Monday, September 13, 2010

sound off: on burning books and spewing hate.

(a little late to the party, i know.)

there's been much talk these days about Mosque building and Koran burning. and even though most Christians stand against such a silly thing like burning someone else's holy book - i've heard my fair share of jokes about it, too.

so now it's time for me to sound off. to let my opinions be known.

to start, burning the Koran is not only un-American but unchristian.

1. it's un American because burning books is un American. yeah, people have a right to do it - but having that right doesn't make it right. we learned that lesson in Footloose when the, ultra-right, overbearing Rev. Moore condemned his flock for burning books outside of the town library. o.k. it's unamerican for more reasons than that. but, we don't need censorship or destruction. we need restoration. burning books goes against the liberties this nation was founded upon.

2. (and this is the crux of my post) it's unchristian because Jesus said 'Love God. Love people.' (Matthew 22:37-39).
because Jesus said 'Love your enemies. Bless those who curse you. Do good to those who hate you.' (Matthew 5:44).

Shaming another individual or followers of other faiths - ridiculing them - desecrating something someone else deems sacred (whether we agree or not) goes against the way of Jesus.

when Paul preached in Athens (Acts 17) he was standing on what many Greeks would have considered 'holy ground' or sacred space. Did he insult them? Desecrate their idols? Burn their sacred scrolls or holy materials? In the midst of idol worship that 'greatly disturbed' him - how did Paul respond?

in kind. he responded in kind.

Paul answered their questions. He piqued their curiosity. He used something common to them (an altar to an UNKNOWN GOD) to show them The God they had not known (but had known them)!

and... they... listened.

He showed them that despite of their misguided idol worship 'God is not very far' from them. (Acts 17:27)

He then preached Christ - with love and respect.

When dealing with followers of different faiths - no matter how radical - are we/Christians loving? are we/Christians respectful? or are we shaming or degrading?

Jesus said "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." (John 8:31-32)

i want to be a disciple. i thought that was what Christ asked of all who choose to follow Him. Christians, perhaps, need to stop picking and choosing teachings and commandments to follow, while ignoring the 'greatest' of commandments*. Love aught to have no condition. i don't see how you can have it any other way if you are a true follower of the Way.

just my 2 cents.

1 comment:

Tim said...

a nice companion to my post.