Everyone reading this, please watch this video first, and then proceed.
I just want to contrast the core of what two pastors said and draw light to one of them (and hopefully show one is really not so much a pastor at all)
Reverend Ed Rowe
“I’m here to say, the Quran was not just burned. The “quran burning” burned everything Jesus said on the Mount of Olives, it burned every statement Jesus made. I’m here to say there is nothing in the gospels that support the burning of the Quran.”
Reverend Terry Jones
“We did not come [to Dearborn] to demonstrate against the Quran. The only thing we ask is that they honor and obey the constitution of the United States. If they are willing to do that, then our message is one of ‘welcome.'”
I want to highlight two words that makes Reverend Terry Jones more like “Republican” Terry Jones.
“Gospel” and “constitution.”
What does Reverend Ed Rowe quote for his authority?(Gospel) What does Terry Jones quote for his reason of demonstrating?(Constitution) For Terry we clearly see that he is using and abusing his pulpit for “patriotic” propaganda!
At the core of Terry’s worldview, is an extremely messed up idea of government. For some the order, the system, the infra-structure that a government brings constitutes the blood in their veins, they’re all about government. They believe in the solutions, they believe in the people who founded it. They might even be dreaming that it is a perfect system.
It’s interesting to consider the story of the prophet Samuel and Israel’s first king, Saul. With all the chaos happening in Israel, God was pleased to place someone in charge, to put order to this chaos. Right? I mean, they needed help, so it would have made sense to appoint a king, someone to put int place a “system”, or a government. Wrong! What did God say exactly when Israel asked for a king to be over them?
“Now appoint for us a king to judge us like all the nations’ but the thing displeased Samuel….And the LORD said to Samuel, ‘Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but rejected me…” I Samuel 8:5-7
What? Israel rejected God by asking for a king? How is that? Listen further, this drives to the core of the sufficiency of God.
“…for they have not rejected you, but rejected me from being king over them. According to all the deeds that they have done, from the day I brought them up out of Egypt even to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are also doing to you.” vv. 7-9
God is sufficient? For everything? Indeed yes! And so it is a slight form of idolatry that government is. It’s when a people like Israel say, “We cannot see God, we cannot touch God, and we cannot tell if he is even there. Let us appoint for ourselves a person, or an assembly of people to act like God, to determine the laws, to perceive what is right and wrong for us.”
And so, Republican Terry Jones (not Reverend), a loyal patriot to his great nation, commits idolatry of the slightest kind, and with stars and stripes across his heart he burns a book. Radicals burn things! Cars are burned in riots, flags are torched in protests, and people light themselves on fire in utter desperation.
Are we radicals? Are Christians to be different? You bet! Are we to burn books? No! Those who seek the warfare of the physical, take on physical means! Bullets, propaganda, bombs, and mobs. Those who wage war on spiritual forces, arm themselves with spiritual armor. Equipped and empowered with the zeal of God for the lost, we ought to live like Christ. Set the captives free! Champion the light into darkness! Breathe life into dead bones! Love the unlovable! Correct the uncorrectable! Give a firm hand to those who would slight you, but do not strike. Pour water into leaky and dry cisterns, but do not exhaust your own. Give, give and give as if you have to draw on supernatural resources to continue!
Terry Jones misunderstands government as a pastor. Government has its place, it is a terrific thing, don’t get me wrong. But I am embarrassed of my brother when stupid gospel-less things come out of his mouth. A pastor seeks the Glory of God. A statesman seeks the Glory of a Nation. Two different offices; two different people. One seeks the coming of a perfect ruler to a perfect kingdom; the other seeks to make his rule perfect.
Pray for Terry! He not only burns Qurans, but bridges!