Friday, June 24, 2011

A God of love or a God of hate?

You've probably heard of the group of crazy lunatics otherwise known as Westboro Baptist Church (and channeling Linda Richman here, let me point out that Westboro Baptist Church is neither Baptist nor a church. Discuss.) They are the people that go around telling the world that God hates fags, soldiers, and well, basically everyone but themselves. They picket all over the place, whether at funerals, churches, businesses, etc. Recently they picketed in front of the Mars Hill Church at its Auburn campus. Mars Hill is pastored by a man named Mark Driscoll.

Anyway, in advance of the protest, Driscoll wrote an article on his church's website that can be found here. He did a better job than I'd ever claim to do of demonstrating that the Westboro people are false teachers and are deceived and wrong.

I just wanted to add a couple things. If nothing else, who knows, maybe someone will stumble upon this and they are wondering if it's true that God really hates everyone except His elect, and that the Bible preaches hate (which is what Westboro's website explicitly states).

If you are a nonbeliever or an atheist, I can at least understand where you might have gotten the false idea that God is hateful. Let me assure you, that is not the case. The God of the Bible is one of love, greater love than we can imagine. In fact, God literally IS love. 1 John 4:8 specifically says that. In a less direct way, the first few verses of Genesis allude to it as well. Tim Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York, talks about this in a sermon entitled "Before the Beginning," and describes how before we were even created, there was love. Anyway, you could write books and books and books on the topic of God and His love. In fact, many people describe the Bible as a whole as one big love story.

Another thing to mention is that in the article by Driscoll that I linked above, I saw a few people on a message board interpret his comments about Westboro's "crazy Calvinism" as a rejection of all Calvinist doctrine in general. That also is not the case. What Driscoll was declaring to be wrong was the extremist version of Calvinism displayed by the Westboro people, the belief that God actively hates everyone except His elect. That's not to say Driscoll is a Cavlinist- I honestly don't know- but his point in the article wasn't to debate Calvinism in general. It was to point out that this extreme version of it is not Biblical.

Finally, I don't understand their strange fascination with gays. Clearly their number one agenda is to tell the world that God supposedly hates fags. Their website is actually, in case they feared that people wouldn't know exactly what they stood for from simply perusing their website. Their logic is succinctly stated on their website as follows: "In Romans 1, the word "reprobate"is used to describe fags. Fags are reprobate. God hates reprobates. Therefore, God hates fags." So, in their mind, there you have it. Thankfully these Westboro people are a small minority. The truth of the matter is this. Forgiveness and eternity in Paradise are available to all. That doesn't mean all will be saved, but it does mean that there isn't one certain group of sinners that just "can't" be saved. Heaven will have murderers, liars, and adulterers (and that's just David). It will have people who struggle with vanity, selfishness, hatred, self-indulgence, homosexuality, jealousy, and every other sin. Why? Because we have ALL sinned. But for those of us that accept the free gift, all sin is forgiven.

No comments:

Post a Comment