It’s very important that the world, and the tiny church in Gainesville, Fla., know where the evangelical community stands on the church’s unwise plan to burn copies of the Koran:
Don’t do it. The best way for the church of Jesus Christ to draw people away from Islam is through love, not hatred or irreverence.
Here is a selection of admonitions collected by Christianity Today magazine:
- “Dove World Outreach Center, shame on you. If I want to win a Muslim to Christ, I surely won’t do it by burning the Qur’an in public and provoking them to hate us more. The greatest weapon a Christian has is godly love.” –Angel Nuñez, vice president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference.
- “The most powerful statement by the organizers of the planned September 11th bonfire would be to call it off in the name and love of Jesus Christ.” –Leith Anderson, president, National Association of Evangelicals.
- “I think it is appalling, disgusting, and brainless. I think that those of us who find what they are doing abhorrent should say so, and say so publicly and often. The church’s actions “besmirch the reputation of our Savior, and that makes it blasphemy.” –Richard Land, director of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.
- “Followers of Christ and Americans don’t burn books. Nazis burn books.” –Chris Seiple, president of the Institute for Global Engagement.
Here’s a thought: during the hours of 6-9 p.m. on Saturday, members of World Outreach Center should take dinner to the members of the local mosque. Now that would make a Christian statement.