Church Plans "Burn a Quran" Day

“We felt there needed to be an outcry against Islam, because Islam is presenting itself as a religion of peace.” Full story

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Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

"In asking the Gainesville church to call off the event, the NAE, which represents more than 45,000 local churches from over 40 denominations, cited its 1996 resolution on religious persecution. In the resolution, the evangelical body pledged to 'address religious persecution carried out by our Christian brothers and sisters whenever this occurs around the world.'"

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Jim's picture

Activities like this should be condemned. They are counterproductive to the Gospel.

But from that church's perspective, they are getting free publicity and as the saying goes, there's " http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/NoSuchThingAsBadPublicity ]no such thing as bad publicity ".

Wasn't this past Halloween that a http://sharperiron.org/filings/10-14-09/12410 ]church in NC was having a perverted version Bible burning party . About the same thing.

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It's like Westboro Baptist's "fundraising": http://www.sharperiron.org/filings/7-28-10/15757 ]Go raise a stink ... get sued ... counter sue ... settle out of court and pocket the money

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

I was grieved to see the gospel in the mouths of these folks. If they have to use shock and offend tactics, I'd just assume they had some other message to associate with them.
...not that I wouldn't love to burn a few thousand Qur'ans myself but "want to" and "ought to"--so often not at all in the same ballpark.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

JobK's picture

Would these people burn the Talmud, the Kabbalah or any other Jewish religious book? Why of course not! That would be anti-Semitic! Plus it would be an assault on our "Judeo-Christian western heritage!"

A better question: would these people burn the Declaration of Independence, as it represents the Enlightenment deism of Thomas Jefferson, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jefferson_Bible ]who mocked and loathed actual Christianity ? Nah, an attack on the traditional values and heritage of our Christian nation.

Or how about burning books concerning http://whatisthepyramid.com/2009/07/09/freemasonry/ the freemason George Washington ? Or launching protests http://www.gwmemorial.org/ at this Washington memorial ? Nah, see above about Jefferson.

The problem with things like this is that it has so many blind spots, it is so selective.

Also, people like this often have no idea that Muslims are actually more afraid of us than we are of them, and that their fears are not totally without reason. Do these people know how many millions of Muslims are terrified that America will decide that their country is next on the "regime change" list? How many of them are more concerned and fearful over how we - and Israel - already have nuclear weapons than they are of Iran possibly getting them? We call those emotions "anti-American" or "anti-western" and say "they hate us because of our freedoms" and other little slogans like that, but it doesn't change the fact that these are real people with real fears just as are we. And also, as many Muslims don't have "separation between church and state" as part of their worldview, they associate the acts of our military with the Christian religion. The pronouncements of not a few politically conservative Christian pastors (which they do hear about just as we hear statements from their imams) only increases their tendency to see Muslim suicide bombers and American (or in their eyes Christian American) carpet bombing campaigns as six of one and half a dozen of the other, and that the only difference between the two is that A. thanks to our superior technology we are far better at killing large numbers of people than they are and B. since "turn the other cheek" doesn't appear in their theological system in the first place, we are far bigger hypocrites on the issue of violence (that they perceive to be motivated by or done in the name of our Christian religion!) than they will ever be.

That's why it is best to just stick to the gospel. If you adhere to the world, you will be tempted to see Muslims as "the other side" that is threatening your life, wealth, property, family and way of life. (And you will likely view Americans with different political preferences to your own in the same way.) But sticking to the gospel forces you to see them as lost people in dire need of conversion to the true religion. That forces you to actually deal with how they see the world in order to be an effective evangelist among them. And since you are promoting and defending the gospel and not the American or western way of life, dealing with their different perspective is akin to that of the task of the Jews who evangelized Gentiles in the early church: difficult but by no means impossible, and very much worth the effort.

Now I am no pollyanna when it comes to Islam. I followed the Sudan situation for years, there is this sharia mess in London(istan) and France, and I know why that 9/11 mosque is being built. But we can't pretend that the Muslims who LIVE in the countries that we have been bombing, invading, and putting or keeping despots like the shah (Iran), Saddam (Iraq) and Musharraf (Pakistan) don't have reason to burn our flags, and (again since many of them don't separate relilgion and state) our Bibles.

Solo Christo, Soli Deo Gloria, Sola Fide, Sola Gratia, Sola Scriptura
http://healtheland.wordpress.com

Jay's picture

I could see this getting wide play on Al-Jazeera or some other Iranian news site...

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Quote:
A better question: would these people burn the Declaration of Independence, as it represents the Enlightenment deism of Thomas Jefferson, who mocked and loathed actual Christianity? Nah, an attack on the traditional values and heritage of our Christian nation.

