"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

The Absolute Absurdity of Apologizing for Burning the Koran

The United States is at war with radical Islam. We hold Taliban prisoners in Afghanistan, Guatanamo Bay, and various prisons in America. Recently, Taliban prisoners in Afghanistan were caught passing notes using their Korans. American military forces confiscated the Korans in question, as well as other Islamic religious materials, and burned them. Muslims rioted in the streets in reaction to the burning of their holy book. American soldiers were brutally murdered in response. Tens of thousands of Muslims now are protesting in the Afghan streets shouting, "Death to America." Our American President went on public television and apologized 'profusely' for the 'inadvertant' burning.

Why is our President and military apologizing for the burning of the Koran? We are at war. If radical Muslim prisoners are passing notes using their religious materials, then those materials should be burned, even if it is the Koran, the Bible, the Book of Mormon, or any other religious holy book. I know what radical Muslims believe about the Koran. I also know what radical Muslims believe about murder. The Taliban said of American soldiers two days ago,  "Kill them, beat them, take them as prisoners and teach them such a lesson that they never summon the courage to abuse the holy Quran again." When dealing with religious fanatics who believe murder is an appropriate response for the burning of their religious material--ONE SHOULD NEVER APOLOGIZE.

The President should order the military to do what United States General John J. "Blackjack" Pershing did in the Philippines in 1911 when his troops were faced with terrorism from radical Muslims. Documentation is scarce, and Snopes is unsure whether Pershing simply threatened a particular course of action, or actually did what he threatened. Either way, Pershing definitely NEVER APOLOGIZED for anything. Faced with increasing terrorist attacks by Islamic fundamentalists, Pershing threatened the Mullahs by saying, "(If you don't stop) we will splatter your houses and your families with pig's blood. If you attack us and are killed, we will bury you in pig-skins." Pershing knew that radical Muslims believe no person enters heaven who dies with pigs' blood on him or is buried among pig carcasses, and he used their beliefs against them.

Some contemporary accounts suggested that Pershing followed through with his threat after his forces captured some radicals who attacked and killed Americans in the Philippines. Pershing is said to have tied the captured terrorists to wooden posts, slaughtered some pigs, and then ordered his men to pour the pigs' blood over the radical Muslims. The terrorists were then shot. All of them were executed. All but one. One terrorist was tied to the stake but was intentionally NOT shot. The survivor watched as Pershing's men untied the dead, blood-covered bodies of his comarades. The soldiers then dumped the dead terrorists in fresh graves. The bodies were covered with pigs' carcasses and buried. Pershing ordered his men to cut the survivor loose. The U.S. commander told the surviving terrorist to go back to his superiors and report to them everything that he had seen. The Muslims became terrified of Pershing as a result. He was deemed a hard and unapologetic man who met force with vicious force. Consequently, there was peace in the Philippines for the next fifty years. The Mullahs even made Pershing an Honorary Chieftan and never again gave him trouble during his military career.

Fast forward one hundred years. Our military is now facing the same problems in Afghanistan that Pershing faced in the Philippines. Unfortunately, our President is apologizing for our military burning the Koran. That is absolutely absurd. I wonder what Obama would say if the U.S. commander in Afghanistan did what Pershing did in 1911? Sound too tough? Well, the U.S. government should be tough. The U.S. military should be even tougher. Our government bears a sword of vengeance, and it should be used. Churches are in the business of redemption, forgiveness and love. The United States government is in the business of justice. Any government that apologizes to murderers for burning their holy book has lost its moral bearings. You don't apologize when at war. If you have to apologize, you shouldn't be at war. The United States is at war. NO MORE APOLOGIES. The more you apologize, the weaker you look. The weaker you are perceived, the more your people are murdered.

Now, if you are having a tough time reconciling this post with my previous posts on the forgiveness, love and acceptance of God for sinners who embrace His Son, or the love that Christians should have for their enemies, then you don't quite understand that the church is never called to be the government nor is the government ever called to be the church. For the world to be free, the United States needs to be a strong nation, backed by a strong military, with core values of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Muslims should be free to worship in the United States, but any Muslim terrorist or nation who devalues human life, refuses liberty for his neighbor, prevents the pursuit of happiness, or kills someone who refuses to be a Muslim, should be a a terrorist  or nation that is dealt with by force, not apologies.

(Update) - The U.S. soldier who murdered women and children in Afghanistan should be executed. In fact, he should be handed over to the Taliban and let them execute him. To murder women and children, as what happened in 9/11, is not war, it is genocide. Anyone guilty of genocide should be put to death (see the Nuremburg Trials). And, any moron who tries to equate the unconscionable actions of this murdering US soldier to the actions of other soldiers fighting a just war against genocidal murderers should move to Afghanistan and live with the Taliban.


70 comments:

Leigh said...

Wade, I am a long time reader, first time commenter.
Thank you for this post. It should be read by every American. I have a nephew deployed with the Oklahoma National Guard in Afghanistan right at this moment. The last we heard, he should be on a plane out of there Saturday as his unit's deployment comes to an end. Our family can barley stand to watch the news as we wait to know that he is safely on his way home. He turned 23 years old this past weekend. I hate that he is in harm's way and his commander in chief apologizes to terrorist thugs. Unbelievable.

Christiane said...

Wade, my niece is still on duty in Afghanistan. If the President did something with the intention of diffusion some of the upset, in hopes that it might spare our troops harm, then I'm very supportive of him.

Even if our Linz was home already, there are still many dear sons and daughters of America and other allied countries on duty there and in harm's way. They need support. And I think their Commander-In-Chief gave them that.

J.D.Rector said...

Wade:
As an old Army brat and the son of a Korean War veteran, I agree with you totally! Back in 1981, my wise father said that in the years to come our greatest danger, as free citizens, would come from the radical muslims. My dear old dad, the wise veteran, was correct.

Christiane;
You can never appease a terrorist based group of people. I think our President could have given the troops support in a way without appeasing the radicals by apologizing.
God Bless America and may He protect and guide our armed forces who guard the freedoms we enjoy!
J.D. Rector

Steven Stark said...

I am a little confused by the meaning of some of the rhetoric here. The following doesn't have anything to do with the president's actions, I am just curious about the underlying ideology of this post.

Are you suggesting that the United States should not behave in a Christian manner? Or are you saying that it is impossible for a government to behave in a Christian manner? Or are you saying that the church should not desire a government that behaves like the church? If so, then is this a bit hypocritical? Is Christianity irrelevant on the level of government? I am interested, because Christianity was born as a counter-cultural moment opposed to the the Empire, so what happens to Christianity when it becomes the Empire? Can it survive with any resemblance to the original movement?

It also makes me wonder if there is any actual forgiveness in the ideology here, or if "forgiveness" is actually just a shifting of punishment elsewhere, which, in the aggregate, is not really forgiveness. Mercy and justice cannot really coexist, since mercy means that a "just" punishment has been mediated (not passed onto another, which would be fundamentally unjust).

But to the president's apology - it seems obvious that the president was apologizing to Muslims in general, not to radical terrorists. I am sure that a smart Muslim leader would apologize to Catholics for inadvertently burning blessed wafers, even if some of the Catholics were violent terrorists, because that act would be offensive to all of them.

I can understand the need to keep up the appearance of strength, however, in dealing with a more honor-based, retributive society. But we also have a much, much, much larger Muslim population with whom we should constantly stress we are not at war.

Anonymous said...

If the US gov was in the business of justice we wouldn't be there - we'd be in Saudi Arabia. Funny how that works

Carl Medearis' blog post is on point

Smear pig's blood on their families? Seriously? Armed with a rifle and a US uniform you would, as a citizen of the kingdom of heaven have no problem doing that the children of an detainee? Blowback is really a simple concept when turned introspective

But even if burning an occupied nation's holy book was somehow justified - how foolish of our military brass to burn in the trash what was the enemy's means of plotting intelligence. Can you imagine how derelict our law enforcement at home would be if they dealt with prisoners in this manner? No wonder this is an endless, pointless war, and an epic failure since Tora Bora 2002. You'd almost think we were trying to stay there...

I love it when you break down the Word Wade but I'm saddened by this one.

Wade Burleson said...

Stephen,

"Are you saying the United States government should not behave in a Christian manner?"

Absolutely.

Our military is not called to turn the other cheek. Our military is not called to love their enemies. Our military's mission is to kill the enemy and scare the living daylights out of the enemy.

The enemy of the United States is any terrorist or any safe harbor nation for terrorists, who murders people who reject a particular religious faith (see Iran), who violates the human rights of life and liberty, and who seeks to impose their religious or cultural values BY FORCE.

Stephen, its hard for me to fathom how anyone believes US gov't and by extension, the US military should display the characteristics of Jesus Christ that those of us who follow Christ display. Our government is secular and its sole goal is to protect human rights and freedom. IF WE DECLARE WAR (and there could be a good argument for NOT declaring war on anyone in the middle east), but IF WE DECLARE WAR (and we have), WE DON'T APOLOGISE FOR BURNING THE KORAN WHEN TERRORISTS USE THE KORAN TO PASS NOTES IN PRISON. That may not be Christian, but it is definitely the way to obtain peace through strength.

