June 21, 2019
A Legacy Left; Prevailing Over Pride
On June 22, 2019, Dave Harris will present the sermonette, titled, “A Legacy Left,” and Eric Rank will present the sermon, titled, “Prevailing Over Pride.”
The live services are available, over video and audio, at http://eternalgod.org/live-services/ (12:30 pm Pacific Time; 1:30 pm Mountain Time; 2:30 pm Central Time; 3:30 pm Eastern Time; 8:30 pm Greenwich Mean Time; 9:30 pm Central European Time). Just click on Connect to Live Stream.
Help My Unbelief!
by Dave Harris
Sometimes, faith may not be the issue!
When Paul pleaded for help three times for a very serious problem, God chose not to grant his request (2 Corinthians 12:7-10). However, this wasn’t due to Paul’s lack of faith. God had a greater purpose in mind for Paul.
When Jesus Christ prayed the same prayer three times to the Father, God chose not to grant His request (Matthew 26:36-44). However, this wasn’t due to Jesus’ lack of faith. God had a greater purpose in mind for Jesus.
Haven’t we all prayed only to find that God chose something different for us? In those times are we able, like Paul and Jesus, to accept God’s will over our own fervent desires?
Sometimes, though, faith is the issue!
A father brought his demon-possessed son for healing. The disciples of Jesus could not cast out the demon. Then the father spoke directly to Jesus pleading for help. Note what was said:
“Jesus said to him, ‘If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.’ Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, ‘Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!’” (Mark 9:23-24).
Haven’t we all found ourselves feeling the same way as this father, and, as believers of God, haven’t we also experienced His help in great difficulties—just as Jesus did heal the father’s child? Faith is a gift of God’s Holy Spirit, and as we can ask to grow in power of the Holy Spirit, so we can ask for true, godly faith—for God’s additional help when we need it.
Knowing this, let’s accept God’s answer to our prayers—always believing that He has a greater purpose in mind for us!
by Norbert Link
We begin with interesting developments in and pertaining to Israel, Iran and Egypt, showing the growing influence of President Trump in Israel and discussing the Iranian threat which could lead to another full-fledged war in the Middle East.
We speak on President Trump’s popularity in the USA, despite present major concerns regarding his immigration policy, and evaluate the question whether Mr. Trump could legally stay in office for longer than 8 years. We also address the almost fanatical attacks from doctors and the drug industry on anti-vaccine advocates.
Focusing on Austria, we report on events and developments pertaining to former chancellor Sebastian Kurz [in this context, please view our recent StandingWatch program, “Is Austria’s Sebastian Kurz gay… and would it matter?”; former vice-chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache; current interim chancellor Brigitte Bierlein; and the current role and activities of the Habsburg family.
We conclude with more of Britain’s crazy advertisement rules.
Throughout this section, we have underlined pertinent statements in the quoted articles, for the convenience and quick overview of the reader.
This Week in the News
“Israel’s Netanyahu Names New Golan Settlement ‘Trump Heights'”
Deutsche Welle wrote on June 16:
“Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday unveiled a gold-trimmed sign naming a proposed new community on the disputed Golan Heights after US President Donald Trump. The label is a gesture of appreciation for Washington’s recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the territory which the Jewish-majority state seized from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day war and later annexed without international recognition. The new settlement will be called ‘Ramat Trump,’ Hebrew for ‘Trump Heights.’…
“Addressing the ceremony, Netanyahu called Trump a ‘great friend’ of Israel and described the Golan, which overlooks northern Israel, as an important strategic asset. ‘The Golan Heights was and will always be an inseparable part of our country and homeland,’ he said… Developing Ramat Trump will not be easy. Ringed by high yellow grass and landmines, it is roughly 20 kilometers (12 miles) from the Syrian border and a half hour drive from the nearest Israeli town, Kiryat Shmona, a community of about 20,000 people near the Lebanese border.”
JTA wrote on June 16:
“The name is listed in a bill to establish the community that has been submitted for approval. Since the current government is interim after the dissolution last month of the Knesset and call for new elections, it cannot officially approve the project, which will have to wait for the next government.
“The U.S. ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, said that the last time Israel named a community for a sitting president was Kfar Truman in central Israel in 1949. He also pointed out that Trump’s birthday had been on Friday and called the new community an ‘absolutely beautiful’ birthday present.”
Donald Trump will continue to play an important biblical role in relation to Israel.
Iran Threatens to Break Uranium Stockpile Limit
JTA wrote on June 17:
“Iran said Monday that it will break the uranium stockpile limit set by the 2015 nuclear deal in the next 10 days… Since the Trump administration pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal one year ago, Iran has pushed the limits of breaching the agreement with world powers. China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, Germany and the European Union remain committed to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
“In May, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani set a 60-day deadline for the powers to set new terms for the nuclear deal, including easing restrictions on Iran’s banking and oil sectors. Iran threatened that if the world powers failed to meet the deadline, it would remove caps on uranium enrichment levels and resume work at Arak…
“Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday called on the international community to reimpose sanctions on Iran… ‘Israel will not allow Iran to achieve nuclear weapons.’”
The Iran debacle will increase the hostility between the USA and Europe. It may also lead to war in the Middle East. Note the next articles.
Europe Is Trying to Circumvent USA Sanctions against Iran
The EUbulletin wrote on June 13:
“Instex, [the] payment system designed by the EU to circumvent US sanctions on trade with Iran, will be ready soon, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas announced earlier this week. Maas was having talks with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif about saving the nuclear pact with world powers signed in 2015… Instex could protect at least some of Iran’s economy from the sweeping US sanctions in exchange for Iran’s commitments under the deal to cut back on its nuclear program.
“While the US has withdrawn from the deal, France, Britain, and Germany designed Instex as a special-purpose instrument to defuse the rising US-Iranian conflict. Maas also warned the tensions may have an impact on the entire Middle Eastern region which makes keeping the nuclear pact alive an important task for the EU…”
However, Instex has not been implemented so far.
More US Troops for the Middle East
Breitbart wrote on June 17:
“[The USA will send] 1,000 additional troops for defensive purposes to address air, naval, and ground-based threats in the Middle East. Just over two weeks ago, the Pentagon authorized sending 1,500 troops to the Middle East… This was on top of sending the USS Abraham Lincoln and a bomber squadron to the region.
“Those deployments came after [warnings] there were threats against U.S. troops in the region, the sabotage of four vessels, an armed drone attack on Saudi pumping stations, and a rocket attack in Iraq near the U.S. embassy… two oil tankers — one belonging to Norway and the other to Japan — were attacked in the Gulf of Oman, allegedly by limpet mines deployed by Iran. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo… attributed the attacks to Iran…
“Iran denied carrying out the attacks, but British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt also said the attacks were ‘almost certainly’ carried out by Tehran…”
Deutsche Welle added on June 18:
“German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tuesday there is ‘strong evidence’ Iran was behind the twin tanker attacks… Merkel called for a peaceful solution to tensions in the Persian Gulf… ‘It is a very serious situation,’ she said, adding that Germany would tell all sides and especially Iran, ‘that the situation should not escalate.’…
“Merkel warned Iran of consequence[s] if it violated any part of the nuclear accord…”
Iran Shoots Down US Drone… Tensions Run High
The Associated Press wrote on June 20:
“President Donald Trump declared Thursday that ‘Iran made a very big mistake’ by shooting down a U.S. surveillance drone over the Strait of Hormuz but suggested it was a foolish error rather than an intentional escalation of the tensions that have led to rising fears of open military conflict. Asked about a U.S. response, the president said pointedly, ‘You’ll soon find out.’
“The downing of the huge, unmanned aircraft, which Iran portrayed as a deliberate defense of its territory rather than a mistake, was a stark reminder of the risk of military conflict between U.S. and Iranian forces…
“Iran… insisted the drone had invaded its airspace… [Trump] said the American drone was unarmed and unmanned and ‘clearly over international waters.’… U.S. Gen. Guastella [told] reporters that the aircraft was 34 kilometers (21 miles) from the nearest Iranian territory and flying at high altitude when struck by a surface-to-air missile…
“The Senate’s top Democrat [Nancy Pelosi] called the downing of the American drone ‘deeply concerning’… Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina called Iran a ‘murderous regime’ and said, ‘If they’re itching for a fight they’re going to get one.’”
Egypt’s Former President Mohammed Morsi Dies in Court
Deutsche Welle wrote on June 17:
“Mohammed Morsi, Egypt’s former president, died Monday after collapsing during a session in court, state television reported. The 67-year-old was the country’s first democratically elected president and a member of Egypt’s most powerful Islamist group, the now banned Muslim Brotherhood.
