The Real Jesus

The Real Jesus

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The man depicted in Western art is nothing like the one described in the Bible.
From the July 2009 Trumpet Print Edition

Lately, several newsmagazines have graced their covers with a pale, tender-skinned, soft-spoken, long-haired, womanish figure wearing a beard. It’s supposed to be Jesus. But these erroneous depictions of Christ look nothing like the Jesus described in your Bible.

The real Jesus was a powerfully built, masculine man—a rugged outdoorsman. He was a master of every situation. He was a people person and a dynamically persuasive teacher. He was a man of upstanding character—an upholder and promoter of God’s perfect law of liberty.

Isn’t it time you became acquainted with the Jesus of the Bible?

Christ’s Family

Prior to His 3½-year ministry, Jesus Christ was brought up in a large family as the oldest of five brothers and at least three sisters (Matthew 13:54-56). Traditional Christianity depicts Jesus’s stepfather as some kind of uneducated, deadbeat dad who was baffled by his stepson’s remarkable genius. Joseph was supposedly married to a superior woman.

The real Joseph, however, was the loving head, provider, protector and primary educator of this extraordinary family. He was a “just” man, Matthew wrote, with sterling character. Upon learning that Mary was pregnant, Joseph initially intended to secretly dissolve the engagement for the sake of his own reputation—and Mary’s.

But while Joseph “thought on these things,” an angel appeared to him and said that Mary had conceived of the Holy Spirit. In response to the angel’s instructions, Joseph obeyed God, risked his upstanding reputation in the community, took a pregnant woman to be his wife and accepted her firstborn son as one of his very own.

In northern Galilee, Jesus became known as the son of Joseph (John 6:42). As a teenager and young adult, Jesus worked outdoors, developing into a master craftsman on his stepfather’s carpentry crew.

“And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him” (Luke 2:40). This was due, in large part, to the indomitable influence of His mentor and stepfather, Joseph.

When Jesus was 12, for example, Joseph took his wife and children to Jerusalem to observe the Passover and the feast of Unleavened Bread. Only males were required to go to Jerusalem for the three annual festival seasons (Exodus 23:14-17). But Joseph was a successful businessman and family man, so he took the entire family.

It was during this trip to Jerusalem that Jesus wound up in the temple reasoning with the doctors of the law. Having learned to be an exceptional student under His father’s direction, Luke’s account says that Jesus was “hearing” and “asking questions” (Luke 2:46). He was listening and learning from some of the most distinguished educators of His day. This was no ordinary 12-year-old.

His parents, having lost track of Jesus on the way home, returned to Jerusalem to find Him in the temple. They were “amazed.” The teachers of the law were “astonished at his understanding.”

From that point forward, Scripture says, “Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man” (verse 52).

The real Jesus grew up in a well-balanced, God-fearing household where His physical father served as head and His mother as a submissive and loving helpmeet and homemaker.

Jesus as Master

Think back on your education. Generally, the male teachers we tend to appreciate most are the stronger, more authoritative role models we can look up to.

Now think about Jesus Christ—the greatest orator and teacher who has ever lived. Why should we imagine Him to be an effeminate weakling who somehow moved the masses while speaking in hushed tones?

“Follow me,” He supposedly whispered to the fishermen, tax collectors and businessmen of His day, moving them to promptly drop everything to learn a new profession.

That is not the Jesus of your Bible. The real Jesus “waxed strong” physically and spoke with such powerful conviction and clarity that He astonished the masses! “For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes” (Matthew 7:29).

Jesus Christ did not teach or even look like the self-righteous religious figures of His day. After the miracle of the loaves and fishes, the Jewish commoners wanted to make Jesus a king (John 6:15). His wildly popular impact early on in His ministry enraged the jealous chief priests and Pharisees. “If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation,” they reasoned in John 11:48. They demanded their officers apprehend this persuasive scholar. But none of the officers would lay hands on Him.

“No man ever spoke like this man!” they said in John 7:46 (Revised Standard Version).

Jesus Christ simply did not fit into the mold of what people thought a religious leader should look and sound like. He was a hard-working, rugged-looking, masculine family man. He loved construction and numerous other outdoor activities like sailing, hiking and camping. He was an avid reader and student—conversant in every imaginable topic.

And He loved people. He socialized so much that His critics accused Him of being a glutton and winebibber! In actual fact, Jesus was the friendliest man who ever lived. He loved being among crowds. He interacted with Samaritans, the blind and lame, the elderly, and women and children. He broke bread with Pharisees, tax collectors and sinners.

