Insight on the News
Soviet Military Growth
● In Bible prophecies contained in the book of Daniel, chapter 11, the struggle for supremacy between the “king of the north” and the “king of the south” is outlined. The prophecy notes that the “king of the north” worships “the god of fortresses,” that is, military might based on scientific technology.—Dan. 11:36-43.
The current struggle for supremacy between the Communist forces led by the Soviet Union and the democratic forces led by the United States parallels that prophecy. And in recent months many have suggested that the Soviet Union is in the process of surpassing the United States in a number of vital military categories.
“Parade” magazine’s “Intelligence Report” makes this comment: “The new addition of ‘Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft,’ published in London, claims the Soviet Union is vastly superior to America in military aviation. . . . J. W. R. Taylor, respected editor of ‘Jane’s,’ says there is great doubt that the U.S. can match the Soviet Union in conventional warfare at this time.”
Regardless of the relative military position of these two “kings,” it is apparent that the prophecy of Daniel is undergoing a fulfillment at this time. It accurately foretold that the Communist “king of the north” would be determined to develop its military potential as a means of influencing world affairs. It remains to be seen to what extent this “king” will be successful in doing so before God brings the entire system of things to its end.—Dan. 2:44; 11:44, 45.
Family Breaking Down
● In many countries of the world, the family unit is undergoing a rapid breakdown. For example, in the United States there are now over one million divorces each year. Hence, for every two marriages there is now one divorce. That is the highest divorce rate in the entire history of the nation.
Also, more and more couples are living together without benefit of marriage, an estimated 660,000 couples doing so in 1976. This was an increase of more than 100 percent since 1970. Too, the moral breakdown is reflected in the huge rise of illegitimate births, the rate more than tripling in the past quarter century.
When family bonds and loyalties break down, it is a sure indication that other bonds and loyalties are breaking down too. The disintegration of the family usually parallels the disintegration of society in general. Indeed, throughout history family breakdown has been characteristic of the decay and eventual fall of powerful nations.
Since God created the marriage arrangement, disrespect for it is another evidence of the general lack of regard for his laws and purposes. The extent of this disregard in our time is another evidence that this world is deep into its “last days.”—Gen. 2:22-24; 1 Cor. 7:10, 11; 2 Tim. 3:1-5.
Divided Spanish Church
● The Roman Catholic Church in Spain is badly divided. The New York “Times” observes: “A number of rightist bishops and priests defend Franco’s heritage. A broad conservative and centrist bloc inclines to various strains of Christian democracy in the Italian mold. And on the left independent-minded priests are active in Socialist and Communist parties.” The Catholic people are similarly divided.
Priest Bernandino Hernando, editor of the influential Catholic weekly “Vida Nueva,” acknowledges: “The big problem of the church in Spain is the strong division among Catholics themselves. If you look at the divisions of the political parties, it is the same as in the Catholic Church.”
The “Times” also states: “So divided is the Spanish church today that it sometimes gives the impression of being several churches.” In many other countries, the situation is the same. And one result has been that many persons and clergy are abandoning the Church in disgust.
Jesus Christ warned: “If a house becomes divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.” Just such a division exists in the Roman Catholic Church. It is one consequence of the clergy ignoring the counsel of Jesus when he commanded his followers to be “no part of the world, just as I am no part of the world.”—Mark 3:25; John 17:14, 16.