Ask Israel.

Wade Burleson said...

Anonymous 1:37,

"I love it when you break down the Word Wade but I'm saddened by this one."

I would say I'm sorry to read this, but the truth is I never write to impress anyone or keep anyone from being sad. You are free to disagree, and you should thank God you live in a country where you can disagree freely and openly.

The Christian pastor in Iran who is about to be executed--not for MURDER, not for BOMBING, not for TERRORIST ACTS--but for refusing to agree with the principles of Islam and abide by the teachings of the Koran, does not have that same FREEDOM.

Who's going to protect him?

Anonymous said...

Would someone explain to me how we can plan an operation to slip into Pakistan and Kill Bin Laden with no one knowing about it, and yet we cannot burn a few Korans without the whole world knowing about it.

If our military is no better at keeping secrets than that we are in big trouble.

Wade Burleson said...

Christiane,

I agree with you that the MOTIVES of the President were good.

It's his wisdom that was lacking. The very thing you desire--your neice to come home from the war safely--is the very thing that is LESS likely to happen when the commander-in-chief is apologizing rather than sending in a strong, powerful military force and giving them instructions to take no mercy on terrorists and don't worry about being politically correct.

Wade Burleson said...

Anonymous,

"Smear pig's blood on their families? Seriously?"

Your argument is with Pershing, not me. The results speak for themselves.

Johnny D. said...

Wade, I see where you’re coming from. I guess in a perfect world, I’d feel good about what you’re saying, because then I’d believe we were there in Afghanistan for the right reasons. I can’t say that I really believe that. But we are there – whether I like it or not or think the circumstances for our intervention are perfect or warranted.

My U.S. Army son has been ordered there. He says, “That’s why I signed up, Dad,” but I don’t care for the whole thing. Having “skin in the game” gives one, I think, a different perspective.

I actually have a lot to say about this, but I don’t think I can get it into words without starting a big “to-do,” and I just don’t feel like, at the present time, defending a position.

But I am reading along here and taking it all in. I appreciate your perspective – it definitely has me thinking. Thank you.

Wade Burleson said...

Johnny D.

I hear you. Thanks for the thoughtful comment.

Wade

Craig said...

This isn't about what radical, extremist Muslims believe about the Koran, it is about what MOST Muslims believe about the Koran-- that it is literally the WORD of Allah. Yet for the majority of Muslims it isn't the WORD of Allah in the same way the Bible is the Word of God, it is the WORD of Allah in the way Christians believe JESUS is the Living Word of God. When we equate the Koran as the "Muslim Bible," in which the physical paper and print is not holy, just the ideas they represent, then we severely misunderstand Islam.

The apology was not to appease extremists. I think Obama's track record of continuing the "war on terror" pretty much speaks for itself. The apology was for every other Muslim in the world who are potential allies with the United States, but were seriously offended by the burning of the Koran's.

Frank Gantz said...

Wade, spot on! I caught a ton of heat when I wrote an article that I was glad Bin Laden had been killed.

You don't negotiate with terrorists and you certainly don't apologize.

Craig said...

And concerning your comments about Pershing's "effectiveness." I know this is irrelevant to you, since you believe the government's job isn't to act like Christians (a very valid viewpoint that I move in and out of sympathizing with,) but Jesus' teachings on non-violence is probably about the most "ineffective" strategy when it comes to safety. But the way of the Cross is not really concerned with safety, it's concerned with faithfulness.

Anonymous said...

"Who's going to protect him? "

In the ministry of the gospel our safety is never guaranteed and in fact is most often the means of its promulgation. The NT writers rejoiced in news of persecution of the saints and they encouraged the persecuted with prophetic hope for the day when Christ Himself would enact retribution and judgment - not principalities.

Are you willing to make the same argument for Christians in S.A., N. Korea, China and send our boys there as well to deliver 'freedom'? Why not?

"Your argument is with Pershing, not me. The results speak for themselves."

You're using Pershing to support your argument. With that logic the results would speak most effectively by carrying out complete annihilation.

I'm trying to understand this - "its hard for me to fathom how anyone believes US gov't and by extension, the US military should display the characteristics of Jesus Christ that those of us who follow Christ display."

These are units comprised of individuals - many of whom would probably claim to be a follower of Jesus. Are you saying as a believer in the military my faith and conscience is subservient to my role in the unit?

Anonymous said...

...and in fact *persecution* is most often the means of its promulgation...

Anonymous said...

