In light of Fred Phelps and his numerous issues with… everyone, I thought it be best to touch on just some of the groups of people he hates.
John Piper has some great insight on this topic. In the second paragraph (and at other times) Piper has affirmed that God will not judge America for accepting homosexuality, instead- the rapant tolerance of homosexuality in America (and the West) is due to our leaving of God. It is a part of His judgment of this nation. However, I would put the blame on so much more than just the nation- the Christians in this nation must step up and speak against sin in love and live the message of the Gospel. We have yet to do so as we should and thus bear a large part of the blame. In short, we never cease to love others- and by loving others, we mean focus on truly showing care for the people around us.
I seem to remember Paul saying something about the Jews… Romans 11:28 tells us, “As regards the gospel, they are enemies of God for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers.” To be honest, I don’t know the exact meaning of this verse (and would welcome help with it) but Paul says that the Jews are beloved for the sake of their fathers. So if they are enemies in regards to the gospel (as is everyone who is unsaved) and beloved at the same time, we again find ourselves in a delicate balance where the Bible (which should be our delight) tells us that everyone is our enemy- but also tells us to love that others may come to know Christ. So it is wrong to hate people just for being Jewish (I didn’t think we had to cover that again).
This will be shorter as it is similar to the above statement. We once had slavery in America, and everyone used the Biblical commandments regarding slavery to support their ideals. However, virtually every theologian holds to the fact that American slavery is vastly different than Biblical slavery (in which case, I agree with slavery- according to the Biblical standards). However, this idea of slavery sticks with us to the point that we like to hate people who are different because they are supposedly lesser than us. But that is not the message of the Bible. The message of the Bible is that one day people from every tribe, tongue and nation will be glorifying Christ. This means man, woman, child, white, black, Native American, Jew, Gentile etc… will all be represented in the presence of Christ.
Catholics and Lutherans
Yes, we disagree with them (the Catholics more than the Lutherans). But to hate them and cause them pain is wrong. Instead, we should be showing Catholics that true salvation is only by grace and works are an outpouring of that grace. But I don’t know why he hates Lutherans- doesn’t he know that it was Luther who helped begin the very Reformation that allowed him to be Baptist?
Canadians, Swedes, Italians
That’s just silly. Regardless of what your stereotypes of these nations are- you should not neglect their needs. For instance, Phelps hates Italy because of the Mafia. But just because a notorious gang of criminals cam from that country, doesn’t mean that all Italians are Mob-bosses. I thought we had gotten away from ethnic stereotypes. But I guess if you don’t know the love of Christ, it’s easier to ignore loving people.
The U.S. Government
All I can do to speak against Phelps’ hatred of this group is quote Paul from Romans 13.1-7:
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. 5Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. 6For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. 7Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.
If Paul can speak like that regarding the Romans, we can speak the same regarding our president.
Think about it- don’t hate- that doesn’t accomplish anything.
A message to Mr. Phelps- Jesus loves you, this I know, for the Bible tells me so. Don’t ruin the message of the Gospel for your benefit.