Quran Burning Church and the Failure of Discipleship

Regular readers of my blog will know that I have a great concern for what seems to be a growing problem of Christians in America becoming nationalistic in their beliefs as well as a concern that for too many Christians, the moral/ethical teachings of Jesus are ignored or are dodged by ridiculous proof-texting in order to justify our preconceived modus operandi. This morning I watched the following video on CNN’s website in which Terry Jones, the Pastor of the Dove World Outreach Church in Gainesville, Florida demonstrates both of these concerns as he tries to explain and justify why his church plans to burn Quran’s on this coming September 11th.  To watch the video, click on this link.

I cannot say emphatically enough how much this disappoints me.  Even though as a Christian I am completely against burning Quran’s or any other actions that seem contrary to Jesus and his teachings, I know that there will be some (perhaps many) Muslims who equate my beliefs with the actions of this particular church.  Further more, if a Christian can set aside just one teaching of Jesus then there is nothing to say that any other teaching of Jesus cannot be discarded…is that not a problem?

Yes it is true that there are teachings of Jesus which appear extremely difficult to follow at times and yes there are teachings of Jesus which I fail to live up to everyday.  But does difficulty or my failures mean I am free just to set aside what Jesus has taught?  If that is the approach I or any other professing Christian can take, then why call ourselves followers/disciples of Jesus?  Because such approach boldly declares “No Jesus, we will not follow you anymore!

8 responses to “Quran Burning Church and the Failure of Discipleship

  1. Agree, agree, agree.

    Why are we so often content with saying, “I know that’s what Jesus said…but”? When even the world can see that an act is “unchristan” we ought to pause and rethink our position (not that this is always reliable…but it was Paul’s argument in 1Cor 5:1).

    Clint

    • If you watched the video then you noticed how evasive the pastor was when was asked about whether he had thought of the repercussions of actions. I don’t know anything about the Dove World Outreach Church but this is a perfect example of what happens when a church seems to ignore seeking council from a wider Christian community. Here this church is going to publicly burn Quran’s in the name of Jesus Christ (and America…which syncretism is part of the problem here) but is such public demonstration what we find to be the church’s business within Christian history? No, instead we find historically the church called publicly to preach and minister in the name of Jesus…and perhaps if this church would listen to a wider Christian council, they would learn that their innovative demonstration is really not of Jesus.

      Grace and peace,

      Rex

      • I did notice his evasiveness. I also noticed that when pressed he said they were going through with the action no matter what. They had already made up their minds.

        I commented on this on my latest blog post, but the best/worst part of the interview was when Jones starting saying everyone should be on his side, even modern Muslims. Then the anchorwoman said, “No modern Muslim is going to be on your side when you’re burning their holy book. I mean, that just sounds silly.” She gets it. But Jones and company can’t see that?

        Unfortunately, sometimes Christians get up the courage to do something big and spectacular…and maybe not the best idea. But once they’ve got the courage, it took so much to get there that they don’t want to back down, or they view all opposition as persecution. I think that’s where we find Terry Jones and company. So, we’ll have to pray.

        In Christ,
        Clint

  2. It is foolish to do what this small church in Florida is going to do. It’s just stupid. We ought to have more knowledge so that we can engage Muslims in conversation, and point them to the True Messiah. Because today, they follow a false prophet and a false god and they are under judgment. Burning their book does nothing to point them to Jesus and only further deepens their commitment to their false religion.

    I want them to hate me and want to kill me because of Jesus; not because I’m burning their book. We shouldn’t be scared of honest intellectual engagement.

    Grace to you –
    Jr

    • Jr.,

      You are so right…burning Quran’s will do nothing to point them to Jesus and if some Muslims are going to hate us, they should hate us because of their hatred for Jesus rather than for our actions towards them.

      Grace and peace,

      Rex

  3. I find it interesting that Jones is justifying his actions by mentioning the time Jesus got angry and upset the temple tables. It is ironic because he is doing exactly what those who were in the temple at the tables were doing. Men who use the house of the Lord to justify their means. I quote our Lord: “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations. But you have made it a den of robbers.” Shame on Mr. Jones for using the foundation of Christianity to exercise his political voice. I believe this is what angered our Lord.

    God bless!
    amy

    • Amy,

      That is a fantastic observation that I never thought of before. There are so many problems when Christians cite Jesus’ clearing of the temple to justify violence and hatful actions. Yes, not only is this Pastor guilty of doing the exact thing the religious leaders were guilty of doing in the Jewish temple but this Pastor misunderstand the entire story of the clearing of the temple to begin with. Not only did Jesus never once bring physical harm to anyone in the temple or put any others in harms way (as far as we know) but Jesus’ actions were also directed towards his own contemporaries who shared his own religious convictions. How ironic it is that this passage is being used to justify actions directed towards those who do not share the religious convictions of this Pastor and that his actions may bring unnecessary harm to other Christians. The more I think about this planned Quran burning, the more disgusted it seems that it would be done and done in the name of Jesus.

      Grace and peace,

      Rex

  4. Rex buddy I completely agree with you just like on the Muslim mosque issue at Ground zero.

    Those behind this Quran burning event are misguided fanatics and putting our troops in harm way! I mean, come on, we’ve got soldiers on the ground in two Muslim countries!
    We should devote the day to a critical dialogue with Muslims and compare the claims of the Qur’an with the claims of the Bible. The day should be used to debate, discuss and highligh t those passages and injunctions which encourage Muslims to embrace fanaticism and terrorism.

    You see something that is being missed here is that one of the undercurrents of Islamic terrorism is lack of mutual dialogue, understanding and appreciation of religions and beliefs between Muslims and non Muslims. September 11 should be used to break that age long darkening and taboo that the Quran cannot be criticized; that Quran contains eternal truths that cannot be challenged or questioned.

    True and peaceful loving Christians, must not remain silent and let some crazy “Christian” pastor preacher be our face to the world. Mine, yours — Americans in general. We need more healthy and peaceful debate and discussion.

    Robert

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