Stupidity, Hate and Giving Church a Bad Rep

September 7, 2010 by cloften  
Filed under Family and Parenting

I’m back here at the old computer on a Tuesday morning (feels like a Monday) after a long weekend.  We made a whirlwind trip back to Cabot to pick up some stuff from the house.  Haven’t been on the computer all weekend, shocking I know.

So, I’m catching up on the old news cycle to see what I’ve missed.  Apparently, I have been way out of the loop on something.  There is a “church” that is planning on burning the Quran on Saturday to commemorate (?), honor (?), remember (?) 9/11.  This apparently was announced in July, but just made my radar screen because General Petraeus is warning that it is not a good idea (you think?) and could endanger the troops.

There are so many rants to be had here, I don’t know where to begin or how to get them all in effectively apart from a 3000 word post that only my mom would read.  How about we take some of them popcorn style?

NEWS: Church of 50 people plans to burn Quran.  IN OTHER NEWS: 4 teenagers from Southeast Arkansas plan to tip over cows after talking older brother into buying them cheap beer at convenience store.

This is not intended to be a knock at small churches.  More than half of the churches in America are less than 100 people.  Many people find and worship God there every week.  On the other hand, since when do the actions of 50 people become worldwide headlines?  Groups of 50 people do stupid things all the time.  Can we just agree that we give the lunatic fringe in our society way too much publicity?  I understand outrage.  I’m outraged by this.  But what do you think would happen if we just ignored publicity-starved, attention-hungry stupid people? (That wasn’t popcorn style. My bad.)

“The goal of these and other protests are to give Muslims an opportunity to convert, he (Pastor Terry Jones) said.”

Really?  Really? That’s the goal.  Imagine that committee meeting.  “Guys, what can we do to help Muslims see that they need Jesus?”  “Hmmmm…”  “How about we take the book they take to be most holy, collect a whole bunch of them, and burn them?”  “Yeah, then they’ll see that true forgiveness is found in Jesus.”  “Ok, is it going to be a potluck?”

Now this won’t come as a surprise to most of you, but I am neither a universalist or a pluralist.  (Universalist–believes that ultimately everyone is or will be in good standing before God.  Pluralist–believes that there are multiple paths to God.)  As such, I believe that everyone needs the forgiveness that is offered through Jesus and his sacrifice.  I understand that is controversial in many circles.  It is that belief combined with a love for people that compels me to be a pastor and to tell people about having a relationship with God.

What compels the burning of the Quran?  Does that Pastor’s heart break when he thinks of people separated from God?  Or does it make him angry that people follow another religion?  Why would it make him angry?  Does he think he is better than them?  If Ephesians 2:8-10 is true (hint: I believe it is), then there is nothing special about him that made him worthy of a relationship with God.  There is certainly nothing particularly great in the mind of God that he was born in America that makes him more worthy than another.

Regardless of whether or not you agree with the basic premise that all people need Jesus, I would like to think that we could all agree that the best way to communicate that message is with love, compassion and grace.  The same love, compassion, and grace that Jesus modeled when he was here and the same that he showed those that follow him today.

We certainly don’t want to show hatred and contempt to 1 billion Muslims because of the acts of violent extremism that some of their followers showed us any more than we want them to do the same because 50 people in Florida had a bad idea.

Thanks for indulging that.  I feel better now.  Anyone want to go cow tipping?


11 Responses to “Stupidity, Hate and Giving Church a Bad Rep”
  1. Amanda says:

    Charlie, I’m with you on this one. I know I’d be sad if the shoe were on the other foot, and I sure as heck know Jesus doesn’t endorse this sort of thing. At the same time, we are the Church, and we’re all broken in some way, shape, or form. We need Jesus!!!

  2. Alana Boles says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with this post! The burning of the Quran will only make people mad and divide us.

  3. Jennifer Loftin says:

    I’m just not surprised enough to rant that the media would focus on this sort of thing….it is the media after all. It is what they do best ~ sensationalize! Of course, burning the Quran isn’t right. So, what is right? Intercession, being neighborly to the growing numbers of Muslims within our communities, sharing the gospel as the Holy Spirit urges us on. Let’s get to it.

  4. Melynn Glusman says:


    even if I am a pluralist

  5. Megan says:

    My sentiments exactly. I do wonder at the organizing pastor’s heart in this effort and hope that he will see the folly in it before the damage is done. I cannot imagine how God would receive glory through this hateful act.

  6. Kevin says:

    This demonstrates that the right to do something and the wisdom of doing so are totally separate issues. Does this group of 50 people have the right to burn a book? Yes. Should they? No. It doesn’t advance their cause as followers of Jesus or as American citizens. It actually harms their effort on both fronts.

    I have friends who have already seen demonstrations in middle eastern countries because of this, and it will only get worse if they go through with it.

  7. Amanda Miner says:

    Just read that, he said he will still pray about whether or not to do it. I am guessing “God will say yes” although we both know it’s not his will. Just thankful my honey is not in Afganistan right now, I would really not be happy. What a stupid, nearsighted, hate-filled man. “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but harsh words (or works) stirs up anger”.

  8. Aaron Reddin says:

    lets all just go burn dog poop on his porch….that should solve everything! ;)

  9. Terri says:

    These guys are right up there with the church that pickets the funerals of American soldiers. I just don’t get it. I know they think they are doing God’s work, but you know Satan is loving every bit of it!

  10. Jonathan says:

    Well said sir! I couldn’t agree with you more. It seriously does make you wonder though. What is he thinking!?!?

  11. Li-Ern says:

    I disagree with Kevin that he has the right to burn the Koran if he wants to, but of course, some people would say that the country I live in is an authoritarian state. There must be boundaries on what you can and what you cannot do — it is not just about being wise or unwise in your actions. It is an incredibly offensive and incendiary act. It doesn’t matter that the Obama administration and most American citizens denounce this act. Once it happens, the whole nation is implicated, and it will have an impact on Muslim-Christian relations, on a national, corporate and individual level, all over the world.

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