“Morsi was on trial for espionage and had just addressed the court when he blacked out, reports said. He was taken to a Cairo hospital but could not be revived… The Islamist was democratically elected in 2012, one year after the popular uprising that ended the rule of longtime leader Hosni Mubarak… Morsi, often described as a divisive figure, spent just one year in office. He was toppled by the army in July 2013 following mass protests against his government… His then-defense minister and army chief, current President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, took power and was subsequently elected president. Morsi and thousands of other members of the Brotherhood were jailed in the crackdown that followed…
“[Morsi] was also serving a 20-year sentence related to the killing of protesters during 2012 demonstrations, as well as a life sentence for espionage for Qatar. He had denied all charges…
“Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was a Morsi ally, paid tribute to the former leader: ‘May Allah rest our Morsi brother, our martyr’s soul in peace,’ he said… Qatar’s ruler, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, a key backer of the Muslim Brotherhood, expressed his ‘deep sorrow’ on Twitter… Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director with the Human Rights Watch, tweeted that Morsi’s death was ‘terrible but entirely predictable’ given the government’s ‘failure to allow him adequate medical care, much less family visits.’”
It is very risky to be in high political positions in dictatorial countries like Egypt.
Hong Kong’s Contentious Extradition Bill
Deutsche Welle wrote on June 16:
“Chief Executive [Beijing-appointed] Carrie Lam has apologized for her handling of the contentious extradition bill after protesters called for her resignation. The city’s leader has put the plans on hold, but won’t withdraw them completely…
“The bill proposed a legal mechanism to allow Hong Kong residents and Chinese or foreign nationals traveling through the city to be extradited to mainland China… critics believe it would tighten Beijing’s grip on the autonomous city, which is governed under a ‘one country, two systems’ policy cemented during the British handover of Hong Kong in 1997…protesters are concerned that an extradition agreement would allow Hong Kongers to be handed over to courts controlled by the Communist Party in mainland China, where a fair trial is not guaranteed…”
Britain lost Hong Kong to China, and here we see the results. Even though the pressure is mounting, Lam has refused so far to resign.
Fox Poll: Voters Say Trump Has Gone Too Far on Immigration
Newsmax reported on June 16:
“Half of American voters say the Trump administration has gone too far on immigration enforcement… a Fox News poll shows. The 50% who say enforcement of immigration laws has ‘gone too far’ is more than double, 24%, those who say actions haven’t gone far enough. About one in five say the measures are about right.
“By a wide majority — 73% to 24% — Americans favor giving legal status to young people brought to the U.S. illegally as children, so-called Dreamers. Allocating more agents to the border was a more popular choice than imposing tariffs on Mexican imports or building a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border. On tariffs, nearly eight in 10 of those polled had concerns that things they buy will be more expensive. More voters say tariffs hurt rather than help the U.S. economy, with 45% saying they hurt and 33% saying they help…”
In time, either Trump will see the handwriting on the wall and change some of his rather extreme positions, or the majority of Americans will accept them, no matter what.
Millions to Be Deported?
The Washington Post wrote on June 17:
“President Donald Trump said in a tweet Monday night that U.S. immigration agents are planning to make mass arrests… ‘Next week ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States,’ Trump wrote, referring to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement…
“The family arrest plan has been considered even more sensitive than a typical operation because children are involved and Homeland Security officials retain significant concerns that families will be inadvertently separated by the operation, especially because parents in some households have deportation orders but their children – some of whom are U.S. citizens – might not. Should adults be arrested without their children because they are at school, day care, summer camp or a friend’s house, it is possible parents could be deported while their children are left behind…”
The operation will allegedly be targeting Central American families and unaccompanied minors who had turned 18, according to Politico, June 18, 2019.
Trump Staying Longer than 8 Years?
The Independent wrote on June 16:
“Donald Trump has suggested the American people would ask him to stay in the White House beyond two terms… he said he could see himself staying in office beyond 2024. ‘The good news is that at the end of 6 years, after America has been made GREAT again and I leave the beautiful White House (do you think the people would demand that I stay longer? KEEP AMERICA GREAT),’ he wrote…
“Mr Trump… has also previously endorsed suggestions that he should stay in the White House after eight years as president…”
This begs the question: Could President Trump stay in office for longer than eight years?
hiphopdx wrote on February 7, 2017:
“The Twenty-Second Amendment of the Constitution allows for an America president to serve two terms in office, which would come to eight years. The last — and only — president to serve more than that was Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who was elected to the Oval Office four times. This was before the amendment was introduced in 1947… In order to change the Constitution, there must be approval from two-thirds of both the House of Representatives and the Senate…
“However, the Constitution can also be amended by a constitutional congress called by two-thirds of state legislatures. On this front, the Republicans are just one legislature short, currently [in 2017] holding 32 of 50…”
In addition, Bustle explained on April 12, 2018:
“… a two-term president who later became vice president could theoretically become president again if the president they served under resigned.”
This means, the term of office for both the vice president and the president is four years. Neither the Constitution’s eligibility provisions nor the Twenty-second Amendment’s presidential term limit explicitly disqualifies a twice-elected president from serving as vice president. As vice president, he could become president again if the president resigns.
