Thursday, January 17, 2008

What's The Moral To This Story?

In the spring of 1789, mutinous sailors from the HMS Bounty settled on Pitcairn Island, a tiny dot in the South Pacific. They burned the ship, took Tahitian wives and recruited Tahitian workers. It had all the makings of a tropical paradise. But they turned it into a living hell, a cesspool of adultery, violence and drunkenness. Within a decade the natives attacked the settlers. Only one survived: Alexander Smith. Left on a 2 square mile island, surrounded by natives, he did something remarkable. He began to read a Bible crew members had salvaged from the Bounty. "When I came to the life of Jesus," Smith later explained to his superiors, "my heart began to open like doors swinging apart. Once I was sure that God was a loving and merciful Father to them that repent, it seemed to me I could feel His very presence, Sir, and I grew more and more sure every day of His guiding hand."

The Scripture transformed not just Alexander Smith, but the entire island. When the British Navy discovered Pitcairn Island in 1808, its order and decency astonished them. When John Tay, an early Adventist pioneer, landed there in 1886, he was astonished to find the islanders there had already received Adventist literature sent from America almost a decade before and it wasn’t long before the whole island became Adventist Christians.

Sadly today, most of the 50 people on the island are no longer Christian. On October 24, 2004, the mayor Steve Christian [who claims to be a direct descendant of Bounty mutiny leader Fletcher Christian] was convicted of rape charges and sent to prison. Steve Christian’s son, Randy, was sentenced to six years for four rapes and five indecent assaults. Dennis Christian, 49, the postmaster and another descendant of Fletcher Christian, was convicted of one indecent assault and two sexual assaults he had pleaded guilty to. The defendants were convicted based on testimony from eight women. Dozens of alleged victims refused to testify.

What do you think is the moral to this story?

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