open letter to pastor terry jones

Dear Pastor Terry Jones,

I wanted to write you to encourage you to continue with your rally on Saturday. However, I would like to encourage you to surprise the world with the love of Jesus Christ. You really have a golden opportunity; all of the media and the press will be at your Qur’an burning. You know that Muslims will be watching from around the world. Instead of burning these Qur’ans that are considered holy to so many, I’d encourage to speak of the love of Jesus in a way that is compelling. Paul says that when he preached, “Christ Crucified.” Maybe presenting the world with the reality that Jesus died for Muslims too will change some minds about who Christians are.

I would respectfully ask you to re-consider for a few reasons. First, what your church is involved with makes it more difficult for my church to reach non-Christians and Muslims. As you know, people who speak the loudest for any particular group, paint the entire group with the same brush. There are many of us who would not like to be painted with the brush that you will be using on Saturday. Please consider the repercussions on the rest of the family of Christ.

Second, I would ask you to reconsider because I don’t think it is in the best interest of the world in general. If you carry on with the Qur’an burning then I believe this will be taken as an act of aggression and escalation. The Bible is clear that we are to be peacemakers. Jesus even said, blessed are the peacemakers, and as he was exiting this earth he told his disciples that he was leaving his peace with them.

Third, I really do not think that the Qur’an burning that you are planning on Saturday will bring honor to the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, I am questioning if this is even something that is led by the Spirit at all. The book of Galatians is clear that the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. If you are convinced that this is really a Holy Spirit led activity, please ask yourself if these attributes are present. I do feel that it is my duty as a brother in Christ to reveal to you that the acts of the sinful nature are obvious. Galatians 5:19 lists many of them and the ones that I would like to point out are: hatred, discord, fits of rage, selfish ambition and fractions. If you look at your plans for this Saturday and see that the acts of the sinful nature are there, then I would encourage you to repent, and ask for forgiveness.

As I started with, please continue with your gathering on Saturday, but please shock the world by displaying the love of Jesus, and the forgiveness that he offers. Maybe extend an invitation to a life of forgiveness rather than a life of hatred.

Pastor Terry, I pray that Jesus will change your heart and mind and that you will be a force in spreading the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Grace & Peace,

Rev. David Johnson

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