turned into a six-week dig—and a fascinating new discovery.

“Under the tower,” Dr. Mazar said at the conference, “we found the bones of two large dogs—and under those bones a rich assemblage of pottery and finds from the Persian period [6th to 5th centuries b.c.]. No later finds from that period were found under the tower.” The pottery is what clearly dates the time period for the tower’s construction. Had the tower been built during the 2nd or 1st century b.c., Dr. Mazar explained, 6th-century pottery underneath the wall would leave a chronological gap of several hundred years. Therefore we know, based on the pottery dating, that the tower would have been built three to four centuries earlier than previously thought, during the Persian Empire’s heyday, which is precisely when the Bible says Nehemiah rebuilt the wall around Jerusalem.

Nehemiah’s Construction

After hearing about the great affliction of the Jews in Jerusalem, that the city walls were broken down and the gates burned, Nehemiah appealed to God for intervention. At the time, he was serving in the court of Artaxerxes as a cupbearer. When the king inquired about his distress, Nehemiah said he had a heavy heart because “the place of my fathers’ sepulchres, lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire” (Nehemiah 2:3). He asked the king for a leave of absence so that he might coordinate several construction projects in Jerusalem. Nehemiah made this request in the 20th year of Artaxerxes, or about 445 b.c. (see Nehemiah 2:1).

The king granted his request and provided enough materials for Nehemiah to rebuild the gates of the temple, the wall around the city and a house for himself. A few Bible commentaries speculate that the house Nehemiah built for himself in Jerusalem might have been where David’s palace once stood. Even though the Babylonians had left the entire city in ruin early on in the 6th century b.c., Nehemiah knew right where David’s palace had been built (see Nehemiah 12:37). Wherever he chose to build his home, it must have been the size of a royal palace. While rebuilding, the Bible records, Nehemiah invited 150 construction workers to join him for dinner at his table (Nehemiah 5:16-19).

In Nehemiah 3, you can read a detailed account of the wall’s reconstruction. Nehemiah refers to 10 gates in the chapter. In verse 1, he mentions the northern entrance to the city—the Sheep Gate, where animals were brought into the temple for sacrifices. After that, Nehemiah describes the rest of the gates on the wall in order, moving around the western side of the city in a counter-clockwise direction and then up the eastern side back to the north end of the city.

By the time he gets to the Fountain Gate in verse 15, the passage becomes much more descriptive. “But the gate of the fountain repaired Shallun … and the wall of the pool of Siloah by the king’s garden, and unto the stairs that go down from the city of David.” The Fountain Gate, also referred to as the Spring Gate today, was located somewhere near the Gihon Springs, which is a short walk south from where Dr. Mazar’s palace excavations are going on.

In verse 16, Nehemiah mentions the tombs of the kings of Judah, which have not yet been discovered today. But putting Nehemiah’s description together with what Dr. Mazar keeps finding in the City of David, they must be close by.

Many of the landmarks described in Nehemiah’s book can now be clearly identified today thanks in large part to the work of Eilat Mazar. She has been working hard and fast, just as Nehemiah did 2,500 years ago. Nehemiah’s frantic pace resulted in his crew completing the wall in 52 days (Nehemiah 6:15), which might explain why the tower began to collapse over the summer!

While he was working, Nehemiah had to withstand the attacks of numerous critics who were determined to slow down his progress (Nehemiah 4:8). Yet he kept right on building, working with a hammer in one hand and a weapon in the other (Nehemiah 4:17-18).

Dr. Mazar was introduced yesterday as the first speaker at the conference. Walking up to the podium without the benefit of any notes, she delivered an impassioned, persuasive 30-minute presentation straight from the heart. She spoke about the fantastic discoveries made at the palace during the last two years: the 5-meter-wide wall, the rooms, the collections of metal industry, the pottery and the bullae. She concluded by revealing the details about her most recent find: a tower from a wall that Nehemiah built. She then left the stage.

For the rest of the morning, Dr. Mazar’s colleagues spoke one after another, each of them picking apart her findings, some even rejecting her conclusions. But the entire morning session of perhaps the most important archaeological conference of the year in Israel was devoted to Eilat Mazar’s work—not her theories, her work.

