Insight on the News
Will All Be Fed?
Can the earth produce sufficient food to feed its present population? Yes, and it can feed many more millions, answers a feature article by Jack Cahill in the Toronto Star. He writes: “According to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) there is already enough grain grown globally to feed everyone on earth with 3,000 calories per day, which is more than the average consumption in North America and about 50 per cent above the minimum acceptable level.” As for the future, Cahill explains that there can even be enough food to satisfy the needs of double the present world population.
This may sound strange to those who are aware of the planet’s starving millions. Yet the article points out that “the problem is hunger, not scarcity, and the reasons are poverty, politics, economics and inequitable distribution.” Agencies realize that merely giving away food is not the lasting answer. Aid is needed “so that the people can learn to help feed themselves.”
What agency can supersede politics, oversee food distribution and educate the masses? Only God’s Kingdom. Among the benefits that rule by God will bring are those stated at Psalm 146:7, when it describes man’s Creator as “the One executing judgment for the defrauded ones, the One giving bread to the hungry ones.”
Value of Discipline
Some people have felt that disfellowshipping, or the excommunication of wrongdoers, as practiced by Jehovah’s Witnesses, is too drastic a measure. After printing an article on the subject, the Times of St. Petersburg, Florida, published a reader’s response addressed to those who “think the actions of the witnesses might be a little harsh.” The reader admits: “I was disfellowshiped this year [April 1981]. . . . I engaged in activities I knew the Bible condemned, including breaking the law. I lied about some of these things and did not display a repentant spirit.”
The reader pointed out with regard to Jehovah’s Witnesses: “People are disfellowshiped because of not meeting God’s high standards clearly stated in his ‘Word.’ The defect is their own.” This he admits was true in his own case. “If other organizations were as ‘tight’ as they are there would be a lot less selfish lawbreakers, and therefore a lot less pain and problems in this world.”
Yet few religious organizations have the courage to act toward unrepentant wrongdoers as Scripturally commanded: “Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.” (1 Corinthians 5:13) This action clears God’s name of reproach, protects the good association of congregational members and hopefully will cause the wrongdoer to amend his ways. And far from “Christ’s love” sentimentally indulging such a person, as some contend, Jesus himself directed that an unrepentant person should be ‘excommunicated.’—Matthew 18:15-17, The Living Bible.
On the other hand, the benefit of such a firm measure was illustrated in the case above. This person repented and has been reinstated as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
The recent deaths of professional boxers as a result of legalized beatings in the ring raise serious questions about this sport in many minds (1982 saw five ring deaths in the United States). In an editorial entitled “Brain Beating Is No Sport,” The New York Times states: “Some people watch boxing to see skill, others just for the blood. Far worse than the blood is the unseen damage. Retinas are dislodged, kidneys bruised and, after repeated pounding, the cerebral cortex accumulates damage to the higher functions of the brain, leading to loss of memory, shambling walk: the traits of the punch-drunk boxer. Can a civilized society plausibly justify the pleasure it may gain from such a sport?”
More importantly, can a “sport in which the explicit goal is to injure the opponent,” as the editorial states, be compatible with Christian principles? The Bible admonishes: “You must love your neighbor as yourself. Love is the one thing that cannot hurt your neighbour.”—Romans 13:9, 10, The Jerusalem Bible.