There’s a Little Qur’an Burning in us All.

I don’t know of anyone who thinks pastor Terry Jones’ “Burn a Koran Day” this Saturday is a good idea. As if it will be helpful…. However….!

(First a funny/sad side note. Have you noticed the name of his church has the word “Dove” in it? Hmmm?  Maybe just me, but I found that strangely ironic).  Anyway….

While most of America may think burning a Qur’an in public is not a good way to do what pastor Jones says is “sending a message to the radical Muslims that we will not tolerate them,” I do wonder if many of us have a little bit of that kind of thinking down deep inside.  Let me suggest the following possibilities:

1. The majority of Christian Americans I meet (both locally and as I travel) are very suspicious and thus fearful of Muslims’ intentions.  Fear never leads to anything productive.

2. The majority of American Christians (unlike the rest of America) do think that Obama is secretly a Muslim.  And that thought breeds fear

3. The Majority of American Christians do not think a mosque should be built near Ground Zero. They are suspicious and fearful of this new mosque and its “agenda.”

4. The majority of Christian Americans are very concerned that Islam is actually taking over.  Europe for sure, and eventually America. They are fearful that we will lose our way of life.

FEAR.  It’s wherever I go. It’s palpable.  And Christians seem to succumb to It’s grip more than others.  Pastor Jones’ has let this fear grip him to the point of burning a Qur’an.  But I get emails daily from well-meaning (afraid) Christians from around the States and Europe who are “concerned” about Islam.  Videos. Blogs. News casts.  Books and articles.

Here’s an image to remember ­ I actually believe that the Lord spoke this to me a few years back (you don’t hear me talk like that much, but in this case, it’s true, so….).  Islam is  like a huge castle.  On the outside (where we stand observing it), we see a huge banner over the castle. It says, “Keep out. Be Afraid.”  And we are. Afraid, that is.

But for those who have the courage to walk up to an actual Muslim (in one sense, there is no such thing as “Islam.” There are only Muslims), and talk to him or her ­ we soon find out the castle is made of paper. And we can stick our index finger right through it.  The castle is a paper castle. Nothing at all.  And the people inside are the nicest (confused, but wonderfully nice) people you will ever meet.  But someone has to have the courage to poke the castle and not be afraid.

DO NOT FEAR.  Probably the clearest command in the Bible. Do not be afraid. Go ahead, touch the castle. No need to burn it. Just touch it.  Find a Muslim and give them a big hug.  Maybe on Saturday we should start “International Hug a Muslim Day.”

Comments

  1. Mylife4thenations says:

    Thank you for this! I have several Muslim friends and they are some of the sweetest people I know The fear and distrust many Americans have toward them I believe is simply because of misrepresentation by the media. I am writing a letter protesting the Qu’ran burning to Dove Outreach center and recruiting my friends to do the same. I hope it can make a difference!
    I like your idea of starting “International Hug a Muslim Day”. I wish something like that could really happen.

  2. Abdul says:

    My Dear Friend Carl,
    First of all I would like to thank you for your invitation and our informative discussion on Friday, it was a real pleasure.
    I agree with you that next Saturday should be a day for peace and forgiveness, so our Muslim brothers feel the beauty of our faith. However, we still have some differences about some citations from the Quran and how some Muslim Interpret and rule those verses. And I wish that our Muslim brothers understand our concerns.
    Mr. Terry Jones’ idea is very troubling and provocative and I condemn such an act. Instead of burning the Quran, the Pastor should make large posters in Arabic and other languages containing the verses that are considered harmful, unlawful and inhumane with a loving GOD and also consider making a peaceful march with his supporters to reveal these verses and his point of view to the world.

  3. […] Medearis: There’s a little Qur’an burning in us all. Fear is the biggest […]

  4. Meadowshyre says:

    Good thoughts about fear and I whole-heartedly concur with your observations. However, I have thought about this from other angles as well. Being American and at times being proud of my country and at times embarrassed at some of our fear-driven extremes, I recognize it is a big pluralistic country. I can also claim a love -hate relationship with the Church as well, eventhough I identify as a follower of Jesus Christ. While I would never condone a Qu’ran burning as is being advocated by this pastor and his church. I do cherish the American right to free speech guaranteed by the American Constitution as a founding national principle. Over the years I have watched flags burned and unpopular figures burned in effigy while many of them are Americans or related to various US policies. I have also observed the destruction of Christian churches and the persecution of Christians throughout the world and in the US. I am fascinated that this little church and politically incorrect pastor have garnered so much ire. I haven’t noticed that same media sponsored ire over anti-Christian disrespect and violence, particularly in Islamic societies. Religious violence is to be abhorred and often is rooted in fear. However, I do not approve of freedom of speech being stunted either while risking an occurrence of more dangerous irrational fear-based behavior. We observe tragic demonstrations of fearful behavior in theocratic and totalitarian regimes. The world views and hears the consequences of free speech in democratic societies because people are allowed to vocalize their fears. I am sure Dove Outreach Center and Rev. Jones have heard the benefits of free speech in opposition to their shameful plans. Nothing is ever one dimensional, thank heavens for freedom of speech.

  5. Aili says:

    I’m actually going to hug a muslim tomorrow. Or be hugged by one. I might be slightly fearful of obstinate Christians, expressing their right of freedom of speech in a way I find more than peculiar, as well as outright offensive, just asking myself, would I want to hug one of them Christians? Not too sure about that.

