Eugene Cho

what would jesus do: burn the koran or eat with his muslim neighbors?

As we approach the 10 year anniversary of the tragedy of September 11, I wanted to share this post with you again.

Foremost, we remember the victims and mourn with so many that lost loved ones. I’m also mindful of so many who went beyond themselves to help others. They are indeed heroes.

As we honor  them, may we also be reminded that all of us – whether we were present in NYC or not on that horrific day – are invited to help cultivate a world of peace and grace.

Blessed be the peacemakers.

It’s a simple question: What would Jesus do?

Would he burn the Koran or eat with his Muslim neighbors?

You may have heard about the person from Florida who intends to memorialize the September 11 attacks by burning copies of the Koran in a bonfire. His name is Terry Jones and he also happens to be a pastor.

Mr. Jones, 58, a former hotel manager with a red face and a white handlebar mustache, argues that as an American Christian he has a right to burn Islam’s sacred book because “it’s full of lies.” And in another era, he might have been easily ignored, as he was last year when he posted a sign at his church declaring “Islam is of the devil.”

But now the global spotlight has shifted. With the debate in New York putting religious tensions front and center, Mr. Jones has suddenly attracted thousands of fans and critics on Facebook, while around the world he is being presented as a symbol of American anti-Islamic sentiment…

Mr. Jones, in a lengthy interview at his church, said he sincerely hoped that his planned Koran-burning would not lead to violence. He dismissed the idea that it could put American troops at greater risk, and — echoing his sermons — he said that his church was being persecuted…

“We have to be careful,” he said. He tapped a holster on the right hip of his jean shorts; it held a .40-caliber pistol, which he said he was licensed to carry. “The overall response,” he added, “has been much greater than we expected.” [full article via NY Times]

This is wrong.

It’s not what following Christ is about. This not the way of the Lord. This is misguided.

We also live in a world today of gossip and sensationalism and this is often elevated as the expression of Christianity. Hopefully by now, most folks can come to their senses and see that the September 11 attacks are not the expression of Muslims and that Jones is not the full expression of Christians or Christianity.

But so often, this is what is encapsulated and it’s so immensely frustrating. But this is why I was so encouraged to wake up this morning to read the news of another pastor in the larger Seattle area who has been reaching out to the Muslim community in friendship and peace.

What’s unusual about some of the latest efforts to build relationships with local Muslims is that it’s coming from evangelical Christians — and led, in particular, by Michael Ly, a young, self-described Chinese Cambodian American evangelical Christian.

Ly, 29, is a pastor at Soma — Renton, a nondenominational church formerly called Harambee Church. An accountant by day, his aim to build better understanding between evangelical Christians and Muslims is purely a grass-roots effort.

And it’s an effort he thinks is growing nationwide, especially among those his age and younger.

“There’s a part of the evangelical Christian church that believes the rhetoric out there about Muslims is ignorant,” he says. That part of the church “is saying: ‘This is not the way Jesus would want us to respond to the Muslim community.’ “

So far, Ly has organized a panel discussion on who Jesus is, attended by some 150 Muslims and 150 Christians from local evangelical churches. He’s led workshops on what Muslims and Christians believe…. [read full article]

Some random thoughts:

  1. Choose love.
  2. Build Peace.
  3. Choosing #1 and #2 doesn’t mean that you don’t live with convictions of the Gospel and Lordship of Christ.
  4. We can dismiss such actions as the one expressed by Terry Jones – and we can do it without returning vitriol and hate.
  5. As I shared earlier, I’m frustrated by the media’s tendency to elevate the extreme demonstrations of any expressions including Christianity. This is why the Church needs to be honest and beautiful story-tellers. We can’t let the media dictate all the stories. Their jobs are to sell and gain traffic.

    Our task – as the Church – is to point, paint, sing, preach, teach, live out, demonstrate, incarnate and testify to the great work of reconciliation and redemption of God, Christ, and Holy Spirit.

So, you have to ask these simple questions:

  • What story is Pastor Terry Jones sharing with his neighbors and the world?
  • What story is Pastor Michael Ly sharing with his neighbors and the world?

How do their actions and stories testify to God’s work and invitation of reconciliation and redemption?

As Christians, we can find harmony in the beauty of the Gospel:

“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” [John 3:16]

And because Christ has died for us, we can live for the work of reconciliation and redemption. I am not suggesting we be timid in our declaration of Christ as the way, the truth and the life. But in doing so, we can also choose to lay down the sword and choose love and build peace.

