The news world is currently abuzz over the decision of Florida Pastor Terry Jones to carry on with his “Koran burning” this September 11th. The ensuing declamations have been many and diverse, varying from anxiety over the geopolitical consequences to appeals for multicultural pluralism. In response to the latter critique, some Christians have correctly pointed to the inconsistency in those who are so willing to express rage over book burning, yet seem ambivalent over, or even rejoice in, more flagrant injustices. Perhaps a greater concern for the Christian, however, is the response of many Evangelicals. While quick to condemn Pastor Jones, as they should, many of them seem more interested in achieving interfaith unity and are less worried of the devastating affect a Koran-burning demonstration might have on the proclamation of the Gospel. As one prominent Christian thinker eloquently noted, an effort for international peace – or smoother relations between differing religions – must be accompanied and informed by a deeper concern for the central message of Scripture. Hence, Evangelicals should not ignore or downplay the fundamental clash of worldviews that does exist. The teaching of Jesus Christ – and the absolute, exclusive claim to truth He made - faces dilution and compromise by all who pretend the Christian and Muslim are anything but diametrically opposed. Yet the spiritual nature of this conflict does not support the worldly tactics of book-burning demagogues. The eternal flames of God’s judgement will burn hotter and destroy more than any Florida bonfire will, and the Christian’s duty to warn of this reality demands use of divinely prescribed means. Any righteous indignation directed towards Pastor Jones should emanate, first and foremost, from a zealous concern for a biblical presentation of the Gospel.
The Koran, The Gospel, And Spiritual Warfare
Posted on September 9, 2010