A Tiny Particle With a Mighty Purpose

A Tiny Particle With a Mighty Purpose

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Lessons from leaven

Each spring, the world blossoms to life! By the next winter, much of that life has died off. God created that seasonal cycle to teach us a spiritually valuable lesson: just how temporary our physical lives are (e.g. Psalm 103:15-16).

God’s earthly creation—which He designed specifically to prepare us for life in His eternal Family—brims with thousands of such profound physical analogies of spiritual principles. By thinking upon the material things God has made, we can learn about the invisible things, even His eternal power and Godhead (Romans 1:20).

The Days of Unleavened Bread are built around one of these wonderful analogies. God strategically designed this substance called leavening to supply us with insights about one of the most vital spiritual concepts we grapple with in the flesh: sin. Leaven’s properties teach us about sin’s characteristics, how it can come into our lives, and what happens when we allow it there. The process of deleavening teaches us what God wants us to do with sin and how we can conquer it.

This lesson is right at the heart of what God seeks to do in our lives: to convert our carnal mind that loves sin and hates God into a spiritual mind that hates sin and loves God. So it makes sense that God made this analogy so detailed and precise.

What Leavening Does

Just before emancipating the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, God revealed to them this analogy: “Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel” (Exodus 12:15). For this seven-day period only, leaven is a type of sin.

What makes these two things similar?

Generally, when you mix leavening agents with certain other ingredients, they create carbon dioxide and air. When you put leavening in bread dough and heat it—such as baking the bread in an oven—those gasses form bubbles that get trapped in the loaf, causing the product to rise.

Likewise, sin puffs us up with vanity and selfish pride. Just like that bloating caused by leavening, sin causes us to lose godly perspective, and we become more and more inflated with ourselves—puffed up with the substanceless gasses of arrogance and self-confidence. Psalm 36:1-2 describe how sin lies deep in our heart, urging us to do evil, and how, when we sin, we can fool ourselves into thinking we won’t be found out—a very foolish and vain thought.

The punishment God commanded for the individual who consumed leavening during this seven-day period is also revealing: “that soul shall be cut off from Israel.” In like manner, sin cuts us off from God. In fact, if we “regard iniquity”—or cherish sin—in our hearts, God won’t hear us (Psalm 66:18). In Isaiah 59:2 we learn, “[Y]our iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.”

The way God commands we treat leavening during these days is exactly the way He demands we treat sin all the time.

A Sanctuary From Sin

In establishing the Days of Unleavened Bread, God said, “[T]here shall no leavened bread be seen with thee, neither shall there be leaven seen with thee in all thy quarters” (Exodus 13:7). As anyone who has diligently kept this festival can attest, getting leavening completely out of all your quarters—your home, your garage, your car, your workplace as much as possible—is a real job.

But consider the marvelously practical advice for combating sin that we can meditate on throughout that process: Keep sin out of your home. The world, with all of its troubles and problems, lies outside the door. But for the most part, we have control over what we allow into our own quarters. How well are we doing at keeping sin out?

Make your home a little sanctuary from sin!

Our home life should revolve around God, not the world. We should be generally happy, free from the spiritual leavening agents of anger, bitterness, competition, strife and selfishness. When those attitudes emerge in us or in our families, put them out quickly.

This command has special meaning today, when we have numerous means of bringing the sins of the world into our homes: television, satellite, radio, videos, the Internet and so on. Your home could be completely free of physical leaven, but then switch on the tv and you could have spiritual leaven filling your living room!

Apply this wisdom and do your best to remove the spiritual leaven and keep it out of all your quarters.

Vigilance

Another lesson that deleavening teaches is that sin resides in unexpected places. We may find leaven wedged in a filing cabinet or a light socket and be utterly perplexed as to how it got there.

Sin also lurks in our lives in places we’re not looking. That is why King David asked God to cleanse him of his “secret faults” (Psalm 19:12). We can’t see all the areas where we are violating God’s law—certainly not as God does. But He expects us to examine ourselves for sin with the help of His Holy Spirit—so we can quit it! (1 Corinthians 11:28; 2 Corinthians 13:5).

Physical leaven may be invisible in a lump of dough, but, like spiritual sin, it does its work anyway.

It is interesting, as well, how leaven is used in many products you wouldn’t necessarily think would have it. Prior to and throughout the week of Unleavened Bread, we often find ourselves scrutinizing the ingredients of what we buy at the store, what we bring into our homes, what we eat.

That is a habit we can apply spiritually. Check the “ingredients” of the music you listen to, the books you read, the television or movies you watch. Many children’s books and videos, for example, look harmless, but they promote terrible messages for our young people. The “leaven” of upside-down families, children disrespecting parents and adults, violence, even occultism are remarkably common.

It can be difficult to completely avoid eating leaven for seven days. Not only does it require cleaning out your cupboards at home, it also means making sure it doesn’t pass your lips when you’re out. Many have stories about eating leavening out of habit, not realizing until too late that it was the Days of Unleavened Bread.

