Editorial by John Kostura
I am not sure why I feel compelled to write this article. I think it may be simply for myself. We have all been faced with so much since the tragedy of September 11th and our emotions have run from one extreme to the other. By putting my thoughts together, it may be possible to make a little sense out of this tragedy . . . at least for myself?
December 31, 2001
Our very early ancestors understood their world far better than we do today. Early man lived in a world of magic and wonder. God was real and all around them. God encompassed every aspect of their lives, rain, sun, birth, death and everything in between. From conception to death . . . God and the spiritual world were one with mankind and their lives.
Isn't that what this life is suppose to all be about? Of course today we say they lived in a world of ignorance and superstition.
I know that God gave us the ability to learn and reason. To waste these talents would go against everything He wants for us. I have a masters degree in geology and worked professionally as a geologist for fourteen years. I am not against science and reason, but perhaps there is more.
The more science answers for us the more we find out what we do not know. Were are ancestors really that ignorant or will we eventually come to understand that this life is spiritual and not just a physical existence? Are we too smart to recognize the obvious or just not quite smart enough?
Armageddon - The Final Battle
When you look at the conflicts that the world has been involved in it has always been for some type of gain. One country invades another to capture additional recourses and add to their territory. In the totality of these endeavors I am reminded of an old blues lyric "they fight over their burial ground." What a futile waste!
Armageddon is not going to be that kind of war. Armageddon will be a spiritual battle.
We will not be able to hire soldiers or mercenaries to fight this battle for us.
All of us will be soldiers and perhaps casualties in this final conflict. Armageddon will not be fought on a battlefield with bullets or from the air with smart bombs. This war is a spiritual battle.
Will September 11th be remembered as the start of WW III or Armageddon? It could very well be. The two things I find the most interesting is that none of our prophets predicted what happened on September 11th and this conflict has a religious basis.
Inconceivable? Not for our ancestors. They lived with it and perhaps understood it in a way that we will never comprehend. Nearly all cultures, at least the ones I am familiar with, report the battle between good and evil. Lucifer was not always a devil. Was not his conceit the start of evil and an all out war in heaven? Could it be our conceit is blinding us to what is really happening?
So how is this battle waged? Simple it is the age old battle between good and evil. Stop . . . I do not mean what you may be thinking. It is not the case that we in the US are good and the attackers are evil. The fact is that both sides are good and evil. There is enough injustice to go around for both sides of this conflict.
The Battle Ground of Our Hearts
Love versus Hate. Forgiveness versus Revenge. Hope versus Fear. You can phrase it anyway you want. The prize for evil is our hearts and souls.
Look at what has happened to this country since the attacks of 9/11. I do not think there has been another time in my life that so many have been filled with fear. All we hear is be afraid of this or that. It is not the events that have driven the sell off on the stock market . . . it is the fear that the attacks have generated. It is even worse in Afghanistan where millions are fleeing their homes and desperately trying to leave the country. Are we not generating this fear?
Listen to what is being said by the countries which may have been involved. They and their own people live in fear. Fear of the west. Fear of militant groups within their own country. Fear of hunger and poverty. A people with no hope has nothing to loose.
The attacks were revenge for any number of wrongs we have committed. Now our cry is for revenge. We will never forget. We will have justice. How can we ever have justice at any time for such mindless murder of this magnitude?
Our Native Americans with great wisdom say "When you go out for revenge . . . dig two graves." Did not the terrorist give their lives to bring us directly to this point. War is their goal.
I myself thought for a brief period of time "Why not light up the Middle East with nuclear weapons? Let's take out Mecca and Medina. See what they think about that!" I am ashamed to say that I did indeed have these thoughts, but there is no point in writing this if I am not going to be honest.
The people that have had near death experiences (NDE) report many of the same things happening to them, the tunnel, the light, the life review and a feeling of total love and peace. They do not report a feeling of hate and revenge.
It has been easy for me to forgive those who have hurt me once I understood the life review. During the life review we will not only see our life before us, we will also experience all of the pain and joy we gave to others. We will experience how our life affected others and spread from them, much like a ripple in water. Everything we ever do or say affects more of humanity then we can presently imagine.
Do I think this is our judgment? Certainly it is. Will God reward or punish us? I do not know but I do know for certain that we will be asked to forgive ourselves. The age old question "Is Hitler in heaven?" Well if after his life review, after feeling and experiencing ALL of the pain and suffering he caused so many, if he could forgive himself then the answer is yes. I do not think he could.
The point I am trying to make is that few of us realize the consequences of our actions regardless of our motives. We must guard what we say, what we hold in our hearts and our spiritual direction. Our children have been exposed to this terrible act but our own words may be more devastating to our children than the attack itself. I fear we may poison a whole generation of our children with hatred and fear.
The attackers that caused this destruction now understand the consequences of their actions. Is that not what justice and revenge are all about?
They were Counting on Our Reaction
If the attackers were not certain of what our response would be . . . would they have taken these actions? Not likely. The attacks were carefully crafted not to do certain damage to a target but to have the magnitude necessary to illicit a certain and predictable response from us.
Did the attackers believe that the US would fall apart? Not likely. Did they instead feel we would strike back . . .? In a religious war a jihad, would they not believe that they would be triumphant?
It is about Religion
How does the old expression go? The more someone says "It is not about money . . . the more certain it is about money." In this case everyone with the US government is assuring us and the world that this is not about religion. Just the battle of good and evil.
The opposition is firm that this is about religion. They are the soldiers and martyrs of Allah in this jihad against evil and the devil's son. The Quran is fairly clear on the subject of non-believers or infidels. Of course this view of infidels would not be widely held today in the Muslim world except for fundamentalist.
Fundamentalizm is not a system of beliefs it is an attitude.
All forms of fundamentalism are dangerous, be it Christian or Muslim. It is the fertile breeding ground for intolerance and the perfect justification for any irrational and imaginable behavior. Fundamentalism justifies death and destruction . . . in the name of God. Bombing an embassy or bombing an abortion clinic for the greater glory of God . . . fundamentalism is dangerous.
All of the players are in place. On the one side we have Osama bin Laden the very personification of evil. On the other side we have GW Bush the very son of the devil himself former President Bush. Bin Laden of course to his followers is a saint and a hero. GW is viewed as leader of destiny and is receiving incredible popular support. They are both fighting evil in the name of God.
Why does Osama bin Laden want this war? To crush the United States? He knows that is not a realistic goal. What he does hope to do is galvanize the support of the fundamentalist Muslim movement. In a recent statement we saw him define the battle as between believers and disbelievers. It is no longer is a battle between infidels and Muslims. He has carefully crafted his comments to draw out the liberal and moderate Muslims. If they are true believers they must of course support him and his views in the jihad.
Would not a realistic and attainable goal for Osama bin Laden not be the overthrow of all moderate Islamic governments?
Saudi Arabia would be the real prize for Osama bin Laden. Let's see his family is Saudi and they disowned him. His nationality is Saudi and they took away his citizenship. The holiest sites to Islam are in Saudi Arabia. Did Fahd not invite the United States into the country and permit the US to maintain military bases on sacred soil. This is Osama bin Laden's primary target.
What about Abdullah of Jordan or Mubarak of Egypt? They have moved to a moderate and liberal view of Islam. Even Iran is becoming more moderate every day. Would Osama bin Laden consider these governments in his group of believers? No. What about the people of these countries? Yes . . . Osama bin Laden is counting on their support and dissatisfaction with their governments position.
Let's not forget Ariel Sharon of Israel. All hopes for a settlement and peace between Israel and the PLO quickly vanished with his visit to the Temple Mount a Muslim holy site. Sharon is now the Prime Minister of Israel.
How will it Play Out?
Just think where we would be today if Osama bin Laden had simply surrendered? I do not think we could justify the bombing of Afghanistan. He certainly could have shut things down fairly quickly.
Osama bin Laden will continue to run and hide. He will at some point break for another country. The US will of course continue to seek his capture.
I wonder if the US knows exactly where Osama bin Laden is? If they did would they actually go after him? It would be the end of their mission in Afghanistan. It would certainly cost the US world support for a continuation of hostilities.
The key is whether the current Islamic leaders can survive? Are we facilitating Osama bin Laden's dream of an Islamic Middle East free of all western influence.
Is our crusade for justice and revenge planting the seeds for the final conflict? India, Pakistan, Iran, Russia and China have more than a passing interest in this final battle.
What We Can and Must Do
If I am right and this is a spiritual battle, then we are all soldiers in this conflict. We must keep ourselves from holding revenge, hatred and fear in our hearts. To do so would give victory to those that would destroy us. In particular we must guard the hearts of our children.
Pray for all the children on all sides of this conflict. Especially pray for those who would destroy us. It is our best weapon and our best defense.