Then there were His students—the disciples. Most of those who dropped everything in order to follow the Messiah later sacrificed their very lives for this impressive, God-fearing man. “Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?”, His disciples lamented after Jesus was gone (Luke 24:32).

Jesus lived the abundant life (John 10:10). He practiced what He preached. And in living in accordance with all of God’s holy laws, He left for us a perfect example to follow (1 Peter 2:21).

Strive to follow those steps set before us by Jesus Christ—the real Jesus, as depicted in the pages of your Bible.

For more of these Christian living articles, check out pcog.org.

The Ugly Transition From Gen X to Gen Y

The Ugly Transition From Gen X to Gen Y

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What will it take for the young generation to overcome its unparalleled selfishness?

Whatever happened to basic humility? Where did the experience of shame at wrongdoing disappear to? Indeed, to where did the whole concept of “wrongdoing” flee? Does anyone know what “self-effacement” means anymore? Whatever happened to the magnanimous, seemingly innate, desire of the Anglo-American peoples to give to the benefit of fellow man with the expectation of gaining little or nothing in return?

Now it’s all about self-actualization, pride in self, promotion of self, the glorification of narcissism. The outcome of the new creed, “When do we want it? We want it NOW,” is an ugly, unkempt, sloppy, self-indulgent, greedy, grasping, demanding generation of greatly ballooned egos. Generation Y has been raised by Generation X with not even a beginning concept of the self-sacrificing demeanor of the pioneering generations that built their lands into powerful nations, who sacrificed in blood to protect their freedoms and their kith and kin back home as they fought foreign enemies on far-away foreign soil.

The senior vice president of the global advertising agency jwt, Marian Salzman, said back in 2007, “Gen Y is the most difficult workforce I’ve ever encountered, because part of them are greatest-generation great and the other part are so self-indulgent as to be genuinely offensive to know, let alone supervise” (Christian Science Monitor, March 2, 2007).

The problem is that Generation Y has now become top-billed entertainment! Shows such as American Idol and The Apprentice bearing all of the sheer ugliness of character of Gen Y are raking in millions for their promoters and searing the minds of Gen-Y viewers into a stupefying mindset that says, These are your heroes; this is your expected mode of behavior if you want to succeed in life!

Nothing could be further from the truth!

Self-sacrifice built the British peoples into the greatest empire on Earth. The great pioneering spirit of help-thy-neighbor built America into the greatest single nation in history. Self-indulgence is ultimately destined to reduce these once-great peoples to enslavement by the enemies toward which they were so magnanimous in their defeat in war.

A February 2007 report titled “Egos Inflating Over Time,” produced by a team of researchers led by psychologist Jean Twenge of San Diego University, warned that the self-indulgent child-rearing techniques foisted off onto Generation-X parents have yielded bitter fruit indeed. Gen Yers are becoming known for their general lack of empathy, their innate fixation on self, their general lack of manners and inability to satisfactorily adapt as contributing members of a stable society. In fact, the report indicated that this generation presents an unattractive proposition in terms of their employability within the society that has raised them.

The trend toward innate self-indulgence among Generation Y is so deeply concerning, and its rate of progression so alarming, that the report asked the question (emphasis mine throughout),

How high can narcissism go? It is possible to imagine a narcissistic Lake Wobegon: Everyone is attractive or getting surgery to become so; competition and individual pursuits trump group or collective action; relationships are superficial and transient; kids are treated permissively at home and fed with self-inflating messages at school. This may sound far-fetched, but imagine what would happen if an American from the 1950s took a time machine to the present day. This would be how our culture would appear to our 1950s visitor, and we think it is possible to move even further in this direction.

The generation that built America into a nation of awe-inspiring wealth, made an industrial powerhouse admired the world over, created the world’s mightiest military machine, placed men on the moon and forced the Soviet Union to its knees is fast fading.

That was a generation—and the children of a generation—that had suffered a worldwide economic depression and the two greatest wars in this world’s history. Their freedoms, their wealth and their industry were hard-won. It all took a hefty dose of self-sacrifice.

Considering this history in relation to the culture of hedonistic softness within which Generation Y has been indulged, the authors of “Egos Inflating Over Time” reached a remarkable conclusion: “Self-correction may occur, however, given a strong enough external force. … [I]f another Great Depression or world war struck, Americans might suddenly have to temper their narcissism.”

