Would Jesus burn the Koran?
Over the past few days, we have all heard news reports about the church who plans to burn a Koran as a zealous act of pro-Christian values and American nationalism. With this much press, this topic has brought about several questions and comments from my friends on FaceBook & throughout our church.
Without simply spouting out an opinion, I decided to seek to help answer this question by looking to one of the most memorable stories of Scripture.
So let’s go there.
(Matthew 26:47-56, Mark 14:43-52, Luke 22:47-53 & John 18:1-11)
These four passages all share an account of the same story… the arrest of Jesus.
If ever there was a day to declare war on those who wouldn’t follow Jesus, this would have been it. From every angle, it seemed like Jesus was about to ‘rule’ the earth. His rule would be good, kind, powerful and ultimately bring his followers to the top of the spiritual food chain. Or at least, that’s what many of his followers thought. But they were about to be momentarily disappointed.
The thought of Jesus being arrested, and simply going peacefully, seemed ridiculous. And so when the officers of the court came to arrest the Christ, Simon Peter (A Zealot) pulled out his sword and struck one of his foes… taking off his ear.
And you can be sure, he wasn’t aiming for the ear.
There have always been religious Zealots. A Zealot refers both to the specific group of political extremists who desired to overthrow the Roman dominance in the first century and also to anyone who combines religious beliefs with political agenda and zealously seeks to defeat their enemies under the name and banner of their God.
Several of Jesus’ disciples were Zealots. Peter, the most well-known Zealot Disciple, made his opinion known well in the garden that night when Jesus was arrested. He struck out against his enemy. He even brought blood.
But he was quickly rebuked by Jesus.
I share this biblical story as a way of reminding us that although a zealous approach to faith is wonderful, we aren’t really supposed to divide the world into enemies and friends. Christians are not at war with Muslims. Our differences aren’t near that personal.
There is no Christian holy war. We are not at war with Muslims. We are ending a war with an extremest group of Muslims who do not speak for the world population of Muslims any more than this small group of potential Koran burners don’t speak for all Christians.
I mean, our theologies are obviously in disagreement. I believe wholeheartedly that Jesus is Lord, Muslims need Jesus, those without Christ face eternal separation from God, Jesus is the only doorway to God the Father or eternal life, etc…
But as with Simon Peter, there is also no doubt that Jesus’ guidance to us would be to share His love with compassion, acceptance and truth.
Burning a Koran only insights greater distrust and dislike for Americans, Christians and Jesus. Its counter productive on so many levels.
They will be hurting the spread of the gospel in many ways. They will also b endangering the lives of Christian missionaries in Muslim countries, keeping open-minded muslims from listening to the truth of Jesus, and ultimately saddening God and those who are trying to spread His Good News.
It’s the wrong decision at a very bad time in world history.
I sincerely hope that those who are planning this demonstration will reconsider and apologize to all Muslims at even their consideration of such an act.
OK, there is my rant. So you tell me, would Jesus burn the Koran?