The Troubled Year — 1970
“And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.” Genesis 1:31
During the course of 1970 our world has been writhing in agonizing pain, beset by all her old ills ills and woes, which have become more desperate than before.
The war in Vietnam is still very much with us, although bloodshed has subsided a little. We can only pray earnestly that this most unhappy war may soon come to an end.
The Arab-Israeli conflict has now reached a pitch of unprecedented and irrational hatred which has involved innocent people, including women and children. The once dreaded sea piracy has now turned into air piracy. Many of the Arabs are involved in fratricidal wars which bring death and horrible suffering to thousands.
At home violence, murder and arson have become a common occurrence. People dare not walk the streets after dark, and even the police, the guardians of our social order, are being attacked by lawless elements. It is to note that most of the terrorists in the Middle East and the radicals at home, both black and white, are followers of Marxist doctrines.
Opposing groups no longer meet to discuss and seek to resolve their difference, but confront each other with guns and bombs. The same is happening not only in America but in many countries abroad.
Although there is a universal longing for peace, yet nobody knows how to attain it. Just as in the days before the floss, so also today the words of Genesis 6:11 apply most aptly: The earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence.
OUR DAILY BREATH GIVE US THIS DAY
In 1970 pollution was more often discussed than any other problem. Government experts estimate that industry alone generates about 182 billion tons of solid waste each year. 200 million tons of smoke and noxious fumes are discharged each year into the air which we breathe. Seven million cars are junked, 20 million tons of paper, 48 billion cans, and 28 billion bottles are discarded. Many of our lakes and rivers are fast becoming stagnant or flowing cesspools, unfit for fish, fowl or man. Even the great oceans are dangerously contaminated with discarded oil and floating industrial and human refuse.
During the hot summer months a poisonous veil of polluted air hangs over most of our metropolitan areas. Similar conditions prevail in other highly industrialized countries like Japan, Australia, the Soviet Union and in Western Europe.
From pole to pole and around the globe the earth is contaminated.
A few months ago Time magazine predicted that “The world will end with a cough, a wheeze and a mass gasp of emphysema.”
Nineteen centuries ago our Lord taught His disciples to pray . . . “Our daily bread give us this day.” Now we must also pray “Our daily breath give us this day.”
The specific reasons for this universal pollution are numerous and most complex, but one of the most important is the rapid explosion of world population. Three centuries ago there were only 500 million people. Today it is approximately 3 ½ billion. If our Lord should tarry, it will reach six billion by the year 2000. Our present U.S. population of 206 million people will probably increase to 300 million by the end of the century. Some scientists predict that at that rate of our present growth there may not be enough food to nourish all the billions of humanity, and insufficient living space for all of them. This could happen even within the near future.
When the Lord commanded Adam and Eve: “Be ye fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth and subdue it” (Gen. 1:28), the earth was practically uninhabited. Now man has more than replenished the earth, and unless we learn to control the population growth, we may suffer the fate of the lemmings which every four years rush to their death by the millions.The Lord has endowed man not only with an instinct for procreation but also made him a rational being. For his own sake as well as for the sake of future generations, he had better learn to use his reason.
Another and related reason for the rapid contamination of the earth is the fantastic growth of technology and industry, which are essential to maintain the world’s population. The enormous production of fuel, of giant airplanes, the weapons of war, moon rockets, motor cars and industrial machinery, the food processing plants, the textile and housing industry, all the giant every-day necessities and luxuries of life for billions of people, creates an ever growing demand for enormous industrial and power complexes. These in turn use up rapidly the limited resources of our earth and of the atmosphere. In the end all this vast material turns into billions of tons of solid or gaseous wastes and fumes which pollute and poison the earth and all of our natural environment.
What happened to this fair globe of ours, upon which the Creator once looked with delight and declared that “it was very good”? (Genesis 1:31)
The answer to this question may be summed up in one little word — “sin”!
When our first ancestors Adam and Eve disobeyed their Maker, their life and all their natural environment became marred by sin. The fact of evil became a basic reality of life. It was then that God said to Adam: “Cursed is the ground for thy sake.” Only now after all these millenia are we beginning to realize how “sin,” that is man’s inherent bent to evil, has blighted this “mother earth” of ours.
Before there ever was environmental pollution, moral pollution had set in. It blighted man’s nature and in the end brought us to our present impasse. This may end either in universal carnage brought on by the savagery of atomic and nuclear weapons, or through mass starvation due to overpopulation, or through gradual asphyxiation caused by man-made noxious fumes, poisons and mind sickening noises, which are being discharged into the air all the time and into the waters and into our ear channels.
There is much more to the story of creation, as recorded in the first ten chapters of Genesis than meets the eye. We would urge our friends to reread this story again most carefully and soberly.
There the whole history of mankind is told as if in a nutshell, from its glorious beginning to man’s tragic fall and gradual physical, spiritual and moral degeneration. There we also find the prophetic vision of man’s future redemption and restoration through Christ the Saviour. We do not have the answers to the complex problems of man’s contemporary predicament. Nobody does. But we know that the roots of all evil are within our hearts. To this only God has the answer. Our downward trend started when the great enemy of man and God insinuated into our consciousness the question: “Hath God said?”‘ (Gen. 3:1). Today the rejection of God’s Word and of His eternal standards of right and truth have reached the inner citadel of the Spirit. Apostasy is rampant within the church. Here is a striking example:
“THE NEW IMMORALITY”
Look Magazine (August 11, 1970) informs us that a committee of leading Presbyterian churchmen have been meeting for two and a half years in order to prepare a report on sexual morals. This they finally submitted in June of this year for discussion to the General Assembly of the Presbyt in the U.S.A.
The official standards of the Presbyterian church in matter strongly opposed to adultery, prostitution, fornication and homosexuality. However, the report of the above mentioned committee scornfully “outmoded” standards of their church in these words: “All this may be necessary, but it does not attend to the equally great Christian calling to glorify God by the joyful celebration and delight in our sexuality.”
In the name of this supposedly Christian, “joyful celebration in our sexuality,” the report makes the following statements: “We find no evidence for any theological, psychological, or medical strictures against masturbation per se.”;
It makes one wonder how these eminent gentlemen can reconcile their unbiblical ideas with the clear teachings of St. Paul.
“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Be not deceived, neither the fornicator, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, not effeminate, nor the homosexuals.” (1 Cor. 6:9 – RV)
The Old Testament relates that Sodom was destroyed for the sin of homosexualism, which is also known as sodomism (Genesis 19). These and many other biblical injunctions are clearly against all the sexual practices approved by that eminent committee. We are sure that their psychological and medical knowledge is just as sound as their “theological” ideas.
The committee sets aside St. Paul’s condemnation of homosexualism stating “The context in which Paul’s condemnations appear suggest he objected to the element of disregard for the neighbor more than he did to the acts in themselves.”
The report even goes as far as to approve premarital sex: “If in the course of a courtship a couple has developed profound sensitivity to each other and tenderness to each others needs and desires . . . such a couple has taken a responsible decision to engage in premarital intercourse, the church should not convey to them the impression that their decision is in conflict with their status as members of the body of Christ.” By a vote of 485 – 259, after long and stormy debates, the commissioners of the General Assembly report for study and appropriate action.
A 17 year old girl with Bible in hand who was present vehemently read the “thou shalt nots” from the Old Testament and a commissioner pastor from Indiana declared that this report would split the church.
Finally by the narrow margin of 356 – 347 vote the commission reaffirmed their adherence to the morals of God’s standards in the Old and New Testaments that adultery, prostitution, fornication and homosexuality are sins.
This report clearly reflects the moral and spiritual downward not only of one protestant denomination but the downward drift of the church at large.
Behind this “new morality” are two centuries of higher Biblical criticism which has been seeking to undermine the authenticity of the Scriptures. The question used to be “Hath God said?” Today their position seems to be: “Even if the Bible says so, so what?”
Those who still seriously believe in the Scriptures as the Word of God are contemptuously dismissed by these critics as know-nothing “fundamentalists.”
Our Lord said: “If the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is henceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under the foot of man, (Matthew 5:13).
To a considerable degree the organized church and its officialdom is fast losing its savor, having disregarded or rejected the Light of God.
As a result of a widespread screwball theology many earnest Christians are beginning to turn away from some of the “way-out” churches and are seeking spiritual guidance in the Word of God and in fellowship with one another.
And yet a Christian can never be a pessimist in the long run. In the past when the night seemed to be at its gloomiest, and sin seemed almost triumphant, God always sent a man of His choice who initiated a new reformation, a new revival and brought about a new beginning. Our Lord may do it again! Or the long cherished and blessed hope of all believers, and the prayers of the faithful may become a glorious reality, and Christ shall come again to establish His reign.
Only God holds the answer to the terrifying problems of our times. Sinful man, no matter what he plans or attempts to do, only precipitates worse disaster and chaos. Sin always lurks at our doors. This however, does not mean that the believer has a right to fold his hands, sit back and wait for divine judgment to fall upon a corrupt world, or to wait passively for Divine intervention.
It is incumbent upon all of us, as children of God and within the limited spheres of our individual abilities to do all we can to make our “own little corner” a little brighter, a little cleaner, a little better and happier, just because you and I as children of God live in it. Mrs. Buksbazen and I have always rejoiced in the fact that wherever we lived for a short or longer period of time, we have made the place a little better, a little more attractive. Let us all seek to leave our little habitation a little cleaner, happier and beautiful.
Here is a collection of a few thoughts published by Ambassadors for Christ, Inc. in Washington, D.C. which recently came to our attention:
What can one man do?
Flip a match and destroy a forest,
Offer a drug and ruin a young life,
Fire a bullet and shake a nation,
Push a button and blast a world.
One man, in the beginning, polluted humanity.
You are a victim.
“By one man sin came into the world,.
so death spread to all men.”
One man offers a cure and backs it up
with the power of His resurrection.
Do you feel that you are just one man
full of loneliness? Helpless?
In the darkness? Hopeless?
“God is not willing that one man should perish.”
Jesus Christ is the one man
Who will revolutionize YOU
AND YOUR WORLD!
The Christmas season is an ever fresh reminder to the child of God that Christ came into this blighted world of ours to redeem all those who earnestly put their trust in Him, beginning with you and me,—now.
May the star which once shone brightly over Bethlehem, shine into our hearts and bring us closer to the Babe of Bethlehem, to the man of Galilee, the Saviour of Calvary, to the risen Christ, to our ascended Lord and to the soon returning King of Kings.