To us, it is a foregone conclusion that Mr. Trump will be re-elected in 2020. And as we strongly believe that he is the last President of the USA, the potential scenarios, as described above, are quite interesting.
India Imposes Tariffs on US Goods
Axios wrote on June 15:
“India announced it’s imposing higher tariffs on 28 U.S. products from Sunday, after Washington withdrew the South Asian country’s preferential trade status… It’s the latest escalation in President Trump’s trade war, designed to cut U.S. deficits. The tariffs on products including almonds and apples are as high as 70% on some items and are in response to Washington’s refusal to exempt Delhi from higher taxes on steel and aluminium imports…
“India was until the U.S. cut privileges on June 5 the biggest beneficiary of the Generalized System of Preferences scheme, which allowed duty-free exports of up to $5.6 billion…”
The American trade war with China and Europe—and now with India, as well as Mexico—will ultimately see the USA as the loser in this fight.
The Government’s and Doctors’ Fight Against Anti-Vaccines Continues…
arstechnica wrote on June 14:
“Anti-vaccine advocates received a blow in New York Thursday as state lawmakers banned non-medical exemptions based on religious beliefs—and there may be more blows coming.”
“Also on Thursday, the American Medical Association adopted a new policy to step up its fight against such non-medical exemptions. The AMA, the country’s largest physicians’ group and one of the largest spenders on lobbying, has always strongly support[ed] pediatric vaccination and opposed non-medical exemptions. But under the new policy changes, the association will now ‘actively advocate’ for states to eliminate any laws that allow for non-medical exemptions…
“In 2015, California eliminated non-medical vaccine exemptions following a large measles outbreak linked to Disneyland visitors. But in the years following, the state saw the number of children with medical exemptions triple… Lawmakers in California are now considering a new bill that would crack down on… bogus exemptions by granting state health officials oversight of any medical exemptions that doctors provide. Prominent anti-vaccine advocates, including Robert F. Kennedy Jr, have opposed the legislation. This week, actress Jessica Biel joined the fray, coming out on the side of anti-vaxxers. In an Instagram post, she… suggested that the additional oversight would make it harder for children who genuinely need medical exemptions to get them.”
It is also recommended by doctors that all US travelers flying abroad to any country should be vaccinated. For a “recommendation” to a “mandate” is sometimes only a small step. When will this nonsense ever cease? Note the next article from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding measles.
AAP News wrote on June 17:
“Federal health officials are warning U.S. travelers to protect themselves from measles outbreaks in Europe…
“Measles is highly contagious, and the record number of measles cases in the WHO (World Health Organization) European region not only puts unvaccinated and inadequately vaccinated travelers at risk, but also increases the risk for nontraveling US residents who come into close contact with returned travelers who are ill,’ researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) wrote in a new article ‘Spread of Measles in Europe and Implications for US Travelers.’…
“Some of the WHO European region’s 53 countries are among the most popular destinations for U.S. travelers but may be incorrectly perceived as safe from infectious diseases, authors said… Since May 2018, the European countries with the most measles cases have been Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Israel, Kyrgyzstan, Russian Federation, Italy, France, Romania and North Macedonia…
“International travelers should carry a copy of their immunization records…”
Interim Austrian Chancellor Brigitte Bierlein’s Partner under Attack
Brigitte Bierlein, the president of Austria’s constitutional court, became Austria’s first female [transitional] chancellor until new elections in September.
JC wrote on June 3:
“The life partner of Austria’s new chancellor Brigitte Bierlein was the judge who, in 2006, freed Holocaust revisionist David Irving from prison. In 1989, Irving made two speeches in Austria in which he denied the existence of gas chambers at Auschwitz. In November 2005, having entered Austria to attend a meeting of far-right students, Irving was arrested under the law that forbids ‘re-engagement in National Socialist activities’ including Holocaust denial.
“He was sentenced to three years imprisonment in February 2006. Released on appeal in December of that year, Irving returned to Britain to serve out his sentence on probation. Ernest Maurer, the presiding judge in the appeal case and the new chancellor’s partner, said at the time that Irving committed the offences an ‘extremely long time’ ago and that the defendant had undergone an ‘unprecedented change’ in his views on the Holocaust…
“Once back in Britain, Irving told the BBC he did not feel the need to show remorse for what he had said about Auschwitz and the Holocaust. The decision to release him was condemned by Vienna’s main Jewish community group, the IKG, which called for his verdict to be examined and dismissed him as someone ‘close’ to Austria’s far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ). Mr Maurer has a reputation as a very conservative jurist and someone who, as the political columnist Hans Rauscher told the New York Times, was ‘known for very lenient opinions toward right-wing extremism.’…
“The Wiener Zeitung has called Mr Maurer an ‘intimate friend’ of [late former Chancellor Joerg] Haider…”
Austria’s Strache Won’t Take Up EU Parliament Seat
The EUObserver reported on June 17, 2019
“Austrian far-right ex-leader Heinz-Christian Strache, who quit as vice-chancellor over a video showing him offering to fix state contracts to someone who posed as a Russian oligarch, said Monday he would not take up a European Parliament seat.
