A story came to my attention on the news about a young Marine killed in Iraq. At his funeral, members of Westboro “Baptist” Church showed up, picketing and “protesting” the funeral of this hero. The disgusted father sued the church and won the case, but the church won the appeal. Thus, the father is supposed to pay over $16,000 in legal fees to Westboro “Baptist” Church. The case is pending in the Supreme Court right now.
This is the church that pickets all over the United States against homosexuals, soldiers and the like. They spew a “doctrine” of hatred. Their pastor, Fred Phelps, claims that it is his right to “preach the truth”. In the mean time, we who claim the “Baptist” name get the black eye of true bigotry from him every time he and his followers are in the news. And it bothers me.
So I am going to set the record straight. Fred Phelps is not really preaching the truth. He is preaching hate. And God has something to say about it in His Holy Word. “Six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto Him: a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, an heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, a false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethen.” (Proverbs 6:16-19) I think that these highlighted phrases describe what the Westboro group does. They make it a point to cause mischief wherever they go. They are not speaking truthfully (I will say more in a moment about this one.) They create conflict in every place they protest. Sounds like a situation that God hates to me.
Westboro parades around with vulgar signs that say things like, “God hates fags.” This is simply not true. God loves the whole world (John 3:16) and is not willing for anyone to suffer His judgment. (2 Peter 3:9) It is true that God sees homosexuality as a sin. It is as grave as sin to Him as lying is. It offends him just as equally as disobeying parents does. To God, adultery and homosexuality are they same – they are sins. (Romans 1: 26-32) Sin is when we violate the commands of a holy God. And they are worthy of death in hell. The Bible tells us all have sinned – so everyone is guilty. But when we sin, it doesn’t make God hate us. No, it grieves Him deeply – kind of like a father grieving over a wayward child.
Christ has paid for that violation by dying on the cross for ALL our sins. The only sin that is unpardonable is unbelief – and that is because a person refuses to place their faith in what Christ did on the cross. That’s it. The blood of Christ forgives lying, disobedience, adultery and homosexuality.
Westboro condemns people to hell in their rhetoric. That is something God never commands us to do. He alone is the final Authority on who will be in Heaven and who will go to hell. (Psalm9:7-11) It is true, God commands people to preach, but He commands them to preach the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is one thing to say, “Hey brother, that’s a sin. God loves you and wants to forgive that sin if you will confess it to Him.” It’s entirely another to say, “Nasty man, God hates you and you will go to hell for what you do.” There is no edification. No bowels of compassion. No Christlikeness.
All that to say this: Westboro “Baptist” Church is not a Baptist church. Most Baptist churches wouldn’t dare stand with him at the Judgment Seat. “Christian” means “little Christ.” There is no way that these people act like Christ, or even follow His ways. Fred Phelps and all who follow him will stand before God someday to answer for their actions… I do not know how it will come down, but it will not be pretty.