I got home in time to see the second plane hit the tower. By then we knew it was a terrorist attack. I remember the feelings as I watched the towers begin to crumble and fall to the ground. I couldn't believe my eyes. Our friend Kim was here and I remember us praying together for the people involved. I sat in front of the TV for the rest of the day as reports of the crashes at the Pentagon and Pennsylvania came in. I remember feeling numb for a while, and then getting angry. There was nothing I could do, but I was angry.
That evening I was teaching a class for Carson-Newman. I didn't have time to cancel it, so we abbreviated it and we had called a special prayer service at our church. Most of the people who gathered felt the same way; we were in shock and we were angry. But we turned our anger over to God as we spent time talking and praying together. I still cannot understand those who are not only willing to take their own life for a cause, but also willing to murder innocent lives as well.
In the news recently a pastor in Florida has been planning to burn 200 copies of the Koran, the Muslim holy book. There has been a huge outcry from government officials, celebrities, religious figures and others. Muslims across the world are outraged and many are demonstrating against the U.S. by burning flags and shouting "Death to America."
I'm not in favor of burning the Koran; though I do not accept it as a holy book, I think it should be respected as well as the religion it represents. But I do believe that this episode has revealed the huge difference between Christianity and Islam. Burn a stack of Bibles and Christians will be angry, we'll be hurt, we'll condemn the act as sacrilege; but we won't threaten to kill you or demonstrate by burning flags and effigies. We won't threaten worldwide repercussions. We will be angry and voice our anger, but we will also pray for those who commit such an act. We'll pray that the Lord would help them see the error of their ways and come to Him to receive forgiveness and eternal life.
Islam has been touted as a religion of peace, yet every time Muslims feel their holy book or prophet has been defamed, they strike out in violence, threatening riots and attacks and calling for the execution of the perpetrators. They will resort to violence to protect their books, their prophet and their god.
I pray for Pastor Terry Jones, that he would do the right thing. I pray for Muslims worldwide that they would come to know the Prince of Peace, Jesus, and begin to follow Him, and come to know real peace.