And that’s just the way she likes it. As she has said before, in the end, the stones will speak for themselves.

Nehemiah couldn’t have said it any better himself.

Merkel Expresses Moral Duty to Protect Israel

Merkel Expresses Moral Duty to Protect Israel

Marcus Brandt/AFP/Getty Images

The German chancellor has said that her government is committed to defending the Jews against Iran.

Germany’s chancellor this week expressed her government’s desire to protect Israel and foster close relations between Germans and the Jewish community, according to an Agence France Presse report.

Angela Merkel’s remarks came after receiving the Leo Baeck Prize from the Central Council of Jews in Germany on Tuesday. After accepting the prestigious award, which recognizes those who contribute to the German Jewish community in an extraordinary manner, Merkel said she felt morally bound to bring Germans and Jews closer together.

“It took more than 40 years for Germany as a whole to accept the responsibility it carries to ensure the safety of Israel,” she said. “Only by accepting Germany’s past can we lay the foundation for the future. Only in as far as we acknowledge our responsibility for the moral catastrophe of Germany’s history can we build a humane future.”

Merkel said she felt responsible for “intervening to protect the safety of Israel today and in the future, as well as our common values of democracy and the rule of law.”

The chancellor told her Jewish audience that she would protect Israel from Iran specifically.

“How firmly do we react when the Iranian president wants to destroy Israel and to belittle the Holocaust?” she asked. “I believe that in the face of the threat Iran’s nuclear program poses to Israel, our responsibility must be more than empty words. These words must be backed up by deeds. My government will follow its words with action.”

Merkel called for tighter United Nations sanctions against Iran, saying, “We and our partners are working towards a diplomatic solution. Part of this process is a readiness on the part of Germany to agree to wider, stricter sanctions if Iran does not comply.”

Germany is one of Iran’s largest trading partners.

However, the next day, Merkel indicated in an interview with the Berliner Zeitung that her government would not impose more sanctions than are already in place, in spite of U.S. pressure. Washington has asked Germany and the European Union to enforce sanctions of their own against Iran. But Merkel said, “The United Nations is the place where sanctions [against Iran] are negotiated.”

Today Merkel arrives in Crawford, Texas, where she and President George W. Bush are expected to discuss Iran, somewhat uncomfortably judging from her recent comments.

The real story is not in Germany blunting American efforts. The real story to watch is Germany’s relationship with Israel.

Look for Germany to continue sweet-talking the world Jewish community, even to the point of guaranteeing the national security of the Jewish state. As this continues and assailant-encircled Israelis grow more desperate, Israel will turn more and more to Germany as its last best hope, while in the background the so-called peace process goes down in flames.

But also look for Germany to put empirical self-interest ahead of Israel’s welfare, and to display Proteus-like policies, as it did on Tuesday and Wednesday. Endearing itself to Jews, even while undermining them at the same time, will prove to be a means to a deadly end. Berlin has its own interests in the Middle East, and they are decidedly not common values with Israel. For more on this subject, read “The Counterfeit Peacemaker.”

Lift Up Your Eyes!

Lift Up Your Eyes!

NASA

Remembering an inspiring event in recent history that—even if only for a moment—unified the whole world.

I recently viewed Ron Howard’s documentary In the Shadow of the Moon, and left the theater mesmerized. It brought back wonderful memories from nearly 40 years ago. Who can forget Neil Armstrong’s magical words as he stepped from the footpad of Eagle onto that soft, powdery dust of the moon’s crust: “That’s one small step for man—one giant leap for mankind.”

I had forgotten about how much that lunar landing impacted all of mankind. As Time magazine noted, “Although the Apollo 11 astronauts planted an American flag on the moon, their feat was far more than a national triumph. … It was appropriate that the event was watched by ordinary citizens in Prague as well as Paris, Bucharest as well as Boston, Warsaw as well as Wapakoneta, Ohio. In practically every other corner of the Earth, newspapers broke out what pressmen refer to as their ‘Second Coming’ type to hail the lunar landing” (July 25, 1969). One astronaut interviewed in the documentary remembers the worldwide reaction this way: “Instead of saying, ‘Well, you Americans did it’—everywhere they said, ‘We did it—we, the human race.’”