“He stepped down as the Freedom Party’s leader last month after German media published the secretly filmed 2017 footage. Strache got enough preferential votes to get a seat in the parliament.”
He might have other plans pertaining to Austria itself.
“Ten Thousand People Are Praying for Sebastian Kurz”
Der Standard wrote on June 16:
“During his non-election campaign tour of Austria, former Chancellor Sebastian Kurz found time during the ‘Awakening Austria’ event to pray together in the sold out… Wiener Stadthalle. [Australian missionary] Ben Fitzgerald, the ‘passionate lover of Jesus and leader of Awakening Europe and GODfest Ministries’, as it says on the organizational club’s website, held a ‘blessing prayer’ for Sebastian Kurz.”
Fitzgerald prayed for Kurz, “Father, we thank you so much for this man. For the wisdom you gave him. For the heart.”
The paper also mentioned that Kurz describes himself as belonging to the “Church portion“ of his party, the ÖVP, and that he went at times to the monastery Göttweig for meditation practices.
Kurz, after having received his blessing, thanked Cardinal Schönborn and Ben Fitzgerald for their prayers for Austria. It was explained that the Catholic Church and Cardinal Schönborn also participated in this charismatic event which was conducted by “Awakening Europe.” The paper also explained that Ben Fitzgerald claims of having had spiritual visions and of having received the command from God to reclaim or bring back Europe. It was pointed out that Fitzgerald spoke in Nürnberg on the very field where Hitler had given one of his speeches in front of 150,000 people.
Austria’s Hapsburg Family and a United Catholic Europe
Catholic Herald wrote on May 30:
“A little over a hundred years ago, Emperor Karl of Austria, his wife Zita and their small children were forced to leave their last refuge in Austria for Swiss exile. Two abortive attempts to regain the Austrian throne led to their exile and his death in Madeira.
“Over the following decades the imperial exiles made the best of things, with the heir, Archduke Otto, trying first to catalyse resistance to Hitler on Austria’s part, and then with more success to ensure that the victorious Allies would treat Austria as a victim rather than a perpetrator… 800 years of Habsburg rule left a strong imprint on Austria – not just in the still very Catholic and conservative countryside.
“… when elected a Member of the European Parliament, Archduke Otto [as] Chief organiser of the so-called ‘Pan-European Picnic’ of 1989 – which helped bring down the Wall –… was foremost in calling for the rapid integration into the European Union of Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Croatia and the once partly Habsburg Poland.
“But in the aftermath of their liberation and incorporation into the EU, a strange phenomenon emerged: they found they had more in common with each other (and in recent years with Sebastian Kurz’s Austria) than with the Western nations. Not only did they share scepticism toward Western Europe’s embrace of abortion and sexual licence, their national cultures – despite the nationalisms that tore them apart – have much in common.
“Sociological studies have found that in Poland, Ukraine, Romania and Serbia – those areas that were once part of Austria-Hungary – have a much higher rate of trust in police and courts and less corruption than those that were not. The test-runners have dubbed this ‘the Habsburg effect’…
“The growth of the common cultus of Emperor Karl since his beatification in 2004 has also played its part. There are – not too surprisingly – 26 shrines to him in Austria. But there are eight in the Czech Republic, 16 in Hungary, three in Slovakia and two in Croatia…
“And what of the House of Habsburg itself in all of this? Otto’s elder son, Karl, ably assisted by younger, Hungary-based brother Georg, is certainly keeping the flag flying through the Paneuropa Union, the Knightly Order of St George, and a host of cultural, political and religious activities throughout the former empire chronicled on his informative eponymous website. Their sisters are also plugging away at similar tasks. Cousin Michael, of the Hungarian branch of the family, is head of the group working for the beatification of Cardinal Mindszenty, while his son, Eduard, is Hungary’s envoy to the Holy See. It is now a large clan, scattered across the globe, but by and large an extremely hard-working one.
