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It's a word that I do not use loosely. There are times, however, when this particular adjective used to describe a human being is completely appropriate. With that being said, in my opinion, Rev. Terry Jones is an idiot.
I know that as a Christian, I should not speak ill of a fellow comrade in the faith. However, I do not feel that I am writing out of turn here. After watching the story of the planned Koran-burning event unfold in the media this week, I am convinced that the Christian community might benefit from having appointed spokesmen to speak and act on behalf of the faithful. Dove Outreach Center and it's pastor have managed to create a debacle they never imagined, catapulting their cause onto the worldwide stage. I have to ask myself...do you think Rev. Jones knew what he was doing? I really don't think he truly understood the possible ramifications of his little rant. Too late now.
The last thing that Christianity needs is another radical, uninformed leader with a lack of common sense. If Rev. Jones knew his bible (and he SHOULD), he would remember what Jesus said in regards to dealing with our enemies:
"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you." Matthew 5:42-44
Burning copies of the Koran and indirectly putting U.S. troops overseas in harms way is diametrically opposed to what Jesus commands us to do.
You've heard the saying, 'Two wrongs do not make a right.' This is actually a biblical command! Many Americans feel that those who perpetrated the attacks on 9/11 did so out of obligation to their religion. I believe that to be true as well. That does not, however, give us any right to repay that evil in any way.
"Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men." Romans 12:17
Now the federal government is worried. Really worried. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates urged Jones not to carry out the Koran-burning event. Newt Gingrich has even spoken out against it. Both of these men understand what sort of violence this event could incite, particularly towards Americans who are overseas. I would not want that possibility looming over my shoulders, based on a decision I had made. I think Rev. Jones should retreat to his prayer closet.
Now Rev. Jones finds himself in the midst of negotiations on whether or not a mosque should be built near ground zero. I have to chuckle at the thought of this man's blood running a little bit cold upon finding out that he had been dragged into this huge national debate. He had a meeting with Imam Muhammad Musri, president of the Islamic Society of Central Florida, who supposedly promised that the proposed mosque location in New York would be changed. I had to sit back with some pause on that one. How could a pastor of a 50 member church in Florida have the power to make such a request? You know what? I believe that Imam Musri made those promises to him. I believe he spoke out of turn and said he would convince Imam Feisal Abdel Rauf, the leader behind the proposed Muslim center in Manhattan, to change the proposed location. Communication breakdown on the highest level. Lies have consequences.
Whether we like it or not, Rev. Terry Jones has represented Christianity this week. He has garnered a platform and used it to justify his plans to carry out an event of worldwide significance. I don't want him speaking for me, my family, or my faith. My views do not match his views, nor the views of the bible, which he claims to know and represent. I love the fact that we have the freedom of speech, but it scrapes me like sandpaper when someone uses that freedom to act like an idiot.
Christianity might benefit from official representation. Chosen men and women who have credibility, training and most importantly, discretion. Our founding fathers had the right idea when setting up our governing bodies. Most of those men were men of faith, who understood the checks and balances that go along with letting the people decide who speaks for them
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