The middle east is much like the Balkans prior to the first world war - a potential powder keg just waiting for a spark.
It definitely is troubling. One has to wonder about Israeli/Egyptian Peace Accord, and what the potential is for one small nation (Israel) that is surrounded a much larger population would like to see the nation of Israel "wiped off of the map".
I do not personally think that the media gives us full disclosure when it comes to what the real situation is. That in turn fuels conspiracy theories, and possibly deliberate mis-information.
Considering economic conditions, changes in political super-powers, large corporations that benefit from war, there certainly is good reason to be concerned.
In all truth, we have been in a smoldering war since 2001. Afghanistan and Iraq have gone on for far longer than either "world war". The two great wars of the 20th Century were 1914-1918 and 1939-1945. By comparison, both were very small slices of time.
The future doesn't look too pleasant. The Fukushima disaster, the Gulf oil spill, and all of the depleted uranium used the recent battles are slowly killing our planet. Many would agree that the "drums of war" are starting to grow louder. The global economy is a concern. All of these together don't paint a good picture for the future.
That is part of why I started this forum. At this point, faith and encouragement are our best options. I don't know this to be true, but I thought I once read that the words (general idea) "be not afraid" are the most frequent phrase within the Bible. That is where I am. I may not like what I see, but I am not afraid. It is faith that sustains me.
However "faith" is a fragile thing. We need community, we need prayer, and we need encouragement to keep our "faith" alive.g"[/url].
I started this forum because many of the Catholic forums are very restricted, and open discussion is not encouraged. Going in the other direction, many Protestant forums have a lot of "Catholic Bashing", and again discussions are very controlled. Looking for Orthodox forums, there are very few. My vision was a place where people could come, discuss, learn, and grow. I find discussing faith and engaging with others, as an important part of growing stronger in terms of belief.
First and foremost we are Christians. Second, we are all possibly (probably) in theological error. Third, the differences between Catholics, Protestants, and classical Orthodox, are a strength: we can learn from each other. Last, and certainly the largest for me, is the belief in a GOD that is all loving, forgiving, and that we are living in a dispensation of Grace. It is by the Grace of GOD and the Blood of Christ, that we have the fortune to live in an age of Grace.
When we reach the doors of heaven, Grace and Mercy are the only two things we can trust in.
I like the prayer below as it explains what I believe better than I can.
MY LORD GOD, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.
- Thomas Merton, "Thoughts in Solitude"