Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Why Faith Matters: Burning Quran, Ground Zero Mosque & Tony Blair - how to make sense of it all

With recent headlines of protests and animosity surrounding a "Community Center" aka mosque, being built at Ground Zero and a Preacher (Terry Jones) organizing a burning of the Quran, it is clear that we are witnessing a resurrection of religious tensions more publicly.

Blair discusses his concern for his atheist father's fate, telling a teacher: "I'm afraid my father doesn't believe in God." Amazingly the child received a healthy response: "That doesn't matter. God believes in him. He loves him without demanding or needing love in return."

Blair continues:

"...faith matters because it inspires people to act and raise their sights beyond themselves. Sadly, religion can be distorted into violent extremism. Having spiritual beliefs has never rendered a person incapable of doing wrong or evil. But far more often, faith can be a force for good."

As the fervor surrounding the Quran burning stirred throughout the week, I discussed it with several individuals and my Pastor send me the response from the Assembly of God (my denomination) Superintendent, George O Wood:

Assemblies of God denounces burning of Qur'an

In what has become a national furor, a small non-denominational church, Dove World Outreach Center, in Gainesville, Florida, has announced plans to burn copies of the Qur'an on Saturday, September 11 ‹ the anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks.

As the church has reportedly made claims of Pentecostalism, the Assemblies of God, the overall ninth largest denomination in the United States and one of the largest Pentecostal denominations in the United States, has made it clear it has no ties with the church and has publicly objected to the burning.

"I don't believe that [burning the Qur'an] is respectful toward the
very people we want to love into the Kingdom," states AG General Superintendent George O. Wood. "It only drives Muslims farther away from the Lord Jesus and reinforces the false notion that followers of Jesus are crusaders from the Middle Ages."

Just as Blair calls for find "common values to bring us together", we need to strive to bridge gaps not divide people further.

Wood continued:

"Such actions as these only make it more difficult to effectively
witness to Muslims. Our focus should be on sharing the
amazing love of God that brought Jesus into this world to die for
our sins, not engaging in activities that only drive people farther away from Christ."


Read more at "State of the Nation" on DeskofBrian.com:


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