Sudan Declares State of Emergency

Sudan declared a state of emergency on April 29 for areas bordering South Sudan. Tensions are high between the two neighbors along their oil-rich border region, and they are gearing up for war less than one year after South Sudan seceded from Sudan.

The decree gives Sudanese authorities wide powers to make arrests and set up special courts. It was issued a day after Sudan detained three foreigners and a South Sudanese near the border and accused them of spying for South Sudan.

There are concerns that the two nations are preparing for all-out war after weeks of clashes over disputed territory and control of oil resources.

Earlier this month, South Sudanese troops attacked and captured the oil-rich Heglig area. Sudan says it has since recaptured it, while South Sudan says its troops pulled out to avoid an all-out war.

Last week, after South Sudan said it was withdrawing its troops from Heglig, Sudan dropped bombs on the South. The United Nations said the bombs killed 16 civilians.

Sky News has reported that thousands of South Sudanese troops are at the border to meet any assault from Sudan, which officially declared war on April 20.

The largely Catholic South Sudan seceded from Muslim-dominated Sudan last July after a referendum. The referendum was part of a 2005 peace deal that ended more than 20 years of civil war. But issues such as the sharing of oil revenues and demarcation of the border remain unresolved and have sparked numerous clashes.

The Trumpet has reported that this conflict is a part of a greater clash between Muslims and Catholics. For more information about the conflict in Sudan and where it is headed, read “Sudan at War—the Ominous Religious Dimension.”

Herbert W. Armstrong’s Private Meeting at the Pentagon

Herbert W. Armstrong’s Private Meeting at the Pentagon

AFP/Getty Images

Reuniting with longtime friend Verne Orr, secretary of the Air Force

Verne Orr had been a successful businessman and educator who had served in both state and national government roles. This World War ii veteran and Purple Heart recipient supervised the transition from the Carter to Reagan administrations. President Ronald Reagan appointed him to the post of 14th secretary of the Air Force in 1981.

In July of 1983, representatives of the Ambassador International Cultural Foundation met with Mr. Orr and his wife for dinner in Washington, d.c. The foundation’s founder, Herbert W. Armstrong, was a longtime friend of the Orrs. Des Moines, Iowa, was the birthplace both of the Orrs and of Mr. Armstrong. In addition, the trio had lived in Pasadena, California, at the same time. Mr. Armstrong leased and purchased vehicles from Mr. Orr during the 1940s through ’50s, thereafter crossing paths through the years.

During the dinner, “The conversation … ranged from early days in Des Moines to Ambassador College and Mr. Armstrong’s work abroad, and life in Washington” (Worldwide News, July 25, 1983).

Seven and a half months later, as light snow fell in the nation’s capital, Mr. Armstrong was in d.c., however this time Mr. Armstrong was the honored guest at Mr. Orr’s invitation to a private luncheon at the Pentagon.

Located in Arlington county, Virginia, adjacent to the Potomac River and in view of the Washington Monument, the enormous Pentagon building is the official headquarters of the U.S. Department of Defense. With ground broken at the building site in 1941 at the behest of President Roosevelt, the vast five-sided complex was completed in January 1943. It is one of the world’s largest buildings, with three times the floor space of the Empire State Building in New York.

Most are familiar with the 9/11 Islamist terrorist attacks on the United States in 2001 and the subsequent hijacking of a commercial aircraft by terrorists, who flew it into the western side of the Pentagon, killing 189 people, exactly 60 years after the structure’s groundbreaking.

On that snowy March day back in 1984, Mr. Armstrong arrived at the River Terrace entrance of the military center and was met by Mrs. Orr at the security area. They then walked through hallways adorned with historic Air Force pictures en route to her husband’s office.

Mr. Orr ushered his longtime friend into a private dining room featuring carefully crafted woodwork, which reminded his honored guest of Ambassador Hall located on the Pasadena Ambassador College campus.

Mr. Orr recounted how previously the wood was covered with paint and that the ornate wood underneath was inadvertently discovered during a scheduled renovation. Air Force staff came together after work hours to strip the paint and refinish the wood, preserving its integrity and enhancing the room’s appearance.

Tomato almond bisque, poached chicken breast, vegetables and bread rolls, served on special pewter dinnerware featuring the Air Force seal and documented with individual menus scribed in the style of the 1700s, headlined the meal, complemented and completed by apple tart with creme fraiche.

