Number 50, February, 1999
What the Bible Says About Healthy Living
We would like to recommend What the Bible Says About Healthy Living, 284-pages, by Dr. Rex Russell (from Giving & Sharing, $10.99 retail, $9.00 suggested donation). Dr. Russell and his family found their own health failing and providentially began a search for health and healing from his Creator's manual, the Bible. His humorous approach is refreshing. Dr. Russell boils it down to simple, sound, practical advice in three basic principles easy to read, remember, and apply: (1) Eat the foods God created for you, (2) Don't alter God's design, (3) Don't let any food or drink become your god. There is an excellent listing of whole food sources, tests of your food IQ, and lots more. This book is highly recommended by Giving & Sharing directors Earl Lewis and Steve Kieler.
Are Men "As Gods" Today?
If we, today, are following the same deceptive suggestion that our human forebearers did in Eden - making their own laws - then we are "as gods." If Satan has thus deceived us, then our punishment will be the same as that given to Adam and Eve - denial of access to eternal life. "Remember, to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are . . . whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness," (Romans 6:16). The Devil, then, rules over us by suggestive deception!
Do the nations or individuals today consult what the Bible says about divorce, for example, before they make their decisions and their laws? They do not! They have become "as gods" to make their own laws! The world, then, is Babylon. We are told to come out of her (Revelation 18:4). This we can do by giving God's laws precedent in our lives - being ruled by Him! The proper form of government is Theocracy - being ruled over by God and His laws. This form will soon be set up on this earth.
Like Adam and Eve, when they became "as gods" and made their own laws, the people today, in these end times, are having their eyes opened (Genesis 3:5), because of the results of following their laws.
In these "latter days" - TODAY - a turning away from true doctrines was foretold (I Timothy 4:1, Hebrews 13:8-9). GOD HAS GIVEN MAN A SIMPLE WAY TO HAVE THEIR PAST SINS FORGIVEN, BUT THE COUNTERFEIT SYSTEM ENSLAVES ITS FOLLOWERS IN BONDAGE! MANKIND TODAY STILL FOLLOWS THE OLD BABYLONIAN SYSTEM IN SEEKING TO HAVE THEIR SINS FORGIVEN! If they do not pay for forgiveness, they abstain from some things which they have decided are evil: going to shows, dancing, card playing, to mention a few. They hope to BALANCE any evil they might do by abstinence from these.
BUT these same people go on divorcing and remarrying, and observing other practices which the Bible clearly condemns. THEY WILL NOT TURN FROM THEIR WAY (REPENT) SO THEY CAN HAVE CHRIST'S BLOOD FORGIVE THEIR SINS - the ONLY WAY by which sins may be forgiven (Acts 2:38)! Romans 5:9 says we are "JUSTIFIED by His BLOOD" MANKIND CONTINUES TO DESIRE TO LIVE BY PRACTICES WHICH YIELD ONLY UNHAPPINESS, BONDAGE, AND DEATH. "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death," (Proverbs 14:12). - From C. Paul Meredith's book, Satan's Great Deception, available from Giving & Sharing ($7.50 paper copy).
Egyptian Police "Crucify" And Rape Christians
Egyptian Christians have been subjected to horrific crucifixion rituals, rapes and torture by security forces during a crackdown on the ancient Coptic community, according to international human rights and Christian groups.
Over the past month, police have reportedly detained about 1,200 Christians in Al-Kosheh, near Luxor in Upper Egypt. Seized in groups of 50 at a time, many were nailed to crosses or manacled to doors with their legs tied together, then beaten and tortured with electric shocks to their genitals, while police denounced them as "infidels." An 11-year-old boy, Romani Boctor, was hung upside down from an electric ceiling fan and tortured as the fan rotated. Apart from the crucifixions, teenage girls have been raped and babies as young as three months savagely beaten.
When Bishop Anba Wissa, the local head of the Coptic Church, protested to the regional police chief, he was told, "You haven't seen anything yet."
