A Simple Question

My recent visit to the mosque stirred up a good bit of discussion on Facebook, most of it from a college friend who is convinced the Muslims are trying to take over America.  I don’t believe “the Muslims” (all 1.5 billion of them) are trying to do anything of the kind, although I wouldn’t put it past some Muslims (or Christians, or Jews, or Buddhists, or Hindus) to give it a try.  There are extremists in every religion.  

One of the extremists in my religion has declared September 11th “International Burn a Koran Day.”  His name is Terry Jones and he is the pastor of Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida, which he describes as “a New Testament church—based on the Bible, the Word of God.”  A link on the church’s web site directs you to a Facebook page called “International Burn a Koran Day,” where you are greeted by a banner that reads, “Islam is of the Devil.”  Under the banner is this announcement:

On September 11th, 2010, from 6pm – 9pm, we will burn the Koran on the property of Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, FL in remembrance of the fallen victims of 9/11 and to stand against the evil of Islam. Islam is of the devil!

Frankly, I cannot imagine a more effective way to stir up the anger of the Muslim world than to publicly burn its sacred text.  I can think of a hundred good reasons not to do it.  But the one that comes to mind most quickly comes straight out of the New Testament, which Pastor Jones describes as “the Word of God.”  Here it is, from Matthew 7:12: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

So, I want to ask Pastor Jones a simple question: “Do you want a Muslim Imam to burn a Bible on the property of his Mosque on September 11?  If not, then don’t burn a Koran on the property of your church.  This is good advice, and it comes from Jesus himself.  If he is your Lord, and not just your Savior, then you might want to do as he says.  If you won’t do what he says, then (with all due respect) what kind of pastor are you, and what kind of ‘New Testament church’ is the Dove World Outreach Center?”

I’m just asking, because I don’t want to have to answer that other question, the one my Muslim neighbor will ask me on September 11: “Why are you Christians burning the Koran?”

3 thoughts on “A Simple Question

  1. First, allow me to say that I would NEVER burn a Koran(I’ve also seen it spelled Quran-not sure which is correct or if both are) or any other book as a public political statement. I think that the Dove World Outreach Center should NOT do that. I have also seen people do things as an insult to Christianity or burn American Flags, etc. and I feel that they should NOT have done those things either. Yet, even so, objecting to such things as the “Burn a Koran Day” as I do, I also have to acknowledge that it is their, in the United States, constitutional right to do so just as it is your and my consitutional right to publicly object to it. No, I don’t want those people to burn the Koran. Even so, I also don’t want our nation to ever become like some other nations where we would be arrested and stoned or shot or made slaves if we go against the official governmental position on some matter. As Thomas Jefferson said, “Errors of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it.” Thank you for combating the error of “Burn a Koran Day”, Dr. Jim!

  2. Mmmm…..How often have you seen the American flag burned? Seems I heard on the news Dove World Outreach Center was a congregation of 50 and 30 of them dropped out upon hearing of Pastor Terry Jones suggestion. There is always hope that cooler heads will prevail. It is time we all got along!

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