“The meal and conversation were exceptional,” recounted the March 12 issue of the Worldwide News. “Secretary Orr recalled many of his experiences as leader of the Air Force, and answered questions on non-confidential items. Mr. Armstrong explained the activities of the Ambassador Foundation and discussed his January trip that year to New Zealand, Australia, Southeast Asia and Japan.”

In addition, they discussed the forthcoming musical performance of a children’s group from China at the John F. Kennedy Center. This was being sponsored by the Ambassador International Cultural Foundation in association with the Chinese government, the Chinese ambassador to the U.S. and other humanitarian officials from the People’s Republic of China.

After lunch, Mr. Orr escorted the internationally recognized ambassador for world peace back to his office for a review of various exhibits he had accumulated over the years at the Pentagon.

“I know that voice—that’s Herbert Armstrong,” declared Jacque Klein, U.S. State Department special attaché to the Air Force secretary. Mr. Orr had intended to introduce him, however he preempted him upon entering his office after hearing Mr. Armstrong speaking. He excitedly added, “I’ve been listening to him for 20 years” (ibid).

Mr. Armstrong thanked Secretary and Mrs. Orr for their hospitality, and departed the Pentagon in advance of attending an Ambassador International Cultural Foundation co-sponsored evening performance of the Vienna Philharmonic at the Kennedy Center, discussions with Austrian President Kirschschlaeger, Ambassador Klestil and U.S. Secretary of State Schultz and Vice President Bush.

The long-term bond between these Des Moines natives would end also in similarity, as all three would die at home in Pasadena, California. Mr. Armstrong in early 1986, age 93, Mrs. Orr in 1988, age 70, and Mr. Orr in late 2008, age 92.

As part of the Orrs’ legacy, the Air Force Association annually presents the Verne Orr Award in recognition of excellence in the use of human resources in mission accomplishment. In addition, and also annually, the Joan Orr Air Force Spouse of the Year Award is presented to civilian spouses of military personnel who have made significant contributions.

Though Herbert Armstrong received numerous awards from leaders of government throughout his lifetime of service to humanity, he and Loma Armstrong also left a legacy of defense. Not of physical defense, but spiritual defense of God’s Word in teaching millions worldwide the way to peace. In dedicating his final written work, Mystery of the Ages,Mr. Armstrong wrote, “I would like to dedicate this book to the memory of my wife of 50 happy years, Loma Armstrong.”

Mr. Armstrong believed Mystery of the Ages was the best work of his 93 years of life. Today, following a six-year court battle for possession of this one-of-a-kind publication, ending with subsequent victory in 2003, Trumpet magazine founder and editor in chief Gerald Flurry continues the work and legacy of the Armstrongs, publishing and distributing this vital book. His wife, Barbara, died in 2004 after a life of dedicated love and support of her husband and their mutual work perpetuating the Armstrongs’ work and legacy.

Should it happen that Mr. Flurry ever receives an invitation to the Pentagon, his hosts would see the same spirit at work as earlier hosts did with Mr. Armstrong, the legacy in action of a teacher with the same message of peace dedicated to reaching the largest audience possible.

Herbert W. Armstrong’s Message of World Peace for the LA Lakers

Herbert W. Armstrong’s Message of World Peace for the LA Lakers

Wen Roberts/AFP/Getty Images

Why he so often watched greats like Jerry West, Elgin Baylor and Wilt Chamberlain

Last week in Los Angeles, watched by a packed crowd and worldwide viewing audience, Lakers’ Metta World Peace struck Oklahoma City Thunder’s James Harden in the head, resulting in a concussion and the super-sub’s abrupt departure from the game.

Fox News reported, “World Peace claimed the contact was an accidental, overzealous celebration of a dunk.” On-court officials ejected him from the game and the incident has resulted in the National Basketball League suspending World Peace for seven games ahead of the season play-offs.

The drama reminded me of a recent visit to Pasadena, California, and interview with Mel Olinger, longtime personal chauffeur for internationally recognized ambassador for world peace Herbert W. Armstrong.

As founder and chancellor of Ambassador College, Mr. Armstrong led in the establishment of a robust intramural sports program. “He was faithful in going to intramural games,” recalled his driver. “He particularly enjoyed watching basketball as a form of relaxation and refreshment.”

Mr. Olinger, who drove Mr. Armstrong from February 1970 through to his death in January 1986, recalls his purchase of season passes to Lakers home games during the era of the early-to-mid-’70s.

