Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
For all of the theatrics of last week as Pastor Terry Jones of the Dove World Outreach in Florida planned his “International Burn a Quran Day,” (which he then decided to cancel), what was most disturbing to me was not how much venom his man or how out of line with Scripture he was in planning to just insult and disrespect millions of people with this actions, but how little he promoted the Gospel. As tempting as it may be to want to commit some type of “statement act” against someone you perceive to be your enemy, that is not what Jesus instructed:
Matthew 5:43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44 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; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
The more we do these things, the more we please our Savior Jesus Christ. Our battle is never against another person. Our battle is not against a group of people. It is against spiritual powers. Now this does not mean that we cannot speak about the wrongs advocated by a certain religion, but at the same time we should not seek to be an offense to others just to make a statement of anger. This is just not Christian behavior. Pastor Jones admitted that he was not trying to love his enemies in this instance but was “sending a warning.” We should warn the world about sin and God’s judgment to come, but not by burning the books of another faith. Speaking out about the violence and other sinful behavior the Quran advocates is fine. We are to reprove unfruitful works of darkness. But it should be in the context of showing the love of Christ and to witness the Gospel. I think Pastor Jones was bothered by the growth of Islam and wanted to do something about, but this was not the right way. And it was certainly not like anything Jesus did in the Gospel accounts. But to his credit, Jones changed his mind.
Deuteronomy 32:35 To me [belongeth] vengeance, and recompence; their foot shall slide in [due] time: for the day of their calamity [is] at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste.