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.