BY SHARON MARTIN
You cannot bring about a thousand-year reign of peace by promoting hate and destruction any more than you can bring back the America that existed only in your dreams by burning churches and killing Christians. If you believe your Bible tells you that either of these things is so, please give it another look.
Lately, I’ve been reading Jay Rubenstein’s Armies of Heaven: The First Crusade and the Quest for Apocalypse. In 1065, Annunciation and Good Friday fell on the same day. Church leaders seized on this coincidence and preached that it foretold the return of Christ. A large number of pilgrims wanted to be in Jerusalem for the event.
The expected didn’t take place, but the pilgrims stumbled into skirmishes they believed were part of the apocalypse … until the holy day had passed.
A thousand years later, we’re still dealing with the mess the Crusades and the pilgrims helped create.
Humans don’t learn a lot from history. Right now, people I know are predicting the beginning of the end in September. Again, it has something to do with two holidays, or maybe it’s a holiday and a full moon, arriving on the same date. Latter-day prophets are issuing dire warnings and posting underlined passages from Revelation.
Is it for humans to decide the fate of the world, although every single act and decision of every single one of us contributes to its fate? Think about that.
We have the power to accept that every creature is part of creation. Will the world be better without elephants, wolves, people who don’t look like us? People who don’t worship as we do?
We can treat all with kindness, or we can be the holier-than-thou bullies. We can rape and pillage the planet, or we can do what is in our power to preserve it for our children and their children. We can teach our children to live this life to the best of their ability, or we can preach hate and intolerance as a means of reaching heaven.
I know which choices I want us to make. And I don’t believe we can know what’s on God’s mind or on his calendar.
Let’s be prepared for whatever nature and man throws at us. But we serve creation best when we hope for peace and do our best to make it happen for everyone. Apocalypse can wait.
– Sharon Martin lives in Oilton, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer