Insight on the News
Warning on Dating
“Courtship is timeless, but dating as a social fashion is strictly a 20th-century phenomenon,” says an article in London’s Sunday Telegraph entitled “Dating Is Damaging.” More precisely, the article points out that “during and after the First World War, it was taken up by students at the Ivy League universities of America. . . . Popularised by the movies, it spread very rapidly.” Since “the essential marital motive is often completely lacking,” modern dating has become “a form of misguided recreation,” says the article. What are the “damaging” results? “These can be anxiety, depression, sickness, mental illness, disease, illegitimate births, abortion, even attempted suicide. And not to be overlooked is that vast annual crop of premature marriages fore-doomed to end in the bitterness of divorce.” According to the article, early dating also tends to narrow a person’s interests and retard personal development.
So, rather than getting caught up with this “social fashion” and “misguided recreation,” Christian youths do well to take advantage of the freedom and energy that they enjoy to develop and broaden their interests, skills, learning and Christian association. By so doing they are “safely treasuring up for themselves a fine foundation for the future, in order that they may get a firm hold on the real life.”—1 Timothy 6:19.
Catechism Stunts Minds
Teaching the Roman Catholic catechism to primary-school students “hinders intelligence from coming into play and its development is slowed,” asserted Serge Larivee of the University of Montreal in a recent interview. According to the Toronto Star, Larivee, editor of La Revue Canadienne de Psycho-Pedagogie, based his conclusions on about 100 recently published research papers. Regarding the claim that such instruction will “make the children enter into a living, personal relationship with each divine personage (of the trinity doctrine),” Larivee asked: “Have you ever tried, in a non-abstract way, to enter into a living and personal relationship with three invisible persons that make up one?”
The confusion and hindrance of mind resulting from parroting Church doctrine and dogmas are in sharp contrast to the benefits that come from learning based on God’s Word, the Bible. “The reminder of Jehovah is trustworthy, making the inexperienced one wise,” says the psalmist. And, with the acquiring of the “knowledge of God, . . . thinking ability itself will keep guard over you, discernment itself will safeguard you.” (Psalm 19:7; Proverbs 2:5-11) But, when the religious leaders themselves turn their backs on the Bible and teach human tradition and philosophy instead, what can they expect to impart to others, young or old? “Look! They have rejected the very word of Jehovah, and what wisdom do they have?”—Jeremiah 8:9.
Written in the Genes?
Reviewing the book Genetic Prophecy, Malcolm Browne wrote in the November 1981 issue of Discover magazine: “For the first time it begins to seem possible to look at the chemistry of even an unborn child and make some shrewd guesses about its future—its probable state of health and susceptibility to diseases, its athletic potential, its tastes, interests, and ability to get along with other people, its life expectancy, and, yes, its intelligence.”
From this, some may conclude that a person’s life course is predetermined by his genetic makeup. However, even the writer of the book feels that “the genes propose, the environments dispose.” Moreover, the Bible shows that man, created “in God’s image,” is endowed with a generous measure of free will and choice. (Genesis 1:27) Heredity may incline a person in a certain direction, but his upbringing and, above all, his exercise of free will and choice ultimately determine the outcome. Thus, through Moses, Jehovah God plainly stated: “I have put life and death before you, the blessing and the malediction; and you must choose life in order that you may keep alive, you and your offspring.”—Deuteronomy 30:19.