I was thinking about making a huge post on the mess, but instead I’m going to share a Facebook adventure! A friend of mine posted a link to an online petition asking the people at that congregation not to burn the Qur’an on Saturday as planned. A response to the link occasioned my response, and a couple of subsequent responses… anywhoooo, I got to say most of what I wanted to blog about, lol!
Petition requesting Dove World Outreach Church to cancel their plans to burn the Koran on 9/11
Here was the only response to the link when I saw it this morning. A person said…
This petition uses very poor reasoning. “Freedom of religion is a founding principle of our Constitution and the burning of any people’s sacred texts is in direct opposition to this principle.” No, freedom of religion mean you have the right to burn anybody’s sacred text. That includes The Bible as well as The Koran. I am not for the burning of The Koran, but I am for the freedom to do so.
Not completely bad, though I think it misses the heart of what the petition is saying. I actually didn’t go after this person as much as I just took to opportunity to mention an appropriate piece of scripture for Xians right now. I said…
Christians should know what freedom is used for, service to others… “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature ; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire… law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.” Gal 5
And then the person said this…
I think that Paul is talking with Christians dealings with other Christians. Anyway, how does it love and serve a Mulsim to let him believe that Jesus is just one of many prophets and not The Prophet?
*Ahhh… time out! That’s not fair! That is bad exegesis and a nasty bit of bait & switch. First, it’s very weak to take a fundamental “one-another” teaching and start excluding the demographics you don’t want to love and serve. Yes, the context is a letter to Xians, but you have to want to make Paul’s “one another” only other Xians, especially as he quotes Jesus’ use of the words, “Love your neighbor.” So, boxing up a verse and dismissing it is not good handing of the Bible. Secondly, we had the subject switched to evangelism in mid conversation, and the act of not burning a Qur’an was equated with apathy about the person of Jesus. Again, not fair and not good. This is not about evangelism or making Jesus known… it’s tied up in this Florida Pastor’s method of intertwining the horrible events of Sept. 11, 2001, terrorism in general, extremist violence, national religion, a domineering view of his own faith over all others that are similarly protected in our nation, and his warped idea of what clearly communicates the love of God.
So, I replied…
Of course Paul is writing to Xians about other Xians, good thing we’re taught to only love and serve other Xians, huh? It would be horrible if we had to love everyone… oh wait! that’s right, Jesus taught love for neighbors and even “enemies.” Maybe we will have to engage Paul on this issue after all.
And burning a Qur’an doesn’t even make the list of the dumbest ideas for helping someone know Jesus as the Christ. It has nothing to do with helping a soul know Jesus, and we all know that. It has to do with a often nationalistic and decidedly dominating style of Xian faith which Jesus did not teach. His apostles did not either. Maybe a few of the apostles heard him tell Pilate that his was not such a kingdom.
I cannot believe that anyone in good conscience can argue that rudeness and insensitivity are bedrock to good evangelism. Maybe if Xians were the people safe-guarding our neighbor’s dignity more often than ridiculing it they would be asking to know more about this Jesus we love so much.
Here’s where we pick up Paul again, in Acts 17… you know, the trip into Athens. Paul did not say, “You stupid idiots with your idols and false religions! My religion kicks your religion’s butt!” No, he said (paraphrase), “Wow, you guys rock! You’re serious about your religion… so let me tell something really awesome that I have learned to love.” The little congregation and it’s offensive stunt down in Florida is tasteless, artless and godless. It promotes not a single thing taught by Jesus Christ. And it’s constitutional correctness should be a secondary concern to a thoughtful follower of the One who unashamedly sat and ate with strangers and “sinners” and loved them all in spite of public and religious opposition.
Thanks for letting me blog on your wall, [name removed]!
Hahahahahaha! Much love!
And that’s pretty much all I’ve been wanting to say about the Pastor in Florida and his dumb idea that burning Qur’ans is a way to advance his own faith.