We can choose to belief the truth of the Gospel: God not only died for us but dwelt amongst us. He walked among us. And he did the most amazing thing: Jesus ate with humanity.

In that simple expression of eating, he declared his desire for friendship.

Sometimes, it’s very simple:

It’s beautiful to eat with our neighbors.

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96 Responses

  1. Mr. Jones says:

    Perhaps moderate Muslims also need to sent out the right message that following Muhammed is not about the extreme Islam that is portrayed in the media.

    As humans, what Mr. Jones’ is doing will be a similar expression to what radical Muslims will do in Afghanistan when they hear about what Mr. Jones has done.

    So, what would Jesus do? Well perhaps Mr Jones is taking an Elijah approach mocking at other religions, or taking a John the Baptist approach.

    Something to think about.

    • Danny Bixby says:

      “Perhaps moderate Muslims also need to sent out the right message that following Muhammed is not about the extreme Islam that is portrayed in the media.”

      Who cares what they do? What matters is what we do.

      “As humans, what Mr. Jones’ is doing will be a similar expression to what radical Muslims will do in Afghanistan when they hear about what Mr. Jones has done.”

      Radical Christians burn books. Radical Muslims kill people. Not much of a similar expression imo.

      • nanethlin says:

        “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire.” Matthew 5:21-22

    • Andy M says:

      “Perhaps moderate Muslims also need to sent out the right message that following Muhammed is not about the extreme Islam that is portrayed in the media.”

      They are. But as anyone in ministry would know, getting people to listen to you past their usually very securely held beliefs and prejudices is a very difficult job indeed. 9/11 was one of America’s first big encounters with Islam, so it would be very difficult to get most non-Muslim Americans to look past that.

      By the way, John the Baptist was speaking specifically to Jewish people, not to people of a different faith, and Elijah only mocked the Baals after their god failed in his challenge. He then went on to request God to give a demonstration of his power, which he did. What is Mr. Jones going to do after the book burning insult to show Muslims God’s power? I’m sorry, but if Mr. Jones sees himself as following either of these Biblical leaders, he is falling short of the standard.

  2. mo says:

    His name is Terry Jones and he also happens to be an idiot.

  3. Tracey says:

    Have you read the Qu’ran?

    • Eugene Cho says:

      My post-doctoral studies and 508 page dissertation was on the Qu’ran.

      Just kidding. I’ve always wanted to respond with something like that.

      I have not read it in its entirety or mostly but have read bits and pieces.

      • Tracey says:

        That’s why you’re great!! :)

        I, too, have read bits and pieces, and it unnerved me. From a Christian point of view, I don’t believe that this pastor should burn, or encourage the burning of the Qur’an (I misspelled it earlier). However, it is within his rights as an American to do so. BUT, I do believe that it could incite much more unrest. While I wish for peace and have a desire to love all, MY Holy Book, The Bible, the Word of God tells me that these things are happening just as they are supposed to – we are being prepared for things to come. My trust is in Him, not in myself or my fellow man.

  4. Patrick says:

    Elijah also killed a bunch of people. I don’t think anyone would say that we should do the same. Just cause it happened in the bible doesn’t mean it’s right.

  5. JL says:

    Thank you for this post! I read an article today about this pastor and his planned event and it left me feeling sick, sad and angry. What possible good could come out of burning the Koran? This act doesn’t teach anything but hatred. I believe Jesus would eat with his muslim neighbors.

  6. Jaycee says:

    When I saw this on TV, I became speechless. As much as this man believes he’s not killing anyone, burning someone else’s Holy Book might as well be considered violence, and Jesus never repaid violence with violence.

  7. Andy says:

    Eugene. I vouch for Michael. We are partners in this wonderful journey of building bridges and making friends with Muslims. Was just with him for several hours tonight, along with about another 10 like minded people doing the same thing across the Seattle area. We all love our Muslim friends and have been blessed by their warmth, hospitality and trust.

    I’ll be with one of my Imam friends on Saturday night in an Eastside church where he has been asked to recite from the Qur’an. We don’t see eye to eye on some key points of faith but love and respect each other. WE both believe our scriptures call us to love God and neighbor. He thinks Pastor Jones is like an “evangelical Taliban.”

  8. Daniel says:

    I’d like to burn your blog. ;)

  9. [...] what would jesus do: burn the koran or eat with his muslim neighbors? [...]

  10. adam says:

    This man IS putting our troops at risk overseas. Being a military man myself, people all over the muslim world have heard of this man and are protesting and this will only redouble the efforts of the extremists and help their propaganda.