Likewise, if you’re not careful, you will unwittingly ingest a lot of sinful ideas—from conversations, from people at work or school, from wrong entertainment. To keep sin out of your life, you must remain vigilant.

The Danger of Prosperity

Consider another lesson from deleavening. For the ancient Israelites living in tents, the deleavening process might have taken only a day or two. In our larger, well-furnished, multi-room homes today, it can be a major project lasting several weeks.

Have you ever considered the spiritual parallel? How much easier it is for us, in this materialistic world, to fixate on physical things, thus increasing the potential for harboring sin.

The more property we have, the harder we have to work to keep sin out. As Christ said, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God (Matthew 19:24).

God knows human nature. Before He gave the Israelites the Promised Land, He anticipated a major spiritual trap they would encounter—one very pertinent to us today. As they were about to inherit a bountiful, prosperous land with every good thing just handed to them, God warned them to beware of forgetting Him (Deuteronomy 6:10-12).

That is not to say a rich man can’t enter the Kingdom—but those of us who enjoy prosperity, so widespread in the birthright Israelite nations, do have to work harder to keep the sins of materialism and coveting out of our lives!

Urgency

Commonly, during the Days of Unleavened Bread, when those who keep the festival encounter leaven—perhaps finding it in some overlooked nook, or realizing we are about to ingest it—we have an instinctual revulsion, a desire to expunge it as quickly as possible.

How well do we apply that lesson spiritually? When we find sin, God wants us to remove it immediately! Being complacent about sin creates serious problems.

Consider the example of Cain. Read the account in Genesis 4. Cain began to develop a sinful attitude, which was reflected in his offering. He grew jealous of his brother. And look how that sin affected him! “… And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell” (verse 5). Sin has that effect. If you are really miserable, evaluate your life for sin.

God tried to work with Cain, saying, “Why are you angry, and why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is couching at the door; its desire is for you, but you must master it” (verses 6-7, Revised Standard Version). If only Cain had accepted this wise counsel and taken action to master his sin right then, that sin never would have led to murder (verse 8).

By putting out spiritual leaven as soon as we discover it, we stop its damaging effects in our lives. “If we confess our sins, [God] is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). When we have been made unclean by sin, we need that cleansing immediately! Don’twait to repent. Don’t let that sin fester. Get it out of your life right away.

That lesson is reinforced by another characteristic of leaven.

Sin Spreads

The Apostle Paul gave the best description in the Bible of just what God was thinking when He created the leavening analogy. “Your glorying is not good,” he wrote to the Corinthian congregation. “Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?” (1 Corinthians 5:6).

This group of God’s people had allowed a member who was flagrantly committing a grievous sin to remain in their midst. Paul commanded them to put the man out in order to ensure the problem didn’t spread in the congregation.

When you put leaven in a lump of dough, you can’t see anything happening at first. But once it does its work, the whole loaf is leavened. Likewise, sin can start small—even invisibly—but it spreads. One sin leads to another, which leads to another.

That is why we must endeavor to put sin out completely! There is a danger in thinking we can “handle” just a little bit of spiritual leaven. But the command regarding this festival is not, “Try to stay away from leaven”—“Be balanced; don’t eat too much leaven”—“Use moderation in the amount of leaven you consume.” Do we have that attitude with the sinful ways of society?

Many people think, Well, this is just a little sin. It isn’t so bad. But the lesson of this festival is, get that leaven out!

Leaven and sin are potent agents of change. Even a little leaven will completely leaven a lump. The Apostle James said that if you break one of God’s laws, you’re guilty of breaking them all (James 2:10).

We cannot afford to think that a moderate amount of sin is okay. We should never be comfortable with a sin in our lives. Jesus Christ was completely unleavened, and it is His example we should be striving to emulate.

However, there is something else important to remember about this process.

A New Lump

Paul continues his epistle with this profound thought: “Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (1 Corinthians 5:7-8). Here is another monumental lesson about sin.

You could never take a loaf of leavened bread and remove the leaven from it the way you could remove raisins from raisin bread. It is completely baked into the loaf. In like manner, you simply cannot take your life and scientifically try to eliminate each and every little sin. That will not make you unleavened. The fact is, you are a leavened lump! You are filled with leaven!

You must become a completely new lump.

Individuals seeking baptism should deeply understand this point. You don’t just repent of a particular list of sins when you make that lifetime covenant with God—you repent for being a sinner. You are a slave of sin. You cannot tweak your life into becoming a slave of God—you must leave all your old ways behind.

Elsewhere, Paul described this as killing off our “old man”—destroying that body of sin, as Paul says in Romans 6:6. We are “resurrected” out of those baptismal waters to a new life (verse 4)—Jesus Christ living in us.

This lesson must also remain with us throughout our converted lives: We need to continually purge our sins and look to God to make us a new lump—a new creature—a new man—day after day after day (2 Corinthians 4:16).

