Tag Archive: koran


so taken directly from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-11255366

US pastor Terry Jones cancels Koran burning

The pastor of a small US church who wanted to burn copies of the Koran has cancelled his protest.

Terry Jones said he was calling off the Florida event after the group behind a planned mosque close to Ground Zero in New York agreed to relocate it.

Mr Jones had said the burning would be a stand against terrorism, but his plan was internationally condemned.

President Barack Obama had warned Mr Jones the event would be “a recruitment bonanza” for al-Qaeda.

so i was going to write a blog about confrontation and how there is a serious lack of it in the church

i know this because i have been doing it for years and it has often felt like a very lonely, deserted spot to set out your picnic basket

in a church congregation situation with the majority of people feeling the same thing, but everyone too afraid to speak up, or simply too lazy, and so, ok i’ll do it again (and then half of the majority of people suddenly don’t feel that way any more, most remain silent, while some even come out suddenly for the other side)

or else in a one-on-one situation (or a lot of the time one-on-two cos it is often couples who are needing a gentle correctional word in love) everyone is happily gossipping about the situation behind the person’s (or persons’) back and yet it will usually be me who steps in and takes a hit (cos let’s be honest, no-one likes being told they are wrong and so even when it goes well and ends up positively there is still pretty much always a sense of you’re-the-bad-guy feeling or belief)

i’ve pissed off church leaders and i’ve even lost (on a few odd occasions, and they turned out to be pretty odd occasions) friends on account of choosing to fight for good in someone else’s life instead of simply burying my head in the sand ostrich-style and letting them reach out and touch the hot plate on the stove…

[and let’s be honest, i have gotten it wrong on occasion, maybe many occasions, altho my intent was always 100% good, i have erred in the way or the tone or the amount of love conveyed/received and have hopefully learnt my lessons along the way]

it’s the d.n.a. of God that says He loves you so much even as you are (dirty, broken, bruised, sinful, needy, hurting, disfunctional, a lousy reflection of Him)

but it’s also the d.n.a. of God that says He loved you so much that he refuses to leave you as you are and so He always prods and encourages and directs and creates opportunity for and grows (and a lot of the time uses people to do that) you…

‘wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses’ – proverbs 27.6

so what does that all have to do with Koran burning? (surfed the net and found three different spellings and not sure which is more accepted cos they are all everywhere)

well, if you are living on some different planet, then you are unaware of a small cult [i use the word ‘cult’ where everyone else has been using the word ‘church’ because i don’t believe their actions resemble much that is churchlike in terms of how i understand the community of Jesus followers to be] called the dove world outreach center, located in gainesville, florida, who have vowed to burn a whole bunch of Korans to mark saturday’s anniversary of the 11 september attacks as they remember the almost 3000 people killed by al-quaeda hijackers (of which a whole bunch were muslim people working in the twin towers, just by the way)

and i bet you there are people in crazy man terry jones’ ‘church’ who know that what he is planning is wrong… i’ll bet you there are friends or family members of terry jones who think what he is planning is absurd and against the “love your enemies and bless those who persecute you” mantra of Jesus…

but is there confrontation? in love? is there a wound from a friend? or are there a bunch of scared or apathetic people willing to let a potentially tragedy-enducing situation carry on, because they refuse to be the one to stand up and be counted?

the crusades… apartheid… slavery and the ku klux klan… qur’an-burning…

“All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” [edmund burke]

speak the Truth in Love, absolutely…

…but the Truth MUST be spoken.

[post script: so in case i was too subtle, i am saying that i think this idea of burning korans is ridiculous, unloving, completely dangerous bordering on or more likely over insane and that this man calling himself a pastor, heading up what he calls a church is totally misguided and not acting in a Jesus-following way at all and should be stopped/rebuked/thrown in a padded room of some type]

[p.p.s i completely dont understand your confusion – i thort my stand was pretty direct – i even post-scripted my stand even more cos someone else felt i was being a bit waffly – i think its a dangerous ridiculous un-Jesuslike lack of love act which is going to hurt a lot of people and bring no-one any closer to God… yes?]

so last week at enGAGE (sun eve congregation gathering at stellenbosch vineyard church) we had over 40 people there including a bunch of first-timers and roymond preached up an elijah storm in his first ever preach on the firetruck in the desert and your buckets capacity… at the start of the service i challenged the congregation to be more committed in terms of choosing to hang with us more regularly (attendance can be a bit sporadic at times) not wanting to make it a heavy ‘you-must-come-to-church’ vibe but also when i preach this term a series that build on each other it really helps to have people coming more regularly to get the whole journey as opposed to one or two of the pit stops

so last nite, once the worship team took their places – and we don’t have a worship team of 25 people – there were close to ten people left – from 40 plus to under 20 – great upping of commitment there – and so i was completely bummed

before then i was only partially bummed – we have a prayer time with the leaders and whoever wants to join us before the service and everyone felt so dead and withdrawn and no one was really praying or anything so i felt like God wanted me to pray for peoples amping and filling with the Holy Spirit and so i shared a bit of that and then said whoever wants God to fill them or up their amping please stand and i will pray for you – by then i was super amped to see God just pour Himself into people and really bring His joy and life and ampdness…

til no one stood – a room of 6 or 7 people and no-one seemed ampd to be ampd – and then one of the guys tried to cover over the awkwardness perhaps by making it into something else but i really felt strongly that this is what God was wanting to do and if no one is ampd then that’s fine but i really want to pray for anyone who does – my beautiful wife Val stood and i got to pray for her which was amazing – but again, no one else – and i’m sure people have their reasons and so on and that’s fine – i’m not judging them, but i’m just saying that i was super bummed…

and so during worship singing time i really didn’t know what to do because the preach i had prepared on engaging with those outside of the church seemed a bit random when there were only about 20 people inside the church and so i decided to lus my preach and instead share the anne rice/john ellis stuff that i’ve been blogging and thinking about – i started by saying how i know the pastory type guy has to have it all together and can’t be bummed and so on, but i am and mentioned the previous week’s commitment thing…

and so i read Anne Rice’s three comments/posts and we had the raddest discussion and within about two minutes i had left super bummed behind and just embraced the potential and opportunity to discuss something that is quite real in the church and the world right now – the importance of understanding where a lot of christians are coming from at the moment – loving Christ completely but not so ampd for some of the horrible hurtful things church can get up to

this week i also read the headline of a story of a church in the US (think i know which one if their reputation is anything to go on) who are planning a koran burning on the 9th anniversary of the destruction of the twin towers – i can not begin to imagine the damage that might cause – i can imagine the ‘message of love’ it is sending out with the label ‘church’ attached and i can fully understand a lot of people wanting to have nothing to do with being associated with that particular label

another friend of mine commented on the anne rice note i had on facebook something about those clowns who love Jesus but leave the church – again words of love which are really going to help ‘those clowns’ realise how misguided they are and draw them back towards the church?

at the end of it all, and the really delightful participationary service it had become, the conclusion was this – it is our responsibility and opportunity to draw alongside the anne rice’s and the john ellis’s and so many more people out there in similiar waters, and demonstrate to them a church that IS known by the love they have for each other, that is loving the sinner (while hating the sin but making well sure the sinner realises the difference between the two), that is involved in society actively building, reaching out, loving, reconciling and being the body of Christ in a world that is desperately hungry to see a church that lives out what it says it believes

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