Fear Vs. Hope – OpEd – Eurasia Review

The Greek word Armageddon is a transliteration of the Hebrew har magiddô which means a mountain near Megiddo, a hilltop fortification built by King Ahab, which overlooked the plain of Jezreel. Har Magedon is the symbol of a battle in which, when the need is greatest and the believers are most oppressed, God suddenly reveals his power to his distressed people and their wicked enemies are destroyed.

However, “Armageddon Time” is a finely-tuned re-movie of the past, and a surprisingly modern and painful reminder of how little progress we’ve made and how quickly people forget. Anthony Hopkins, Paul’s grandfather, Aaron Rabinowitz, is the boy’s guardian angel and moral compass. They maintain a pure, gentle and supportive relationship that he does not quite find with his mother, who placed too much hope in the success of his children, or his father, who still favors the lesson of fear of corporal punishment. .

Aaron tells Paul why his mother had to flee Europe, why we can’t forget the persecution of the Jewish people, and why he always has to “be a mensch” and resist things he might consider small offenses, like hearing classmates make racist remarks.

But the title Armageddon is misleading because Armageddon is in our future, not our past. Armageddon is a warning of humanity’s need to change to avoid Armageddon. Because more than 100,000 Americans died of drug overdoses last year — the vast majority were adults — but the fastest-growing group to die from overdoses were teenagers whose overdose deaths didn’t have never been so high.

Because temperatures in the Middle East have risen much faster than the global average over the past three decades. Rainfall has decreased and experts predict droughts will be more frequent and severe. And large forest fires in Europe start earlier in the year, become more frequent, do more damage and become harder to stop.

Because the summer of 2022 was the hottest in recorded history in Europe, with the continent experiencing scorching heat waves and the worst drought in centuries.

Because the Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world, according to this year’s Arctic Report, released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration because; when sea ice, which is white, thins or disappears, allowing dark ocean or land surfaces to absorb more heat from the sun, it releases this energy into the atmosphere.

Because climate change is a prime suspect in the mass die-off of Alaskan snow crabs, experts say, after the state made the unprecedented decision to cancel their harvest this season to save the species; which fell to around 1.9 billion in 2022 from 11.7 billion in 2018, a reduction of around 84% in less than 5 years.

And because in global data from 32,000 populations of more than 5,000 species of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and fish, WWF’s Living Planet Index (2022) shows an accelerating decline in 69% since 1970. In regions rich in biodiversity such as Latin America and the Caribbean, the figure for the loss of animal population reaches 94%. The index found that freshwater species had declined more than those found in any other habitat, with an 83% population decline since 1970.

In Africa, where 70% of livelihoods depend on nature in one form or another, the report showed a two-thirds drop in wildlife populations.

Like Judaism and Christianity, Islam has a powerful eschatological strain. It anticipates the end of the world as we know it; a final historical confrontation between good and evil (Armageddon); after which, with God’s help, human life will be rewarded and transformed.

As the Quran says, “Verily! Those who believe and those who are Jews, Christians and Sabians, whoever believes in Allah and the last day, and does good deeds, will have his reward with his Lord, there will be no fear or sorrow upon him. (2:62 and 5:69) Note that the Quran specifically emphasizes that religious pluralism applies to the day of God’s judgment.

A Pew Research Center poll found that in South and Southeast Asia, 55-60% of all Muslims believe in the imminent return of Madhi; and in the Middle East and North Africa, 51% do.

A hadith says that Jesus will return to a place east of Damascus and join forces with the Islamic messiah, the Mahdi, in battle against the false messiah, the one-eyed Dajjal, Armilos in Jewish tradition.

After the death of the Dajjal and the Mahdi, the Muslim Messiah Jesus will rule the Earth. More importantly, the hadiths say that these events will occur when Islam itself is threatened by its own corrupt fanatics.

As ibn Babuya writes in Thawab ul-A’mal, “God’s Apostle said: ‘There will come a time for my people when there will be nothing left of the Quran except its outward form, and nothing of Islam except her name”. , and they will call each other by this name even if they are farthest from it.

“The mosques will be full of people but they will be empty of good advice. The religious leaders (Fuqaha) of that day will be the worst religious leaders under the heavens; rebellion and dissension will come out of them and return to them.

This sounds, and indeed is, terrible. But, those who trust God know that the night is coldest in the last hours before sunrise.

Secularists believe that these apocalyptic visions of a future (Armageddon) are absurd, although many secularists themselves fervently believe that genetic modification of food and/or extreme climate change will doom human civilization in generations future.

The fundamental difference between pessimists, secular humanists and religious optimists is that those who believe in the God of Abraham also believe that the inspiration and direction of God ensures that the spiritual forces of good will overcome all the evils of the world at the end of the day. end of days; and justice, peace and religious pluralism will prevail. Or as the prophet Micah envisions it: (4:1-5)

“At the end of days the mountain of the Temple of the Lord will be established as the highest mountain; it will be lifted up above the hills, and peoples will flock to it. Many nations (not all) will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the Temple of the God of Jacob. who will teach us his ways, that we may walk in his paths.

“The Torah shall come out of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. God will judge between many peoples (not all) and settle disputes between powerful nations around the world. They will turn their swords into plows, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will no longer take up sword against nation, and they will no longer train for war.

“Everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree, and no one shall frighten them, for the Lord Almighty has spoken. All nations will walk in the name of their gods, and we (the Jews) will walk in the name of the Lord our God forever and ever.

Thus, the final judgment of the Bible and the Quran is the self-destruction of violent, hate-filled terrorism, twisted religion, and narrow “my way or my death” (Armageddon) philosophy; and the victory of kindness, love, democracy and religious pluralism.

The Quran refers to the Prophet Abraham as a community or nation: “Abraham was a nation/community [Ummah]; devoted to God, a monotheist [hanif], not one of the polytheists. (16:120) If Prophet Abraham is an Ummah, then fighting between the descendants of Prophets Ishmael and Isaac is a civil war and should always be avoided.

If all Arabs and Jews can live up to the ideal that “the descendants of the sons of Abraham should never go to war with each other,” that is God’s will; we can help fulfill the 2,700 year old vision of the prophet Isaiah: “In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria. The Assyrians will go to Egypt, and the Egyptians to Assyria. Egyptians and Assyrians will worship together. On that day, Israel will join a tripartite alliance with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing on the heart. The LORD of hosts will bless them, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people, Assyria my workmanship, and Israel my inheritance. (Isaiah 19:23-5)

About Harold Hartman

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