Simply getting the leavening out doesn’t completely fulfill the command in Exodus 12:20. For seven days we not only avoid leavening, but we also eat unleavened bread, representing God’s way of sincerity and truth. That is the “bread of life”—the bread we must eat if we are to inherit eternal life (John 6:35, 48). As we ingest Jesus Christ and allow Him into us, He transforms us into a new and different person. That is yet another beautiful lesson of the Days of Unleavened Bread—and the subject of a different article.

Democracy Won’t Fix Africa

Democracy Won’t Fix Africa

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Recent elections in two African countries reveal a lot about man’s systems of government.

Last month the Movement for Democratic Change in Zimbabwe rightly won the elections. Yet, Mugabe is still in power. Zimbabwe is in a grim state. Its one chance to fix the problem is gone—because democracy is the only way to fix Africa, right?

Over 3,000 miles to the north, two weeks ago Egyptians also went to the polls. At least, 3 percent of them did. In this election a brutal Islamist group was kept from getting power. How? Through the brutal acts of a dictator.

Democracy is spoken of as an absolute good—so much so, in fact, that in its everyday usage it has almost lost all meaning other than as a statement of approval.

“In the case of a word like democracy, not only is there no agreed definition, but the attempt to make one is resisted from all sides,” wrote George Orwell. “It is almost universally felt that when we call a country democratic we are praising it: Consequently the defenders of every kind of regime claim that it is a democracy, and fear that they might have to stop using that word if it were tied down to any one meaning.”

The starvation, hiv/aids epidemic, and violence in Zimbabwe is well known. Many saw the March elections as a chance to change all that. The Zimbabwean people had a chance to oust Mugabe. The problem is, he doesn’t want to go.

Egypt pretends to be a democracy. It held municipal elections earlier this month. With almost all the candidates for the popular Muslim Brotherhood (MB) either locked up or unable to participate, only 3 percent of the population bothered to go out and vote. The government violently forbids any kind of protests or demonstrations. Forty percent of the population lives below the poverty line, and many are starving.

Would democracy fix Egypt? A truly democratic election would lead to the victory of the Muslim Brotherhood. According to the Anti-Defamation League (adl),

The Muslim Brotherhood no longer openly conducts terrorist operations; it is primarily a political organization that supports terrorism and terrorist causes. Many of its members, however, have engaged in terrorist activities and the group has spawned numerous terrorist groups, such as Hamas and Egyptian Islamic Jihad.

The Brotherhood is a suspect in two major attacks listed by the adl: a 2002 suicide bombing in Grozny, Chechnya, and a 1979 attack on a Syrian military academy in Aleppo in which 50 Syrian artillery cadets were killed.

After the death of Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin several years ago, the MB’s leader, Mohammed Mahdi Akef, said, “There can be no life for the Americans and Zionists in the region. We will not rest until they [Israelis] are expelled from the region.”

A draft political platform the MB published last September forbids Christians and women from holding the presidential office and establishes a board of Muslim clerics to oversee the government.

According to the adl, the Muslim Brotherhood’s goal is “establishing theocracy in Egypt, the Middle East, ultimately worldwide.”

To say that an Egyptian government dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood would not be good for peace in the Middle East would be an understatement. Yet this is what would happen if Egypt were a democracy.

What about the plight of the Egyptian people? Would that be improved under the Muslim Brotherhood? It is unlikely. Hamas, the MB’s Palestinian daughter, has only made life worse for its people.

Historian Michael Oren calculates that since the Oslo Accords in 1993, the Palestinian Authority “has garnered more international aid than any entity in modern history—more per capita than the European states under the Marshall Plan.” Yet the Palestinians are still some of the poorest people in the world. MB-type governments have not been good for their citizens throughout the Middle East.

It is Hosni Mubarak’s dictatorship that has stopped a radical MB party from dominating the government. Democracy won’t fix Egypt. It will only make things worse.

It is almost universally recognized in the Western world that dictatorships are bad. Zimbabwe is a clear example of where dictatorships lead. But if democracy is not enough to fix Egypt, will it be enough to fix other nations?

Consider the 1991-92 elections in Algeria—the Arab world’s only truly free elections to that point. Islamic parties won the first round by a landslide. Feeling threatened, the military annulled the election (with U.S. approval), leading to years of virtual civil war in the country. The military-backed regime has preserved a facade of democracy, all the while locking out the Islamists from the political process. This is exactly what governments like Egypt and Turkey are trying to do. Democracy would bring Islamic militants to power.

Winston Churchill famously said that “democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried.”

In a way, civilization has been one long search for the perfect form of government. Author Douglas Adams summed up the situation in his own way:

It is a well-known fact that those people who most want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it. … Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made president should on no account be allowed to do the job. … Who can possibly rule if no one who wants to do it can be allowed to?

And there’s the paradox. A dictatorship leads to Zimbabwe. Democracy can lead to Hamas.

Democracy has repeatedly failed throughout Africa and compounded problems in the Middle East. In fact, its flaws can be seen all over the world (see our article “Democracy on Trial.”)

