Reflections on other religions

Reflections on other religions:

Angel comes from the Greek word meaning Messenger. There are angels in Jewish, Christian and Islamic faiths. I think when we study other faiths and different Christian perspectives it can enlighten and strengthen our own beliefs. There are similarities between Islam, Judaism and Christianity on the ‘End Times’ and the return of the Messiah. Firstly, I am looking at Islam and their view of the ‘end times’.

However, if Islam and Christians worship the same God and they both await the return of the Messiah, why then is one of the battles in Islam: “against the Christians in which a large number of Muslims will be martyred”. The Great War (The author of al-Isha'ah has mentioned that this battle will take place in Imam Mahdi's time) – one of the major signs before the Day of Judgement.

Christians too believe in a battle ‘Armageddon’, so named because it takes place at Megiddo.
Which side is God on? Is He on a ‘side’? Yet, Muslims believe that the prophet Jesus will return but that Islam will be the end time religion, that Muhammad was the last of the prophets and that Christianity will come to an end on Jesus’ return. But Muslims do not believe Jesus was crucified on a cross. A similar belief is held by Jehovah’s witnesses who believe rather that Jesus was hung on a tree and not crucified. This latter belief seems to go against scriptural evidence in the Bible, both in the Old Testament and the New.

It seems conflicting to believe in Jesus, even as a prophet and not the Son of God – which He clearly claimed to be in scripture - yet expect to be at war with Christians in the future. Like killing a part of yourself. They belive that: Imam Mahdi will have to fight many battles, the most important and difficult being the battle against the Christians in which a large number of Muslims will be martyred. The cause of this great battle will be the Christians. The Christians and Muslims as allies will conquer a third enemy. However, the Christians will act treacherously as they will claim the victory on the strength of their religion (the Cross will be triumphant), thus the Muslims will be driven to arms and will fight them.

The Muslims do not believe that the Jews killed Jesus – yet scripture testifies to this and also Jewish historians testify to this. They do believe that He is alive in heaven – so do they think Jesus would be happy that his followers – Christians - are being killed? It might be a bit like Paul (Saul) on the road to Damascus – a Jew – who had been killing the Christians – and God asked him why was he persecuting him (Jesus)?

The Jews believe in the return of their Messiah, they just do not believe that He has already come once already in the person of Jesus Christ – unless they are a Messianic Christian. More to follow on the Jews, their Temples and Sacrifices and the return of the Messiah.
The Islam text says in the end times that: “He (Jesus) will destroy the cross, kill the swine and abolish the tax.” Jesus does seem to have it in for the poor pigs – as he sent a legion of bad spirits into them and over a cliff in the New Testament – and they are considered unclean animals to the Jews. In a way Jesus has already destroyed the cross, for Christians, by rising from the dead. Satan’s power has already been broken.

Some of the signs that Muslims believe portend the end times - consumption of alcohol, lifting of knowledge and prevalence of ignorance and immorality and signs of this nature, the devil or deceiver having power (like the Christian anti-Christ figure), earth movements - three Landslides, one in the East , one in the West and one in the Arabian Peninsula after that a Fire would spread from Yemen and drive the people to their place of gathering, rising of the Sun from the east, the world will not pass away before the Arabs are ruled by a man called Imman Mahdi - he will be sent at a time of intense disputes and differences among people and earthquakes, there will be inter-tribal battles, there will be a ‘mountain of gold (maybe oil?) in the Middle East/Gulf, there will be a tyrant who will be destroyed before Imman Mahdi comes.

A double eclipse is believed to be at this time too both in Muslim and Christian beliefs and some people believe this could be 2010 – 2012 time era. According to some also there will be a three year famine. So maybe we need to think about storing food supplies, like Joseph in the Old Testament? This becomes more essential in times of a depression and when the future value of money and job certainty is not guaranteed. Christians believe in God’s daily provision, like the provision of manna in the desert and spiritually for Catholics in the Eucharist (meaning sacrifice but we will come back to that later) but we are also called to be good stewards of God's provision.

From what I have read so far the Muslims also seem to be against the Jews at the end: The Muslims will thereafter defeat and wipe out Dajjal's army. The Jews will not be able to hide behind anything on that day. Every time they try to hide behind a stone, a wall, a tree (except a boxthorn tree), or animal. Allah will make these things speak and they will say, ''O servant of Allah there is a Jew hiding behind me; come kill him.'' I don’t know why Jesus would kill the Jews as He was a Jew himself.

Jesus is supposed to bring in a reign of peace. Muslims do believe that this period of Jesus on earth will be a reign of peace and the ‘lamb lying down with the lion’, as Christians do and a return to the Garden of Eden on earth and a time of great wealth and provision - a golden era.

It is interesting that all these scenarios in the end times will be played out in the Middle East regions for Jews, Muslims and Christians alike.


Emma said…
Why are you blogging so late at night?!? Get some sleep!!!!
JoannaB said…
Margaret Thatcher used to have only 5 hours sleep a night!

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