Will Koran-burning Pastor Miss the Perfect Opportunity?
The little church that plans to burn the Koran on 9/11 will probably miss the perfect opportunity to demonstrate the difference between Christianity and Islam. By heeding the pleas of Christian and governmental leaders not to burn Korans, this pastor and his church could demonstrate how the leaders of the “Ground-zero Mosque” project should act. In both cases, thanks to our amazing freedom of religion, these clerics have the legal right to do such things, but they don’t have the moral right. In both cases, it just isn’t the right thing to do.
Many of the founders of The United States were descendants of various Christian groups that moved to this new world to escape persecution. They were strong in their belief that America should be a place where everyone could practice his own belief system. They did not adopt this incredible concept of religious freedom because they personally thought all religions were equal. They were dedicated believers in the Bible and in the person and work of Jesus Christ. But they understood that freedom would allow all people to seek the truth, and would result in the continued growth of Christianity.
It is unfortunate that a small, independent church can give a false impression of what Christianity is to the rest of the world. Many Christians are aware of the dangers posed by radical Islamic teaching and actions, and that these errors can be traced to the Koran. But burning the Koran will cause people who know little about true Christianity to hate and possibly even harm Americans.
If the little church does miss this opportunity to do the right thing, the rest of us need to do our own demonstration – by disclaiming their actions. I believe that, if this church does burn Korans, every pastor should condemn this action from the pulpit. I surely will! And I am encouraged by the disgust that has been expressed by Christian leaders. This, by the way, is another difference between the two religions. Very few “moderate Muslims” go out of their way to cry out against terrorist attacks and insensitive actions, like building a 13-story mosque near New York’s ground zero.
In the end, if for no other reason, the little church in Florida should follow Jesus’ own example in this matter. Jesus did express anger, but it was outrage against the hypocrisy of the leaders of his own Jewish heritage. He never organized a protest against the horrific false religions of his day. Instead, he demonstrated the better way of love.