    Doesn’t seem like a pastor should carry a gun either.

  11. [...] Eugene Cho just posted a FANTASTIC blog post about this and I just had to share. I do agree with him on this, 110%. The Jesus I read about in the Bible, the God incarnate one, the full manifestation of the likeness and essence of God the Father, would have eaten with them. In fact, He DID. So they weren’t Muslims… but their book of laws (the books of Jewish man-made laws added to the actual first 5 books of the Old Testament)  that had evolved and grown and expanded over the centuries were full of lies. Lies about how to earn God’s approval and acceptance. Lies about how to appease an angry God.  And yet the very SON of God was dining with them, about to reveal the simple truth of His existence on earth… He came to pay for it all. [...]

  12. Ben from TIC says:

    I’m against all book burning–Fahrenheit 451.

  13. First ammendment?? says:

    A preacher in Florida burns a book and Muslims kill Americans. Hmmm. that sounds about right. We should tolerate our brother Muslims. Hopefully an emergency session of the Supreme Court can be called to make this act illegal. We need less liberty here and more government control. The fire department said books cannot be burned. Maybe the church should begin by shredding copies prior to the burning and continue to shred after the fire dept speaks for you with their hoses.
    What would Jesus do? This is America! It does not matter what Jesus would do! Jesus was murdered for his stance. I am sure that Muslims all over the world would like the U.S. to be just like Jesus.

    • nanethlin says:

      sure, the man is perfectly within his political rights, but as a proclaimed follower of Christ I do believe his actions should be different.

      (and protesting his protest is definitely within my political rights too!)

    • Aysha says:

      “What would Jesus do? This is America! It does not matter what Jesus would do! Jesus was murdered for his stance. I am sure that Muslims all over the world would like the U.S. to be just like Jesus”

      Jesus was murdered, that is true. But the point of Jesus’ life is not that he died, but that he is alive. This is the basis of Christianity. As a Christian, and certainly as a pastor, Terry Jones SHOULD care what Jesus would do and should be modeling this for his church.

      Perhaps if there were more Christians who strove to love as Christ loved, this world would be different. Just saying.

  14. suddenlynow2010 says:

    At the very least, we should have tolerance for the sake of the safety of our soldiers. I don’t know what Jesus would do but really, what good could come out of burning the Quran?

  15. Danny Bixby says:

    Excellent post. Beautiful ideas.

  16. Christopher says:

    Matthew 5:43-44 43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

    • Doug says:

      And that (Matthew 5:43-44), my friends, is the bottom line and why I believe Mr. Jones is not acting out of the conviction of the Holy Spirit as he claims. And don’t forget verse 45: “so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”

      As usual, Eugene, great thoughts.

  17. mony says:

    Have you read the Quran? I invite you to enter :

    http://www.altafsir.com

    http://www.discoverislam.com

  18. [...] post by Eugene Cho this morning helps to direct thoughtful people toward a peaceful response asking what [...]

  19. You know, if we just reversed the players, and a bunch of Muslims were burning Bibles, everyone would point and say “Look, it just shows that Islam is a religion of hate and intolerance.” How could any observer conclude any different about Christianity by this sideshow?

    • Christopher says:

      Very true. One sided thinking always produces intolerance. That is why Jesus told us to put others first: Philippians 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves AND Matthew 22:39 And a second like unto it is this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

  20. Paul deBaufer says:

    A quote from Augustine comes to mind, “Evil and false Christians.” Then I am reminded of Rob Bell and his advice to Bullhorn Guy, “Stop it, you make the rest of us look bad.”

    This man, his congregation, and supporters of this idiocy need prayer more than condemnation. Yes, this is anti-Christian, biblically insupportable, but these are people who God loves.

  21. Mark says:

    We aren’t talking about the common people. Burning the Koran is a symbolic gesture against the religious leaders of the day. Jesus was never keen on the religious leaders of his day. He called them hypocrites. I personally think the leaders of Islam are hypocrites, claiming to be a religion of peace, but sending their innocent young to kill other innocents, just because they are Christian or Jewish.

    • Andy M says:

      I think that Christians are hypocrites as well. You cannot only place that description on Muslim leadership. Jesus told us to take the plank out of our own eye first.

      Burning the Koran is a symbolic gesture, but it is not a positive one, nor will it lead to positive results. It is essentially giving the finger to Muslims around the world.

      Your comment also assumes that all Muslim leaders “send their innocent young to kill other innocents”. That is a baseless accusation. The majority of Muslims around the world are not violent.

