Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Should We All Burn Qur'ans?

One of the things you might want to know about the Qur'an they are about to burn is that is says our Jesus is both virgin-born and the Spirit of God. Some Imams dispute the latter, claiming it can be translated "a" Spirit of God. The Qur'an goes on to claim Jesus was never crucified, that the apostle who betrayed Him was secretly substituted on the cross. That way, if Jesus was never crucified, dead and buried, they don't have to explain the resurrection. But yes, the Qur'an says that of our Jesus.
In America, we have every right to burn as many Qur'ans as we own. Should we? My suggestion to the good Reverend who wishes to burn Qur'ans is that he who is without sin throw the first match.
As Americans we have a huge area of ignorance about Islam and those who take Islam by faith as their religion. We need to know more. For example: While most of what the majority of people know about the Qur'an has to do with violent attacks on non-Muslims, later writings tell Muslims to live in peace with those who will live in peace with them. Which is why you have such a dichotomy in Islam, those who follow the original, violent writings, and those who decry violence and wish to follow their god by living in peace.
Here's the thing, if they will live in peace, the Constitution of the United States of America protects their right to worship in error. That's what religious freedom is all about. Changing their hearts is the work of the Holy Spirit.
Are there those who wish to abide by U.S. law and live peaceably in America? Yes, many, most, in the U.S. do. I count among my close friends a number of United States Marines, who have put their own lives on the line in Iraq and Afghanistan, who are also Muslims. They served this nation in uniform, took an oath to defend it. I do not agree with Islam, but I respect even those whom I believe worship in error, who are willing to defend this nation and the Constitution of the United States. They, just like everyone else in the world, are free to reject the free gift of salvation though Jesus Christ. That doesn't mean I will hate them and not love them.
But Islam is a house divided, That division starts between Sunnis and Shiites. There are extra-Qur'an writings called the Hadithas. Trouble is, the Sunnis and Shiites claim different texts! Good information on all this can be found at
For a general understanding, Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda are Sunni. The Shiites tend to be more cerebral and concentrate on their religion, as opposed to building up of the political arms of Islam through force and terror. Good luck with studying all the Hadithas; even the Imams do not agree on their meanings.
BTW, one of the aspects of Islam which we in the west have difficulty with is duality. To us, if the Qu'ran and the Hadithas give conflicting orders, we might choose the most recent writings as superior. (Most often more recent writings suggest peace, not war and violence.) However, to those in Islam, they accept both writings, even when they seem to conflict, and use current context as the deciding element. There is one real problem with burning the Qur'an, and that is that, even though we believe it to be a book of error, to millions of people it is sacred, and it is mighty difficult to discuss the love of Christ with people when you are burning a book they revere , even if in error.
So I repeat, let him who is without sin throw the first match.

1 comment:

Quiche said...

Hi Pastor Ed! I am so thrilled to have found you here! I am Loraine Baird, wife of James Hage, former Marine and disabled veteran. We attended Donelson Christian Church until we moved to Madison, and though we haven't been able to attend services, we have never forgotten you, and all the lovely, gracious folks there!

I had to comment on this one, a former Muslim (for 10 years). I was a learned, scholarly Muslim, could read and write Arabic...speaking, not so much, but I had commentaries and Hadiths in Arabic and English and many scholarly works on Islamic Jurisprudence and the like, respected by American Muslims and Arab Muslims for my knowledge...and Arabic Calligraphy (: I obviously understand Islam from a different point of view, even as a non-Muslim now, but I so appreciate your post, which is far more gracious, and Christ-like, in my humble opinion, than so much of what I have heard on the subject. I realize in writing this, I put myself out there as a scapegoat...hmm, sounds familiar, like a man from Nazareth some two thousand years ago (:...why take up for a perceived enemy? Jesus did- tax collector, prostitute, the Good Samaritan (and you wonder why he used a Samaritan as an example- brilliant and so apropos!), etc. Just like the Pharisees with the Torah and Pentateuch, likewise in Christendom using the Bible, there have been Muslims who have used the Quran to justify their own selfish motives, to justify terrorism, ethnic cleansing, violence against other groups, and all manner of evils against humanity- Children of God. I realize I have been privy to a world largely closed off to the rest of the world, a world also lost in translation (: There is a distinctive difference between what the Quran calls infidels "kuffara" "kafir" singlular, ie. atheists, pagans and idolaters, and Ahl- Al-Kitab "The People of the Book" Jews and Christians, terms which non-Muslims have mistakenly held as synonymous, and terrorists have used to justify their violence. There have been defensive wars in Islam's history- infidels or Jews and Christians attack Muslims, Muslims defend themselves...we see this in the Bible as well between different religious or ethnic groups. As for their belief about Jesus, "Isa"- they believe wholeheartedly in the virgin birth, believe that he was a great prophet, believe he was spared the cross, not unlike many in Christian groups in the first century of Christianity, do not believe he was one and the same with God, do believe in the Holy Spirit, but as separate entities with the same purpose, which is not uncommon with historical Christianity, or the Disciples of Christ historically: "freedom of belief and scriptural interpretation allows many Disciples to question or even deny beliefs common in doctrinal churches such as the Incarnation, the Trinity, and the Atonement. Beyond the essential commitment to follow Jesus there is a tremendous freedom of belief and interpretation. As the basic teachings of Jesus are studied and applied to life, there is the freedom to interpret Jesus' teaching in different ways. As would be expected from such an approach, there is a wide diversity among Disciples in what individuals and congregations believe. It is not uncommon to find individuals who seemingly hold diametrically opposed beliefs within the same congregation affirming one another's journeys of faith as sisters and brothers in Christ." I honestly think more people should be so tolerant and understanding, and truly Christ-like as the Disciples of Christ, and as you are- the world would be a far better, gracious place. Much love to you, and Semper Fi (:

I couldn't find you on Facebook, but I would love to have you as a Facebook "friend", so if you are on there, please look me up and send me a friend invite- I would be so honored.

BTW, The VA's Voc Rehab is sending me to school for a Bachelors of Science, Graphic Design- a huge blessing that will not only bless me but my family (: