It is always empowering to read an article about those who truly practice Christianity. It is sad to read articles about those who in misguided ways do damage to the essential message of Christ. Rev. Terry Jones, a pastor who is gaining some notoriety for his commitment to burn the Koran on 9/11, is an example of someone whose words damage that essential message of unconditional love.
One can view scripture in many ways. One can create a loving, merciful compassionate God. One can create an angry, vengeful God as well. I recall listening to the authors of the “Left Behind” series as they discussed their view of a “slaughtering Jesus.” Still a head-scratcher for me.
I believe deeply that is why Jesus living on this earth is so critical, why the concept of the Divine Human is central to Christian New Church theology. One simply cannot find the cruel Jesus in the New Testament. This is Man who never carried a sword. This is a Man who never set aside a foreign faith system as being “of the devil.” This is a Man who quietly talked the crowd into putting down stones ready to be cast at a sinner, not a demagogue inciting the crowd to pick up stones in vengeful hate.
One can takes words out of context to cobble together an angry Jesus. What one cannot do is look at the context of His entire life – words and actions – and come up with anything but a deeply loving merciful God. This is not a God who burns Korans. There are rooms for grey at times. In other areas of our life there are not. This is one of the later. Being a Christian does not mean burning the Koran.