Sunday, April 18th, the infamous Westboro Baptist Church will be bringing their wretched show to town. This is that incredibly noxious “God Hates Fags” church led by Fred Phelps and his deranged family. According to their website, they will be coming to Gainesville to protest 3 churches and a Jewish student center at UF. I cannot blame you if you don’t want to go to that link, so the schedule of their picketing expedition is as follows” Noon to 12:30PM at Trinity United Methodist Church, and 1-1:30 at the Hillel Center at 2020 W. University Ave. Then they skedaddle over to Queen of Peace Catholic Church at 10900 SW 24th Ave from 5-5:30, and finish out their “Reign of Error” at Saint Augustine Catholic Church at 1738 W. University Ave from 7-7:30.
Now you might ask, “Don, why are you so put out with Westboro Baptist Church?” It’s because they ruin God and Jesus for so many people. These ignoramuses go traveling around the country as if they are some sort of prophets setting the rest of the church straight by showing how mad we are supposed to be at the rest of the world. They rub salt in the wounds of the very people God has commanded us to heal and to whom we should show compassion. Then they rebuke everyone who is not like them. Is this really the Great Commission Christ gave to the church? Is this the example set by Jesus? Of course not.
So how should we respond to these modern day Pharisees? In the New Testament, those were the very people for whom He reserved His harshest criticism. Likewise, these frauds deserve our strongest condemnation. They do not belong to the Kingdom of God at all. They are (wait for it) of the Devil.
I know that it is a popular feeling that they should be ignored by the mainstream church. I believe this is a mistake. I believe this is the time to stand up and be counted. If the church is serious about reaching people in the LGBT community, then they need to stand with them and show them the love.
I am not saying you have to sell out all your beliefs. After all, many Christians disagree about major issues of eternal consequences, but DON’T hate each other! In fact, you are good neighbors and look out for one another. That’s all I’m saying: be a good neighbor and stand up with them against these clowns that you KNOW are dead wrong. And you know they are.
So, look at that schedule. I challenge you to come out and protest them at one of these locations, or more.