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May 18, 2005

Good Question!

The New York Sun has asked a question that I think we should all be asking ourselves in light of Newsweek's article about Qur'an desecrations


Do Muslims really revere the Koran so much more than Christians and Jews do the Bible? It would seem so. They certainly act as if they do. Think of the Salman Rushdie affair. For years this Muslim-born novelist was threatened with death all over the Muslim world for parodying certain episodes in the Koran. A Christian or Jewish novelist who did the same with the Bible would get yawned at.

Indeed, that Muslims do take their religion more seriously is, sociologically speaking, the case. The percentage of observant Muslims in any Islamic country is considerably higher than that of observant Christians in the West or observant Jews in Israel.

The problem is that we don't think people will get that upset about attacks on their religion. After all, people in the US routinely attack religious beliefs as old fashioned, silly, superstitious, etc. And the people they are attacking -- Christians, Jews, Mormans, Hindus, etc. -- sit by and take it. Muslims aren't going to take it.

I think that's one reason Newsweek was so slow to retract the story -- they couldn't believe that people got that upset. "It's just a book," they think.

The reactions of Muslims across the world should also be an indictment of Christians here in the US. When someone desecrates a Qur'an, there are riots. When someone desecrates a cross, they get government money. Bible mistreatment abounds, because people don't have any respect for it.

If Protestants are true to their ideal of sola Scriptura, then we should be incensed when the Bible is mistreated or abused. We believe that it is the very Word of God -- as the Muslims believe the Qur'an is. They take the Word of God seriously -- Christians in the US treat it as something that is disposable. Something taken for granted. Certainly not something we build our lives and faith around.

And that is the problem with the state of Christianity. We've developed beyond our reliance on the Word of God. We've lost our first love. And it shows in our inaction -- in everything from global poverty to our lack of evangelical efforts at home and abroad. Church membership is considered a right that should never be witheld or revoked (I may have more on the subject of church discipline later on this week -- Al Mohler is covering it in detail). There is no cost. There is no obligation. There is no duty. And we have people sitting in church pews who know nothing about their faith, and do nothing in it's cause.

Posted by Warren Kelly at May 18, 2005 09:01 AM | TrackBack
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