Sunday, March 19, 2006

Not all preachers of hate wear turbans

I was checking out Stop the ACLU and saw this post by Jay. It seems that a Michigan congressman will soon introduce legislation to protect mourners at military funerals from protesters. This is inspired by the insane actions of “pastor” Fred Phelps and his pod-people followers at the Westboro Baptist Church.

In case you haven’t been following this story “pastor” Phelps has decided that God is punishing America for our arrogance and our tolerance of gays. The punishment is expressed through natural disasters like hurricane Katrina and by battlefield deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan.

These nutjobs picket funerals of military personnel who have fallen in the war carrying signs with messages like “God Loves Dead Soldiers”, “God Hates Fags” and “Fags Die God Laughs”.

This cult has a website called, God Hates Fags. I went there and checked out their statement of faith. They claim to be Christians in the Calvinist tradition. They associate themselves with great men of faith like Martin Luther, John Knox, Augustine, Charles Spurgeon and, John Calvin.

They may have sound doctrine in their mouths, but they do not have it in their hearts. The message of both Old and New Testaments is the extraordinary lengths that God will go to seek and save sinners. From God reasoning with Cain over his rejected sacrifice to St. Steven’s dying prayer that God would “not lay this sin to their charge” about the men who were murdering him. The Bible paints a picture of a God who “takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked”.

The true Christian sees the lost as a mission field to be harvested, not as enemies to be spit upon. Yes there are political agendas that must be opposed (special rights for gays and abortion on demand are two) and sometimes poking fun is the best way to make the point. However, the purpose, the bedrock fundamental purpose, of a Christian Church is to seek and save the lost, period.

You do not do this by going out of your way to make yourself as obnoxious as humanly possible. The only glimpse of Christ that many unbelievers will ever get is what he sees in the character of people who identify themselves as Christian. The only Bible many of the lost will ever read is what they read in the actions of those who identify themselves as Christian.

If you pervert your own actions supposedly done in the name of God then how are you different than Mohammad or Joseph Smith or Jim Jones?