When the Church Goes Nutso

The day Christians start burning Bibles while passing out Korans is the day when Christianity has gone completely bonkers. Sadly however that day is already here. Yep, you got it right – we now have Christians thinking it is a good thing to distribute Korans while others are OK with burning the Bible.

This is how one report covers the Koran giveaway: “The Massachusetts Bible Society in the USA has said it plans to take a stand against hate and give away two copies of the Qur’an for every one Christian extremists burn.” They put out a statement which said in part:

“As people of the Book, we are joined to Islam and Judaism in a special way. . . . The Qur’ans will go to prisons, hospitals, shelters, or to any place where there are Muslims without access to their sacred text. This in no way diminishes our belief in the Bible as the Word of God. On the contrary, it is acting on the command within its pages to love our neighbours as ourselves (Leviticus 19:18) and to do unto others as we would have done unto us (Matthew 7:12).”

Now there is plenty one can say about all this. Are they well meaning in this? Probably, but plenty of just plain stupid stuff has been done in the name of good intentions. And this seems like another good example of this. And it seems like a great example of Christians who are not thinking very straight.

Would they also give out copies of the Book of Mormon if they were being burned? That is of course a holy book to millions. Or what about Das Kapital or Mein Kampf? Those books are also considered to be very special, even sacred, to many.

And the phrase “the people of the Book” is of course something found in the Koran, but not in the Bible. It is part of the Islamic attempt to say that all three faiths are of similar roots, although Islam is said to be the final and full revelation of God, while the Hebrew and Greek scriptures have been corrupted.

What would these Christians – who are evidently so very much into interfaith dialogue and slippery-slope ecumenicism – think about what occurred in Acts 19:18-20? There we are told that people were convicted by the truth of the Gospel and voluntarily burned their books on magic and sorcery.

Would these ecumenical do-gooders have rushed out and offered to give away two books on magic for every one that was burned? After all, many other people would have regarded these books with very high esteem, and would have felt very bad indeed to see them destroyed.

So would the Christian thing have been to attempt to stop this, or go the extra mile by distributing more volumes, acting like a good sorcerer’s apprentice? Again, they would have been well meaning. But in my books, they again would have been rather out to lunch on this.

Indeed, one suspects that they may have chided Elijah as well. In his confrontation with the false prophets he was pretty rough and intolerant, to say the least. But in the interests of interfaith dialogue and just getting along, would these folk rush in and demand that no false prophet meet his maker in an untimely fashion?

It is one thing to try to smooth things over, to be accommodating, and to appear to be a peace maker. But it is quite another thing to effectively side with the other side, and do their work of evangelism for them. How many people are going to a lost eternity because they have been deceived by the false gospel of Islam?

Yet these Massachusetts believers think they are doing God a favour by spreading more falsehoods as they hand out Korans, resulting in more people probably being bound up with the false gospel of Islam. In my eyes this is just not on. Paul once said about the Jews that they had a zeal for God, but not according to wisdom or knowledge. Not a bad description of these folk it seems.

(By the way, I have written earlier about the Koran-burning idea. I said at the time it was not a good idea, so don’t think I am here condoning what the Florida pastor had considered doing – but in the end did not do. billmuehlenberg.com/2010/08/01/christianity-other-religions-and-islam/ )

The other example may not be quite as whacko, but it is still a matter of concern. It seems that a bunch of Bibles were sent to US troops in Afghanistan, printed in Afghani languages. Instead of distributing them, the chaplain there had the Bibles confiscated and burned.

Various reasons were given for this decision, including that it might jeopardise the work of the US military there. Maybe. Maybe not. Yes, some Afghanis would obviously have been offended by receiving Bibles. That is always the nature of the case.

But the best thing a Muslim can hear is the truth of the Word of God. Indeed, many Muslims are desperate to get the Bible, but are not allowed to in Muslim majority nations. If it was not appropriate for the soldiers to distribute these Bibles, maybe some other way might have presented itself.

But rounding them up and burning them? And at the behest of a US chaplain? As I said, things have gotten to a rather bizarre stage indeed, when Christian chaplains think it is advisable to burn Bibles, while other Christian groups think it is a neat idea to pass out Korans.