  22. Neil Schori says:

    I just blogged about this yesterday. I completely agree with Eugene: http://bit.ly/bvLTAz

  23. Steven Kim says:

    I have no idea what Jesus would do. I won’t even go there. It’s arrogant to even speculate what Jesus would do.

    My love for all people, including Muslims, extend also to Rev. Jones. I don’t want to judge him or any other person that feels the way he does.

    God’s in control.

  24. [...] Eugene Cho asks “What would Jesus do: Burn the Koran or eat with his Muslim neighbors?“ [...]

  25. StevieC54 says:

    WWJD?

    IMHO, Jesus would first say that the Koran is the writing of a false prophet. He would say that any book, including the Koran, or the Bible for that mater, is but a physical object and is not sacred (what is sacred are the teachings). He would say that burning it has no meaning other than doing so is a form of protest and speech.

    Furthermore, Jesus would reach out to the Moslems and implore them to abandon their falicious beliefs and turn to him. Jesus said that the only way to the Father was through him, that only he could forgive people of their sins and make them whole in the eye’s of God.

    That is the corner stone of Christianity. Jesus would be saddened by the Moslems refusal to abandon their false beliefs and follow him. He knows that by continueing to follow Isalm, they are condemned to an eternal after life of misery in hell.

    • Andy M says:

      I just thought to point out that while Christians do believe differently than Muslims, which implies that we think that they are wrong about their faith, and vice versa, many times the ways in which Christians have tried to convert Muslims has hurt the relationship between people of the two faiths almost beyond repair. I say almost because I do believe that the relationship can be repaired, in hope.

      It is only with good relationships can we hope to share the love of Christ with our Islamic neighbors, and that implies that the relationship cannot just be a, “You are wrong, I am right, so fall in line!” type of thinking. That does not encourage healthy relationships with anyone, let alone someone who comes from a religion who has been battling with ours for centuries back past the Crusades.

      Just think, if another person came to your doorstep and started telling you that you would burn forever because you didn’t believe what they believed, would you listen to them or slam the door in their face? Even if you had the state of mind to stay calm and be polite and just tell them “no thanks”, would you take anything they said seriously? Now imagine that it is a Taliban fighter, or a Nazi on your doorstep. That is nearly what it would be like for Muslims if Christians went around the world telling Muslims that they are going to burn in hell if they don’t accept Christ.

      People around the world have long memories, and the cultural memories of many Muslim traditions dates back to the Crusades where Christians slaughtered Muslims. It isn’t to say that the Muslims were innocent, it is to say that their memories of Christians is extremely poor, and we as peaceful Christians must overcome that if we hope to have any influence in showing Christ to them.

      We must start building good relationships with Muslims, rather than just telling them where they are wrong. I think Jesus would be saddened by Christian’s refusal to embrace those different than ourselves, and truly love those of other faiths.

  26. Hey man- great post. I agree with you which is no big deal but I especially liked what you said about the role of the church and found it convicting.

    I have been wrestling with the intent behind my writing and if I’m watering down the hope and hero we have in Christ in order to either be too pleasing to a readership that is quite religiously mixed, or if I’m just jumping on the criticism bandwagon too much because I don’t have anything positive to say. Another struggle is the legal season I’m in, and knowing that everything I write is an exhibit at trial in two months; so I can’t really reflect about personal shortcomings like I used to and love to do so much, as the other side is looking for every opportunity to attack my character and to twist what I say or write. fun, fun.

    This post inspired me to pray for the courage to write more often about the beauty of the living Christ and his gospel in action.

    blessings to you and your family,

    ian

  27. [...] greater animosity and anger. It is not a responsible, wise, or redemptive act. Take a look at Eugene Cho’s blog and an article about efforts by my friend Michael Ly to build bridges between evangelicals and [...]

  28. Eric says:

    I wonder what Christians would say if people decided to have a Bible burning ceremony. I think the blog says it well. If this pastor’s goal is to help turn people away from the love of God and freedom in Christ that the Bible talks about then he is doing a good job! Maybe he’s forgetting that in the times of Jesus, Jews weren’t supposed to mix with Gentiles and yet those boundaries were crossed.

    I could go on this kind of attitude makes me so mad and it’s this kind of thing that at times makes me ashamed to call myself Christian and associated with such stupidity!

  29. Christopher says:

    The Bible states it is the goodness of God (love) that convicts people – Romans 2:4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?

  30. candice says:

    I’m in 100% agreement. Thank you for saying it so well!

