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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Hatred Preached


               It is distressing to see the headlines from the Topeka, Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church’s tirade of hate.  Although claiming Calvinist doctrine and primitive Baptist belief, this church is not affiliated with the Baptist Convention and is noted as a hate group by The Anti-defamation League.  This church has felt “led” to picket funerals of those that they disagree with and deem pro-gay since 1991.  Since that time, is estimated that the church has spent $250,000 dollars per year on its picketing activities and staged nearly 41,000 protests.  Among these are the funerals of the five dead from the January 2011 Tucson, Arizona shooting that injured congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.  The group did defer from picketing the funeral of nine-year-old Christina Taylor Green, who was killed in the shooting, in exchange for air time on local radio.  They have also picketed the funerals of fallen service people while carrying placards declaring “Thank God For Dead Soldiers.”  Ironically, these picketers would not even have the constitutional right to publicly speak their opinions if it were not for the sacrifice of the men and women of our armed services.  They also have desecrated the American flag and are anti-Israel.  Psalm 122:6 speaks God’s heart regarding this issue, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.”  The total lack of compassion this group exhibits in their rhetoric is indefensible.  They disregard the feelings of innocent loved-ones while they spew their erroneous doctrine in the name of God.  In a memo sent out at the funeral of cancer victim Elizabeth Edwards, wife of John Edwards, the group proclaimed that God hates her, and she is now a “resident” of hell.  That is judgment, which incidentally is reserved for God.  Luke 6:37 adjures us, “Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.”  We know by the reading of scripture that God considers homosexuality a sin, “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination” (Leviticus 18:22).  God despises sin, it is a disfigurement of the perfection that He created and it is a product of the Fall.  God hates sin, but He loves people and it is His desire that we, as humans overcome the sinful world to live in His Grace.  When we accept Jesus Christ as our personal Savior our sins are forgiven and we are free to live in the unmerited favor (Grace) that Christ’s death bought for humankind.  His Blood is dynamic; it is a past perfect infinitive, meaning that it is efficacious to cover our past sins, current sins and future sins.  We have but to come to God in repentance in order to receive His forgiveness daily.  We all sin every day.  Romans 3:23 tells us this truth, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” 

Interestingly, the people that the New Testament records Jesus behaving confrontationally toward were the Pharisees, His verbiage: “Oh generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh” (Matthew 12:34).  Jesus’ show of righteous indignation in Mark 11:15 was at the men selling sacrificial animals in the temple courtyard, “And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves.”  As Christians we are to be salt and light to the world as Matthew 5:13-16 teaches us, “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”  Not only are the hatred-filled lies that this group is proliferating not scriptural, they are sordid, embarrassing to true Christianity and not God’s will in the least. We must know and understand scripture in order to detect the error of false doctrine. This issue is one of leadership, we as Christian leaders must be humble, motivated by love and sensitive to God’s Spirit.  Ultimately, leadership will be responsible to God for what we have taught and allowed in our realm of authority.  Pray for Godly leadership, pray for the salvation of mankind.  This is God’s desire. 
Sources:  Wikipedia, The Huffington Post


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