Terry Jones, Pastor of the Dove World Outreach Center outside of Gainesville, Florida, announced late afternoon on September 9 that he had called off the planned burning of copies of the Koran on September 11 on his church property. The reason that he gave was that the leader of a planned Islamic center near ground zero had agreed to relocate the mosque, but it has been vigorously denied by imam Rauf and the Muslim leadership, and they have continually defied all efforts to be mollified in their decision to continue with their plans.
Gen. David Petraeus warned that burning copies of the Qu’ran could provoke violence against U.S. troops and citizens. In 2005, 15 people died and scores were hurt in riots in Afghanistan sparked by a Newsweek story alleging interrogators at the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay placed copies of the Qu’ran in washrooms and flushed one down the toilet to get inmates to talk. Newsweek later retracted the story. Any intentional damage or show of disrespect to the Qu’ran is deeply offensive to Muslims, who consider it to be the word of God.
Robert Gibbs - White House spokesman - "Any type of activity like that that puts our troops in harm's way would be a concern to this administration."
David Axelrod, senior adviser to President Barack Obama told CNN Wednesday morning: "The reverend may have the right to do what he's doing but it's not right. " Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton added her disapproval at a dinner in observance of Iftar, the breaking of the daily fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
P.J. Crowley - State Department spokesman – “The administration hoped Americans would condemn the church's plan… these actions are…un-American."
Staffan de Mistura, head of the United Nations Mission in Afghanistan, expressed concern and outrage in the strongest possible terms.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder called the planned burning “idiotic and dangerous.”
Sarah Palin wrote that the burning “…will feed the fire of caustic rhetoric and appear as nothing more than mean-spirited religious intolerance. Don't feed that fire."
And finally President Obama himself weighed in with a quote from Lincoln, exhorting Jones to “listen to those better angels”, and to call off his Koran-burning plan. He said, “…you could have serious violence in places like Pakistan and Afghanistan.”
In my nearly sixty years of ministry, I have never seen a preacher under as much pressure to back off of a planned event as Terry Jones, who said that he has received over 100 death threats and strapped a .40 caliber pistol on his side for protection, and had other guards with him at all times.
In Afghanistan, the burning threat provoked 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 Qu’ran 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."
Lessons to be Learned
Lesson #1 – This is an example of the need to count the cost. Every preacher has found himself out on a limb. Outside of Jim Jones, no one ever got out on a bigger one than this Preacher Jones. I think it’s interesting that both are named Jones. It is the Devil’s business to make a fool out of the Christian Religion, or at least what is purported to be. Jim Jones was an avowed self proclaimed Communist who claimed to be a Christian minister. If it was the will of God for this Jones to burn a Koran, he should have burned it and not backed off, even if the whole world was against him. Our Lord said, “For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? [Luke 14:28]. Jones told the press that “he would pray about his decision.” He should have already prayed about it. If it was the will of God, he should have gone through with it even if the whole world was against him.
Lesson #2 – This was an example of the need of good counsel. Solomon said, “For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counsellors there is safety.” [Proverbs 24:6].
Jones needed someone who could have warned him to have nothing to do with that Sanballat, The Reverend Rob Schenck – who recently converted to Catholicism - president of the National Clergy Council, and Diotrophes, the Reverend Patrick J. Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition, who came from Washington, D.C. to pour water on Jones’ efforts to take a bold public stand against Islam. Schenck was quoted by the press as saying to Jones, “I assured him thousands of people are praying for him and promised to help him in any way I could to achieve what he needs to permanently cancel any Koran burnings. He indicated that was his desire." Does anyone have a slop bucket?
Lesson #3 – How tragic that there were not other preachers to stand with Pastor Jones to encourage him in this bold and courageous effort. Again, the wise Solomon said, “And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” How sad that Pastor Jones didn’t have many pastors to come and stand with him on this issue. Where were the preachers of Gainesville? [Ecc. 4:12].
Lesson #4 – This was an opportunity that passed that will never happen again. It will do no one any good to announce in the future that they are going to burn a Koran. This was the defining moment. Islam won, Christianity lost. The whole Moslem world knows that the Christian Pastor caved in under pressure. Do you think they didn’t take note that all they have to do is to threaten violence against American troops or citizens and we will capitulate? They are holding us hostage with their terrorist methods and threats and we are terrified by fear. “…because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” [1 John 4:18]
Courage was left in the street to shake its head in wonder.
June Griffin, a Christian lady who is running as an Independent for Governor of the State of Tennessee, sent the following when she heard Gen. Petraeus’ statement.
