Coulter, Farah, and Quran burning – You will know them by their fruit

Proverbs 12:18 (New American Standard Bible)
There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword,
But the tongue of the wise brings healing.

We all like to be comfortable within our own ideologies. We prefer to do what feels good to us much more than doing what will ultimately be the right thing to do, if that right thing makes us uncomfortable or doesn’t contribute to our glory, power, and comfort. For most people this is perfectly fine. For most this is perfectly natural – and to be expected. Unfortunately there is a group of people on this here planet that have been tasked with doing what will get them in trouble, cause themselves hardship, divide them from most other people, and what will cause others to likewise be uncomfortable. Those who belong to this group are collectively known as Christians. Now I’m not talking about the tares, the false Christians, the fakes, the CINOs, the comfy ones…. I mean the committed Christians who took Jesus Christ at His word. So what kind of things did He tell Christians to be doing? Hey, go read the New Testament and you’ll find He said things like ‘speak the truth in love’, ‘love your enemies’, ‘spread the gospel’, ‘repent of your sins’, ‘show mercy as you have been shown mercy’, and such. The Bible also gives us a list of what kind of fruit these Christians will be putting out in Galatians 5: 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
This brings us to where we can examine the little feud going on between Ann Coulter and Joseph Farah. Actually , it would seem the feud is only on Ann’s side, as she is the one calling names and using invective. In fact, she has said that Farah and those of us who think she is giving tacit approval to homosexuality by speaking at “Homocon” are “fake Christians”. So far, what I have seen of Farah’s response to how Coulter is behaving is based on Biblically sound principles and is evidence of the fruit a Christian is supposed to produce. He has stated the facts and acted in the best interest of Christians, while not acting capriciously to Coulter. Coulter, on the other hand, has resorted to name-calling (used by those who are angry, embarrassed, and who cannot justify their actions), calling Farah “swine” and a “publicity whore”. For the life of me I can’t seem to find this in the Bible as acceptable behavior for a Christian. Farah, in contrast, has said “Ann is angry. I hope she calms down and there can be some restoration, repentance and forgiveness. She said some mean things about me, but I can sleep at night knowing I did the right thing in God’s economy.”
So, as far as we can see from the outside, Farah is exhibiting the Christian fruit of patience, kindness, and self-control, and I laud him for it. I’m just not seeing the same thing coming from Coulter. I’m not saying that either of these is or isn’t a Christian – only God sees the heart – but we are told by the Bible that Christians will be known by their fruit and by their love for each other. Ann may wish to consider these things and her stance on money vs. the appearance of evil.

Luke 6:42-44 (New International Version)
42 How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
43 “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit.
44 Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers.

Speaking of the appearance of evil, Coulter’s response to Farah’s concern with the same is very closely connected to how the Dove World Outreach Center in Florida has responded to Islam. Does God want us to act like Terry Jones and burn Qurans? After all, Jesus Himself went into the temple a overturned the moneychanger’s tables and even whipped them. But He was the Hand of God acting in God’s temple. Instead He tells us:

Romans 12:19-21 (New International Version)
19 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”says the Lord.
20 On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

I can find no place where He even gives an indication that we should go out, buy books (like the Quran) and burn them. There IS a witchcraft-book burning recorded in Acts 19:18-20, but these were already in the possession of new converts. These converts burned these books to show that they had truly repented, would not profit by selling the books, and wouldn’t pass the books on. Hmmm, let’s see – if we purchase a bunch of books, then the publisher will make more money and the book seems more popular – so the publisher will be encouraged to print even more of these books! Wonderful, Terry Jones ! Wonderful, Dove World Outreach Center! Instead of showing love to Muslims, you give them more excuse to hate (and therefore persecute) Christians! Instead of reaching them with the Gospel of peace, you isolate them with disdain and accusation! If you would spend (God’s!) money on feeding the poor in a Muslim country you might actually reach some of them for Christ, but that isn’t your goal, is it? No, instead you want to make a name for yourself! You want to show the world how righteous you are! This is not righteousness, it is blatant pride and hate. Why doesn’t “pastor” Terry and his group go burn some Qurans in a Muslim country, where it would really make a statement? Because it would be against the law there and they would most likely be beheaded. Hey, if I am to be persecuted and perhaps beheaded, I want it to be because I’m doing what God told me to do – not because I’m doing something He never mentioned for us to do! Repent, Terry! Then you should apologize to both the Muslims and the Christians (whose cause, Christ, you have harmed)!
We should take Christ’s commands seriously and exhibit the fruit of the spirit in our responses to those that injure us, as Joseph Farah has done – not with anger and hatred, as Ann Coulter and Terry Jones have done!

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