It is with profound dismay that I hear about the Christian pastor in Florida, Terry Jones, who is trying to organize his church for a Quran burning event on 9/11. Pathetically reprehensible is the ignorance of thinking that this behavior could be sanctioned in the name of our Lord. Why doesn’t he also include all the other “holy books” of all the other religions if he thinks that standing around a bonfire will have any beneficial effect God’s work? Does he really believe it is the Quran that is fueling today’s worldwide terrorism, and not just plain old selfishness and self-deception? Burning this one particular book says nothing to the extremist Muslim, it says everything to all Muslim.
If this was the Israel of the Old Testament then God’s people would be just in calling for the destruction of the people living in their land; that is what they were supposed to do but they failed to follow God’s word completely, and as warned by God it resulted in their ultimate destruction and exile. Read what He says to them in Deut 7:2, “when the LORD your God delivers them before you and you defeat them, then you shall utterly destroy them. You shall make no covenant with them and show no favor to them.” And Exodus 23:32 “You shall make no covenant with them or with their gods. They shall not live in your land, because they will make you sin against Me; for if you serve their gods, it will surely be a snare to you.”
But this is America, not the Israel of long ago. This country is not God’s nation, not in the sense that Israel was in the Old Testament. This nation is made up of a lot of God’s people, yes, but the country belongs to all of its citizens, the founding freedoms were guaranteed to all for the purpose of peace for all.
This pastor says Islam is the devil’s religion. More correctly, all religions belong to the devil. They are the antithesis of God’s truth as revealed in His Word. Jesus came to reveal God’s truth because He was the Way, the Truth, and the light (John 14:6). “No one comes to the Father but through Me.” Outside of Jesus Christ everything else is just religion, and is antithetical to God’s truth. Why just enumerate the errors of Islam, why not all the others, and include the philosophies as well?
But evangelism of the Gospel did not entail war and conquer. You don’t find that in the book of Acts or Paul’s letters or elsewhere in the New Testament until you get to the Final days as depicted in Revelation. We aren’t there yet. Maybe this pastor is trying to accelerate those events.
Do you read anywhere in the life of the early church where they gathered for a hate mongering? The further removed from the Apostolic era ending around 100 AD the more atrocities occurred in the name of our Lord. The Crusades, the Inquisition, unspeakable things inflicted on humanity supposedly for the glory of God. Such were the errors of those incorrectly called Believers.
Yes the Bible is God’s only revelation of Himself and of His reality that has graced man’s world, and all others are merely man’s invention. But to create a deliberately incendiary act like a Quran burning can only make Satan smile at the inevitable evil results. Such an act can only reap more hostility, fan the flames of more hatred, evoke more acts of terrorism. This paster must be careful that he doesn’t get burned by his own actions.
I don’t believe the Spirit of the Lord works that way in this Age of the Church, just as the Crusades were not a part of the Spirit filled Church in medieval times but only an excuse by villainous hordes to obtain unjust riches. These are merely the works of men who seem to think more highly of themselves than they ought to think. I hope this man finally hears the voice of the Spirit before he gets completely carried away in the flesh.
[Update September 9, 2010, 7 PM}
It is now reported that Terry Jones has cancelled Saturday’s Quran burning. Amid conflicting reports of just why this decision was made, at least it appears for now that the conflagration will not occur. Thank God for that.