Stirring from my Grandpa Doc duties to discover a pastor intends to burn a Koran later this week. The NYDaily online edition is offering a poll to determine reader response. The options include a vote for “freedom of speech,” “hate, pure and simple,” or “who cares?” It is this last one that garnered my attention.
Pastors everywhere should care. Jones suggests enough is enough. I agree. Enough is enough. Pastors who prefer to pick and choose what the Scriptures say should stand down, maybe even step down. Jesus instructed his followers to love their enemies. If Pastor Jones believes enough is enough then it is time to do as Jesus did – love his enemies. Burning a Koran is hardly an expression of that command.
Some will focus on the potential damage to our forces in Afghanistan per General Petraeus’ assessment. Fear only results in anger and violence. The Scriptures Pastor Jones’ purports to uphold notes that complete love casts our fear. Enough is enough. My suggestion, though likely not popular, Pastor Jones should burn his Bible. If he takes that little interest in the words of Jesus then he should discard the book, open up a club for like minded Americans and then talk about his freedom to do whatever he believes is covered under his First Amendment Rights. But, do the rest of us a favor and stop using your role as “pastor” as a rouse for hatred and contempt for other human beings.
The weekly video here at The Edge of the Inside asks, “What would you do?” I stole that title. I saw it on Brian McLaren’s website. Yes, that heretic. He would dare contend we treat people with dignity, love, and respect in the Name of Jesus. Brian and I may not see clearly on all things. But one thing is for sure, we must not let those like Pastor Jones hijack the Jesus Way.
UPDATE: The statement, “Brian and I may not see clearly on all things.” is not a reference to personal conflict but my continued wrestling with Brian’s provocative writing. I have written of my friendship and fondness for and with Brian. From my first contact with Brian, in a break-out session on evangelism at the National Pastor’s Convention nearly ten years ago, to any number of personal conversations, phone conversations, and email exchanges I have found Brian nothing but representative of the character of Jesus and committed to His Way.