If a dictatorship doesn’t work, and democracy doesn’t work, is there any way for man to rule man? The shocking answer is no! Democracy will fail. It won’t fix Zimbabwe, or any place in Africa. Man is incapable of solving these problems.

Does that mean there is no hope? Certainly not. There is a far greater kind of government, a form of government no nation has tried. It does not involve man ruling man. The solution: God ruling man!

After mankind has finally and conclusively proved to itself that its ways of government will not work, God’s form of government will be established over the entire Earth. There is no hope in man’s governments. Their collapse actually leads right into God’s perfect government ruling the world. To learn more about this government, read our booklet The Wonderful World Tomorrow—What It Will Be Like.

Leadership and Terrorism

Leadership and Terrorism

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Too few Americans understand the kind of leadership needed to deal with Islamic terrorism.

Most Americans don’t understand how dangerous the war against terrorism really is. Nor do they comprehend the kind of leadership needed to conquer such a deadly enemy. It is a kind of war we have never fought before.

John Fisher led the British Admiralty for several years. He retired in 1910. Winston Churchill called him back into service when World War i started in 1914. Churchill knew that Fisher was a great warrior who had helped build the British Empire. He taught Churchill many lessons.

John Fisher wrote his memoirs in two books, titled Memories and Records. First of all he had a strong belief in God. He often quoted scriptures in these two books.

Fisher wrote, “Goschen was right (when first lord of the Admiralty); he quoted that old Athenian admiral who, when asked what governed a sea battle, replied, ‘Providence,’ and then with emphasis he added: ‘and a good admiral.’”

Fisher knew naval warfare as few men ever did in British history. In 1905, he predicted that Germany would start a war in August 1914! And it did. He had practical reasons for his prophecy, which I won’t go into in this article. The point is, he knew warfare extremely well.

Here is what he wrote about war (small caps emphasis mine throughout):

I largely agree with all you say about the politicians. No doubt our great handicap in this war is that nearly all the party leaders get their positions through qualities which serve them admirably in peace time, but are fatal in war. The great art in politics in recent years has always seemed to me to be to pretend to lead, when you are really following the public bent of the moment. All sense of right and wrong is blunted, and no one stands up for what he honestly believes in but which may not at the moment be popular. If he does, he is regarded as a fool, and a “waster,” and may get out. A habit of mind is thus formed which is wholly wanting in initiative, and in war the initiative is everything. I agree with you absolutely: “Make up your mind, and strike! and strike hard and without mercy.”

Yes, “in war the initiative is everything.” Does the U.S. take the initiative in the Middle East war against terrorism? No, only the Muslims do. And the terrorist-sponsoring nations that supply radical terrorists with training and weapons—mainly Iran and Syria—go unpunished. Israel and the United States are afraid to take the initiative against these nations.

In time, the terrorist Muslims must win, because only they have courage enough to take the initiative.

Who is in charge of the war? Politicians and statesmen. Not warriors like Fisher who have real trust in God.

Do we even have such warriors anymore?

Elsewhere Fisher wrote,

For war, my dear friend, you want a totally differently constituted mind to that of a statesman and politician!War is big conceptions and quick decisions. Think in oceans. Shoot at sight! The essence of war is violence. Moderation in war is imbecility. All we have done this war is to imitate the Germans! We have neither been Napoleonic in audacity nor Cromwellian in thoroughness nor Nelsonic in execution. Always, always, always “too late”!

The big problem is America and Israel are fighting their terrorist wars in moderation! We are going to wake up to that fact “too late”—if we don’t put our faith in God!

“War is big conceptions.” We must see the whole terrorist picture. That means getting to the source of terrorism. But we only fight the terrorist cells rather than the terrorist nations that produce and harbor them. We lack the will to fight the terrorist nations, which have the real power.

Fisher wrote, “Mahan truly says: ‘The assumption of a simple defensive in war is ruin. War, once declared, must be waged offensively, aggressively. The enemy must not be fended off, but smitten down. You may then spare him every exaction, relinquish every gain. But till down he must be struck incessantly and remorselessly.’”

Our war on terrorism is a defensive war—and “a simple defensive in war is ruin.” The way we are fighting terrorism leads to catastrophe!

Do we dare ignore one of the great warriors of our recent past? His war spirit helped build the greatest empire this world has ever known. A lack of that same will and spirit, such as America exhibits today, always leads to disaster.

Fisher wrote,

Whoever hits soonest and oftenest will win!”The effectiveness of a fighting weapon,” wrote Mahan, “consists more in the method of its use and in the practiced skill of the human element that wields it than in the material perfection of the weapon itself. The sequel of a long period of peace is a demoralization of ideals. Those who rise in peace are men of formality and routine, cautious, inoffensive, safe up to the limits of their capacity, supremely conscientious, punctilious about everything but what is essential, yet void altogether of initiative, impulse and originality.”This was the difference between Hawke and Matthews. Hawke represented the spirit of war, the ardor, the swift initiative, the readiness of resource, the impatience of prescription and routine, without which no great things are done! Matthews, the spirit of peace, the very reverse of all this!”

