Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Invincible Before God?

I have written in the past about the fact that the infamous Phelps family of the Westboro Church of Kansas is a cult. An awful one, too. Their bizarre behavior and picketing at our brave American soldier's funerals was bad enough. Now, they are doing an another absolutely appalling and disgusting thing. They are planning to protest at the funerals of the five Amish girls who were killed by a deranged man at a Pennsylvania Amish country schoolhouse yesterday. The Westboro cult is under a kind of deception that doesn't share the power and saving grace that any sinner can be given through repentance and belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior!

Mark at Chester Street has written a really good post about the Westboro Cult, too.

As I had stated in a former post here at Talkwisdom (at the first link above):



That one fact is what unites Christ's true, universal church (believers, not a denomination or building) despite differing "human traditions" added to individual denominations! This is the crux of the matter. If a church does not teach, "Jesus Christ and him crucified" as the way of salvation, then it is not following what God requires for reconciliation between God and man.

1 Corinthians 2:1-5 (NKJV)
Christ Crucified
2And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the *testimony of God. 2 For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. 3 I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. 4 And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of *human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

I feel bad for that group of 100 people who are under the deception of Satan through Fred Phelps skewed ideology. But this is what happens when people follow a finite man's lead rather than the eternal Son of God, Jesus Christ and His revealed Word, the Bible.

1 Corinthians 2:6 (NKJV)

Spiritual Wisdom
6 However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. (bold mine)


Now, switching gears a bit, just keep those thoughts and Bible verses in mind when you read the rest of this post.

People are attempting to find out what motivated this man to do what he did. To indescriminately shoot 10 innocent young girls at a school in Amish country is just an evil act beyond belief!

Lots of theories are floating around out there, and perhaps each "reason" given in the news attributed to this awful, heinous act. I ran across an article at Laigle's Forum which gives us a different reason than what is being shared in the news. From that article, we get a hint as to why evil men like Charles Carl Roberts IV and the BTK killer could fool others and appear to be "Christians" to those around them, while being capable of plotting, planning and actually carrying out cold-blooded, heartless and evil acts of murder. We may need to ask, what went wrong in their lives to enable them to be capable of such horrendous acts of violence? But we also need to ask what went wrong in their spiritual (or lack there-of) lives to enable them to be capable of such heinous acts?

What is possibly responsible for this? This excerpt from the post gives a reason:


I told of my conclusion that a true religious awakening depends upon a belief not only in heaven but also in hell and on the teaching of that belief in America's pulpits. After I had finished my talk, the same pastor who had lent me the book appeared embarrassed and upset. He immediately quoted a verse from the New Testament to the effect that Christians are not to be afraid of anything. Clearly the mention of hell is taboo in that church, as it is in many others now that modern psychology has infiltrated religion. (bold mine)


You may not agree with what is shared in the post at Laigle's Forum, but I tend to think that the author may very well be on to something. It is stated within the article that because of skewed doctrine and false, heretical beliefs, people like Roberts and Rader (BTK killer) think themselves invincible before God. Therefore, they are led into a kind of spiritual oblivion that takes their souls from God into the depths of Satan's lair.

Non-religious people are often uncomfortable with spiritual ideas and discussions. But the Bible is so crystal clear about what happens to the souls of those who do not believe in God and refuse to believe in the salvation power of the cross of Jesus Christ.

Of course not all non-believers fall to such depths of depravity, but those who do are out to fulfill their deviant obsessions without any semblance of a conscience. They lack the capacity for true confession, repentance and reconciliation with God. They don't know the forgiveness, mercy, grace and love of God. Therefore, to what (and, ultimately, to whom) do they turn? The answer is evil, sin and death. The perpetrator is Satan.

What is the cure?

Wrong question.

Who is the cure?

Answer:

Romans 5 (NLT)

