Why The Quran Should Not Be Burned

Front of the Koran

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However, not to give offense to them, go to the sea and cast a hook and take the first fish that comes up, and when you open its mouth you will find a shekel. Take that and give it to them for me and for yourself.” – Matthew 17:27

In the passage above lies a small phrase that is often overlooked.

Jesus says, “However, not to give offense to them…”.

In context, the passage has to do with the payment of the Temple tax. Our beloved Peter has just finished a conversation with the tax-collector who has asked Peter, “Does your teacher not pay the tax?” (v. 24) to which Peter replies “yes” (v.25).

There are many amazing things in this passage. One being that our Lord was obviously aware of the conversation. In verse 25 we read that after Peter came into the house our Lord and His disciples were staying in, Jesus spoke to Peter first concerning the subject of paying the Temple tax! Our Lord knows all things!

In the news lately, much ado has been made concerning a Florida church which plans to burn the Quran on September 11, 2010. I’ve heard the reasoning’s of the fellowship’s pastor and associate pastor on the news, and I believe their reasons for burning the Quran are, in the end, more an act of intentional offense than anything closely resembling Christian motives. Burning the Quran is not spiritually beneficial for anyone; not in outreach to the Muslim community, not to Christians or their churches. It may be viewed as ‘patriotic’ by some, yet how patriotic is it to purposefully make others angry? More importantly, how Christian is it? How will burning the Quran proclaim the Gospel witness?

It won’t. It will simply inflame the anger of a lost people.

In the passage quoted from Matthew above, our Lord Jesus is willing to pay the Temple tax. The reason He gives is specifically “not to give offense to them.”

Not to give offense. There is a thought we would do well to heed daily. As Christians, we are to further the Gospel of Jesus Christ, not hinder it in any way. We are to be Christ-like in our behavior and indeed, in our thoughts. When it comes to our witness to the world, ‘patriotism’ and anything else must not supersede the furthering of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Burning the Quran will offend Muslims. It will offend them greatly. Now what is the wise thing to do here? What will be the most beneficial, for the Christian Church and for Muslims? What would be most Christ-like?

Don’t burn it.

It’s not necessary, doesn’t help, will bring more harm than good, and according to this passage in Matthew, is not Christ-like at all. It is quite the opposite of Christ-likeness.

You may have strong resentment towards the Islamic community; you may still be angry about 9-11. Yet brethren, burning the Quran is not a Christian act, it is carnal in the worst way. Let us search our hearts in light of the Scriptures and check our motives in this matter so that we, as representatives of the true Church of Jesus Christ, do not give unnecessary offense to those who need the Gospel so desperately.

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