A while ago my Mom mentioned that Florida was not a safe place for kids. I don’t have any children, so I thought it was an odd statement, but then I realized indeed she is right. Over the past year many many little girls have disappeared and been found dead. I’m not really proud of the Sunshine state in this regard. But Now.. The Dove World outreach church in Gainsville is giving me another reason to blush a bit when people say, “You live in Florida, no kidding…really, well…Wow”
At any rate, this small radical, weird church has decided that in order to commemorate the September 11 terror attack on the World Trade Center that they should hold a Burn the Qur’an event.
Before I go much further, let me say that I went to a Quaker High school, and that I identify with that religion. So of course, being from a Peace church any sort of violent action, book burning etc does not sit too well with me.
Here is a link from the Daily Mail regarding this “event”. I appreciate General Petraeus condemning this ridiculously stupid event. Petraeus points out that this sort of thing will only serve to make the mission in Afghanistan more difficult and dangerous for American troops.
The leader of this bizarre church states on television that he is praying about the caution by Petraeus, but he is unsure “when do we stop backing down”. Well…any time now would be fine with me. I was unaware that the Dove World outreach Center of Gainesville was actually involved in sending troops to Afghanistan, and fighting in the conflict. I do not believe the U.S Government, or any part of coalition, or the Afghanis have asked/invited the Dove world Center to participate in this conflict, so I am not really sure why they feel the need to actively participate, especially by taking actions which will definitely inflame the situation which I think is probably greatly mis-understood by people who are not there. (Myself included.)
The Bible itself is full of multitudes of contradictions. It is a little bit difficult to give and eye for an eye, all the while turning the other cheek….. So it is actually fairly easy to take any sort of action and then claim it is based on the bible. It’s fairly easy to go through the bible and find a verse here and there that will support just about anything you want to do. but this church claims to be a Christian church, which like most Christian churches is based on the teachings of Jesus….
I am not the most educated Christian out there. But I do not ever recall in any of my study of the Bible any where where Jesus actually expresses hate for anyone. As a matter of fact, one teaching/statement of Jesus sticks out boldly in my mind:
Every one of you has to live so that through your bodies, through your way of life, through your deeds, words, thoughts — people may learn to love God!
Now, this to me makes sense. If you want to help people to find the truth, you need to live the truth, and provide an example of Jesus, the teachings of Jesus and the salvation of Jesus here on earth.
So I humbly suggest that perhaps the good folk at the Dove World Outreach center reconsider burning the Qur’an on September 11, 2010. I do have some suggestions for alternative activities that would still fit in with their more radical views of the Bible.
Spend the day in Prayer. Pray for those who are unreached by Christianity.
Spend the day showing Christ’s love by participating in some sort of service to the community. Clean up trash on the road, paint a building, volunteer to read stories to sick kids in the hospital, visit a lonely person at a Nursing home. When asked why are you here, say directly, “I am here to express God’s love for you”.
Take out an Ad on the radio or Television. Let the world know that you as a church remember 9-11 and are committed to a terror free world. Tell them that you are not burning a book (which will not go away because you burn several hundred copies.) because you want to reduce, rather than increase the possibility of terrorism in this country. and the same time, use the air time to tell people that you as a church do not believe Islam is a religion of truth.
Plant a Garden in honor of those who were killed in the 9-11 attack. Talk to your children about why it is important to remember these people.
Volunteer at a homeless shelter/soup kitchen and talk to people there about your beliefs.
Go personally to Afghanistan/Iraq/Iran to preach your beliefs to the masses there.
Hold a “tune up your car” clinic for the community. Offer your church up as a place for a jobs fair. make and send stuffed toys to the children who lost parents and relatives on 9-11. cover the stuffed animals with jesus loves you patches if need be.
Just don’t burn the Qu’ran. It will be a big smoky mess. It involves the church in a war that is being conducted by the state and will create issues on a large scale that the Church will not then step in and solve. Take a step up and be the bigger “church”. Literally turn the other cheek and show some love, and participate in an activity of creation rather than destruction. Imagine….10 years from now, people really are not going to recall that one small radical church burned some books. On the other hand, several people may recall that a small radical church sent them a stuffed toy when they were hurting the most, and something like a garden that can be renewed year after year may still stand in testimony of God’s love, rather than a charred pile of hatred.
I’m only one citizen in Florida. I do wish though that I had one less thing to be embarrassed about this year….. please?