If these soldiers are afraid of the Muslims, they need early retirement. When John Sevier spoke to the Overmountain Men at Kings' Mountain, outnumbered hugely, he asked them to form a circle and those who were afraid to go ahead, to take one step backwards. None did. They won because they wielded "the sword of the Lord and of Gideon."
Don't you feel safe with this kind of military? We already knew about Congress, the Clintons, and the rest.
"They who would relinquish essential liberty for a little temporary
safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Benjamin Franklin.
For God and Country
Sanballat and Diotrophes Pick up Qur’ans
President of Southern Baptists Opposed the Burning
“Military personnel threw away, and ultimately burned, confiscated Bibles that were printed in the two most common Afghan languages amid concern they would be used to try to convert Afghans, a Defense Department spokesman said Tuesday. The unsolicited Bibles sent by a church in the United States were confiscated about a year ago at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan because military rules forbid troops of any religion from proselytizing while deployed there, Lt. Col. Mark Wright said. Such religious outreach can endanger American troops and civilians in the devoutly Muslim nation, Wright said. Troops at posts in war zones are required to burn their trash, Wright said. The chaplain later corrected the soldier and confiscated the Bibles, Wright said. Military officers considered sending the Bibles back to the church, he said, but they worried the church would turn around and send them to another organization in Afghanistan -- giving the impression that they had been distributed by the U.S. government.”
Following are some examples to show that the American people do not understand that whether someone burns a Koran or not, the Muslim world’s attitude toward the Christian world will never change. We say that we are not at war with them, but they are at war with us and they know it. To take a conciliatory attitude toward Islam is to actually play into their hands and to put Christians more in jeopardy. You cannot appease tyrants or bullies. It only makes them more determined to destroy you.
Moslems don’t need excuses for violence against Christians
Sidon - November 21, 2002 - Bonnie Witherall, medical missionary to Muslims in Lebanon, shot in the face by Palestinians as she started into the clinic where she worked.
Mauritania – June 24, 2009 – Gunmen - suspected al-Qaeda militants - have shot dead an American (a Christian) in the capital of Mauritania…The man was shot several times in the head from close range today after he resisted an apparent kidnap attempt. Pakistan - Sept. 10, 2010 - Jamshed Masih (Christian believer) heard the panic in his wife’s voice when she phoned him asking him to hurry home. But nothing could have prepared him for what he found when he got there: the bodies of his wife and four children, brutally murdered.
Chaplain Klingenschmitt asks – Where is the outrage?
Interestingly, few people know what the Koran teaches:
1) Muslims should never befriend non-Muslims except when deceiving them:
"Let not the believers take disbelievers for their friends in preference to believers. Whoso doeth that hath no connection with Allah unless (it be) that ye but guard yourselves against them, taking (as it were) security." [Qur'an 3:28]
2) Sharia Law mandates lying [Taqiyya] to promote Islam: "When it is possible to achieve such an aim by lying but not by telling the truth, it is permissible to lie if attaining the goal is permissible...and obligatory to lie if the goal is obligatory." [Islamic Law on Travelers, 7:46-8:2]
3) Muslims can and should kill Christians: "Slay the idolators wherever ye find them, and take them captive, and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. Fight against such of those who have been given the Scripture as believe not in Allah..." [Surah 9:5]
4) Polygamy is OK up to four wives: "marry such women as seem good to you, two, three, four..." [Sura al-Nisa 4:3]
There is no debate that the Cultural Center at Ground Zero in New York is a Moslem Mosque and not just any Mosque. That’s the reason that they are calling it a Cordoba Mosque. Cordoba Spain was captured by the Muslim army in 711. The Great Mosque of Córdoba was built as a symbol that the country was under, not just the political, but also the religious control of the Muslims and their god Allah, and their prophet Mohammed, and their holy book the Koran as it has happened at other times down through history. The al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem is a Córdoba Mosque. It symbolizes the victory of the Koran over the Roman Catholic control of Jerusalem and the Holy Land when the Muslim’s took control after the recapture of Jerusalem and by Saladin. The crusaders had taken the second oldest mosque in the world when they captured Jerusalem in 1099. And so it is, the Cordoba Mosque is to be built at Ground Zero, the very place that Muslim heroes sacrificed themselves in those jet liners to destroy the very heart of “The Great Satan’s” financial center, the twin towers, of the world trade center. It is the same as a conquering army planting their flag on a hill when they win a victory over their enemies.
These preachers and others who think that they can make peace with Islam do not understand that when iman Rauf and others from Islam talk about wanting peace, they mean that we Christians must become Muslims. Then there will be peace. When America and the world is under Sharia law, there will be peace, but not until then.