Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Do You Ever Wonder . . .

…what some people are thinking? Like the person who loads up on alcohol and then decides it’s a good idea to drive home, imperiling anyone and everyone in his path?

Or like Charlie Sheen or Lindsay Lohan? (Actually I think the reason they continue generating negative publicity is they have stopped thinking.)

Or the Florida pastor who, after much publicity and debate, proceeded with a mock trial of the Quran and burned it publicly?

It’s hard to say which of the above is worse; they're all crazy in different ways. But I find the pastor’s actions particularly unsettling. If his desire was to ignite violent protests in the Middle East, he succeeded. If he was seeking to perpetuate the myth that Christians are all narrow-minded, bigoted, intolerant, and ignorant, he probably succeeded.

All I know about this pastor is what I’ve heard through the media. But burning a copy of the Islamic holy book makes as much sense as stepping up to the school bully and calling him a sissy. We know how that’s going to end up. It's asking for trouble.

In the gospels, we don’t see Jesus burning the writings of Socrates, Plato or even Homer. He didn’t attempt to debunk Roman gods. His mission was to present the truth – and embody it. He also said, “Do to others as you would have them do to you” (Luke 6:31). Those who know Jesus as Savior and Lord would be deeply offended if people mutilated copies of the Bible, wouldn’t we?

The apostle Paul also didn’t waste time arguing against opposing viewpoints. He stated simply, “For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2). In other words, he recognized the importance of keeping the main thing the main thing – exalting the one true God and bringing Him glory.

Burning copies of the Quran won’t dissuade Muslim extremists. It only detracts from our calling to be salt and light in an increasingly distasteful and dark world.

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