Faith Brings Joy
Therefore, since we have been made right in God's sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. 2 Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of highest privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God's glory.
3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us-they help us learn to endure. 4 And endurance develops strength of character in us, and character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation. 5 And this expectation will not disappoint us. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
6 When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. 7 Now, no one is likely to die for a good person, though someone might be willing to die for a person who is especially good. 8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. 9 And since we have been made right in God's sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God's judgment. 10 For since we were restored to friendship with God by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be delivered from eternal punishment by his life. 11 So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God-all because of what our Lord Jesus Christ has done for us in making us friends of God.
Adam and Christ Contrasted
12 When Adam sinned, sin entered the entire human race. Adam's sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned. 13 Yes, people sinned even before the law was given. And though there was no law to break, since it had not yet been given, 14 they all died anyway-even though they did not disobey an explicit commandment of God, as Adam did. What a contrast between Adam and Christ, who was yet to come! 15 And what a difference between our sin and God's generous gift of forgiveness. For this one man, Adam, brought death to many through his sin. But this other man, Jesus Christ, brought forgiveness to many through God's bountiful gift. 16 And the result of God's gracious gift is very different from the result of that one man's sin. For Adam's sin led to condemnation, but we have the free gift of being accepted by God, even though we are guilty of many sins. 17 The sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over us, but all who receive God's wonderful, gracious gift of righteousness will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ.
18 Yes, Adam's one sin brought condemnation upon everyone, but Christ's one act of righteousness makes all people right in God's sight and gives them life. 19 Because one person disobeyed God, many people became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many people will be made right in God's sight.
20 God's law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God's wonderful kindness became more abundant. 21 So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God's wonderful kindness rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

*******
10/5/06 Update: Radio talk show host Mike Gallagher was able to make a deal with the cult members not to protest at the Amish girls' funerals. Instead, he is giving them radio time to say what they want to say (ugh!!).

But at least they will not be disrupting the funerals of these grieving people...

13 comments:

GMpilot said...

Christine: Of course not all non-believers fall to such depths of depravity, but those who do are out to fulfill their deviant obsessions without any semblance of a conscience. They lack the capacity for true confession, repentance and reconciliation with God. They don't know the forgiveness, mercy, grace and love of God. Therefore, to whom do they turn? The answer is evil, sin and death.

Well, thank you for the acknowledgement! I suppose I should be grateful, given some of the things you’ve said in the past…but it sounds more like “C.Y.A.”, to prevent us non-believers from hitting back.
By the way, evil, sin and death are not ‘whoms’, they’re ‘whats’. And you have something to do with education?!

”They are planning to protest at the funerals of the five Amish girls who were killed by a deranged man at a Pennsylvania Amish country schoolhouse yesterday.”

Oh, a bunch of ‘Christians’ are going to protest to another bunch of ‘Christians’ about the way they live! Meanwhile, a third bunch of ‘Christians’ (you among them) are condemning the behavior of the first bunch, but not the second. Yes, it is appalling and disgusting, but it’s not as if Christians haven’t done this kind of thing before.

”The Westboro cult is under a kind of deception that doesn't share the power and saving grace that any sinner can be given through repentance and belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior!”

As far as I know, Phelps and Company isn’t sharing much of anything, except their hatred of homosexuals and others whom they feel (with documented evidence) are damned by God…after all, you don’t like them either. They protest them on the streets, while you do it in the legislature. Where’s the difference?
Given the above paragraph of yours I’ve quoted, would you say that the Westboro ’cult’ “lack[s] the capacity for true confession, repentance and reconciliation with God”? Does ol’ Fred not know “the forgiveness, mercy, grace and love of God”? Have his followers subsequently turned to “evil, sin and death”?
If “yes”, what is your basis for saying that?
If “no”, what is your basis for saying that?
Would you feel any differently if the victims had been Hindu? They’re certainly believers, just not Christian ones.

Oh, yes, one off-topic note: have Osama’s remains been found? ‘Cause you haven’t provided any update. If he’s not dead, then it must be asked why the task force devoted exclusively to his death/capture has been disbanded…

Christinewjc said...

Update: Radio talk show host Mike Gallagher was able to make a deal with the cult members not to protest at the Amish girls' funerals. Instead, he is giving them radio time to say what they want to say (ugh!!).

But at least they will not be disrupting the funerals of these grieving people...

Christinewjc said...

GMpilot,

I made the correction. Thanks for pointing out my error.

GM said, "Oh, a bunch of ‘Christians’ are going to protest to another bunch of ‘Christians’ about the way they live!"

Not exactly. From the news clips that I heard yesterday, the Westboro cult was actually protesting Ed Rendell, the governor of Pennsylvania. I'm not entirely clear about all of their reasons for such a dispicable protest, but one reason mentioned on the news was because Rendell publically denounced the group in the past. I guess we will have to wait and hear all of the sordid details about their deranged reasonings for such a protest from the radio show. It's not something that I would want to listen to, though. Guess I should to point our their cultic errors verses what the Bible truly says.

