He says he's going through with it. This Saturday, on the 9th anniversary of 9-11, the Pastor of the Dove Outreach Center (members = 30-50) is going to burn the Holy Book of one of the three major religions of the world. Warned to 'please stop' or 'stand down' by a five star general, David Patreaus, Tea Party advocates like Glenn Beck and Sara Palin, and even the President of the United States; Mr Jones will march on. I guess sometimes the wisdom of the counsel of many still can't penetrate the ideas of a man on a mission. And what a mission!!
I've recently gone through all the YouTube videos Pastor Jones has put out from the Dove Outreach Center, AMAZING!! As an ordained minister of the gospel of Jesus, I'm not sure what Bible he thinks he's reading, what God he thinks he's serving, or what mission he thinks he's attempting to pull off. (BTW, I noticed all of the videos have this ominous music behind his teaching. On further review I found it to be the Braveheart soundtrack. He thinks he's William Wallace!)
None of the teachings I viewed have anything to do with the Holy word of God. He constantly Mis-represented God's will, Mis-Quoted the scriptures, and he is obviously using God for his own gain, Mr. Jones is quite a piece of work. But I gotta give it to him, he's charismatic and passionate.
I was having lunch with a couple attorney friends yesterday, wondering how in the world something like this could happen in America, and they looked at me and said, "this is the part of the United States that makes us great. Mr. Jones has the right to burn a Koran, and Muslims have the right to build a Mosque at ground zero. It's the part of our open society allowing for freedoms to exist."
I still don't know what I think about all that. It seems like a mosque at ground zero, however legal it is, surely presents a lack of human dignity to the whole 9-11 event. To respect those who've endured so much pain and move the building down the street a few blocks doesn't seem all that un-reasonable. But…that's America.
Burning Korans, however mad you are at segments of Islam, however legal it might be, presents another lack of respect to someone elses right to worship whatever god they want. To respect the holy books of other faiths, and leave the judgment up to God doesn't seem all that un-reasonable. But…that's America.
Both seem pretty disrespectful.
Both seem as though there are ways to solve the problem peacefully and still get your point across.
Both are allowed under the constitution.
But where is our sense of human dignity and respect for one another?
I wonder if we employ the teachings of Jesus, what would He do?
When Jesus met the Samaritan woman at the water hole, this might be a good place to start. (John 4)
Jesus walked through the area of Samaria, a road that was forbidden to walk by all good and holy Jewish leaders. The Samaritans actually thought they worshiped the only one true god, and built a temple in their nation to rival the one in Jerusalem at the time. They were a people hated by the Jews, a common racial divide. When Jesus sat with the woman at the well, he didn't try to take over the country and hire her to build a Jewish Synagogue in Samaria. He didn't take her holy book away and have a public book burning to show his defiance against the false god they were worshiping at the time.
No, he just sat with her and offered water. Living Water. Water that would fill her forever. He offered her HIS life so that she might not live in pain and suffering as she was running around to different men at the time, looking for love.
He didn't condemn.
He didn't point his finger in her face, burn a book, or build a Jewish building.
He offered her life.
Go ahead and read the story, it's not that different from what's going on today.
Two different people groups, bent on hating each other.
Two religions trying to figure out how to treat the other.
Violence on both sides that continue to escalate hundreds of years of hate.
And Jesus just walks right in and identifies this woman's spiritual need, meets it, and gives a whole community of people the hope that resides in the God of the Bible.
"Jesus declared, "Believe
me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on
this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet
a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship
the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the
Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."
I'm not a constitutional authority.
I'm sure glad we have the freedom to live how we do.
I love the fact we have the freedom to worship how we do, because I've been to countries where that's not the case.
But as a fellow follower of Jesus, I think I've found once again, a place where the 'right' way to live is to meet the needs of someone else, and offer eternal satisfaction; rather than just trying to fill the lust for being right.