By Ayman Ibrahim
Pastor and author Terry Jones, along with his congregation, plans to burn the Quran on September 11 in an attempt to urge Americans to “stand up” against the threat of Islam and to encourage the church to “be strong.”
He writes, “Our Land needs strong churches that understand and fulfill God’s vision of restoration and reformation.” Jones, who wrote Islam Is of the Devil, claims on his website that many Americans have supported his call to burn the Quran by sending him copies to be burned.
“What would Jesus do?” That was the question that came to my mind when I read about Pastor Jones. Being from the Middle East, I can feel the dramatic consequences of this horrific event if it were to actually take place.
First, the cycle of violence will never stop. You burn the Quran in America; someone will burn down a church, with its people, in Egypt. You burn the “sacred” book of Muslims, and an entire family could be set on fire in Indonesia.
Second, once you burn the Quran, you can no longer talk about the Bible as a peaceful message or good news—you have already violated and refuted your own message.
Third, by burning the Quran you offend 1.5 billion Muslims, claiming that all types of Muslims—cultural, Quranic, and militant—are from the devil and all the same.
Last January, Muslim fundamentalists decided to kill the joy of Christians in Upper Egypt through violence, by killing innocent Coptic Christians celebrating on Christmas Eve. Quranic and cultural Muslims went to sympathize with Christians, because they did not accept what some “Muslims” did.
This coming Saturday, Pastor Jones intends to kill the joy of Muslims worldwide by burning their holy of holies, claiming that such an act would make the Church strong. He writes on his website, “Our Land needs churches that are able to handle the revival we will see this century with the apostolic anointing.”
By burning the Quran you will not handle a revival; you will need to learn how to handle fights and cope with massacres. Moreover, this September 11 will overlap with the Muslim feast after the fasting of Ramadan, which will only intensify the situation.
Pastor Jones, what do you mean by a “strong” church—is it a church that holds weapons? That sends fire against enemies? This is not the gospel; it is insanity.
If you burn the Quran in America, you are sending thousands of churches in the Middle East into fire.
If you burn the Quran in your church, you are igniting violence against churches and Christians worldwide. You are free to do what you want in America, while in some parts of the world many Christians are not so free—and you are sending them into a literal fire. I wish you could live in Egypt for a few days to know how utterly senseless your action would be and the damage it would cause!
Pastor Jones, do not do this, please! It would be an example of disrespect such as no one has seen in the Word of God. By burning the Quran, you are isolating Christians and identifying them as enemies to Muslims.
After such an act, how could a Christian possibly present the gospel to a Muslim friend? In Luke 9, when the people of the Samaritan village did not welcome Jesus, the disciples James and John said to Jesus, “Lord, should we call down fire from heaven to burn them up?”
Jesus turned, and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of.”
Ayman Ibrahim is a Christian from Egypt and a doctoral student at Fuller Theological Seminary. Article is printed with permission by the author.