Westboro Baptist Church Founder Rev. Fred Phelps Dies http://t.co/jsTYo0e73RFred Phelps no doubt thought he was genuinely serving God by his actions. He probably genuinely considered himself to be faithfully representing the Father by making GOD HATES FAGS and GOD HATES AMERICA well know phrases.
— NPR News (@nprnews) March 20, 2014
I have no reason to think Phelps was entirely sincere in his conviction that he was fulfilling the mission of God by picketing the funerals of fallen soldiers.
I suspect he thought he was training up the children of his extended family in the way they should go , by standing them on street corners and in cemeteries with sign proclaiming God's hatred.
What many don't know is that he was a respected church leader and lawyer for much of the first 40 years of his life. According to his Wikipedia bio, he was known as a staunch defender of civil rights. He received awards from the Greater Kansas City Chapter of Blacks in Government and the Bonner Springs branch of the NAACP, for his work on behalf of black clients.
But sometime during the 1970s and '80s, the record shows that he became increasingly strident in his condemnation of sin, reacting strongly against sexual perversions especially.
From there, his life led down a path well known to us all, one that will be his legacy forever.
The Question of the Day for all Christians, for all of us who preach or teach or attempt to share our faith, is this:
Am I sure that my actions, my attitudes, are not on a slow, slippery slope toward excessive hatred and irrational "religious" actions?Have I allowed my personal revulsion about certain sins to blind me to God's love for everyone?
Have I allowed a personal mission to express my doctrinal, political, or social opinions to hinder God's mission to seek and save the lost?
Am I willing to take a deep and honest look at my own heart and my actions, to make sure I'm not deluding myself into believing I'm doing the work God re-created me to do?
Perhaps you should ask someone if they think you're on the right track, if they see any indications of misdirected energies. Don't ask your closest friend - they might be on the same blind path. Ask someone who is a fellow Christian, but with whom you don't always agree.
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17)
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)
Stay sharp, friends. And make sure the battle you're fighting is God's, not yours.