Insight on the News
Warped View of Sexual Morality
● ‘Fornication or adultery unhampered by contraceptives is a lesser evil than a husband and wife using a form of contraception during intercourse,’ said Catholic philosopher Elizabeth Anscomb of the University of Cambridge in England. She stated: “An act of contraceptive intercourse is an act of rather gross unchastity. . . . Marriage doesn’t make it respectable. If you’re going to do that sort of thing, it’s better to go do it with a whore, not with your wife.” She declared that the Catholic Church ‘always considered contraception as a breach of chastity.’
Priest Richard Roach of Marquette University in the United States agreed, saying that ‘the introduction of contraceptives into a marriage changes the status of a wife from an honorable to a dishonorable woman.’
However, nowhere does God’s Word, the Bible, equate such birth control with fornication or adultery. While it condemns the latter, it is silent about the former, making it a matter for personal decision. (1 Cor. 6:9, 10) Too, it is of interest to note that in many polls taken of Catholics, the majority do not agree with the comments of such Catholic teachers, since they practice birth control, including the use of contraceptives.
The Problem of Aging
● The average life span of people in various countries has increased in recent decades. From this, one could conclude that individuals are living longer, due to better nutrition, health care and other modern scientific advancements.
However, Britain’s “Economist” notes: “Almost all the gains reflect progress in eliminating premature death. The average lifespan has risen because fewer people die young, not because the oldest members of the population live longer. While life expectancy from birth has risen dramatically [due to fewer premature deaths], for persons aged 40 and older life expectancy has changed relatively little. For those aged 75, it has changed hardly at all.”
Scientists cannot understand why aging occurs, since theoretically body cells should divide in two and multiply indefinitely. Bacteria do not age and die naturally, for these one-celled organisms can go on dividing and multiplying. But human cells do age and die. Some think that the hereditary mechanism in man is “programmed” to age and die, for in laboratory tests human cells that were isolated and given the needed nutrients still grew old and died. Cells taken from younger persons lasted longer than cells from older persons, but eventually they died too.
Evolutionary scientists do not face the fact that man grows old and dies because of inheriting this condition from our first parents who rebelled against God. (Rom. 5:12) Only in God’s new order will the aging and death processes be reversed.—Rev. 21:4.
Churches Not Making Disciples
● Being a disciple of Jesus means to imitate him in teaching and conduct. The evangelical publication “Christianity Today” acknowledges that members of Christendom’s churches have failed on both counts. (Matt. 28:19, 20) The magazine states: “The churches of the Western world have not made discipleship a condition of being a Christian. One is not required to be . . . a disciple in order to become a Christian, and one may remain a Christian without any signs of progress toward or in discipleship. Contemporary American churches in particular do not require following Christ in his example, spirit, and teachings as a condition of membership.”
The magazine also noted the need to imitate Jesus “as he walked from place to place announcing, showing, and explaining the governance of God. Disciples had to be with him to learn how to do what he did.” Today, the average churchgoer does not imitate Jesus in talking to others about God’s purposes.
On the other hand, anyone who is baptized as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses clearly understands that he must imitate Jesus not only in doctrine and conduct but also by sharing in ‘preaching the good news of the kingdom in all the inhabited earth for a witness before the end comes.’—Matt. 24:14; 1 Pet. 2:21.