Today, we too are “punctilious about everything but what is essential.” What is essential for us today is a strong leader with real faith in God, “without which no great things are done!” Many great things are undone without such a leader.

We need a warrior who knows that we cannot win without God’s help. A man of action. But where is such a war leader today?

The greatest naval leader Britain ever had was Lord Nelson. But he was hated by many in his own nation. Why? Because he practiced what was necessary to win wars!

John Fisher had this to say about him: “It was not ‘victory’ that Nelson ever desired. It was ‘annihilation’!”

We deceive ourselves today because we talk about “victories” against terrorists. But there is no winning this war until we annihilate our real terrorist enemies! That includes the terrorist-sponsoring nations.

There is a solution. But will we learn soon enough? We need real faith in God. But in this area also, most of our people have deceived themselves.

John Fisher had a miracle-working faith. Here is what he said:

When I was at Bath I read in the local paper a beautiful letter aptly alluding to the Mount Fiesole of Bath and quoting what has been termed that mysterious verse of David’s: “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills.”Well! the other day a great friend of that wonderful Hebrew scholar, Dr. Ginsburg—he died long since at Capri—told me that Ginsburg had said to him that all the revisers and translators had missed a peculiar Hebraism which quite alters the signification of this opening verse of the 121st Psalm: It should read: “‘Shall I lift up mine eyes to those hills? Doth my help come from thence?”And this is the explanation:Those hills alluded to were the hills in which were the groves planted in honor of the idols toward which Israel had strayed. So in the second verse the inspired tongue says:”No! My help cometh from the Lord! He who hath made Heaven and Earth! (not these idols).”

(Write for our free booklet History and Prophecy of the Middle East.)

There is no shortage of help. All we have to do is turn to the God who created heaven and Earth. Whether we learn this lesson now or later, this is how terrorism is soon to be destroyed forever. But we could eliminate the worst suffering ever if we responded to the warning now.

The Weekend Web

The Weekend Web

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A short but sweet edition.

The Trumpet staff is out of the office this weekend. In lieu of the regular Weekend Web, so as not to leave you empty-handed we assembled a few stories from the past week that caught our eye.

Pope Benedict xvi’s visit to America dominated the headlines all week. While most outlets swooned over Benedict’s every move, a few astute analysts proved to be a little more objective in their observations of the pope’s actions.

In this article, the Australian noted how Benedict, speaking on his 81st birthday, laid part of the blame for the clergy abuse scandal that has rocked the U.S. church and cost it hundreds of millions of dollars on the breakdown of values that has occurred in American society.

Meanwhile, David Gibson in the Wall Street Journal on Friday observed how Benedict has made resurrecting a distinctive Catholic culture a principal theme of this first visit to America.

And while their boss might be across the Atlantic wining and dining with the Americans, officials at the Vatican aren’t taking it easy. After meeting in Israel this week, Israeli and Vatican officials released a “joint communique” highlighting the “atmosphere of cordiality” at the meetings. Israel and the Vatican are working to increase “mutual trust” by pressing forward with an agreement that would restore certain Christian holy sites in Israel to Vatican control. Among these sites are such areas as the Caesarea Maritima—purported to be the site of the “last supper.” The Trumpet has often written about the Vatican’s keen interest in Jerusalem and the future of this growing relationship. For example, read Jerusalem in Prophecy.

With skyrocketing food prices and foot shortages sparking riots around the world (see Joel Hilliker’s column from last Wednesday), this piece by Monica Davis explains how America is not immune to the potential for food shortages, food riots and food insecurity.

In his column last Tuesday, Robert Morley wrote about the coming oil shortages and the potentially catastrophic consequences for America as a result of Russia’s declining oil production. Russia is the world’s second-largest producer. On Wednesday, the Financial Timesrevealed that oil production in Nigeria, the largest oil producer in Africa and the eigth-largest oil exporter in the world, could fall by a third by 2015.

While former U.S. President Jimmy Carter conducted his own freelance diplomacy with Hamas this week, it appears the Iranians have found a new way of smuggling weapons into Gaza. The Jerusalem Postreported that Iranian smugglers are dropping the weapons just off the coast of Gaza in waterproof floatation devices, which are then retrieved by Hamas terrorists. And while the Israeli Navy is able to intercept many of these weapons, the Israeli government remains utterly incapable of working up the will to confront Iran (or Jimmy Carter, for that matter).

Meanwhile, in Iraq, all the talk is about the impending withdrawal of American troops, a move recommended by Gen. David Petraeus before the Senate Armed Services Committee this week. But while a large-scale withdrawal might appease the American public, it would be devastating for Israel, says Townhall’s Chuck Colson. With its eastern flank exposed, the fledgling Jewish state would quickly fall prey to Iran’s ambitions for nuclear Armageddon, which Israeli opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu warned about again this week.

