Friday, September 10, 2010

A brief word on burning the Qur'an

Well let's begin with the obvious question.  Before we answer the question from a Christian perspective we have to first ask from a legal perspective. 

Can this Florida Pastor burn the Qur'an.  Sure.  You could easily make the argument that it is within his first amendment rights to do so and exercise his belief in this way.  So that's the easy answer... although perhaps not so easy?  Now, the more important question and ultimately the question all Christians must ask about anything they do.  Should he burn the Qur'an?  No.  Emphatically no.

Is the Qur'an an evil book that depicts a malicious and false god? Yes.  Then again so are all other 'religious' books that aren't the Holy Bible.  Even still, that does not make it proper for him to burn these books.  What's the benefit of doing this?  Well, I can't judge his motives, however, just from what he has revealed about himself he is doing this in response to the plans for a Mosque to be built near Ground Zero in New York.  Should our motivation, as Christians, EVER be a retaliation response?  Nope.  What is our ultimate goal as a Christian?  To Glorify God.

1 Corinthians 10:31 - Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

We are to do ALL THINGS to His Glory.  A cruel act such as this is not God Glorifying.  While you could make the argument that destroying these books glorifies God in a sense (although that's shaky ground) you cannot escape that it is NOT the behavior of a Christian.  We are to glorify God and love one another.  Now before you begin to think that I am being soft here.  I maintain that the most loving thing we can do as Christians is preach the Gospel.  Preach it.  Not just demonstrate Christlike behavior through our works, but PREACH the message of the Gospel.  That mankind is sinful from birth, show them their sin using the Law, and then give them the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Burning a Qur'an will not convert one single Muslim.  All it will do is cause them to say, 'See the Christians are just as violent as we are accused of being.'

Burning the Qur'an WILL NOT save any of them from the terrible fate that awaits them on Judgment Day.  And if that is the case, and I firmly believe it is, then what can save them?  The Gospel.  Why?  Because Romans 1:16-18 says that Gospel is the very POWER OF GOD UNTO SALVATION!  So who saves anyone from anything?  God does.  God does, and He has chosen in His Sovereignty to do so using the means of the Gospel message.

I hesitate to assert this as I do not want to overstep into judging this man's motives.  However, if his actions are any indication, could it be that he doesn't understand that before God saved Him, He deserved no less hell than the most cruel Muslim?  As did I... and so did any Christian reading this.

We were no less a child of hell than ANY lost person on this planet before God saved us.  But thanks be to God that He has saved us from our sins.  Brought to us 'newness of life' (Romans 6:4).

Lastly, let's not forget.  Romans 12:17-21 - Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men.  18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.  19 Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.  20 “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”  21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

I urge you, brethren, do not engage in such activity as this and do not align yourselves with such acts.  Instead, spend that time and energy hitting the streets of your community and preaching the Gospel.  Dare I say that a more obedient approach for this man, if he truly wants to be God-Glorifying, would be for him to find the nearest Muslim Mosque and wait outside to approach any exiting Muslim willing to talk to him and given them the Gospel.  
Just my thoughts off the cuff, sorry it seems scattered... I have received several emails asking what my position is so I thought this might be easier.  Bottom line:  Burning the Qur'an will never convert any Muslim to Christianity, it will only provoke violence against Christians. However, preaching the Gospel to them and using the Law to awaken their conscience to their sin, THAT, God will use to convert Muslims, Atheists, Agnostics, Mormons, etc...

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