There has been a lot in the news lately about the small church in Gainesville, Florida that plans to burn copies of the Koran on 9-11. Here are some of my thoughts on the matter.
I remember one time in college that some friends got a hold book of Mormon and tore it up (I went to a Christian college). It really bothered me.
It’s wrong to show blatant disrespect to a religious book that is valued by others. Even when the book is in error. We respect the book because we respect the persons who value it.
I remember as a kid getting my first Bible. My parents taught me to take great care with it. To treat it reverently. One “rule” I was taught was to never set something else on top of my Bible. The Bible is God’s word, and so I was to treat the Bible with respect. Some may call that rule legalistic, and maybe it was. But I still don’t set anything on top of my Bible. And if I see something on top of a Bible, I will move it.
Muslims feel the same way about the Koran as I feel about the Bible. Even more so. They generally have it beat into their heads at a young age that the Koran is a holy book worthy of respect. When someone deliberatly destroys the Koran, this creates rage among Muslims. Perhaps that is the biggest concern here. Creating rage among Muslims against Christians, and against Christ. Stuff like this pushes them further away from Jesus.
On the flip side Acts 19:19 is somewhat applicable. It records the Ephesians burning up their magic scrolls. The difference there is that they were burning their own things that they no longer wanted. Not going out and buying them and burning them to make a point or to try and irritate others.
It’s also irritating how the media has hyped this event up. It seems the secular media is always jumping at the chance to portray Christians as hateful.
Lastly, the name of the church group seems oxymoronic. “Dove World Outreach”. Nice.
Recently Egypt has been in the news. As part of the swine flu hysteria, Egypt has ordered the destruction of all pigs that are in the country. What many news reports neglect to mention the religious aspect of this action. Egypt is a majority Muslim nation, with a Coptic Christian minority. Since Muslims are not allowed to touch pork, the pig farmers are Coptic Christians.
Here are two articles from that addresses the religious aspect of the action:
I recently had the pleasure of seeing a new believer get baptized. This young person came from an Islamic background. His testimony brought tears to my eyes. It is such a joy to hear the life story of a new follower of Christ. It is particularly amazing when the testimony comes from someone who risks everything to follow Him.
Here is a site with video testimonies from former Muslims who have become Christians. These are professionally done reenactments telling the story of these individuals, and how they came to know Isa (Jesus). They are spoken in the native languages (Arabic, Farsi, etc) of the believers. There are English subtitles also.
More than Dreams
These particular testimonies have several things in common:
- All were seeking to know Allah better.
- All had visions and dreams about Isa.
- All sacrificed much to follow Isa.
Our Savior is moving in the Islamic world He is making his name known among the nations. May the Lord give strength to Christians in Islamic countries. And may I learn from the example of these belivers who give up everything to follow Jesus.
Keith Drury wrote an interesting post a while back entitled: Islamification of American Evangelicalism.
He muses about 6 things we might see if Christians were take pointers from Islam:
1) Elevation of the Father over the other members of the Trinity
2) The glory of God is all that matters.
3) Elevation of males and subordination of women
5) Nationalizing religious values
6) Holy war
He doesn’t mention or even allude to Calvinism in the post, but I definitely see points 1-4 as applicable to the Calvinist system.
Drury is a professor/pastor at Indiana Wesleyan University. If you haven’t checked out his site, give it a look. There’s lots of good stuff there. He is opinionated, yet also has a knack for addressing serious topics in a disarming manner. (note: use IE on his site, firefox doesn’t seem to render pages correctly)