And we wonder why Christianity seems to be losing time and time again.

www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/13064
edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/05/20/us.military.bibles.burned/index.html

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16 Replies to “When the Church Goes Nutso”

  1. I heard about the bible being burned once Obama got into power. President Bush okayed them going through the military and they have been going through for years. But President Obama sent an order for them all to be burned. Is this hearsay?
    Ilona Sturla

  2. A truly regenerated believer would neither sanction burning God’s holy word nor hand out a book (the Koran) which attempts to demote the Lord Jesus to just another prophet, and a lesser one at that. The visible church from earliest days has been infiltrated by those who masquerade as believers and whether in ignorance or not have attempted to derail the church from God’s purpose, which is simply to preach and teach the word of God and to make disciples of Jesus. Thanks for bringing these things into the light.
    Glenn Christopherson

  3. The only place for reading the Quran in Christian circles is to dissect it in order to be able to more effectively evangelise practicing Muslims. Even then, this should only be done amongst the stronger Christians that are less likely to be lead astray.
    Mario Del Giudice

  4. “When the church goes nutso”. Many Christians have lost their discernment which, I believe, has come through reading more books and articles on the internet than reading the Bible itself. I have felt that dangerous “tuck” myself and I pray that I may grow in discernment.
    Many years ago, when Tullamarine opened a chapel, the Koran was put in the centre and quite visible. A little Bible was available somewhere in a corner. Protesting against that was called a lack of tolerance. Tolerance, especially religious tolerance, has really upset man’s reasoning for Biblical Truth. The spiritual warfare is increasing and we must stand firmly and speak up where ever we can. The victory is ours through The Blood! Good on you Bill!
    Evangeline Rykes

  5. These people don’t know how Bin Laden and other extremists think. Burning bibles would just confirm to them how weak willed and secular is the west compared to Muslims who would never dare burn copies of the Quran.

    Don’t these Christians understand that in rallying against this isolated incident of a nobody church leader deciding to burn the Quran they are playing into the hands of the media elites who have narrowed in on this case just to make Christians and the greater American society look intolerant. It is purely sanctimonious grand-standing and a pathetic capitulation to PC morality.

    Damien Spillane

  6. Bill, ”slippery-slope of ecumenism”, your words, the Uniting Church is an example of this. The UC has instructed her people to refrain from trying to convert people from Islam, Judaism, Bahai and some others.
    Stan Fishley

  7. Stan, what you say, if true, is appalling and goes directly against Jesus’ command to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them —- etc. Could you be mistaken?
    Anna Cook

  8. Bill… I’ve disagreed with you on (some limited) matters but I thank God for your ministry.

    You have been given a rare gift and for that I am thankful that you have chosen to use it for His glory.

    Keep writing, keep us (all) on our toes…
    Paul Evans

  9. To Evangeline Rykes – Your comment “Many Christians have lost their discernment which, I believe, has come through reading more books and articles on the internet than reading the Bible itself.” I am of the opinion that there is a lot truth in this comment, I see it myself – take Billy Graham for example – you see Christians praising him as a true man of God and the other day I hear a sermon entitled “Why Billy Graham is going to hell!” There is a lot to be said for putting the Bible first as there are a lot of articles written in Christian circles which can certainly lead people off the the beaten track and sometimes leave them wondering just who is saved and who is not! I have seen a litany of articles written where there is so much disagreement between Christians about the simplest doctrines which in my opinion are not too hard to understand, however I think that sometimes God uses these articles to show people that reading his word and putting it first will go a long way towards dealing with the lack of discernment. I think the hard rule of thumb here is to judge and evaluate every article in the light of what the Bible says.
    Stephen Davis

  10. When Islam finally dictates to these people how they should live their lives, they will be too blind to notice.
    Jane Petridge

  11. Bill, if the church acted out Leviticus 19:18, Matthew 17:12 and Acts:19 18-20 as Catholics, with claims of legitimacy, there would never have been the destruction of so many souls through abuse.
    This is what we have to wear before the world, for what has been done in our name with all our spiritual concessions and the Living Word.
    Lynne Newington

  12. Stan,

    When I read your comment re: the Uniting Church, I was not surprised but felt it necessary to say the Uniting Church ain’t dead yet.

    I grew up with a friend, now a Uniting Church minister, who, theologically is as solid as a rock. So when I read your comments that “… The UC has instructed her people to refrain from trying to convert people from Islam, Judaism, Bahai and some others” I rang him to ask re: the situation. He commented that may well be the case in Victoria, but certainly not in his neck of the UC woods. Indeed, I loved his own church’s website. See http://www.bpuc.ucaweb.com.au/index.php?page=home or http://www.bpuc.ucaweb.com.au/index.php?page=content&idcon=3620 or http://www.bpuc.ucaweb.com.au/index.php?page=content&idcon=4917

    Going back 16 years, I had a girlfriend whose brother was a conservative UC minister. When he went to bible college, he had to put with barbs from his conservative friends that his bible college was the “Synagogue of Satan.” He understood the comment but asked, “if all the conservatives leave the UC, then we are just abandoning it.” His opinion was “stay and fight, and claw back the theological ground.” I’ve lost all contact with him (and the ex-girlfriend!) but he’s a reminder that all is not lost in an old traditional (well, a combination of 3 old traditional churches from 1977?) Australian church.

    Graeme Cumming

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