Weekly Update

July 27th, 2023

Greetings from Charlotte,

This Sabbath, Mr. Richard Ames is scheduled to give a Tomorrow’s World Presentation in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, and another one in Lakeland on Sunday. Mr. Rod McNair is scheduled to be in Detroit, Michigan, for a TWP. There will also be follow-up presentations in Pensacola, Florida, and Gulf Shores, Alabama. Last weekend’s four initial events drew a combined total of 40 guests. Mr. Robert Tyler is in the Philippines—where there has been some civil unrest, as well as flooding due to Typhoon Doksuri—to visit with ministers and conduct meetings. Mr. Wallace Smith recorded a new telecast titled “How Great Nations Die” this week. Carol and I, along with many others, returned home from the Texas Teen Camp in Athens, Texas. (See this week’s video update for more details.) By the time you receive this, the Preteen Camp at that location should be over, with Preteen Camps gearing up in Missouri and West Virginia. The Teen Camp in Belgium, which serves the UK and Europe, also begins this week. Canada is now printing the French-language Germany in Prophecy booklet.—Gerald Weston


The Importance of Fellowship: David wrote, “How good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity” (Psalm 133:1). Jesus enjoyed and looks forward to enjoying the opportunity of future fellowship with His called and chosen disciples (Luke 22:15–16). He also stated that His true disciples would be recognized by the love they have for one another (John 13:35). In the same manner, the Apostle Paul urged Christians, “let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day [of Christ’s return] approaching” (Hebrews 10:24–25). The Sabbath is a wonderful time to enjoy the opportunity to fellowship with God, with Jesus Christ, and with others of like mind.

Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail

News and Prophecy—July 27, 2023

Now, the "Lord's Prayer" Is Gender-Biased! According to a high-ranking Church of England official, Jesus’ sample prayer—commonly called the “Lord’s Prayer”—is dangerously biased toward patriarchy. The Guardian quoted the Archbishop of York when it reported that the “opening words of the Lord’s Prayer, recited by Christians all over the world for 2,000 years, may be ‘problematic’ because of their patriarchal association” (July 7, 2023). Although he does not speak for the whole of the Church of England, the archbishop’s comments reflect increasing moral confusion in the organization and beyond. Those who claim to lead others in Christ’s name should understand the foundational principles of the Bible, but many religious leaders today are increasingly influenced by the moral degradation of society.

The Bible clearly says that God is a Father, and Jesus punctuated this fact when He taught His disciples to pray (Matthew 6:9). Christ did not teach us to pray to “the great deity” or to some intentionally vague sense of God. Rather, He taught us explicitly to pray to “Our Father in heaven.” Although this clear reference to a father figure is uncomfortable to a growing number of people in Western society, it is a clear Bible teaching, and it relates to God’s plan to build a family! He desires children—“godly offspring” (Malachi 2:15). God is the Father, Jesus Christ is the Son and the groom who will one day marry His Bride, the Church (Revelation 19:7–9). And Christ, in the role of husband, is “head over all things to the church” (Ephesians 1:22).

A clear family structure is laid out in the pages of the Bible, and that family structure has as its highest authority God the Father, the head of His family (Ephesians 3:14–15). The Bible warns about those who profess to be wise and of God, yet have become fools (Romans 1:22). We are also warned in the Scriptures that if those who claim to be of God but “speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isaiah 8:20). The Bible reveals what God’s family looks like and how it should function. To learn more about this important subject, read or listen to Successful Parenting: God’s Way.

Does Human Life Matter? “It’s my life and I can do with it what I want to” is a common mantra in Western society. Yet, in recent years that mantra has taken on a grave twist. With the legalization of euthanasia—what some have called “mercy killing”—people are increasingly allowed to commit legal suicide with the help of their doctor. And in some countries, the reasons legally allowed to justify this seem increasingly trivial.

In 2002, the Netherlands became the first nation in the world to allow doctors to kill patients who desired suicide as long as the patient satisfied certain “strict” conditions (AP, June 28, 2023). But those conditions have become increasingly loose and fuzzy, allowing suicide by individuals with autism or intellectual disabilities, merely “because they said they could not lead normal lives.” And in 2020, the Dutch government moved to allow euthanizing children under age 12 with terminal illnesses (BBC, October 14, 2020). One must ask—just what is the primary goal here? Benefitting the suffering child, benefitting the suffering parents, or reducing the medical burden on society?

Mankind has a strong tendency toward playing God. Yet, the Bible makes clear that God, not man, is the Life-giver. He alone has the power and authority to give and to take life. When human beings take the life of another human being, it is called “murder”—something God strictly forbids (Exodus 20:13)—and suicide is essentially self-murder. Watching someone suffer is very difficult, but it never warrants taking God’s prerogatives into our own hands. Suffering reminds us that we do not live in God’s world, we live in a world currently ruled by the “god of this age,” Satan the Devil (2 Corinthians 4:4). However, there is a world coming in which suffering will cease: “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain” (Revelation 21:4). That is the world we seek, not the panacea provided by assisted suicide. But that world requires the return of Jesus Christ to make it a reality. To learn more, be sure to read “What Is the Value of Human Life?”—Scott Winnail, Francine Prater, and Rod Wissinger