Ten Real Reasons Why a Pastor Wanted to Burn the Koran
Thankfully, there was no Koran-burning event to mark the 9th Anniversary of the 9/11 attack. Perhaps, a result of the public outcry against such senseless, bigoted action and the pressure from high ranking government officials who were able to reach out to Pastor Terry Jones (the event organizer), to convince him not to go ahead with the event as planned.
Even though the event was cancelled, personally, I believe that the cancelled event had almost the same effect as the actual event. According to an MSNBC report, which quoted one Cleric Rusli Hasbi in Indonesia as saying that, whether or not Jones burned the Quran, Jones had already "hurt the heart of the Muslim world." This sentiment is evidenced by the riots in Afghanistan, in which two people were killed, a day after the event would have taken place; even though the event did not take place.
Now, when Pastor Jones gave a press statement announcing the cancellation of the event, he cited being promised that the Mosque Project near Ground Zero in New York would be relocated elsewhere, as a reason for the cancellation of the Koran-burning event.
Thus making one wonder, if the Mosque Project had been the reason for the Koran-burning event all along or if Pastor Jones is just an opportunist, who was using every opportunity to remain in the limelight, and remain relevant by latching on to another hot-button issue, regarding the Mosque Project.
Interestingly, as highly publicized as the Koran-burning event was, no one (that I know of), i.e., no news organization gave the real reasons, as published on Pastor Jones’ website, why he wanted to burn the Koran.
Pastor Jones, on his church’s website (before it was taken down by the hosting company for preaching hate), had given 10 reasons to burn the Koran. And the Mosque Project near Ground Zero was not one of them. And later in this article we’ll examine the 10 reasons he cited to burn the Koran.
But before we examine the 10 reasons he cited, let me say that Pastor Jones is a sham with a personal or political agenda or both, who does not speak for Christians or Christ, because his action and hate-spewing rhetoric are not such of a true follower of Christ. This makes one to ask, "Whose follower is he?"
Pastor Jones’ plan to burn Korans is totally contrary to what the Bible teaches; that one does not need to be a Bible scholar to figure that out. As Christians, we are called to reach the lost, not ostracize them. Burning someone’s sacred book does not reconcile the person to Christ. Rather, it brings provocation not reconciliation! How do you plan to convert someone you’ve just insulted? King Solomon in Proverbs 18:19 says, "A brother offended is harder to win than a strong city, and contentions are like the bars of a castle."
I mean, just because someone decides to burn Bibles, for instance, is not going to make me stop being a Christian, and become a member of the person’s belief or religion. If anything, it would make me hold on to my faith even more.
But I guess that was not Pastor Jones’ intent. He was not interested in reaching Muslims for Christ. He was more interested in being an American, than being a Christian. More interested in being a "patriot" (in a deranged kind of way), than being an ambassador for Christ! What he failed to realize is that Muslims are people too. To God, the life of Muslim is as precious as the life of a Christian. And Jesus died for them too. Jesus wants to save Muslims as much as He wants to save other people with other religious beliefs. Jesus is the Savior of the world, which includes Muslims too. Not just the Savior of America or Christians.
Therefore, Muslims are not our enemies. And even if Pastor Jones considers Muslims as enemies, Jesus commanded in Matthew 5:44-45 saying, "But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust." This makes one wonder, "What Bible has Pastor Jones been reading?"
There’s nowhere in the Bible, where it suggests religious intolerance or insulting a person’s belief or religion. It’s one thing to disagree with a person’s belief or religion. But to burn a particular religion’s sacred book is another.
But wait! Pastor Jones found a "biblical" example of his Koran burning. He cited Acts 19:18-20. He wrote on his website:
Like the Christians in Acts 19, we are publicly burning a book that is demonic. Many of our greatest supporters are ex-Moslems. They know these evils first hand. We are not, like the Nazis, stealing books, destroying properties or harming any people. We are not Nazis nor are we like Nazis. The Christians in Acts 19 did not go on from their scroll burning to harm anyone. They used the public burning as an opportunity, a demonstration to preach the truth. Only to preach and leave the decision of whether to follow the truth or not.
But the example Pastor Jones is citing is totally taken out of context, and does not in any way relate to what he was trying to do. The passage in Acts 19:18-20 talks about Christians who were formerly magicians and idolaters bringing their magic books to be burned, as their way of renouncing their former beliefs or religions.
Here is what the passage says:
And many who had believed came confessing and telling their deeds. Also, many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted up the value of them, and it totaled fifty thousand pieces of silver. So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed. – Acts 19:18-20
That is not the same as a pastor having a bonfire using Korans as fire woods!
Now, if Pastor Jones’ reason to burn the Koran is because he disagrees with what it teaches or that it contradicts the Bible, then the Koran won’t be the only book Pastor Jones would be burning. After all, the Koran is not the only sacred book contradicting the Bible. There are other sacred books that contradict the Bible like the Book of Mormon, the Roman Catholic Catechism, and other known so called religious books out there.
But then you don’t hear about Pastor Jones planning to burn these other books too.
So now, let’s examine the 10 reasons Pastor Jones had listed on his church’s website to burn the Koran:
The Koran teaches that Jesus Christ, the Crucified, Risen Son of God, King of Kings and Lord of Lords was NOT the Son of God, nor was he crucified (a well documented historical fact that ONLY Islam denies). This teaching removes the possibility of salvation and eternal life in heaven for all Islam's believers. They face eternal damnation in hell if they do not repent.
So what? The Bible does not recognize other Muslim leaders or acknowledge Mohammed as a prophet of God, as taught by the Koran. But you don’t see Muslims or an Imam planning a "Burn a Bible Day!
Besides, the Koran is not the only book that denies that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Neither is Islam the only religion that denies this claim. Judaism (at least the way it interprets the Torah) doesn’t believe that Jesus Christ is the Messiah. Even though the Torah itself points to Jesus Christ as the Messiah. Should we now burn the Torah too?
Also, just because the Islam or Judaism does not believe that Jesus Christ is the Risen Son of God, doesn’t change the fact that He is. Just because someone thinks that the earth is flat doesn’t change the fact that it’s round. That’s no reason to get rid of the person.
Anyone can believe what he or she wants to believe about Jesus Christ. What matters is, "that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. – Philippians 2:10-11
So, let God be true, and every man a liar (Romans 3:4).
Also, he wrote that "This teaching removes the possibility of salvation and eternal life in heaven for all Islam's believers."
How ridiculous is that? I mean, does this mean that there are no Muslims who have been converted to Christianity?
The Koran does not have an eternal origin. It is not recorded in heaven. The Almighty God, Creator of the World, is NOT its source. It is not holy. Its writings are human in origin, a concoction of old and new teachings. This has been stated and restated for centuries by scholars since Islam's beginnings, both Moslem and non-Moslem.
Okay? So is the Book of Mormon. So are the books by Helen G. White (one of the founders of Seventh Day Adventist Church), which Adventists revere. And other versions of the Bible that have been tampered with, like the Jehovah’s Witnesses Bible -- New World Translation of the Holy Scripture (NWTHS). I don’t see anyone organizing a bonfire for these books – at least not that I know of.
The Koran's teaching includes Arabian idolatry, paganism, rites and rituals. These are demonic, an ongoing satanic stronghold under which Moslems and the world suffer.
Again, I’ll take it that Pastor Jones hasn’t read other religious books or studied other religions. Islam is the not the only religion steep in idolatry, paganism, rites and rituals. The same can be said of Roman Catholicism too. Or what does he make of the Mary worship or the Papal worship of the Roman Catholic Church? Or the rubbing of beads, i.e., praying with the rosary?
The earliest writings that are known to exist about the Prophet Mohammad were recorded 120 years after his death. All of the Islamic writings (the Koran and the Hadith, the biographies, the traditions and histories) are confused, contradictory and inconsistent. Maybe Mohammad never existed. We have no conclusive account about what he said or did. Yet Moslems follow the destructive teachings of Islam without question.
Is this a reason to want to burn the Koran? I think not. Besides, the stories in the Book of Mormon are nothing but a figment of someone’s imagination, which could not be corroborated.
Mohammad's life and message cannot be respected. The first Meccan period of his leadership seems to have been religiously motivated and a search for the truth. But in the second Medina period he was "corrupted by power and worldly ambitions." (Ibn Warraq) These are characteristics that God hates. They also led to political assassinations and massacres which continue to be carried out on a regular basis by his followers today.