Besides planting the U.S. flag on the moon’s surface, the astronauts left behind a silicon disk with comments of goodwill and solidarity from four U.S. presidents and 72 other world leaders. Inscribed on the lunar module’s platform, left behind after the spacecraft blasted off for its return flight, were these words, printed above President Nixon’s signature: “We came in peace.”

It was as if the whole world was united for a brief moment in time. Somehow, 3 billion human beings were able to lift up their eyes 250,000 miles above the surface of this Earth and view something that was literally out of this world! “The spectacular view might well help [man] place his problems, as well as his world, in a new perspective,” Time wrote.

But even before Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere, mankind’s attention had quickly returned to its mounting problems and evils.

Today, those curses have multiplied many times over.

Message of Hope

In many ways, Time’s coverage of the “Mars rock” in 1996 was every bit as enthusiastic as the lunar landing story from 1969, but for different reasons. News of the rock, Time wrote, “landed on the front pages of newspapers around the world and seized the imagination of all mankind” (Aug. 19, 1996). For the most part, though, it only seized the imagination of scientists, academics and media elites who have so much invested in the unproven, anti-God theory of evolution. “This is the biggest thing that has ever happened,” said John Pike, director of space policy for the Federation of American Scientists.

“If that evidence stands up to the intense scientific scrutiny that is certain to follow,” said Time, “it will confirm for the first time that life is not unique to Earth. That confirmation, in turn, would have staggering philosophical and religious repercussions.”

In the end, the rock turned out to be a regular old rock, as we had predicted. I told our Trumpet readers at the time, “The truth is, this discovery has virtually no significance whatsoever! That is because the focus is on microfossils in a small rock assumed to be from Mars. Our vision should be on the all-powerful God who created Mars and the universe!” (September-October 1996).

That is what made the lunar landing in 1969 so inspiring! That is why it captivated the world’s attention in a way the so-called Mars rock never did—it projected mankind’s vision far beyond this Earth. The moonwalk was a moment that “symbolized man’s wondrous capacity for questing, then conquering, then questing yet again for something just beyond his reach,” Time wrote. “But the black vastness that served as a backdrop for the two astronauts’ walk on the moon also was a reminder of something else. Stargazer, now star-reacher, man inhabits a smallish planet of an ordinary sun in a garden-variety galaxy that occupies the tiniest corner of a universe whose scope is beyond comprehension” (July 25, 1969).

How true! Yet the amazing thing is, to the residents of this tiny corner of the universe, God says, “Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth” (Isaiah 40:26). The great omnipotent God created and sustains our vast universe which runs with the precision and order of a great master clock. God calls each one of the virtually infinite number of stars and planets by name.

Why is man so intent on linking us to animals, fossils and rocks, when God wants to bring us into His Family and—His Word reveals—to give us jurisdiction over the entire universe?

The chief musician, King David, wrote, “When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower [or, for a little while lower] than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet” (Psalm 8:3-6). The Apostle Paul paraphrased this psalm in Hebrews 2.

In Romans 8, Paul said the whole creation, meaning the vast, limitless universe, is waiting “with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God; for the creation [including all the suns, planets, stars, moons] was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God. We know that the whole creation [stars, suns and moons now in decay and futility] has been groaning in travail together until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for [the birth] as sons” (verses 19-23, Revised Standard Version).

No truth is more exhilarating than this! What an eye-opening passage of Scripture!

Notice what Herbert W. Armstrong wrote about this passage in Romans 8 in his book Mystery of the Ages:

This passage indicates precisely what all astronomers and scientific evidence indicate—the suns are as balls of fire, giving out light and heat; but the planets, except for this Earth, are in a state of death, decay and futility—but not forever—waiting until converted humans are born the children of God; born into the very divine Family of God, forming the Kingdom of God. … Put together all these scriptures I have used in this chapter, and you begin to grasp the incredible human potential. Our potential is to be born into the God Family, receiving total power! We are to be given jurisdiction over the entire universe!What are we going to do then? These scriptures indicate we shall impart life to billions and billions of dead planets, as life has been imparted to this Earth. We shall create, as God directs and instructs.

I hope you will request a free copy of his wonderful book because it contains a message that will truly lift up your eyes on high—and keep them there for eternity.

