Thursday, March 20, 2014

In Memoriam: Fred Phelps

The founder of the Westboro Baptist Church died yesterday.  He did so excommunicated from his own church, hated by a very large proportion of the American people, and facing eternity with the burden of his vitriolic, hate-filled, warped, twisted theology on his conscience.

I don't envy him his interview before the Throne of Grace.

Nevertheless, I'll pray for mercy for him, because as St. Paul assures us, "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" - myself no less than anyone else.  I'll condemn Mr. Phelps' lamentable actions and fatally misguided views, but not his soul.  He's now facing the Judgment all of us must face one day, sooner or later.  May he find the same Mercy we hope to obtain, and may his sins be forgiven him.

And may his followers come to understand the error of his ways, and embrace the path of Christ, before it's too late for them.



Agnothiest said...

Nicely said, Peter.

Francis W. Porretto said...

The essence of theological hatred, which is the sort condemned as a capital sin, is to hope for someone's damnation. Good on you for avoiding that abyss.

Anonymous said...

Bob beat me to it.

Jennifer said...

Well said.

Paul said...

Good words. Although I don't think much of gays in general, I am not sure they are the source of our destruction. they are definitely its hand maidens.

Anonymous said...

"My mother always told me to speak good of the dead. He's dead, good!"
Bette Davis

Knucklehead said...

"I've never wished a man dead but I've read some obituaries with great pleasure." - Clarence Darrow

Elisa Hanson Casey said...

Nicely stated as always. Your writing always leaves me thinking.

In 1989 when serial killer Ted Bundy was executed in Florida for his crimes, he made a fairly well publicized confession of faith to theologian/minister James Dobson. I was 19 at the time and that was one of those moments in my growing faith that made me stop and do some hard thinking. The obvious initial question, although I never asked it out loud at the time, was "Can God truly forgive such as Ted Bundy?" The opposite question to that was "If God CANNOT forgive him, then where is the line in the sand of who else cannot be forgiven?" And where did I fit into that scheme?

I'm a child of God-- no better than anyone else but certainly no worse-- and I know how my forgiveness has been bought. When it is all said and done I hope the list of things that I have done right or for the right reason is a little longer than the list of times I've done wrong, been mean-spirited, impatient, intolerant, or just plain unkind or it is gonna be a long chat.

But yes, I do hope that God can forgive someone whose behavior on earth was so loathsome or I might find myself a little closer to that line in the sand.