But the strength of the intervention of that strong external force, it would seem, will have to be far in excess of that posed even by such phenomena as 9/11, Hurricane Katrina or the current economic crisis. As these researchers observed, “A diluted form of this decreased self-focus might have occurred after Sept. 11, 2001, when many people commented that they focused on their relationships more and were kinder to each other. However, as our data show, those attitudes—if they actually did come about—soon faded.”

What will it take to rescue America, and her sister Anglo-Saxon nations, from the grip of the nation-destroying self-indulgence that is the prime motivation of this narcissistic generation charged with the task of leading the way into the future in the 21st century? The hope these researchers offer is a dim one indeed:

Overall, it would be very difficult for a generation brought up on narcissistic individualism to suddenly become consistently self-sacrificing. Perhaps at some point American culture will realize that too much individualism, and too much narcissism, will not lead to good outcomes in the long run.

Where’s the real hope in that?

The standard of research that produced this report is excellent. Its conclusions are inarguable. However, the future it bespeaks is bleak indeed!

One thing we can tell you, on the supreme authority of the Creator of Generation X, Generation Y, and all generations of mankind tracking back to Adam himself, is that the inference this report makes is true: The only solution to the devastation of Anglo-Saxon society faced by this current narcissistic generation is, in reality, direct, sudden and imminent intervention by that strong enough external force”!

It will simply take the divine intervention of the Creator Himself to change this very narcissistic, self-indulgent nature of man, and to put, not only America, not just the Anglo-Saxons, but this whole world right back onto its original God-ordained course! That much is declared by the divinely inspired revelation of the future in your Bible.

The fact is, believe it or not, only when that supernatural, strong external force intervenes in world affairs will all mankind be able to fully realize its incredible human potential!

Thank God, the signs indicate that day will come soon. Very soon!

The Vatican’s Hidden Jerusalem Agenda

Why did the pope visit Israel, and why now?
From the July 2009 Trumpet Print Edition

This magazine has been watching Joseph Ratzinger for a long time. As we have watched, we have followed his course from chief confidante of the late Pope John Paul ii, to his enthronement as pope, and then on throughout the past four years of his controversial papacy.

As we have watched this leading religious figure, we have monitored his involvement in a clandestine project of the Vatican that was documented in Bible prophecy almost 2,000 years ago and which remained a mystery until fully exposed within the last two decades. Now, in light of Benedict xvi’s visit to Israel in May, his first since being elected pope, it is crucial that the Vatican agenda for the city of Jerusalem be publicized.

Hushed About History

Back in the mid-1990s, a statement made by Pope John Paul ii during an interview

in his native Poland, broadcast in Italian over a Polish radio station, was noted by

one of our Italian associates. She sent us a transcript of the interview, which included

one particularly startling reference by the pope regarding the Vatican’s ultimate goal of transferring its headquarters from Rome to Jerusalem.

What was unusual about this admission of John Paul ii was that the Vatican’s intentions to possess Jerusalem are seldom publicized and little commented-on. In fact, an air of secrecy—something that the Vatican has a history of creating over various of its affairs over the centuries—has surrounded this project since the failure of the Crusades, the most obvious of the overt and now very historical attempts by the Vatican to seize control of the Holy City. Those attempts have a long history with strong attachments to the German nation, right up to the past two world wars, and beyond to our present day.

As far back as the eighth century a.d., emissaries were sent to Jerusalem by Emperor Charlemagne to negotiate an agreement with the Muslim Caliph Haroun al-Raschid. The result was, Jerusalem became a protectorate of the Holy Roman Empire.

Historical records indicate that such a protectorate was limited to the oversight of the welfare of Christians, the care and protection of designated holy sites, and the properties of the Roman Catholic Church in Jerusalem. The fact that the caliph would be a financial beneficiary to this enterprise was a given. Muslim support of the Kaiser’s army in World War i, and again of the Nazi regime in World War ii, was the end result of a long historical nexus between the Muslims and Germany.

From the time of the Charlemagne/Haroun pact, through the attempt by Kaiser Wilhelm to seize Jerusalem in World War i, to this day, elements within Germany have historically viewed themselves as protectors of the Roman Catholic Church.

From the time of the failure of the great Crusades, German elites have worked to find ways and means of seizing the plum job of protector of Jerusalem.

