F.M. Sciutto III

By His Free Grace Alone, To Be Treasured Alone, & For His Glory Alone

To burn or not to burn?

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Normally, I refrain from voicing my opinion on current events, especially of the political kind, but I couldn’t remain mute on this because of things I have watched of late.

Now, if you haven’t heard of the controversy surrounding Florida pastor, Terry Jones, and his church’s (as of now, “suspended”) plan to burn Qur’ans on the anniversary of 9/11, then the only possible place you must be living is under a rock somewhere in the Adirondacks.

His desire is to “send a message to Islam and the pushers of Shariah law: that it is not what we want.” Last year, his church even posted a sign that stated “Islam is of the Devil” outside. Jones states that, as an American protected under the First Amendment, he has the right to burn Qur’ans because “it’s full of lies” (The New York Times).

He has been opposed from Islamic leaders around the world, President Obama, military generals, Sarah Palin, Angelina Jolie, Franklin Graham (son of Billy Graham), and other Christian organizations. Jones has said he has even received death threats from people. He has, however, mustered a small amount of support from across the nation.

With good reason, many are afraid of a terrorist retaliation, increased violence towards our troops, and, as Kevin DeYoung pointed out, increased danger for missionaries in Muslim countries as well. As of now, Jones has been swayed to hold off on the Qur’an burning due to an apparent promise to move the Islamic center in New York City.

Now, my purpose is not to explain why I do not believe that the Qur’an is the inspired Word of God and does not provide for man the way to eternity with Him (John 6:47, 10:28, 17:3; Titus 1:2, 3:7; Hebrews 5:9; 1 John 2:25, 5:11). Basically, it’s because of Jesus in His removing the wrath that I deserved for my sin and exchanging that for righteous standing before God, which is possible because of His sinless life on earth, His substitutionary death on the cross, His resurrection from death to life, and His ascension to Heaven.

As Christians, however, we do not need to rid the world of books, movies, or music that contain world views with which we disagree and think are filled with lies. We need to store God’s Word in our hearts, love as Christ loved, and proclaim His Word to the nations. We have no reason to fear those who are opposed to us, as we have the Truth, and it is the only solid ground on which we can stand.

Although we disbelieve the claims of Islam, we are still called to love Muslims, and through treasuring Christ above all earthly pleasure and comfort, we can be ministers of reconciliation to the Muslims in our own communities. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is all we need to be ministers of reconciliation.

Instead of wasting precious time by giving Muslims a reason to feel malice towards us and hindering the work of God’s Gospel, let us pick up our Bibles, learn how Jesus loved those who hated and mocked Him, and love our Muslim neighbors by treating them with compassion and desiring their redemption, which can only come from the blood-bought sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

(Photo credit.)

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Written by sciuttfm

September 10, 2010 at 1:53 AM

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