Craig said: "Yet for the majority of Muslims it isn't the WORD of Allah in the same way the Bible is the Word of God, it is the WORD of Allah in the way Christians believe JESUS is the Living Word of God."

Excellent point. This is VERY true if you've had the privilege of living amongst Muslims. In fact I've found treatment of my own Bible can be a huge stumbling block to Muslims if not taken into consideration. Having it on the floor, under other books, etc should be avoided if you want to be taken seriously.

Steven Stark said...

I feel that there is some cognitive dissonance here. If Christians do not think that the government they support should act in accordance with their Christian values, then are there actually any Christian values there? Or is it all lip service to words like "forgiveness" and "mercy"? But when it means something concrete, it disappears?

In other words, Christianity is all well and good until we might lose something?

I am exploring this, not making any accusations. I don't have the answer now for what the terms "forgiveness" or "mercy" really mean on the governmental level, or how Christian values should become manifest through wordly strength, when Christianity was born out of wordly weakness.

I think all the time about what Jesus or Ghandi would have been like as governmental leaders. Perhaps, in all honesty, they would have been terrible? Or great. I just don't know.

But it does make one wonder, when so many Christians want certain "values" to be enforced by the government, what is actually going on when the same Christians say that other Christian values should be actively ignored by the same government? This is odd. Whatever the answer is, there is a disconnect here.

I agree with peace through strength, by the way, though not necessarily with what we choose to do with that strength at times. I have no problem with the apology for the Koran-burning. That's just good diplomacy. As far as "strength" Obama has prosecuted the war in Afghanistan much more firmly than Bush did, for better or for worse.

Bob Cleveland said...

General Patton said something interesting once (and probably more): “The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other guy die for his.” Perhaps our President (but probably not this one) will learn some day that, if we're to win the war against radical Islamic terrorists, that's precisely how we're going to have to do it.

Benjamin Netanyahu said many years ago, speaking of Al Qaeda, "The difference is, those people are willing to die for their ideology". With a few notable exceptions, which usually make the news, we're not. Perhaps that's even more tragic than terrorists.

Thy Peace said...

I am afraid this "War on Terror" is misguided. The sole purpose of this war is to benefit the military industrial complex and the police state in this country.

Paul Burleson said...

Wade,

John McAdams, Marquette University/Department of Political Science, said this one time when debating the death penalty as a deterrent..."If we execute murderers and there is in fact no deterrent effect, we have killed a bunch of murderers. If we fail to execute murderers, when doing so would have, in fact, deterred other murders, we have allowed the killing of a bunch of innocent victims. I would much rather risk the former. This, to me, is not a tough call."

It seems to me the same idea, different issue, is present in this discussion.

You say that you'd rather our government risk the offending of some over their religious views rather than being weak in protecting our troops during war. I happen to agree.

The other side says the seeking of forgiveness is not weakness but morality. Doing so will not cause our troops to be in danger but does show our values.

We say the context of war makes it a different situation entirely. The debate goes on.

Both of these views are perhaps thoughtful arguments and can be held, as you point out, by thoughtful people just having differing opinions as citizens of a nation. [Which is also true of the government's actions on the death penalty.]

But the government CANNOT do in either case what it does BECAUSE it is the Christian thing to do. Our Constitution won't permit it. That would establish Christianity as the basis of government action.

In America religion is not to be imposed by law or government upon anyone. In fact, we take great care that the majority cannot impose its religious beliefs by force of law upon the minority. Religious belief is none of the government's business. That is a matter for individuals, families, churches, and religious organizations.

Thus, those beliefs CANNOT be used as an establishment for governmental action or laws either.

I believe your argument is consistent and clear. Some may not agree, but any charge of you being inconsistent or unclear falls on it's face. IMHO!

Christiane said...

Thanks for responding, Wade.

I am very emotional about my opinion because of family in active service, but even logically, I cannot agree with you on this one.

The man who orders our troops has to sign the letters to their families when they are brought home flag-draped.
The 'burning' was not what should have been done . . . it was (excuse the pun, 'inflammatory')
and whoever did it knew that and then saw that the word got out to the Afghanis . . . with the resulting upset, and the deaths that followed.

Obama has information and advisors on this who understand the thinking of the Afghanis . . . he is likely listening at least to that intel . . . and as for his 'wisdom', I'm impressed that he did what he thought was right for our troops in the field, at the peril of his own 'popularity', which does show a great deal of character, sadly lacking in some who seek office who will say anything to get votes.
Let's face it, Obama has been attacked and criticized no matter what he has done.

