Faithful readers will remember the discussion of the church in Florida that is hosting a Qur’an-burning day in a few weeks. We talked about their lack of hospitality or understanding of the issue (What Would Jesus Burn?).
Well….it got better. Or worse.
They accepted the help of a Christian Militia group called “Right Wing Extreme” to help with security for the event. The Militia was going to send anywhere from 500-2000 gun-toting members to its defense. Violence to the Qur’an begats violent calls to arms it seems.
But then today, the group decided to cut ties with the event:
“Right Wing Extreme has pulled support for the International Burning of the Koran day and will not attend the event,” the group announced in a 1:50 a.m. press release on its website. “After much thought and prayer the organization’s leadership determined this event does not glorify GOD in way that leads the lost to Jesus Christ.”
The group, which bills itself in the release as an “armed Christian conservative group,” says they got started in April 2009 after a department of Homeland Security report called “Right Wing Extremism,” which highlighted the radical far right’s revitalization since President Barack Obama took office.
The group considers Islam a “cult” and blasts the President for his support of the Park51 Islamic center which a Muslim group plans to build near Ground Zero in New York. But they do not think burning Islam’s holy scripture will solve any problems.
“Dove World Outreach are our brothers and sisters in Christ,” the release says. “However we ask that they not hold this event for the reason that it may diminish the work of the Holy Spirit to witness to Muslims.”
The release also quoted James 1:19: “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.”
Here’s the lesson for today, and I think it is a true one. I’ll put it in big caps.
If a militia decides you are too radical, then you might be on the wrong path.
I suspect we’ve got a Pharaoh situation where the pastor and church have hardened their hearts beyond the point of backing down. But I’m certainly in prayer that their violent act will not escalate to the injury of anyone else, and I’m thankful for the militia group deciding to not participate in the escalation.