After the Koran is Burned . . .

7 Aug

Galatians 3:13:  “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us:  for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.” 


I recently found out that the Muslim religion is different than the Christian religion in what is seen as an appropriate penalty for the American soldiers who burned several Korans in an incinerator, being unaware that they were Korans.


The American military justice system, under which, fortunately, these men fall, is willing to educate them about appropriate responses to Muslim customs, and to let it go at that.


The Muslim system, on the other hand, regards this as a capital offense and will settle for nothing less than imprisonment for the men who did it, however unintentionally.  There are even those who would call for their death. 


One Muslim theologian explained that desecrating a Koran is an unforgivable sin to a Muslim.  Intent has nothing to do with it.  A Koran got desecrated, so someone must be punished.


The Christian religion differs in that we have a Sinbearer.  We have Someone outside of ourselves to both intercede for us with God when we do something wrong and to take our guilt away.  Christ is the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world, as John the Baptist called Him when He was on earth.


Not only does He take away our unintentional sin, things like the burning of the Korans in our story above, but He also gloriously takes away our intentional sin, once we confess it to Him.  And, amazingly, we find as we continue to live and move and have our being in Him, that He truly takes away all our sin, even that which we don’t confess due to our own stubbornness.  If He did not, no one would go to heaven, for none of us is righteous enough to make it there, if we only have a partial forgiveness of sin.


Truly Christ bore all our sin in His death on the cross and He will forever cover it all by His righteousness, once we have been saved.  Praise His Name!


Now, how do we Christians behave toward each other when a wrong has been done?  Do we treat something a brother or sister has done to us as though it were a Koran that has been burned, and vow that there will never be any forgiveness for that person?  Do we act as though we had no Sinbearer in our faith?  We tell Muslims that the difference between our faith and theirs is that we believe a Sinbearer came to obtain forgiveness for the human race, but do we live as though we believe that?


Do we realize that, as Christ died to procure my forgiveness of sins, so He died to procure my brother’s?  Do we set our brother or sister free from any grudge we might hold after that person has wronged us?  Do we forgive from the heart, as we have been forgiven?


You see, it is hypocritical of us to point out that Muslims call the burning of the Koran an unforgivable sin if we too have a pet list of things we consider unforgivable sins.  We Christians have a Sinbearer who shed His precious blood to obtain our forgiveness.  Holding  a brother or sister in an everlasting grudge only shows that we don’t believe the blood of Christ holds much power over sin. 


Oh, my precious friend, let’s not undervalue the blood of our Lord like that.  Let us forgive one another from the heart!


P.S.  The Bible also teaches that Christ was the Sinbearer for the entire world.  That would include Muslims.  So we need to be prepared to lovingly share the good news with Muslims, too, that a Sinbearer has come for us all . . . If you should happen to be Muslim and be reading this, my fondest hope would be that you would read the Bible and see for yourself whether Christ is the Sinbearer for the human race.  If we Christians are right about that, then Christ didn’t just come for Christians, but also for Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, atheists, and everyone else.  We all have sinned and we all need someone to free us from ourselves and our sins. 

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