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Hate and How to Overcome It: How Should We Respond to the Tragic Death of Fred Phelps?
Christianity Today ^ | 3/20/2014 | Ed Stetzer

Posted on 03/20/2014 8:07:33 PM PDT by Former Fetus

Death is always a tragedy. Hate makes it more so.

Today, a man known for hate died. CNN concluded that his infamy was worth a breaking news alert.

But how do we respond? How does this breaking news relate to the gospel's good news?

I've had some run-ins with Westboro, though I don't like to use the words "Baptist" and "Church" when referring to it. (My apologies to the city of Westboro, but your sacrifice is appreciated to rescue the words "Baptist" and "Church.")

I actually have a reminder of the Phelps family that I see every day. If you visit my office, you'd see a nameplate. They called me a "Lying Whore, False Prophet" for believing the crazy idea that God loves people—even sinners. As a result, one of my enterprising team members (Lizette Beard) made a nameplate. Every day I can ponder about Fred Phelps—and how he turned the love of God into hate.

The Phelps family (a better description than a "Baptist church," though even that is filled with tragic irony as they self destruct), protested at my former church.

You can read how we responded here and part of that answer may be helpful here.

We were determined to show and share the love of Jesus in the midst of their distortion of the gospel, explaining:

Our answer to offensive signs was to show and share the love of Christ with anyone in need. Whether speaking to the protestors, counter protestors, or the media, we were prepared to speak about what God is doing in our community... The last thing we have time to do is shut down because five people show up with offensive signs.

(Excerpt) Read more at christianitytoday.com ...


TOPICS: Current Events; General Discusssion
KEYWORDS: christians; phelps; wbc; westboro
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“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect. (Matt. 5:43-48)
1 posted on 03/20/2014 8:07:33 PM PDT by Former Fetus
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To: Former Fetus

Simple.

I pray that he found God before he passed and I move on.


2 posted on 03/20/2014 8:08:39 PM PDT by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: Former Fetus

Fred Phelps, pal of Al Gore.


3 posted on 03/20/2014 8:09:05 PM PDT by Army Air Corps (Four Fried Chickens and a Coke)
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To: cripplecreek

Bingo.


4 posted on 03/20/2014 8:09:27 PM PDT by Army Air Corps (Four Fried Chickens and a Coke)
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To: Former Fetus

I feel the same way about him as I do people who had much to give, but wasted it on self destructiveness and self hate. They had their chance at so much and now decided to end up as what they are now remembered for. Right now, whatever chance they have for redemption is lost.


5 posted on 03/20/2014 8:14:57 PM PDT by CorporateStepsister (I am NOT going to force a man to make my dreams come true)
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To: Former Fetus

I’d say Fred, I hope you are not lost to G-d, and I hope you are soon forgotten on Earth. May you rest in peace and may the humanity rest more peacefully without you.


6 posted on 03/20/2014 8:15:05 PM PDT by Wuli (kra)
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To: Army Air Corps; cripplecreek
Exactly!

No one knows the final disposition of a soul but the Lord. I abhor those who disturb the funerals of others for whatever reason. There is no cause to do so regardless of how heinous the offenses of the departed may have been.

The Lord will mete out judgment - whatever it may be. It is not ours to do so.



"Dia shábháil ar fad anseo!"

Genuflectimus non ad principem sed ad Principem Pacis!

Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The LORD hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name. (Isaiah 49:1 KJV)

7 posted on 03/20/2014 8:16:00 PM PDT by ConorMacNessa (HM/2 USN, 3/5 Marines RVN 1<center> <table back969 - St. Mlichael the Archangel defend us in Battle!)
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To: Wuli

Amen!


8 posted on 03/20/2014 8:16:51 PM PDT by MeshugeMikey (Spreading Peace and Luv Since...1960 something)
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To: Former Fetus

Dear Fred.

you will be long gone and soon forgotten.


9 posted on 03/20/2014 8:17:49 PM PDT by MeshugeMikey (Spreading Peace and Luv Since...1960 something)
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To: Former Fetus

Why is his death tragic? He was 84; it was his time. What he did with his life was tragic.


10 posted on 03/20/2014 8:19:03 PM PDT by DLfromthedesert (She accomplished nothing: should have stayed at home and baked cookies)
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To: cripplecreek

I hope by now he’s found out that God does not, in fact, hate fags.