  6. gillianhanna says:

    Burning the Qur’an…what a shame to burn a piece of God’s work that exalts Jesus. The problem here is that influencial people holding a high position of power have too muc fear in their hearts. Fear only represents our lack of understanding on a specific subject. However, governments all over the world use fear to control their own people. Can you blame them? Time and time again, it has proved to be the most successful tactic when dealing with the masses. However, the people need to take responsibility for their own mind and step outside of their sheltered cubicle or comfort zone, and veiw the world from a global standpoint, rather than a local one. I will say that when I converted from Judaism to Christianity and then went on to marry a Christian, Middle Eastern man, my family flipped a little. They had no idea what Christianity meant and having watched that Sally Feild movie one too many times (Not Without My Daughter), they were certain that when I got on that plane to visit Egypt, they would never see me again. However, since then I have pushed them out of the cubicle a little, some even ventured to Egypt and Lebanon with me. The result…they veiw the world especially the Middle East…completely different. When they meet Middle Eastern people who are complete strangers to them, they actually embrace them rather than judge. This proves that love (not burning and destruction)bridges the gaps that are filled with fear and ignorance.

    1. devonmackey says:

      Can you clarify what you meant when you said “Burning the Qur’an…what a shame to burn a piece of God’s work that exalts Jesus.” I certainly understand that the entire Bible is truth, but not all truth is in the Bible. God has revealed Himself and His truth elsewhere (Mathematics, Nature, Secular Media, etc.) However, it seems to me in this statement that you are elevating parts of the Qur’an to the Work of God – to the status of Scripture. Maybe I am mistaken, and if so, please correct my interpretation. Although we should always celebrate God’s truth and glory wherever it is found, there is but one Word (Work) of God.

  7. Yusuph says:

    When you said “a little about burning the Qur’an in us” I will say this is true in Nigerian Christians. Most Nigerian Christians I met don’t want to touch the Qur’an and see it as a devil’s book. I must say we are all guilty of burning the Qur’an in our hearts. Majority of Nigerian Christians are also suspicious and fearful of Muslim’s intentions whenever they see them in groups walking the road. I live among some Muslims and many of my Christian friends feel fearful when they see them and wonder how I live with them. In Jos,Nigeria where I live is a tense environment since 1994 when a religious crisis errupted till this year 2010 January when a mojor violent religious crisis errupted many christians are living fearfully and feel the Muslims are trying to take over the State. I pray that Nigerian Christians and elsewhere will see the Muslims as created in the image of God but sin has invaded the human mind and it is Christ that can turn it His way. I really like the idea of ‘International Hug a Muslim Day’. I wish and pray that Christians should have a genuine and sincere heart towards the Muslims with Christ kind of Love at the center.

  8. As you speak of “one Word (Work) of God. Are you elevating the works of men who were seeking God to be the actual writing of God Himself? In elevating the Bible beyond inspiration from God, are you dismissing all other Spiritual men from all other facets of religious thought as being of another essence or from another God? The Bible says “If you seek me you will find me” There are a lot of other Religious men (Spiritually seeking men) throughout history and cultures! How do we determine which of them are completely in tune with God and which are not. Muhammad actually lived and we can excavate History to prove his existence and the fact He actually spoke and acted as represented in the Qu’ran. We can witness that He was a good man who wished to refocus faith on the fact there was One God and not the multiple images represented within His culture. We can witness that He entered into the debate over Trinitariansm and Binitarianism. We can witness that He was dismissed by Christianity as a heretic! We can witness the bloodshed and divisions such hostilities of these challenges to one another’s faith all we want! When we dismiss our brother – or their attempt to worship God as somehow honoring some other God than the One True God, we have fallen into the same traps religion has faced for eternity. Chances are very good that the Bible you use is not the same Bible used by the rest of the world (Which books should be included or excluded – were they not all written and accepted by the early Church (epistle of Barnabas, Sirach, Baruch…) – all covered by II Timothy 3:16 for centuries before Protestantism dismissed them? Which leader shall you follow? Muhammad, Calvin, Luther, Paul, James, – Joseph Smith, which interpretation? Before you dismiss the Qu’ran and all those of a different worship form than your own, understand history and where this deification of the writings of Men inspired by their worship of the Creator came from. Before we dismiss the Muslims as worshiping some other God, perhaps we need to ask ourselves how many God’s there actually are! Who is right? Who must we fear? My Bible says there is One God just like Muhammad claims. My Bible says “If you seek me you shall find me if you seek me with all your heart” Muhammad sought after God! My Bible says God alone is righteous and He alone shall be feared and worshipped. My Bible condemns war – even when it is in self-defense – whether on the East or West side of the Atlantic. My Bible says vengeance is mine says the Lord – and Love your neighbor (represented by the Samaritan as the greatest theological threat to Jewish crowd there that day). Are you saying the Bible (through so many writers accepted and dismissed over the centuries) is the only work of God? I have been led to believe we are all the work of God and we have been called to Love and Peace as we seek to understand our God still at work in His Kingdom with a power so much greater than all our fear, understanding, or ideologies of Evil can ever even touch. One day every knee will bow and every tongue confess that He alone is right! All our wisdom or thoughts of righteousness is still dirty bloodstained rags.

    1. This was written in response to DevonMackey, sorry it did not show up there.