From the Editor

From the Editor

From the Editor

Dear Friends

Andrew Smith
Andrew Smith

This year has been flying by at a rather frantic pace –
so much happening and numerous challenges to face and manage. On
the 27 June we had a short memorial service at the grave of my
father (Barry Smith) – two years have passed since he went
to be with Jesus. Although I miss him deeply I can’t help
smiling when I consider where he is. ‘The sting’ has
truly been dealt with. The whole Biblical concept of the
resurrection of the dead has become such a comfort, in a day to
come we will experience the most wonderful reunion ever!

Every week we receive mail from all over the world –
people are still coming to know Christ Jesus through the books
and videos of Barry Smith, a man who stopped preaching two years
ago. What can I say – Praise the Lord for His
infinite wisdom!

Because of time constraints and limited space, we have been
unable to incorporate a ‘Letters to the editor" section in
the Omega Times Quarterly Update. Instead I have endeavoured to
include material which addresses questions raised in
correspondence. We have received numerous letters recently asking
our views on the rise of terrorism, Islam and the West. I believe
that the days of global terror have barely begun, and that the
world will be locked in an ongoing violent struggle with
terrorism until the Prince of Peace returns and establishes His
Kingdom – a Kingdom which will never ever again be
threatened by evil. Scripturally/historically, God uses an
‘adversary’ to prompt His people to ‘return to
Him’. I do not see the Islamic World as being the
only problem. The people God must ‘shake up’ are
those who do not turn away from evil – even when He has
clearly told them to! The West will be called to account for its

Whilst terror is an obvious problem in today’s world
– we have a far more sinister enemy activity occurring much
closer to home. Marriage and family are the greatest
models of ‘order in society’ the world has ever
known. But alas, in keeping with ‘humanist mans’
desire to remove Gods order, our society pays an enormously
painful price – a generation of angry lost souls, with even
less identity than the last generation.

In New Zealand (and coincidentally most Western
Nations) serious erosion at a government policy level has paved
the way for disastrous concepts such as the ‘Civil Unions
Bill’ – which would legally recognise same-sex
couples, and the ‘Relationships Bill’ which
essentially counts every sexual relationship equal to marriage.
These Bills are vehemently defended and radically pushed through,
regardless of strong evidence showing that children raised in de
facto homes/relationships, are generally more likely to
experience negative social problems than children raised in the
homes of married parents.


This week CYF (Editors note:
The Department of Child Youth and Family)
announced that
there were 43, 414 reported cases of child abuse in New Zealand
last year; up 31% on the year before that. This statistic is too
personal to ignore, as are the faces of the children on our TV
screens who have been abused or murdered. According to a
September 2003 UNICEF report, New Zealand's rate of child deaths
from maltreatment is now 1.2 per 100 000, more than 4 times the
first world average.

Why are so many New Zealand children at risk of abuse, missing
out on the love and protection they deserve? Doubtless the
reasons are varied and complicated, but is it any coincidence
that in the decades during which legislation has increasingly
made light of marriage, we have also seen a sharp decline in the
welfare of our children?

Consider this:

  • Children who live with their mother and her co-habiting
    boyfriend are 33 times more likely to suffer abuse than those
    whose parents are married and living together. They are 73 times
    more likely to die from abuse.
  • In the United Kingdom, children living in solo-mother homes
    are 14 times more likely to be abused than children living with
    married biological parents. Children living with at least one
    step-parent are six times more likely to be abused.

We could blame CYF for failing to do their job. But who is
firstly responsible for children: their parents or a government
agency? To be fair to CYF, the best state-provided resources
cannot substitute for what children need: committed and loving
parents. While good government responds to the needs of children,
it is the relational environments in which they live that matter
most. In light of these figures, we would be wise to consider as
a society, whether our deliberate devaluing of marriage is
contributing to this alarming increase in family dysfunction and
child abuse.

[i] R. Whelan, Broken Homes and Battered
Children, 1994.
[ii] P. F. Fagan and D. B. Hanks, "The Child
Abuse Crisis: The Disintegration of Marriage, Family and the
American Community", Heritage Foundation Backgrounder No. 1115,
May 15, 1997.

Used by permission – Maxim Institute, Real
Issues No. 119,   15 JULY 2004

And so we ask ourselves "What can
we possibly do to make any difference?" The answer of course is
that we can start by focussing our attention to our own
‘family unit’. I read recently that the average
parent in New Zealand spends six minutes a day with their
children. In my own experience with a hectic travelling work
itinerary – I can see how easily this deficit in
relationship-time can occur. As a father of four my biggest focus
is to keep the communication lines open and clear with every
member of my family. Now that I have three teenagers, I am
realising that I am ‘not ready to have three
teenagers’…like most parents I feel I have had
inadequate training to be in a position of such responsibility!
Ah – but then there is the Word of God. God’s wisdom
is so practical for daily living that even a novice parent can

Smith Family
Andrew & Saskia Smith and Family

Of course once we have a family unit which is functioning in
some semblance of order, the second thing we can do to address
the issues of society is: make friends with people in it.
It’s impossible to be ‘the salt of the earth’
when we never mix with anyone on earth. There is no space to
address this issue here – but it is a major concern of mine
that so many believers know so few unbelievers. The mission Jesus
commissioned us to is found in mainstream life, where the sick
desperately need a physician…

Finally, there are people in society who are in God given
positions of influence, and who stand for righteousness. They
have a platform and a voice – and need our support!

Many thanks to those people who have sent donations to Omega
Times – this publication is completely dependant on this
support and have been overwhelmed by the response.

Yours in practical faith

Andrew Smith