Copts were the ancient inhabitants of Egypt before the Arab invasions in the Seventh Century, but have been surrounded for centuries by a hostile Muslim majority. They now need presidential permission to open a church, their history cannot be taught in schools, and people can be arrested under the National Security Act for converting to their faith.
Although President Mubarak portrays himself as a moderate, human rights activists believe that the police action reflects a wider infiltration of Islamic extremists into senior official positions. Simon Qadri, of Christian Solidarity, a human rights agency, said: "There is this image of Egypt as a secular country, which is fighting fundamentalism, but it is not true at all. Islamic law is the basis of the constitution and there is no freedom of religion. If anything, Mubarak tries to appease the fundamentalists."
Last week the U.S. Senate approved the Freedom from Religious Persecution Act under which President Clinton is obliged to take some form of action against all countries cited by the State Department as not allowing religious liberty. Egypt is prominent on this list. But the Clinton administration sees Mubarak as a key player in peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, and seems unlikely to risk upsetting him by reducing its $2.18 billion aid package.
- by Christina Lamb, in the Daily Telegraph, London, October 25, 1998.
Comment: What you sow, you also reap. Our nation, supporting Mubarak's Egypt with billions of U.S. tax dollars, is buying the same kind of punishment on ourselves. Israel has the tendency to make silly overtures to Egypt, rather than relying on the Almighty, Hosea 7:8-12. May God help our nation to repent of supporting this horrible martyrdom.
Echinacea and Your Immune System
According to Dr. Tori Hudson, ND, there are nine species of echinacea, but e. angustifolia, e. purpurea, and e. pallida are the most commonly used. More than 350 scientific studies have evaluated the chemistry, pharmacology, and clinical uses of echinacea. Echinacea has direct anti-inflammatory effects, immunostimulatory properties, the ability to increase the production and movement of white blood cells toward areas of infection, antiviral properties, antibacterial properties and even indirect anti-cancer activity. One of the most popular uses is in the treatment of the common cold.
You may obtain echinacea in the form of dried root, tea, freeze-dried in a capsule, herbal/alcohol tincture, and regular dried herb capsules or tablets. Check with an herbalist, educated natural foods store worker, or naturopathic physician for appropriate doses and effective uses. (Source:www.healthyideas.com, a service of Prevention magazine.) One source of echinacea and other herbs is Health Fitness USA, PO Box 814, Mt. Flora, FL 32756, E-mail: ForAnHerb@aol.com.
Kitchen spices such as basil, cumin, and turmeric, help add zest to bland foods. According to Environmental Nutrition of June, 1993, researchers in India have found that these spices have cancer-fighting properties, and turmeric may also boost the immune system. Truly, the more we look at the herbs God has created, the more we see that He has graciously provided herbs for the healing of nations.
Are You an Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob?
Did you realize that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob illustrate three characteristics that all true spiritual Israelites must have? Abraham, the "Father of the faithful," exemplified faith in action, Hebrews 11:6, 8-12; James 2:21-24. Isaac demonstrated the willingness to offer himself as a sacrifice, and was a man of prayer, Genesis 22:1-12, 24:63. And Jacob epitomized perseverance, one who kept struggling, an example for us to be overcomers, Genesis 32:24-30. (These ideas came from a sermon by Ray Wooten, on October 10, 1998.)
The professing Christian world speaks loudly and clearly: "Unless you believe in the Trinity, you are not a Christian!" If that is true, then I am not going to claim to be a follower of the Messiah! Don Matzat, of the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod, a well-known religious radio talk show host of the program, "Issues, Etc." defines "Trinity" in this way: "The biblical doctrine specifically formulated at the Council of Nicea (325 A.D.) defining the person of God. There is one God in Three Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. All Christian denominations embrace the Doctrine of the Trinity." Unfortunately for Mr. Matzat and Trinitarians, the doctrine of one God in Three Persons is NOT found in the Bible!
