Dear Brethren and Co-Workers:
Having just returned from my trip to Kenya for the purpose of visiting the brethren and meeting with some who have shown interest in the Church, I have come to appreciate what we take for granted in the Western World, including the USA, Canada and Great Britain, as far as possessions and wealth are concerned. Even our ever-decreasing freedom is remarkable in comparison with the repression and dictatorship in African countries.
Let us reflect for a moment on our physical possessions. Some of us own houses, and most have one to three cars; some have boats, motorcycles and several computers. Children have (far too) many electronic toys and gadgets, and it’s a chore trying to keep up with the expanding technology because everyone wants the latest, fastest gadget on the market, and children and teens put a lot of pressure on their parents to buy them the most recent inventions and products.
On the Sabbath of July 22, I conducted Sabbath services in Nairobi. There were seventeen in attendance—sixteen adults and one child.
Not one of those present had a vehicle, not one had a computer. They relied on public transportation to get around. The young people at the front desk worked twelve hours a day, seven days a week, and they took public transportation to work. One of the young men told me that at the end of the month, he sometimes gets up at 4am to walk to work because money is short.
They are stuck in this rut with no means of getting out. We really do not realize just how fortunate and well off we in the Western world still are.
When waiting at the airport for my departure plane, I met a nice young man from England who works in Kenya. He was telling me how corrupt the politicians are, and also the police and the judges. They are there to further themselves, not for the good of the people.
Thinking about this, I had to become more fervent in praying for God’s Kingdom to come to remove the oppression that most people in the world experience.
But even though we still enjoy much freedom in the Western world, we must realize that “freedom” can be terribly abused. Freedom should never be thought of as a license to sin. Turning to conditions in the United States and Great Britain, there occurred, what I describe as a Titanic event recently, and that event was the enactment of the law in regard to same-sex marriages. Of course, Canada already passed such a terrible law in 2005 as the fourth country in the world at the time, and the first country outside Europe, legalizing same-sex marriages nationwide and providing a gender-neutral definition of marriage.
Such a law is an abomination to God. Focusing especially on the USA and Great Britain, I believe that this enactment is tantamount to what happened to the Titanic. People boasted that the Titanic could not be sunk, until it hit an iceberg in the North Atlantic which sealed its fate.
The ship was doomed to sink, yet the captain brought out the orchestra to play music and arranged deck chairs as if nothing was wrong. This façade and window dressing, which was instigated to calm down the passengers, did not prevent the ship from sinking; it just gave the deceitful appearance that everything was fine and that there was nothing to be concerned about.
To Canada, America and Great Britain, the same-sex marriage laws are akin to these countries hitting an iceberg. The inevitable result is that they will be going down—a conclusion which is shared by an author of an article which I recently read.
There may be a lot of window dressing and chest thumping of achieving such a “milestone” of re-defining the godly concept of marriage and the legalization of same-sex marriages, but the ship is going down. This development is of course only one factor. A related cause is the breakdown of our marriages—not to speak of our insurmountable and unsustainable debt, crime, violence and a host of other problems bombarding our English-speaking nations in especially the Western world.
UK’s Prime Minister David Cameron boasted about supporting similar legislation towards same-sex marriages in other European countries, when he should be ashamed of himself and his country.
Fortunately, real solutions for mankind are coming, but they will not be achieved and ushered in by anything man does, but by the return of Jesus Christ and the establishment of God’s Kingdom and His rule here on earth, and this cannot come soon enough.
Let us stay focused on the task we have been given. Soon all this present madness will end, and people will be able to enjoy the fruit of their labour. They will not be in an inescapable rut for the rest of their lives. Corrupt politicians will be replaced with just and fair leaders, and freedom will not be abused anymore by sin and the concept of God-defying lifestyles. Rather, godly and biblical laws regarding marriage will be instituted and kept.
In the meantime, let us in the Western world use the wealth and the freedom which we have been given to be able to proclaim the gospel in all the world as a witness, knowing that only after this has occurred, Jesus Christ will return. An objective realization of the terrible state of affairs in “our” countries and a glimpse of what life in many other countries, including Kenya, is like makes it so much easier to fervently pray for God’s Kingdom to come.
In Christ Service