I’ve said many times before that I believe that some people who were Christians and left the faith or those who reject Christianity altogether do so not because of any objection to the teachings of Jesus Christ. They object to the actions of Christians themselves.
This is just another example of how one stupid act can make all Christians look bad.
I give you once again, Dr. Terry Jones, Minister of Dove World Outreach Center in Gainsville, Florida. You may remember him as the person who wanted to burn the Koran (the holy text of Islam) on the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11th; he dubbed it “International Burn the Koran Day.” This event (which was eventually cancelled) made national headlines. The President, The Pope and countless others followers of Christ rejected the burning and rightfully so. It was pointless and hate filled.
Dr. Jones and his band of 50 or so followers have a hatred for the religion of Islam. They have even gone so far as to proclaim that Islam is of the devil and that it has a 1400 year history of rape and slavery. Jones even went to far in 2010 to put the Koran “on trail” where he was the judge and jury and lo and behold he found the Koran guilty.
Now Jones has upped the ante just a little bit more, he actually followed through with burning the Koran AND a picture of Mohammed. Read more about it here. In a video posted on YouTube Jones and others speak of the ills of Islam and how the followers of Islam must be converted to Christianity to be saved in the end times. To be honest, I tried to watch the 40+ minute video (the burning starting around minute 35 or so) but I couldn’t handle it. I skipped around through the video and heard three different people say the same thing but in different words.
The message is one directed to the Iranian government who is holding a Christian minister in jail. Dr. Jones believes that the Iranian government’s mind will be changed if they witness their holy book with an image of Mohammed being burned. Iran was quick to respond and denounce the act (read more here). I believe that they minister should be released too, but you dont see me going around lighting holy books on fire. What kind of reaction about Jones give if he saw the President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, burn a copy of Bible and call out all of the times and ways that the Bible has been misused for the destruction of others and the world? My guess… he would not take it lying down…it might actually fuel his Islam hate firm more.
But alas while this didn’t make huge public headlines, its still a black eye for Christianity. People outside of Christianity need to know that this is not indicative of all Christians. This is not what the gospel is about. Maybe Dr. Jones forgot that whole passage about the spec in your neighbor’s eye and the log in your own. Maybe he forgot about Christ loving his neighbor. Maybe he forgot that even people who practice Islam are children of God. Maybe he forgot….
What Dr. Jones did was terrible with a “T.” It was heartless and disrespectful to a religion which for the most part has not done anything wrong to him. In most religions you are going to find radicals and fundamentalist who take their religion and doctrines to the extreme. Dove World Outreach Center joins the ranks of Westboro Baptist Church. They are in an elite class of Christians who give Christians a bad name. Yes they are trying to live out their faith and yes they have that freedom. But when action go against the central teachings of Jesus Christ, then they have missed the point. Jesus Christ’s message was one that brought wholeness to people not hate. What good could be done in Gainsville if that small group of Christians turned their attention to the hurting, the forgotten, to the lonely instead of the “evils” of Islam.
Ironically, Jones serves a congregation named after the bird of peace… the dove. May he forgot that too.
Below is the video if you care to watch it.