Is Armageddon “real”? It’s a real “teaching” — but is it a real thing? Or is it just there in religion for the purpose of inducing fear. Fear works, but it is not a motivator — quite the opposite — because it has a paralyzing effect. The religious tenet of wicked people being destroyed at Armageddon (claimed to be god’s war) is a serious lie that flies in the face of love.
Childhood Memory of Armageddon
In the summer, we traveled fifty miles to Winnipeg for religious conventions with the “paradise people.” Ever since I was old enough to remember, my mom and dad, brothers, and I climbed into the front seat of our 1951 Chevrolet pickup truck and off we went to the big city of Winnipeg. At first, I liked going because we saw people we knew. I loved the crowd and the food and the music.
But, by the time I began to understand what was going on, it became less and less entertaining, as we heard talks about the impending Armageddon. The world was going to end. God was going to destroy all the wicked people on earth. Now, because we went to meetings and conventions, we would know what to do to survive this terrible tribulation because we weren’t wicked. After all, we went to meetings and conventions. And, after we cleaned up the dead bodies and destruction, we would live happily ever after, in Paradise.
While we traveled to Winnipeg, Dad reminded us about the message we could anticipate hearing, “You know, we will be learning more about the paradise and how we could get to live there. But first, we will have to survive Armageddon. Everyone wicked is going to be destroyed. There will be dead bodies spread from one end of the earth to another. We will have to clean it up. Then we would live in paradise.”
I became frightened. I didn’t know how to clean up dead bodies and I didn’t want to do that kind of work.
Daddy continued, “That’s why if we are good workers now, before Armageddon, God can use us afterwards, to help make the paradise. So, when I ask you to do something, remember that God is watching to see how obedient you are. If you are obedient, you will get to live in paradise.”~ Excerpt from “Phoenix of Faith“
Terror of Armageddon
Death at Armageddon at the hands of god is a real belief in the Jehovah’s Witnesses religion. As a child, it terrorized me.
Armageddon illustration Revelation Climax p. 52.
Now, as an adult, I realize that if god really loved humanity, he wouldn’t threaten us with death for perceived disobedience in the same fashion as my father did. Parents would do well to appreciate that terrifying your children into submission do not qualify as healthy teaching moments. In fact, the above example about Armageddon as punishment was frightening and abusive to the point of traumatizing.
It wasn’t just my father that taught the Armageddon stories. It is in the Jehovah’s Witnesses publications such as the one I was taught, From Paradise Lost to Paradise Regained (1958). A more modern children’s bedtime story book of the Jehovah’s Witnesses called, My Book of Bible Stories (1988) is in use today to indoctrinate children’s minds using dread. This terror-inducing doctrine is also spoken verbally from their Kingdom Hall and convention platforms.
So, is Armageddon “real”? Indeed, it is a teaching definitely embodied in the Jehovah’s Witnesses religion for inducing fright — because it works to keep children obedient to their parents. Terror is paralyzing. It breaks the spirit of children as it silences independent thinking and crushes disobedience. The religious ideology of people being destroyed at Armageddon is a hurtful lie that is anything but loving.
Visit "Phoenix of Faith" a memoir. Follow on Twitter: @_phoenixoffaith Copyright © 2012–Present.