By now, anyone reading this post has likely heard of the passing of Fred Phelps. If you weren’t familiar with the name, he is most known for being the leader of Westboro Baptist Church (WBC).
Let me give you an example to help you see just how irrational and aberrant WBC is. My brother-in-law, (with whom I have almost no theological agreement), and I have a rule of engagement when we
argue debate whereby we’ve each agreed to never compare the other to WBC. They are, effectively the new Nazi.
So the death of a man such as Fred Phelps elicits several responses. Sadly, but not unexpectedly considering the depravity of man, it appears many people who were most offended by Phelps have responded in kind: returning to him even in his death the hatred they so claim was wrong when he exercised it. And of course, there are groups who are shouting for compassion – even proposing the usual “deathbed conversion” argument to suppose possibly that Christ’s sacrifice was applied to the sins of Phelps.
And, as is usual when a wicked, God-hater dies, Christians and non Christians are posting Ezekiel 18:23 – as if God does not work all things to His own Good Pleasure.
Consider the following:
- Psalms 115:3 ESV3 Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.
- God took Fred Phelps life.
- Therefore, God is pleased in the death of Fred Phelps.
Carefully read Ezekiel 18 sometime and you will notice that God’s apparent lack of pleasure is contrasted with God’s desire to see Himself glorified through the exercise of His mercy to repentant sinners.
Ezekiel 18:23 isn’t an absolute statement of fact without context. Consider Luke 14:26 ESV, which, out of context implies an idea no true
Scotsman Christian actually believes about following Christ.
26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.
Both these scriptures are relative statements contrasting two ideas. Dig into the scripture yourself and consider if these things are so.
I have rounded up a few articles that I found noteworthy. They are all worth your time, IMO.
You can click each to open in a new tab and read.
God Hates Phelps? – This was the best article outlining the proper Christian response.
Al Mohler article – Al is always worth reading…even if he throws in a few opinions with which I cannot agree.
IMPRECATORY PSALMS AND FRED PHELPS A thoughtful post by Rhology.
Click the link in the tweet and read the main comment. Then save time and avoid reading the fast degradation of internet commenters by closing the tab!
Best response for how to "picket" Fred Phelps funeral, so far. http://t.co/3tC8wSz15w
— Alex Hayter (@alexhayter) March 21, 2014