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On Westboro Baptist, Sin and Jesus

By: Admin on March 24, 2014

Fred Phelps passed away on March 19. He was the founder and leader of the Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas. He and his small congregation generated huge controversy as they would set up loud, vocal protests at the funerals of fallen members of the Armed Forces. They would use any natural or man-made tragedy as the launch pad to publicly declare the reason for the tragedy being the sinful state of the society and tolerance for that sin. They manipulated the justice system into giving them a constant platform to shout out their message.

When Phelps died, the social media universe lit up with celebratory fanfare. As a Christian and pastor of a Baptist church I have always been saddened by this man, the group he led, the life he lived and how he died.

The only place where Phelps and I agree is that God's judgment is coming for our sin. But that's where the agreement ends. This group and others like it only preach half of the truth from the Bible, therefore their "ministry" is invalid.

This group declares Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" and Romans 6:23, "For the wages of sin is death". But they publicly leave out the rest of the story.

Romans 3:23 AND 24 say, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus."

The complete text of Romans 6:23 is this, "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

God created people in his own image. He created us with the purpose of directing all glory and credit to him. In doing this we also receive all the blessings and benefits of being in this perfect relationship with him. God also created us with the idea of living in perfect harmony with each other and with our world.

We as humans have left that clear path God has shown us. We allow selfishness and greed to drive us, therefore we lie, cheat, steal, pollute, waste, fight, gossip and kill. This happens on a personal and international level. The entire creation has been messed up by sin. It is not the purpose for which God has made us.

God's judgment against sin is just according to Romans 1:18 - 20, "The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse."

At every protest and in every blog and interview, Phelps and his group would declare that, "God HATES ____________________ (insert name of person, group, nation)". That is NOT true.

This is what the Bible says in Romans 5:8, "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

Jesus said in John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

Death is the result of sin. Death is beyond just the cessation of physical life, it has to do with the separation of relationship with God, relationship with others and from hope. Therefore Christ died for us. He paid the price that we as humans should have been paying because of our sin and selfishness. This was an act driven by love.

I made a decision to accept the forgiveness, love and life God offered to me through faith in the person and work of Jesus. I could not and cannot change. Only God can change me and he is working patiently in me, even though I fail so often. If we continue to reject God and the Bible, then we will end up permanently separated from Him and all good things.

A lot of people do not like the Bible's definition of sin. There is much complaint over passages like Romans 1:18 - 32, Galatians 5:16 - 21 and Jesus' words in Matthew 5.

I encourage you to read your Bible, pray and examine your own life honestly. We ARE sinners. We can be saved by faith in Jesus Christ because of God's love for us, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast." (Ephesians 2:8, 9)

Drop me an email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). I'd love to have the conversation.

Topics: forgiveness, sin

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