Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Qur’an Controversy in Florida: Why Pastor Terry Jones must resign, retire or repent

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.


  1. A slight update from CP, giving some details on the response of churches in the Gainesville FL area:

    "Local religious leaders in this progressive Florida city of 125,000 anchored by the sprawling University of Florida campus also criticized the lanky preacher with the bushy white moustache. At least two dozen Christian churches, Jewish temples and Muslim organizations in the city have mobilized to plan inclusive events — some will read from the Qur’an at their own weekend services. A student group is organizing a protest across the street from the church on Saturday."

    Meanwhile, "In Afghanistan, Jones' planned burning continued to provoke outrage.

    "It is the duty of Muslims to react," said Mohammad Mukhtar, a cleric and candidate for the Afghan parliament in the Sept. 18 election. "When their holy book Qur’an gets burned in public, then there is nothing left. If this happens, I think the first and most important reaction will be that wherever Americans are seen, they will be killed. No matter where they will be in the world they will be killed."

    And this from Egypt:

    "The world's leading Sunni Muslim institution of learning, Al-Azhar University in Egypt, accused the church of stirring up hate and discrimination, and called on other American churches speak out against it."

    And how does the pastor whom I say must repent, resign or retire respond? "Jones dismisses the response of the other churches as 'cowardly.'"

    Link to CP article

  2. Now why didn't I think of calling that @$@$%ing, &%#%ing @$%#$%^&$ to repentence! Go you, Ken. :-) (You got papers and stuff, prolly best left to you).

  3. I see a very serious danger arising from this action by this pastor.

    To stop this Qur'an burning this Saturday. Is it possible that a new law could be instituted on this particular occasion revoking America's freedom of speech and much worse freedom of religion? Could this new law or legislation set a precedent as well?

    This one incident could change the U.S. and Canada's freedoms as we presently know them just to appease Islam.

    Please do not misunderstand me this man is a nut bar and I concur too much attention has been given to him and the worst offenders are the news media.

  4. Anonymous, enacting a special law would change nothing in Canada. Hate speech or speech designed in incite hatred is not allowed in Canada. We understand freedom of speech differently than you. How is it freedom to say anything you want if what you are saying is actually denying freedom to fellow citizens? I see no reason for the legal protection of hate speech designed to incite hatred of others.

    Pastor Jones' church websites have been taken down by ISP Rackspace Hosting because the church "violated the hate speech provision of our acceptable use policy," said spokesman Dan Goodgame.

    VERY GOOD NEWS: Pastor Terry Jones has called off his stupid plan! It's being reported everywhere right now, here's the link to CNN.

  5. I still believe that Pastor Jones should REPENT publicly for this grievous wrong or RESIGN or RETIRE immediately. He is a disgrace to the church of Christ. Repent, Resign or Retire, Mr. Jones.

  6. Ken,
    It is not clear to me at this point in time, on the eve of the event, whether this egomaniac will proceed with his ridiculous plan. He feels he is a broker for true Christian values. He loses his leverage and more importantly his credibility and self importance if he doesn't proceed as planned.
    It will be interesting to see if other copy-cat groups carry out his mission of hate. The press are anxiously waiting for a story. I fear, some other 2 bit egotistical jerk will realize he can have the world's stage and his moment of fame. Chad

  7. Hi Guys. Interesting being down here in Boston on the anniversary of 9/11. I think if we had just ignored this Pastor it would have blown over. The big story down here is the home grown terrorists that are coming to light in this great US of A and probably Canada to. Things will never be the same as befour 9?11. I think this Pastor is only the tip of the iceberg.
    Ken send me a e-mail down here let me know how the meeting went.

  8. Hi Ken,
    Gary from Bean Town say that his fellow Americans are concerned about home grown terrorists. Does he know why this is occurring? My guess is that Al-Qaeda fully intend to win the war.
    The US have to help create a balance of power Palestinians and the Jews in the Middle East. This imbalance is engine that drives Al-Qaeda and the like and until this is addressed you can expect a continuation of the status quo. Chad.

  9. I dont truly know what you talking about right here. This cant be the only way to think about this can it? It appears like you understand a lot, so why not explore it more? Make it more accessible to everyone else who might not agree with you? Youd get a lot more individuals behind this should you just stopped making common statements.

  10. Here's my reply, Anonymous.

    I had this friend in college named Brad -- he always told stories about his cousin. It seemed his "cousin" had done just about everything anyone could imagine. When I pointed this out to Brad, he explained that he had seven cousins and each of the stories was about a different cousin!

    This is like the problem I have in responding to commenters who post as "Anonymous." I don't know if all the Anons are the same person or not!

    You said, "I dont truly know what you talking about right here." Where is "right here"? If you've read my post and my comments, I think I've explored it quite a bit. In summary, Pastor Jones is inciting hatred against Muslims. And worse still he sought after and received big time media attention. His plan to incite hatred was condemned by the other pastors in his community and by Christian leaders all across the U.S. In my opinion, therefore, Pastor Jones should REPENT and admit his fault or RESIGN in disgrace or RETIRE before he does any more harm to the church. His lack of discernment and judgment over the last few days clearly shows him to be disqualified from the pastoral office.

    You tell me to stop making common statements. So far as I know, no one else out there was calling on Jones to repent, resign or retire. In fact, one left wing blogger quoted me on calling for Jones to repent! Personally, given everything that has happened and what we now know about the man, he should resign. Inciting hatred of Muslims and carrying a gun -- not very pastoral -- can't see Jesus doing such things.

  11. I thought Anonymous was replying to Chad's statement??

  12. Gary, I have no idea. Donald Trump wonders why this insane "pastor" from Florida is such a big story, then he declares why -- the media ran with it and made it a big story.

    I would only add that it seems like Terry Jones very much wanted it to be a big story. He wanted to make a point.

    My point is that the point he wanted to make disqualifies him from ministry. Time to resign, Pastor Jones, time to resign.

  13. I think Pastor Jones got what he wanted all along, publicity. The media is only too quick to give it to these crackpots.



Related Posts with Thumbnails