Insight on the News
‘Chief Hope for Peace’
● Where are the world’s religious leaders directing humanity to put their hope? In God’s kingdom? The answer came on the 25th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. A joint church communiqué declared: “The World Council of Churches and the Roman Catholic Church have often stated that the United Nations Organization is the chief temporal hope for world peace.”—“L’Osservatore Romano.”
Obviously they had not learned from past mistakes. On December 12, 1918, the U.N.’s predecessor, the League of Nations, received a similar religious endorsement. At that time the Federal Council of Churches of Christ in America called it “the political expression of the Kingdom of God on earth.” But did the League really prove to be God’s provision for safeguarding peace?
To those who did not know the answer earlier, World War II made the facts clear. God had nothing to do with the League; neither is the United Nations his.
Catholic and Protestant churches claim to teach God’s Word, do they not? Then, instead of “playing politics,” should they not advocate as ‘the chief hope for peace’ the kingdom for which God’s Son Jesus Christ taught his followers to pray? (Matt. 6:9, 10) Is it not their responsibility to show people from the Bible that God’s kingdom “will not be passed on to any other people,” including the membership of the U.N.? (Dan. 2:44) In all honesty, is it not time for all mankind to face up to the fact that human rulers can never bring lasting peace? Only mankind’s Creator can do that.
‘Climate to Gamble’
● Hailing gambling as the way to drive criminals out of the business, New York state legalized and took over off-track gambling on horse races. Did it work? Illegal gambling and criminal involvement skyrocketed by nearly two thirds in one year! Why? Says a police official: “A climate has been created to gamble. . . . thousands of people who never in the world would have thought of betting on [other sports events] are now betting [illegally] with the bookies.”
Who is involved? The study reveals that students are betting allowances and housewives are using their grocery money. Some become prostitutes to cover losses. Businessmen raise prices, embezzle or steal securities for gambling money. Others promote their own gambling enterprises to support “charity” or their churches and synagogues. “The compulsive gambler is found,” says “Physician’s World” magazine, in “virtually every occupation and profession, including the clergy.”
This ‘climate to gamble’ has produced a harvest of self-indulgence, corruption and ruined lives. But “don’t delude yourself,” the Bible warns. If anyone “sows in the field of self-indulgence he will get a harvest of corruption out of it.” Furthermore, those serving “the god of Good Luck” will eventually lose everything, for to such ones Jehovah says, “I will destine you men to the sword.”—Gal. 6:7, 8, JB; Isa. 65:11, 12.
● What place does homosexuality have in Judaism? To find out, Temple Beth Chayim Chadashim (“The House of New Life”) in Los Angeles, California, has petitioned the Union of American Hebrew Congregations for membership. Formed in March of 1972 as the United States’ first homosexual synagogue, it now hopes to join the Union.
The Union has already provided some assistance to the Los Angeles synagogue. And Rabbi Erwin Herman, director of the Union’s Pacific Southwest office, urged a year ago: “I believe it is incumbent on our liberal movement to admit this congregation” when it applies. Now Rabbi Alexander M. Schindler, president of the Union, agrees: “I don’t think the homosexual group should be read out of the body Jewish.”
However, the “body Jewish” has in “The Torah” a command given by God to Moses that says: “If a man lies with a male as one lies with a woman, the two of them have done an abhorrent thing; they shall be put to death.”—Lev. 20:13, Jewish Pub. Society.
What will the Union of American Hebrew Congregations do? Will they hold to the righteous law of God transmitted through their forefathers? Or will they repudiate it so that in this, too, they can be like the rest of the world?