If he hadn't 'apologized' for the burning, I think the right would have criticized him for the deaths of those troops anyway.
The American public is aware of the constant criticism of President Obama from the right . . . but that criticism has lost it's integrity with the extreme claims of 'he's a Muslim', 'he's a baby-killer', he was born in Kenya, and so on.
After a while, the general public yawns and ignores, or gets mad at the accusers for the unfairness of some of the attacks. Then any respectful 'listening' to the loyal opposition stops, which is not healthy for our country.
But so it goes.

John G said...

Didn't king David Lead his nation AND his army??????

John G said...

Who made US world police???????

John G said...

This is why America is coming a part at the seams...radical insanity. UNBELIEVABLE

Steven Stark said...

Wade and Mr. Burleson,

Thanks for the interesting and thoughtful words. Separation of church and state is certainly of paramount importance in our country.

Here is another way to put the dilemma as I see it here.

Presumably, most people want their government to behave a certain way, not because it is the Christian or religious thing to do, but because it is the right thing to do.

Do you think that sometimes the Christian thing to do is not necessarily the right thing to do?

Wade Burleson said...

Steven,

You ask, "Do you think that sometimes the Christian thing to do is not necessarily the right thing to do?"

Steven, it seems to me you are still confusing two issues. You are acting as if the Christian individual and the sovereign and free government of a nation ARE ONE IN THE SAME. The government has a DIFFERENT ROLE and AGENDA to that of the individual Christian.

As a Christian I am called to forgive my enemies, to turn the other cheek when smitten, and to walk the extra mile .... but when the government of a sovereign and free nation is empowered by God to protect human liberty and individual rights, that government SHOULD NOT forgive the murderer, SHOULD NOT turn the other cheek to terrorists, and SHOULD NOT walk the extra mile when provoked (see Romans 11). The government bears "the sword of vengeance to punish (take vengeance) on evil doers" (Romans 13:4). Again, taking vengeance and punishing evil doers IS NOT THE ROLE OF THE INDIVIDUAL CHRISTIAN. But it is, according to the Word of God, the role of government.

So, to answer your question it is VERY CHRISTIAN for the military of a free and sovereign government to execute vengeance--tough, powerful and just vengeance--on terrorists, murderers and oppressors of human rights and human dignity. That's not my role as an individual, but it is the assigned role of government.

And, if the government of a people ever turns on its people and becomes the abuser and murderer of innocents, then the people have the right to bear arms and overthrow their government.

Wade Burleson said...

By the way, I did not celebrate when the life of Osama Bin Laden was taken, but I believe it was the righteous, just and honorable role of our military to take him out.

Not my role--the government's role.

Ditto with all terrorists.

Rex Ray said...

Could you imagine the following request?

‘Please, may I ask you not to sell your merchandise in my Father’s House?’

Did that happen?

THEIR TABLES WERE KICKED OVER AND THEY FELT THE PAIN OF A WHIP!

The actions of Jesus did NOT contradict his teachings of how to treat your fellow man or your enemies.

Jesus gave us the example of how we are to act in WAR.

Some who work with Muslims say the anti-Christ will not be a person but will be Islam. What we see now is only scratching the surface.

Obama wrote ‘The Audacity of Hope’:

“They [Arab and Pakistani Americans] need specific reassurances that their citizenship really means something that America has learned the right lessons from the Japanese internments during World War II, and that I will stand with them should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.”

Sounds like a man with a chip on his shoulder against America. Too bad he doesn’t seem to feel the same for Christians being murdered by Muslims.

Anonymous said...

Why isn't China over there policing w us? Do they not feel threatened by "terrorism?" They share land.

Your same harsh beliefs are the same judgmental beliefs that hung Christ. HIGH & MIGHTY Christians....we're the only ones that know the truth? Tie them to stakes & murder those Muslims. Show them how tough we are. Like people don't already know we can turn them & there ancestors into radio-active dust.

Anonymous said...

Fear tactics only work while you stand over someone w a stick. Thats why I don't beat my children.

If church & state are separate, maybe the opinions of the leaders of such should keep there opinions to themselves as well, as not to influence one or the other.

Wade Burleson said...

"If church & state are separate, maybe the opinions of the leaders of such should keep there opinions to themselves as well, as not to influence one or the other."

This post is from my personal blog and I speak as an American citizen for myself only.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, that doesn't work out to well for people that know you. Your opinion Is always going to be that of a Paster, until you no longer hold that position.

Wade Burleson said...

Those that know me know that I speak for myself, and that my identity is not tied to what I do as a profession, but who I am as a person.

:)

Anonymous said...

If thats how you believe

Anonymous said...

Why do you get to have two opinions?
I take it that your "professional pastoral convictions" stays at work then as well, like every other tax paying citizen. See the problems caused when we live double lives.

