Thursday, December 02, 2010

The Westboro cult is coming to protest at my church

Over the course of time, I've had skeptical commenters here and elsewhere compare me to the Westboro freaks.  Such comparisons are gratuitously ignorant and insulting, with no substance whatever.
I guess there are a few similarities I can think of:
-Both our churches contain the name "Baptist"
-We both say "Jesus" and "God" and "judgment", though with varying degrees of frequency
-We're all human beings
-We have breathed the same air molecules at times in our lives
-We drink water
-That might be about it.

Now, what are the differences?
-They're led by one guy and the entire "congregation" consists mostly of his extended family
-It would appear that all they do is attract media attention to themselves by explicitly hating most everyone
-They do in fact hate most everyone
-Etc.
-Most importantly, they are all law and no Gospel.


I've commented on this before, but their main problem is that, unlike most of America and American evanjellyfishism, which is highly antinomian, the Westmorons preaching literally nothing but law, judgment, and destruction.  To the ignorant, it can seem like my message is the same, but let's look a little more closely.

Westmorons - America, and you personally, have offended God and there is no hope for you. You are doomed.  Repent. It won't do you any good, but repent anyway.  God hates you and you'll burn in Hell.
The Gospel (good news) I preach - America, and you personally, have offended God and there is only one hope for you - Jesus Christ. You are doomed outside of Jesus Christ.  Repent. It will do you every good.  Refuse to repent and you'll burn in Hell, and though God has love for you, it will be as if He hates you.

Huge difference, foundational difference.  The Westboro cult is a completely different religion than mine.  Neither I nor the Southern Baptists (I attend an SBC church) want anything to do with Westboro; we have both explicitly rejected any tie with them.

I discovered yesterday that the feeling is mutual.
From their wehateeverybody.com site (or something like that):


Trinity Baptist Church in Somewhere, OK    December 5, 2010  10:10 AM - 10:40 AM
WBC will picket Trinity Baptist Church to remind these so-called Christians that the Lord commanded them to boldly preach the whole truth of the Gospel, not the lies about a weak, effeminate "God loves everybody" Christ. The Baptists know full good and well that God hates fags and that he casts fags and those that enable them into Hell forever. They are afraid to tell the truth about God's Word because they do not want to suffer afflictions for Christ's sake.
"Blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake."  Matthew 5:11 
These so-called baptists care for this world, not the world to come.  They tell you what you want to hear to keep the money coming in.  It is the blind leading the blind and you will both land in the pits of hell!
"Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!"  Isaiah 5:20


I'd like to extend my appreciation to Phred Felps and his inbred clan for their contribution to the clarity of the good news that it is my heart to proclaim to everyone in all nations. Interestingly, they're mostly wrong about my church.
-We do boldly preach the truth of the Gospel.  So much so that we routinely encounter persecution and reviling, much like Matthew 5:11 says.  (BTW, what does "Gospel" [good news] mean to Westboro? You're doomed without hope. Not very good news.)  It's simply ignorant to say our fear of affliction leads us to chicken out of controversy for the sake of truth.
-They'd have a hard time producing biblical proof that God does not in fact love everyone.  He doesn't love everyone the same, but that's not what they said, is it?
-We know full well such things.  I don't know about full good.
-Yes, God will cast unrepentant homosexuals into Hell, just like all unrepentant sinners.  We offer the homosexual healing and restoration to a relationship with Jesus, just like all sinners.  It's what we all need.  Westboro offers no healing, no love, no restoration.  When it comes to sin, they cut themselves the slack they need to assuage their own consciences, but they're unwilling to extend to others the same mercy.
-Our church is, um, not monetarily rich.  The elders don't even have access to the giving records in order to know who gives what.

All that to say that Westboro has excommunicated me.  Let that be a lesson to you, hater.  Felps and I want nothing to do with each other.  Even if I do plan to offer him coffee and cinnamon rolls Sunday morning.
Luke 6:27“But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29“Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either. 30“Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. 31“Treat others the same way you want them to treat you. 32“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33“If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34“If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount. 35“But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.

34 comments:

Dean Dough said...

Alan,

I agree with you on the basic distinction between you and Phelps. You make a much bigger deal of Jesus. I guess some of your critics don't appreciate the difference, and that's a shame.

On the other hand, at times you two sound eerily similar. In fact, what he says about people like you sounds an awful lot like what you say about people like me.

Rhology said...

