“Florida pastor Terry Jones finally made good on his threat to burn a copy of the Quran, the Muslim holy book, which set off protests in Afghanistan in which dozens of people were killed. As a fellow religious leader, what would you say to Jones?”
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”
These are the words we hear from Jesus in his Sermon on the Mount in the fifth chapter of Matthew’s gospel — the same Jesus whom you, Terry Jones, claim to worship.
Your recent actions seem to suggest that you are less interested in spreading the truth of the Christian gospel than you are of stretching out your own 15 minutes of so-called fame.
Were those lives worth making your “statement” against a religion you claim is “from the devil?”
It seems to me that you spent more time considering how much press you would receive and what political ramifications would follow rather than actually considering the negative evangelistic impact such an act of hate and ignorance would generate for those of us who live and proclaim the Christian gospel.
Your actions have only contributed to the ever-widening gap between Christians and the rest of the world we are called to love.
It is my prayer that you and others who share your particular “convictions” will come to realize there is a greater depth in the love and peace of Christ than in the ignorance and hatred of difference.
Grace and Peace,
Pastor, Fairview Heights Northside Baptist Church, Anniston
I can only pray that Pastor Terry Jones is as well versed in his holy book — the Torah, the Bible — as followers of the Quran obviously are.
The Old Covenant has lots to say about the Arabic people and their temperament. Many of them have received Yeshua (Jesus) as Messiah and savior, but many — certainly not all — remain hostile against every man (Genesis 16:12).
Jesus taught his followers to love their enemies (Matt.5:44). Vengeance belongs to the Almighty God (Romans 12:19).
What Pastor Jones did is equivalent to waving raw meat in the face of an angry and hungry animal. While “book burning” is biblical, followers of Jesus are not the ones burning books; the people who are renouncing pagan and idolatrous religious practices should be the ones burning their books (Acts 19:18-20).
Absorb yourself in God’s holy instructions for life, Pastor Jones.
Living by Faith Ministry, Oxford
Pastor Jones not only missed the point of Christ’s teachings, he misrepresented them to the world by his actions. When he began talking about burning the Quran some months ago, our church sign at Trinity Lutheran read, “BURNING BOOKS DOES NOT KINDLE THE FLAME OF GOD’S LOVE.”
Instead of condemning or destroying, Jesus chose to forgive and to heal. He certainly met countless individuals who did not share or understand his teachings. The Samaritan woman at the well, the centurion with the dying servant, the Gentile woman’s daughter (to cite just a few) received healing
and mercy, not destruction of their possessions or condemnation of their
Trinity Lutheran Church, Anniston
Only Pastor Terry Jones can explain why he burned a Quran. Was it a publicity stunt to win the favor of those who hate and fear Muslims? It interests me that anyone, in the name of God, would build a church or personal popularity based on fear and hate rather than the love Christ teaches. (See John 15:12; 1 Corinthians 13; and 1 John 4.) The heart of the Christian Gospel is love. It is a true sacrificing of our own needs for the sake of others.
Is there a vast difference between Muslims and Christians? We need to take Christ’s message of forgiveness, how life is transformed through faith, God’s promise of eternity and the power of prayer to those who are not believers. We would do well to remember Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:44: “… Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Are we showing love and our desire to win the lost for Christ when we burn a Quran? Hate, fear, and book burning have not and cannot change lives like faith in Christ can accomplish.
There is no excuse for those lives lost in Afghanistan, or for Pastor Jones burning a Quran.
Anniston’s First Baptist Church at McClellan
Yes, we have freedom of speech and freedom of the press. I am “free” to swing my arms around my head at any time I want, but when I come in contact with someone else’s nose, my freedom stops and I have violated someone else’s free space.
I think it would have been wise for Pastor Terry Jones to have spent all of
that energy, time and fame in trying to reach these Muslims for Jesus
Christ rather than going to the extremes of causing such an offense to them.
I realize we could get into many discussions if the tables were turned and
they were burning copies of the Holy Bible. However, I still see no
“positive” influence or souls being reached for God because of this stand
that Pastor Jones chose to make.
Trinity Baptist Church, Oxford
Local faith leaders who would like to participate in future Religion Roundtables, please contact Features Editor Lisa Davis at 256-235-3555, email@example.com.