Pastor Jones is not wrong to see Islam as a way that leads millions of people away from the message of the Gospel and thus to spiritual death. But he did not reach out with the Gospel message; he simply staged a theatrical stunt intended to draw attention to himself and his church. The way he toyed with the media and major public figures earlier this year was an indication of the game he intended to play — and now he has played it out.
He put human lives at jeopardy for a publicity stunt. Those who responded to his actions with murder have blood on their hands, and they demonstrated a key distinction between Islam and Christianity. Christians are not called to defend the honor of our Savior or of the Bible. The Islamic sense of honor leads to what are even called honor killings. Those who would kill for honor thus dishonor their cause. What belief system would justify murder in response to being offended?
There is a crucial distinction between being willing to die for a cause, as Christians are called to do, and being willing to kill for a cause. That distinction is rooted in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, who did not kill his enemies, but died for them.
Christians are not called to burn the books of other religions. We are not called to publicity stunts that put lives at risk and subvert the preaching of the Gospel of Christ. Such actions deserve only the most severe condemnation. But even the condemnation serves its purpose — to gain publicity.
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