Anonymous said...

I'm no bible scholar, but I'm pretty sure Jesus said, "Of all these commandments, the greatest is that you love one another."

Wade Burleson said...

Anonymous: "Amen!" and "Amen!"

The same Bible for which you profess no scholarship also says,

"For there is NO government authority, except that which is from God ... For governments are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil (in other words, "evil doers should FEAR the government" which Paul says in the next verse)... IF YOU DO WHAT IS EVIL, BE AFRAID; for government does not bear the sword of vengeance for nothing. Government is a minister of God, an avenger who brings WRATH on the one who practices evil ... For government rulers are SERVANTS of GOD, for THIS VERY THING (i.e. 'to bring wrath on the evildoer'). Render to your government the taxes due!! (Romans 13:1-7).

Don't know that it can be any clearer. :)

Bob Cleveland said...

Anonymous 2:59: "Love one another" was a command to the church. Specifically to the church.

Radical terrorists don't seem to be observing that, so they don't consider themselves to be part of our "one another". And with that, I agree.

Victorious said...

I'm in complete agreement, Pastor Wade. Thank you for your post!

B Nettles said...

Anyone care to speculate on whether any Korans burned in the Twin Towers?

Aussie John said...

Wade,

It's good to see people such as your father,Paul, and yourself doing some,not only Biblically, but socially, informed, clear thinking.

John G said...

So, if I'm not a member of the church, you don't have to love me? The same book that I claim to be NO scholar of also tells a story of a women that gave all she had, in comparison to the wealthy man who gave so much more. I recall Jesus more pleased w the poor woman's small gift than the wealthy mans large gift. You probably believe this only applies to money in your closed minded point of view. Do you not think Jesus would be more pleased if you forgave (loved) someone who had trespassed against you as opposed to just someone in your church. Christ laid down His life to show ypou & you still can't see it. Poor mis-informed souls

John G said...

And pastor, that verse sounds like the government does do Gods bidding. Why is there serration again???

Steven Stark said...

Hi Wade,

I think I can understand your position better now. I had thought you meant to separate the Christian thing to do from the practical thing to do. The following is an example from the original post of what confused me:

"Churches are in the business of redemption, forgiveness and love. The United States government is in the business of justice."

I still think there is a bit of "good cop/bad cop" in the rhetoric here that might not make total sense to me. For surely the hopes of a Christian is that the government, while not acting as the church, should act as the church would want it to act. So I am not sure the Christian can offer love and forgiveness to all.....except the enemies of the state, and still be acting Christian. But I also think one can fight without hate - and be strong as steel without being seduced by an "us vs. them" mentality and a loss of compassion.

I believe in a strong military for certain but everything we do must ultimately be an extension of love - even the protection of certain values by fighting ( as a last resort.) - or else it is wrong - whether done by individual, church or government.

Rex Ray said...

Wade.
I’m surprised no one has replied to ‘Jesus using a whip’. Does this not apply to war?

How about Theodore Roosevelt saying?

“Speak softly and carry a big stick.”

Rex Ray said...

PS
I believe Muslims see Obama’s apology as carrying a toothpick.

One Salient Oversight said...

Wade,

This is a Fox news beat up.

There are plenty of Conservative spokespeople out there who say that Obama did the right thing.

Conservative Victor Davis Hanson at The National Review, said It is unfair to criticize Obama for apologizing; Bush did it on an occasion or two, given the worry over attacks on American lives in a world of instant communications.

President Bush also apologised to Afghan leaders when an incident occurred some years ago.

Wade Burleson said...

One Salient Oversight,

Just an insight for you. I rarely listen to Fox New, never listen to Rush Limbaugh, and have no clue what FOX NEWS is saying about this issue because it was probably early January the last time I watched anything on Fox. Now, my wife, is a huge Fox fan, but I am not.

Wade Burleson said...

Rex Ray,

Your points are spot on in my opinion. Christians (like me) who believe in absolute forgiveness, immeasurable grace, and the unfathomable love of God -- need to realize that justice, and wrath, and vengeance are just as much qualities of God, and the receipients of the latter should fear falling into His hands. :)

stevenstarkmusic said...

"Christians (like me) who believe in absolute forgiveness, immeasurable grace, and the unfathomable love of God -- need to realize that justice, and wrath, and vengeance are just as much qualities of God, and the receipients of the latter should fear falling into His hands. :)"

But aren't "justice, wrath and vengeance" only moral if they are ultimately an extension of love? Isn't love the over-arching quality of God?

Wade Burleson said...

