The Messiah IS Coming: Counterpoint

My fellow blogger Ezra Drissman recently posted a provocative rant, entitled "The Messiah's not coming; quit waiting." The post set out to show that the concept of believing in a messiah is ruining religion—and a whole bunch of other things.

Some of the worst atrocities in the world have been committed in the name of ushering in a Messiah," he says.

Really? Name a few.

I mean, I agree that loons who unthinkingly follow other loons can be dangerous. (Hello, Trumpistas!) But what's up with all the faith-hate

Ezra includes cult-like secular groups—eg Nazism and Communism—in his messianic mix. But Hitler didn't kill Jews because he thought it would bring about the end-times, he killed Jews to "save" Germany.

The Rapture is also noted. But c'mon, Ezra: how many people have been murdered by Christians hoping to hasten the return of their savior? Not only does this not happen, but I don't know of any verse in the New Testament that commands Christians to slaughter the unbelievers so Christ will get back here faster.

As for the 12th imam: I'm no fan of Islam, but the Iranian mullahs don't slay the infidels in order to bring the Mahdi back. They just enjoy slaying the infidels. It's like those Geico commercials: if you're a radical jihadist, that's just what you do.

Messianism, Ezra says, "detracts from the overall message of most religions, which in general is to be good to one's neighbor." Well, I guess so. Although that's rather a generic affirmation of religious faith. Sort of like being a Unitarian.

Fact is, belief in Moshiach is CENTRAL to Judaism. And belief in the return of Jesus is central to Christianity. You can't really ignore that. Does Ezra want Christians to stop hoping Jesus returns? There goes their whole religion. Should Jews not bother to look forward to the time when Moshiach comes to make things right? Why bother, then, to defend Israel? It doesn't really matter, right?

Ezra ends by asking "all religions" to be more "introspective." But if he's trying to stop the killing, there's really only one religion he needs to be talking to, and we all know which one that is. The problem has nothing to do with imaginary messiahs, and everything to do with very real terrorists.