Eric Elnes: Suicide or Adoration: The 'Doomsday Clock' and the Abrahamic Faiths


Jesuit paleontologist Teilhard de Chardin once observed that "humanity is being taken to the place where it will have to choose between suicide and adoration." If the scientists behind the "Doomsday Clock" which measures the likelihood of a global cataclysm are correct, then we had best start adoring!

Scientists with the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists announced recently that the Doomsday Clock is to remain at three minutes to midnight - the closest the clock has been to midnight in twenty years. The metaphorical clock, which has been maintained since 1947, is a summary view of leading experts who are deeply engaged in conversation around the existential challenges of our time. It reflects how vulnerable the world is to catastrophe from nuclear weapons, climate change and new technologies.

As a person of faith, I don't know what I can do about keeping "new technologies" from wreaking havoc upon the earth. Yet as a minister within one of the three Abrahamic faiths (Christianity, Judaism, Islam - I'm Christian), I believe there is something distinctive our faith traditions can and must do to avert disaster: It is high time for the practitioners of the three Abrahamic faiths, which comprise over half of the world's population, to acknowledge that we worship the same God, and that a primary way we express our love for God in today's world - and reflect God's love for us - is through promoting (1) Reconciliation with Our Neighbor, and (2) Reconciliation with the Earth.

Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all use the same word to describe the destruction of what God has created: blasphemy. Given the precarious state of the world we live in, blasphemy is also the word that best characterizes the turbulence between our faiths, which diverts our attention from God's two great calls to reconciliation in our era.

To this end, I propose the following draft of an Affirmation that could be made by any follower of one of the Abrahamic faiths who agree that the three faiths worship the same God, and that our communities are called to move from civilization's suicide to adoration of God. Naturally, not everyone within these communities will agree with the premise that we worship the same God. If this is your point-of-view, I ask that you refrain from debating me in the Comments section below, as this is not the place for it and I will not respond. And naturally, those from other faith communities, and those outside any community, all play a vital role in preserving the earth. I focus on the Abrahamic faiths simply because they are part of my immediate community. I invite others to draft statements for their own communities as well.

Like the Emergency Broadcast System, "This is a DRAFT. This is only a DRAFT!" I welcome and encourage your comments. Perhaps with your help something more robust than a blog post may come of it.

As members of the world's three Abrahamic faiths,

Judaism, Christianity and Islam, 

we affirm that

we worship one God in three distinct traditions,

and that God loves all people, and the earth itself,

beyond our wildest imagination. 

We acknowledge that

widespread violence and the degradation of earth's ecosystems 

threaten the future of the very things God loves.

Therefore, we dedicate our lives, our loves, and our hope

to embodying God's love by working toward 

Reconciliation with our Neighbor

and  Reconciliation with the Earth.

Further, we renounce all forms of faith and human behavior that seek to divide humanity or degrade the earth. 

We join hands with all people, in and outside our faith communions,

who are dedicated to this reconciling work to which God calls us.

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