Insight on the News
‘Helpless’ Feeling Earth Wide
● The world faces a “crisis of extraordinary dimensions,” according to Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim of the United Nations.
In his annual report to the General Assembly, released in early September, the secretary-general said that an “almost universal sense of apprehension” about the course of world events now combines with feelings of “helplessness and fatalism which I find deeply disturbing.” He spoke of threatening circumstances that “could create almost unimaginable dangers for the survival of our civilization and the human race.” In concluding, he warned:
“Many great civilizations in history have collapsed at the very height of their achievement because they were unable to analyze their basic problems, to change direction and to adjust to the new situations which faced them . . . Today the civilization which is facing such a challenge is not just one small part of mankind—it is mankind as a whole.
Without doubt, these conditions correspond with the Bible’s forecast of conditions due to prevail at the conclusion of an unrighteous system of things and preceding the entrance of a righteous new order of God’s making, namely: “On the earth anguish of nations, not knowing the way out . . . while men become faint out of fear and expectation of the things coming upon the inhabited earth.” “In the last days critical times hard to deal with will be here.”—Luke 21:25, 26; 2 Tim. 3:1.
Who Bears the Real Blame?
● Nearly two out of every three persons on earth today lives in a nonchristian land. Why do “Christian” religions often have little appeal in these areas? Two items appearing in the September 16 issue of the New York “Times” shed light on this.
One involves mainland China, which, with its 800 million inhabitants, holds almost one fifth of the earth’s population. Recently an international theological conference was held in Belgium to discuss the inability of Christendom’s religions to send missionaries into China. According to the “Times” report, the view that early missionaries in China had been “too closely identified with Western imperialist interests” was stressed. One conference statement said:
“It is unfortunate that Christianity being the official religion of the West was made to justify in various ways imperialism, feudalism, colonialism and bourgeois capitalism.”
The other item comes from Saudi Arabia, religious center for 530 million Moslems. Mohammed Salahuddin, editor of the newspaper “Al Medina,” in commenting on the growing modernization of wealthy Arab lands, said:
“We know what Western society is like, and we are frightened. We see the breakdown of the family and the widespread sexual immorality, and we know that this is no way to live.”
In his day, the apostle Paul said of hypocritical persons claiming to serve God: “For ‘the name of God is being blasphemed on account of you people among the nations.’” (Rom. 2:24) Similarly in modern times, Christendom’s religions have proved hypocritical, abandoning genuine Bible principles in exchange for political gain, condoning sexual immorality, and so they have hindered rather than helped people in nonchristian lands as regards appreciating the Bible’s true message.
Mormons and Racism
● The first Mormon temple east of the Rocky Mountains was recently completed on the outskirts of Washington, D.C., which has a predominantly black population. So, at a news conference, Mormon president Spencer W. Kimball was questioned on the Mormon practice of excluding blacks from full and equal privileges in their religion. The seventy-nine-year-old leader passed the question on to the Church’s chief public relations adviser for reply. His reply? “We have met here at this sacred place primarily to discuss the temple.” Thus the question of racial discrimination was evaded. In refreshing contrast, the Bible plainly says that “God is not partial” and ‘makes no distinction at all’ among those sincerely seeking him.—Acts 10:34, 35; 15:7-9.