Speaking the Truth in Hate
I need to begin by saying that I believe homosexuality is wrong. There are many passages in the Hebrew Bible that speak of homosexuality as being an abhorance. Also, I believe that it is wrong for a Christian to act as if there is nothing wrong when they come across a homosexual. We need to speak the truth in love.
It is precisely these last two words "in love" that Pastor Fred Phelps seems to have missed. I don't know how many of you are familiar with Fred Phelps, the pastor of Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas. To say Mr. Phelps is hateful is the understatement of the century. While he and I both agree that Homosexuality is a sin [Leviticus 18:20, 20:13], he seems to have an element of hatred for homosexuals added on top of his moral convictions. His comments at events that he protests rarely get any farther than insults and mockery. He is very offensive in his methodology, and he gets the media's attention...but for all the wrong reasons.
One of my favorite authors on the Boundless blog is Denise Morris. She always has some interesting thought, or uncovers some interesting story. Today, she has uncovered more hatred from Fred Phelps. I don't know how many of you remember the New Life Church shootings in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Apparently, Phelps and company are going to be there to protest this funeral. Why is that you may ask? Because, last year, New Life Church discovered that their pastor was gay, and excommunicated him. Apparently, he paid a male prostitute for sexual relations and drugs, and was found out. He has apologized, accepted his excommunication, and is getting counselling for his addictions. Here is a man who is, as far as we can tell, penatant for his actions, and is desiring to change. I pray that this man will conquer his sin by the grace of God, and I ask that the Christian community give him all of the help in the world in so doing.
Of course, repentance from sin is not enough for Phelps and company. Anyone who is fighting homosexual desires is simply the skum of the earth to these folks. So, Phelps has said that he intends to spew his hatred at the funeral of two young girls, Stephanie and Rachel Works, who were killed in the shootings, and whose father was just released from the hospital only one day before his daughter's funeral. Here is some of the wonderfully hatred filled message Phelps and Co. sent to a local television station:
"Thank god for sending this tragedy,” going on to include, "God hates New Life Church," before including Biblical references and anti-gay language.
Pastor Phelps, it is wrong to murder anyone, whether homosexual or not. Genesis 9:6 tells us that every man is created in the image of God, and thus, no one has any right to take another's life, no matter how bad their sin might be, unless God says so. God, obviously, does not sanction the taking of human life in this instance. Second, you seem to have noted well the condemnations of homosexuality in the Bible. Did you ever stop to notice the proper perspective that Paul gives to this topic?:
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.
You see, Pastor Phelps, Jesus Christ is capible of taking upon himself the sin of homosexuality, and bearing the wrath of God for it. There are many people who are coming out of homosexuality every day. If you believe that God cannot redeem this pastor, then you are seriously questioning the ability of God himself to save. I would say that this pastor, who is seeking help for his sin, and desires to change, is in a far better position then you are for the hate that you show towards these people.
The sad thing it that I heard of the story of this pastor last year as well on Gene Cook's radio program, The Narrow Mind. I had totally forgotten about it. Apparently, Phelps keeps a database on his computer of people against whom he can rile his hatred. Doesn't this guy have anything better to do with his time?
I hope that these men get caught in a snow storm or something. They are a cancer to the body of Christ. I would encourage the people who are giving these folks money to stop doing so. This behavior is not Christian. The sad thing is that the media equates the two whether we denounce what they do or not. This is why folks like Phelps are a cancer in the church, and that is why they need to be isolated from the Christian community until they repent.