  31. Scott says:

    it’s just so irresponsible because of the environmental impact! why couldn’t he have disposed of the Qur’ans into a recycling bin? then again, men like Terry Jones do not believe in global warming.

  32. [...] What Would Jesus Do: Burn the Koran or Eat with His Muslim Neighbors? It’s a simple question. [...]

  33. Today Sep 9, is the last day of Ramadan. Tomorrow Sep 10, Muslims break their fast with a huge celebration that is like Christmas to Christians. it seems to me like tomorrow would be a great day to dine with our Muslim friends.

  34. Mr. Jones says:

    It’s funny that the rationale by Obama and Hilary for Mr. Jones to not burn the Koran is the danger posed by radical Muslims.

    If there’s an uproar against Mr. Jones (Koran burning), there should be an uproar on Muslims as well (killing to seek revenge on what Mr. Jones did).

    Koran burning in the name of Christ is wrong, but killing people as a result in the name of Islam is far worse.

    If you take a stand on Mr. Jones, also take a stand against what Muslims do as a result that Obama and Hilary are predicting.

    • Andy M says:

      I think it is perfectly logical to see that because of Mr. Jones’ burning of the Koran will incite some Muslims in other parts of the world towards violence, then if he does not burn the books, then they will not be violent. At least not violent in reaction to that specific act. So it stands that it would be much better to not burn the books, thus reducing the likelihood of violence. Especially given that any violence will most likely be towards people who had nothing to do with the burning of the books.

      Nobody is defending violent Muslims who kill people. And if you will read the news there is an uproar when violent people, not just radical Muslims, kill or threaten violence. I often read about the governments of the world condemning the actions, or threatened actions, of violent people and/or groups.

      And just because burning books is not as bad as killing people, that does not mean that burning books, particularly someone else’s sacred text, is acceptable. We have little to no control over what people in other countries do, but we do have significantly more control and/or influence over the events in our own country. That is our responsibility, and it does not do us well to ignore the bad actions of our own people just because, “we aren’t as bad as them!”

      While because of the value we place on Free Speech in this country, nobody can legally stop Mr. Jones from his bonfire (though I admit a part of me hopes someone will stop it illegally, through peaceful means). However, I think in response to his actions, and the apparent mess that it will make around the world, it is our place as followers of Christ to become much more pro-active in making friends with our Islamic neighbors, and growing strong inter-faith relationships. I pray that this bonfire of his will be a catalyst for a Church-wide offer of friendship towards Muslims everywhere. Only that could truly outlast any negative effects that Mr. Jone’s book burning could have.

    • jayjay says:

      When did Obama ever say Koran burning was worse than murder? It may not be pleasant, but the fact of the matter is doing certain things can cause horrible reactions. I don’t see how or why it is wrong to acknowledge this. Propaganda is more deadly than anything, and this stupid stunt is just feeding the fire and endangering everyone, globally, even more. The Muslim radical leaders love it, because it’s like free advertising for why Muslims should hate America/the West and to “prove” we’re in a certified holy war, that it’s an ‘us against them’ in every way. The Christian fundamentalists and right wingers love it to fuel their own propaganda and agenda. If you can get enough people saying, “It’s wrong to ___, but…” to justify the baseline actions, the hate, the mind set and underlying motive; that’s the ultimate goal.

      Radical nutjobs (much like the Florida pastor) are something everyone should take a stand against. Unfortunately, if these nutjobs happen to claim to be Christian, people idiotically defend them or let it slide. It’s sickening.

    • csy says:

      To suggest that Quran-burning would “logically” incite some Muslims to murderous violence is highly ironic. It suggests that it’s EXPECTED some Muslims will act violently to any desecration of their holy book, even when done by an attention-seeking Facebook peon in his own backyard 1000’s of miles away. How condescendingly disrespectful is that? Does anyone “logically” expect Christians, Jews, Hindus, and Buddhists to be likewise incited to murderous violence if their holy books were desecrated by some hick-nobody halfway around the world? If not, why expect such violence only of Muslims? Why not believe Muslims can behave as honorably as everyone else whenever offended? Doesn’t this condescending view to some extent indirectly and unintentionally paint Muslims with the “extremist brush” we simultaneously decry?

      • Andy M says:

        I did not say that the violence, or threatened violence, is a logical act. I said that it is logical that if my actions will incite a violent reaction, then if I do not take those actions, then there would be less or no violence.