“The website of the Austrian branch of Paneuropa declares: ‘The soul of this continent is Christianity. Whoever takes it out of political action, makes Europe a soulless body.’… In any case, considering how many tourists flock to see the mere relics of Habsburg rule in Central Europe’s capitals today, one can only guess at the flood that would pour in to see the revived rituals of an imperial and royal court in such varied settings…”
We should keep a watchful eye on the Habsburg dynasty.
Britain’s New Advertisement Rules
Daily Mail wrote on June 14:
“Adverts which show men struggling with household chores are now banned under new gender stereotype rules. Scenarios likely to be problematic under the new rule include a man with his feet up while a woman cleans up her family’s mess or a woman unable to park a car.
“Advertisements must not include gender stereotypes which are likely to cause harm or serious or widespread offence from today. Advertisers will also have to tread carefully when, for example, contrasting a daring boy with a caring girl, or if they belittle a man for carrying out stereotypically ‘female’ roles or tasks, the Committee of Advertising Practice warned.”
The craziness of this world is mind-boggling.
Acknowledgement and Disclaimer
These Current Events are compiled and commented on by Norbert Link. We gratefully acknowledge the many contributions of news articles from our readership. The publication of articles in this section is not to be viewed as an endorsement or approval as to contents or accuracy of the selected articles, but they are published for the purpose of pointing at worldwide developments in the light of biblical end-time prophecy and godly instruction. Our own comments are provided in italics.
The Abortion Question Today (Part 1)
The question of abortion has been debated long and hard over many years with many different and varied outcomes. We will cover this subject from a biblical standpoint but to start with we will look at the current situation around the world.
Some have put forward the idea of no abortion at all, under any circumstances, while others have suggested that it be allowed up to a certain time.
On the BBC website under “ethics,” the following information is available:
“At various times some of the following have been allowed in some societies:
- abortion for the sake of the mother’s health including her mental health and where a pregnancy is the result of a crime such as rape, incest, or child abuse
- abortion where the child of the pregnancy would have an ‘unacceptable’ quality of life such as cases where the child would have serious physical handicaps, serious genetic problems or serious mental defects
- abortion for social reasons, including poverty, the mother unable to cope with a child (or another child), the mother being too young to cope with a child
- abortion as a matter of government policy, as a way of regulating population size, as a way of regulating groups within a population and as a way of improving the population.
“Most opponents of abortion agree that abortion for the sake of the mother’s health can be morally acceptable if there is a real risk of serious damage to the mother.”
On the Debatepedia website under “Debate: Abortion – ‘Should abortions of any kind be permitted?’” the following brief excerpts are shown under “background and context”:
“The issue of abortion is one of the most contentious, and emotive dilemmas faced by modern societies. The question is whether one should allow the termination of a pregnancy. For some, the question is even more fundamental: at what stage is the embryo or fetus in the uterus to be regarded as a child? At fertilization? At birth? Or, maybe somewhere between. The battle-lines are drawn between strict, religious (‘pro-life’) arguments (that it is never permissible), and those (‘pro-choice’) that emphasise the woman’s right to choose as the primary concern. While abortion has been legal in America since the landmark Roe vs. Wade case in the early 1970s, this is by no means a reflection of universal agreement – either international or within America itself – as many Western countries still have considerable restrictions on abortion. For example, the Irish position has softened only recently, and the Catholic Church steadfastly refuses to change its resolutely pro-life stance in the face of criticism from Women’s and other lobby-groups.
“The abortion debate revolves around a number of questions. Does a woman have a right to her body that the fetus cannot take away? Does this right mean that a woman has a right to ‘unplug’ from the fetus? Or, does the fetus have a right to life that is binding on the woman and her body and that outweighs any rights held by the woman, requiring her to give birth? Is a fetus only a fetus or is it a person that deserves rights and protections? Does ‘human life’ begin at conception or at birth? (our emphasis). Is destroying a fetus akin to ‘killing a human’ or murder?
“What about the biological father? What rights does he have over a fetus? If the woman seeks an abortion, can he prevent it? And, what if she wants to give birth to a child, while he does not want it to happen? What say does he have? Is this, therefore, simply a question of the woman’s rights, or the man’s rights as well? Is a woman responsible for actions and behavior that may lead to an unwanted pregnancy, making her responsible for the fetus even if it is ‘unwanted’? Are there circumstances in which a woman cannot be said to be responsible for her own impregnation, such as failed contraception or rape? Can this justify an abortion?
“Is abortion an issue that is subjectively moral/immoral, so should be reserved to individual judgement (not law)? Must opponents simply tolerate the practice? Or, is the scale of abortions world-wide too large to ignore, and does this scale give cause to a ban?”
We can see from all of this information that, because God is never mentioned, the musings of man’s mind become the predominant questions to be answered, and there are plenty of questions asked as we have just seen.