11 posted on 03/20/2014 8:22:41 PM PDT by Cyber Liberty (H.L. Mencken: "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.")
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To: Former Fetus

Nobody’s death should be celebrated, not even a person as vile as Fred Phelps. That which is Life and gives life, whatever you name choose to use, chose to give the world Fred Phelps, for some reason, one which I admit I don’t understand and I’m sure most people don’t.

Nevertheless, he was a human being with a family and they are (mostly) grieving. As hateful a lot as the Westboro group is, rejoicing at anyone’s death is unseemly and inhuman.


12 posted on 03/20/2014 8:26:45 PM PDT by TBP (Obama lies, Granny dies.)
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To: Former Fetus

Phelps and his family are false flags acting to demonize Christians. The Soviets created false flags all too often. See the Verona papers

I’m sure they have some Swiss bank account being financed by Leftists.


13 posted on 03/20/2014 8:27:06 PM PDT by RginTN
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; cardinal4; ColdOne; ...

In the case of Fred, point out at every opportunity that he was a typical Democrat with typical Democrat views. Thanks Former Fetus.


14 posted on 03/20/2014 8:31:12 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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Comment #15 Removed by Moderator

To: Cyber Liberty

Does God hate demons?


16 posted on 03/20/2014 8:34:21 PM PDT by steve86 (to the nearest on-shore cell tower or repeater).)
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To: MeshugeMikey

Maybe we should return the favor and protest at his funeral.


17 posted on 03/20/2014 8:37:43 PM PDT by animal172 (Calling Thomas Jefferson)
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To: cripplecreek
Yes. Simple. Pray for his soul. All the rest is not of God.
18 posted on 03/20/2014 8:41:09 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: Former Fetus

Rejoicing in the death of someone who may have fallen short of Heaven does not come from God.

Anyone rejoicing needs to think long and hard about where that “joy” is actually coming from.

Prayers for the repose of his soul, for those who loved him, and for the conversion of non-believers.


19 posted on 03/20/2014 8:45:03 PM PDT by mountainbunny (Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens” J.R.R. Tolkien)
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To: TBP

Yes and I pray that no-one goes and protests at his funeral even though they probably deserve it. Mercy and forgiveness takes the higher road!


20 posted on 03/20/2014 8:48:08 PM PDT by melsec (Once a Jolly Swagman camped by a Billabong.)
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To: Former Fetus; RginTN; SunkenCiv; workerbee

Fred Phelps was a Leftist. He was an agent provocateur and a useful idiot.

Prov. 24:20... “For there shall be no reward to the evil man; the candle of the wicked shall be put out.”


21 posted on 03/20/2014 8:48:29 PM PDT by Old Sarge (TINVOWOOT: There Is No Voting Our Way Out Of This)
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To: Admin Moderator

Uh-oh, it’s Pollyanna at the helm tonight, I see.


22 posted on 03/20/2014 8:51:04 PM PDT by workerbee (The President of the United States is DOMESTIC ENEMY #1!)
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To: RginTN

I totally agree. It was intentional evil acts for front page news only, what he was doing. Nothing Christian about his actions.

It was all to discredit Christianity in America. (MSM is all about controlling proper perceptions of the masses). The “Kill God” Postmodernists/Leftists have been demonizing Christianity, since the Scopes Trial to undermine the Bible and silence Christians and relegate them into the closet, as they flip Good and Evil with conditioning our children with moral relativism and evolution, flipping Vice and Virtue.

True Christians are rational and too hard to enslave and would never ever dishonor the dead or pretend to be God and “judge” the souls.


23 posted on 03/20/2014 8:54:09 PM PDT by savagesusie (Right Reason According to Nature = Just Law)
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To: Former Fetus

Fred Phelps and the Phelps family were Democrat Lawyers, working as agent provacateurs for either the Homosexual lobby or the Democrat Party.


24 posted on 03/20/2014 8:55:31 PM PDT by MuttTheHoople (Nothing is more savage and brutal than justifiably angry Americans. Don’t believe me? Ask the Germa)
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To: Former Fetus
Tragic?

I'd go with inevitable.

25 posted on 03/20/2014 8:55:56 PM PDT by Paladin2
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To: steve86
Does God hate demons?

No.

26 posted on 03/20/2014 9:07:31 PM PDT by Talisker (One who commands, must obey.)
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To: DLfromthedesert

“What he did with his life was tragic.”

That is why his death was tragic. He could have been remembered for so much more.


27 posted on 03/20/2014 9:08:28 PM PDT by Morgana (Wagglebee please come home we miss you!)
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To: melsec

Are you kidding? The Westboro whores are so desperate for attention that if nobody protests his funeral, they’ll do it themselves.


28 posted on 03/20/2014 9:18:35 PM PDT by TBP (Obama lies, Granny dies.)
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To: Old Sarge

He was such an asset to the “gay rights” cause that I sometimes wonder if he was on their payroll.


29 posted on 03/20/2014 9:20:32 PM PDT by TBP (Obama lies, Granny dies.)
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To: Former Fetus

who?


30 posted on 03/20/2014 10:00:14 PM PDT by ALASKA (Disgusted.....)
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To: steve86
Does God hate demons?

That is a tough question, but considering the agony, torture and misery they will endure, I do not know. As I said, it is a tough question, even if it is a rhetorical question.

31 posted on 03/20/2014 10:15:15 PM PDT by Mark17 (Chicago Blackhawks: Stanley Cup champions 2010, 2013. Vietnam Vet 70-71 Msgt US Air Force, retired)
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To: Former Fetus
Would the Doxology be inappropriate at this time?

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise him, all creatures here below;
Praise him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

32 posted on 03/20/2014 10:28:40 PM PDT by A Formerly Proud Canadian ( I once was blind, but now I see...)
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To: TBP

Haha that’s funny!


33 posted on 03/20/2014 10:32:02 PM PDT by melsec (Once a Jolly Swagman camped by a Billabong.)
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To: Former Fetus

He was an attention ho, pure and simple. Why give him in death what he didn’t deserve in life? Let apathetic ignominy be his earthly fate.


34 posted on 03/20/2014 11:04:22 PM PDT by Coronal (t)
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To: steve86
My impression that He is deeply disappointed and saddened by their choice to rebel. A harder question for me is could God not have only made Angels or mortals who would not have rebelled? This is especially difficult for me to see if I look at hell as a place of eternally experienced intentional torture. As a system of judgement eternal intentional torture seems rather extreme and unjust. I am not sure of the answers to these questions, but the most reasonable reconciliation of Christian theology I am aware of is covered by the writings of CS Lewis (his adult books--not Narnia, but his essays and particularly his works such as "Pilgrim's Regress" and "The Great Divorce").

From my reading of the Christian Bible, hell is at best a permanent separation from God in some profound and deeply tragic way--but necessary in regard to the eternal choice of the beings there to reject a relationship with God. At worse it is a place of intentional eternal vindictive torture. I tend to the first one in both my sensibilities and my reading of scripture. I will not deny that there is some frightful language in the Book of Revelation about an eternal lake of fire, but there seem to me more and plainer less vision-like occasions in scripture where the final state of the dammed is referred to simply as death, eternal destruction, and being the alternative to eternal life--which are not very consistent with a state of eternal temporal awareness in which one is tortured. Jesus seemed to describe it most often as being cast out into darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. Regret. Missing out. Shut out. But the only time he seemed to describe it as a place where some physical torment occurred was in the parable of the rich man in a parable...with a tongue that burned who wanted to warn his friends. I am dubious that the point of this parable was to teach the doctrine of hell, its punch line was that if the rich man's brothers would not be convinced by Moses and the prophets, then neither would they be convinced by someone returning from the dead.

Thus with my reading of the doctrine of hell, I find it easier to accept that God would make creatures of free will including those He knew would go bad, and that although He regrets deeply their choices which will lead them into separation from Him, still for whatever reason He thought it good to at least give them a shot at life and existance.

35 posted on 03/21/2014 1:02:34 AM PDT by AndyTheBear
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To: TBP
rejoicing at anyone’s death is unseemly and inhuman

Rejoicing at the death of evil men is very human.

36 posted on 03/21/2014 1:39:24 AM PDT by Hugin
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To: Former Fetus

*Tragic* death?

Isn’t every death *tragic*?

Or if not, then why is his?

What makes his more tragic than someone else’s?

How ‘bout we just ignore it?


37 posted on 03/21/2014 1:43:01 AM PDT by metmom (...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith....)
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To: Former Fetus

I’m not God and therefor not wise enough to “love unconditionally”.

I hope he burns in hell...


38 posted on 03/21/2014 2:32:24 AM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously-you won't live through it anyway-Enjoy Yourself ala Louis Prima)
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To: Former Fetus

I wonder if Al will attend the funeral.


39 posted on 03/21/2014 2:40:48 AM PDT by Opinionated Blowhard ("When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.")
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To: TBP

Of course he was. The Left could point to Westboro and Phelps and loudly proclaim “See how evil those religious nuts are? Sexist-Racist-homophobe!”

It provided them with justification for their hate. As lawyers, the Phelps clan are civil-rights ambulance chasers. As a church, they’re false-front leftists, as stated in the Venona papers.


40 posted on 03/21/2014 3:57:45 AM PDT by Old Sarge (TINVOWOOT: There Is No Voting Our Way Out Of This)
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To: Former Fetus

dude was a twisted evil bassturd. Used to beat wife and kids silly.


41 posted on 03/21/2014 4:48:42 AM PDT by yldstrk ( My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: cripplecreek

I agree with you. And if he did not find The Lord then it was his choice and he must deal with it.


42 posted on 03/21/2014 4:57:16 AM PDT by ops33 (Senior Master Sergeant, USAF (Retired))
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To: Former Fetus

All I am going to say is that I hope he repented before he had passed.


43 posted on 03/21/2014 5:01:08 AM PDT by Biggirl (“Go, do not be afraid, and serve”-Pope Francis)
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To: animal172

His descendants might view that as some form of victory...claiming that even in death he was a man to be reckoned with...

let our Ignoring him be our eulogy


44 posted on 03/21/2014 6:24:45 AM PDT by MeshugeMikey (Spreading Peace and Luv Since...1960 something)
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To: Cyber Liberty

Other than saying God hated “fags” he told the truth about homosexuality and could have cared less what people thought about him, especially left-wing homo-loving democrats. Of course God hates the sin not the sinner. Protesting at funeral was stupid, but he was right about homosexuality and all the evils that come with it.


45 posted on 03/21/2014 6:53:51 AM PDT by NKP_Vet ("To be deep in history is to cease being Protestant" - John Henry Cardinal Newman)
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To: Biggirl

What did he do that was so bad? A lot of people say a lot of things.


46 posted on 03/21/2014 9:46:49 AM PDT by steve86 (to the nearest on-shore cell tower or repeater).)
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To: steve86

Protesting at soldiers funerals and disrupting family unity was practiced by that Westboro Baptist Church. However, the less attention this nutcase receives the better, forget him and let him die from history, he deserves no attention.

In fact, we would have less focus on horrific crime if the serial and mass murderers were kept out of the news and no attention paid to them, and the cameras kept out of the courtroom....no 15 minutes of fame. Total anonymous coverage would take the glamour out of it. That may not keep them from being the sociopaths they are, but it certainly would make them suffer in silence.

Many of the terrorists are after maximum coverage...send them to Gitmo without any notoriety at all...everything kept secret and cover their heads with a bag so no pictures are taken, that will prevent some of their popularity. When giving the NEWS about an event give the coverage to the victims and no fame to the terrorist or criminal.


47 posted on 03/21/2014 9:53:39 AM PDT by Kackikat
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To: steve86

“Does God Hate Demons”

God is not capable of hate, for God is love. However, demons are fallen Angels whom God created. The followers of Lucifer were cast down from heaven when Lucifer was banned from heaven for his ‘desire to be God’ and be worshipped....sound familiar?

Anyway, as we destroy the terrorists in war/execution, and evil people through capital punishment, those demons leave their bodies and seek refuge in other haters, thereby increasing our problem.

None of what is happening is God’s fault, because all have free will, including Angels...to choose to serve God or not, it’s one of the universal laws. The consequences of allowing choice is simple, since Lucifer (Satan, Devil,Belzebulb or whatever one wants to call him)can never repent and be saved, as he saw heaven and was the most powerful Angel of Worship, the evil in him wants to take as many to hell with him as he can.
No, God does not hate demons, only their behavior.


48 posted on 03/21/2014 10:04:51 AM PDT by Kackikat
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To: Vendome

I make the effort to love unconditionally every moment, every day.


49 posted on 03/21/2014 3:53:09 PM PDT by TBP (Obama lies, Granny dies.)
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To: steve86

Protesting solders funerals that was what was wrong.


50 posted on 03/22/2014 11:44:19 AM PDT by Biggirl (“Go, do not be afraid, and serve”-Pope Francis)
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