Steven,

Yes, it is a very loving thing to ban the murderer from people, to punish the thief in accordance to his crime, and to ensure that justice prevails.

stevenstarkmusic said...

Wade, I agree! I see justice as an active component of love, not as love's counter-weight.

Thanks for the conversation, as usual.

John G said...

So, who is the final decision maker on what is "just" & "unjust?" Who finally decides when pay backs have gone too far? If someone doesn't step up & say, "THAT IS ENOUGH!!!!" When does it end????? When one religion or the other is wiped off the face of the planet??? I believe God"s beauty is shown in many different cultures AND religions. I bet those people have more faith as a whole than the christian people as a whole. Christians have apparently lost there way. Burn a bible in the street of America, people will walk by & not say a word. People are indifferent here. Those people are devout. I am AMAZED at the ignorance of some of these posts.

John G said...

There is NO separation of church & state in the Muslim nations. Insult there religion & you have provoked there ENTIRE accumulations of states to anger. I do believe the Bible councils against the provoking of anger. I bet the Koran does as well.

Kelly said...

Sorry if already posted...

...but I remember hearing somewhere that when a Qur'an is desecrated by being written in (no matter what the content is) then the proper thing to do to purify it is to burn it.

This is much like some of our own rules governing the US flag. To burn it in protest is offensive, but to retire the flag or for a damaged flag, it is proper.

Could it be that these soldiers were trying to follow proper Islamic protocols, but that it's being used instead as an excuse to stir up trouble?

If that's the case, did we just throw our troops under the bus?

Anonymous said...

Fast forward one hundred years. Our military is now facing the same problems in Afghanistan...

AND in the Philippines.

http://fmso.leavenworth.army.mil/documents/sword.htm

CRS Report to U.S. Congress:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/terror/RL31265.pdf
/

Philip Miller said...

I think that is a common understanding in this generation, but go back a few generations and God's "over arching quality" was understood to be His holiness. I think this is a MAJOR shift in understanding the essential nature of God, and also how we as people are to relate and respond to Him. Thoughts?

Kristen said...

I think that is a common understanding in this generation, but go back a few generations and God's "over arching quality" was understood to be His holiness. I think this is a MAJOR shift in understanding the essential nature of God, and also how we as people are to relate and respond to Him. Thoughts?

I base my understanding of the overarching quality of God as love, not on what this generation says or doesn't say. I base it on the actual wording of the Bible text. When it says "God is love," "love" is a predicate nominative. In other words, the word "love" there is a noun, not an adjective, so it does not describe God-- it names God: it says who God is. It is not merely a description. It's like when Jesus says, "I am the life." "Life" is a predicate nominative that says who Jesus is-- He IS life. He is not simply saying, "I am alive."

But the Bible never uses the noun "holiness" in that manner. It doesn't say "God is holiness," but only "God is holy." "Holy" there is an adjective describing God. It is not the same quality of descriptor.

God is love. The nature of God is love. God is holy. Holy describes God. Since God is love, and God is holy, therefore, love-- the true nature of love-- is holy. Love desires no stain or wrongness in the beloved. Love seeks purity, righteousness and truth. Love is not warm fuzzies, it's selfless, self-sacrificing desire for true good to-- and goodness in-- the one being loved. George MacDonald said, "Love is a consuming fire."

The problem is not that we're misunderstanding the overarching quality of God. The problem is that we're misunderstanding the nature of love.

As for it being wrong to apologize for burning the Koran, I cannot agree. If the US caused the deaths of innocent civilians during a battle, we should-- and would, and do-- apologize. Unintended disrespect to the holy book of almost a third of the world, is the same sort of thing, in my mind. Apology is not weakness when it's the right thing to do. It is strength. It's what shows us to be better than terrorists.

Cynthia said...

"Recently, Taliban prisoners in Afghanistan were caught passing notes using their Korans. American military forces confiscated the Korans in question, as well as other Islamic religious materials, and burned them."

Wade, I read in the Washington Post that "U.S. officials said the books were mistakenly sent with a pile of trash for disposal before several Afghans identified them." There was no mention of the Korans being burned because Taliban prisoners were passing notes in them. What was the source for the note-passing piece?

If we did indeed, inadvertently burn the Korans, then an apology was in order (an apology to Muslims in general, not to "terrorist thugs"). I don't know that it had to be the President...but, it should have been from someone high up the foodchain.

I agree with you that the President of our country should not "do what Jesus would do." Jesus is responsible for the souls of his followers; our president, however, is responsible for the lives and well being of the American people. Two very different job descriptions. :)

Wade Burleson said...

