Appalling…

The Quran

On September 11, 2010, the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida is hosting International Burn a Quran Day.

From 6-9pm “Christians” can burn the Quran at the local church.  The city of Gainesville has refused a burn permit for safety reasons, however the church has vowed, “BUT WE WILL STILL BURN KORANS.”

Dove World Outreach Center’s pastor Terry Jones is quoted by CNN as saying, “We believe that Islam is of the devil, that it’s causing billions of people to go to hell, it is a deceptive religion, it is a violent religion and that is proven many, many times.”

Dove World Outreach Center's Pastor Terry Jones

Some other local religious leaders have organized a Gathering for Peace, Understanding and Hope to occur near the same time to counter this book burning.  At least there is some attempt being made to counter the Quran burning.  This story is attracting some media attention, and likely moreso as the planned date approaches–assuming the Outreach Center sticks with the plan.

To me, this is appalling.  The very concept of this idea is contrary to everything I see the Community of Christ standing for, or atleast what it should stand for.  I see this as an attack to an entire religion of people, and just one day after the conclusion of the holy month of Ramadan at that.  And worse yet, this is being done in the name of Jesus.  Shameful.

I’ve been blessed in my life to get to know many people intimately of very diverse religious backgrounds.  I have worshipped in Islamic mosques openly before, with no hesitation or concern.  I have celebrated Ramadan with Islamic friends three seperate years and endured the month-long fast, multiple times.  I know personally of three other Community of Christ members who engaged in Ramadan at least once as well.  It is a complete test of mind, body, and will.

I cannot believe that if Jesus Christ was with us at this moment that he would join in or approve of the burning.  Same as I do not believe, as others argue, he would join them holding up GOD HATES FAGS signs.  This is not the Christ that I’ve come to know.  And this is not the Jesus that the Community of Christ knows.  I pray this is not the Jesus known by most of Christianity.

We proclaim Jesus Christ and promote communities of joy, hope, love, and peace.

We have a special calling, and the world needs to hear the “liberating truths of the gospel.”  Jesus is hope, not hate.

19 comments on “Appalling…

  1. Margie Miller says:

    What a tragedy! How can those people call themselves Christians.

  2. If I were Muslim, I wouldn’t care two minutes about a backwards church of bigots doing something that didn’t affect my life and only revealed their own prejudice.

    But the Community of Christ does far worse things than this to homosexuals – denying them very fundamental rights, sacraments and equal standing. So be appaled, but to say that the CofC does nothing like this and is instead about peace and love is a little misleading. When the CofC starts loving all equally, then they can start pointing their fingers at others.

    Plank’s in our eyes.

  3. delbert says:

    I Think that it unfortunate that any Christian Church thinks that it is appropriate to be un-christian and burn the religions books of another religion. I am afraid that it will give radical muslims and excuse to retaliate. I believe in the seperatiation of Church and hate. Hate does not have any place in any organization that claims to be christian.

  4. FireTag says:

    I am appalled as well. I never would have heard a word about this little church if I hadn’t read about it… Oh, wait, that was probably the whole idea of the appalling church to begin with — generate lots of publicity for their message of hate.

    The general blogosphere rule of thumb should apply here: “Do Not Feed the Trolls.”

  5. Not just to generate publicity, perhaps, but to allow other churhes to overlook their own shortcomings, and seem superior by comparison?

  6. kevinwbryant says:

    Is the Community of Christ called to just sit back and remain silent until we solve all of our issues? We’ll never solve them all. No Conference, no quorum, no council will ever satisfy all the questions. There will always be a hot topic that is “pressing,” regardless of how many we face and how many we move beyond.

    We cannot be so insular as to focus only on our own journey to the omission of the larger world. Yes there are many hurting within our numbers, there are millions more beyond our denomination that are hurting as well.

    • FireTag says:

      Kevin:

      Your principle is sound, but I’m not sure of the application here. The Community of Christ worrying about a local cult church in Gainesville IS pretty insular.

      By the way, did anybody read the wiki article on this “church” and note that it is also threatening to burn a few Jewish holy books, too, for balance?

      • kevinwbryant says:

        To be honest, this little church isn’t really the issue for me. I am repulsed by their plans, but there will always be whack-job type groups out there doing their thing, misguided as they may be.

        Personally, what I find so bothersome is the sheer principle of this–not the specifics. I worry that the Community of Christ will lose sight of its call to build God’s kingdom by tearing down the boundaries of division. This is a boundary–one of many, I confess. To me, it is not about this one church or any single issue, it is so much bigger than that. It is about improving ourselves and fulfilling God’s dreams for us, but also for the world. I cannot accept that burning the Quran is a part of God’s dream for His creation.

  7. FireTag says:

    Kevin:

    Of course. But who besides whack-jobs exactly is arguing FOR the idea?

  8. There is a difference between condemning what someone else does and pumping up onesself with self-righteousness.

    • FireTag says:

      BTC:

      You seem exceptionally annoyed. Is it simply that the church continues to do the “same old same old” on their treatment of those marginalized within the church, or have they done something new and disspiriting in the past few weeks that hasn’t made it out to public knowledge yet?

  9. I think it was the “The very concept of this idea is contrary to everything I see the Community of Christ standing for, or atleast what it should stand for.”

    Outrage that something is appalling is one thing, but this seemed a little like “the CofC is far better than this.” It rubbed me the wrong way, that’s all.

  10. Shelley says:

    I think your title of “Appalling” here fits very well, not just in the action of this small little church in Florida, but also to describe the lack of action by the Community of Christ First Presidency to condemn such an act. Many, many other denominational leaders have taken a public stance against this intolerable act, (even the Pope has “found the time”) yet our leaders remain typically silent. The “cheap peace” is the only peace they seek and that is none at all!

  11. FireTag says:

    Sometimes the appropriate response in life, as in blogging, is “Do Not Feed The Trolls.”

    A “world outreach center” that has a few dozen members and derives its income largely from furniture sales is a scam looking for publicity, no matter who it hurts. The media bit, and now innocent people are endangered.

    • Not just the media – but self-righteous churches looking to pump themselves up by condmening this small group of individuals expressing a pretty widely held sentiment – that radical extremism in the Muslim world is dangerous; case in point, 9/11.

  12. FireTag says:

    I denounce violence, regardless of ideological motivation.
    I denounce anyone, from the Left, the Right or middle, who believes physical violence is the answer to whatever they feel is wrong with our country.
    I denounce those who wish to tear down our system and rebuild it in their own image, whatever that image may be.
    I denounce those from the Left, the Right or middle, who call for riots and violence as an opportunity to bring down and reconstruct our system.
    I denounce violent threats and calls for the destruction of our system – regardless of their underlying ideology – whether they come from the Hutaree Militia or Frances Fox Piven.
    I hold those responsible for the violence, responsible for the violence. I denounce those who attempt to blame political opponents for the acts of madmen.
    I denounce those from the Left, the Right or middle that sees violence as a viable alternative to our long established system of change made within the constraints of our constitutional Republic.
    I will stand with anyone willing to sign that pledge.

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