Thursday, October 15, 2009

Up in Flames

In case you haven't seen this, below is a video that has gotten tons of attention in the Christian arena. Rick Warren tweeted about it, Michael Hyatt (CEO of Thomas Nelson publishers) blogged about it, and people everywhere are talking about it.

Essentially, a tiny church (14 members) is having a book burning on Halloween, burning books and music they call "Satanic." This includes all Bibles that are not the King James Version, as well as works by the likes of Billy Graham and Mother Teresa, referred to in this clip as "heretics."

To make it worse, this church is in my little hometown.

Do I think this church has problems with its belief system? Absolutely. There's obvious issues. I don't condone this behavior at all.

I also don't like the way the media has, yet again, painted Christians as crazy, and the way this video infers that the people of that town (MY HOMETOWN, mind you) are dumb hillbillies. I'm sorry if you don't wear overalls in the city, but out here in the mountains, some of us do. Consider it a "country uniform."

But what really bothers me most is the reaction of "Christians" to this spectacle. This is all over the blogs I frequently visit, and I'm distressed by all the condescending and snarky comments. There are many referring to the preacher's "bib overalls" (hello, judgement!), lack of church membership (what about the state of those 14 souls?), and cracks about food being served at the burning (well, they've got us there - baptists are known for eating!).

Here's my problem with the situation: is this how Jesus would respond to this preacher and his tiny congregation? Would he make fun of their clothes, and their accent, and the size of their church?

There's a word for us - mockers. Christians participating in this kind of behavior is what gives Christianity a bad name, moreso than pastors of teeny churches. Instead of making fun of them, we need to be hitting our knees and asking God to open the eyes and hearts of this congregation, revealing the falsehoods they now believe, and use this situation for His glory.

Who's up for a prayer?

Lord, first of all, forgive us for once again falling short. Forgive us for laughing at some of your children, calling them names, and judging them all based on one video clip. Purify us, Lord, burning away the dross and making us purer in thought and action than we have been. I pray now, God that You would open the eyes and hearts of this congregation, and reveal your real truth - not this twisted version they believe. Father, take what is meant for evil, and use it for Your glory! In Your precious and holy name, Amen!


  1. Beth,

    Thanks for being the voice of reason in this. Too often, we Christians are our worst enemies. We judge more often than not and forget that we play a vital role in how the world views (or doesn't view) the validity of our faith.

    Your commentary is refreshing.

  2. Thanks for giving us your perspective. Found your blog through a comment on Inkygirl.
    I appreciate your view. You said what I was mulling around in my brain but couldn't get out.

    Jabbing at the cultural position and size of the church is not fair. We would be ignoring the real issue at hand if we did.

    So many people are going to say that this church is wrong. And I agree it is. There's just too much to say on this topic. I assume the obvious.

  3. I really liked your article & couldn't agree with you more about how Christians behave.

    I was wondering -- I'm looking for a "media and the home" volunteer columnist to join my team at It would be a column every 2 mos or so about how the media impacts our family - helping parents stay informed, etc. I'm looking for columns such as this one that you wrote.

    Would you be interested? If so, please email me at madetomom (at)

    Thanks, Beth!


So, what do you have to say?


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