Skip to main content

An open letter to Muslims

The following "Open Letter to Muslims" was recently drafted and signed by pastors in the Santa Clarita Valley, and was published in their local newspaper, The Signal, on September 10, 2010. I would heartily add my endorsement of it as well. I may share the same title with this man in Florida ("Pastor Jones"), but I certainly don't share his approach toward people of other faiths. Here's the original open letter...


Although it appears that the Quran burning event planned by Pastor Terry Jones has been called off, we believe that the ethics behind the idea and the idea itself need to be righteously opposed.

We have followed with a heavy heart the developments in Gainesville, Florida, where the pastor of a small church announced plans to burn 200 copies of the Quran on Saturday evening.  Despite the national and international outcry provoked by his outrageous plan, including opposition from Christian leaders across the country and around the world, Pastor Terry Jones seemed determined to move forward.  We sincerely hope that his stated change of mind change will hold, but believe that we need to speak out against his viewpoint.

We are writing this letter to assure you that Pastor Jones does not speak for the Christian community, and that he definitely does not speak for us, or for the members of the churches that we represent.  His plans are offensive to us, and should be offensive to Christians everywhere.  We are embarrassed by his actions, and sincerely hope that the local and international Muslim community will see them for what they are: a publicity-seeking provocation by an unreasonable man of no standing in the Christian community.

As followers of Jesus Christ, we believe that we are called to represent Him by embodying His principles.  The Jesus of the Bible did not burn the sacred books of other religions.  He spoke the truth in love, prayed for His enemies, and forgave those who persecuted Him.  We believe that His death on the cross made it possible for rebellious human beings to be reconciled to their Creator.  This good news can sadly be obscured by offensive acts done in His name by people who claim to represent Him. 

Whether or not the burning ever takes place, the very thought of it has done damage around the world.  We are grieved to see that damage, and will do all in our power to counteract it as we strive to represent the One who said, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  We wish Pastor Jones would remember these words.  We pledge to do our best to live by them, and hope that you, our Muslim neighbors, will notice the difference.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Herod who??

I must admit, I still get confused by all those Herods mentioned in the New Testament. To keep them straight, I find it helpful to read the biblical text with a genealogy of Herod's family at my side (here's one from the Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible).


Well, so much for simplicity. Even this chart looks more like an engineering schematic than a family tree. To boil it all down, there are four key members of Herod's family mentioned in the Gospels...

Herod the Great. This is the original Herod of them all. The very name sent shivers up the spine of ancient Jews. Son of Antipater, he was a cunning politician, ruthless dictator, and brilliant architect. He was responsible for constructing the temple mount in Jerusalem, fortress palaces at Herodium and Masada, and a harbor at Caesarea -- all which continue to astound archaeologists and engineers today. In addition to killing several kin who threatened his throne, Herod murdered all the young boys in Bethlehem at the news that…

A review of the HCSB Study Bible

Today, I finally had a chance to browse through a copy of the new HCSB Study Bible.

The HCSB Study Bible is 2272 pages long (plus a few maps). As expected, the translation is the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) version. It ranks well and rivals the ESV in both exegetical accuracy and literary quality. Some of its unique features are:
Its translation of yahweh as "Yahweh" (instead of LORD) in the OT when referring to the personal name of God (e.g. Ex. 3:15)The translation of doulos as "slave" instead of "servant" or "bondservant" in the New Testament (e.g. Rom. 1:1)The translation of christos as "Messiah" in the New Testament, whenever referring to the Jewish expectation of the Messiah (e.g. Matt. 16:16)Capitalized pronouns when referring to GodThe use of contractions in direct discourse (e.g. "let's go" in Mark 1:38)A wonderful feature called bullet notes (small bullets next to key words that may be unfamiliar, poin…

Restoring old photos of Israel

In his latest newsletter, Todd Bolen explains the painstaking process of restoring old photos to create the 8-volume American Colony and Eric Matson Collection. It’s a fascinating project that really makes you appreciate the end result. Here’s his full article…Shortly after producing a collection of modern-day photographs in the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands (initially released in January 2000), I began work on a supplementary collection that would peel back the recent layers of time to reveal the sites of the Holy Land before the changes brought by modernization.  The initial fruit of this work was the release of 8 volumes of Historic Views of the Holy Land in November 2004.About that same time, I learned that the Library of Congress was digitizing the G. Eric and Edith Matson Negatives.  Between 1966 and 1981, Eric Matson and his beneficiary donated this collection to the Library of Congress. But public access was limited and costly until 2004, when the first negatives were scann…