Pakistan Instability Deepens

Pakistan Instability Deepens

Aamir Qureshi/AFP/Getty Images

Pakistani politics are descending into chaos. If democracy prevails, will Pakistan remain a U.S. ally?

Pakistan’s president declared a state of emergency rule and suspended the Pakistani Constitution this past Saturday. He argued that the Pakistani Supreme Court’s decision to release some 60 suspected terrorists made the fight against Islamic terrorism impossible and necessitated a state of emergency rule.

Since declaring this state of emergency, President Pervez Musharraf, who originally took control of Pakistan in a 1999 military coup, has replaced the chief justice, curtailed the media, banned public gatherings, and rounded up opposition leaders.

Because the Supreme Court was planning to contest the validity of Musharraf’s recent reelection, his critics have used his drastic actions to accuse him of using the terrorists’ release issue as a guise to remain in power after having promised to leave the military and schedule a general election.

Hundreds of protesters chanting the name of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto have flocked to the Pakistani parliament in blatant disregard of the ban on public gatherings. Police have resorted to the use of beatings and tear gas to disperse the crowds and arrest thousands.

In the midst of this chaos, leaders around the world have urged Musharraf to stop hindering the establishment of democracy in Pakistan. United States President George Bush refused to directly criticize Musharraf, who is a key ally in the war against terrorism, but did telephone him on Wednesday, urging him to retire from the military and to hold a general election as soon as possible.

The situation is extraordinarily dangerous because Pakistan is a nuclear power with a large population of Islamic extremists and those who sympathize with them. Islamist militants loyal to a radical Islamic cleric have largely taken control of Pakistan’s Swat Valley, seizing several key towns. Parliamentary troops and police opposing them have been forced to surrender their weapons.

“Indeed, polls indicate that Osama bin Laden is already more popular in Pakistan than Musharraf,” reports Germany’s Spiegel Online.

When Egypt yielded to U.S. pressure to hold a more democratic election in 2005, the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood grabbed almost 20 percent of the seats in the Egyptian parliament. With such a large population of Islamic extremists in Pakistan, democratic elections could result in an extremist shift in Pakistani politics.

Whether Musharraf is using Pakistan’s “state of emergency” as a ploy to retain power or not, chaos, protests and civil unrest are undermining the stability of one of the few states in the region Washington has considered an ally in the war on terror.

Joseph Biden, chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, said, “The risk that Pakistan—often dubbed the ‘most dangerous country in the world’ by terrorism experts due to its explosive mix of Islamist extremists, nuclear weapons and capricious military officials—may flip-flop from being a close ally of the United States to becoming an American nightmare seems more real than ever.”

Watch as Islamic terror increases on the world scene and as America loses more and more of its allies. For more information on the role Islamic terror will play on the world scene, read The King of the South by Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry.

Al Qaeda Targeting Britain’s Teens

Al Qaeda Targeting Britain’s Teens

Dreamstime

Al Qaeda terrorists are enjoying a steady stream of recruits from inside British families.

Al Qaeda is recruiting British teenagers as young as 15, according to MI5 counterintelligence chief Jonathan Evans. In his first public speech, Evans said al Qaeda was “the most immediate and acute peacetime threat” the service had ever dealt with since its inception in 1909. Evans, who became MI5’s director of international counter-terrorism Sept. 1, 2001, and director general this spring, was speaking to the Society of Editors Tuesday.

“Terrorists are methodically and intentionally targeting young people and children in this country,” he said. “They are radicalizing, indoctrinating and grooming young, vulnerable people to carry out acts of terrorism. This year, we have seen individuals as young as 15 and 16 implicated in terrorist-related activity.”

Teens have been found in possession of bomb and poison gas-making manuals, videos of executions and other terrorism-related materials. Some have mounted attacks.

Evans added that terrorist organizations enjoyed “a steady flow of new recruits to the extremist cause.”

MI5 currently has 2,000 extremist suspects who support terrorism and are considered a threat to national security and public safety.

“We suspect that there are as many again that we don’t yet know of,” Evans said.

A year ago, the figure was 1,600. Police sources said yesterday they are monitoring 500 people who are involved in at least 80 separate terrorist plots.

