Houston, TX – The Texas Pastor Council, an inter-racial, inter-denominational organization representing local pastor councils in Houston, Austin, Beaumont, El Paso and other pastors throughout the state, issued the following statement in response to plans by Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida:
“ While it is the business of pastors specifically and Christians in general to know and share the absolute truth of God’s word regardless of whether it is unpopular or even dangerous, we believe the plan to burn Korans by Dove World Outreach Center is in fact counter-Biblical. The commands of our Lord in how we respond to those who persecute us as individuals and as a church, separated from the duties of the governing authorities, are quite clear. Jesus Christ said, “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…” (Matt. 5:44). It has become necessary for our country to send our military to fight against and defeat Islamic terrorism, however we do not serve the interests of our Lord nor the interests of our country by engaging in such aggressive provocation.
There is no doubt of the threat that radical Islam presents to the entire world, including those in Islamic states, the danger of Islamic terrorism on our own soil, and ultimately the oppression that principles of Islam and Sharia law imposes, particularly on women. Moreover, Christians are under obligation if true believers in our Holy Scriptures to expose false religions or teachings that are contrary to God’s Word.
With that stated, the reality that the Bible is banned and burned in most if not all Islamic states and that Christians in Islamic states suffer discrimination and persecution on an ongoing basis does not justify violation of our own principles also given by our Lord such as what we call the Golden Rule. While believing the Koran to be false, if we want our Bible treated with respect even in Muslim countries we can and must do the same here. Christianity has transformed nations for two thousand years by proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ; living and being willing to die for our faith and illustrating God’s love to us – His enemies. Pastor Jones’ use of Acts 19 to justify this burning is fundamentally flawed and misapplied.
We are not pacifists and believe there is a Biblical and appropriate use of military force by legitimate government in defending ourselves against violence of aggressors, whether foreign governments or terrorist networks such as Hamas, Hezbollah, Al Queda, etc. We clearly know, however, that we will “win” this war by boldly but humbly winning hearts to Jesus Christ rather than inflammatory public events.
We urge Pastor Terry Jones to correct course and turn this situation into a positive display of God’s grace by cancelling the event and thereby proving his commitment to be part of the greater church in this country as well as a responsible citizen.”