Book burnings

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by mikesnedding, Jun 7, 2002.

  1. mikesnedding

    mikesnedding
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    Do you believe it is acceptable for Christians to organize book burnings? My own Church does, and find these events represent wonderful opportunities for evangelism and witness. Some view this practice as medieval and outdated, but me, I see it as a willingness to stand up for Christ in a secular world and send Satan's literature right back to Hell where it belongs.

    Mike.
     
  2. Rev. Joshua

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    Gasp! Mike, I sure hope this is a joke.

    Baptists, more than any other group Christian group except perhaps Quakers, have been champions of intellectual freedom.

    Joshua
     
  3. Mike McK

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    As a Republican who leans heavily toward libertarianism, I think it's an awful idea.

    By burning books, you're not just getting rid of books you find objectionable, you're making a political statement that the people who write (and, by logical extension, read) these books don't have a right to free expression.

    There are books I don't agree with but I also recognize that if I can take away someone's right to speak, then it probably won't be long until somebody else can take mine away.

    A much better idea would be to simply not support that author with your money.

    An even better idea than that would be to challenge the book from a Christian point of view and use it as an opportunity to share your faith.

    I shared this before here, but I have a couple of pastor friends who used to hold a discussion group where they would show movies and use the issues raised in the movie as a springboard to discuss how Christ's teaching relates to various events and worldviews presented in the movie.

    It was a smashing success. Maybe you could try something like that.

    It would be a great way to turn a negative into a positive, rather than replacing a negative with another negative.

    Mike

    http://www.edkilbourne.com

    [ June 07, 2002, 06:03 PM: Message edited by: Smoke_Eater ]
     
  4. donnA

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    It's called freedom of speech. And you should respect it, it's becasue of it you can freely go to church and listen to the bible being taught. It's becaue of it you can buy bibles and own as many of them as you want. If the freedom of speech is taken from one, who do you think is first in a nation that hates Christ. You have the right not to own or read any book you choose, but to burn a book based only on it's contents is not right, it is not winning anything over to Christ.
    It remends me of an episode of the Waltons, where the good christion peoples of Waltons Mt, burned a bunch of books written in german, just becasue they were German, at the beginning of Hitler starting war in eurpoe. As it turns out one of those books they thought had no right to exsist was a Bible, in German.
    They all departed the book burning party in shame. Realizing what they had done was wrong.
    You can burn a book, but by burning it you do not stop the ideas you disagree with that are in the book. You do not change one thing and make that one thing right.
    What you do is show a watching world there really is noting different about a christian then them.
     
  5. pinoybaptist

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    I think I understand where Mike is coming from.
    But, since somebody thinks I'm nothing but a rabble-rouser who cannot edify believers, I might be wrong.
    If Mike means a church whose members have decided to do some "idol-burning" and burn books they feel to be unedifying or unchristian which they own and are in their houses, then they are perfectly within their rights to do so.
    In the Philippines, I've seen some converts from
    Catholicism bring their images and icons and missals and whatever to their churches and smash them on the floor or with hammers to further emphasize their turning from idols to Christ.
    They own those items, they have the right to do what they want with it.

    On the other hand, if Mike means book burning for the sake of just book burning, even if one does not own the books being burned, then it is wrong, not for so-called "freedom of speech", but for property ownership's sake.
     
  6. Mike McK

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    What is legally right isn't always necessarily morally right.

    In other words, just because you can doesn't mean you should.

    Well, naturally you shouldn't burn somebody else's books, but there's still a moral involved that says it's wrong to squelch someone's freedom of expression.

    While you're not doing that in fact, since the book's already written and, legally, you can't stop them from writing another, you are doing it in principle and that smacks of fascism.

    Now, Mike S. isn't protected by the Constitution since he's in Ireland, but we are and what's more, we're commanded by the Bible to be good citizens. The best way for us to do that is to work to honor the Constitution and remember the men and women who gave their lives to protect it.

    What makes the Constitution such a great American document and what makes it so attractive to people all over the world is that if it doesn't protect everybody, then it doesn't protect anybody, whether you like what they have to say or not.

    One of the pitfalls of the First Amendment is that, sooner or later, you're going to hear something that offends you. You might not like that, but it's a heck of a lot better than the alternative.

