Thursday, September 09, 2010

screaming into the wind, perhaps

I have been mulling over this and moving between rage and sadness. Who does this Jones guy think he is? What is he trying to accomplish? Why are the Muslims to inclined to violent retaliation? Why is the whole world involved in this?

I could sit here and go and on and on with every complaint, side, and argument. But that’s pointless.

The majority of my sadness (and yes, anger) comes out my perspective as a Christian in this situation, and how I feel that the tenets of our own faith have been ignored.

I think there are two main problems causing all this ruckus, and one simple solution:

1. Christians thinking it’s okay to burn Qurans.

This is– or should be– obvious. It’s not okay for Christians to burn Qurans.

Where is the love in this act? What’s the point? If you burned every book that opposed the Christian faith or was “full of lies” you’d have an eternal inferno. And have we ever read the Quran? In what ways is it so offensive that burning it is somehow a sensible solution?

It’s their holy book. And Muslims have faith that it is true, just as we have faith that our holy book, The Bible, is true. Both religions believe they are right.

Targeting the religion of the country from which the September 11th terrorists came is in the same vein of the Muslims who want to destroy the whole of America because of one church who burns their religious book. Both sides are WRONG.

Which leads me to the second problem:

2. Muslims threatening violence because of Quran burning (and our response to it)

The threat of violence in return for such an act is simply adding fuel to an even bigger fire. Hate begets hate, and it is an endless cycle. It is wrong for the Muslims to be retaliating in such a way, but that can’t drive our response as Christians.

Herein lies the proverbial comment “well people burn bibles all the time and no one says anything”. True, but why? Are Christians doormats? Has the “liberal media” polluted our minds and hatched a devious plan to ignore all bible burning related news items and brainwash the American public?

It doesn’t matter, the real issue is that Christians are not supposed to retaliate. We are told we will face trouble, be persecuted, hated, rejected (Matthew 24:9). It’s all there, we aren’t left in mystery as to what will happen to us in this life if we follow Christ.

We are to pray for those who persecute us, not bomb the heck out of them, not destroy them, not even to seek justice on our own behalf. (Luke 6:27-36)

That is the difference.

So in looking to a solution, we shouldn’t pursue the idea that because Christians don’t get justice we shouldn’t cater to the Muslims, nor that we are weak for backing down in fear.

The solution lies simply in the fact that if Christians are truly followers of Christ, we must obey Him by loving others, and doing unto them as we would have them do to us, no matter how much we are hated.

If we don’t want people to burn our bibles, we shouldn’t burn theirs.

But they still will.

And no, it isn’t “fair”, but Jesus never promised it would be. In fact, He warned us that it wouldn’t be.

“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

So, really... who cares! Burn all the Bibles you want, you can’t shake our faith! Our God has already conquered.

Everyone just needs to take a deep breath, back up and open our eyes to the eternal picture. As Christians our hope is in Christ, and that in the end, He will bring justice.

But until then, our calling is love.

So please, Mr. Jones, put your matches away.