Jesus is coming, and will fight on the side
Also sponsored by Earth Pendant at PeacefulJewelry
"the anti-Christ will appear, and Jesus, from Christianity, will come back and fight on the side of the Islamic State."
I was surprised last night when author Graeme Wood, in an interview show on PBS NewsHour on March 11, 2017, said that members of the Islamic State believe Jesus is going to return and fight with them against their enemies.
Yes, Jesus Christ. Returning to fight against Christians. Seems insane, not just to Roman Catholics, Baptists, evangelicals and the whole litter of sects that disagree sharply with each other about what it means to be a Christian. It probably seems insane to non-religious people who know little about Islam..
Yet it would not seem insane to anyone who believes in Islam. Let me try to explain why, since Mr. Wood did not get a chance to follow up on that thought in the interview (follow the link above, there was a lot of other good stuff in the interview.)
I read the Quran (then spelled Koran) once, long ago. I had already read the Bible and some Hindu and Buddhist scriptures. I bought a small paperback. Even though I had read some basic stuff about Islamic ideas and history, I was surprised at some of the actual contents. Large parts of the book were stories about Moses, Jesus, and Jesus's mother Mary, and some other Old Testament prophets as well.
The Islamic State idea of Christ on their side is easier to comprehend, as a bit of consistently mad thought within a generally mad system of make-believe, if you know a bit about Muhammad (formerly spelled Mohammed). The Prophet, as he came to be called, studied the four main religions of the Middle East at that time. Those were: Judaism, Anti-Jewish (Roman) Christianity, Jewish Christianity, and the pagan beliefs of the Arab tribes. This was around 600 A.D.
Mohammed honed in on Jewish Christianity. The standard (roman-christian) story is that Jesus's first followers were Jewish. However, Jesus appears to have been what was called a Hellenizing Jew, someone who blended Greek and other non-Jewish beliefs into his teachings. Early on the followers split into (1) the main camp of Hellenized Jews and their non-Jewish converts, and (2) the Jesus followers who were Jews who rejected the new levels of make believe invented by camp 1 after Jesus's death. These early Jews for Jesus were clear (because their ancestors had witnessed it all) that Jesus died on the cross and was not resurrected and was not god or the son of god. They probably had watched what we call Christianity being made up, and were happy to talk about it. The considered Jesus a teacher or prophet to be followed, but not a son of god like Hercules.
In the Old Testament, which Mohammed read or heard read, there are a series of Prophets. One thing that most modern Jews, as well as Christians, agree upon is that there are no Prophets after Jesus. Mohammed, of course, believed he himself was a prophet. So he and his followers asserted the doctrine that Mohammed was the final prophet, and Jesus was second to final. Of course lots of people have declared themselves to be Prophets since Mohammed, including Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormons.
Which brings us back to the Final Battle. What would Jesus do? Well, if you followed the reasoning of Mohammed above, you would consider that Moses, Jesus, Mohammed and all the old prophets would be on the same side.
It is a powerful argument to those who believe that the Middle East is the center of the spiritual world. Lots of Jews and Christians converted to Islam in the past, particularly in the century after death of the Prophet (who lived from 570 to 632 A.D.) At that time the mass conversion of pagans in the Mediterranean area was only 2 centuries old. For most families, conversion to Christianity was relatively recent history.
My hope is that the display of craziness by cults like the Islamic Caliphate will have the long term effect of convincing younger people that religion is make believe, and that it makes people crazy. In the meantime, I would not be surprised to see more mentally unbalanced young Christians converting to Islam. Both religions have been engineered to attract people. And those with a particular penchant for intolerance and violence will doubtless be attracted to the Islamic State and groups like it, including intolerant, violent Christian groups.
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