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The Messiah Isn’t Coming: Quit Waiting

There is a famous parable in Judaism about a big giant bucket filled with Mitzvoth (Commandments) that people have done. The water from mitzvoth is right at the edge and one person’s deeds could be the drop that pushes the water over and the Messiah will come.

While I think that my religion has the healthiest view (s) on the Messiah, it still somewhat misses the point. Biblical religions believe, to varying degrees, in some sort of “end of days.” Many utopian movements also believe in a sort of end of days as well; Communism, Nazism . The difficulty may be to find the difference between religious utopias and utopian movements. Just because we say it is in the name of religion doesn’t necessarily make it any better.

These religions and movements accept the belief or notion of a Messiah—human or otherwise—who will bring about a heaven-like or perfect world if their adherents follow or do x,y,z. Yet some of the worst atrocities in the world have been committed in the name of ushering in a Messiah. The argument I am making is that the world would be better off if religions or utopian movements would disregard the belief in a messiah, be he human or divine.

The reason that I am so against the belief in Messianism and an end of days is that I feel it detracts from the overall message of most religions, which in general is to be good to one’s neighbor. However, if in the back of your mind you think that your neighbor won’t make it into the messianic stage, or they are not part of your religion and are “different”, you are going to treat them differently. Maybe you will be civil, but will you treat them truly as a friendly neighbor. Does your concept of Messiah skew the way you act towards people who don’t share your belief system?

Seemingly, Pope Francis seems to think that relationships with others should trump theological divides. The statement went on to call Catholics to not try and convert Jews to Catholicism Jews. In response the Godly and human outreach by the Catholic Church, a large group of Rabbis responded with a very public letter calling on a new relationship between Jews and Catholics. This profound change happened because both sides looked past the “messianic” issues and worked towards mutual friendship.

There are a few points that I would like to point out about this. Messianic belief is worse when it becomes a national or community based belief. What individuals believe for the most part is irrelevant. If it helps them act better, than I wouldn’t care less. When a country acts in order to bring a “Final Solution,” an end of days, a 12th Imam, a Mahdi, a social transformation, the rapture, etc.; it usually ends tragically bad.

On the individual level however, one should probably reexamine his or her beliefs. If you Messianic beliefs, regardless of how sacred, are keeping you from being human towards another without ulterior motives, shouldn’t they be changed?

Somehow and somewhere, this concept of the Messiah has been taking away from core religious beliefs. The belief in God is severely damaged by this belief in an end of days.

In the cases if the Biblical religions, the goodness of the bible is able to somehow temper the badness of what happens at the transition period into the end. However, where there is no goodness grounding, ie. Nazism and Communism, the results have been the murder of tens of millions of people. Today we happen to be facing religious zealots that believe in actively murdering in order to bring about a 12th Imam. Either way, this belief must end. All religions must take some major introspection and rid their beliefs of this concept.

There is no magic potion. There is no quick fix to bring goodness and kindness into the world. There is only action. The individual must act accordingly to bring these things into the world. He should do so not to bring about the Messiah, but to be good and Godly. -- Can the individual outweigh the national messianic beliefs? Who knows, but if we focus on the here and now and not the "Messianic Era" than maybe we will see God’s blessing in this world.