I am not a biblical scholar. I have not spent years in seminary or in a bible college. I am not the man of God who delivers his word to his flock weekly on Sundays. I am simply a man -- a sinner saved by grace. I am only an imperfect individual. I have let my family down on a number of occasions and I have let myself down as well. I have made mistakes and I continue to make mistakes. I have just as many bad days as I have good days. But as a Christian, there is something that I do know: "He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love" (1 John 4:8).
As in imperfect person, a sinner saved by the grace of God, I cannot nor should I judge Terry Jones for deciding to burn a Quran in his church. But I can disagree with what he did.
Individuals who are not Christian or believe in Christian prophecy might disagree with me, but it is my belief that the unrest that we're witnessing in the Middle East is a sign of more trying times ahead in our world. Combine those events with the environmental devastation in the Pacific and economic troubles worldwide and it would be easy for one to rein in his/her optimism. Yet these events cannot be blamed on anyone. If you are a believer in God and in his son Jesus Christ, you believe in the sovereignty of God -- meaning that God is justified in whatever he allows or ordains in the lives of men. Problems that we face here in the United States are not the fault of the Muslim world. To generalize and lump all Muslims together and claim that radical fundamentalist Muslims and mainstream Muslims are all evil is irresponsible, irrational and ignorant.
What is more troubling is the fact that such an act of intolerance and hate was committed by one who is called a "man of God." As a pastor, your job is to preach the good news: that God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved (John 3:17). Preaching the Gospel is more about compelling souls to accept Jesus rather than turning Christians against non-believers -- individuals whom you seek to bring to Jesus. I am not sure of Terry Jones' intentions behind putting the Quran on trial, handing down a verdict and judgment against the book. But his actions have done a number of troubling things. His actions have angered the Muslim world -- and justifiably so. His actions have not made Christianity any more appealing to non-Christians. His actions are hypocritical to word of God. His actions have confused Christians and non-believers alike about what Christianity and the Gospel are truly all about.
Terry Jones is an example of why man is not always God's best of representatives. As great as a man can be under the instruction and guidance of all mighty God, he is still a man and he is still liable to make a mistake. I would advise anyone who is looking for an accurate representation of Christianity to refer to the Gospels and learn of Jesus Christ and his ways. See his words and how he treated those he encountered, particularly those who were not Jewish. I trust that you will find a more accurate depiction of the true nature of Christianity, contrary to the brand of Christianity that Terry Jones is affirming. I cannot speak for Mr. Jones, but I am sure that he believes that his actions are carrying forth the Lord's work of speaking out against workers of iniquity. But there is no need to condemn non-believers or those who do "evil." There is no need to burn a Quran or call out Muslims or any other non-Christian religion as damned to hell. The Bible says that he that believeth in him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God (John 3:18). If you believe in the word of God, then you believe that God will do the judging based on the belief or disbelief in Jesus Christ. One of the major jobs of a believer, let alone a pastor, is to simply preach the word. That does not involve being intolerable of others, but rather loving one another, particularly your enemies. If the Muslim world is the enemy of the United States, Terry Jones should be reaching out to the Muslim world in peace to seek a peaceful resolution to the wars in Afghanistan and Libya, not starting new ones in other countries that we seek to gain their trust.
Ultimately, Mr. Jones gesture was symbolic on the surface. Burning the Quran did not destroy Islam's political or religious structure, nor did it destroy the spiritual component of Islam. But what it did do was anger, divide and allow for the misinterpreting of the Christian faith. Yet as a believer in Christ and in his word, I do believe in the sovereignty of God. Maybe this action was allowed by God for a purpose that none of us are aware of. Maybe Terry Jones is being used as a vessel for something that we are unaware of. As I said, I am no religious scholar nor do I have degrees in religious theory. I am sure that Terry Jones would say to me that he is simply preaching the unadulterated word of God and by doing so he is "keeping it real." I would reply to Mr. Jones that he is an example of what Dave Chappelle would call "when keeping it real goes wrong."