The time has come in our current debates regarding Islam and the Qur’an burning to unleash our most fearsome weapon here at Higgins: the Official Press Release.
We here at the Home Office recognize that radical Love is the order of the day, but when it comes to the dangerous militants at the 50 strong church in Florida threatening disunity with our Muslim brothers and sisters in Christ, we shall wage war using the fiercest of social statements! It is far too dangerous to ignore such silly Islamophobia because between the loud voice of Pastor Terry and friends and the media frenzy surrounding him, others may think we have no need of our fair share of public attention!
While some church bodies may encourage their clergy to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Word and Sacrament, incurring Christ-like thoughts, words and deeds which combat hate in this world, it is simply not enough. We must instead ensure the entire world knows our opposition to bigotry, racism, hatred, fear, and the most loathsome of faults, disunity with our Muslim brothers and sisters in Christ not through the Gospel, but by means of a social statement.
It is time to pick up where our brother Martin Luther left off and then some. Luther faced the great Muslim invasions of Europe and he soon had the Mohammidians leaving copies the Qur’an at his doorstep and in hotel rooms. And so, in an astounding act of unity, Luther called for the publication of the Qur’an and Christians to read it! The Reverend Paul McCain noted in his recent article that “Luther knew that side by side, the Bible would overwhelm the Qur’an with its truth and with its message of salvation.” (http://cyberbrethren.com/2010/09/08/burn-the-quran-no-absolutely-not/)
Silly Reverend McCain! The right evangelical answer is to publish the Qur’an from our clearing houses and insert a copy of the social statement as a complimentary bookmark! Certainly the Bible, let alone preaching, teaching, and the Sacraments, won’t help anyone know how to respond to the Qur’an and the Muslim community!
We have come to know in our Brave New Church that the only thing that shall fight the evils of disunity, lovelessness and injustice in our present age is a series of fearless Social Statements. Nothing, not even the preaching and teaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, can do that great work of unity and understanding as the power of the Social Statement.
It is never enough to quell the voices of sin, death, and the power of the devil with preaching and neighborliness! Do not attempt to eat at a table with your Muslim neighbors! Do not invite such people into your churches or attempt faithful and ecumenical conversation! And, at all costs, never tell them about the love of Jesus Christ! To participate in any of the above activities would be offensive to the Muslim people and we do not want to cause this burdened community any heartache by hearing about the Jesus Christ behind our love, vocations, and neighborly care. We are to be a ministry of presence, namely in the presence of our most recent news release!
We must throw our hope on the sharp barbs of our Social Statements! Trust us here at the Brave New Church. We’re professionals.
*A short note that in the event the sharp edges are not clear enough:Bishop Barbie condemns the scheduled Qur’an burning. Our Muslim neighbors are in need of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, not fear and hatred on the part of professed Christians. For more reading about Christians and fear, see St. Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 11:23-12:10, Philippians 4, and Hebrews 13 (to name only three). It seems to Bishop Barbie there is more than enough to worry about in our Brave New Church – participating in acts of hatred really eat up precious time.