It is difficult for us to realize how fanatical Trinitarians are about their doctrine. A friend in the Church of God was planning to send his daughter to a Christian university, but found that one of the entrance requirements was that you have to sign a statement supporting the Trinity. Now, he must look at other options.
This year, we were almost ready to leave our home for services on the Day of Trumpets, when I received a telephone call. A man who had seen our Web page wanted to ask a few questions. "I understand that you do not believe that Jesus is God," he said. "What!" I replied, "that is not true! What would give you that idea?" "Well," he said, "you are not a Trinitarian according to your article on the Internet." "That's right," I replied, "you do not have to be a Trinitarian to believe that Jesus is God. In John 1, it says that 'In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God', so I believe that Jesus is God because the Bible says so." The man continued to press on, offering I Thessalonians 5:23 as "proof" of the Trinity. He said that man is composed of three parts: body, soul, and spirit, that God is likewise composed of three parts, so that God is thus a Trinity. I totally disagreed with his reasoning. There was little time to discuss the matter further, or our family would have been late for services. In the end, he shouted "You are Anti-Christ!" and hung up the phone.
Let's look at the three terms used in I Thessalonians 5:23, "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit [pneuma, Strong's #4151] and soul [psuche, Strong's #5590] and body [soma, Strong's #4983] be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."
The first word, "spirit (pneuma)," comes from pneo, #4154, meaning "to breathe hard." This refers to the "spirit of man," the thinking, rational mind (see I Corinthians 2:10-11). The corresponding Hebrew word is ruwach, #7307, the mind of a rational being. The spirit of man returns to God when he dies, Ecclesiastes 3:21.
The "soul (psuche)" of man also refers to his breath, the breath of life, which plants do not have, but man and animals do have. The Greek word psuche corresponds to the Hebrew nephesh (Srong's #5315, a breathing creature). We know that the nephesh (soul) that sins, it shall die, Ezekiel 18:4, 20. So the psuche or nephesh of man is his living body, which can die. Adam was made a living soul; he did not merely have a soul, he was a living soul, Genesis 2:7.
The third word, "body (soma)," is a general term for the body. There is a natural (physical) body, and a spiritual body (see I Corinthians 15:35-44). Paul was saying in I Thessalonians 5:23 that he prayed that God would preserve our spirit (mind), our living body, and our body (to be transformed) until the resurrection at the return of the Messiah. In no way does this scripture hint that these three aspects of us correspond to a triune God. The Trinity is directly related to another false teaching, the immortality of the soul. However, psuches and somas die, and our pneuma returns to God when we die. Without our pneuma being connected to our psuche/soma, we are not a thinking, rational, living, breathing, human being. Psalm 146:3-4 states, "Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath [ruwach] goeth forth, he returneth to his earth [when he dies]; in that very day his thoughts perish." If the Trinity doctrine is true, and we had three parts like a triune God, then we would not die, our thoughts would not perish, we would be immortal already and not need the gift of eternal life. The Bible says, however, that eternal life will be given to the firstfruits at the return of our Savior. The Trinity doctrine denies this pivotal Bible Truth.
According to the Handbook of Today's Catholic, page 11, "The mystery of the Trinity is the central doctrine of Catholic Faith. Upon it is based all the other teachings of the Church." And, Catholics believe that the celebration of the idolatrous Eucharist is the "ultimate sign and seal" of Church unity (Cardinal Edward Cassidy, 1991). One cannot have unity with Rome unless he believes in the Trinity.
While my belief in the family of God and the divinity of the Father and the Son continues, I have been amazed to discover the ferocity of Trinitarians. For centuries, Trinitarians have killed those who disagree with them, and the spirit that I witnessed by our recent telephone caller surprised me. How sad it is that Trinitarians kill.
Legalism in the Church of God?
I was intrigued by the Fall, 1998, issue of The Christian Beacon. In this issue, Ray Wooten referred derogatorily to "religious organizations, which teach that we earn salvation through obedience to the law." He further attacked "the legalistic conclusion of the Churches of God, who believe that obedience to God's law earns salvation." After studying Sabbatarian groups for nearly thirty years, and associating with many different Sabbath-keepers, I had never heard of such a thing among Sabbatarians. I wrote to Mr. Wooten, asking for examples of ministers and groups that teach this rank heresy. I suppose such a thing would be possible; I just had never run across it.
To my shock, Wooten (a WCG minister for 30 years) accused the Worldwide Church of God (prior to its present-day doctrinal apostasy) of teaching that works earn you salvation. He admitted that he probably could not find quotes to that effect, but maintained that legalism and salvation by works was subtly taught by their actions, in two ways: (1) stringent demands were placed on prospective members before allowing them to attend Church services, and (2) members were disfellowshipped for personal sins, not because of disbelief in Jesus Christ. "These are facts," he wrote me, "which show the reality that the Church taught salvation by obedience and banishment and condemnation because of disobedience."
Being in the Church is not equal to salvation. Being put out of the Church is not tantamount to losing salvation (although it is a very serious matter). Paul ordered the Corinthians to excommunicate an incestuous man (guilty of a personal sin) from the Church, I Corinthians 5:1, for the sinning man's own good. For Wooten, the only valid reason for disfellowshipping, is "disbelief in Christ." This sounds Protestant, rather than Biblical.
Mr. Wooten must have been in a different church than I was (since 1961), or my wife (since the late 1950s). And, I worked in the highest positions in the Church. I was taught in the WCG that works do not earn you salvation. The ministers with which I dealt practiced the correct teaching on this matter. Their example demonstrated the Bible Truth that salvation is a gift, and that works do not earn you salvation. There were no checklist or "stringent requirements" for my baptism, nor Shirley's, only fruits of repentance and a fervent desire to follow God. I looked the WCG pastor who baptized me, straight in the eye a moment prior to him baptizing me. I said that Mr. Armstrong may be crook, but that has nothing to do with my surrender to Jesus Christ and my commitment to Him forever. If the Church had taught and practiced a "works" salvation, he would never have baptized me. My "god parents," longtime Church members, were baptized by a Protestant minister, as was Herbert Armstrong himself.
Improper disfellowshipping and acting mean toward members was the practice of some "little Hitler" WCG ministers, but not all, and certainly not the majority. Bad Church discipline does not necessarily equate with legalism. No minister has the ability to give salvation (eternal life), because salvation is a gift from God. Because of his unsavory past experiences, Wooten appears to be equating harsh, dictatorial, abuse by some ministers with legalism. In my experience in the Worldwide Church of God, we did not idolize ministers and even begin to think they could give and take away salvation. Can anyone provide real proof that the WCG, or any other Sabbatarian group, has ever taught, or practiced, legalism, that commandment-keeping earns you salvation?
Some have claimed that I teach that Sabbath-keeping earns you salvation, citing my editorial in the July-August issue of The Sabbath Sentinel. However, I never hinted at such a false concept. I said, "for me, Sabbath-keeping is a requirement for my salvation," and "for me, promoting the Sabbath is a requirement for my salvation." That is because, unlike the thief on the cross, I have had time with God; He has revealed much Bible Truth to me, and I am responsible for putting into practice what He has given me, Luke 12:48. A requirement does not earn you a gift. The Bible Sabbath Association has a Sabbath scholarship program for college and trade school students. A requirement to be eligible for the prize is completion of an application. Does completing the application earn the scholarship prize? Of course not! But, without an application, you cannot receive the gift! My keeping the Sabbath is like that.
