07 September, 2010

Righteous Stand or Publicity Stunt?

Unless you've been in a cave somewhere, you've probably already heard about the Florida church that plans to burn thousands of copies of the Koran this Saturday, the anniversary of the 911 attack on the World Trade Center.  I watched a video with Pastor Terry Jones this morning, and I absolutely cringed. I'm sure he thinks he is doing a great thing, both as a U.S. patriot, and as a Christian. I, however, disagree with him on both counts. Let me make it clear, that as a citizen of the United States, he and his congregation do have the right to do this. Having "the right" does not make it right though. Consider that right now, there is a lot of people very angry that there is a plan to build a mosque within eye sight of ground zero in New York. The Islamic folk have the right to do it, and very few would argue otherwise. However, it is NOT the right thing to do.  I do not agree that the government should step in and force them to change the location of the mosque, and neither do I believe that they should stop Pastor Jones and his congregation from burning the Koran this Saturday. Ideally, in both of these cases, the parties involved would see the lack of wisdom and in following through with their plans.  That said, I doubt this pastor will come to that decision on his own.

In the interview which played on CNN this morning, he showed a total ignorance of what he was doing. He stated that he was not against the moderate Islamic people, only the radicals. He could not see that he was attacking all Islamic people with this boneheaded party they plan to throw this Saturday. It was pointed out several times by the reporter interviewing him, but he simply refused to see how he was attacking all Muslim people by burning their Sacred book.  Today I have heard countless Americans and Christians saying that it was time that we (Christians and Americans) gave the Islamic people a taste of their own medicine. I find that to be totally against the Bible. Did Jesus not teach that we should turn the other cheek? I personally believe that we ought to take the high road and not participate in such behavior. I doubt that Pastor Jones really cares what I think though.

It is a shame that this is going to take place. There will certainly be several things that come down the pike as a result of this, or possibly even ahead of it in order to prevent this event from taking place. In my opinion, Pastor Jones actions are simply inviting the government to strip Americans of more freedoms. I can see them preventing this from taking place... or, if it does happen, laws will be passed to prevent it from happening again.
Second, Pastor Jones is provoking the wrath of radical Islamic people, and possibly even more moderates as well. I would not be surprised to see a violent protest, OR an attempt on his life. Wouldn't surprise me a bit to see his church burned.
Third, this thing is casting yet more bad light on all Christian people, such as the Westboro Baptist Church. (The nuts who protest at the funerals of American soldiers.)
This is one Pastor and one church, but we will all be lumped in with this group by the non-Christians of the world. 

I am asking believers to all pray that the Holy Spirit break through to this man and show him that this is not a good thing he is doing.  I fully support his right to speak against Islam. I fully support his right to speak out against the Koran. But this calls for wisdom, and I do not believe Pastor Jones is using any wisdom in this publicity stunt he is about to do.

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