    Mike

    [ June 08, 2002, 01:42 AM: Message edited by: Smoke_Eater ]
     
  7. tyndale1946

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    Wasn't this practiced in Nazi Germany and guess what book was on the top of the list?... How about the Holy Bible!... How soon we forget!... Brother Glen :eek:
     
  8. donnA

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    By burning books you are saying that person does not have the freedom of speech or even of thought other then what you want it to be. You deny them their basic rights. You have the right not to read anything you find offensive.
    I don't see this as being christian behavior.
     
  9. AITB

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    Mike

    As well as enjoying book burnings, I noticed that your favorite verse is:

    Mal 4:1 "Surely the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble, and that day that is coming will set them on fire," says the LORD Almighty.

    I sense a theme here.
     
  10. rsr

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    Theoretically, if it's your property, you have the right to do with it what you want, within the law.

    BUT ...

    1. Book burnings smack of the Inquisition and Naziism, no matter how you try to pretty it up. It's impossible for an outsider not to make that connection, and I don't think that's one we want. (Scenes from "Farenheit 451" are still -- so to speak -- burned in my memory.)

    2. When there are such burnings, is it because everyone involved has read the material and has become convinced of the error it contains? Or is it because one person has proclaimed its evil and everyone else follows along? It appeals to emotions -- which are unreliable and transitory. (Savaranola made a big splash with his bonfire, but there was no lasting change.)

    3. There is intellectual dishonesty -- or at least naivete -- involved here. It's as if we think that by burning a physical object we can eliminate the idea behind it. It's the equivalent of putting your hands over your eyes and being convinced that the awful scene you had been witnessing has suddenly disappeared.
     
  11. pinoybaptist

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    Smoke-eater:


    What is legally right isn't always necessarily morally right.

    In other words, just because you can doesn't mean you should.



    I wonder why you choose to ignore the context of what I said, Smoke. Their church, their conviction, within
    their
    premises.
    Like, if you were a family man, and you find in your household pornographic materials which you feel to be morally objectionable to your faith and your entire household agrees with you, you have the choice of burning them, or throwing them away.
    Is the law going to step in and say such an act is unconstitutional and violates the freedom of expression of the publisher, the photographer, and the porn models to artistically express themselves ?

    Well, naturally you shouldn't burn somebody else's books, but there's still a moral involved that says it's wrong to squelch someone's freedom of expression.

    While you're not doing that in fact, since the book's already written and, legally, you can't stop them from writing another, you are doing it in principle and that smacks of fascism.


    The problem with what we are discussing is that you assume Mike S is speaking of public
    book burning and imposing their belief and faith on others. I would rather give him the benefit of a doubt that he is not speaking of that, and therefore, he and his church may organize a public book burning amongst themselves and those of like faith who agree with them, and use that occassion for their evangelism. And I assure you, I'm no fascist lover. I fought fascism for three years in my old country. And not with fancy, big word rhetorics like some of our politicians who tucked their tails between their legs and ran to this country.


    Now, Mike S. isn't protected by the Constitution since he's in Ireland, but we are and what's more, we're commanded by the Bible to be good citizens. The best way for us to do that is to work to honor the Constitution and remember the men and women who gave their lives to protect it.


    Thank you for the lecture, Smoke. But I seem to remember a thread where somebody said we ought not consider homosexuality a sin anymore because our government does not and he used the same argument of submission to authority.
    Do you agree with that ?
    I think that is crossing over to liberalism from libertarianism.



    What makes the Constitution such a great American document and what makes it so attractive to people all over the world is that if it doesn't protect everybody, then it doesn't protect anybody, whether you like what they have to say or not.

    Well, the same constitution guarantees the right of someone to burn someone's books in public because he feels the book to be morally and spiritually corrupting as long as he exercises that right within the parameters of the law interpreting that constitutional right, doesn't it ?



    One of the pitfalls of the First Amendment is that, sooner or later, you're going to hear something that offends you. You might not like that, but it's a heck of a lot better than the alternative.

    Mike


    Sooner or later ? We're already deep into those pitfalls, Smoke. Stop, look, and listen. Somebody wrote somewhere in this board how 50 or less years ago, four-letter words were considered
    taboo in print, in movies, and in songs. Now, for the sake of "freedom of speech" and "freedom of expression" they are common and our kids learn to use them as soon as they're old enough to be left alone to turn on the cable tv, or as soon as they learn how to say "good morning, ma'am" in school.
    Rights are okay, as long as those rights are exercised without sacrificing the moral fiber of society in general and individuals in particular.
    But the people interpreting how those rights are to be exercised jurisprudentially are human beings with corrupted natures.
    And therein lies the difference between theocracy and democracy.
     