Actually, the latter would be a pretty good reason not to burn the DI.
FWIW, Jefferson was not that down on Christianity. He was not a "Christian" but highly valued the role of Christianity in society. D. James Kennedy has an interesting POV on that here: http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=28006. I'm not sure he has all the facts straight but it should be fairly easy to verify that Jefferson was a regular attender at his local Anglican church. The problem was that he liked to pick and choose what parts of Christianity to affirm and what parts to reject. The result was a kind of moralistic hodgpodge. It's an interesting study. I'd to write up something thorough on it one of these days.

But the best reason to not burn Qur'ans is that this is no way to bring someone to repentance. It can only bring them to rage.

Edit: some of Jefferson's "Notes on Religion" are available http://oll.libertyfund.org/?option=com_staticxt&staticfile=show.php%3Fti... ]here Pretty messy though and incomplete.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Gary Peterson's picture

I agree with Jim Peet that burning the Koran is "counterproductive." And as Jay C. said, footage of the burning would get a lot of airplay on Al-Jazeera and likely be used in recruiting and radicalizing Muslims. However, the suggestion to burn the book is based on an embarrassing precedent in Christianity of setting aflame whatever it is we find contrary to the Gospel (including people: Huss, Tyndale, Servetus, et al.). Christians burned Beatles records after John Lennon claimed the Fab Four were "more popular than Jesus." Since I became a believer in 1980 I've learned of people burning Dungeons & Dragons game sets, rock n' roll records and Harry Potter books. All these stunts are counterproductive and stir up images of Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 and smack of Nazism. Burning the Koran is no more or less counterproductive than burning anything else, so we should take care to be consistent and not look upon the Koran as a special exception. (PS: The burning of magic books in Acts 19 can be cited as a biblical precedent, but like many things in scripture (footwashing, head coverings), I don't believe it was intended to be normative practice in all places and times.)

RPittman's picture

Gary Peterson wrote:
I agree with Jim Peet that burning the Koran is "counterproductive." And as Jay C. said, footage of the burning would get a lot of airplay on Al-Jazeera and likely be used in recruiting and radicalizing Muslims. However, the suggestion to burn the book is based on an embarrassing precedent in Christianity of setting aflame whatever it is we find contrary to the Gospel (including people: Huss, Tyndale, Servetus, et al.). Christians burned Beatles records after John Lennon claimed the Fab Four were "more popular than Jesus." Since I became a believer in 1980 I've learned of people burning Dungeons & Dragons game sets, rock n' roll records and Harry Potter books. All these stunts are counterproductive and stir up images of Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 and smack of Nazism. Burning the Koran is no more or less counterproductive than burning anything else, so we should take care to be consistent and not look upon the Koran as a special exception. (PS: The burning of magic books in Acts 19 can be cited as a biblical precedent, but like many things in scripture (footwashing, head coverings), I don't believe it was intended to be normative practice in all places and times.)
Burning of itself is not a bad thing. We burned things on the farm that were no longer useful and became a nuisance for us. For example, we burned the brush from clearing a field or the feathers from a chicken that we killed and cleaned. This was a quick and easy way of disposing of trash and garbage. These things belonged to us and we had the right to dispose of them as benefited us. Even the burning of old books or magazines is not necessarily a wrong thing, although environmentalists will cry about the accumulation of atmospheric carbon. On the other hand, Nazi book-burning is reprehensible because it is about the suppression of ideas and restricting liberty more than destroying a physical object.

And it is not necessarily wrong to burn an object as a symbolic act. For example, a gambler, who gets saved, may burn his playing cards as symbolic of rejecting his old life and starting anew. I see nothing wrong with burning rock CD's, pornographic magazines, etc. if it is meaningful for the person in demonstrating a break from the old sinful ways to live righteously. This is, I think, the significance of the book burning in Acts 19. It was a willing external behavior demonstrating an inner choice or decision. This can be good and helpful. Symbolic acts and symbolism are important parts of human life.

In the present incident, the burning of the Koran is not a good and wise action. Although it is a publicity grabbing stunt, it does nothing to advance the cause of Christ or the church. In fact, it's effect may be entirely the opposite. Other Christians are turned off by this behavior and Muslims are enraged. And, my motivation is not an over-sensitivity about offending someone. If the truth offends, then so be it, but we need not try to be offensive in presenting the truth. If a converted Muslim wants to burn his Koran as symbolic of his rejection of Mohammad and Islam, then so be it, but Christians have no business burning the Koran to garner attention and publicity. That's my two cents!