Creative LeadershipEngaging CultureChristian Media

Burning the Koran: Just Because You Have the Right to Do It, Doesn’t Mean It’s the Right Thing to Do

In spite of calls from various Christian leaders and even our commanding general from the Army, Pastor Terry Jones of the 50-member Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Fla., will continue with his plans to burn copies of the Koran on Saturday.  The pastor of a small,  evangelical church in Florida on Tuesday rebuffed a plea for restraint from Gen. David H. Petraeus, who warned that a plan to burn the Muslim holy book could provoke
violence against American troops and citizens overseas.

Let’s discount for a second the reasoned pleas from leaders across the spectrum about the stupidity of the event.  For the life of me, I just can’t find in the Bible where Jesus calls us to burn the books from other religions.  Plus, can we talk about the black eye this gives Christians everywhere?  And when it comes to evangelism, does Pastor Jones really believe that burning their holy book will cause Muslims to come running to accept Jesus as their Saviour?

I don’t know if he’s driven by a desperate need for publicity, or is just plain immune to reason.  But either way, this doesn’t represent Christianity in any form.  Just when I think pastors are getting it when it comes to engaging the culture, someone like this steps up to the plate.

I’m sure he means well, but it’s bonehead thinking all around…


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  1. Crazies from every obscure corner of wacko-dom have learned that if they do something bizarre enough, the news channels will pick it up in their thirst for ratings.  My dad had it pretty right about such people.  “All they want is attention,” he’d mutter.  Dad’s antidote – ignore them. 

    Elevating such idiocy into the public spotlight serves no one well, except the idiot’s agenda for attention.

    Other than our elected officials, why do we insist on giving lunatics any credibility at all?

    Condemn the idiocy and ignore the idiot.

    However, I am sure all the news networks will be there to beam this ignorant event to the entire world, and millions of American will tune in to watch the spectacle.  In memory of my dad, I won’t be one of them.

  2. To me the the best move by this guy would be to cancel at the last minute and then say it was all a PR move to show the true color of Islam…

    I don’t know if you noticed or not but they are not exactly responding um… peaceably about it.

    ie, burning the crazy guy in effage, burning the american flag, threatening violence at US embassies, violence against our troops, etc…

  3. My question, is where the heck is he getting enough copies of the Koran to burn? I hope he and his followers are not going out and buying copies just to burn (like one church did with video games a while back). I’m sure God has a lot better uses for the money, if nothing else…..

  4. Right, brother Phil, there is no recorded place where Jesus commands us to burn books from other religions. However, there is a Biblical precedent of burning books when believers turn away from evil practices (see Acts 19:18-20).

    So, yes, Jon, I was wondering if maybe his 50 members had been reading and began following the Koran, when a revival broke out, and they all repented and decided to burn their copies. Highly doubtful, but that could possibly explain their actions. Maybe a letter to Pastor Jones letting him know how excited we are that he and his congregation have finally turn away from Islamic teachings would be in order here.

    I suspect it has more to do with selling his book “Islam is of the Devil!” than it has to do with repentance.

    Of course, a huge precedent for burning books from other religions was set by Muslims. History tells us that the library of Nalanda, known as Dharma Gunj (Mountain of Truth) or Dharmagañja (Treasury of Truth), was the most renowned repository of Buddhist knowledge in the world at the time. Its collection was said to comprise hundreds of thousands of volumes, so extensive that it burned for months when set aflame by Muslim invaders in 1193. However, “turnabout is fair play” is also not found in the teachings of Jesus.

    And in the “so strange it goes way beyond reason and well intentions” department, we see this church in NC:  these misguided folks are actually continuing to annually burn Bibles. The crime the Bibles committed to earn their fate? They dared speak the Word of God in the language of the people.


  5. Not only would Jesus not burn the Koran, he would quote it – at least the heritage it shares with the Torah. We should be quoting the Law and the Prophets to reason with extreme Muslims.

  6. This outcry for this ‘pastor’ in Florida burning the Koran/Qur’an is way out of balance. When Christians were being slaughtered in Northern Nigeria like cattle in the last year alone where was the world’s media on that? Where were the American Christians when this mass Jihad was going on? When Christians are violently persecuted in Pakistan, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia (and this is only what has happened in 2009 – 2010 very recently) where is the Western Church in all this? Where was the Western Churches outcry in the media in all this violent murderous persecution or does the Western Church consider these Christians as their own brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus?


