Though most people are for one and against the other I do not feel that my view about allowing both is some Zen-like paradox. They are both within our constitutional rights. Also, both acts will reveal the true nature of Islam and shining God’s light on that belief system is a good thing.
Sometimes, given the news of the past few days, it feels like I’m living in an alternate universe–the universe of “World News.” The same universe where a redneck preacher with a congregation of 40 can determine the fate of civilizations with a gallon of gasoline and a few books. And when my true thoughts about the cancelled event in Gainesville are “burn baby burn” I think maybe I’ve finally gone over the edge. I hope that talk radio has not turned my brain into Swiss cheese. I really don’t listen to it that much. Pretty much everybody from Gen. Petraeus to the Pope and Hillary have expressed their alarm about the Quran burning. Perhaps they are reasonable and I am not. Somehow I doubt that this event would place our troops in any more danger than they already are, but I could be wrong about that. In my view they have guns and body armor and if they are not already being vigilant then they are very foolish. However, I do worry about indigenous missionaries and fair-skinned Western tourists being exposed to the childlike fury of insulted Muslims.
As Christians we are called to love our brothers–and that includes Muslims. But I also think we are compelled to hate their religion and to do what we can to thwart it. However, by getting them to build the Ground Zero mosque elsewhere we will learn nothing about their true intent and in the eyes of the naive it will cause them to seem reasonable (which they aren’t). In the past few days I’ve read blogs and op-ed pieces by those saying they’re Christian that say we should follow Jesus and love our enemies. Even those writers clearly secular chide us for not behaving more Christian. Also, in Pastor Joel’s sermon yesterday he quoted Romans 12:21 about overcoming evil with good. I agree. However, I believe that that love is meant to be directed at individuals and not evil mass movements. We didn’t do such a good job of loving the Nazis into submission, and I believe that radical Islam is equally evil. My take on the current zeitgeist is that we are on a collision course with radical Islam. The radicals may only be 5 or 10% of all Muslims but they are truly the tail that wags the dog. I think the rest of Islam is quite puzzled on how to respond to the radical minority because their’s is a religion based on works and not centered on grace, love and forgiveness. Also, I don’t buy the imam who is the frontman for the Ground Zero mosque being a man of peace. His prior statements give away his real agenda and his comments yesterday contained a not so veiled threat–in effect, if we do not allow the mosque at Ground Zero it will lead to violence in the Muslim world.
The absolute abomination that is their religion is revealed in their participation in human trafficing and their treatment of women. In Saudi Arabia women are basically livestock and the lack of civil rights of women in many Muslim countries should be the focus of the mainstream media and not the Rev. Jones in Gainsville. We don’t need to worry about them burning Bibles in Mecca as in Saudi Arabia it is a crime to even own a Bible. Islam is also characterized by its internal violence–Shia vs. Sunni. The acting out of their ideological conflicts has killed more Iraqis than our military. Christianity and Islam are both extremely evangelical, and because of that, coexistence is a fairy tale that only the deluded and the very secular liberals can believe.
The ultimate question for Christians is what would Jesus do, or what would He have us do I have no idea–well, other than engage in considerable prayer to the Father. And I’m sure that is our best recourse as well. Still, I really don’t believe that we can love them into becoming peace-loving and open to the true God. Myself and most of my mature Christian friends keep being drawn to the Bible’s apocalyptic passages and the pervasive sense that we are living in the last days. I know, I know. The church has a two millenia history of anticipating armageddon and the Lord’s return and so its probably foolish to hold ones breath.
Just 10 verses from the end of Revelation it says “Let him who does wrong continue to do wrong; let him who is vile continue to be vile; let him who does right continue to do right; and let him who is holy contiue to be holy.” I guess I’m a pessimist. I believe that time John writes about is the present. As I see it the conflagration will happen either sooner or later. However, the Quran burning was called off and echoing Chamberlain in 1938, Hilary can announce that we will have “peace in our time.”