We can all learn many lessons by looking closely at the case of Terry Jones. Terry Jones is the fifty-eight year old pastor who made a public plea for people worldwide to burn the Quaran! W-H-A-T! At first, when we hear that we think it’s crazy which it is…but it shows what can happen when people get frustrated about the world around them and group think takes over! Do I really think Terry Jones really think it’s a good idea. I think he did at first and then he changed his mind.
But, it makes me ask the question about this minister: “What happened?” If you research stories of Terry Jones, you’ll find that published reports indicate that he served as a missionary for over thirty years. You’ll also find a report that indicates that he was ousted as the pastor of another church of eighty odd members within the last couple of years.
However, if you’ll listen to a widely circulated taped plea of his; he sounds like this is a must nothing waivering.
But was this just a burn the Quoran speech or something deeper? Apparently, the group felt that they could stop Muslims from building a mosque into Ground Zero and someone thought they might “blackmail: the Muslim community into going along with it.
Now quite frankly such a threat against Christians would have opposite results…and blackmail would be readily rejected.
Now, if I’m honest I’ll say this: “I do not know all of the facts; but pray for Terry Jones and his congregation.” Not because I personally think they are so horrible, but because God‘s instruction must be primary in our lives if we call ourselves Christians.
Here are some scriptures that might help us understand what must be our course as believers of the bible:
1I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
2For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
3For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
4Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
Ephesians 1:16-23 (King James Version)
16I Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;
17That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
18The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
19And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
20Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
21Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
22And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
23Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
Pastors are held to a higher standard; but surely Pastor Jones is expressing frustration over what he perceives as a spiritual threat.
Ephesians 6:10-19 (King James Version)
10Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
19And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
As for me personally, I think Terry Jones ought to make it his mission to get out into the world to preach the gospel. He’d be a lot more effective that way. Do I believe in spiritual warfare? No doubt…but there is a better way.
THERE’S ANOTHER SIDE TO THIS THAT MAY BE IMPORTANT NOT TO OVERLOOK
You see Pastor Jones is like a lot of Americans who understand their rights to freedom of speech. Here in this country people can say what they think without going to jail or be penalized. That doesn’t happen in most places…people cannot protest and they can’t express such an unpopular opinion. Many groups would not understand this because they believe in the power of controlling the people. So Terry Jones and his church have the right to express their opinions. A lot of people won’t come out and say it but they agree with them in theory but maybe not in execution of it. What does that mean? It means that while no one wants to burn a Quran (what would that accomplish); many people are frustrated and trying to cope with this aggressive Muslim element that has surfaced. People want the influence to stop and they are getting desperate. Unfortunately, the Terry Jones saga may actually be the tip of the iceberg. I hope not.
I urge anyone reading this to pray not only for Terry Jones and his church; but also for the situation.
PLEASE NOTE: Due to the interest many of you expressed regarding yesterday’s message, I have decided to continue with the same theme today.
“Beloved, I wish all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” (3John2)
COMMENT: I have nothing against the so-called “Prosperity Message”. I can’t find any place in the Bible where Christians are asked to take a vow of poverty. However, there are some of us who are so anxious for a quick financial “fix” that they grab a couple of prosperity promises from the Bible, meditate on them and neglect their walk with the Lord. As our Lead Scripture says, God wants our soul (mind, will and emotions) to prosper as we prosper. In other words, we must build a spiritual foundation first. That foundation is a continual lifestyle built on the Word of God. We are to seek FIRST the kingdom of God and His Righteousness [His way of doing and being right], and all these things shall be added to us. (Matthew 6:33)
CONFESSIONS FOR PROSPERITY
THE LORD HAS PLEASURE IN THE PROSPERITY OF HIS SERVANT, AND ABRAHAM’S BLESSINGS ARE MINE. (Psm. 35:27 and Gal. 3:14)
I HAVE GIVEN TO THE POOR. I CARE ABOUT THEM. THEREFORE I AM BLESSED. (Proverbs 28:27)
SAVE NOW, I BESEECH YOU O LORD; SEND NOW PROSPERITY , O LORD AND GIVE TO ME SUCCESS. (Psm. 118:25)
THE BLESSING OF THE LORD BRINGS ME WEALTH, AND HE ADDS NO TROUBLE TO IT. (Proverbs 10:22)
GOD WILL ENRICH ME SO THAT I CAN GIVE EVEN MORE GEREROUSLY. (2 Cor. 9:11)
GOD ENDOWS ME WITH WEALTH AND FILLS MY TREASURIES BECAUSE I LOVE HIM. (Proverbs 8:21)
I HONOR THE LORD WITH MY WEALTH AND FROM THE FIRST OF ALL MY PRODUCE; SO MY STOREHOUSE IS FILLED WITH PLENTY AND MY VATS OVERFLOW WITH NEW WINE. (Proverbs 3:9&10)
SOME PLANT ONLY A FEW SEEDS AND GET A SMALL CROP. BUT I PLANT GENEROUSLY AND I RECEIVE A GENEROUS CROP. (2 Cor. 9:6)