Insight on the News
Graham Fears Armageddon
● Speaking at a Baptist World Congress in Toronto, evangelist Billy Graham cried out: ‘Oh God, turn us back from the War of Armageddon . . . because that is where we are headed!” Columnist Dick Beddoes of “The Globe and Mail,” who reported the statement, also observed that Graham sees Armageddon as a war between superpowers.
However, the Bible shows clearly that Armageddon is not a war between nations. Instead, it is God’s war against all the militarized nations of this world. At Revelation 16:14-16 it is plainly called “the war of the great day of God the Almighty.” Additionally, nothing, not even fervent prayer, can head off that war because it is God’s declared will that it must occur. (Zeph. 3:8; Rev. 19:17-21) This war of God will for all time establish his right to rule, and bring true peace and security by removing organizations and peoples who oppose his righteous rule. It is the only way that the ‘meek will inherit the earth.’—Ps. 37:11; Matt. 5:5.
Hence, Graham ought to be crying out for Armageddon to come, because that means ‘God’s kingdom will come,’ so that then ‘God’s will might be done on earth as it is in heaven.’ (Matt. 6:10) When that happens, God’s kingdom will “crush and put an end to all these kingdoms [of men], and it itself will stand to times indefinite.”—Dan. 2:44.
‘Wrestling Daily with Scandal’
● “Catholics wrestle daily with the scandal that is offered to us by our official church,” declared columnist Kevin Starr, a Catholic, in the San Francisco “Examiner.” As an example, he said: “The pope goes to Latin America, . . . and preaches justice for the poor, and this is followed in [another Catholic country] by the spectacle of one archbishop and three bishops presiding over the extravagant waste of a nation’s minimal resources. Those millions being spent were money taken from the poor, the very poor.” Starr referred to a state marriage costing millions of dollars and conducted by those clergymen.
The columnist also acknowledged that whereas wealthy and influential Catholics might get marriages annulled, others “were forced to spend long years alone, forbidden to remarry because their first ceremony was a Catholic ceremony, or denied the sacraments (indeed excommunicated!) if they remarried ‘outside the Church.’” Starr also called attention to the fact that the clergy often aligned themselves with the most repressive of political elements.
He concluded: “The Roman Catholic Church . . . is not a church for those who demand clarity and consistency.” Admitting that the Church includes “a network of corruption and compromise,” he added: “If you like schematic consistency in thought, word and deed, you most likely will leave the Church.”
Is Religion in Politics God’s Way?
● The Memphis, Tennessee, “Commercial Appeal” notes that when prominent Baptist clergyman Adrian Rogers was asked his position “on the preachers-into-politics phenomenon,” he answered: “I do not believe that God ever ordained government and then told his people to stay out of it.” He said: “We will see more and more evangelicals taking definite stands for political issues and for persons who are running for office, and I think they should.”
Yet nowhere did Jesus encourage his followers to become political, saying instead: “They are no part of the world, just as I am no part of the world.” (John 17:14) Also, Satan the Devil offered Jesus “all the kingdoms of the world.” But Jesus refused the offer, although he could have done more good with such power than any politician. And implicitly, Jesus recognized that, as the Bible says, the Devil is the “god of this system of things.”—Luke 4:5-8; 2 Cor. 4:4.
Had it been God’s purpose to bring peace and prosperity through this world’s political, commercial and false religious systems, it would have been done long ago. But that is not his purpose. Instead, he will eliminate those systems and usher in “a new earth” (a new human society) in which “righteousness is to dwell.”—2 Pet. 3:12, 13.