Dove World Outreach Center has plans to burn a copy of the Koran on Saturday, September 11, 2010, the ninth anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center. The church web site lists ten reasons why they should burn the Koran. General David Petraeus has publicly come out against the plan because, according to Patraeus, it will put American soldiers at greater risk. The church web site also claims that much of the opposition to the burning of the Koran is coming from dhimmitude, and they make a good case for that claim.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that Islamo-fascists are a major problem in the world, and they are taking their ques from the Koran. It also is pretty clear that most of the bowing down to Islam in the Western world and the constant claims that Islam is a religion of peace is dhimmitude. It seems accurate to say that much of the opposition to the church’s plans stems from fear of how Muslims will react and what violence they will perpetrate in response. Apparently, some churches are even going to have readings from the Koran on the same day as a sort of counter-protest. It is like they are saying, “See look,we are nice. Don’t hurt us.” As for General Petraeus, I don’t blame him for his position. He has a responsibility to his soldiers in the field and he has genuine and serious concerns that needed to be addressed.
Whether it is the right thing to do or not, it is certainly within the legal rights of these people to burn the Koran if they want to. At least it used to be legal to protest in America. If people can burn flags and march in the streets and create havoc in the name of their pet cause, surely these 50 folks can burn a book if they want to. And by the way, note the hypocrisy of some nations that won’t allow a Bible to be legally possessed or brought across their borders acting sanctimonious about what these people plan to do.
Having said that, it is still a bad idea. It isn’t a bad idea because of some Muslims might react violently. It isn’t a bad idea because they are violating any laws. They aren’t. It is a bad idea because the act itself means the people who participate become like the very people they are protesting against. Where Islam rules it depends upon force and coercion to maintain its power. It can’t allow religious, moral, political or social freedom. It finds the very idea of freedom a threat to its power. It burns, whether literally or figuratively, anything that opposes it. To burn a Koran is to become like that which you are protesting against.
Christianity doesn’t have to depend upon force or coercion to advance or win. Jesus Christ is Lord. Nothing is going to change that. He just is. He is risen from the grave. He is seated at the right hand of God. He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is coming again. That reality will prevail. We can compete in the world of ideas with the Truth. We don’t have to kill the opposition or burn their books. We don’t have to be afraid of lies. We will suffer persecution, but in the end Jesus Christ is still Lord!
Burning a Koran is also a bad idea because it goes against the charter of Christ’s church. Dove World Outreach Center is a great name. It speaks of a great vision. It is reflective of the Great Commission. The charter of every church is to make disciples of all nations. I don’t think burning copies of the Koran will advance that mandate. When the Apostle Paul toured the idols of Athens he was grieved over the idolatry he saw there, but he didn’t round up the local Christians and get them to take sledge hammers to the idols. He preached the gospel.
Dove World Outreach Center’s web site finds biblical justification for this planned event in Acts 19. Acts 19 tells what happened in Ephesus when idolatrous people came to believe on Christ. They brought their idolatrous books and the things they used for demonic worship and burned them in a fire. But is Acts 19 a fair or logical comparison to their proposed “Burn the Koran Day?” It would only be a parallel event if this were a group of Muslims who converted to Christ and came together to burn their copies of the Koran. Paul didn’t stage an idol burning event in Ephesus to protest against the idolatry there. The converts burned their own idolatrous possessions after become believers.
Recently, I had the joy of being a part of a baptismal service in South Asia. The family that was receiving baptism had been idol worshipers. As a part of the service they gathered all their family idols, put them in a cloth sack, put a rock in the sack, tied it all up and threw it into the lake where they were being baptized. They did this as a demonstration of their turning from idols to the One True God and Savior, Jesus Christ. No Christian in their community took the idols from this family’s home and tossed them in the lake. They did that of their own accord after becoming Christians themselves. If a convert from Islam to Christianity burned his or her Koran that would be a fair and logical comparison to what happened in Ephesus.
I might suggest supporting a Muslim outreach ministry, or joining in with EPIC in praying for Muslims during Ramadan might be more spiritually effective, even though it won’t get near the publicity of Koran burning.
Dove World Outreach Center has a right to burn books if they want. But as a brother in Christ I think it is a bad idea, but not for the same reasons I hear from most other sources.
That’s my opinion – go ahead an give yours, just be courteous about it.