Insight on the News
“Spirit of the Age”
● After three years’ work the Methodists in England have produced a report on sex by their Division of Social Responsibility and its Faith and Order Committee. The report urges the British Methodist Church to change its attitude toward homosexuality. The study considers “stable permanent relationships” a suitable way of homosexuality. This view would regard “homosexual relationships as not being intrinsically wrong.” The conclusions of this study were said to be based on “the Bible, reason, the traditional teaching of the church, the personal and corporate experience of modern Christians, the understanding provided by the human sciences and what may be called the ‘spirit of the age.’”
The Bible the basis for such conclusions? Hardly! The Bible makes clear God’s view of homosexuality. (Rom. 1:24-27; 1 Cor. 6:9-11; Lev. 18:22) The truth is that the basis for such conclusions is really, as even they call it, the “spirit of the age,” or, as the Bible terms it, “the spirit of the world,” which is the invisible force activating human society in its pursuits, or in its style of life.—1 Cor. 2:12; Eph. 2:2.
“Making People Deaf”
● Pete Townshend, the guitar-playing songwriter for the rock group The Who, recently commented on the loss of hearing that he is experiencing. Describing his visit to a hearing specialist, the 34-year-old Townshend is quoted in “Newsday” as saying: “By 38, I would probably begin having difficulty understanding what people were saying to me, and I would go deaf between 40 and 50.” He was advised to learn how to lip-read, since the damage to his hearing was substantial and could not be treated. The shock of this pronouncement made him ponder the effect of rock music on those attending concerts of The Who and other rock groups. “It’s a bit of a status symbol to leave a concert and say, ‘my ears are ringing,’” he explained. “When that happens, that means you have sustained damage! If you keep it up, you won’t be able to hear your grandchildren, you won’t be able to hear music. This great rock and roll nation is going to create thousands of people like that.”
As for his own hearing loss, the songwriter said: “I worry about it slightly. I can’t afford to worry too much, because I couldn’t keep playing.” Besides, he added, he owns two firms that make PA equipment (public-address systems), and “I make a lot of money out of making people deaf.”
Much of what passes as entertainment today displays imbalance, extremism—extremes of sound and sensuality. The Bible’s counsel to be “moderate in habits” includes entertainment.—1 Tim. 3:2.
● Visitors to oil-rich Saudi Arabia report tremendous changes taking place there. For example, two new industrial cities are being planned, even though the cost will be about $70,000,000,000 (U.S.). There is much preoccupation with business and money. Said the “New York Review of Books”: “Visitors to the desert kingdom maintain that the business mentality is so predominant there that it is impossible to hold a conversation with the Saudis without its turning to speculation, buying and selling within just a few minutes. . . . Some of [the leading businessmen] have already accumulated more wealth than they and their descendants could spend in five generations. Yet they continue to earn more.”
The effect of this preoccupation with money and the tempo of change there is noticed by the foreign physicians who have gone to that Arab land to practice medicine. “Nowhere, they report, are psychosomatic ailments as common as in Saudi Arabia—ailments which cause genuine suffering but are not caused by any demonstrable failing in the physical organism. There are, they say, young people who give every sign of being elderly, and old people who behave like juveniles.”
This illustrates the truth of the Bible’s observation that “a mere lover of silver will not be satisfied with silver, neither any lover of wealth with income,” and that such persons will suffer from “many pains.”—Eccl. 5:10; 1 Tim. 6:10.