Multiple sources, Cynthia, record the jihadists were using the Koran to pass notes. Go here to read the U.S. Congressman's words from Florida regarding the Korans being used by the Jihadists to pass notes. The jihadists were hoping the Korans would be taken from the prison and turned over to the Mullahs in the mosques. Rightfully, the U.S. burned the Korans.

John G said...

Kristen....you have SO ELEGANTLY put what I have so unskillfully been trying to get across. SO WHAT if they want to wipe us off the face of the planet. Love is bigger than that. Love conquers that. Forgiveness trumps hate. Love is the greatest of these commandments....EVEN IN TIME OF HATRED AND WAR!

John said...

I will ove my enemy and I do. I will pray for him, seek to minister to him in need and share the gospel with him. I think that scripturally embodies my responsibility to my enemies. I will not however, stand by and allow them to willfully destroy my life or those of my loved ones. That is not love.

Scripture is clear that in love God prefers His children with a Covenant love. His enemies with a preserving, Common love. Even God's love ends at the judgment for unbelievers, Nothing shall separate us (believers) from the love of God.

Thanks Wade for again writing a spot on article, clearly expounding the Scriptures even though unpopular.

John G said...

Pastor Wade, I believe you are an honest man, and you obviously have a heart to follow God's scriptures TO THE "T" & our heart is what God looks at. I don't believe our opinions are what get us in or keep us out of any "heaven" we may have the privilege of seeing one day. Respect for ones enemies shows character, the type of character a nation needs to posses in order to police the world. If our nation continues to offend other nations over & over making of NO value the beliefs and concerns of the people that live in these countries, EVENTUALLY they will rally together to overthrow. That doesn't mean they would be able to, it just insures war everywhere for a long time. Possibly even war on our soil. If we don't reel in the military spending on these undeclared "holy" wars, there won't be any Americans left to defend. They'll all be dead from starvation. When can we end this war?

John G said...

opinions are NOT* what get us in...

Gene S said...

I am coming to this discussion fairly late, but not in agreemenet with the criticism of the President's apology.

It is a diplomatic move on his part and I applaude it!

We already know that people of the Middle East are driven by hate and "reasons" for thousands of years to get even and kill.

I think that Jesus / Ghandi / MLK other peaceful dissenters used "turn the other cheek" to their ultimate advantage.

These are not the kind of people who have much heart or compassion and we are in a war with them. They have and will find ways to get even with their terrorism.

A little oil poured on troubled waters, at the lest, stands a chance of ending one more foolish reason to hate us more.

The smartest thing, in my view is to do as we have in Iraq---GET OUT!

Tim Tuggle said...

Let's get proactive. The U.S. Army should take a dozen or so Korans 'hostage'.

Every time an American soldier dies, burn a Koran. Or, better yet, have BBQ for the unit and use the Koran for kindling.

It is time our armed forces went both Roman and Romans 13 on this evil as a matter of common grace.

"Lord, convert the Muslims or lead our government to kill them as a matter of common grace, and forgive me for not caring much which."

Tim Tuggle

Rex Ray said...

Gene,

Been missing you.
Did Obama apologize to pour oil on trouble waters, OR did he apologize because he has said many times the Koran is HOLY?

What Christian believes a book from the devil is holy? duh

Jesus said, “…look on the fields; for they are WHITE already to harvest.” (John 4:35 KJ)

Most wheat is harvested when it’s brown, but when it turns WHITE it will fall to the ground in three days. (New translations were NOT written by farmers.)

I believe Jesus was telling where to do missions…lands that are receptive to the Gospel and we have a short time to gather the crop.

My son beat his head against the wall for seven years and did not convert one Muslim. We cannot understand their mind.

Once I scolded him for not stopping for two women hitch hiking which is common.

He replied, “If they got in the van and realized who we were, they would jump out regardless how fast we were going.”

Two events happened in the village he was living that was fifteen miles from Beersheba.

A Muslim couple fled to America to avoid death because they were not of the same tribe. After many years she wanted to see her mother one more time and was killed with a knife by her brother.

All Muslim tribes go to the same school. It was reported to a father that his daughter 14 was seen after school talking to a boy of a different tribe. She arrived home at the usual time but was locked in a small shed and burned alive by her father. He had restored honor to his family.

I think you’re right on “GET OUT!”

By the way, thanks for the advice you gave when I wrote as Anonymous #1.

Marcus said...

The Unites States is more likely to be ALLIED with extreme Muslim nations and groups than be at war with them. We invaded Iraq, not Saudi Arabia after all.

Sometimes it's benefited us when it comes to natural resources or against common foes. Some of our present enemies even have American funding and training in their history.