The landmark Roe vs. Wade case in the early 1970’s is mentioned above. In Lifenews.com on January 22, 2013, we read the following:
“As Roe v. Wade and its allowance for unlimited abortions throughout pregnancy turns 40 today, the woman behind the infamous Supreme Court case has pledged her life to overturning it.
“Norma McCorvey never wanted an abortion — she was seeking a divorce from her husband — but young, pro-abortion feminist attorney Sarah Weddington used McCorvey’s case as a means of attempting to overturn Texas’ law making most abortions illegal. Weddington took the case all the way to the Supreme Court, which invalidated every pro-life state law in the nation protecting unborn children and the rest is history.
“But most Americans don’t know that McCorvey, who was ‘pro-choice’ on abortion at the time, is now a pro-life advocate. She is now dedicated to reversing the Supreme Court case that bears her fictitious name, Jane Roe.”
It is interesting and encouraging to read that this woman who was involved in this case now feels very differently. She said: “I think it’s safe to say that the entire abortion industry is based on a lie…. I am dedicated to spending the rest of my life undoing the law that bears my name.” She concluded the following in a 60-second advertisement: “You read about me in history books, but now I am dedicated to spreading the truth about preserving the dignity of all human life from natural conception to natural death.”
Statistics of abortions are nothing short of alarming, and we read on US Abortions Clock.org, the following figures as at the end of May 2019:
- Abortions in the USA since 1973 (the time of Roe v Wade) are now over 61 million.
- Worldwide abortions for 2019 were 16 million.
- Worldwide abortions since 1980 are over 1.5 billion.
In another report in 2013, Dr. Brian Clowes, director of education and research at Human Life International, investigated the number of worldwide abortions since 1973. The results were staggering! He estimated that there have been more than 1.72 billion abortions over the last 40 years, a trend that is not lessening but growing exponentially.
Whether the figures are 1.5 billion or 1.72 billion, they still represent an enormous number of lives that have been killed before birth.
Interestingly, over 200,000 abortions are performed each year in Britain. On the Christian Institute website, we can read this information: “Unknown thousands of human embryos are frozen, stored and destroyed by assisted reproductive technologies. In addition, human embryos are either specifically created, or obtained as excess ‘spares’ from IVF procedures, for use in destructive experimentation. Embryonic stem cell technology also means that human embryos are routinely destroyed in order to harvest such cells. More and more sophisticated prenatal screening techniques, including preimplantation genetic diagnosis, have been developed to implement a eugenic ‘search and destroy’ mission against the unborn who are suspected of being disabled.”
On the website medicinenet, several commitments by doctors are listed in “A Modern Version of the Hippocratic Oath”:
“I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant which includes, amongst others, the following commitment:
“I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God.”
The last italicized phrase is very interesting. Unfortunately, all too often, lives of the unborn are terminated for no reason other than inconvenience and even when there may be supposedly “valid” reasons for termination, this is really nothing more than a doctor “playing God” which they promise not to do. It is a very sad indictment on the medical profession when we read about the number of abortions that have been undertaken worldwide.
Recent events in the USA have taken a rather unexpected turn. CBS reported on May 16, 2019, that “Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed the state’s controversial near-total abortion ban Wednesday evening. The new law is the most restrictive anti-abortion measure passed in the United States since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973.
“The legislation — House Bill 314, ‘Human Life Protection Act’ — bans all abortions in the state except when ‘abortion is necessary in order to prevent a serious health risk’ to the woman, according to the bill’s text. It criminalizes the procedure, reclassifying abortion as a Class A felony, punishable by up to 99 years in prison for doctors. Attempted abortions will be reclassified as a Class C penalty.
“The legislation makes no exceptions for victims of rape or incest.
“‘Today, I signed into law the Alabama Human Life Protection Act,’ Ivey wrote in a statement Wednesday night. ‘To the bill’s many supporters, this legislation stands as a powerful testament to Alabamians’ deeply held belief that every life is precious & that every life is a sacred gift from God.
“Alabama’s ban is the latest in an onslaught of state-level anti-abortion measures that activists hope will be taken up by the Supreme Court and potentially overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that protects a woman’s right to the procedure.
“Last week, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed into law the state’s so-called ‘fetal heartbeat’ bill, a measure that will prohibit abortions after a heartbeat is detected in an embryo, which is typically five to six weeks into a pregnancy, and before most women know that they’re pregnant. The state was the sixth to pass such a law, and the fourth this year alone.”
Of course, there will be appeals against such action and the Guardian wrote the following in May 2019:
“Democratic leaders reacted with outrage, and pledged to fight for abortion rights. Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts senator and 2020 contender, tweeted: ‘This ban is dangerous and exceptionally cruel – and the bill’s authors want to use it to overturn Roe v Wade. I’ve lived in that America and let me tell you: we are not going back – not now, not ever. We will fight this. And we will win.’
“Hillary Clinton tweeted: ‘The abortion bans in Alabama, Georgia, Ohio, Kentucky, and Mississippi are appalling attacks on women’s lives and fundamental freedoms. Women’s rights are human rights. We will not go back.’”
You will note that these democratic politicians frequently talk about women’s rights but rarely about the rights of the unborn. In an editorial in the weekly Update of the Church of the Eternal God, dated 15, March 2019, number 868, entitled “Blind Leaders,” the following was written:
“In his ‘State of the Union Address’ last month, US President Donald Trump raised the issue of abortion. Taken, word for word, from his speech, he said the following:
“‘Lawmakers in New York cheered with delight upon the passage of legislation that would allow a baby to be ripped from the mother’s womb moments before birth. These are living, feeling, beautiful babies who will never get the chance to share their love and dreams with the world. And then, we had the case of the Governor of Virginia where he basically stated he would execute a baby after birth.
“‘To defend the dignity of every person, I am asking the Congress to pass legislation to prohibit the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother’s womb. Let us work together to build a culture that cherishes innocent life. And let us reaffirm a fundamental truth: all children — born and unborn — are made in the holy image of God.’”
The editorial continued: “The Daily Mail wrote: ‘A group of Democratic women who wore white in honor of the suffragettes gave President Donald Trump an unexpected standing ovation at Tuesday evening’s State of the Union address. They stood slowly at first, then clapped joyously, as Trump spoke about the economic gains that have been enjoyed in the United States by women since he took office. “No one has benefited more from our thriving economy than women who have filled 58 percent of the newly created jobs last year,” Trump said, prompting loud cheering from the section of women.’
“These women were basking in self-congratulatory terms but when it came to the President’s statement about abortion, they obviously did not approve of even a small curtailment of this abominable practice; after all, abortion is another name for murder.”
(To be continued)
Lead Writer: Brian Gale (United Kingdom)
Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock
compiled by Dave Harris
“How Can We Know that Jesus Christ’s Return Is Near?” our newest booklet has now been printed and mailed to our subscribers. Along with this booklet, a special Member Letter (June 2019) written by Norbert Link has been included. All of this is posted on our website, and you are invited to request your own free copy.
A Ministerial Meeting was conducted over SKYPE on Sunday morning, June 16, 2019. It was reported that members have been contacted to make personal reservations for the Feast—along with several other matters.
“Der Teufel ist los!” is the title of this Sabbath’s new German sermon, presented by Norbert Link. Title in English (approximately): “The Devil is Loose.”
“Bin ich hübsch?” the sermonette presented last Sabbath in Germany by Johann Schell, is now posted. Title in English: “Am I Pretty?”
“Are You Really Different?” the first split-sermon presented last Sabbath by Thilo Hanstein, is now posted. Here is a summary:
As a true follower of Christ, we must be truly different from others in our way of life in this world. We should consciously recognize the difference between right and wrong, and God has brought us into this world for a reason, so we must follow that calling. Or are we still looking at what the world admires, and do we still perform what the masses expect of us?
“Learning How to Make Christian Change,” the second split-sermon presented last Sabbath by Kalon Mitchell, is now posted. Here is a summary:
We must change, that fact is inevitable. But how? How do habits come into play? When should we change? How do we come to have the mind of Christ? Why should we read the Bible? Why should we meditate? Why is ANY of this important for a true Christian?
How This Work is Financed
This Update is an official publication by the ministry of the Church of the Eternal God in the United States of America; the Church of God, a Christian Fellowship in Canada; and the Global Church of God in the United Kingdom.
Editorial Team: Norbert Link, Dave Harris, Rene Messier, Brian Gale, Margaret Adair, Johanna Link, Eric Rank, Robb Harris, Michael Link, Kalon Mitchell, Manuela Mitchell, Dawn Thompson
Technical Team: Eric Rank, Shana Rank
Our activities and literature, including booklets, weekly updates, sermons on CD, and video and audio broadcasts, are provided free of charge. They are made possible by the tithes, offerings and contributions of Church members and others who have elected to support this Work.
While we do not solicit the general public for funds, contributions are gratefully welcomed and are tax-deductible in the U.S. and Canada.
Donations should be sent to the following addresses:
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United Kingdom: Global Church of God, PO Box 44, MABLETHORPE, LN12 9AN, United Kingdom