        In much of the Developing world, if you burn someone’s sacred text, whether it is the Quran, or whatever, then you should expect the threat of murderous violence. The people relevant to this particular topic here has been Muslims, but it is most definately not limited to them. We Christians have our own bloody history.

        In much of the world, to disrespect people’s religious texts, is to put yourself in danger of retribution. It may not be right, but it is the way the world currently is. It is logical to expect that reaction, regardless of whether it is the way things should be.

        I bet if you burn an American flag, or a copy of the Constitution or Declaration of Independence, as a symbolic gesture to make any kind of point in the U.S., that you would probably get death threats from some people in our own country who treat those things just as sacred as any religious text or artifact. The death threats would not be logical actions, but it would be expected considering the reverance many people in this country give to those things.

  35. g says:

    Being a non-Muslim and receiving an invitation to dine at an iftar (the meal breaking down the Ramadan fast) is an act of generous hospitality. I count it one of the few honors of my life to be invited to eat with a friend at a mosque during my time in Japan.

    The only thing us Christians need to be burning/destroying these days are our own prejudices and ignorance.

    God forgive us and show us mercy.

  36. Herb Hedstrom says:

    Maybe he needs first to read his own holy book, where it reads “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

  37. [...] what would jesus do: burn the koran or eat with his muslim neighbors? It’s a simple question: What would Jesus do? Would he burn the Koran or eat with his Muslim neighbors? You may [...] [...]

  38. indonesian Jones says:

    there was a riot in a city of my country when a video of a student put the ‘book’ in the toilet. some was injured

  39. Reply says:

    what would jesus do: burn the koran or eat with his muslim neighbors?

    Luk 9:5 wherever people don’t welcome you, leave that town and shake the dust off your feet as a warning to them.”

    Have I got this right, USA is killing Muslim’s over there who have been raised on the Koran and are obeying it’s commandments, which is not a problem with the world in general, however burning a Muslim’s holy book which doesn’t actually harm anyone physically is condemned world wide.

  40. [...] was the talk this week. Frustrating. Here are some thoughts from the Washington Post. Eugene Cho followed up and nailed it with his post. – "The Gospel of Wealth" from the NY Times. – Chad Gibbs on "God and Football". Good [...]

  41. marsha says:

    Another simple question:
    What would muhammad do?
    Sit down and eat with his christan neighbors and
    then when they refused to convert to the muslim faith would he kill them because he considered them to be infidels???????????(yes,according to the koran,I think so)
    Another thing –What were Americans doing on 9/11??
    We were doing NOTHING to our muslim neighbors-but since they choose to hate us(infidels) they also choose to destroy our Twin Towers and kill our innocent people.
    As for putting our soldiers in harms way……..
    THEY ARE ALREADY IN HARMS WAY EVERY SINGLE DAY!!!
    Try bringing your Bible or building a christian church in a muslim country and just see how tolerent they are———–
    Americans need to wake up and stop being so stupid.
    You can not be true friends with people who are intolerent of any God except their own.
    By the way it is not a sin for a muslim to LIE to an infidel—so keep on believing the lies if you want to.
    As far as prejudices and ignorance———-
    Americans are no more prejudice and ignorant than Muslims.
    Maybe BOTH need to learn how to live in peace!!

    • g says:

      “You can not be true friends with people who are intolerent of any God except their own.”

      The same thing has been said many times by non-Christians about Christians.

      “By the way it is not a sin for a muslim to LIE to an infidel—so keep on believing the lies if you want to.”

      So you’re saying all Muslims are liars? I doubt you know even the verse or the context in which it was written.

      Sorry, your bigotry is showing.

    • jayjay says:

      Your comment reads like the logic of a child who got pushed in the schoolyard. An ignorant, sheltered, emotionally stunted child.

      So what does your views of Islam have to do with your own behavior and trying to live in a Christian way? If, according to you, Muslims are going to be big meanie heads and not play in the God sandbox exactly how you think they should.

  42. marsha says:

    If I thought ALL muslims were liars,I would have said so. That is not what I said so don’t put words in my mouth. I can be friends with people of ANY faith because my God tells me to Love ALL people regardless if they accept my God’s teachings or not.Unfortunatly,that is NOT what the koran teaches. You either convert to their god’s teachings or you suffer the consequences of being an infidel.

    Sorry, your stupidy is showing.

    g

    • Andy M says:

      “By the way it is not a sin for a muslim to LIE to an infidel—so keep on believing the lies if you want to.”

      This comment of yours does sort of imply that Muslims are liars. By not being more specific, you leave it open for others to understand it as all Muslims.