GM said," As far as I know, Phelps and Company isn’t sharing much of anything, except their hatred of homosexuals and others whom they feel (with documented evidence) are damned by God…after all, you don’t like them either. They protest them on the streets, while you do it in the legislature. Where’s the difference?"

If you read the links that I had provided, you'd know the difference. Here's the link again: Many will be deceived.

Since that post covers the deception of radical Muslim jihadists, I will copy portions of the post here while specifically aiming it at the Westboro cult.

First, I'd like to say that I am not an expert on differing theologies within the Christian faith. Bob of Puritan's Sword might be someone who could pinpoint from which branch of Christian theology the Westboro cult has skewed and radicalized their beliefs from. [Bob, if you read this please share anything that you know about it?]

I read a comment by someone who had some knowledge about this, but I don't remember which blog I had gotten the information from. Anyway, I'll share what I have seen of this cult verses what the Bible says about true Christian ministry.

You will notice that sections of the following post refer to Muslim extremists. However, we can apply the same concepts towards the Phelps cult extremists.

We can clearly see where specific Muslim beliefs [Phelps cult beliefs] can turn people to the violence [disgusting picketing] of terrorism and jihadism [and spewing of hate]. Where does it begin? It begins in the mind. Read Muslim students [similarly, the Phelps cult can be likened to] 'being taught to despise unbelievers as filth' and you will see that when such a mindset is taken to complete fruition, it leads to the twisted concept that the killing [condemnation] of unbelievers is necessary [without the truth that through confession and repentance, ANY sinner can be reconciled back unto God.]

Can you see the difference now, GM? True Christian believers do not leave out the fact that through belief in Jesus Christ and the saving act he did at the cross, he was victorious over the consequences of evil, sin and death and thus covers all sinners who willingly and ultimately come to Christ in this lifetime. The Phelps cult believes that homosexuals (and the soldiers killed in Iraq), cannot ever be extended grace.

Christians believe that sin is "filth" in the eyes of God, but the person is precious and valuable. Sin needs to be repented of and acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is what saves a person's soul.

Christianity encourages a productive life through service to God and others. Once born again, we faithfully and prayerfully attempt to fulfill our God-given mission here on earth, while looking forward to the day when God takes us from this earthly existence to spend eternity with Him in heaven. Our reward is not because of anything that we have done, but because of the redemptive work, and righteousness of Christ at the cross.

The jihadism and killing that radicalized Muslims aspire to achieve (please note that I didn't say all Muslims)[radicalism and hate-spewing done by the Phelps cults against certain kinds sinners that they think are unworthy and incapable of forgiveness] is a works based belief that is completely opposite of what the Bible tells us is necessary for salvation.

Works of obedience are done by born-again Christians because of our love for Christ and desire to serve Him.

Unfortunately, people who think they are Christian can be deceived as well. The book of Jude shares the fact that many will be deceived the closer we get to Christ's second coming. Those who have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit through the saving grace of Christ are now "elect" and would not be deceived.

Matthew 24:24 - For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if [it were] possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

A few nights ago, I witnessed a verbal exchange between Sean Hannity, Alan Colmes, and a member of the Westboro "Baptist" church (Fred Phelps fame). What a riveting segment. That group is a cult that has, unfortunately, been used to discredit true Christian ministries that seek to help people who are unhappy and struggling with same-sex attraction find freedom in Jesus Christ.

This group goes even further down to the pit of Satan. They were picketing at funerals, demonstrating against, and demeaning our brave military heroes who had given their lives in the effort to defeat terrorism and keep our country safe from any additional attacks since the tragedy of 9/11.

This is profoundly ugly. It's totally disgraceful and utterly unChristian to do such a thing. Yet, these people think that they are the "genuine" Christians and all the rest of us are "abominations."

The Bible does not call people abominations. It calls certain acts of sin abominations.

I would like to state one important observation about the Phelps cult member that appeared on Hannity and Colmes. She never once mentioned the power and saving grace that any sinner can be given through repentance and belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior!

That one fact is what unites Christ's true, universal church (believers, not a denomination or building) despite differing "human traditions" added to individual denominations! This is the crux of the matter. If a church does not teach, "Jesus Christ and him crucified" as the way of salvation, then it is not following what God requires for reconciliation between God and man.


I hope what I have shared explains why what the Phelps cult does and what genuine Christian ministries do regarding the sin of homosexuality are two totally different things. Does this answer all your questions at the end of your comment?

About Osama. I don't know if he is dead or not. I haven't seen any updated news reports. I didn't know that the task force on the hunt for him has been disbanded. Could it be because he is dead? There has been speculation that the huge funeral gathering of Taliban leaders in Afghanistan may have been for Bin 'Hidin. The illness of typhoid was mentioned as a possibility for his death. Who knows for sure?

Wouldn't it be something special if Osama's death is announced as a "November surprise" by the Republican leadership? The Dems would burst blood vessels if such a revelation came true!

Mark said...

The westboro folk are really no different than many other folks that preach a False Doctrine. Pick and choose, back it up with pieces of scripture while ignoring others.

Bottom line, one sure way to die in your sins (Hell bound) is remain willingly ignorant and chose the darkness over the Light. But to do this you are going to have to stumble over the cross of Christ. You will have to willingly trample the blood of Jesus, becuase YOU know the Gospel! That is what the likes of westboro are doing.

Christinewjc said...

Now that I have read this article, perhaps this has fueled another reason for the Phelps cult to picket. However, I don't see the connection between the Amish shootings and the gay and lesbian month being promoted in Pennsylvania. What in the world would one have to do with the other??

Nothing!

I do think that parent's rights, religious beliefs, religious freedom of association, and religious freedom of speech are all harmed by this unnecessary forced "celebration" of homosexual behavior in public schools.

Something has got to be done to stop gay activists from infiltrating our public schools and indoctrinating our children!! Please! Someone come up with a legislative argument to stop this marketing of evil to our children and grandchildren!

limpy99 said...

As a non-believer, I'd just like to interject here and point out that I do not have any urge to kill a bunch of Amish kids. Or most anyone else for that matter.

I can't promise I wouldn't throw rocks at Fred Phelps though.

Mark said...

As a non-believer, I'd just like to interject here and point out that I do not have any urge to kill a bunch of Amish kids. Or most anyone else for that matter.

I can't promise I wouldn't throw rocks at Fred Phelps though.


That's because God, whether you know it or not at this point in your life, has His fingerprint on your heart. In addition, I would be more than likely to look down, find a rock, and hand it to limpy99. :) Seriously, the Amish involved in this tragedy, have shown the world a piece of Christ we all needed to be reminded of!

God is Good, all the time!

limpy99 said...

Good call Mark, I probably have a better arm anyway;)

Christinewjc said...

The post at this link informs us that the evil, heinous crime done by the killer of 5 innocent, Amish girls at their schoolhouse was most likely demonic in nature.

Excerpt:

"This kind of attack on what the man probably assumed were the most innocent victims he could find can only be regarded as demonic. Can there be any doubt that we are truly in a spiritual war, and who our enemy is?"

GMpilot said...

Perhaps you can tell me, Christine, or perhaps Mr. Schooley can, if demons can be prosecuted under the laws of the United States (or anywhere else).
Now that would be informational! Like many blogs, what he gave were facts, salted with opinions; there’s no more evidence there for demons than there is for mind-controlling aliens from planet Zorda.

He went on to say, ”Nero fiddled while Rome burned; will the epitaph on the contemporary church be that we navel-gazed while our civilization crumbled and the bearers of God's image all around us perished without a knowledge of the truth?”

Well, according to legend, Nero started the Great Fire of Rome! He also spent a good deal of the Imperial Treasury rebuilding the city afterward (many of the new structures included monuments to himself, but hey…). If Christians wish to follow his example and destroy civilization while singing hosannas to—oh, wait…never mind, that’s already in progress…

The passage involving the Amish man who said the killer’s family was also victims was very poignant—and absolutely correct. He showed a perspective that more “advanced” Christians, in their zeal to condemn, often overlook. You might do well to consider it.

Christinewjc said...

You are correct GM. I should have mentioned the fact that the Amish people showed amazing strength during their time of grief by extending forgiveness for the perpetrator of this horrendous crime, as well as compassion and grace towards the family of the killer. This comment might very well become my next blogpost.

At my Bible study on Tuesday, I did bring that up. We were in a discussion about how hard it would be to lose a child. It is every mother's worst nightmare and fear. When I shared what had happened at the Amish schoolhouse, many of the women were stunned. Several had not even heard about it yet (not avid T.V. watchers).

