On Burning the Qur'an

In the United States today, there is a call by a "pastor" to burn hundreds of Qur'an in remembrance of the Sept. 11 bombing in New York.

In an interview with CNN, "Pastor" Terry Jones of the Dove World Outreach Center said, "We believe that Islam is of the devil, that it's causing billions of people to go to hell. It is a deceptive religion and that is proven many, many times."

I don't know Mr. Jones' motive in starting this crusade. I am careful as I give my comment because I don't want to judge him as well. Thus, I will turn to Jesus' example as I assess this issue.

Jesus came to the world not to condemn it, but to save it (John 3:17). And throughout His ministry, we see Him walking with the poor, the outcast, the sinners , showing them mercy, love and compassion, and above all, directing them to their greatest need-- a true and lasting relationship with God through Him.

Knowing this, I categorically say that Mr. Jones' plan is contrary to the example of Jesus' outreach to the lost. If we adhere to his plan, we end up limiting the Gospel's reach. What we have is a classic example of contradiction between the faith we profess and the life we live.

It is sad that the world will judge Christianity and Christ and Jesus and God because of acts of arrogance and foolishness by individuals who claim to be followers of Christ. What Mr. Jones wants, it appears to me, is the salvation of Muslims by the eradication of Islam. If this is anywhere near God's master plan for evangelism, we should have seen Jesus urging bloody rebellions to destroy Judaism and even Rome. But He did not. In fact, when the people wanted to install Him as king, He refused.

Mr. Jones is forgetting that the battle is not of this world. It is not the physical that God wants to change but the spiritual, the hearts of men and women. Thus, more than attacking institutionalized religions, our concern as followers of Isa is to share the TRUTH and let God work in opening the eyes of those blinded by the world. Afterall, the turning of people from darkness to light is never our working. God calls people. God changes mindsets and attitudes. He does these all for His glory.
When Jesus came to the world, He came with the message of Truth. Listen to His utmost mission: "
In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth (John 18:37)." As His followers, we continue this mission. We testify to the TRUTH. How do we do this? Our lives are our testimonies to the world.
If we claim to have faith in Christ and that we bear the message of Good News, it is but logical that our actions, deeds and life reflect our faith and the Living God we believe in. My challenge to Mr. Jones is this:

If you believe that by burning Qur'ans you will be able to testify to the TRUTH, then, do so. If you believe that burning Qur'ans is reflective of Jesus' actions in the Bible, then, do so. If you believe that burning Qur'ans will help Muslims get to know Jesus more, then do so.
In the face of this issue, we can all go back to a simple question that stirred the world, "What will JESUS do?"

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