Part of Britain’s own next generation is turning against it, and al Qaeda is proving more successful than parents in some families. These realities make the failure of the fundamental British family unit become uncomfortably apparent. Britain’s many familial and societal cracks are fracturing to the point where some of its own children, whether native or immigrant, are plotting to explode, gas, or otherwise kill their neighbors.

The kinds of government-sponsored initiatives that tend to spring from alarming facts like these do not address this core issue. The problem will not be solved by more latitude for police, increased legislation, or more civil programs. The key to solving the problem of homegrown terrorism lies in strong families living by time-tested principles. For more on the core institution that leads to strong families and strong nations, read Conspiracy Against Fatherhood.

The Alarming Push for Transgender Rights

The Alarming Push for Transgender Rights

Getty Images

California law now protects cross-dressers like it does racial minorities—ignoring biology, reality and common sense.

Some people think utopia is a place where sex is meaningless.

A group of lawmakers, judges, lawyers and educators in Britain and America want to engineer a world free from oppression and hate. They want to introduce a golden age of tolerance and understanding. They seek a society where everyone is accepted, where no one is condemned, where everyone feels emotionally validated, where no one’s feelings are ever hurt.

That might sound like a noble dream—but their version of it is a nightmare.

It is a world where the line between male and female doesn’t exist. Where not only is it just as common to be homosexual or bisexual as heterosexual, but every person has the choice—with society’s full, unflinching support—to act, dress or even biologically exist as either male or female, or anything in between. Where a school teacher, police officer, priest or president can be a man who likes wearing dresses and high heels, and anyone who expresses discomfort over the idea can be silenced with the full force of the law.

This utopian world removes pressure on singles to marry, pressure on married people to remain together, pressure on parents to make sacrifices for their children, and pressure on children to view their parents as authorities. In other words, it undermines the pillars of family life.

Proponents of this vision overlook, ignore, dismiss and ridicule any evidence that exposes the flaws in their thinking. And of that, there are mountains. Evidence showing biological, emotional and mental differences between men and women. Evidence showing the benefits of traditional marriage to both husband and wife, as well as society at large—and the high costs associated with its dissolution. Evidence showing the enormous advantages to children—in terms of personal safety, academic performance, financial well-being, emotional stability, self-respect, and assimilation into law-abiding adult life, among other things—of growing up under the same roof with both biological parents, a living arrangement built upon a strong, stable relationship between a sperm-producing adult male and an egg-producing adult female.

Nevertheless, the reality-challenged individuals who refuse to acknowledge this evidence sit in some of the most powerful offices in Western civilization.

Such is the state of our society after decades of determined chipping away at the foundation of traditional family. Views that once inhabited the shadowy fringes are stomping their way into courtrooms and legislative chambers. Bit by bit, activist leaders are codifying their twisted vision into reality, aggressively introducing new laws and filling the judicial record with new precedent, giving them the legal power to stamp out dissent.

One of their most recent victories occurred last month in California. The Golden State’s famous governor signed four bills into law, three of which criminalize behavior deemed discriminatory against cross-dressers, bisexuals and homosexuals (the fourth law enables homosexual couples to share a last name as if they are married). Specifically, one law strips state funding from any program guilty of such discrimination, another mandates that no instruction in public schools “promotes a discriminatory bias,” and a third demands that all public schools prominently display anti-discrimination policies.

The “discrimination” in these laws is broadly defined, including any bias against anyone based on “gender.” If you are unfamiliar with what this term has come to mean, allow the new California law to explain it to you. “Gender … includes a person’s gender identity and gender-related appearance and behavior whether or not stereotypically associated with the person’s assigned sex at birth” (emphasis mine). In other words, if Burt wants to wear lipstick and pantyhose and call himself Bertha, the law now obligates everyone to pretend as if this is perfectly sane behavior.

Illegal discrimination now includes anything “perceived” as different treatment because of behavior “perceived” as not stereotypically male or female. It includes anything that might suggest that a child living with biological Dad and Mom is advantaged over someone living with a single homosexual man who has multiple partners. It could include a business treating a cross-dressing job applicant different from anyone else. It could include a reference to family in a school textbook that fails to mention it’s just fine if it involves a homosexual couple. You can be sure that zealous lawyers are itching to test the new laws by putting such “crimes” on trial.

