Current Events


Jesus Christ very precisely identified a future time when mankind would be immersed in self-indulgent pursuits at the cost of understanding that God would shortly intervene to put a stop to the runaway madness of a world headed into oblivion (compare Matthew 24:36-39).  If we look at the cause for God destroying the civilization that existed in Noah’s day, we are plainly told, in Genesis 6, that it was due to man’s continuing evil ways and his great wickedness. 
You can turn on your television, read newspapers and magazines–and you should come to understand that our time fulfills what Jesus warned of for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear!
Now, in these late months of 2002, wickedness is all-pervasive.  Wars and rumors of wars have the whole world reeling in uncertainty–overtures for resolution of conflicts and the hopes for peace simply bear little real and lasting success.  Let’s just witness the events of this week.


Russian President Vladimir Putin’s comments in a press conference in Paris on Monday caused an extraordinary outburst:  “Islamic ‘radicals have much more ambitious goals.  They talk about setting up a worldwide Caliphate and the need to kill Americans and their allies.’ ”  (From The Scotsman–Scotland’s National Newspaper Online, 13th of November, 2002.)
These heated comments erupted after Mr. Putin was challenged on his and his country’s handling of Chechen separatists–predominantly Muslims.


Add to this the possible emergence of Osama bin Laden calling for a continuing Islamic Jihad.
“An Arab TV station broadcast an audiotape Tuesday of a voice that a U.S. official said sounded like Osama bin Laden’s.”  The Coloradoan, November 13, 2002.


Most of Germany’s newspapers and magazines expressed hope, joy, and a lot of wishful thinking earlier this week, when they reported, “The ice between Germany and the U.S. is broken.” Cause for this wave of optimism was a 10-minute phone conversation between Mr. Schroeder and Mr. Bush (initiated by Mr. Schroeder) and a meeting in excess of one hour between Donald Rumsfeld and Germany’s Minister of Defense, Peter Struck. German and American governmental officials were anxious to declare that there was “hope for a good working relationship,” and that “we are moving slowly towards a normalization of our relationships.”
However, notice this headline in Der Spiegel of November 13, 2002, “New attack from Washington against Berlin.” The article continues, “Just when it seemed that the German-American relationship had relaxed, an American defense-expert has criticized once again the German Iraq policy.” Reference is made to Richard Perle who, according to the magazine, is “a driving force behind the harsh position of the United States towards Iraq.” Perle stated in an interview with the British Guardian, “Germany has fallen into a morally paralyzing pacifism.” In a German parliamentary debate on November 14, the opposition attacked the German government for its “unjustifiable foreign and defense policy.” It was causing “fear of war and anti-American feelings,” according to Wolfgang Schaeuble, second-in-command of the opposition party, as quoted in Der Spiegel. 
It is somewhat ironic, perhaps, that this debate followed an article published by Die Welt on November 9, stating, “All Count on War.” Die Welt is an opposition-friendly newspaper. In the article, it did nothing to eliminate any fear of war or anti-American feelings. Quite to the contrary, it stated, “It happened right after the terrible September 11, 2001. At that time, the President of the United States supposedly asked his minister of defense and his security advisor how many countries around the world are threats for the security of the United States. The answer: ‘About 60, Mr. President.’ And George W. Bush reputedly replied, ‘Then let’s start, one after the other.’ For one right on the top of the list, time is running out — for the dictator Saddam Hussein.”


All of the above comes at the very critical moment when Iraq has accepted U.N. demands to meet conditions for disarmament–thus avoiding an immediate war with the U.S. and its allies. Newscasts report that President Bush has a “zero tolerance” for any non-fulfillment from Iraq.
Most commentators agree that Saddam’s response will probably not prevent war — it will only delay it. The Leader of the German Middle Eastern Institute, Udo Steinbach, predicts a military attack against Iraq. He stated that he cannot imagine that Saddam will agree to a search of all his palaces.
USA Today opinioned Thursday that “there will be other potential crisis points in the weeks to come — deadlines that could ultimately lead Washington and its allies to invade Iraq to force compliance. Baghdad faces a December 8 deadline to declare the banned biological, chemical and nuclear programs Washington is sure Iraq still has,” according to the paper. “If Iraq’s declaration fails to match a U.S. list of suspected weapons sites, the Bush administration could view that as provocation for an invasion. U.S. officials say they believe that there is virtually no chance Iraq will fully comply with the [U.N.] resolution…. Instead, the question reverberating through the Bush administration is whether to wait weeks or months to allow Saddam to build a pattern of deception or omission — or to push for war much sooner if Iraq defies any of the measure’s key demands.” The paper also pointed out that “Washington believes that the resolution sanctions the use of force against Iraq whether the council gives further approval or not.”
This might very well prove to pose a serious problem for the United States. As the paper continues to explain, “Judith Yaphe, an Iraq expert of the National Defense University, also predicts that Saddam will not reveal any new sites and that it might be difficult for inspectors to find incriminating evidence.” But what, if they don’t find anything? What happens, if the inspectors under chief U.N. inspector Hans Blix do not locate any sites of illegal biological or chemical weapons? (After all, Mr. Blix did not locate any sites during his prior investigation.) What if most of America’s allies declare themselves “satisfied” with that outcome? Will the United States, with the possible support of Great Britain and Israel, find themselves alone, when they decide to declare war on Iraq under those circumstances?


The past several days have witnessed a most welcomed easing of some of the most severe drought conditions in living memory for much of the Western United States.  In the critical “reservoir states” such as Colorado, we witness now above average snow levels in the mountain river basins upon which so many downstream population centers rely.  Though not out of danger, this early sustained snow fall is gratifying for deeply concerned farmers, ranchers and city dwellers–all of whom were made dramatically aware of the personal cost for limited water resources.
Contrast this good news to the very sobering and pitiful reports coming out of Africa.  A report from World Vision International on October 23, 2002, states, “Ethiopia is bracing for the worst drought it’s ever seen.  The country’s rainy season, for the third consecutive year, has passed with no rainfall and child deaths and malnutrition are climbing.”  The article goes on to point out that “up to 14 million people… may face starvation.”
Mass famines now ravage remote and underdeveloped parts of this earth.  There is often little hope for help simply because of the frightening scale and the challenge that faces a world in which too many of its citizens suffer from hunger as a way of life.
Week by week, we find ourselves watching the fulfillment of biblical warnings that will quickly usher in the return of Jesus Christ and the establishment of God’s rule.  Until then, this world will continue to descend into ever more evil–ever more violence on a greater and greater scale. For us, we must heed this admonition, “‘WATCH therefore, and PRAY always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.'” (Luke 21:36).

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