The Koran, the Church, and the General

In one of the most bizarre stories of the year, a (so-called) church in Florida is planning to burn a copy of the Koran Saturday. Now American General Petraeus fears for the safety of American troops if the burning takes place. So far the pastor says the general’s concerns do not concern him.

Here’s one of the great, ironic sadnesses in this: a church is poised to do a very unChristian thing, and if it decides to undo its plans, it will be because the act would be unAmerican, not because it would be unChristian. The church, like the general, would be more concerned about the reputation of America and its soldiers than about the reputation of Jesus and his followers.

This is a (possible) bizarre feat of civil religion. I think the general is probably right, and I have no interest in seeing more people die in this era of war, be they Afghanis or Americans or anyone else. But the general’s reasoning should not be what motivates the church! We (are supposed to) have the mind of Christ.

5 Responses to “The Koran, the Church, and the General”

  1. [...] J. Gorman explains it best in his short, to-the-point, post The Koran, the Church, and the General over on his blog. Here is the [...]

  2. Clay Knick says:

    As Stan Hauerwas says in that marvelous lecture from Eastern Men. Seminary we’ve lost the language to say why the Church would not do something like this. Instead our language sounds like a therapist or a politician or a lawyer.

  3. MJG says:

    Yes, the church can’t speak church-ese. It will be interesting to see if he backs out—and why. I predict 11th-hour change of heart for patriotic reasons.

  4. dps says:

    In all the interviews I have seen with Terry Jones, he has never mentioned Christianity, let alone Jesus. His religion is truly democratized, yet many without a relationship or a context for what Christianity is and can be will only see this as another example of why those Jesus followers are just messed up and misguided individuals.

  5. MJG says:

    What I found intriguing were the comments like, “In this country he has the right to do this, but…. [he's a jerk to do so].”

    I wish someone would speak up in the name of Christ and the gospel, saying, “Rights? Where did you find that in the Bible?”

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