Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Is Burning Scriptures A Biblical Teaching?

On the ninth anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2001, the Dove World Outreach Center is planning to hold a "Burn a Koran Day," citing Islam as an evil religion and claiming that "Islam is of the devil." The Center is defending its plans with a Biblical reference from The Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 19, verse 19.
And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them. Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, we adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you? And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds. Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed. (Acts 19:11-20)
This is the only such incident of "book burning" recorded in the New Testament. However, for verse 19:19 to be used in support of Christians gathering together to burn the scriptures of other faiths publicly is not logical and is unsupported by any other Christian teaching. The scrolls that are burnt in this verse are burnt by their owners themselves, the implication being that they are aware that what is contained within is not truthful and they fear being disgraced as those as those who has been using Jesus' name to drive out demons were disgraced. They openly confess their actions and then burn the scrolls to show they are putting an end to such practices in the future.

This is a completely different scenario from the one being presented by the Dove Center to justify burning the Qur'an. In fact burning a Holy book of believers of another faith was not and could not have been the teaching of Jesus, who taught love, compassion and forgiveness:
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. (Matthew 5:5)
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. (Matthew 5:7)
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5:9-10)
Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and the good and sendeth rain on the just and unjust. (Matthew 5:43-45)
For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Matthew 6:14-45) 
Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. (Matthew 7:1-2)
And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. (Mark 11:25)
In light of these clear teachings, we urge the Dove World Outreach Center to reflect upon the peaceful message of Jesus (peace be upon him) which is clearly a message of peace, not hatred.

Love for All, Hatred for None

All Biblical references are from the King James Version

1 comment:

  1. This is a very informative article. Applying the teaching of the Bible to a real world situation such as this is noteworthy and should put the Dove Center on notice. We need to build bridges and remove misunderstandings not act hatefully or perform hateful acts toward one another.


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