True to that last. Just b/c Felps is a freak, cultist, and heretic doesn't mean he's always wrong. (Tongue half in cheek.)
In all seriousness, it just depends on the issue at hand, you know? Felps is a theist, after all.

zilch said...

The only important question is, will Phelps end up in Hell? Everything else is just window dressing.

NAL said...

10:10 AM - 10:40 AM

Half an hour? Short attention span disorder.

Rhology said...

He most certainly will, zilch.

But these:
Everything else is just window dressing.

are your words, not mine. You need to explain why the life lived in Christ is "window dressing"; that is, unimportant. Be sure to quote the Bible extensively in your answer, since that's my authority and you're critiquing my worldview. Good luck!

Andrew said...

I'm sure I am not even close to being the first person to say this; but I am certain that Mr. Phelps is a homosexual. I know that the people that bother me the most are those who are most like me.

Cory said...

I remember emailing WBC a few times asking them if they were extending the love of Christ to people by calling them names and picketing funerals. Wow, the absolutely nasty email response I received was one for the ages; filled with invective and venom.

Their hearts are hard, cruel and cold; I wouldn't rule out mental illness either.

Andrew said...

Cory,
I considered that, but figured it wouldn't be fruitful. Thank you for confirming my instinct.

Coram Deo said...

It would be interesting to know what a real Gospel church plans to do with the Westboro clan.

Do you know if your elders have discussed a response, if any, to the protest?

I sense the potential for a once in a lifetime viral YouTube opportunity in the making...

In Him,
CD

Rhology said...

CD,

I was 100% serious when I said: "Even if I do plan to offer him coffee and cinnamon rolls Sunday morning."

I'm recruiting ppl to help me even now.

Rhology said...

Andrew,

I have to say, I doubt that he's a homosexual. He's just under the influence of demonic forces, if not possessed.

Cory said...

Andrew:

Yeah, fruitless for sure. Their response was robotic; they have a bunch of proof texts that they self-reflexively regurgitate. I highly doubt that any of them have a thoroughing reading knowledge of the Bible.

That they are cult-like is affirmed by their patriarchal allegiance to Mr. Phelps. I tend to agree with Rho that there could be something spiritually amiss with him, i.e., demonic influence.

Andrew said...

Oh, he's got spiritual issues alright. I don't dispute that.
Rho, I will pray for you and your church. I will pray that all of the mean-ness comes from them and not you guys; as I am confident will be the case. I will pray that somebody gets saved because of what happens. I will pray that the urge to punch Fred (or Shirley for that matter) right in the mouth doesn't prove to be too much for you. That's not a joke.

Lvka said...

Do you want to share the true Gospel with them?

zilch said...

Rho, my remark about "window dressing" was based on two things: one, most Christians seem obsessed with who is going to Hell and who isn't, and two, I would be too if I believed in the (typical Christian interpretation of the) Bible.

Does it not say in the Bible that everyone will be judged after death and either go to Heaven or Hell, and that they will stay in Heaven or Hell forever, in eternal bliss or torment? If that's the case, do the math: our stay on Earth is a few decades; our stay in the afterlife is infinitely long. Getting that ticket to Heaven is infinitely important; anything else we do on Earth is meaningless in comparison. That's why I said "window dressing".

cheers from snowy Vienna, zilch

Rhology said...

obsessed with who is going to Hell and who isn't

Well, eternity is a long time.
Jesus said, "What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?" I'd say it's a pretty big deal, yeah. I'd prefer ppl come to Heaven rather than spend eternity in Hell.


Getting that ticket to Heaven is infinitely important; anything else we do on Earth is meaningless in comparison

That's what I thought you'd say. You failed, however, to use Christian reasoning. Stuff that's important is important b/c God says it's important, and God says that this life is ALSO important. Not AS important as eternity, but still important.
In fact, that's one of the great emotional attractions of Christ to me - everything matters, and He will redeem it all.
On atheism, OTOH, nothing matters, nothing is redeemed, every effort and relationship are wasted.

zilch said...

On atheism, OTOH, nothing matters, nothing is redeemed, every effort and relationship are wasted.

That's what I thought you would say. But that's on your idea of atheism, which is not believing in God, who exists and will toss you in Hell, not on my idea of atheism, which is no God, therefore live now.

cheers from mattering Vienna, zilch

Rhology said...

That's what I thought you would say.

Haha, touché.


therefore live now

Why?

The Jolly Nihilist said...

