Turn or burn?

th-19Do we burn the Koran or cross reference it to the Bible? The answer to this question says a lot about one’s worldview.

We had as our guest last night on BlogTalkRadio a man who is doing design for someone who is creating a version of the Koran that will reference, in the Koran, statements and concepts that Jesus taught and are recorded in the gospels. So you could be reading in the Koran and come across something that can also be found in Matthew, Mark, Luke or John so you can look up those passages in the Bible and find more.
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Now to some people, such a project would be considered unthinkable. Heresy. Apostasy. We should be burning the Koran, not cross referencing it.

That kind of thinking comes from the worldview that insists on being 100% right making everyone else is 100% wrong. It’s either our way or the highway. Such thinking creates hopeless situations — the kind of situations as we have between Arabs and Jews where each side wishes the other’s non-existence, and we all can see where that is going.

If some of the teachings of Jesus are in the Koran, and we can lead someone who might be reading the Koran to the rest of the teachings of Jesus, might we just be creating an opportunity for the Holy Spirit to lead them to an understanding of who Jesus is? Certainly the possibility is there. But if we burn his book — if we call him 100% wrong — we have created, at best, an insurmountable chasm; at worst, an enemy.

And why create an enemy of someone who might be seeking the truth? And if someone is truly seeking the truth, and they encounter the truth about Christ, won’t something burn inside them? Won’t they just have to find out more? Isn’t that what happened to you? Have you that quickly forgotten your own search for truth and how God drew you to Him? Won’t their longing be rewarded? Did not God say that if we seek Him with all our heart we will surely find Him? If someone can start in the Koran and end up in the Gospel of John — well, may the Lord be praised!

But if our book is 100% right and we say theirs is 100% wrong, their hope of ever finding the truth will be slim.

Wait a minute, John; are you saying the Bible isn’t infallible? No. I’m saying my understanding and interpretation of it isn’t infallible. I’m always finding more in the scriptures than I thought was there, and that my interpretation of a passage is not always the correct one. In fact, if I believe my interpretation of the Bible is 100% right, I won’t be able to even be on the same page with other Christians, much less those of other faiths or no faith.

Why am I spending time on this? Why do I care? Because we are the purveyors of the Gospel of Welcome. We respect everyone’s search. We welcome all to the discussion. We will dialogue with anyone — people of all religions and none. We are so secure in the love of God that our beliefs are not threatened by others’. And we so long for others to know the truth we have found in Christ that we welcome whatever path they may be on. Didn’t someone once sing, “Jesus is the only way, but there’s more than one way to Jesus”?

If you want to look further into this, I highly recommend you listen to our interview last night with Tim Gilman; as well, our interview a few months ago with Os Guinness. Both of these, besides being highly entertaining, will help you become a better representative of the Gospel of Welcome.

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12 Responses to Turn or burn?

  1. Mark Seguin says:

    Had to add a big Amen to this: “We are so secure in the love of God that our beliefs are not threatened by others’.” 🙂

  2. I like this idea. And what makes the Bible so amazing is the fact you can read a verse that you’ve read a dozen times and every time it will speak back to you with a message that relates to where you are now. God wrote a fluid book! Once I realized that, I could never just push the Bible off as just another book with wise sayings in it. It literally is the “living word”. If someone can discover this through teachings they are already used to, all the more convincing it will be!

  3. Andrew P. says:

    I immediately thought what a fabulous idea that is! Frankly, it amounts to sneaking the gospel in through the back door. I’m pretty sure the apostle Paul would approve.

    Another who would surely approve is C.S. Lewis. If you’ve read “The Last Battle” (the final book in The Chronicles of Narnia series) you’ve seen a novelistic presentation of what he must have thought (it seems to imply it, anyway) about Muslims. It’s a view that I’m sure would disturb a lot of people. (To this day, I’m still not entirely sure what I think of it, either, but it is surely worth a hearing.) I think he’d be delighted to see us sneaking the Bible into the Koran!

  4. johnhaak says:

    Careful quoting song lyrics. That one has gotten me in trouble more than once when I have used it in Youth Group.

    Very true about open muslims I know of … they know Abraham and soak up the additional information on him in Genesis. It has proven to be a good start. Got to think about how this applies to other types of Wrong People I know …

  5. Markus says:

    There is no need for the truth to fear questions. Only lies have to be afraid of questions. Simple as that.

  6. Tim says:

    I thought for sure you would upset someone with this one. LOL
    Respect doesn’t equal agreement and I think you are on the right track.

  7. Colleen Thake says:

    Wow, I totally understand this, however, it doesn’t happen to just Muslims! It happens to everyday Christians as well and my crazy walk is an example of it. I was a born again believer until I met other believers (new age, and KJV only believer) wouldn’t you know I learned I am not a Christian at all! #1 I was reading the wrong bible, hence, #2 I was never saved, #3 was reincarnated for a persons desires, #4 labeled by the world as a nut (my hormones fluctuated and started peri-menopause), and so much more I could totally add, but you have to remember we have LEGALISM and other taunts of faith towards believers already!!! Yes, battling our very own. I always believed if you were a follower of Christ and others followed regardless of denomination we were still brothers united, Boy was I ever proved wrong. I have had a terrible start in my life and even some pastors are surprised that I still believe in the Living God, but not for nothing I won’t let go! Not for anyone and maybe my views can be a little skewed by this attack that was put upon me, but I will never let go of my God, My Jesus! I am still standing! I sometimes think back how even King David acted like a crazy man and he lived a long life serving God as a king. I am a woman and man never be a king, but I serve Him (the Lord) which comes with repercussions. I sometimes wonder if it is my thyroid (under-active) or the dark side being relentless, or do I trust the world’s diagnosis? After all, I was told I would never,ever have children and lo and behold at 44 y/o I give birth (God bearer) to my little Jacob! Hmpft to them God’s not Dead, not in my life or dreams. It is surely a spiritual battle it seems I walked into, now I just have to keep the Armour on. Sometimes I win and sometimes I lose, but I will never stop proclaiming His name!

    • Mark Seguin says:

      Wanted to add an Amen and a good cheer to what you wrote Colleen T: “…I will never stop proclaiming His name!”

      • Colleen Thake says:

        Thank you Mark I appreciate it and your Amen! I just can’t seem to wrap my mind how other Christians battles among themselves. I use to work in a cancer hospital at the time and told I lost my chance, really? I held this man’s hand and listened to him as he poured his heart out to me about how he served his church. My mistake according to other Christians, the man was Catholic and I lost my chance of telling him about salvation, imho, the man was saved by his faith. God is not a denomination but a Spirit and who am I to say what he believed is wrong! I almost got fired because I stood there and listened to the man and with assurance that I would come back he rested, when I went back the man had died and I got chastised by the church. This is why I do not go to church. I did go for my son’s baptism, but not that church and my body just cringes, but my faith in God is always standing
        Again, my thanks Mark Seguin 😀

    • jwfisch says:

      Colleen,

      Stick with us. You belong in this great group of misfits and rejects. Jesus Christ died to save sinners like us and you can read that in any Bible including the Catholic one!

  8. Mark Seguin says:

    You’re welcome and I am glad you left that body of believers Colleen I about stood-up and cheered again after learning you left there and this is GOOD too: “God is not a denomination…” That deserves another Amen! 🙂

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