He recalled, “Fairly often and in different seasons, I would drive him downtown Los Angeles.” During this time it was Mr. Armstrong’s regular practice to take with him a faculty associate who had qualifications in sports fitness and acted as director of Imperial Schools, which Mr. Armstrong also established, serving grades K through 12. This faculty assistant “helped Mr. Armstrong as a personal fitness trainer, also with diet and physical routine,” Mr. Olinger said.

Occasionally the directors of the Ambassador College athletics department would accompany him. At the time, these men were the “big three in sports” instruction at the Pasadena college.

Mr. Armstrong particularly liked to watch the likes of Jerry West, Elgin Baylor and Wilt Chamberlain, and wanted “seats close to the floor, five to seven rows from the court.”

Mr. Olinger remembers Mr. Armstrong always “wore a sport coat and tie. This was on Sundays when he would go into the office before game time. Then after driving to the Lakers games, we’d go to a place called Monty’s for a steak sandwich.”

On the drive back home to Pasadena, “Games would be discussed, however, I don’t recall any time when he didn’t refer back to God and His Word and/or the spiritual principle. He often quoted the Apostle Paul and the passage that bodily exercise profits a little” (1 Timothy 4:8).

Mr. Olinger recalled his boss’s morning routine. The pair would meet for coffee, “then he’d walk the campus and go and play the piano at the auditorium and then walk back home, shower, change and then I’d drive him to the office.”

After Ambassador College’s founding in 1947, as its chancellor Mr. Armstrong instituted the practice of male students assembling on the tennis court for daily calisthenics before classes. From this small beginning, other sporting and athletic activities gradually were added to the curriculum.

Mr. Olinger noted that, “After the Lakers moved from the Forum, Mr. Armstrong stopped going to the games.” His travels worldwide in fulfillment of Matthew 24:14, preaching the gospel of the Kingdom as a witness to all nations, would take more and more of his time and energy.

In his closing days of an action-packed 93 years of life, penning his final written work, Mystery of the Ages, Mr. Armstrong identified the very character of the Godhead. “Their way of life produced perfect peace, cooperation, happiness, accomplishment. This way of life became a law. Law is a code of conduct, or relationship, between two or more.”

This was Herbert W. Armstrong’s inspired message of world peace. He used to employ a sports analogy in describing God’s way of life. “One might call the rules of a sports contest the ‘law’ of the game. The presence of law requires a penalty for infraction. There can be no law without a penalty for its violation.”

Mystery of the Ages is a core textbook at Herbert W. Armstrong College, which is located just north of the Oklahoma City Thunder stadium in Edmond. It was named in Mr. Armstrong’s memory by its founder and chancellor, Gerald Flurry. Akin to his predecessor, Gerald Flurry is also a basketball enthusiast who has worked to establish a balanced intramural sports program at the college whose participants practice God’s loving spiritual principle of give—outflowing love and concern one toward the other.

Like Mr. Armstrong, Mr. Flurry is faithful in visiting college intramural games and, when possible, even watches the Oklahoma City Thunder in action.

Perhaps the Lakers and Thunder and their fans remember their March 24, 2009, game in Oklahoma City when Gerald Flurry authorized the delivery of a special gift to them.

Prior to the game, assembled at center court, the Young Ambassadors of Herbert W. Armstrong College performed the national anthem before a capacity crowd and worldwide broadcast audience.

The happy smiles and melodic harmony rendered by these students gave testament to the teaching of the eternal principle expounded by Jesus Christ Himself in Acts 20:35: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

BRICS plot death of the dollar

Economic blog ZeroHedge reports on the difficult situation facing fast-growing nations today. On one hand, they like selling things to Americans. But on the other hand, they don’t like being paid in dollars that can be printed ad infinitum.

But according to ZeroHedge, they are working on a solution:

It must be difficult for the brics countries [Brazil, Russia, India and China] today. On one hand, they continue to jockey for respect among the Western powers, insisting on participating in quasi-European bailout funds like the imf. On the other hand, they are also clearly aware of the Western nations’ continuing efforts to surreptitiously devalue their domestic currencies, and the pernicious effect that has had on them as exporters and as lenders of capital. In that vein, it was interesting to note that during the latest brics summit held this past March in New Delhi, the main topic of discussion centered on the creation of the group’s first official institution, a so-called “brics Bank” that would fund development projects and infrastructure in developing nations. Although not openly discussed, reports suggest what they were really talking about was creating a type of brics central bank—an institution that could facilitate their ability to “do more business with each other in their local currencies, to help insulate from U.S. dollar fluctuations ….” Given the incredible scale of Western central bank intervention over the past six months, the brics’ increasing frustration with their printing efforts should be a given by now. The real question is what they’re doing about it, and what assets they’re accumulating to protect themselves from the inevitable, which brings us to gold.

The Trumpet has been warning that dollar printing would eventually drive America’s trade partners into abandoning the dollar. The loss of reserve currency status will have a huge impact on America’s standard of living. Prepare for that day … it is coming sooner than you may think.

Women—Keepers at Home

Women—Keepers at Home

Dreamstime

How the failure of women to be “keepers at home” has resulted in a deeply entrenched social disease.

Being a pre-baby-boomer, pre-Generation X, pre-entitlement-generation individual does give one a certain grasp on the postwar history of the demise of the family unit.

When Britain and America dominated the world as the greatest single empire and greatest single nation during the 19th through to the first half of the 20th centuries, monogamous marriage and the strong family unit were the backbone of their societies.

Revisionist history and perverse social documentaries to the contrary, that’s the historic reality.

During the glory phase of the Anglo-Saxon peoples, both men and women had clear roles. They were very clearly marked by mode of dress. As the history demonstrates, any confusion of gender inconsistent with the clear biblical teaching was in those days considered a crime and dealt with accordingly.

Gender-based occupations were tailored to the unique, God-given strengths and innate abilities of the male and the female in society. The man was the breadwinner, the woman, once married and particularly once she became a mother, was a “keeper at home.”

The result was a clarity in marriage and family relations.

During World War i, the duties of single women who wished to contribute to the war effort outside the home were restricted largely to those occupations that allowed her true nurturing capabilities to be used. Nursing and the provision of welfare services to the troops abroad and those repatriated home due to injury were the predominant occupations. It was not unusual for women to provide such needed services voluntarily.

The effects of the Industrial Revolution combined with the libertine influence of liberal socialism in full swing during the “gay ’20s” meant the role of women in warfare was to change considerably. During World War ii, women were drafted into traditional men’s tasks in the factory. Women were actually employed in uniform in the military forces. This began an early tendency for women to begin wearing trousers, the traditional garb of men. Already the demarcation between the sexes was being degraded.

The tasks given to women in the services during World War ii were largely secretarial and administrative, in addition to other services such as vehicle maintenance and driving. During that war, women again bore the brunt of providing the bulk of nursing and many welfare services rendered to the military and general community. In Britain, some women did man anti-aircraft batteries where men were in short supply. Some even operated as heroic spies in countries occupied by the enemy.

One of the outfalls of World War ii, in particular, was the inculcation in some women of a new sense of “empowerment.” In Britain, wide publicity given the moral excesses of the liberal Bloomsbury set, together with the setting of women to work outside the home during the war effort, resulted in a sea change in education on the woman’s role in society.

This all coincided with the injection of Darwinism, Marxism and Freudianism into the education system. Such influences penetrated Anglo-Saxon education curricula from those interwar years between the two great global conflicts on through the great years of post-World War ii reconstruction, to the 1960s.

The result of this injection of godless thinking into the minds of the “baby boomer” generation, together with the influence of such destroyers of wise child-rearing methods as the infamous Doctor Spock, caused a great explosion of anti-social behavior on college campuses in the late 1960s. This was the generation that spawned the feminist movement. It happened to also coincide with the seismic social changes caused by the sexual revolution as described so incisively by Mary Eberstadt in her recent book Adam and Eve After the Pill.

Out of the social revolution of the 1960s and ’70s marched the militant feminist, dressed in the jeans and pants that were to powerfully change the whole feminine image of women. Having no real anchor to the absolutes of gender-based roles as established by their Creator, these misfits penetrated every available institution within the Anglo-Saxon realm.

The upshot?

Walk through any airport now and count the dresses, if you can find any. It’s a sad commentary on the effect of the feminists masculinizing—even neutering—the appearance of the female population.

The major result of this great social upheaval of the 1960s and ’70s was a rapid loss of the very meaning of wifehood and motherhood, let alone true femininity. Careerism was injected into the minds of young girls. The most blessed of all female occupations, homemaking, was denigrated as women were taught to emulate men and find “self-fulfillment” outside the home.

The fashionable teaching became “women are equal to men.”

They are not.

It is on the spiritual plane alone that men and women are equal before God for the purpose of their salvation. When it comes to the God-ordained social structure of humanity, man and woman have distinctly different strengths and roles.

At the human level, as created by God, the male is the physically stronger, the female the physically weaker (1 Peter 3:7). As created by God, the man is the protector, the woman the nurturer. As created by God, the man is generally the big thinker, the woman generally the one with the eye for detail. As created by God, the man is the giver—the gestator—of life, the woman the receiver of that spark of life, and its natural nurturer toward birth and mothering. As created by God, the man ought to be the leader!

Put these God-given attributes together in marriage, and you have a complete whole. A God-given relationship designed to establish a balanced and unified haven, underpinned by a strong foundation, for the building of a family unit.

This is not to denigrate in any way the tremendous task that any God-fearing single and supporting mother is forced to shoulder in the absence of a husbandly protector and provider. As Herbert Armstrong said, he’d never marry a woman who would wear the pants (that was in a time before women actually started to wear trousers); yet he’d never marry a woman who could not wear the pants if she had to—meaning taking on the dual parental role in the absence of a husband.

Tracking forward to the 21st century, Western society now has to deal with the outfall of a century of devolution of the true roles of man and woman. This has now reached the point where both have largely lost any concept of their gender’s God-given identity and hence their natural roles in society. The greatest loss to society has been the woman’s true role as the keeper at home.

Sadly, government “social welfare” programs have greatly added to this problem. Such programs are too often constructed in a manner that rewards the sexual profligacy of single mothers and promotes the unemployability of the male. Such programs have largely destroyed the whole structure of traditional society in Britain.

Much cogent commentary has been made by observers of these anti-social trends in the Anglo-Saxon nations. Adam and Eve After the Pill is but one of the latest in a list of well-thought-out commentaries on this phenomenon. Others range from James Burnham’s Suicide of the West to Allan Bloom’s Closing of the American Mind, Robert Bork’s Slouching Towards Gomorrah, Gertrude Himmelfarb’s The Demoralization of Society, Stephen Bertman’s Cultural Amnesia and Roger Kimball’s The Long March.

All such incisive commentaries on our society highlight the deep-seated moral decline of the Anglo-Saxons due to gender confusion, but not one poses the solution! All are expert in focusing on the causes and effects of social decline and moral degeneration, but none offers real hope for any improvement.

Well, believe it or not, there is a solution to today’s dislocating society, and it is literally out of this world! That solution is even now being lived out by some who have chosen to adhere to, or return to, the God-given roles of man and woman. The men lead as saviors to their wives (Ephesians 5:23). The women submit to the leadership of their husbands (Ephesians 5:22). The men labor to feed, clothe and provide education and security for the family (2 Thessalonians 3:10; 1 Timothy 5:8). The women are true keepers at home (Titus 2:5). Each finds the maximum self-fulfillment by obeying their Creator in the pursuit of their God-ordained destiny—the fulfillment of their incredible human potential!

If you would like to find out more about that most extremely fulfilling way of life, then read our inspiring book The Incredible Human Potential. It has led to many lives being changed for the better. It could do so for you as well!

UN Peace Plan for Syria Failing

A suicide bomber struck the Syrian capital of Damascus on April 27, killing at least 10 people and wounding about 30 more. The carnage took place across the street from the Zain al-Abideen mosque, which is known as a rallying point for demonstrations against the regime of Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad. The terrorist reportedly wore a military-style uniform that concealed a suicide bomb vest. When soldiers intercepted the man as he approached, he detonated the bomb.

The lethal explosion is the latest in a wave of blasts that have rocked Syrian cities in recent months, and one of four that occurred in Damascus on Friday. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, but the Assad regime blames it on unspecified “terrorists”—the same description it applies to anti-regime protesters. Some anti-regime activists claim that the bombing was actually an attempt by the government to besmirch the uprising, which began in March of last year. Since then, Syrian forces have killed more than 9,000 people, according to the United Nations.

The blast is the latest blow to a peace plan that called for a ceasefire to go into effect two weeks ago. The truce, brokered by special envoy Kofi Annan, has been roundly ignored. The UN has only 15 monitors in Syria who are trying to salvage it.

The rising death toll in Syria is the latest demonstration of the UN’s inability to establish peace. The United Nations was originally hailed by national leaders as the world’s last chance for peace. Instead, it is a comprehensive case study in mankind’s inability to govern itself. Thankfully there will soon be a new government that will usher in peace to a world that has never had it. For more information read “Failing to Bring Peace.”