Tag Archives: gainesville

Sermon: Building Bridges by Burning Korans? A Biblical Approach to Sharing Jesus in a Pluralistic World

This week a pastor for a small, fringe church in Gainesville got of lot of attention by organizing an “International Burn a Koran Day” set on the anniversary of the September 11 attacks.

The motivation behind this pastor’s actions: to demonstrate to the world the dangers of Islam and to highlight the truth that the Koran is leading people to hell.

The outcome of this action? World-wide protests from the Muslim community including the burning of Bibles, the destruction of crosses, chants such as “death to Christians” or “death to America,” attacks against Christians as well as attacks against American troops overseas. What’s more, is that people have actually died as the result of these protests.

The good that has come from this pastor’s actions? Well, your guess is as good as mine … please let me know if you see any good that has come of it, because my search is coming up empty.

Here’s my question: does the Bible teach us anything about how we should approach adherents of religions other than Christianity? What examples do we have to look at?

In truth the Bible teaches us much about this subject giving us plenty of examples to study.

In this morning’s sermon with The Lake Merced Church of Christ in San Francisco, I highlighted one of them. That of Paul’s experience with the idolatrous Athenians in Acts 17:15-34.

You’ll see that Paul’s approach in the Bible differed greatly from that of this Gainesville pastor’s.

It is very important that we show compassion to all people regardless of race, lifestyle, or belief system. Intrinsic in showing compassion is showing respect. Paul’s example, the example of the rest of the apostles, and the example of Jesus Himself proves that to be a fact.

Here’s the introductory video used with this lesson:

And here’s the audio and PowerPoint from this morning:

To listen to more sermons like this, visit westcoastwitness.com’s Sermon Archive.


I’m looking forward to being with a bunch of college students this week at the annual Cocoa Beach Retreat in Cocoa Beach Florida. This is a regional campus ministry event, and many ministries will be represented there. They are flying me in from the west coast to do the bulk of the teaching. I’ll post the audio from the lessons when I get back home – should be a great time!

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Free Audio from the 2010 Sonshine State Experience

The 2010 Sonshine State Experience in Gainesville, FL was great! Seven campus ministries came together to enjoy food, fellowship, worship, late-night campfire singing, smores, and, of course, studying the Word at the Florida Bible Camp this year.

Thank you to Donny Dillon, the campus minister serving The University of Florida through Gators for Christ, for inviting me to participate in 2010 – it was a rich experience.

Buddy Bell, preaching minister for the Landmark Church of Christ in Montgomery, AL, did an outstanding job as usual. I’m going back to San Francisco with a pad chocked full of notes taken during his lessons. Coming from one who had his young faith shaped greatly by Buddy (back when I was a student), it was a privilege and an honor to get to teach alongside him over the weekend.

As promised, here are the lessons:

  1. Buddy Bell – “Staying on the Path” (41:30) PowerPoint

  2. Buddy Bell – “Avoiding Spiritual A.D.D.” (40:34) PowerPoint

  3. Buddy Bell – “A Little Help From My Friends” (45:12) PowerPoint

  4. Wes Woodell – “Staying Power: Christ-Centered Identity” (47:47) PowerPoint; Life Map Handout

  5. Wes Woodell – “How to Lose Your Faith: An Experiment in Evil” (41:49) PowerPoint; Class Outline

  6. Wes Woodell – “Staying Power: Seven Secrets of Fired Up Faith” (43:52) PowerPoint

Feel free to share these with anyone you believe would benefit from them.

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Have a great Monday!

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