Again, Pastor Jones must not know anything about Church history. The Early Church was persecuted by non-believing Jews and the Roman government. Just as there have been persecutions and massacres even within the Church, among so called Christians! For instance, the Roman Catholic Church persecuted and massacred those who opposed its teachings during the Protestant Reformation. But does that make a reason to burn the Roman Catholic Bible or the Catechism?
Islamic Law is totalitarian in nature. There is no separation of church and state. It is irrational. It is supposedly immutable and cannot be changed. It must be accepted without criticism. It has many similarities to Nazism, Communism and Fascism. It is not compatible with Western Civilization.
Since when did compatibility with Western Civilization become the standard of measuring a religious book or a religion? By the way, the Bible is ‘totalitarian’ too! That is, it’s God way or the hell way! God is a Theocrat not a democrat. You don’t get to vote on what God wants to do. He does what He wants, when He wants, because He is God!
So, does that qualify the Bible for burning too? I hope not!
Islam is not compatible with democracy and human rights. The notion of a moral individual capable of making decisions and taking responsibility for them does not exist in Islam. The attitude towards women in Islam as inferior possessions of men has led to countless cases of mistreatment and abuse for which Moslem men receive little or no punishment, and in many cases are encouraged to commit such acts, and are even praised for them. This is a direct fruit of the teachings of the Koran.
Hmm! I wonder what he thinks of the Mormons. Real Mormonism doesn’t treat women any differently. Need I say, this is another ridiculous reason!
A Muslim does not have the right to change his religion. Apostasy is punishable by death.
Is he saying that there are no Muslim converts? Or better yet, no living Muslim converts to Christianity, as all have been killed for converting to Christianity or other religions?
Deep in the Islamic teaching and culture is the irrational fear and loathing of the West.
Okay. So, the fact that Islamic teaching and culture loathes and fears the West is another reason to burn the Koran, right? I guess God cares so much about the West that the West must be the chosen people. And as such commanded the burning of the Koran.
By the way, Islamic teaching and culture is not the only thing that loathes the West. It’s safe to say that God loathes the West and its ways too!
Truly, I believe this is the underlining real reason why Pastor Jones wanted to burn the Koran. This is a notion held by some loons in America. That is, the belief that anything that’s against Americanism or American way of life is a threat, and must be done away with. And often times these misguided people hide behind the Bible or carry out their agendas in the name of God.
So, Pastor Jones should come out and say that he was showing his ‘patriotism’ for America by organizing the Koran burning event to show his disapproval of the 9/11 attack or for the Mosque Project near Ground Zero. But he should not hide behind the Bible or Christianity, to make it look like a Christian event or a God-ordained event at that.
But in the same token, one thing he should also keep in mind is that just because a group of extremists attacked America on 9/11 does not mean that anyone should cast an aspersion on a whole group of people or religion. Just as it would be wrong for anyone to take Pastor Jones’ Koran-burning event to castigate all true Christians as Muslim-hating, Koran-burning people.
Islam is a weapon of Arab imperialism and Islamic colonialism. Wherever Islam has or gains political power, Christians, Jews and all non-Moslems receive persecution, discrimination, are forced to convert. There are massacres and churches, synagogues, temples and other places of worship are destroyed.
This guy must not have read the Bible. When the Early Church was persecuted it wasn’t Muslims who persecuted them, but non-believing Jews and the Roman government, at the time. Besides, the Bible says that "Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution." -- 2 Timothy 3:12. Persecution! Period! It didn’t say shall suffer persecution by Muslims or any particular group of people or religion at that.
Even in spite of the persecutions, as Christians, we don’t overcome evil with evil. But we overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21). Jesus modeled this for us. The Bible says of Him, "who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously…" 1 Peter 2:23
So, there you have it. These are the reasons Pastor Jones gave for wanting to burn the Koran. Now, I don’t know if you noticed, but none of the reasons above is scriptural, but Pastor Jones’ opinion or conviction. This goes to show that he was either carrying out a personal agenda, a political agenda or both.
Anyway, now that Pastor Jones had gotten way more than his fifteen minutes of fame, as a result of the controversy he generated, for now, all we can hope for is that he keeps his words to not burn the Koran, "not today, not ever!"