Biblical Eyesight Emerging Forefront
Over the last few days the news has been talking about an incident in Afghanistan where U.S. soldiers were in the process of burning various materials from an extremist prisoner, and they accidently burned a copy of the Koran. For those of you who know anything about Islam, you know that they take the burning of their holy book very seriously. In fact, if you merely point you foot at the Koran (in Middle Eastern cultures pointing your foot at something or hitting something with your shoe is the equivalent to the middle finger) will bring out angry from any devote Muslim. They take their holy book very serious. Right now there are riots over in Afghanistan over what happened a few days ago.
One thing that came to mind for me was how we as Christians need to respect Islam and the Koran by not intentionally trying to offend them with it. I believe we should refrain from hitting it with our shoes, burning, and pointing at it with our foot. Look at how Paul dealt with others who were of a different faith. In Acts 17, Paul uses their faith to connect them with the gospel in order to reach them. I highly doubt he would have endorsed what that nut in Florida did last year when he led his congregation to burn a stack of Korans. We need to remember, the only time we see this kind of reaction in the New Testament is when the Early Church was defending itself against false teachers. Jesus turned the tables twice because people were using God’s house to make a profit. So with that in mind maybe we should burn a Benny Hinn book instead.
As a follower of Christ, I thought about how do I disrespect the Word of God, a.k.a. the Bible? I have to confess to you, my readers because I think you all deserve to know the truth about something. I have not read the Bible printed on paper in almost a year and half. Every since I got a Amazon Kindle last year, and I downloaded the ESV and HCSB for free I have been sticky with those. I also have the youversion Bible app for my phone, and I have God’s Word anywhere I go. So for someone my like who keeps his nice leather Bible on the shelf to make sure his son does not try and chew it to pieces. I think the answer to this question applies to everyone. We disrespect the Bible by not doing what it says. James 1:21 says:
But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. ESV
I think we mock God’s Word when we read it, and ignore what it says. When we read in the Ten Commandments that we should not steal, and we download music and movies online without paying for them. When a man looks at another woman and imagines what it would be like to sleep with her (we call that lust) after reading what Jesus said in Sermon on the Mount about adultery in the heart; then we mock God Word. If we show our spouses disrespect after reading Paul’s model on marriage in Ephesians, then we mock God’s Word. Martin Luther wrote:
So ready are we to do what is not commanded and to leave undone what is commanded. 1
We disrespect our Lord’s Word by not following what it says. For Christians respecting God’s Word is not a matter of placement on the self, the language it is in, or seeing someone burn. A Christian respects God’s Word by doing what it says. Sadly today we tend to glorify sin in the church, and try to glorify sin either by wishing thinking or by not confronting those who are obviously living in sin. Jonathan Edwards in his famous sermon, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God said,
So is the ruin and misery of the soul; it is destructive in its nature; and if God should leave it without restraint, there would need nothing else to make the soul perfectly miserable. 2
As Christians we should not intentional try to anger those of another faith because all it does is harden their hearts to the gospel, and if we want to show others we respect God’s Word we need to do what it says.
If you would like to read a recent article about the recent events in Afganistan check out this from the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/24/world/asia/koran-burning-afghanistan-demonstrations.html
1 Luther, Martin; Jacobs, Henry Eyster (2011-03-24). Works of Martin Luther With Introductions and Notes (Volume I) (Kindle Location 3525). Kindle Edition.
2 Edwards, Jonathan; Gardiner, H. Norman (2011-03-30). Selected Sermons of Jonathan Edwards (p. 82). Kindle Edition.