This tragedy is an example of man's desire to know evil. Knowing evil brought sin and death into the picture whereas before, God had said, "it was good" (regarding creation), and when Adam and Eve were created, he said, "it was very good." We were to be the "crowning achievement," so to speak, of His glorious creation! But when Adam and Eve disobeyed God and desired to know evil, paradise was lost and death (physical, at least) entered into the lives of us all.

Jesus told us, "in this world you will have trouble; but take heart! I have overcome the world."

He overcame the eternal affect of evil, sin and death at the cross. As born-againnbelievers in the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ, we are no longer under condemnation. We are no longer in danger of eternal separation from God. We "cannot be snatched out of his hands." These are the promises of God through the salvation of the cross of Christ.

I have shared the gospel message many times with you, so there is no need to go into detail. Suffice it to say that the Amish know that God is ultimately in control. One newscaster stated that they believe, "everything done on this earth is God's will" and they must accept that. I don't think that is accurate. God allows evil in the world right now because we are in the process of redemption. Every single one of us needs to know Christ, why he came to this earth over 2,000 years ago, what he achieved for our benefit, what we are rescued from, and where we will thus spend eternity.

There is a popular Christian song that says:

"Not because of who I am, but because of what You've done."

"Not because of what I've done, but because of Who You are."

That is a simply way to sum up the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the truth that he spoke of when he said, "and you shall know the truth and the truth will set you free."

Back to the Amish and their reaction to the tragedy.

They know, with confidence, that their daughters are in heaven with Jesus. That is their ultimate comfort, despite the grief they now have. The Bible tells us, "we do not grieve as those who have no hope." People who do not believe in God, His Word, or His Son, Jesus Christ, do not have such hope. Jesus is the only "prophet" who died for the sake of others to be the propitiation for our sins. He is the only Savior who rose from the grave, conquered evil, sin and death and lives forevermore!

God the Father allowed the crucifixion of His Son, Jesus Christ, to satisfy the death penalty that a Righteous God had to impose because of bringing evil into the world through disobeying Him which was the introduction of sin. God's nature includes justice, and a just God would never allow sin and evil to go unpunished. So, the penalty leveled upon Satan and his demons was passed on to man through that terrible choice that they made in the Garden of Eden. Thus, we have the world that we have today...rife with evil, sin and death.

Someone needed to pay the penalty. But who was worthy? None of us! Only one man, the Messiah Jesus Christ could pay the penalty for all of us and with simple faith and belief in what he did for us, we can be set free from the eternal penalty of spiritual death, which is eternal separation from God in hell.

God took the most heinous act in history, the brutal beating, scourging, crucifixion, and death on the cross of Jesus Christ, and turned it on it's head. Christ's resurrection to life (a fact of history which Simon Greenleaf showed was defendable beyond a reasonable doubt in any courtroom today), and subsequent ascension to the Father did several things in one full swoope. Christ defeated evil, sin and death, satisfied the death penalty (spiritual) that we all would deserve if not for Christ, demonstrated that physical death is not the end of us, showed us that the soul and spirit live on in eternity, and proved who He is through the miracles, fulfillment of Biblical prophecies (over 300 of them!), and the ultimate act for our salvation, the cross and the resurrection to life eternal.

This is why the Amish can forgive the perpetrator (they were imitating Jesus when he said while dying on the cross, "forgive them Father, they do not know what they do") and extend grace, mercy, hope and comfort to the people in the killer's family who are suffering just as much as they are.

You see, GM, believers in Jesus Christ is an "everybody wins" scenario. I know you don't agree and you have expressed your anger at God many times. I'm sure that the loss of your beloved wife was terribly painful. Because the prayers for her survival were not answered, you blame God and call Him a monster because of the reality of evil, sin, and death in this world. But you must someday realize that this world is not all there is! We get a "do over" during the 1,000 year reign of Christ on the earth (many people don't know this because they don't read the book of Revelation!) We then live for eternity in heaven with God! Heaven is described as a beautiful place where there are no tears, no evil, no sin, no death! The "old earth and heaven" will pass away, but God's Word will never pass away! This is why we need to study God's Word. It is a miraculous book that we will never finish reading. We will never arrive at completely knowing all that we can learn from it. We will continue studying it until we enter into eternity. I don't think I've ever heard any pastor or evangelist say, "I've mastered all the information in the entire Bible." or "I know all that there is to know about the God of the Bible." (If someone does claim that, then they are a liar.)

We cannot know all that there is to know about God, but we can learn just enough of what we need to learn through knowing Jesus Christ. That's the crux of the matter.

