Dear Pastor Jones,
I was appalled to read of your plan to burn the Koran on September 11. While I celebrate your freedom as an American to express yourself however you wish (so long as it is civil), I suggest that you are about to do something very un-American. Ours is a land of freedom and tolerance; a nation founded on biblical principles and that sanctions no state religion, but instead offers freedom and refuge to all peace loving people. And while I agree that there should be no mosque built near Ground Zero out of respect for those who died on 9/11, I believe the method of your proposed protest to be entirely irresponsible, coloring Americans as spiteful and intolerant while endangering the brave men and women who continue to fight for the freedom we Americans so cherish.
But on another, far more serious, level I urge you to reconsider. You are not expressing yourself only as an American citizen, but as a Christian Pastor – an Ambassador of Christ. We pastors are called to preach Christ, not intentionally incite animosity and anger with insults. I propose that your plan to publicly burn the Koran has nothing to do with the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. And I hope that you will ask yourself seven questions before proceeding:
- As a result of the Koran burning, how many Muslims will hear and believe the truth that God so loved the world that he sent his only Son?
- After you publicly desecrate what they consider sacred, will more Muslims or less be inclined to listen to the greatest news in all of life?
- How does burning the Koran promote the truth and values that Jesus Christ taught his followers to observe?
- How does burning the Koran demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit that Paul taught?
- How does burning the Koran relate to the methods and example of the early church as recorded in the Book of Acts (think Mars Hill)?
- How does burning the Koran relate to the Great Commission or Jesus’ prophetic charge in Acts 1.8?
- Honestly, what biblical text has led you to believe that this is a good thing to do?
My advice to you, Pastor Jones, is simple: stop what you are planning and return to the true, biblical role of a pastor: enjoying, living, promoting and preaching the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ at home and among the nations.
In Christ, and for His Glory Among the Nations,