Thursday, March 31, 2011

After You, Malik

Sources: Pakistani Minister calls on Interpol and the Pope to condemn Florida Koran burning, Pakistani minister wants international action against Florida pastor who burned Qur'an

Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik is calling for legal action to be taken against the Florida idiot pastor who burned a copy of the Koran.

Let's think about this.  On one hand, we have an individual bigot who burned a copy of the Koran.

On the other hand, we have a nation where Christians have been martyred recently.  A nation where Christians are sentenced to death for "Blasphemy."  A nation where churches are burned in disproportionate response.

Which is the more serious offense in the eyes of God?

Let Pakistan put an end to the barbarism done in that nation before attempting to treat this idiot's act as an international affront.

I do condemn Terry Jones' action, but lets have a sense of proportion here.  The burning of the Koran does not justify murder, arson, rioting or sentencing Christians to death.

If Jones' action is an outrage, then what do you call the actions in Pakistan, Minister Malik?


  1. I would be interested to know why you call the Florida pastor an idiot (seriously...). I know that it is politically popular to do condemn him, but what he is pointing out is that 1) the Koran is deceiving 1 billion people and 2) that Christ is the only way to God (a pretty uncompromising statement, made by Christ Himself).

  2. Hello MarkSA.

    Don't get me wrong. As a Christian, I believe Islam to be a false religion and the Koran is not revelation. It is part of the Great Commission for us to spread the Good News to all people.

    However, how one presents the Christian faith and how one opposes Islam is important. Certain tactics can be counterproductive.

    I call him an idiot because his methods are grossly irresponsible. Such actions do not bring people to Christ, but instead drive many people away... or worse, give extremists an excuse to persecute Christians. (They have no right to act as they do of course, but it becomes a motive they can exploit.

    Think of it this way. Do you think Muslims who hear of this stunt will think "Oh my! I had better change my religion to Christianity!" Or will they think "Christians are mindless bigots. I am glad I am a Moslem!"

    I suspect most Moslems will opt for #2, so Pastor Jones' stunt does not fulfill the Great Commission, but rather helps drive potential converts from the faith.

  3. So you do agree that "Islam is a false religion" i.e. from the Devil, which I believe is what this pastor is stating. Again, not trying to be argumentative here but your position seems to be a bit shaky...

    Your main concern seems to be that we should not be saying the above, or burning Korans as it offends others and may stop them from being converted (which, incidentally is the Holy Spirit's work, not ours - ours is to spread the word). The problem I have with this is that this seems to rise from today's politically correct viewpoint that all religions are basically the same - i.e. the "COEXIST" stickers, the allowing of Wican ceremonies in the US military, the "interfaith" chapels at airports, etc. The problem is that I don't see that tolerance from Christ... He called the Pharisees "whitewashed tombstones", and told Peter "get away from me Satan"...

    Personally, I think that Christians have taken tolerance/fear of offending others to the point where Christianity is considered by most people to simply be another belief system, equivalent to any other (and perhaps a good deal more wishy washy than most). Your comments?

  4. I accept that you mean no offense. However, it seems that you do accuse me of religious indifferentism, which would not be true.

    My problem with your stance is that it seems to take this approach:

    1)Either Pastor Jones or “Coexist Bumper Sticker.”
    2) Not Pastor Jones.
    3) Therefore “Coexist Bumper Sticker.”

    The problem is, if there is another possibility, your “Either-Or” stance is not accurate.

    So why do I think Pastor Jones has done harm and not good?

    First of all, we have specifically been commanded to behave in a certain manner, which is to love our enemies and be charitable to them. See Luke 6:27-36 for how we are to behave.

    Second, we have the teaching of Paul in Romans 12:17-21

    17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil; be concerned for what is noble in the sight of all. 18 If possible, on your part, live at peace with all. 19 Beloved, do not look for revenge but leave room for the wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”

    20 Rather, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head.” 21 Do not be conquered by evil but conquer evil with good.

    I argue that Pastor Jones has failed to live up to what Christ and St. Paul have taught us. He seems to be acting from hatred of Islam, not love of those in error.

    Third, St. Paul has taught us how we are to evangelize with his example in Athens.

    This example is in Acts 17:15-34. Paul did not cause a scene destroying the idols which offended him. Instead he engaged the pagans, speaking charitably in bringing them the truth.

    How effective do you think Paul would have been if he took the approach of Pastor Jones?

    I think this should be sufficient to demonstrate that opposing Pastor Jones is NOT the same as saying "Islam is as good as Christianity."

  5. Thank you for your thoughtful response. I found your Acts 17 example of Paul not destroying the idols particularly relevant. You did, however, somewhat jump to conclusions when assuming that I was accusing you of religious indifferentism - I have no doubt that you believe that Christianity is God's means of salvation for mankind, while Islam is not.

    The issue I continue to have is with tolerance for Islam (not Muslims... which the Luke and Romans verses you supplied apply to).

    The Bible seems to be quite clear that, as Christians, we should be hating Islam... (again, not Muslims...).

    Psalm 97:10 Let those who love the LORD hate evil.
    Psalm 45:7 You love righteousness and hate wickedness.
    Psalm 119:163 I hate and abhor falsehood but I love your law.

    The issue is with the concept of showing tolerance towards something that you should be hating... Christ did not seem to show this tolerance, based on the examples I gave, and didn't concern Himself about the feelings of the people involved e.g. Peter must have been devastated by His reply and the Pharisees must have hated Him.

    I am also going to refer to a quote that you gave:
    “We should be tolerant towards our fellow men, whatever be their mistakes, provided their mistakes be not injurious to the common good, or to the peace of society.”
    — Fathers Rumble and McCarthy. (Radio Replies vol. 3. Page 52)

    Islam is very clearly “injurious to the common good, or to the peace of society” and is very clearly a falsehood, so why show it any tolerance at all?

  6. Thank you for your response Mark. It helps me to understand your concerns.

    I believe you are misunderstanding me here however. Unless I misunderstand you, it seems you think I believe we should leave Islam alone. So let me see if I can clarify.

    Just so there is no misunderstanding between us, let me say Islam is an error and must be refuted of course.

    However there are ways which are justified and ways which are not.

    It is good that you understand the distinction between Islam and Muslims. I agree there is a difference, and that is my point. When opposing Islam, we should act in a way which is charitable to the people who wrongly believe Islam to be true.

    I believe actions like the burning of the Koran does not act charitably because it is aimed not at refuting Islam, but rather is aimed at the intimidation of Muslims.

    So, I believe we need to:

    -First, preach the Gospel of Christ, showing by our words and actions that we love those who are in error.
    -Second, refute the errors of Islam by demonstrating that their understanding of God is false and harmful to themselves.

    Burning of the Koran neither shows the Gospel of Christ to be true, nor shows that Islam is in error. It is nothing more than a cheap publicity stunt.

    So, again, I believe that Pastor Jones does not create an atmosphere which allows for speaking to Muslims with a thought for delivering them from error. It is instead merely a symbol which is a propaganda victory for those who hate Christianity: It will be viewed as ignorant hatred and a “proof” that Christianity does not practice what it preaches.