The Turkey and the Sabbath
For the past couple of years, my employer has given out a Thanksgiving turkey as a bonus gift to every employee. The first year, we all stood in line as the frozen birds were handed out. I joked to another fellow worker whom I know very well, "You don't need a turkey; you are a turkey!" This year, however, I took a day off to catch up on some G&S and BSA work. The free turkeys were to be handed out at 4:00 PM that day. Any unclaimed turkeys at the end of the day would be donated to the local food bank. I didn't need the turkey, but since I was doing business in town anyway, I made it a point to stop by the office in time to pick up my free turkey. The turkey was a gift, but I had to be there on a specific day and time to receive the free gift.
Keeping the Sabbath is like this. How? Well, salvation (eternal life in God's Kingdom) is a gift from God. Nothing I can do will earn me God's free gift of eternal life. However, for me, since God has revealed His Holy Sabbath to me, Sabbath-keeping is a required appointment for me. It is not my concern how God will judge others concerning keeping the Sabbath or not. Salvation is like the gift turkey I received from my employer. If I did not show up around 4:00 PM on the specified day, I would not receive a turkey gift. My appearing at the proper time did not earn me the turkey, but it was required.
Those Sabbath-keepers who falsely accuse me of "legalism," charging, "you are saying Sabbath-keeping earns you salvation" seem to have difficulty understanding the English language. I have tried to make it plain, but it appears some will continue to live in the fog. May the Almighty help them.
I have a will, which gives what little I have to my wife, and then our children, in case I die. I am not going to take any of them out of my will, unless they become abominable and totally recalcitrant, after all efforts to rehabilitate them have failed. Could you say that "being good" earns them my inheritance? No! They are my family. My inheritance is a gift that my children did not earn. However, wretched actions on their part could lead me to write them out of my will. The Sabbath is like that. Keeping the Sabbath does not earn the gift of inheriting eternal life. However, consistently thumbing your nose at the Sabbath, when you know better, could well cause you to lose the gift of eternal life.
Do You Use These Unbiblical Words?
Fabulous: A person was heard to say that God's Word is "fabulous." It is not! "Fabulous: of or like a fable" (Webster's Dictionary). Jesus said, "Thy Word is Truth," John 17:17. He did not say that God's Word "is fabulous."
Fantastic: Another once said that God's Word is "fantastic." It is not! "Fantastic: existing in the imagination, imaginary, unreal" (Webster). "The word of God endureth forever," I Peter 1:25. We must not leave the impression that it is a figment of our imagination.
Luck: How many times do you hear it, "Good luck"? When told that there is no such thing as luck, some are offended. "Luck: the seemingly chance happening of events." On the other hand, "God: the Maker and Ruler of the world, the one Supreme Being" (Webster). Luck is a false god, plainly intended to deny our sovereign God. "A man's heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps," Proverbs 16:9. "The lot is cast into the lap: but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord," Proverbs 16:33. "There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand," Proverbs 19:21. Was it "bad luck" that Jesus was crucified by unholy hands? "The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against His Christ. . . . For to do whatsoever Thy hand and Thy counsel determined before to be done," Acts 4:26, 28. Be brave and true. Do not allow the world, the devil, and the flesh to put luck in the place of God. - from Christian Literature World, November 1998, published by Jay P. Green, Sr.
According to the label, it's a non-carbonated, "real fruit beverage" drink, with luscious-looking tangerines, strawberries, and kiwis. Don't be fooled! Coca-Cola's Fruitopia drink is only 5-10% fruit juice. That figures out to be 2-4 tablespoons of fruit juice per bottle. What's the rest of this drink made of? If you guessed sugar, you are right, 17-19 teaspoons of added sugar per bottle. But that's not all! One of the listed ingredients is cochineal. You don't know what this word means? Are you ready for this? It's a red dye made from the pulverized bodies of insects, which has caused severe allergic reactions in some people. The Nutrition Action Health Letter, of December 1998, says that they have asked the FDA to ban cochineal.