  12. Mike McK

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    No, I didn't ignore the context of your post. The courts have ruled that pornography isn't necessarily protected speech. In any case, I would protest the pornography by making the choice not to bring it into my house in the first place.

    No. Now you're ignoring my post. Remember I said that you had no legal right to stop someone from publishing an offensive book? Book burning, no matter how distasteful, is a form of free speech. But, again, just because it's legally protected doesn't mean it's right.

    First of all, I'm not sure that it makes a difference whether or not someone does it at a public gathering or keeps it withing their church family.

    Mike's post implied that it was a public cerimony.

    No. But, then again, they're two completely different things.

    While I personally disagree with the homosexual lifestyle, I wouldn't burn them.

    Look, like I said, I have no problem with someone's legal right to burn books. For me to say that an author or an artist has the right to free expression, but the citizen doesn't, would be inconsistent.

    But, while I would support (and defend) their legal right to do it, I would strongly disagree with it and I would take the opportunity to exercise my rights to try to persuade them not to.

    I agree but the best way to combat this is for parents to be parents. Moniter what they watch and listen to. Set a curfew. Don't leave a child to his own devices alone at home. If you feel that somebody is a bad influence to your kids, tell the, "hey! I don't want you hanging out with so and so." Screw up your courage, show some backbone and learn to say that dreaded word, "NO".

    Yes and no. I agree with you in principle but in such a diverse society, there's no way to impose your morality on someone else without violating theirs. What's more, if you can impose your morality on someone else, how long will it be until they can impose theirs on you?

    [/quote]And therein lies the difference between theocracy and democracy.[/QB][/QUOTE]

    Actually, we're not a democracy, we're a constitutional republic. A republic gives the individual more discretion to determine his own morals and practices.

    Mike

    [ June 08, 2002, 11:01 AM: Message edited by: Smoke_Eater ]
     
  13. pinoybaptist

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    Smoke:

    I am laying this to rest. You go your way, I go mine. Just a last parting shot on your last paragraph.


    Actually, we're not a democracy, we're a constitutional republic. A republic gives the individual more discretion to determine his own morals and practices.



    Still not a theocracy, whichever way you cut it.
    Completely in line with what the serpent told Eve
    "For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened,
    and ye shall be as gods,
    knowing good and evil."

    Ye shall be as gods. Knowing and determining your own sets of morals and standards. Its limits and scope. Not letting God set it for you.
    Not having him rule you. My, my. Ain't that sumpin' ?
     
  14. Mike McK

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    No, we're not a theocracy and we were never intended to be.

    If you really want to live in a theocracy, there are several Muslim countries in the Middle East who could oblige but I don't think you'd like it as much as you think you would.

    Mike
     
  15. TomVols

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    If people want to do this as an expression of free speech, I guess you can go ahead. I think it's a waste of time though. So neither answer on the survery seems appropriate for me

    [ June 08, 2002, 01:47 PM: Message edited by: TomVols ]
     
  16. tyndale1946

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    Show me a place in church history where Gods people burned books?... I can show you plenty of places where other people burned books as a start and next burned Gods people because they read the book they burned!... Brother Glen :eek:
     
  17. Squire Robertsson

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    Acts 19:18-20, the operative verse is the ninteenth.
    I believe this is the context in which both Pinoy and Mike frame their actions.
     
  18. tyndale1946

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    Well he needed to clarify his position better as my answer would have been different. Looks to me like those mentioned in the verse quoted brought their own books to burn. That changes the whole question then I can burn my OWN property if I so desire!... Brother Glen :rolleyes:
     
  19. pinoybaptist

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    I believe this is the context in which both Pinoy and Mike frame their actions.</font>[/QUOTE]Thank you, the Squire.
    Funny how people immediately begin to pontificate on the virtues of liberalism without seeking clarification first on the position of some posters here.
     
  20. donnA

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    They didn't burn just any books, but books from their false worship and soccery. If you have people in your church who have praticed witch craft and dsatan worship and want to burn those books, then that would be biblical. But just any old book you disagre with isn't.
     

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