      And not all Muslims act the way you portray them. Of course they believe that their faith and scriptures are “correct” in the same sense the Christians trust the Bible and believe that they are correct. Many Christians believe that people who don’t believe what the Bible says is going to hell, is that all that far different from the Muslims you are describing?

      Find a peaceful American Muslim, and ask them about their faith. I guarantee while you may disagree about many things, they will not be the vengeful, “convert or die” kind of people you are portraying.

      • poppy says:

        Dear readers,
        Hf you want to drink pure water ,just go to the source of the spring where pure water is guishing out and if you want right information about the teachings of koran ,just take them from the unalterable book,the holy koran and from the teachings of his prophet Muhammed peace be uon him who calls for worshipping one God,the creator of everything you see and you don’t see and calls for doing good to all humanity through love,fraternity,justice and equality.I pity MR Jones because he has burnt the holy koran without reading it .Just read it thoroughly and exclude all the the living moslems as this koran is for all humans and for all ages till the day of Judgement.To real Moslems all humans are brothers regardless their religions ,colors and races.It is the religion of peace,but people judge it in view of what the suppressed moslems do .Those whose countries have been divided and occupied by westren invaders,As amoslem I wish all people would live in peace as brothers .

  43. jayjay says:

    This man is everything everyone should be looking to. But then again, people love to be trolled by the media and hating someone is easier than loving them. Saying you’re a Christian is easier than actually acting like one. No wonder so few do.

    I want someone to explain to me, in a logical and intelligent fashion how these supposed Christians seem to believe they understand the theology of Islam so well, and yet so blatantly fail at understanding the one they love to use to justify their own hate and insecurities.

  44. Sadie V. says:

    okay to me if they burn the quran its like them spiting on or beliefs no one should have the right to put down someone elses belief and or religion everyone has freedom of speech but alot of people take advantage of it people need to just stick to there own beliefs and if you dont agree thats your belief and i dont agree with it but i cant change your mind but the more things they do to taunt them the more violence theres going to be obama is a good president and everything but he should leave some soldiers there to calm the war before its a greater war between everyone and pastor michael i think does not have the right to put someones belief down like he is trying to do he wouldnt like anyone doing that to our bible or our flag our people need to be careful now because of a pastor who believes in violance to fix things it might not look like vilance to us but in other peoples eyesit does and what ever he wants to so either right or wrong people will stand behind him and he should do what he thinks is right.

    • Andy M says:

      I’m very sorry to say this, and I really don’t mean to be rude but, punctuation is your friend. I really tried to read your comment here, but I’m having trouble understanding what you have said.

      May God’s blessings be upon you.

  45. Perhaps there is a third option. Jesus spoke to his disciples about “those that are not with us” “the heathen” and such.

    Although he might eat lunch with a Muslim, he wouldn’t sit silently to their nonsense about more revelation from heaven.

    “if anyone preaches another gospel, let him be accursed.”

    • Andy M says:

      Read the Gospels where Jesus ate with the sinners, tax collecters, and prostitutes. Did he eat with them, but then lecture them about how they are wrong and sinful? No.

      Instead Jesus was their friend, loved them. I guarantee that everyone he ate with had been told a thousand times just how sinful and wrong they were by the religious elite of the day. Jesus showed them love and acceptance, not that they should be “accursed”.

      We must show the love of Jesus, and not be judgemental. We cannot start relationships with people based on, “you are wrong, I am right, so convert”. That is not love, and it is not what Jesus did.

      • metalheadpaladin says:

        Indeed, Andy. The Jesus of the Gospel seems to have told us count even the sincere non-believers (or good Samaritans, if you will) who do what is right among our neighbours, and to love them. Do you think the man who was beaten up on the side of the road would refuse the help of a Muslim, on account of his believing something different?

  46. hystar says:

    I had to ask myself the question, has that preacher read the Quran before he decided to burn it, or is his information based on what he has heard? I looked at the first two books of the Quran and found a lot of parallels to the Bible. I posted what I had found. http://biblecompare.wordpress.com/

  47. [...] Jr. After the Attacks: A Spiritual Challenge: An extensive collection of articles on Beliefnet.com What would Jesus Do? Burn the Koran or Eat with his Muslim Neighbors?: A thoughtful piece by Eugene Cho, blogger and co-founder of One Day’s Wage. America’s [...]

  48. [...] What Would Jesus Do: Burn the Koran or Eat With His Muslim Neighbors? [...]