If you are familiar with Giving & Sharing literature, you may recognize cochineal as the substance used in carmine, a basic ingredient of eye shadow. It takes 70,000 cochineal bugs to make a pound of carmine. Tell me, do you want these "natural" ingredients oozing into your skin? Do you want to drink unclean bug juice?
We encourage you to subscribe to Nutrition Action Health Letter, published by the non-profit, Center for Science in the Public Interest, Suite 300, 1873 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20009-5728. Ask your local library to subscribe to this outstanding health resource.
God created the cochineal bug to have an amazing property. The female has a powerful and long-lasting dye, known as carmine. One can compare the illustrious history of the cochineal bug used for red dye, with that of the Mediteranean Phoenician murex shellfish for purple dye. The insect cochineal was found in both the pre-Hispanic cultures of Mexico and Peru. It was used to dye textiles only for the use of nobility, due to its relative difficulty of harvest. This bug looks like a seashell, and lives exclusively on the leaves of Cactus Pear. The insect perforates the skin of the leaf and feeds from the plant's juices.
During the Spanish conquest, Spaniards lost no time in taking this new resource to Europe, pretending it was a seed and not an insect. This was a well-kept secret for many years, until an inquisitive Dutchman, with the aid of his microscope, "discovered" that it was not so. During the time of this deception, there was an unparalleled monopoly of trade and the price of a pound of cochineal sometimes approached an equal weight of silver.
Early in the 20th century, the English popularized the use of much cheaper artificial colors and that meant the end of cochineal cultivation in Mexico, and limited its production in Peru. During the 1960s, mounting evidence proved the dangers of using some colors in the Food and Cosmetics industries. This led to the rebirth of the use of cochineal. Instead of only using the color as a clothing dye, savvy marketers expanded cochineal use into foodstuffs as well.
Crafty Chilenos introduced efficient cochineal farming to Chile, resulting in an increase in production of cochineal dye, and a drop in prices. There has been a constant increase and growth of the use of cochineal derivatives. More and more uses are discovered day to day. You may find further information about the cochineal insect dye business on the Internet atwww.cochineal.cl.
Lest you believe that cochineal bug dye does not affect you, think again. You may have unknowingly been consuming it for years. Due to a weird twist of human nature, the carnal mind thinks that food has to be colored a certain way to taste good. If it looks good, it must taste good, and it must be good for you, because it's natural. Red food coloring is probably the most common food additive. And, perhaps the best red dye is carmine, or cochineal. Cranberry juice, ruby grapefruit juice, and maraschino cherries, may contain unclean cochineal dye.
Increasingly, food consumed in America comes from overseas, often from China, where cochineal dye and monkey entrails are commonly used as food coloring (see The Wall Street Journal, December 2, 1998). You and I would be helpless consumers of unclean substances unless there were an army of "kosher police," from the 304 nonprofit agencies worldwide that certify food as fit for consumption by Orthodox Jews. You have a better chance of avoiding eating bug juice if you see a "K" for kosher, on the label. Kosher food inspectors probably do a better job than the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Common sense would help as well. Read the label!
Welch's 100% Grape Juice doesn't have a "K," but the contents are 100% grape juice and vitamin C, and "no artificial flavors or colors added." Sam's Choice Raspberry & Cranberry Juice Cocktail has 25% juice and its ingredients include water, high fructose corn syrup, juice, fumaric acid, vitamin C, and "natural flavor," whatever that is. The prices being similar, guess which juice would be your best choice!
Now, let's get bug juice into perspective. We ought to take reasonable and prudent precaution to avoid eating unclean substances such as revolting bug juice. But, there will probably be folks reading this article who are more careful to avoid a little bug juice, than to worry about supporting lying ministers who are not qualified Biblically to be Church leaders. It is like straining out a gnat or cochineal bug, and swallowing a camel, Matthew 23:24. Don't be stupid! For your sake, please read the label!
The Ninth Commandment is still in the Bible. If you are led by the Spirit of the Almighty, you will be given wisdom to discern lying spirits, deceivers, and false prophets who exalt themselves. You will "read" their "label," that is, their fruits. Discerning liars is the first step. The Spirit will then lead you to confront and overcome evil with good, certainly better than any "kosher police." It makes me sick to think of drinking bug juice. Even more so, it is disgusting to see many of God's people taken in by liars who write one thing, and then a few months later make boldface lies which contradict their former testimony. Yet in spite of this, most members "stand behind" a disqualified leader whom they foolishly believe to be "God's servant." They are like clumps of cochineal bugs, waiting to be squashed into bug juice! May God help His people to listen to His Spirit, and wake up.
Defend the Fatherless
I am the only son of an only son. My father had seven sisters and was the only son in his family. I have three sisters, and Shirley and I have three daughters. The "Y" chromosome has been in short supply in our family heritage. Once we got a kitten and thought it was male, but upon closer examination, it too turned out to be a female! You can see why I value male companionship, when I can enjoy it! And, I can appreciate the fact that a godly society is based upon virtuous fathers. I miss my Dad, who died in the mid 1970s. The relationship of a father and his son is pivotal, a type of the relationship between the believer and our Heavenly Father.
When scientific research validates Biblical teaching, we should rejoice, and tell it to others. Youthful violence today is skyrocketing. Between 1980 and 1990, homicide arrests for juveniles in the U.S. jumped 87%, while violence declined for adults over age 25. Researchers have long suspected a link between father absence and crime. Now, a thorough study by demographer Cynthia Harper and Princeton's family scholar Sara McLanahan shows the true costs of family breakdown. They followed 6,403 boys who were between the ages 14 and 22 in 1979, up through their early 30s. Here are the results of their exhaustive study: Boys raised outside of intact marriages are twice as likely to end up jailed. Each year spent without a dad in the home increases the odds of future incarceration by 5%. Boys raised by unmarried or unwed mothers are at great risk of committing a crime because they spend more time without a dad. Remarriage from a divorce drastically increases the odds the boy will become a criminal. Stepfathers and children often compete for the time, attention, and resources of the biological mother. Family structure was more important in deterring crime than whether the family was rich or poor.
The Harper-McLanahan study indicates that the attachment of a father to a son is the key factor. Fathers teach their sons lessons, directly or indirectly, about what it means to be a man. When boys identify with fathers who are loving and available, they are much less likely to become rebellious and anti-social. Surprisingly, the study found that the very small number of teenage boys living with just their single father were no more likely to commit crimes than boys in intact families. But boys living with remarried dads were more likely to be involved in criminal activity, in the same way as boys living with remarried mothers. Divorce, the data indicates, and especially divorce and remarriage, leads to crime. Some 40% of the teenage boys in the study were not living with both their parents. Since 1970, the divorce rate has doubled (thanks in part to Churches such as the Worldwide Church of God, who promulgated a change in its marriage teaching in 1974, which allowed, sometimes even promoted, divorce for any and all reasons). One third of all births today in the USA, and 44% of first births, are to unmarried mothers. (Source: Wall Street Journal, December 1, 1998.)
This study gives new meaning to the Biblical admonition, "defend the fatherless." In Bible times, the fatherless were most often orphan children resulting from the death of the father in the family. Today, most fatherless children are the result of divorce and remarriage. Even a child being raised in a home with a husband and a wife (in the eyes of the legal system), is still a fatherless child if his REAL dad is not there! There is no substitute for the healthy relationship of a father and his son, no matter how many scriptures ministers in the Church of God twist to justify divorce and remarriage. Demographics show the evil effects of wide-open divorce and remarriage today.
Now, I have never had a son. I can well understand how Abraham felt in not having a son. Then, after waiting all those years for God's promise, Abraham's son Isaac was born by a miracle. It tears me up to think how he must have loved that child! Those of you who are dads have an awesome responsibility to love and train your sons.
