If you’ve been around the news today you might have heard that Fred Phelps, the founder of Westboro Baptist Church, has passed away.
While the media outlets are trying to report the “news” of it, the reaction of individuals is (so far) pretty slanted towards hate. It’s amazing irony. People loathed Phelps for his hate and, now that he’s gone, they are expressing their own hate. I call shenanigans.
Humanity really is broken.
Here’s the thing – hate and loathing is never okay. When we see people fail and do things we know they ought not to do it should break our hearts, not fill us with our own hatred.
Here’s the kicker for people of faith: Was Phelps saved? In an Evangelical Christian sense, saved simply means that, because of faith in Jesus as God-incarnate and his propitiatory work on the cross, we will spend eternity in the presence of God.
Did Phelps have that faith? He said he did. If he did, does God’s grace cover Phelps’ failings? That’s the whole teaching of grace. What we lack and cannot make up on our own, Jesus covers on our behalf.
If Phelps did have that faith that brings salvation then when we reach eternity we’ll be worshipping God alongside of Brother Fred.
So what’s our take-away from all this?
Ultimately God is the judge of our souls. Rather than waste our time judging the condition of other’s souls and stewing in our own hate, let us strive to embody Christ’s character as best we can.
That means even loving those the world believes to be the least-lovable.