Recently, a pastor in Florida made headlines by claiming that he was going to have a Koran burning bonfire at his church in protest of plans to build a Mosque in the place of a 9/11 landmark. It seems to me that the ‘fanatical’ Christians are always the ones making headlines for their crazy unbiblical beliefs! Just once I would love to see a headline about a Christian doing something that benefited others and promoted the cause of Christ! The Koran burning pastor, received international attention for his shenanigans; and despite pleading from fellow pastors not to go through with his bonfire, he seemed determined to burn the Islamic holy book. Time after time in our deeply confused and misled society, it seems that the only religious people who make headlines are either those that put ‘people pleasing’ in place of conviction or those that, like this pastor, seem hell-bent on turning everyone into enemies.
In many of my previous posts, I have referenced those without conviction and any kind of backbone; people pleasers that have become increasingly popular with the rise of the ’emergent church’ and seeker friendly ministries. On the opposite yet just as unbiblical side is the over the top fanatical churches that have rap and rock music burning parties and hold long revival meetings in which a semi-crazed evangelist gets red faced trying to guilt his hearers into his brand of Christianity. Where both brands of ‘christianity’ fail is that they fail to make Jesus the center of their ministry; the emergent church makes Jesus hip and impotent, the fanatical right-wingers make Jesus conquer and judge, but not friend!
It’s an old saying, “You catch more flies with honey than vinegar,” and in our walk with God, this couldn’t be more true! Jesus always made the person with whom He was speaking aware of their need for Him, yet He made Himself approachable enough that the lost wanted to find Him! You can have a music or Koran burning, but the kind of attention that it will bring is not good attention and negative publicity never brought a single person to our Lord!
7A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, (A) “Give me a drink.” 8(For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) 9The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” ((B) For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) 10Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you(C) living water.” 11The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? 12(D) Are you greater than our father Jacob?(E) He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.”13Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14but(F) whoever drinks of the water that I will give him(G) will never be thirsty again.[a] The water that I will give him will become(H) in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 15The woman said to him, “Sir,(I) give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.”
16Jesus said to her, “Go,(J) call your husband, and come here.” 17The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; 18for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.” 19The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that(K) you are(L) a prophet. 20(M) Our fathers worshiped on(N) this mountain, but you say that(O) in Jerusalem is(P) the place where people ought to worship.” 21Jesus said to her, (Q) “Woman, believe me,(R) the hour is coming when(S) neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22(T) You worship what you do not know;(U) we worship what we know, for(V) salvation is from the Jews. 23But(W) the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father(X) in spirit and(Y) truth, for the Father(Z) is seeking such people to worship him. 24God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25The woman said to him, “I know that(AA) Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes,(AB) he will tell us all things.” 26Jesus said to her, (AC) “I who speak to you am he.”
27Just then(AD) his disciples came back. They marveled that he was talking with a woman, but no one said, “What do you seek?” or, “Why are you talking with her?” 28So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people, 29“Come, see a man(AE) who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?”
Jesus shows true compassion and authority without placating the women or burning any of her possessions.