Lastly, this column from the ever-prescient Charles Krauthammer explains how the era of nuclear nonproliferation is over, and that America and the West must begin to face up to and deal with the reality of a world replete with multiple rogue nuclear states and organizations.

Eliminating Father

Eliminating Father

Artville

From the creeping feminization of the family unit to the elimination of the father—it’s almost a done deal in Britain.

It’s one thing for the liberal socialists to seek to change the whole fabric of society by aggressively taking over everything from education to entertainment, religion and the mass media. But when a nation’s government seeks to legislate to eliminate the father figure from the basic family unit, it’s past time to cry STOP!

It’s happening in Britain right now.

The Human Fertilization and Embryology Bill is currently in the advanced stages of its reading in the British Parliament. One commentator said of the bill, it’s “hard to imagine a legislative package whose moral sweep and potential ethical consequences could be greater” (Spectator,March 26). This is what happens when a nation loses its moral compass.

When a nation divorces itself from the biblical foundation of morality that stood it in good stead throughout its turbulent lifetime as a once great people, heading up a much greater Commonwealth and Empire, then it is destined for the scrap heap of history.

If this bill passes into law, Britain will have most effectively destroyed the basic building block of its ancient society: the patriarchal family unit.

In IVF treatment, there will no longer be the recognition in law of the need for a father.
Spectator
In a commentary on just how far down the moral scale British politics has fallen, Prime Minister Gordon Brown has made it clear that though his party members are free to vote according to their consciences on key elements of the bill, they are expected to fall in line and still support it in its entirety upon its third and final reading. This is tantamount to placing party discipline ahead of each party member’s moral conscience.

Three issues are at the heart of the debate on this far-reaching legislation. Each strikes at the very heart and core of the concept of the sanctity of individual human life and of the traditional nuclear family. The bbc reported March 25 that “the three areas where Prime Minister Brown said there would be free votes during the passage of the bill through the Commons are:

  • “Preventing fertility clinics from refusing treatment to single women and lesbians—under current legislation clinics must take account of the welfare of the unborn child including “the need for a father.” This will be replaced by the “need for supportive parenting.”
  • “Creating a child with the correct tissue match to save a sick brother or sister.
  • “Creating so-called hybrid animal/human embryos to aid stem-cell research.”
  • In simple terms, these three issues allow firstly for the elimination of a father figure from the process of gestation, birth and parenting, secondly for the creation of a clone of any given child—a so-called “savior sibling”—as a factory for the replacement of tissue that may be defective in any given child, and thirdly the monstrous Jekyll-and-Hyde prospect of the creation of hybrid human-animal embryos.

    The most glaring of changes that this perverse legislation is designed to achieve is the first one: the elimination of the “need for a father” from British law. As Matthew D’Ancona states in the previously quoted article in the Spectator magazine, “In ivf treatment, there will no longer be the recognition in law of the ‘need for a father.’”

    To say that such legislation is “far-reaching and ethically contentious,” as that article states, seems rather trite. In fact this legislation seeks to overthrow the singular authority of the Creator as the initiator of God-given family life, according to innate and constant design, geared to the ongoing natural reproduction of families comprised of a father, a mother and offspring reared under the guidance of both to the status of responsible members of a wider human community.

    The government’s own chief medical officer, Sir Liam Donaldson, has questioned the efficacy of the science upon which this legislation is based. In giving evidence before the parliamentary Joint Committee on the bill, Donaldson stated that “there was no clear scientific argument as to why you would want to do it, and, secondly, a feeling that this would be a step too far as far as the public are concerned … the scientific arguments for wanting to do it are not particularly strong or convincing, or even existent” (ibid.).

    The way that the godless minds that are pushing this bill react to any criticism of it is far less than scientific in motive and content. “Predictably, the more vociferous champions of the bill have tried to present the argument as one between ignorant superstition and enlightened progress” (ibid.).

    This Human Fertilization and Embryology Bill, in short, fiddles with the basic building blocks of human community. It mocks the fundamental laws of marriage and family life as laid down by the Creator at the beginning of time (Genesis 1:27-28; 2:24). It is patently anti-God, anti-marriage, anti-family, anti-society.

    The Creator of humankind foresaw the grave danger of man reaching such a state of devolution in mind, character and motivation early on in the history of civilization. At Babylon, God declared of the early post-Flood civilization, “And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do” (Genesis 11:6). So God confounded the language of the people and scattered them behind natural geographic barriers according to race and nationality.

    This action simply postponed the inevitable. Now, since the world became a global village with the onset of mass communication, mass transit and shared scientific knowledge, that which was about to become a possibility over four millennia ago—stymied temporarily by the hand of God—has raised its ugly head again in these latter days.

    Man, denying the very existence of an omniscient, omnipresent eternal, self-existent Creator God, seeks to place himself on the throne of the Creator and play God with the building blocks of human life.

    At this point, mankind must be warned that Almighty God is about to declare, yet once again, “Enough!” The consequences of man’s descent into the moral abyss are about to be reaped, and the results will not be pretty!