As odious and distasteful as I find his theology to be, I most certainly agree with Rhology that he in no way merits comparison with cult leader Fred Phelps, whose principal theological tenet is outright hatred and who, in fact, seems to enjoy and feed off of the pain, discomfort and emotional distress he causes. Rhology might propagate falsehoods, peddle scientifically untenable ideas pertaining to creationism and a young Earth, and preach a noxious theology according to which an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent deity demands adoration, obedience and, in essence, servility from its wormlike creations on penalty of eternal, endless torture, but he also, in this infidel’s eyes, is a sincere individual who is usually intellectually honest, treats most people respectfully--generally eschewing the provocation and nastiness that typifies Phelps--and in sum is an enjoyable antagonist with whom to engage. I doubt anybody could interact with Phelps in a profitable manner.

NAL said...

Rho:

In fact, that's one of the great emotional attractions of Christ to me - everything matters, and He will redeem it all.
On atheism, OTOH, nothing matters, nothing is redeemed, every effort and relationship are wasted.


Ahh, the argumentum ad consequentiam fallacy. I find nothing to attract me to Christianity in this type of argument.

Rhology said...

I find nothing to attract me to Christianity in this type of argument.

*Shrug*
So?

Every time you comment and every time you mention being interested in truth, you show you can't live it out. It's really sort of sadly, pathetically funny to watch.

zilch said...

JN- I heartily agree. I will bet a silk pyjama that Rho is a nicer person than Fred Phelps. Yes, I would even treat Phelps to lunch, but I'm sure lunch with Alan would be a lot more fun.

Rho- you ask "why?"

Ya got me. There's no "why". Just life. You know: breathing, metabolizing, chatting, loving, making music... That's enough for me.

cheers from snowy Vienna, zilch

Rhology said...

lunch with Alan would be a lot more fun.

Haha, depends on how much crazy you like in your fun.

zilch said...

Rho- your craziness is perhaps your most endearing feature.

cheers from icy Vienna, zilch

The Jolly Nihilist said...

For me, an editor whose patience is tried daily by those who use English poorly, Rhology's most endearing feature is his commendably correct use of our language. :-)

Andrew said...

Jolly,
I think your right about Rhologys english. I'll bet that Rhology talks good english in person to.

Rhology said...

Bettern Phred Felps and his inbredz at least. Darn tootin'. Their stupid.

Coram Deo said...

Rho,

Although I seriously doubt that you'll have an opportunity to actually speak with Fredly Do-wrong; should providence present itself I'd be interested to know his response to an inquiry along the lines of:

Pastor Phelps, as an under-shepherd of the Lord, how can you be certain that at least some practicing homosexuals aren't elect saints who haven't yet come to know Christ in a saving way - and therefore are still in bondage to their sins a la Ephesians 2:1-5 - but are nevertheless among those for whom Christ Himself prayed in John 17:20 when He said "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word"?

In Him,
CD

Andrew said...

So.....how'd it go?

Rhology said...

Didn't get a chance to talk to the Westmorons, but that's perfectly fine with me. There were ~80 counterprotesters, and the physical separation between them and the Westmorons was not clear at all. The counterprotesters were virtually among the 6 Westmorons that showed up, so my team and I offered coffee, cinn rolls and bananas first to some of the police officers who were there to keep the peace, then across the street among a group of ~30 counterprotesters and talked to just whomever in regular conversation about the proceedings. Some were homosexuals, some were military, some were locals, some were Christians from a local Baptist univ. Numerous people heard the Gospel of grace, of forgiveness of sin, that sin requires death as punishment but that Jesus offers to take your death as His own. A great morning, all in all.

CD,

Great question. Gramps Felps doesn't do the public appearances anymore. He seems to me to be a lot like the Topekan Kim Jong Il.

zilch said...

Cinn rolls, Rho? Is that a pun, or are you afraid you can't spell "cinnamon" twice in a row correctly? :lol:

I only ask because "cinnamon" was the word that tripped me up in the school spelling bee championship in eighth grade: I only made second place. But I can now spell "cinnamon" perfectly every time.

cheers from icy Vienna, zilch

Rhology said...

I was just abbreviating. Makes me wonder why "abbreviate" is such a long word. Maybe so you'll be tempted to abbreviate it!

I know the feeling - I've missed "mantle", "cholesterol", and "stationery" in spelling bees. Never again! :-)

bossmanham said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
aztexan said...

Both Fred and Shirley have scrotes in desperate need of a good kickin'. But Fred even more than Shirley, firstly for being instrumental in Shirley's begatting; secondly for cruelly naming his son Shirley.