What Terry Jones Teaches Us…

10 09 2010

Current events, such as this attempt to impede a construction of a Muslim community center through the threat of a bonfire fueled by the Islamic holy book, and the reactions to such, tell us more about ourselves than the actual event itself. In particular, I believe the event is telling of any Christians who protested against the building of the community center for the reason that the community center was Muslim. Yes, I do understand the emotional and maybe even political sentiments of building such a center near Ground Zero, but I ask myself, “When did Ground Zero become the American Jerusalem?” More than the issue of loving our neighbor and mutual respect for all religions (this modern culture is good at perpetuating such notions of unity for good or for ill), the concern is how Christianity has become so skewed and watered down that its subscribers illustrate a medieval, supernatual notion of their faith. It seems that some Christians may believe (I hope I am wrong) that something is lost from Christianity if this construction is allowed to take place. Ground Zero has become a relic of sorts, and relics, at least from the Protestant perspective, has no place in Christianity. Though not a direct commentary on the event, Carl Trueman comments on the discrepancy he observes between theology and relics, an indirect reminder to set our minds on “things above” (Now this is not a discussion on Two Kingdoms or things unseen, but rather a statement that many important aspects of Christianity are spiritual).

I believe there is not much to learn from the recent actions of Terry Jones, except maybe in the aspect of what not to do. But one thing he does teach us is how much we actually do not know our own religion. And hopefully from his negative example, before we start wanting to burn other peoples books, we can look into our own revealed text and move, in our knowledge of God and religion, from introspection, correction, then to augmentation.

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