People who claim that they have "read the whole Bible" yet they remain in the state of being where they are non-believers and refuse to recognize Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, have entirely missed the point of God's Word.

I will have to finish this later...need to change computers.

GMpilot said...

Actually, it seems your new blogpost has ALREADY been written. Most of it is right here.

Christine: ”This tragedy is an example of man's desire to know evil.”

The killer had claimed he’d molested family members as a boy; I can’t imagine anyone wanting to “know” such evil, and I don’t think you can, either.

”One newscaster stated that they believe, "everything done on this earth is God's will" and they must accept that. I don't think that is accurate. God allows evil in the world right now because we are in the process of redemption.”

If everything on this earth is NOT God’s will, then he is not in control. You might not think the newscaster’s assessment is accurate, but that’s just you. Of course God allows it—he created it! You might regard evil as the forge by which he tempers our steel, or some such metaphor, but if you do then you must realize that evil was necessary to do that.
You talk of “God the Father” and “a Righteous God” in the same sentence almost as if they were two different Gods…they’re not. You said, ”…God had to impose because of bringing evil into the world through disobeying Him which was the introduction of sin. God's nature includes justice, and a just God would never allow sin and evil to go unpunished. So, the penalty leveled upon Satan and his demons was passed on to man…” God has this funny habit of punishing everyone except the perpetrator of the crime. Satan, supposedly, was the instigator of the Eden Incident…but Adam and Eve got the punishment. David took Bathsheba in adultery and murder…but his infant son by her got the punishment.

If this world is “rife with evil, sin and death”, then one must conclude that this is exactly what God wants…because he’s in control, right?

”I know you don't agree and you have expressed your anger at God many times. I'm sure that the loss of your beloved wife was terribly painful. Because the prayers for her survival were not answered, you blame God and call Him a monster because of the reality of evil, sin, and death in this world.”

I did not ‘pray for her survival’. I hadn’t known she was ill, and she was several hours dead before I learned of it. I call God a monster because most of his book shows him to be exactly that. The NT God is much more accessible and less impulsive than the OT God, but it’s only a cosmetic change. The OT God drowned the world and its inhabitants; the NT God intends to fry it. But he loves us all; see the crocodile weep!

”People who claim that they have "read the whole Bible" yet they remain in the state of being where they are non-believers and refuse to recognize Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, have entirely missed the point of God's Word.”

People who claim that they “believe the Bible from cover to cover” yet don’t acknowledge everything that happens between those covers, have entirely missed the point. I agree with you there: far too many ‘smorgasbord Christians’ in the world, who pick and choose what they believe and ignore the rest. That’s the crux of the matter.

Bob said...

(Here's what I put up on my blog in response to your Q's on the Phelps group which I label "Hyper Calvinist):

Hey Christine,

Well officially they say that they are Calvinistic in their theology, on their page they have TULIP as what they believe. Now the term "hyper-Calvinist" isn't just some made up term by me, it is actually a heretical twist to what the Reformed tradition believes.

For instance hyper Calvinists don't call people to repent in their preaching because they think if they are elect they will and they don't need anybody to call them to do so. Likewise as you can see with the Phelps group there is a heavy emphasis upon the wrath of God, when you don't see the churches role to be (at least in part) to call sinners to repentence the only message you have for sinners is that they are hellbound. Hyper-Calvinism isn't new its been around for a good while, a HC said to William Carey "God doesn't need your help saving the heathen" trying to detur him from missions. If you go to their page "God hates fags" it becomes clear that because they believe only the elect can believe, therefore they don't call anybody to repent/believe. Here's a good quote summarising the error of hyper-calvinism:

The hyper-Calvinist, then, makes the same mistake as the Arminians and free-willists, only he draws a different conclusion. Both think that to command or demand repentance and faith of dead sinners must imply that such sinners are not dead and have in themselves the ability to repent and believe. The free-willist says, then: "To command must imply ability, therefore, men have the ability." The hyper-Calvinist says: "To command must imply ability, therefore we will not command any but the elect."

-Ron Hanko

In contrast orthodox Calvinism (which I hold to) says that God has not only ordained (predestined) who will believe through His soveriegn grace, but also has ordained the means, which is men calling sinners to repentence. Thus, election and missions are not irreconcialable.

Also a good book on the issue of Hyper-Calvinism is Iain Murray's "Spurgeon vs Hyper Calvinism"

Hope that helps...