Insight on the News
“Wars offer the greatest variety, in practically every shape, size and color,” columnist Flora Lewis writes in The New York Times. Citing country after country embroiled in some form of armed struggle, the columnist notes: “The list reads like the index of an atlas.” The reason? “The fact is that nobody is running the world anymore and keeping a semblance of order,” she says. Has the United Nations curbed the war habit? “With its emphasis on sovereignty, pride of nation, expression of grievance, the U.N. has become a logrolling conclave to keep small disputes aflame while the big power conflict festers.” After a myriad of conferences with the supposed intent of preventing war, “enough people still want to fight to keep the war habit going,” remarks Lewis.
For the generation since 1914, war has indeed become a habit. Why? The Bible book of Revelation foresaw a symbolic horseman, brandishing a great sword, thundering forth on his fiery-colored steed with the commission “to take peace away from the earth.” (Revelation 6:4) That prophecy has come true in this century, for not only has the earth witnessed the horrors of two world wars but it has also seen an almost constant stream of bloodspilling conflicts.
Sincere lovers of peace, though, look forward to the breaking of the enslaving “war habit” by Revelation’s crowned symbolic rider on the white horse. He is Christ Jesus, the “Prince of Peace.” Since 1914 he has been galloping forth “conquering.” First, he subdued the heavenly opposers of divine rule, and next he will “complete his conquest” over all earthly resisters. Then earth will experience the habit of peace.—Isaiah 9:6; Revelation 6:2; 12:7-12.
“Men Have Forgotten God”
Exiled Soviet novelist and Nobel prize winner Alexander Solzhenitsyn pinpointed the reason for the worldwide decline of spirituality in his acceptance speech for this year’s Templeton Award at Buckingham Palace. He said: “If I were called upon to identify briefly the principal trait of the entire 20th century, here too, I would be unable to find anything more precise and pithy than to repeat once again: ‘Men have forgotten God.’ The failings of human consciousness, deprived of its divine dimension, have been a determining factor in all the major crimes of this century. The first of these was World War I, and much of our present predicament can be traced back to it.”
Mr. Solzhenitsyn, noting this “same kind of defect” woven into society from World War II to the present, next stated: “Today’s world has reached a stage which, if it had been described to preceding centuries, would have called forth the cry: ‘This is the Apocalypse!’”
Since World War I mankind has been in the Biblical “last days”—a time period characterized by mankind’s having “a form of godly devotion but proving false to its power.” (2 Timothy 3:1, 5) With what result? To ancient Jerusalem at one period in its history, God said: “You have forgotten me and you keep putting your trust in falsehood.” Like that spiritually drained city of old, Christendom, along with this ungodly world, is facing certain ruin.—Jeremiah 13:25.
Are You a “Friend”?
“The greatest myth about friendship is that it will come to people without their doing something in exchange for it,” says Eugene Kennedy, professor of psychology at Loyola University of Chicago and author of many books on human behavior. U.S.News & World Report also quotes him as saying: “People have difficulty in knowing how to go about making friends because our society has told them that self-gratification will make them successful and happy.”
“There is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving,” said Jesus. (Acts 20:35) Unselfish giving of your resources, time and interest, especially in Christian activities, will help you to become a friend and to have ‘friends that will stick closer than a brother.’—Proverbs 18:24.