Link With Germany

Recently, courtesy of the actions of Germany’s Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Germany has aggressively stepped up its diplomacy in the Middle East.

Vatican and German diplomatic moves in Israel are both linked to a common end: possession of the Old City of Jerusalem and most of the eastern half of the city.

The Jews are the pawns in this grand game of international diplomacy. The Palestinians are the grunts on the ground, eager to help divide Jerusalem and annihilate the State of Israel in the process.

The Vatican already has a significant presence in Jerusalem. Under Israeli law, Rome has legal jurisdiction over, and free access to, its holy sites, including both its institutions and assets in Jerusalem. The consolidation of these arrangements came in a bilateral agreement termed “The Fundamental Agreement Between the Holy See and the State of Israel,” which the Israeli government signed with the Vatican on Dec. 30, 1993. The terms of this agreement, composed in secret, were subsequently legislated by the Israeli parliament, the Knesset.

What remains largely unknown is the secret deal made by current Israeli President Shimon Peres and the leftist peacenik and former Meretz party member Yossi Beilin, known widely as “Peres’s poodle.”

On June 15, 1994, six months after signing the bilateral agreement with the Vatican, the Israeli government inked another agreement with the Vatican endorsing the Roman Catholic Church’s participation in negotiations to determine the future of Jerusalem.

This was followed in February 1996 by Secretary General of the Vatican Serge Sebastian announcing that Rome recognizes Palestinian sovereignty over East Jerusalem. The Vatican had thus revealed its hand.

Four years later, the Palestinian terrorist Yasser Arafat met in audience with Pope John Paul ii at the Vatican. The two signed an accord normalizing relations between the Palestinians and the Roman Catholic Church and agreeing to work toward establishing Jerusalem as an international city based on international guarantees. Later that year, the pope visited Israel. Declaring that Jerusalem was the main obstacle to peace in the region, he publicly called for international oversight of the holy city to safeguard its sacred sites.

But there is another party that also has an interest in establishing a presence in Israel. Germany expressed its desire to do that as far back as 2002. Having an established presence in the Mediterranean, off the Persian Gulf and in Lebanese waters as well as Afghanistan, Germany is already encircling the Middle East in its seemingly benign capacity as “peacemaker.”

It is clear that Germany’s and the Vatican’s Middle East policies are aligned. Each is patently playing both ends—Israel and the Palestinians—toward the middle.

Germany and Rome used the same tactic in the Balkan Peninsula to achieve a desired result with implicit UN agreement, with the Serbs becoming the pariah in the world’s view. This time, it’s the Jews who are being pilloried, especially since the Gaza incursion in January. The result will be the same: the seizure of iconic territory to be placed under the influence of Berlin and Rome with the willing acquiescence of the United Nations.

Journalist Joel Bainerman, a wellknown commentator on Israeli affairs, wrote, “The end goal of the Vatican is to seize control of the Old City of Jerusalem out of the clutches of the State of Israel. To that end they have a secret agreement with Israel which obliges Israel to respect the ‘extraterritorial’ claim to their physical presence in the city. In short, we have accepted the Vatican’s rights to have little Vatican sovereign embassies throughout our eternal capital of Jerusalem. That same Vatican has committed itself, in public and in a written agreement, to ensure that the Palestinians have sovereignty in the Old City of Jerusalem” (www.joelbainerman.com).

“Toward the Pleasant Land”

Yet, beyond the proof of the hidden agenda of the Vatican exposed by commentators, there is the “more sure word of prophecy,” which we have well documented in our publications, that forecasts this very reality. In Daniel 8, we read about the coming of an individual who will be the spiritual head of a great religio-political institution centered in Europe. The entity he leads is prophesied to spread its tentacles “toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land” (verse 9).

Believe it or not, your Bible prophesies the hidden agenda of the Vatican!

The press and media remain fixated on what they believe are the faltering mistakes of a pope out of touch with reality. (Witness the imbroglio over Benedict’s Regensburg speech and the latest kerfuffle regarding the lifting of the excommunication of the four Lefebvrist bishops, including the Holocaust-minimizing Richard Williamson.) Such diversions are but a smokescreen for those whom Lenin famously called “useful idiots.” They keep people diverted from following the scent on the track to the ultimate Vatican story, the coming takeover of Jerusalem by Rome!

Request and study our free booklet Daniel Unlocks Revelation for a real eye-opener on this story of the decade!

