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!