Why people are losing interest in the church – Case 2
Perhaps more Christians should be concerned about what’s going on in some churches today. The more I look, the more I understand why it’s getting harder to tell people about Jesus. We have churches making a mockery of what Jesus taught us. What are these churches thinking? I never read the author Anne Rice until she posted this on Facebook: “Today I quit being a Christian. I’m out. I remain committed to Christ as always but not to being ‘Christian’ or to being part of Christianity. It’s simply impossible for me to ‘belong’ to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group.” I think I’m beginning to understand her point. In each part of this series, I want to look at what one local church is doing and then ask what Jesus might say to them. Your feedback and guest posts are most welcome.
This is an extreme case of a church gone wrong, and I’m troubled that we even know about it. Why has the media chosen to give this man and his church so much attention, worldwide attention? It boggles my mind that such a dangerous story would be trumpeted so loudly. Would it not have been better to ignore him? Why give this man a global audience?
Let’s be clear on understanding what Pastor Jones has planned to do this Saturday, on the anniversary of 9/11. The burning of the Qur’an is an act of hatred. Creating a bonfire to burn Qur’ans which have been sent to Pastor Jones from people all over the U.S. will fuel hatred toward Muslim in those who participate in such an event. Since I do not believe that freedom of speech needs to include acts designed to incite hatred, I personally believe that this event should be stopped.
Christians have tried to convince Pastor Jones not to do this and so have Christian leaders. Now, religious leaders are urging him not to do it, joining opposition from the U.S. Armed Forces, State Department and White House. If God were trying to speak to you today, do you suppose it could be any more clear than it should be now to Pastor Jones and the 50 members of his church?
Pastor Terry Jones: no one can see how you could possibly think you are doing what Jesus would have you do. How could this act of hatred which will incite violence against American and Canadian soldiers as well as Christians worldwide—how could you think, even for a moment, that burning Qur’ans has anything to do with the mission Christ has given to his church? Sir, you have put yourself in a position where there are only three rational options left: repent, resign or retire. Repent—change your mind now because you are wrong. Or resign because you have clearly disqualified yourself to lead a church—no one who has so misrepresented our Lord on the world stage should be allowed to continue in pastoral ministry. Or retire before you do any more harm. Repent, resign or retire and be sure to do so before Saturday. This is your only way out now.
Terry Jones says he has received more than 100 death threats and as a result he “has started wearing a .40-calibre pistol strapped to his hip” (The Canadian Press). What does he plan to do with that gun? What’s his intention? This is not the Christian way. At the arrest of Jesus, one of his followers pulled out a sword and cut off the ear of someone in the arresting party. Jesus said, “Put your sword back in its place for all who draw the sword will die by the sword” (Matthew 26:52). In other words, Jesus was telling Peter that this was not the way that a true follower of Jesus should respond.