Britain: No Time for Family

Britain: No Time for Family

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Yet another study has been published in Britain detailing the disturbing state of the British family. According to a poll of 3,000 families, taken as part of Britain’s first National Families Week, the average British family spends only 45 minutes a day together. Most families spend much of that time watching television or eating, according to the online poll conducted by YoungPoll and OnePoll.

The Mail Online said the findings “signal a worrying deterioration of the family unit thanks to what campaigners call a ‘family-unfriendly culture’” (May 28).

The study found that parents were twice as likely to describe their families as “tv and digital families” than “caring families.” Just one in ten considered themselves part of a “caring family” where the priority is to look after each other’s well-being.

Traditional family pastimes are on the decline, with only 5 percent saying they spend family time playing sports, 3 percent reading, and just 2 percent saying they help their children with homework.

More than half of parents said they did not spend enough time with their children. Twenty-three percent of fathers said that spending time with their friends came before spending time with their children.

Mothers working long hours outside the home is another factor contributing to the lack of family time, the Mail said.

The combined effects of a lack of family time—lack of parental involvement in children’s lives—can be witnessed in the social breakdown of society, not only in Britain but also in other Western countries, in particular.

Mothers fleeing the home for the workforce means children today are often home alone without parental supervision. At the same time, a huge number of children are growing up without the positive influence of an involved father. As a result, problems in families and society are multiplying.

Read the articles in our special August 2004 Trumpet edition on why family matters for more on this subject.

Keep Hope Alive

Keep Hope Alive

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Bad news is descending like a tidal wave. Hold your head high.
From the July 2009 Trumpet Print Edition

These nasty headlines are hitting home. Hard.

Perhaps reports of elephantine federal bailouts and rollicking national debt can seem like just a parade of numbers. News of rogue states acquiring wmds, or of governments collapsing in nations with nuclear weapons—huge as it is—still feels distant.

But it’s hard to ignore the hurt when job losses wipe out whole towns—when retirement funds evaporate—when dreams must be postponed or scrapped—when bad news from Afghanistan and Pakistan means more deployments—or worse, the loss of a friend, a son, a dad. Hope deferred, the proverb says, makes the heart sick. And times will get yet worse before they get better.

Still, there is great cause to hold your head high.

World events are hurtling toward the greatest news story ever to occur.

Jesus provided a detailed description of what would transpire globally just before this event. The Bible contains dozens of major prophetic events to watch for, and hundreds of additional events.

Toward the end of His ministry, Christ delivered the tremendous Olivet prophecy (Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 21). It was His response to the disciples’ earthshaking question, “[W]hat shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” (Matthew 24:3). This is Christ’s explanation of the world conditions that would precede His Second Coming.

Jesus began by describing the four horsemen of the apocalypse, which bring false religion, wars, famines and disease epidemics (verses 4-8—compare with Revelation 6:1-8) and other horrific events (verses 9-11). He then spoke about a falling away within His own Church in this end time (verse 12)—which puts the time frame right into our day today (request a free copy of Raising the Ruins for a thorough explanation).

Christ also tells us how to survive these events: “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved” (verse 13). According to Jesus, there will be people spared from these nightmares.

And then, verse 14: “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” Right in the middle of these crises is a prophecy about a work of God. Whether or not you believe it, this prophecy has already been fulfilled. Through the World Tomorrow television program and the Plain Truth magazine, Herbert W. Armstrong warned the world for over 50 years with an intense prophetic message. Now, through the Key of David program and the pages of this magazine, the Philadelphia Church of God is prophesying again (Revelation 10:11)—even more intensely, as fulfilled prophecy reveals we are even closer to the end.

In verse 30, we see what all these signs lead to: Christ’s return.

Yes, world conditions are bad, and getting worse. But we at the Trumpet aim to focus on the connection between all the bad news and this most spectacular, hope-filled event ever.

“Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors” (verses 32-33). Christ says that we will know the end of this age is near by watching as the specific signs He has given us are fulfilled step by step.

Why would God give us all these prophecies and then tell us to watch for them?

To warn us. God isn’t just going to spring these calamities on this world—He is giving plenty of warning.

That warning includes God’s admonition to repent—to turn from the sin that is causing all these disasters: “Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?” (Ezekiel 33:11). We are told, individually, to watch. Christ’s prophecy as recorded in Luke 21 concludes, “Watch ye therefore, and pray always”—and why?—“that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man” (verse 36). To escape these nightmares coming on the world, we must watch and pray always.

What can happen to one who is not vigilant? Read verses 48 through 51 back in Matthew 24. Our attitude about Christ’s return—our urgency and excitement about those signs He has given us—has a direct relationship with our personal conduct. Looking for the day of Christ’s return gives us a perspective that should translate into a desire to seek God’s way of life. It spurs us to actively prepare for what is coming (verse 46).

Current conditions make plain that the prophesied Great Tribulation is coming in this generation. Conditions are only beginning to worsen, and already many people recognize that something is dangerously wrong. The worse events become, the more people will despair. But God tells us to maintain a broader perspective. As conditions decay, we must not become depressed. Remember—always remember—where it is all leading: “And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh” (Luke 21:27-28).

Keep a posture of vigilant, hope-filled anticipation. The worse things get, the greater should be our hope. (Request a free copy of Gerald Flurry’s booklet The Epistles of Peter—A Living Hope.) The more vigilant we are—the more diligently we watch and pray—the more filled with hope we will become. All this bad news is pointing toward the event this world desperately needs.

Lift up your head—Jesus Christ is about to return!

For more of these Christian living articles, check out pcog.org.

Radical Social Engineering

The “gay rights march” is gaining steamroller momentum.
From the July 2009 Trumpet Print Edition

“This is not radical social engineering,” said Pennsylvania State Rep. Dan Frankel. “This is something that is becoming routine, almost. And it’s being embraced in some of the most unlikely places.”

Mr. Frankel is right. He’s also dead wrong.

He was speaking of a controversial bill moving through Pennsylvania’s legislature that would guarantee homosexuals and transsexuals protection against discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations. As he correctly said, such legal measures are becoming routine in the United States and are being embraced by an increasingly large swath of the nation.

But the notion that this doesn’t represent a radical reengineering of American society is a lie.

Victories on the Legal Front

The legality of same-sex “marriage” is rapidly gaining ground. In April, Iowa and Vermont joined Massachusetts and Connecticut in allowing same-sex unions. In May, Maine followed suit. New York already recognizes same-sex unions from other states and, along with New Hampshire and New Jersey, is poised to take up the question soon. Six other states and the District of Columbia legally permit some form of same-sex partner recognition.

Tellingly, all of this activity has taken place outside the reach of the voting populace. So far, 16 states have held referendums on the issue, and every one of them has voted it down with majorities ranging from 52 to 86 percent. So how have homosexual activists gotten these laws on the books? Some are using the judiciary—forcing controversial cases into court and enlisting the aid of radical judges to change laws. Others are driving bills through state legislatures. In every case, their victories represent years of determined effort to push their cause.

In addition, 20 states and over 180 cities and counties across the country have passed legislation specifically banning discrimination against homosexuals and, in most cases, transsexuals.

The morally and culturally transformative nature of these laws is only beginning to manifest itself. The Washington Post of April 10 provided several recent examples of individuals and faith-based groups fighting legal battles for having resisted the cause—and losing.

·”A Christian photographer was forced by the New Mexico Civil Rights Commission to pay $6,637 in attorney’s costs after she refused to photograph a gay couple’s commitment ceremony.

·”A psychologist in Georgia was fired after she declined for religious reasons to counsel a lesbian about her relationship.

·”Christian fertility doctors in California who refused to artificially inseminate a lesbian patient were barred by the state supreme court from invoking their religious beliefs in refusing treatment.

·”A Christian student group was not recognized at a University of California law school because it denies membership to anyone practicing sex outside of traditional marriage.”

These examples provide a glimpse at how rapidly the homosexual movement is progressing toward its goal: to be able to silence, with the full force of the law, anyone who objects to their immoral behavior. This cause is gaining steamroller momentum in not only the United States, but also several other Western nations.

Those who take a stand against it are getting leveled. Legal analysts say religious groups that resist supporting homosexual rights could be punished by having to forfeit their tax exemptions. The Post also mentioned how any group opposing homosexuality can lose even when it wins. The Boy Scouts of America, for example, won the right in 2000 to ban openly homosexual Scout leaders. Since then, they have lost support from private charities and benefits from some governments. Right now courts are deciding a suit where the city of Philadelphia is demanding $200,000 yearly rent on a building the Scouts had formerly used for free.

Expect such policies and legal actions to multiply. These homosexual activists are gaining allies in the highest offices in the country.