  49. neema says:

    hi
    what is religion all about- being a good human being or disliking someone who is not with you??????
    there are some extremist doing things which they say are in the name of God, but is never what God wants us to do. I am a muslim myself but I hate what happened on Sep 11 . so do I hate anyone playing with my religion coz I am aware what Allah wants, he never wants killing or hatred in the name of God.
    Live and Let live…..
    believe me all muslims are not extremist and terrorist, and i know not all christian would never want to burn Quran.
    Love you all

  50. mo says:

    I appreciate your thoughts, eug. But I wish this fool would stop getting attention. Yesterday was bad enough :-/

  51. lilolme says:

    I’m not sure it’s about what Jesus Christ would do but rather what he did. He died speaking the truth not defending it with violent acts against his accusers. A minority group of Muslims have enraged a minority group of Christians and that has/could placedmore of us in the dark rather than in the light. The devil at work in my “book” and I’m sure someone wants to burn it too.

  52. [...] Cho with What would Jesus do: burn the Koran or eat with his Muslim neighbors? Predictable? Yes. But still very [...]

  53. Rebecca says:

    Eugene, Amen! Amen! Amen! Thank you for this post. I am distressed by the Islamophobia in this country. Most Muslims in this country are peace-loving. And even if they weren’t, Jesus would still want us to love them. We need also to have a heart of compassion towards them as nobody’s world was more set awry by 9/11 than Muslims. They now face so much discrimination and hurtful words and stares. They need friends who care about them, not enemies who denounce them. This doesn’t mean we set aside the need for Muslims and all who are outside the Christian faith to come to faith in Jesus. But we should not demand it at the end of the sword. We should demonstrate how great our Lord Jesus is through love and friendship. Thanks for being a leader in modeling Christ’s love to Muslims.

  54. Jesus and the apostles preached against sin and unbelief. His heart would be sad to be rejected, but those who don’t receive him wont be in heaven.

  55. John says:

    This is an insult to Christians and non Christians being murdered by muslims for the Islamic crime of being non muslim. This is happening right now in countries all over the world.

  56. [...] in the name of free speech, some boundaries should never be crossed. Pastor Terry Jones crossed that line in burning the Koran and making a global media spectacle. Pastor Wiley Drake crossed that line in [...]

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stuff, connect, info

One Day’s Wages

My Instagram

17.5 Year Anniversary!
We still got it. We look gooooood!

Blessed to be back in Princeton, NJ for couple days recently. We had our wedding ceremony in Korea but got "legally" married in the US at Miller Chapel in Princeton Seminary. So, it was only fitting to go back and have my kids take our 17.5 Anniversary  pics. Someday when our kids become adults and they feel like their parents wronged them or neglected them, and they feel like they need to get counseling... I'm going to show them this picture and say, "I HAVE PROOF. WE TOOK YOU TO NYC AND BOUGHT TICKETS TO WICKED ON BROADWAY!" RIP Robin Williams. 
Folks: Please go and - call or hug your loved ones. Tell them you love them. Remind them how you much appreciate them.

We need to (re)learn how to be more human. Don't avoid eye contact. Don't hide behind gadgets. Smile often - both to neighbors and strangers alike. Ask about peoples' stories. And listen.

And most importantly, remind yourself that YOU are loved. Not just merely by your loved ones but also by the ONE who created all that is good and beautiful. Dang. The bright lights of NYC. 
Having been a youth pastor in Flushing between 1992-1994, I really miss this place.

Empire State of Mind. Smitten my NYC. There's no place like this city in the world. The Statue of Liberty. "Give me your tired, your poor..."

my tweets

  • I'm disgusted by ISIS but for now, I choose to remember James Foley's life and legacy. - goo.gl/KeI5LO http://t.co/ba4OkpNbu9 || 3 hours ago
  • I'm truly grateful for journalists who seek to ensure that truth is told...so that the world can never use the excuse, "We didn't know." || 4 hours ago
  • Whether it's Syria, Ferguson, or elsewhere, I'm truly grateful for journalists that put their lives on the line to ensure truth is told. || 8 hours ago
  • Utterly heartbroken for the family of James Foley. Remembering them in thought and prayers. RIP JamesFoley. http://t.co/nX5xNiskbw || 10 hours ago
  • We'll never truly move forward unless we go together. May the Church be the headlights & not taillights. Let's take reconciliation to heart. || 14 hours ago
  • I want justice - oceans of it. I want fairness - rivers of it. That’s what I want. That’s all I want. [Amos 5:24] || 1 day ago
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