September 9, 2010
We at BCOM and Bethany International do not side with the burning of Qur’ans which will happen on 9/11/10 in Gainsfield, Florida. We are in no way supportive of this bigotry which will stain the population’s view of Christianity, neither do we believe that Islam is the way to God or the truth. There is only one way, one truth, one life, and his name is Jesus Christ. He is God incarnate who died on the cross 2,000 years ago to bridge the gap between God and man. He is the only way to God. There are no other means.
But even in light of this deep conviction, we cannot and will not stand in any form of agreement with Terry Jones and the burning of the Qur’an. We would beg Mr. Jones to open up and read his Bible. Have you not read, Mr. Jones, the Sermon on the Mount’s specific command in Matthew 5:44 to love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you? Have you not read, Mr. Jones, the command to bless your persecutors in Romans 12:14 and 21? Have you not read Paul’s comments on his hardships in 1 Corinthians 4:12-13 and how he responded to them? Have you not read 1 Samuel 24:17 where Saul calls David more righteous than him because while Saul treated him harshly, David treated Saul well?
One of the greatest scriptures Mr. Jones must consider is the one that sums up three quarters of the Bible: [T]hou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, found in Leviticus 19:18, and quoted in Matthew 19:18-19, 22:39, Mark 12:31, Luke 10:27, and Romans 13:9 as the summation of the Law.
The question is, are you loving your neighbor as yourself, Mr. Jones? You say that you and your congregation are going to be armed to defend yourself during your little bonfire. How is that demonstrating love?
Suppose for a second though that it’s true that America is being taken over by Islam; do you think that that merits your violation of the command to love?
Furthermore, Mr. Jones, you talk of the Islamization of Europe as if it’s by some violent means that Muslims are getting a firmer grip on the West. But the reason for the rise of Islam in Europe is not because of forceful militant advances. On the contrary, it is a simple matter of more children being born to Muslim families than to any other families in Europe (telegraph.co.uk article). They aren’t using guns or bombs to take over Europe but have a more formidable weapon: a sincere faith that gives them divine purpose in every aspect of their lives, including bearing offspring.
Therefore, what will the burning of 200+ Qur’ans do aside from stir the beehive? We see Islam grow in America for the same reasons that it’s growing in Europe: high birth rates. This bonfire will not solve anything.
To any Muslim who may be reading this, we ask for you to forgive Terry Jones. It is important for you to know that he does not represent Christ in any way. Please forgive this man for his wrongdoings.
Lord, we pray for the protection of our missionaries on the field. Please keep them safe in the midst of this situation. We also pray that you would convict the stony heart of Terry Jones who is not operating out of love. Please forgive this man and turn him to You.