Read The Quran Sunday: A Reactionary Absurdity

You may have heard by now that in reaction to the Quran burning, another church in Flordia has decided to do the opposite, to read the Quran. That's right, as a part of Sunday morning worship, a UCC congregation led by pastor Larry Reimer will read the Quran.

Reimer says that this idea was born out of a reaction to the burning festivities. His congregants approached him wondering what they should do about the burning and how they should react, immediately after catching wind of the burning plot. Reading the Quran was their idea. The pastor wrongly says, "Christianity, Judaism, and Islam are all part of the Abrahamic tree of faith. We all believe in the same God, and in many aspects we are all trying to accomplish the same goals." Well, this just depends on what Jew, Christian or Muslim you ask; it is a terrible over-generalization with only some less than half-truths.

Reimer goes on to say, "And in Islam, there are things that I think any follower of any other religion could learn from. Take prayer, for example. In Islam, one prays at least five times a day. The discipline to do that? Few of us have it. And like Christianity and Judaism, there is a strong call to love God and your neighbor." Personally, I consider this reactionary event an absurd spectacle. It is one thing to react by reaching out to one's neighbors but it is another thing to sacrifice one's own worship and sacred rituals for another. Trading the name of Yahweh on Sunday morning for Allah (or just morphing them into the same thing) or replacing the name of Christ and the Scriptures of our faith with those of Muslim personages and texts is an affront to the Christian faith. Is there a time and place for reading the Quran and having dialog and meal-time with Muslim folks? Absolutely, but worship time should not be placed on the altar of "novelty" and "innovation" and done in the name of "tolerance" just to make a point.

While many are calling this "outreach," I see it less as Christian outreach or even evangelism and more as Christians doing Islamic evangelism. Handing out copies of the Quran to families on Sunday morning is quite offensive. In the Hebrew Scriptures (the Old Testament), God's people are commanded to enter towns and demolish things contrary to their faith, especially idols. Yet, here we are, thousands of years later, in the name of tolerance and sensitivity, embracing other ideologies, promoting contrariwise religions and even distributing their worldviews and stamping it as positive.

Don't get me wrong, I am for Christian dialog and conversation and peace and even as I said in this previous post, submission. But submission does not mean sacrificing one's Christian faith to achieve the end-goal of coexistence or even peace. Submission means serving others in the name of Christ all the while maintaining the Christian faith one embodies, even if it means loving the so-called "other" or "enemy." The Quran reading represents to me, a faith gone terribly awry. Again, there is a proper time and place for it and what is being promoted is NOT it! There is also a time and a place for worship, devotion and reaffirming the Christian faith, the corporate gathering of believers (usually on Sunday morning around the world), is one of those times and places!

Some may level the charge that this is mere Islamophobia or fear-driven on my part. It is neither of those. Again, read THIS POST. What it is, is a call to not "burn" the principles of our faith in the name of advocating or embracing the principles of another religion. To read those things into my article HERE is to totally misread and to totally miss the point. When the Early Church came together, to be sure, they were not reading the texts of other religious movements in an effort to create a false unity or to redefine their own identities. Instead, they remained rooted in their Scriptures (the Old Testament) and later, into the 4th century CE and beyond, also the New Testament.

The reductionistic approach that attempts to morph Judaism, Islam, Christianity and/or any other religion into one is both highly offensive to those of us who take our faiths seriously and incredibly ignorant on many levels, especially the theological level. So, this Sunday, I will not read the Quran during worship nor will I promote or support it, as my friend James McGrath desires for all to do. In the end, it is nothing more than a reactionary absurdity that has burnt the Bible and the truths it proclaims just as much as, if not more than, the literal burning of any book such as the Quran.

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