    Now a small ‘pastor’ in Florida wants to burn Koran/Qur’ans on September 11th 2010 and all of the West and Islam (western Church included) is in uproar!!! His reasons are based on the ongoing Islamisation of America and the preposterous building of a mosque close to Ground Zero – what an insult to those who lost their lives on that tragic day. I have never been to America (and the way things are going I am not sure am that keen on going either) but I will never forget how much I cried that night on 9/11, I have never cried like that before for people I never knew but I felt the pain of grief and loss of those families who will never see their loved ones again. It was one of the saddest nights in my life. I cried.


    I do not condone, support or even commit to such an action from this Florida ‘pastor’ but neither do I condemn it. When the US nation denounces blasphemy laws because they want to desecrate the Name of Jesus they forget that it is a double-edged sword. Christians who are angry over this action they should pray that the Lord Jesus touch this ‘pastor’s’ heart but have they done so? If Muslims are angry over this action let Allah defend himself – he is a god after all, does he need his people to defend him?  And the men of the town got up early in the morning, and they saw the altar of Baal broken down, and the holy tree which was by it cut down… And they said to one another, Who has done this thing? And after searching with care, they said, Gideon, the son of Joash, has done this thing. Then the men of the town said to Joash, Make your son come out to be put to death, for pulling down the altar of Baal and cutting down the holy tree which was by it. But Joash said to all those who were attacking him, Will you take up the cause of Baal? Will you be his saviour? Let anyone who will take up his cause be put to death while it is still morning: if he is a god, let him take up his cause himself because of the pulling down of his altar...” This uproar is way out of balance. Christians are being killed before this incident, during and after this incident (if it happens). Sometimes I think that western Christians are more concerned about their personal security and comfort than living and dying for Christ Jesus. Maybe some fire is needed for us here in the West to know whether we live and love Jesus for Who He is than for what He gives. “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; (we stop here in the West) and they loved not their lives unto the death. 


  7. What would Jesus do? He wouldn’t do something as STOOPID as burning Qu’ran, angering the extremists, and endangering our troops.

    Besides, Qu’ran says many things about Jesus (Yeshua in Hebrew, Isa in Arabic) — including that every word Jesus spoke is truth AND it is a serious crime to speak against Jesus. One can use those and other passages in Qu’ran to reveal the truth of Christ to others.

    If you have to do SOMETHING… how about showing the true love of Jesus to followers of Islam… rather than flaring up the hatred and fomenting more violence?

    Exposure to the Son can prevent burning…

  8. Perhaps the Muslims should burn Pastor Jones book in retaliation. Of course they would have to buy some copies first. A-ha! Now I understand the cunning plan…

  9. I don’t think that lowering ourselves to their level is the right thing to do, however, this is America and he has every right to do so. Watch the TV some night and witness all the real stupid things people to get themselves a spot on the years Darwin Awards. Just because you can do it, doesn’t mean you should.

    I think this pastor has had his 15 minutes of fame. He has put a hand full of Mentos into a 2 liter bottle of Coke and got the desired results. Seems like everybody is has got on the boat propelling this pastor to world fame and the topic of the nightly news for over a week. The country is broke, unemployment is sky high, and the president plugged the leaking oil well all by himself and all we can talk about is some pastor who wants to burn a book. Folks, do we have to chase every rabbit trail? Do we have to even pay attention to these accidents along lifes highway?

    Our citizens, soldiers, and others working overseas are not always in danger? Read the unfavorable parts of the newspaper and see the deaths overseas on a daily basis.

  10. Phil…surprised you haven’t addressed the media’s role in giving this guy a “platform”.  No camera…no event.  Simple as that.

  11. What gets me is the irony of this being done by the pastor of the “Dove World Outreach Center”.

    What kind of outreach is this?

  12. So an obscure, misguided, attention seeking small town pastor threatens to burn a few copies of the Koran. Big deal!

    Certainly not saying it’s the right way for a Christian to act, however it surely doesn’t deserve all this attention. The fact is that many Moslems need to develop a much higher level of tolerance when actions such as this take place. And the Western world should not be so willing to jettison  valuable principles of free expression (for all) when threatened by some group feeling insulted.

    Christians are highly censored, brutally abused and even murdered for their faith within the Islamic countires all the time. Why does the secular media so seldom mention these facts?

    Sadly it seems the American psyche is severely intimidated these days, so easily allowing itself to be held hostage to vague threats of violence uttered by a few extremists when they feel insulted. Outside of perhaps the National Enquirer, this story doesn’t deserve attention.

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