I know a lot of people see it as Armageddon, but, I never have. I've read masses about this for years and my belief is that a great change is coming and it could go 'either' way. It will come down to us, 'mankind' which way that is. So I think your friend is right. It's just that the way things are in the Middle East right now, is worrying.
Just for clarification - until I researched this post I'd never heard of Jochmans!
Goings on in the Middle East have always been worrying - and I whole-heartedly wish that Messrs. Cameron and Hague would keep their interfering noses out of the current situation. At least the Americans for once seem to be acting with more caution. The truth is that you cannot suppress people for decades and get away with it. The time will come when enough is enough. Of course Mankind has the capacity to destroy itself, but by the same token it can also save itself, provided it heeds the warning signs, e.g. nuclear activity, its contribution to the natural phenomenon of global warming, and massive world over-population.
It's very alarming, but I don't think this can be related to 2012, which does seem false in the first place.
I agree with that. Certainly as regards the 2012 scenario [from Wikipedia] -
Scholars from various disciplines have dismissed the idea of catastrophe in 2012. Mainstream Mayanist scholars state that predictions of impending doom are not found in any of the existing classic Maya accounts, and that the idea that the Long Count calendar "ends" in 2012 misrepresents Maya history. The modern Maya do not consider the date significant, and the classical sources on the subject are scarce and contradictory, suggesting that there was little if any universal agreement among them about what, if anything, the date might mean.
Now that makes a lot of sense to me, if for no other reason than that the calendar widely used in the Christian world, and presumably upon which this assumption is based, is the Gregorian calendar, which is a revised version of the old Julian calendar which began in 45BC, long after the Mayan calendar.
The change-over took place in 1752 when 2 Sept was followed by 14 Sept - something which gave rise to mass protests both in Britain and in the US, with people demanding "Give us back our eleven days!" No days had actually been lost, just simply that the Julian calendar had got a little out of gear astronomically speaking, and so the slightly more accurate Gregorian calendar was adopted instead.
If you add to this the Islamic, Hebrew and Chinese calendars, I think you can see how improbable this 2012 prediction is. Also there have apparently been no fewer than 220 predictions about the end of the world since Roman times, the bulk of them, not surprisingly, occurring in the 20th and 21st centuries.
The 2012 prediction would, therefore, seem to be an excuse for a huge media and internet scare (remember the field-day they had with the Millenium, and nothing happened?). As for the "Second Coming" theory - the anticipated return of Christ from Heaven to Earth - well, I believe that that is merely a comfort belief which is adhered to by diehard Christians. The Biblical idea, according to the Book of Revelations, that the Messiah will return to defeat the Antichrist ("the Beast") at the battle of Armageddon, is only referred to in Abrahamic, i.e. monotheistic, religions, and makes a very good scare story as well. The truth is that Mount Armageddon was the site of many battles, none of which saw the end of the world as we know it or indeed any other disasters of catastrophic proportions.