Opinion

Koran Burning Day asks, “What would Jesus do?”

A friend recently told me that some comments concerning Islam, 9/11 and a Koran burning day on a Facebook status really troubled her. Rather than proceed with misinformation, she decided to read the Koran.

The Koran is the sacred book of the Muslims (By Christian Graw).

“Wow, I haven’t even read an article about the recent controversy,” I said. I’ve since read a few articles and discovered that Pastor Terry Jones of Florida found his way to a Twitter account and Facebook page to declare 9/11/10 “International Burn A Koran Day.”

Sounds like something that I should probably “retweet” to increase my followers on Twitter and a page I should “like” to double my Facebook friends.

Before you know it, Secretary of the State Hillary Clinton was talking about it. President Obama was talking about it. And Jones even had a phone conversation with Defense Secretary Robert Gibbs, urging Jones that lives abroad were at risk if he followed through with his demonstration.

It was all over the media and the world was watching, but he didn’t go through with it. However, he did manage to score a nice $180,000 bill for the additional security surrounding that weekend.

Jones was threatening to burn the Korans if Feisal Abdul Rauf did not move his proposed Islamic community center further away from the site of Ground Zero in New York City. As it is the location is only two blocks away from the former site of the World Trade Center.

Jones stated publically that he and Rauf had talked and the decision was made to move the interfaith center. Rauf denies ever speaking with Jones at all.

Imam Rauf has been engaged in interfaith work since before 9/11. Since that sad September he’s worked with a support group made up of Evangelical, Mainline Protestant, Catholic and Jewish leaders. In fact he’s leaned on them for counsel through this recent Florida threat.

Frankly, I don’t think Jones’ play on media to rally some followers was an accurate reflection of those of us trying to genuinely follow Jesus. It demonstrated arrogance, lack of grace and polluted the public’s impression of Biblical Christianity.

Not to mention when asked to repent for his proposal by the World Evangelical Alliance, Jones declined claiming God hadn’t convicted him to repent.

As “twenty-something” Christians, our generation has seen many talking heads before us speak in a way that seems to misrepresent the Jesus we claim to follow.

This can be frustrating and confusing. It actually seems to make it more difficult for us who strive to do the more difficult work of bridging the gap with our neighbor and those that hold different views than us.

It’s easier to talk at people who smile and nod at your opinion. It’s tougher to demonstrate what you believe to be true to folks who don’t affirm the same.

In James chapter 3 it’s written that we should control our tongues, because they can be fire starters. In the same chapter it also speaks of possessing a wisdom that is peace loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.

Perhaps if we internalize this wisdom then our lives will reflect deeds that are done in humility. And our response to the controversies in this world will be a reflection of the grace and peace of Jesus.

Rhett Edwards is a contributing writer for The Aviso.

Categories: Opinion

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