Okay, not all religions, but....The Huffington Post ran an interesting article on Religious Teachings On The End Of The World. This was in response to the ‘end of the world’ claims for this past May 21st. In the article they listed brief commentary about what the major religions teach about the ‘End Times.’ What is particularly interesting is that only Bible and Christian based religions see an angry god who will one day destroy the wicked and wreak havoc on the planet.
The vision of the end times in the New Testament can be understood only through a Jewish worldview that saw reality in terms of the present, evil age, where the wicked dominate and persecute the righteous, and the age to come, when God will judge the wicked and vindicate the righteous -- both the living and the dead. In order for the dead to be judged, there must be a general resurrection. Besides this moral dimension, the transition is also described in terms of a cosmic destruction and the subsequent creation of a new heaven and new earth. This new heaven and new earth is God's reality of no more death, sin or suffering: paradise restored. The other major religions talk more of cycles where there are positive and negative times, but the cycles always move human consciousness to higher planes of understanding and enlightenment. So why does Christianity seem to want to destroy humanity and save but a few? Why do they promote the idea that death and worldwide destruction is inevitable? What does Christianity have against humanity?
In WAKING GOD BOOK III: THE SECOND COMING OF HUMANITY, we talk of Armageddon; not a battle of weapons, but a battle in the mind. We rule out the Christian option of doom, but maintain that we are on the cusp to cycle ever upward in our evolution. Yes, there is choice and responsibility and there are tough times ahead for many. Hell, there are tough times for many now. But we determine the reality that will manifest and, if it all crumbles, it is not because of some pissed off god; rather, it is because we chose the path of fear. Clearly, it is indeed time to end the era of worn out religious dogma; a dogma that keeps you frightened and at odds with everyone that thinks differently. This is a ‘time of choosing.’ Read the excerpts below and decide who has the better vision. Not with an eye to accepting one religion over another, but rather to understand that the Christian view of the Universe does not take you to that higher level of evolution.
Orthodox Christians believe in the second coming of Jesus Christ, the ensuing judgment of our sins and the resulting eternal life in either Heaven or Hell. Everything that Scripture says about a time of tribulation and suffering is accepted, but the faithful will be present for all of it. We will not be spared the sufferings or tribulation. Christ himself tells us that all will suffer and that no one knows when He will return for Judgment Day. "Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake." Matthew 24:9
The end time in Jewish tradition is often depicted as a time of strife, of the wars of Gog and Magog, of what the rabbis called picturesquely "the birth pangs of the Messiah." Images of resurrection (based on scattered passages such as Daniel chapter 12) and an awakening of the dead were commonplace. But alongside the anticipated violent paroxysms of a new world being born there is a more peaceful, gentle view. In the Talmud, Samuel equates messianic days with the freedom of the Jewish people from the subjugation to foreign powers, a very "this-wordly" view.
Hinduism does have eschatology of sorts, especially in relation to Kali Yuga -- the last of the four cosmic seasons. These ages follow a pattern of spiritual devolution so that the last age, Kali, marks a complete contrast to the first, Satya. Satya Yuga is likened to gold; Kali Yuga is the age of iron. If Satya is compared to a blossoming springtime, Kali is the cold, devastating winter. Hindu texts, such as the celebrated Bhagavata Purana, describe how in Satya Yuga people are practically divine beings, whose qualities and piety put them in a state of incredible self-awareness and naturally connect them to God and to one another.
Classical Buddhism — like the extant Hinduism of its time—imagined a repeating cycle of "kalpas," or cosmic time periods, each 10 billion to 15 billion years long (remarkably close to what modern scientists measure as the age of our universe). Each kalpa is supposed to have its own Buddha -- or, according to some texts, a series of Buddhas. There have been Buddhas in past kalpas. Siddhartha Gautama is the Buddha of our time, and Maitreya Buddha is considered the Buddha-in-waiting for the next kalpa. So the Buddhist vision of the universe is more cyclical than linear, and does not imagine a singular "end time" when the universe will definitively end. However, according to Dr. Richard Jaffe, Associate Professor of Religion at Duke University, each kalpa does end with a "world-destroying fire," after which the new kalpa is re-created and the cycle repeats.
One of the most oft-mentioned theological teachings in the Quran, Islam's sacred revealed scripture, is that only God is infinite and everything else other than God is finite with a determined beginning and end…In typical fashion, the Quran speaks generally and somewhat vaguely about the events leading up to the end of times and the Day itself. The hadith (the collection containing the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad) offer more specifics. According to the many hadith on this topic, the Prophet Muhammad foretells that previously poor barefoot shepherds will compete in making tall buildings; people will engage in much violence, bloodshed and anarchy; sexual immorality will become rampant and public; natural disasters will increase tremendously; an impostor by the name of Dajjal will delude people into following and worshipping him; and Jesus will return to confront and ultimately kill the Dajjal; among other things.
The Baha'is have an interesting and different take on the end times scenario. Rather than expecting a Hollywood-screenwriter's dream that will occur within 24 hours, like this coming Saturday, they instead see "the end of days" as the end of one major stage of history and the beginning of a new one.
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