We have all done it. I have, you have, and everyone at your church has. We have all used the line “Westboro is different.” We all hate Westboro. It doesn’t take a second semester bible college student to know that what Westboro does is wrong. Westboro is one of the few things that Atheists and Christians can agree on. They are wrong, horrible, hateful, lost, and all around bad PR for Christ’s church. This is why we don’t like them. They make us look bad. My church actually changed it’s name to take the word baptist out, so that we wouldn’t be associated with them.
In this post, I am going to quickly boil down Westboro’s “methods” and talk about what crucial lesson is to be learned below the layer of hostility and hate.
First off, I should just peel the gross brown, sticky, dirty, rotten layer off the Westboro onion and say that what they are doing, holding “God hates fags” signs up, is not loving. We all know that. Jesus was gentle with non believers, and harsh with religious people, but never ever this awful. Along with that, there is the yelling, the protesting, the military funerals, and all that junk. So lets peel that layer off, and refrain from talking about their methods. I feel that the mistake we often make is stopping there. I believe there is another crucial error they make which we (the non insane church) can learn from.
The people at Westboro start with the law. “GOD HATES FAGS!”
These people believe that they have been called to be used by God to hold up GOD HATES FAGS signs, so that people will see them, know that homosexuality is a sin, and stop being gay.
Sounds crazy right?
These people believe that their protests are to call people out of sin.
Still sound crazy?
These people are actively trying to restore america to abidance with God’s law.
Sounding not as crazy?
What if I told you that Westboro Baptist church believes gay marriage should be illegal because it is a sin?
Wait a second. That’s DOMA! That’s what I believe!
And there we have it folks…when you boil it down, Westboro is right. God does hate fags, and they should stop being gay, because it is a sin.
Here is the big question: Before your conversion, what weight did God’s law hold? What would motivate someone who doesn’t believe in God to follow his law? Why should we care?
I don’t know why this is even a question. I don’t know how this made it into religious culture. Maybe someone could explain this to me. In America, we criticize Arab countries, because they make their women wear hijab in public even if they aren’t Muslim, Then we get angry when they take “in God we trust” off the money and start making gay marriage legal. What kind of hypocrisy is this? Think about this: If America were to become predominantly a Muslim nation, would you be comfortable with “in Allah we trust” being printed on the money, and sending your daughter to school with her face covered? What about submitting to Muslim dietary laws? No, we would be throwing a fit. Yet we get upset, and say things like “the war on Christianity”, “the war on Christmas”, “the war on marriage.” Come on guys, can we stop declaring wars on ourselves all the time? I’m getting off topic here. My intent is not to talk about politics or downplay other religions. My intent was only to get you thinking. If you don’t believe in the Muslim faith, you don’t want to be forced to practice it. If you agree, keep reading. If not, lets talk about it in the comments below.
I think we do something just as offensive to our neighbors all the time. When we say “gay people can’t get married! it’s a sin!” Just think about what that person is hearing. “I hope that it becomes illegal for you to be with the person you are in love with, because a book that I read, written by a guy you don’t know says so” It sounds hateful and crazy. If you get down to the heart of the matter, it is hypocritical. When we become Christians, we don’t stop sinning. I broke God’s law. I break it all the time. So when I tell a non believer to stop sinning, I’m telling them “Look, I met this guy Jesus, he saved me from my sin. I still break all the rules, but that’s a different story. Let’s focus on you for a minute….You need to follow the rules.” This is the message my life speaks.
This reasoning is what led me to personally take a neutral stance on the political issue of gay marriage. If I can’t follow God’s law, I don’t understand why it is necessary to change my country’s law in order make other people follow his law. That doesn’t make sense.
Taking this stance put me in a tiny minority group, and I took a beating from my Christian right friends on social media. So it led me to do a very in-depth study on the Law and it’s function. I could write a book on all the things I learned, but I’m going to zero in on 3 things.
1. The law was never possible to follow in the first place.
Why, then, was the law given? It was given alongside the promise to show people their sins. But the law was designed to last only until the coming of the child who was promised. God gave his law through angels to Moses, who was the mediator between God and the people.
2.It is hypocritical to judge not yet believers for living in sin.
Romans 1:29 – 2:3
They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.
God’s Righteous Judgment
Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God?
3. The law serves as a handbook for life as God’s chosen people.
The book is for us. The law is for us. Jesus Says that the first and greatest command is to Love the Lord, Your God with everything you have, and he says to Love your neighbor as yourself. He tells us that everything sums up into those two commands. The next question is “how do we do that?” Do your reading, and follow the directions. Live in a way that brings glory to God. Very simple. That is the purpose the law serves for us.
I purposely left the end of this blog a little bit open, because I don’t think it is productive for my readers to be instructed by me. I’m not a bible teacher. I’m a church Janitor. I do mindless tasks day in and day out, and have to keep my mind busy by thinking about stuff. I come to a lot of conclusions because I spend hours thinking about them. I have had such a rich experience meditating on God’s word day in and day out, and I wouldn’t want you to miss out on that.
So I started the conversation, you finish it.
- What do you think?
- What is the law for?
- Should we expect non believers to act according to God’s law, even if they don’t believe in God?
- How should this affect the way we respond to issues like Gay marriage, language, and drinking?