Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The Obnoxious Rev. Phelps

There are many news events broadcast in the course of a week that have the potential of raising my blood pressure. The contemptible hijinks of the so-called Rev. Fred Phelps and his followers usually don't merit my notice, but now I am incensed.

Undoubtedly most have heard of this self-styled hyper-fundamentalist pastor whose most well-known slogan is "God Hates Fags." It is this idea that is driving "Reverend" Phelps and his "church" (largely made up of family members) to stage protests at the funerals of military families who lost loved ones in combat. He thinks because America supposedly tolerates homosexuals, God is sending our boys and girls home from Iraq and Afghanistan in body bags. He shows up at the funerals, yelling at the grieving families that their slain loved ones got what they deserved. Phelps has done many other outrageous things in the past, but this takes the cake.

This shouldn't even have to be said, but I must - because enemies of the Gospel like to take idiots like Phelps and lump him in with mainstream fundamentalists and evangelicals. Sorry. He doesn't belong in that category. He doesn't speak for me, he doesn't speak for the vast majority of conservative, Bible-believing Christians, and I am certain that he doesn't speak for God. He only speaks for himself, and in the most repugnant, grating way possible. If he has a problem with decisions made by our national leaders, then he needs to protest to those leaders. Barging in on a FUNERAL of all places and verbally assaulting grieving men, women and children is beyond contempt. It's evil, vicious, cruel... even Satanic in a sense.

Yes, the Bible (and God) condemns homosexuality and calls it an abomination. God will eventually judge those involved in this lifestyle unless they repent. As Christians, we indeed have the duty to call our culture to repent of ALL sin. This ought to be motivated by compassion for the lost, not hatred. And hatred is all false "prophets" such as Fred Phelps know. They know nothing of the love of Christ. I am reminded of Jesus' rebuke to James and John, the "sons of thunder." In Luke 9, the duo wanted to call down fire on the Samaritans because they didn't receive Jesus at the time. Jesus rebuked them and said, "You do not know what kind of spirit you are of."

I am also reminded of what the Apostle Paul said in his letter to the church at Corinth. "Love is not rude." Fred Phelps could profit by both of these reminders, but I have a hunch he won't listen. Self-righteous blowhards like him are too proud to repent. Regardless of what sins or evils our elected leaders in Washington make, it is not right to lay them at the feet of those honorably serving their country - service not condemned by the Scripture Fred Phelps supposedly reveres.

I am afraid that one day, there will be a group of guys at one of these funerals who decide to deal with Phelps and his ilk in the way such outrages used to be handled - by administering a good, solid beating. I hope not, as that will only feed the "martyr" complex many of Phelps' stripe have. They've "suffered for Jesus." What a crock. With every protest, they're only making a mockery of the Lord and bringing Him into shame. They will be held accountable by Him, and He is capable of punishment much more severe than a good old hiding.

In the meantime, let us all who truly love the Lord stand with these families and uncategorically condemn theological Harlequins like Fred Phelps.


Rob said...

I think it would do well for more conservative evangelical's to call this idiot out.


crownring said...

I agree with you, Rob. Although a lightning bolt sent from on high during one of "Reverend Phelps'" sermons would be more satisfying in some ways. Phelps makes my blood boil and if he dares to show his face in my vacinity, he just may be in for a rude awakening.

Scott said...

i think you're right on there rob. it's intolerance like that that destroys any bridges we may build with people who are looking for love just like everyone else. it's easy to demonize a people without taking the time to get to know them.

unofrtunately so many of us grew up homophobic with fantasies of beating up 'fags' only to realize, some too late, that we carry huge logs in our own eyes.

SolaMeanie said...

I certainly agree with the sentiments expressed here, but I must throw out one proviso. We must not whitewash Scripture and say that homosexuality is okay. It is not. Sin is sin no matter what its guise. Those of us who know the Lord are called on to both repent of sin ourselves (whatever our particular sins are) and to call others to repentance.

Unfortunately, within certain Christian circles it is becoming the thing to accept unrepentant homosexual practice. We must not let love and compassion for those caught up in this sin cause us to change our view that it IS sin.