From Abraham To Muhammad
For the last half century, children the world over have had to learn that their elders possess biological, chemical and nuclear weapons which could conceivably destroy all life on Earth. Today, millions of young people are talking and singing and rapping about death and dying and killing. They wonder if they’ll live to grow up --- and if they even want to grow up in a world where adults are constantly threatening to use man’s most horrific inventions against their enemies.
While youth cries out in speech and song, their elders convince themselves that no nation would actually initiate nuclear warfare, and some people even believe that worldwide disarmament is on its way to becoming reality. Youth sings of death; adults find solace in wishful thinking. But if we’ll admit to ourselves that a nuclear war can happen, we could finally acknowledge our need to speak openly and honestly about believers in the God of Abraham, whose age-old religious arguments are now threatening to start that war.
Beyond a doubt, numberless people the world over would be indescribably relieved to wake up tomorrow and discover that Jews, Christians and Muslims have made real peace with each other. However, the three religious families continue to torment the whole world with their blatant disdain of each other’s beliefs. For instance, throughout their mutual history, Christians and Muslims have openly mocked “the stubborn Jews and their ignorant, obsolete beliefs.” All the while, Jews and Muslims have expressed their contempt for Christians who identify Jesus as “God the Son.” And from the moment Islam took form, Jews and Christians have dismissed Muhammad as a “false prophet” and Islam as a “false religion.” Real and enduring peace will prevail among the three families only when they actually resolve the few crucial differences in their beliefs that have historically and bitterly divided them.
Some non-believers reasonably argue that if the traditional teachings of Judaism, Christianity and Islam were as wise and truthful as their clergies claim, they could never have bred the hatred that has historically plagued believers and now threatens to destroy the world as we have known it. And atheists say that the only real solution to the world’s religious problems is for mankind to finally outgrow all their childish, superstitious beliefs --- a solution that is even more unrealistic than advocating tolerance as a cure-all! The vast majority of the world population firmly believes in a higher power, and the reasoning of modern thinkers who have never experienced a spiritual awakening cannot sway them. Therefore, in the absence of divine intervention, deliverance from the pending agony rests with the people who would impose it on all their fellowmen! They are the Jews, Christians and Muslims who have yet to admit they could have erroneously interpreted their prophets’ messages and urgently need to rethink them.
If Jews, Christians, and Muslims fail to substantially improve their understanding of the God they worship, their ancient arguments could soon reach their ultimate climax. Then the same Muslims that are being glibly dismissed as self-deluded religious fanatics who claim they are conducting a holy war to end our sinful world will have accomplished their mission, and the world we’ve known will end --- in the exact manner foretold thousands of years ago. Though you might not believe it now, if you must sit in the darkness and cold of a nuclear winter, desperately hoping the promised Messiah will prove as real as the prophesied “end of days,” you’ll know who was truly deluded! It was everyone who took such pride in his own beliefs he refused to change his thinking, until the whole world became consumed by “blood and fire and pillars of smoke.”
The prophet Malachi, however, provided a measure of hope. He said that if the “fathers” and the “children” turn their hearts to each other, the world would be spared “...the great and terrible day of the Lord.” Because our nuclear weapons could precisely fulfill those Biblical prophecies, the world urgently needs the Jews, as the “fathers” of monotheism, and the Christians and Muslims, as the “children” of the faith, to rethink and reform their religious beliefs, so they can truly turn their hearts to each other. But, to accomplish that incredible feat, all believers in the God of Abraham would have to do what they have never done: they would have to believe all of God’s messengers, from Abraham through Muhammad. Together, the prophets provide an understanding of God and His messages that differs in crucial ways from the disruptive and divisive teachings developed by the individual clergies of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
By believing in all the prophets, Jews could recognize the world’s messiah, instead of insisting that no one can identify him until his arrival. And Christians would take Jesus at his word, instead of putting words in his mouth. Muslims would speak as Muhammad instructed and say to their fellow believers in God: “I believe in all the scriptures that God has revealed...God is our Lord and your Lord. We have our own works and you have yours; let there be no argument between us.” Thus Jews, Christians, and Muslims would fulfill their mutual goal of bringing truth to the world --- the truth they have never been able to deliver because it rests in the combined teachings of all God’s messengers, not in the exclusive teachings of one faith as self-righteous believers arrogantly choose to believe.
About now, you could be wondering how anyone can seriously suggest such a far-fetched cure-all for the world’s troubles. Surely no reasonable person could expect billions of people to alter their traditional religious beliefs, especially today, when so many are in great need of spiritual comfort.
Although the “gross darkness” was prophesied, Malachi implied it is not inevitable. Therefore, whether today you are a believer or an unbeliever, there is a way you could help the world avoid the darkness --- or, at the least, arm yourself with enough understanding to sanely endure it until your “flesh is saved.” To do so, you will need to open your eyes to the troubled world we often try to ignore, and open your ears and your heart to the most vital teachings delivered by God’s messengers, as they’ve been preserved in the Hebrew scriptures, the Bible and the Koran. When their most crucial messages are linked together, they clearly tell us where we have gone astray in our religious thinking. Though you might be skeptical now, you have nothing to lose by examining old messages in a new light except a little of your time, which, after all, isn’t yours to keep anyway.
Jane Drake is the author of Of Promises and Previews: Urgent Old Messages for a New Millennium, published by Writers Club Press (ISBN 0-595-1520-1) and available throughAmazon.com. Drake has spent close to fifty years comparing the teachings of organized religions with the messages recorded in the Hebrew scriptures, the Bible and the Koran. To contact the author please email OfPromisesandPreviews@vzavenue.net