California is now one of nine states with explicit non-discrimination laws for transgender individuals. By January, similar laws will also be in effect in four other states. Thus, against all common sense, gender confusion is protected by law—placed in the same category as biological realities like race and sex.

The implications of these laws are enormous. Universities nationwide are hosting gender-neutral student housing, bathrooms and locker rooms; transgender law advocates are pushing for student health insurance plans to include hormones and “sex-reassignment surgery.” Last year, New York City’s homeless shelter system, which segregates men and women, began allowing people to decide which shelters to use based on whether they “feel” male or female. Some people are pushing to open women’s public toilet facilities and locker rooms to Burts-turned-Berthas everywhere. Thus, to protect the right of a man who says he feels more comfortable as a woman, the law is preparing to trample on the right of women who feel more comfortable in public bathrooms devoid of perverted men.

That is the truth of the matter. If you think these social engineers are preaching a doctrine of tolerance, think again. Theirs is a deeply intolerant world view. They demand that the world conform to their thinking.

The push for transgender rights is a religious mission, aimed at converting the hearts of men. Its missionaries want the nation to repent of its archaic attachment to the traditional family, and to become devotees to the cross-dressing, bisexual and homosexual cause. The only victory is complete victory. Until transgender crusaders achieve this utterly impossible goal—every individual a true believer—they will continue their battle, using every tool of coercion they can summon.

These relentless efforts—which are only the latest and most extreme in a drive over the past half century in particular to equalize the sexes—have completely obscured an important question.

Why are people male and female?

Have you ever thought about that?

It is a conundrum that both creationists and evolutionists must wrestle with. For the person who doesn’t believe in a Creator, it requires explaining how, by natural means—by accident and not by design—humanity (and so many other living creatures) came to exist in two distinct groups, different yet the same, mutually dependent upon the other for procreation. But even for the creationist, the question can be equally puzzling. Why did God make male and female?

Can those who push transgenderism on the public acknowledge the possibility that sex is not an accident of evolution, nor an arbitrary ornament on creation, but a conscious, deliberate choice with design and intent made by a super-intelligent Creator? Are they completely unwilling to consider the reasoning, the logic, in His decision? This God who reveals Himself in the Bible claims that His thoughts are higher than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9). Is it possible many have allowed their mind to be prejudiced against His superior thinking by simple peer pressure—the intellectual bullying of a society that is almost wholly hostile toward its Creator?

Scripture shows that in creating humankind in His own image and likeness (Genesis 1:26), God made a conscious decision to make us male and female (verse 27). Why?

The push to replace biological sex with “gender identity,” and to consider sexual orientation an individual choice, in effect treats this essential component of creation as if it were mere decoration—even a mistake on God’s part.

A proper approach to transgender behavior must start with a scriptural understanding of this question. There is a reason God says in Deuteronomy 22:5, “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.” Our world provides a growing body of testimony to the confusion that results when God-given laws like this are ignored.

On the surface, preventing society from badgering poor, gender-confused individuals may sound like a worthy goal. But this cure is far worse than the disease. Rather than helping people overcome thoughts and tendencies that lead to self-destructive, depressive, anti-social behavior, the transgender crusade encourages and inflames them—and forces everyone else to play along. In purporting to solve a problem, it multiplies it many times over.

Study after study proves that family as God intended it to be is the ideal situation for everyone involved—and for society in general. That is reality no matter how much people want to pretend otherwise to try to avoid hurting people’s feelings. True, in our unhappy world, for a variety of reasons, many people do not have that ideal and cannot attain it. But the fact remains, it is in everyone’s best interest to promote the ideal as much as we can.

If you study to understand the biblical view—the God-given reasons for male and female, for marriage and family—you will come to understand a wonderful truth: that sex isnotmeaningless. In fact, it has tremendous meaning—beautiful significance. The truth about sex, when understood in all its richness, contains a dynamic hope that will fill the life of anyone who embraces it with a deep appreciation for our God-given purpose. (If you are interested in such a study, I can recommend as a starting point Herbert W. Armstrong’s slim but profound booklet Why Marriage! Soon Obsolete?)

Don’t believe misguided social engineers. Believe the One who engineered sex in the first place. He is about to usher in a trueutopia—one where strong families are right at the heart.