Reverend Terry Jones, of Gainseville, Florida, I assume feels like he is doing the "Christian" thing by burning Qurans on September 11th. To an outsider, it looks like a publicity stunt. But what kind of publicity? And at what cost?
People have done crazy things "for the cause of Christ" through the years. Crusades have been fought. Inquisitions have taken place. Witches have been killed. Civilizations have been conquered. The KKK has been formed. Segregation has been defended.
And on numerous occasions, books have been burned -- which always seems to bring more attention to the burnees than to the burners. Yet even in my wildest imagination, I cannot picture Jesus smiling over any of that.
There are MANY reasons that Jones' book-burning is a really bad idea. Our military has asked him to reconsider because it will endanger our troups in Afghanistan. Others have argued that it will inflame Islamic radicals. I am not terribly sympathetic over that one, because they seem to get inflamed and blame Americans and Christians if their cereal gets soggy. (BTW, I seem to be in a minority that does believe that Islam is a violent, intolerant, hate-motivated religion whose aim is world dominance).
But listen: The main reason that what Jones is doing is wrong is because it is not Christlike. It bears no resemblance to the Sermon on the Mount. It is not being salt and light and leaven to the world. And it puts those of us who want to be Jesus to the world in a defensive position.
So he and his 400 or so deluded followers will have their 30 minutes of fame. But how many people will turn away from their only hope because of the false impression left by these impostors of Christ?
I wonder if Jesus blushes with embarrassment at us?