Psalm 82 is directed against those who create the fatherless. The man has the primary responsibility for keeping the home intact. We are to be "gods - judges," verse 1. But instead, some judge unjustly, accepting the person (showing partiality) to the wicked, verse 2. God wants us to "Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked," verses 3-4. Now, the Eternal would not require something of us that is not possible for us to do. Many times (but certainly not in all cases) it is the father who causes the divorce to occur. The mother usually gets custody of the children, and usually remarries, contrary to God's Law. Stepfathers sometimes abuse their stepdaughters. A stepfather cannot be the same father to a son as the real father can, per the demographic study just cited, and the obvious intent of God's Word. So a loving father, by keeping the home intact, is delivering the fatherless from oppression and sorrow. Fathers have the power to do this.
But today, the world, and the Church, is in darkness; they will not understand the plain scriptures that marriage is for life. The family today, the foundation of society, is out of whack, or as the Bible says, "all the foundations of the earth are out of course," Psalm 82:5. Men are to become gods, sons of Elohim, children of the most High. Our Father in Heaven is a real Dad. You can depend upon Him to be a loving Father, forever, verse 6. "But," the Bible warns, "ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes," verse 7. If you divorce and/or remarry, creating fatherless children, God's curse awaits you. Repent before it is too late. Reestablish broken relationships with your son and the wife of your youth, if at all possible. If fathers continue to create the fatherless, there will eventually be no civilized society, but only savages. "Arise, O God, judge the earth: for Thou shall inherit all nations," verse 8. Unless the Messiah returns to establish the Kingdom, fatherhood and the family are dead. He will come again, and that is truly good news. What a fearful and wonderful song is Psalm 82!
Cynthia Harper says, "Adolescents face a lot higher risks today than they used to. Fathers may be even more important now than in the past." It takes a man to be a dad to his son. May God be with you, fathers. Do your sons know you? Then you will know the Father, I John 2:13-14.
Gillette, Wyoming, with a population of about 20,000, is in the middle of nowhere. The nearest town of any size is 120 miles away. In a 50-mile radius, there are only two tiny villages. A mile or two out of town and you are in wild prairie grassland, where you won't find too many ranch houses to seek help if your car breaks down, unless buffalo, antelope, cattle, or sheep have suddenly learned to be mechanics.
Yet, we are extremely blessed to have two excellent Christian FM radio stations. American Family Radio has a local transmitter station here in Gillette, providing Christian music and programming from AFR headquarters in Tupelo, Mississippi. AFR has scores of stations across the USA, where you will find much inspiring music and interesting programs. AFR is sponsored by the American Family Association, which seeks to preserve the family. Two of their worthwhile current projects are the education of people to the anti-family stance of the Disney company, and a drive to limit pornographic radio talk show host Howard Stern by pressuring advertisers of his filthy show to more responsibly use their advertising funds.
Even better, we have a local transmitter station of Pilgrim Radio from KNIS Carson City, Nevada, which provides programming for an extensive chain of radio stations across Wyoming, Nevada, and the California Sierras. Two great programs are "His People," a daily half-hour interview with religious leaders and authors from a wide spectrum, and "Reader's Choice," a reading of Christian books on the air, cover to cover. On "His People" recently, the son of famous atheist Madelyn Murray O'Hare was interviewed. Now a Christian, Mr. Murray told what it was like to grow up in an atheistic family. He claimed that his famous mother became an atheist to provide a justification for her deviant behavior.
Both radio stations accept no paid advertising, and are supported by their listeners. Instead of a commercial break, KNIS radio has a "Bible break," in which they read Scripture. When I go to bed, I turn one of these radio stations to a low volume, and doze off to sleep listening to a program or Christian music. If I wake up at night, there is usually something worthwhile to listen to, which is certainly better than counting sheep!
Radio is not dead. It is very much alive. Take advantage of your local Christian radio stations. - written by Richard C. Nickels
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