A Battalion of Zealots

The Obama administration has wasted no time in laying the groundwork for more radical social engineering. Aided by a sympathetic Congress, the president is filling the executive and judicial branches with liberal activists whose effect on the nation could be incalculable. Among them are notoriously radical advocates of abortion rights, pornography—and homosexuality and transsexuality.

As dean of Harvard Law School, Elena Kagan booted military recruiters from the campus and sought to do the same for all colleges that receive federal funds. Why? Because she believes the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy is “a moral injustice of the first order” by discriminating against soldiers who want to be openly homosexual. Kagan is now America’s new solicitor general—the executive branch’s chief courtroom lawyer and adviser to the Supreme Court.

Morrell John Berry, during his tenure as director of the National Zoo, implemented several pro-homosexual employee policies. He wants the Defense of Marriage Act repealed and supports benefits for same-sex partners of federal employees. In April, Berry became director of the Office of Personnel Management, which puts him in charge of 1.9 million federal employees—and their benefits. He is the highest-ranking openly homosexual official ever to serve in the executive branch.

Harry Knox is a homosexual activist. Earlier this year he called certain Catholic leaders “foot soldiers of a discredited army of oppression” for supporting California’s Proposition 8, which legally defines marriage as male-female. He criticized the Apostle Paul for being an “educated, rich heterosexual man” who “didn’t think [homosexuality] was natural because for him it must not have been.” The president apparently appreciates Knox’s view of Scripture, because he appointed him to his Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

These are just a few individuals in what is shaping up to be a battalion of zealots being endowed with the power to give their immoral beliefs binding legal force and to turn their radical notions into reality. This army of activists is justifiably filling homosexuals with hope for the future of their cause.

The individuals and faith-based groups that are suffering losses to this juggernaut of homosexual rights claim that their “freedom of religion” is being sacrificed. In truth, the problem is far more pernicious than that.

It is nothing less than a revolutionary redefinition of the pillar institution in our society.

No civilization in history—not even those quite tolerant of homosexuality and transsexualism—has ever proposed redefining the concept of marriage.

Are any of the individuals so zealously promoting the gender confusion associated with these practices curious as to why?

Where Is This Leading?

The legal protections surrounding the marriage of a man and woman, and the children that emerge naturally from that union, are intended to safeguard family, the fundamental building block of civilization. The legal obstacles facing homosexual and other couples have been constructed expressly—in society after society throughout history—to discourage behavior that undermines social stability.

Evidence is plenteous 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. Time and again, studies have shown the enormous advantages to children—in 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. In other words, societal stability directly depends on the greatest number of children possible growing up in a home with both a father and a mother to whom they are biologically related.

Marriage is the most effective way of guaranteeing children grow up in this favorable environment. For the sake of our children and our society, we should be doing all we can to promote stable marriages—in the true sense of the term. (Order a free copy of Why Marriage! Soon Obsolete? to understand the profound spiritual underpinnings of this wondrous institution.)

However, under an onslaught of no-fault divorce and other anti-family pressures, marriages are falling apart at alarming rates. In just the past few generations, every millennia-long tradition regarding marriage—all of which, it should be mentioned, were based on God-ordained laws—has been challenged: the respective roles of husband as guide and provider, and wife as helpmeet and homemaker; the importance of abstaining from sex outside of marriage; the authority of parents over their children. As these principles were contested, a negative cycle began. Rejection of these principles produced bad marriages and fueled the tendency to question the institution’s fundamental nature. The result was a general, misguided dissatisfaction with marriage itself and an inevitable lack of appreciation for and understanding of it. The current dispute over the very idea of marriage involving one man and one woman is a measure of just how deep this misunderstanding has grown.

The legitimization of homosexual unions—as the jewel in the crown of a host of initiatives aimed at drawing more and more people into the homosexual lifestyle—is moving 180 degrees opposite the family stability we desperately need to be encouraging. This promotion of personal license over the broader interests of society is a deadly error.

To understand just how deadly, you need to understand how this trend was prophesied in the Bible. And not just in the Old Testament prophets. One of the gravest prophecies about it can be found in the New Testament epistle of Jude.

The Apostle Jude gave several examples of people whom God harshly judged. “Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire” (Jude 7). Order a free copy of Gerald Flurry’s booklet about Jude to learn more about this prophecy. It’s likely the strongest warning you will ever hear on this tremendously crucial subject.

Make no mistake: We are witnessing radical social engineering. We all need to understand exactly where it will lead.