Well, it didn’t happen. Terry Jones, a “pastor” for a small Baptist church in Florida did not burn 200 copies of the Koran as he initially stated he would do. It was his plan to burn copies of the Koran on 9-11, the anniversary date of the day America was attacked by those claiming to act on behalf of Islam. After several plead with him that he not burn the Koran, even the President of the United States, and after more than 100 death threats, Mr. Jones decided not to burn copies of the Koran.
Since Mr. Jones’ announcement, I’ve heard many people ask if burning the Koran would be the right or wrong thing to do. Here are my thoughts on the matter of whether Mr. Jones or anyone else should burn the Koran.
- If it is your intent to inflame those who are Islamic, burning the Koran will get the job done. However, if it is your intent to influence, teach, and change Muslims this would be the last thing you would want to do.
- In my judgment, better than burning the Koran would be a public reading of the Koran. Let people know what it teaches. Expose its errors. Expose its ethical system. Many people are still unaware of the violence to which this religion calls men. How many times have you heard people say that Islam is a “peaceful religion?” Friends, there may be “peaceful Muslims,” but that is only because they do not fully follow the teachings of the Koran.
Someone may ask, but don’t we read of Christians burning books in Acts 19:19. The answer is, “yes,” but allow me to share a couple differences between that situation and the one most recently contemplated.
- The action in Acts was taken by those who were once held in the grasp of “sorcery,” not by outsiders. This extreme reaction on the part of these early Christians was a statement that they would not be going back to their old way of life. This action was not perpetuated by a random group of Christians who just sought out to burn books with which they didn’t agree.
- There is nothing in the account that would suggest that these books that were burned were purported to be holy books from some deity, elevating their actions to the perceived level of “blasphemy.” Such would be the perception in the burning of the Koran.
Friends, I see Islam, and any religion for that matter, which does not follow Jesus Christ as a threat to the souls of men and women. If the religion of Christ is true, and it is, then I must do what I can, not to inflame and harden people’s hearts, but soften their hearts that they might be receptive to the good news of Jesus. In a day and age when the Caesar claimed to be divine, Jesus did not instruct his followers to storm the capitol and burn government documents. Rather he instructed his disciples to pray for the king, pay taxes to the king, and obey him in all things in so far as they did not cause them to disobey God.
If you have any additional thoughts, leave them in the comments section. Let me hear what you think.