    Yet, as has been often said, it is always darkest before the dawn. Thank God that He does exist, that He is vitally interested in the affairs of mankind and that He has prophesied that He definitely will step in to arrest the decline in human affairs that sears the conscience of men to the point that they can deign to even contemplate imposing such legislation as this dastardly Human Fertilization and Embryology Bill on any nation!

    For a deeply meaningful and enlightening exposé of what is causing the moral destruction of British society—and of the prophesied outcome to which it is leading—read our booklet Conspiracy Against Fatherhood. It reveals the brightest rays of hope that are yet to be realized during the great dawning that will follow this world’s darkest hour. And it all has to do with the revitalization of the great, God-given institutions of marriage and the family!

    The Week in Review

    The Week in Review

    PT/Getty Images

    Israel surrenders a piece of Jerusalem, European politics swing to the right, Vladimir Putin hires himself for a new job, and Robert Mugabe refuses to leave.

    Middle East

    President Hosni Mubarak’s National Democratic Party won a landslide victory in Egypt’s April 8 municipal elections, gaining 92 percent of the vote. In reality, however, the National Democrats are not all that popular. Voter turnout, according to some estimates, was a puny 3 percent, with many polling stations remaining empty on voting day. Moreover, because the Egyptian government prevented most potential Muslim Brotherhood candidates from running, the MB boycotted the elections. Despite its sitting out these elections, the Muslim Brotherhood, a staunch Islamic conservative party, is the rising power in Egypt—it is this very fact that caused the ruling regime to crack down on it so hard in the run-up to the elections. According to a Muslim Brotherhood parliament member, 1,100 members of the organization had been arrested since early March. Meanwhile, public discontent with the present government and economic conditions is rapidly increasing and public opinion is on the Muslim Brotherhood’s side. Soon the MB’s patience will likely pay off and Egypt will turn to radical Islam.

    Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni has agreed on behalf of Israel to surrender Atarot Airport, in northern Jerusalem, to Palestinian control according to local Jerusalem newspaper Kol HaZman. The concession was made during ongoing secret talks between the Israeli government and Palestinian Authority negotiators. The transfer of the airport to PA control would surrender one of Israel’s strategic assets. The Olmert administration is trying to weaken its enemies in Gaza by making concessions to Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority.

    But the Palestinian Authority remains a staunch enemy of Israel, despite the pseudo-moderate face it presents to the West. The PA’s doublespeak was once again exposed last week. “[A]fter we take Jerusalem, Israel’s ideology will collapse altogether, and then we will proceed with our own ideology, inshallah [if Allah wills], and we will throw them out of all of Palestine,” said Abbas Zaki, PA ambassador to Lebanon, on Lebanese television April 9. “The important thing is that in any [military] operation, Israel will pay a price. … I salute any operation that makes Israel pay a heavy price.” History and prophecy—not to mention common sense—guarantee that Israel’s policy of appeasing this organization will fail.

    Iran commemorated its annual Army Day on Thursday with a display of its military power. “Iran is the most powerful and independent nation in the world,” boasted President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the military parade outside Tehran. “I am proud to announce today that the Iranian nation’s power is of an extent that no major power can dare jeopardize the security and interests of the Iranian nation.” In saying this, the Iranian president probably did not just have the nation’s conventional forces in mind. Its real offensive capability lies in its terrorist proxies such as Hezbollah in Lebanon and the former Badr Brigade in Iraq. Iran supports both Shiite and Sunni groups throughout the Middle East in its effort to extend its influence in the region. Stratfor sources report that Tehran is now using the Lebanese Hezbollah to train an Iraqi branch of Hezbollah. “Iran would rely on these forces to engage in an overt war with U.S. troops in Iraq should tensions between Washington and Tehran come to a head” (April 15). Iran is also developing a branch of Hezbollah in Kuwait. The tentacles of Iran’s terrorist network continue to grow.

    Europe

    Politics in Italy took a sudden jerk to the right this week. Silvio Berlusconi was elected prime minister of Italy on April 14. The snap election was called after the recent collapse of Prodi’s left-wing coalition government, brought about by the Vatican several months earlier. The coalition Berlusconi has formed could hardly be more different from Prodi’s. It is the most conservative that Italy has seen in years. The Communist and Green parties—which traditionally have had a strong presence in Italy—did not get even a single seat in the parliament. The parties that won out in the recent election were ultra-conservative parties like the post-fascist Alleanza Nazionale and the anti-immigration Northern Legion. Berlusconi has pledged to support an international moratorium on abortion and to close Italy’s borders to illegal immigrants—whom he calls “the army of evil.” These positions are sure to bring Italy more in line with the Vatican and the other right-wing governments in Europe.

    Europe may have finally made a deal that would free it from dependency on Russian gas, it has emerged. Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimukhammedov met with EU Commissioner for External Relations Benita Ferrero-Waldner on April 9 in the Turkmen capital of Ashgabat, where Turkmenistan agreed to have 10 billion cubic meters of natural gas available for export to Europe by 2009. If gas from Turkmenistan is assured, then investors will be more eager to back pipes traveling from Europe to Turkmenistan, such as the Trans-Caspian pipeline and the Nabucco. This development could be a major step forward for Europe.

