Is Koran Burning UnChristian?

After last week’s post on the guy in Florida who was going to burn the Koran, I was asked by several people what I think about a Christian burning a Koran in order to deliberately provoke the Muslim world — isn’t that unChristian? I’ve thought about it all weekend and can’t come up with a definitive answer, though I’m probably closer to “how silly” than “ooh! That’s bad!” And at the same time very aware of the fact that God can use silly, sinful and even evil acts of man, including Christians, to fulfill His plan and bring glory to Himself.

There is no verse that says “Thou shalt not burn a Koran.” Nor is there one that says, “Thou shalt respect all other religions.” Yes, we are to be at peace with all men – so far as it depends on us. And yes, sometimes we are to operate in the law of love and sacrifice, giving up what we are free before God to do, but over which the person we are with will stumble. We’re not supposed to deliberately make people sin.

On the other hand, Jesus deliberately cracked corn in front of the Pharisees on the Sabbath (which you weren’t supposed to do), He healed people on the Temple steps on the Sabbath (no healing allowed either), told a guy He healed on a Sabbath to pick up his bed and go report to the Pharisees (aren’t supposed to pick and carry things like a bed) and in every case provoked the Pharisees to anger, judging and outrage. Of course they were already angry and judgmental and looking for ways to discredit Him, so I’m not sure He actually provoked them, so much as brought their inner true motivations to light.

In any case, I can’t say categorically that to burn a Koran to provoke a reaction (or prove that you are not going to be intimidated by the threats of fanatical and violent devotees of an evil religion?) is “unChristian.”

As for the idea that burning a Koran will not bring Muslims to the Gospel, but rather drive them away — How do we know that?  Yes, absolutely such an act is not going to bring a diehard believer in the Prophet to Christianity, but neither is anything else. But what about those with doubts? Might they actually be swayed — inspired even — by the sight of someone daring to “insult” the book that is supposedly the word of a god so thin-skinned and impotent he has to rely on people to defend him?  In some ways you can look at burning a Koran as a defiance of a false god — one that shows the tyranny of one religion and the freedom and mercy of another.

I also don’t think we are supposed to “respect” Islam as a religion. It’s a compendium of evil and lies, it’s tyrannical, it blasphemes God, insults the Lord Jesus Christ. I can respect someone’s right to believe it and will leave them to do so, but I don’t respect “Islam” at all.

At the same time, I’m not comfortable with the whole activism scene. I don’t think that’s really the way Christians bring change to a nation, so personally I would not be out burning Korans to make a statement. I can’t see any need to incite Muslims, since if you noticed my update to the Koran burning post last week about Michelle Malkin’s column The Eternal Flame of Muslim Outrage, it doesn’t take much to incite them: Underwear, sneakers, fast food packaging, teddy bears…

Still, I have to say in the end, there’s just something creepy about someone believing a book can be insulted, and that it’s their duty to make sure no one insults it anywhere in all the world, threatening to kill those who even suggest they might. It’s the bullying I don’t like. And the tiptoeing and hand-wringing from our leaders that I like even less.

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3 Responses to “Is Koran Burning UnChristian?”


  1. 2 Loren Warnemuende September 14, 2010 at 7:15 pm

    Thanks for taking a look at this, Karen! I’ve been thinking it over and talking about it with my husband, Kraig, quite a bit, too. He brought up the point you did that who knows how God can use even this type of action for His glory. We also chatted with his folks the day after I read your post and responded; they actually work in an Islamic nation right now, so are in the midst of the reactionaries. Interesting stuff.

  2. 3 Donna Hagan September 15, 2010 at 4:49 am

    Once you quote Michelle Malkin I am all ears. That woman is fantastic and brilliant and I might add has a gift of delivering the truth about the motives that no one (in my opinion) outside of perhaps Charles Krauthammer has. It’s no nonsense – not crass and probably hits the disingenuous right between the eyes if not over the head sometimes – hah.

    I enjoyed the balance in what you’ve said here Karen. I guess we have to keep in mind that there was retaliation in the Muslim world before there was even something to retaliate against. Also I recall Thieme’s poignant definition of arrogance: Hypersensitivity towards self and insensitivity towards others. That seems to sum up the “look at me” crowd quite nicely. Also I recall (and excuse me if I repeat myself but this has stuck with me all these years also) him saying that people don’t march for freedom they march for power.

    So that sums up activism, however thank the Lord there was uprising and uproar and (virtuous) courageous people who fought for the freedom and independence of the United States. Sadly – seems like this may have to take place again on some level and I highly respect the Tea Party movement for that.


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