Making our job harder still

I just read this article where Dove World Outreach Center plans on burning a Koran on 9/11 to commemorate the 9th anniversary (See the article HERE). I can only shake my head in frustration. As a Christian who longs to share who Jesus is, I find Dove’s actions almost as offensive as the Muslims do (although I won’t go so far to burn an American Flag or call for the death of anyone).

Jesus was not afraid of those who disagreed. In fact he sought them out. Burning a Koran, or any other book that contradicts the Bible is saying it has power over us. It’s saying we don’t have enough faith in the Word or in God to persuade others. Dove World (based on their actions, they are horribly misnamed) is spewing the kind of hate Jesus preached against.

Beyond that, in a cynical world who sees Christians as nothing but hypocrites, this adds one more piece of evidence that they are right.

If we are to bring Jesus to a despairing world, we must meet everyone on their terms. Jesus spoke to the Pharisees differently than the fisherman. Paul used different arguments for the Greeks than for the Jews and Romans.

How does burning one religion’s holy book help to convince them that perhaps their way isn’t the right one? Is that something Jesus would have done? With a sense of irony, the people of Dove would probably answer in the affirmative. I’d even wager that they would use the scripture where Jesus overturned the money-exchanging tables in the Temple as their reasoning. Convincing them otherwise might take more effort than trying to convert a rock to Christ.

Perhaps that’s a harsh judgment on my part, and puts me on the same level as Dove World. Call me a cynic when I say they’ll have to change their ways to prove me otherwise. I just get so angry when professed Christians act in a way contrary to Jesus’ teaching. It only makes my job that much more difficult.

7 thoughts on “Making our job harder still

  1. I agree and I think it’s horribly wrong for this group to do something so hateful. I’m sure it’s a reaction to the mosque at Ground Zero possibility, and while I don’t think that’s a good idea, because it is a purposeful attempt at a slap in American Christians’ faces, that is not the way to counter such a thing. It’s as bad as the so-called Christian group protesting at military funerals. It’s not at all Christian, and I resent people using Christ’s name in that manner.

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  2. I think the whole burning the Koran thing is a stupid thing to do. I find it equally disturbing that Muslims around the world are up in arms about it, threatening violence because of it. It underscores the fact that there’s something inherently “off” in the Islamic philosophy. If I heard a mosque was burning Bibles, I’d probably roll my eyes and say “figures”. That would be the end of it (for me and most Christians I think.) So, while I understand that, yes, we need to model Jesus and be loving to our fellow Muslims, I don’t think we should necessarily pander to their hypersensitivities. Jesus practiced tough love too. I think the pastor is in the wrong in this case, but to the Muslim’s I say, buck up, grow a thicker skin. It’s America…freedom of speech, freedom of expression. Doesn’t mean we like or condone it.

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  3. If a Christian convert wanted to burn his own Koran as a testimony to his salvation, I would applaud. I most certainly believe we are in a war against radical Islamic terrorists, but this seems like throwing gasoline on a fire or shooting rock salt in the air. Muslims are quite familiar with hatred. It’s love, mercy and grace that draws them to Christ, not more of the violence and fear found in their religion. Maybe it sounded like a great idea in committee, but somebody should have gone home and asked his wife what she thought before announcing it to the press.

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  4. Loraine: I completely agree the so-call “Ground Zero Mosque” is a bad idea, and for the reasons you state. I’m also curious why the Muslims got the quick go-ahead when a group of Greek Orthodox can’t get through the red tape to rebuild their church that was destroyed on that day.

    Jessica: Ditto. I especially like “I don’t think we should necessarily pander to their hypersensitivities . . .” As an American who believes in freedom, the pastor has every right to burn the Koran. What concerns me is the Obama Administration’s response. They are pressuring him to not burn the books under the guise of “putting our troops in more danger.” Based on the Muslim response in Afghanistan, they were merely looking for a reason to scream foul. Like you said, the administration is pandering. It shows us as weak, and that bothers me. It will only give terrorists more confidence that they can get away with more attacks here and abroad. I thought the President’s job was to protect the American people and their freedom. He has done neither.

    Robynn: Welcome! So glad you stopped by and add to the discussion. I especially loved your last line. 🙂

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  5. Yes, he may have the “right” to burn it but that doesn’t mean he should. Just as the media had the “right” to make the story so public, but they shouldn’t have. They should have ignored the hate-monger and left it alone and not given him a voice. There. Problem solved. He can do it. They don’t have to hear about it.

    The thing is, we cannot look at the Afghan culture from our own perspective. They don’t have our freedoms, although they do much more now than before we went in. They’ve been under horrible dictating violent Al Quaida rule for over a decade and that’s what they know. They’ve lived under a hateful regime. Before that, they were under Soviet rule. Oversensitive? Yes. But of course they are. Americans are supposed to be educated enough and Christians are supposed to be forgiving and understanding enough that what this guy is doing is (along with the press covering it) inexcusable. Maybe he should go over there and see what’s going on first, before casting the first stone. Our troops are trying very hard to help their culture see what freedom and democracy are about. We should all be helping that, not hurting it.

    Andra, I agree 100% about our government. They should have said nothing more than that we have freedom of religious expression in this country and freedom to burn books (gasp!) whatever they may be and left it at that. Yes, there is WAY too much pandering to Muslims by our admin. And I thought they believed in separation of church and state. Isn’t that what they said? (Yes, I know there is no such phrase in the Constitution, but they apparently don’t.)

    I have nothing against Islam. It’s their right. (The extremists are changing Islam as much as our extremists are changing Christianity.) I only have something against anyone trying to tell anyone else what they should or shouldn’t believe.

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  6. Actually, I think our government should have stayed out of it and said nothing. They need to stay out of a lot of where their noses don’t belong, according to our Constitution.

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  7. Excellent points, as usual, Loraine. I can always count on you to expand on a subject that makes me go, “Hmm. I never thought of it that way.”

    Robynn pointed out that we shouldn’t throw gasoline on the fire, and the media did just that. But then again, it’s what they thirst for — creating more sensational stories by constant exposure of smaller ones — so we should expect nothing less.

    I want to thank all of you for adding such thoughtful comments. I look forward to more if you’re so inclined.

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