    This development will also bring Europe into greater conflict with Russia. Russia does not want Europe to have an independent source of gas, and it will push hard to prevent this from happening. Russia, Europe and China are all gaining in power, and are fighting to grab key strategic resources around the world. For more information on how this will play out, see our article “The Battleground” from the March 2006 Trumpet.

    Asia

    Russian President Vladimir Putin is set to assume the office of prime minister of Russia on May 7—the day he passes the presidency on to his successor, Dmitry Medvedev. The Russian premiership is not the only office Putin will be assuming, however. On Tuesday, Putin announced that he would also be becoming the chairman of United Russia. In effect, by accepting the leadership of United Russia, Putin has given himself control over two thirds of the votes in the Russian legislature. This gives him the power to pass legislation, override presidential decisions, legally impeach politicians, and amend the constitution. Such power is reminiscent of how the general secretaries of the Communist Party used to run the Soviet Union. In Soviet times, it did not really matter who was president or prime minister: He who ruled the Communist Party ruled the Soviet Union. Putin’s latest political maneuver represents a change back to that system. He will rule United Russia—and United Russia will control the nation.

    Even as Putin consolidates his totalitarian rule over Russia, Japan is trying to broker a peace deal with Russia that would legally end World War ii between those two nations. Japan and Russia never signed an official peace treaty after the Allies defeated Japan because of a territorial dispute over the Kuril Islands. That is why Japanese Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura met with his Russian counterpart on Monday—to start negotiations over the status of the Kuril Islands in hopes of boosting bilateral ties through the signing of a formal peace treaty.

    The signing of a peace treaty between Japan and Russia would mark the beginning of a new era of Asian cooperation. As Japan starts to look on nations like Russia and China as allies, it will have fewer qualms about breaking its already-strained relationship with the United States.

    Africa, South America

    Brazil has discovered its largest oil reserves yet: 33 billion barrels in the offshore Carioca oil block. Exploration of this area has only just begun, and this is the third major find. This could put Brazil’s oil output on par with Saudi Arabia’s. As Europe rises as a superpower, Latin America is important as a supplier. This one find, if estimates are correct, holds twice as much oil as all of Europe combined.

    Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez followed up on last week’s nationalization of cement and steel industries by sending the military to seize 30 sugar farms on April 11.

    The post-election crisis in Zimbabwe continues without progress, and the opposition appears to be losing its will. Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai called for a protest on April 14, but fear of reprisals outweighed the people’s desire to oppose President Mugabe. Interestingly, some of the soldiers patrolling the streets, according to Zimbabwejournalists.com, are Chinese. China also caused a media frenzy this week by sending weapons to Zimbabwe. China has a long history of support for President Mugabe and a desire to secure resources in Africa.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to write off €2.8 billion in Libyan debt this week. In exchange, Libya awarded military and civilian contracts to Russian companies. Russia’s long-term goal is to secure energy resources. “According to geological surveys,” said Gazprom President Alexei Miller, “there could be double the resources we expected. Hence our great interest in the country. It looks like Libya could become an even more important player in the gas market.” The rush for resources throughout Africa continues.

    Anglo-America

    Pope Benedict xvi’s “Shepherd One” airplane landed at Andrews Air Force Base Tuesday, with the pope disembarking to a cheering crowd and honor guard, and greeted personally by President Bush and his wife and one of their daughters. After a flurry of billowing bishops’ costumes and ring-kissing, Benedict began his six-day visit, meeting the president in the Oval Office, parading through the capital, having his ring kissed again by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, addressing U.S. bishops at a shrine, and holding a pageantry-laden mass at Nationals Park with 46,000 in attendance. He then traveled to New York City to address the United Nations and to meet with Catholics there. Along with praising some parts of American history Wednesday, the pope “was sharply critical of American culture, saying its strongly individualist streak tempts Catholics ‘to pick and choose’ among church teachings,” in the words of the Washington Times. The pope, whose office has historically been deeply involved in international politics, also discussed the Israel-Palestinian conflict and the Iraq war with President Bush in the Oval Office. He also expressed shame over the 5,000 Catholic priests in America who sexually abused thousands of boys; he met with some victims, a move sure to boost his popularity among Americans.

    Meanwhile in Washington, Democrat hopeful Barack Obama’s momentum has slowed slightly as he draws fire for saying privately that the reason some rural Pennsylvanians believe in religion or bear arms is because they are economically depressed and therefore “cling” to religion or guns. The Pennsylvania primary comes on Tuesday, a crucial contest that could make or break either Democrat candidate.

    Former President Jimmy Carter this week traveled to the Middle East and, against White House, State Department, congressional and Israeli requests, met with leaders of the terrorist organization Hamas and laid a wreath at the grave of the late terrorist Yasser Arafat.